How to choose and buy the right smartwatch for you
If you have been considering purchasing a smartwatch, you are already doing your research and may have noted the vast amount of options available. So what do you do – do you purchase the big brand name, or do you choose by functionality? From big names such as Apple and Samsung to traditional watchmakers like Tag Heuer and Fossil to upstarts like Martian, dozens of companies are creating smartwatches to deliver notifications, apps and more to your wrist. Although features and designs vary, the main appeal of a smartwatch is that it can save you time. Whether you want to quickly check incoming messages or control your music, you’ll be able to glance down at your wrist instead of having to whip out and unlock your phone. Some smartwatches even work independently of a phone, but most are designed as companion devices.
If you want to keep better tabs on your health, a growing number of smartwatches have built-in fitness features, such as a pedometer or heart rate monitor. (The line between fitness trackers and smartwatches is definitely blurring.) In order to make your choice a bit easier, below are a few things for you to be aware of and consider prior to purchasing a smartwatch. Be aware that they are not always what they seem to be on paper.
First and foremost, let’s talk about battery capacity. It is extremely important that you aren’t running out of battery before the end of the day. A number of smartwatches, in fact, have a very small battery capacity. Therefore, if you are going to be listening to music and/or tracking your fitness, a decent size battery is pretty essential.
With the demise of Pebble, nearly all smartwatches now available use a colorful LCD screen or AMOLED display, which let you view photos, apps and other content in richer color, and tend to be brighter. The trade-off is shorter battery life, though smartwatch makers are improving the devices’ efficiency. Color displays use so much power that many watches turn off their screens while they’re asleep, so you can’t even see the time without waking the device. Look for a smartwatch that continues to show the time when it’s not in use, usually at a dimmer brightness
Conditional upon what you are planning to use your smartwatch for, you may need more than the typical storage. Will you using it to listen to music? If so, that can take up a lot of space, particularly if you want a good variety of music. Bigger brands have lower storage capacity with just 4 GB of internal storage. Hence, if you desire a smartwatch with a good amount of storage capacity, you may be better off with one that has external storage.
Style is a big one. If you are going to spend all this money, you truly want it to look good on your wrist. A smartwatch can have all the coolest features, but if it doesn’t look good, you’re you are not going to be comfortable showing it off. There are truly some awesome designs out there, depending on the style you are looking for.
Syncing With Your Phone
Choosing a smartwatch that is compatible with your phone is key. There are many smartwatches out there that are either only for iPhones or Android. Consider this, because this can be frustrating if you want to get a new phone in six months to a year. There are, though, numerous smartwatches that will sync with both types of smartphones. For the most part, all smartwatches will sync with your phone. However, this is achieved over Bluetooth, which means your smartphone has to be within a close distance. For instance, you won’t be able to play music from your smartphone through Bluetooth while you are at the gym and your phone is in a locker a distance away. There are watches which will sync with your smartphone and you can essentially insert your SIM card inside. This is fantastic because you can leave your smartphone at home while you are out for a night on the town and still make and receive calls, text messages and even surf the net. SIM cards are also ideal for travelling because you won’t have to carry your smartphone with you, but you can still have the convenience of having a phone on your wrist.
Fitness bands are the new rage these days and are really useful. However, most of them don’t look as good as a smartwatch. Fortunately, there are a quite a few really good looking models that are smart and also work to keep you fit. They include, but are not limited to, heart rate monitors, pedometers, temperature readings, ECG Analysis, sleep monitors, sedentary reminders and some even have a UV radiation checker.
Okay, time to discuss the dreaded price! With the exception of budget devices from no-name brands, most smartwatches will cost between $100 for older devices such as the Moto 360 all the way up to $1,500 for the Tag Heuer Connected. You’ll find most smartwatches in the $200-$500 range, depending on features and accessories. For example, the Apple Watch Series 2 starts at $269 for a basic aluminum case and silicone band, but goes up past $1,249 for the ceramic case. You have now found the smartwatch you want, but it may be incredibly expensive. Keep in mind that you are often paying for the name rather than a decent spec, which should leave you wondering if it really is the best deal. Prior to searching for smartwatches, consider how much you actually want to spend. There are many great choices available aside from the well-known brands. Buying a lesser-known brand, you can still get lots of great functionality, some even better, and pay less. After weighing the pros and cons, look for a smartwatch that has a good battery life, decent storage, looks amazing, is available in tons of styles and tops many of the fitness trackers out there, and, best of all, is affordable.
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