Guide for a Perfect Smartwatch
Watches in different shapes and sizes have been around for a long time. It evolved over time, adding new functionalities while increasing the efficiency. The latest iteration of watch we have is Smartwatch.
What is ‘Smart’?
Companies have at times, termed their products as smart, while the improvements are only marginal. So, when someone is branding something as ‘Smart’, be it watches, TVs or anything else, it may be fishy. It may just be a marketing gimmick. For something to be called ‘Smart’, the improvements it is carrying should not only be visible but also functional. It should add some real added value to the product, which was not available earlier.
What about Smartwatch?
There are many products which are termed ‘Smart’, but in reality are not. This is not the case with Smartwatch which is available these days. Smartwatch of today is real innovation from the past. Its journey from a mere timekeeping device to something which can track activities, answer messages, have built-in GPS, and much more functionalities, is remarkable.
What makes a Smartwatch ‘Smart’?
Other than a watch like structure and the ability to tell time, a smartwatch must have these characteristics:
- Have its own operating system (OS).
- Can run apps on its own.
- Health and fitness related sensors.
- A digital screen to show real time sensor data.
- Ability to connect with a smartphone and show notifications on the watch itself.
- GPS for movement tracking (optional).
- Ability to connect with accessories other than a smartphone, ex, Bluetooth headphones etc. (optional)
Which factors to consider while purchasing a Smartwatch?
These are some factors to consider, but they ultimately depend on how you choose to use your smart gadget.
- Operating System: If you already in Apple ecosystem, then WatchOS by Apple should be your choice, else go for Android Wear by Google.
- Processor and RAM: It is the brain of the device, doing all the hard work so that everything runs smoothly. Apps keep evolving and become more demanding in terms of processing power required. So, to future proof for more than a year choose your watch with good Processor and RAM.
- Sensors: If you want a smartwatch with a special focus on health and fitness activities, then make sure that it has all the required sensors. For ex. GPS is required for calculating distance covered while cycling or running, etc.
- Glass Type: You will be probably wearing your smartwatch all day along, so you might want the glass on the top of your gadget to be strong enough to protect from scratches.
- Water Resistance: If a smartwatch has to replace a traditional watch, then it has to be water resistant. And if you do regular swimming, then it is a must.
- Battery Life: Every electronic gadget runs on battery, which needs to be charged to work. You don’t want a gadget which will require being charging every now and then. Your gadget should at least work 1.5 days without the need to recharge. This will make sure that, if you forget to charge in a night, then also it is be available for the next day.
Some popular Smartwatches
Apple Watch Series 2
It runs on WatchOs 3, by Apple, and compatible only with iOS (which means it will work only with an iPhone). Powered by an S2 dual core processor by Apple, it has a storage space of 8GB. It can be charged wirelessly and supports WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC. It has a battery life of 18 hours, which is okay for most cases but can not be considered as good. If you are already in Apple ecosystem, then this should be your definite pick. Apple Watch Series 1 is its previous model and is still up for sale. More details here.
Samsung Gear S3
It runs on Tizen OS (an open source OS backed by Samsung and Intel) and is compatible with both iOS and Android. It is powered by a 1Ghz dual core processor and has a storage space of 4GB. Gear 3 can be charged wirelessly and supports WiFi and Bluetooth. It has a battery life of up to 4 days, which is very good. It also has a sport version named Samsung Gear Sport, and a previous model Gear S2. More details here.
LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport
Both run on Android Wear 2.0 (Android Wear is an OS specifically developed for smart watches) and are compatible with Android and iOS. Both are powered by a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and have a storage space of 4GB. Connectivity options are Bluetooth and WiFi, while Watch Sport also supports NFC. They have a battery life of 24h and 16h for Style and Sport Edition respectively, which again is okay, but can’t be considered as good. More details here.
Moto 360 (2nd Gen)
It runs on Android Wear OS and is compatible with Android and iOS. It runs on a Snapdragon 400 processor, has 512MB RAM and has a storage space of 4GB. Connectivity options are Bluetooth and WiFi. Battery life ranges from 1.5 to 2 days in different models according to size, which is good. It also has a Sports Edition with extra sensors for activity tracking. More details here.
Asus ZenWatch 3
It runs on Android Wear OS and is compatible with Android and iOS. It runs on a Snapdragon 2100 processor, has 512MB RAM and has a storage space of 4GB. Connectivity options are Bluetooth and WiFi. It lacks a heart rate sensor, which is present in almost all smart watches. Battery life is 2 days on a full charge, which is good and charges from 0-60% in 15 minutes. It also has an earlier edition ZenWatch 2, which is still available. More details here.
Huawei Watch 2
Like most in this list, this also runs on Android Wear OS and is compatible with Android and iOS. It runs on a Snapdragon 2100 processor, has 768MB RAM and has a storage space of 4GB. Connectivity options are Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC and 4G(in select regions). Battery life is up to 2 days, which is good. It also has a Sports Edition with extra sensors for activity tracking. More details here.
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