People have a ridiculous amount of questions about smartwatches, like what it can and cannot do, how does it work, how much does it cost, etc. We will take each of them and provide some answers.
So have a cup of coffee and start reading. I believe at the end of this post, you will be able to tell what is right for you.
1. What Does a Smartwatch Do?
Smartwatch is a special kind of watch that is able to do a lot more than just telling time. A modern smartwatch can track activities, monitor heart rate, make calls, notify you of notifications, etc.
Some sort of smart digital watches were there for decades, but things started to get serious after Pebble’s successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. It reached a whopping 10 million mark in a short period of time.
That is when big companies like Samsung, Sony, Apple realized the potential market for smartwatches and showed their interest. Now we have dozens of brands producing smartwatches on a regular basis.
2. How Does a Smartwatch Work?
Smartwatches are small-size computers in the shape of a watch. The whole point of this device is to offer mobility – significantly more than what a smartphone offers.
How are they built? There is usually a tiny size motherboard connected to sensors and a power supply. The CPU, GPU, and RAM govern the operating system in those devices. The frame housing this hardware can be made out of stainless steel, aluminum, and of course, plastic.
Now we have a few different operating systems for smartwatches (Wear OS, watchOS, Tizen, Fitbit OS, Garmin OS). Some of them are compatible with multiple platforms (Tizen works well on Android, iOS, and Samsung devices). While some only work in their own ecosystem (watchOS works on iOS only).
3. The Best Uses of Smartwatch
3.1 Activity Tracking
Smartwatches have improved so much in the area of activity tracking that now people prefer them over normal activity trackers.
Using them, you can track a lot of things. You can find the following features in almost any smartwatch:
- Distance tracking
- Steps counting
- Calorie counting
- Heart rate tracking
Some sports-oriented smartwatches come with a handful of native apps for sports where you can track activities such as running, cycling, and swimming.
There are a few others that have taken activity tracking to a complete health system where you could monitor metrics like blood pressure, oxygen level, and electrocardiogram.
3.2 Smartphone Notifications
Receiving important notifications on your wrist is another great use of a smartwatch. It makes life so much easier.
Suppose you are in a meeting or you are commuting on public transport. Having the option to check notifications at a glance will rescue you from taking your phone out.
3.3 Calling and Texting
There are smartwatches that support physical sim cards. The benefit of that is you will have a small cellular device that does not rely on a phone to work.
Having this type of smartwatch will let you go out on a run while leaving your phone at home. Personally, I have been doing this for several months now and cannot think back from carrying a phone.
If you are interested in this kind of smartwatches featuring sim cards, we posted a blog couple of days ago where we recommended the best eleven. You can check out the post about standalone smartwatches here.
Another very efficient use of a smartwatch is that it can be utilized to have an eye on old people and kids.
Some smartwatches are equipped with GPS and video cameras using which you can keep in touch with your elderly parents or your kid who needs constant attention.
There are also a few smartwatches that are intended for kids. On those devices, you can specify a radius and you will get an instant notification when your child goes out of it.
3.5 Voice Commands
A voice-controlled home is becoming a thing now. People are more inclined to services that work through voice commands.
Having a smartwatch that supports a command engine like Google Assistant or Alexa will offer you some added flexibility. You don’t have to look for a remote or phone anymore. Just say it to your watch and it will do the work.
4. How Much Does a Smartwatch Cost?
There is no straight-cut answer to this question. Because smartwatch is a broad industry and the price can be as low as 50 dollars to a couple thousand.
If you have to allocate a budget for a smartwatch, a good range would be 100-300 dollars. In this range, you can find something that covers all the necessary features.
Nevertheless, if you were particularly interested in state-of-the-art smartwatches, make sure to put aside at least 300-500 dollars. For brands like Apple, Emporio Armani, Tag Heuer, you could end up needing double or triple of that.
5. Are Smartwatches Worth It?
To answer this question, I have to counter you with another question. How much does comfort matter to you on a scale of 1 to 10?
If it is below 7, I would assume you can live without it. Smartwatches, in most cases, do not offer anything special that you cannot do with your smartphone. It is simply an extension for your phone that adds up comfort to a certain degree.
However, if you are 7 or above and look for comfort in every device, this is something you could look into. I consider myself in that range and I am pretty satisfied with the overall outcome.
6. Which Smartwatch Should You Get?
There are well tons of good smartwatches that you can buy. Most of them will satisfy your need. But here are a few that we had the chance to look closely at and feel confident to recommend.
6.1 Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 is powered by Apple’s watchOS and is probably the best solution for iPhone users.
There are several interesting features in it, for example, Series 5 now includes an electrical heart rate sensor using which you can generate an Electrocardiogram (ECG).
This watch is packed with many activities and sports tracking features. There is also a cellular version of this watch where you can insert a sim card to make it standalone.
6.2 Samsung Galaxy Watch3
Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is powered by Tizen and the largest benefit of this product is that it is compatible with all major smartphone OS.
This watch falls in the same category as the Apple Watch Series 5 but the price is relatively lower than the other. So if you are searching for something that has similar features to Series 5, this is a good option.
Some notable features are advanced hand gestures, rotating bezel for navigation, and the LTE version also supports sim cards.
6.3 Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3
Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 is the one I am using right now and it met my expectations.
The reason I bought this is that I was searching for something that looks elegant and goes hand in hand with office attire. I have been using it with casual dresses too and it looks beautiful to me every time.
One good feature of this smartwatch is that, although it needs a smartphone to work, you can talk through the watch. It is equipped with a microphone and a loudspeaker.
If you feel interested in this device, you can have a look at our detailed review where I shared from my own experience what I liked and disliked about this watch.
7. Bottom Line
There are probably numerous other advantages of the smartwatch that we could not include in this blog post. But if you read it through, you could tell already in which ways it is helpful.
One last tip: if you value comfort, you cannot go wrong with a smartwatch.