10 Best Smartwatches of December 2021

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A Guide to Purchasing a Smartwatch

Samuel Gilmour

What is a smartwatch?

A smartwatch is a type of digital watch that is embedded with a small computer that runs its own operating system. With today's smartwatches, a touchscreen interface is provided for daily use, while an app on a smartphone allows for monitoring and management. Similar to smartphones, they have mobile apps, a mobile operating system, and WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity. There are some models that have mobile cellular functionality, such as the capability to make calls.

How Should You Choose a Good Smartwatch?

Smartwatches are the current fad. Everyone seems to either already own one or is planning to buy one in the near future. They are not just considered another style accessory--they offer a wide range of useful features: color display, social media streaming, heart rate sensors, and a choice of thousands of apps. To get the best value for money, go for the best smartwatch. After going through thousands of smartwatch reviews, we have listed some points which will help you buy the best one for your needs.

FAQ

What is a smartwatch?

A smartwatch is a type of digital watch that is embedded with a small computer that runs its own operating system. With today's smartwatches, a touchscreen interface is provided for daily use, while an app on a smartphone allows for monitoring and management. Similar to smartphones, they have mobile apps, a mobile operating system, and WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity. There are some models that have mobile cellular functionality, such as the capability to make calls.

Types of Smartwatches

What are the different types of smartwatch?

There are three basic types of smartwatches:

  • Classic Smartwatch: These are simple smartwatches that display digital notifications on your wrist. Aside from the time and date display, the basic features include a stopwatch, timer, and alarm clock. This bluetooth-enabled smartwatch also shows incoming text messages and calls directly on the device's screen when paired with your phone. 
  • Hybrid smartwatch: This is a classic analog watch without a display screen, but still functions as a smartwatch. The wristwatch can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, which in turn enables you to receive alerts through vibrations and alarms. You can even program it to point its hands to different numbers when specific contacts send you a message.
  • Fitness trackers: Fitness trackers offer many of the same features as smartwatches, but they are primarily designed to motivate people to stay fit by monitoring their activity and meeting their goals. It has features such as heart-rate monitors, calorie counters, etc. It is also possible to set up training plans on the Internet portal and have them sent to the watch. Fitness/sports watches can also notify you of incoming messages and phone calls. 

What reviewers say

How to choose the right smart watch?

  • Compatibility: Check if the smartwatch works with your smartphone. The OS (operating system) of your smartwatch determines what apps you'll be able to use on the device itself or through your smartphone. Therefore it is recommended that if you plan on syncing both devices, make sure your chosen watch works with your phone's operating system too.
  • Display: Display is a crucial factor in smartwatch buying decisions. LCD screens and AMOLED displays are used on most smartwatches, allowing you to view photos, apps, and other content in richer colors and with more brightness. Despite smartwatch makers improving the device's efficiency, this often results in short battery life. Therefor, the type of display you desire should depend on your preference and the battery life you require.  
  • Battery Life: The majority of smartwatches with color screens last between one and two days between charges while other devices with fewer features and lower-quality screens can last between five and seven days. Before choosing a watch, consider what will be your primary use, how much battery it will consume, and how often you're willing to keep plugging it in. It would be a good idea to also look for models that provide fast charging as well as wireless charging. 
  • Features: Smartwatches are handy devices for tracking your fitness, health, and outdoor adventures. The more features it has, the easier it is to monitor your daily activity. Consider choosing a model that has at least one of the following features:
    • Fitness Tracker: With this feature, you can monitor your steps, calories, workouts, and heart rate as well. GPS has also been integrated into many smartwatches, which is useful for tracking runs and biking routes. Garmin, however, offers more fitness-oriented features such as tracking of heart rate variations, recovery time estimations, auto-exercise detections, and more. 
    • Music: Most smartwatches let you play music from your phone or save music locally on the device. However with an LTE-enabled watch, you won't need to save music locally; you'll be able to stream music directly from the watch to your paired earbuds. With this feature, you never have to miss a moment of musical entertainment. 
    • Communication: Consider selecting smartwatches that are equipped with app alerts, notifications and call-answering capabilities. Some smartwatches also let you reply to text messages and answer calls directly from your wrist. While those with LTE capability allow users to make calls even when the phone is switched off. 
    • NFC: You can pay for things without your wallet if you have a smartwatch with NFC. NFC stands for "Near Field Communication". A smartwatch which is NFC compatible makes credit card payments simpler. Once your credit or debit card information is saved, you can hold your smartwatch up to an NFC reader to make a payment. Garmin have their own version of NFC called Garmin Pay.

Important Features

What should you consider before buying a smartwatch?

There are different types of smartwatches available on e-commerce sites. But you need to consider a few factors before purchasing the right one.

  • Look for a smartwatch that is compatible with your smartphone.

  • Pick a watch that has a long battery life, so as to avoid requiring frequent charging.

  • Ensure your smartwatch lets you read the time even when the colored LCD is not in use.

  • Look for a device that has a responsive touch screen and an intuitive gesture-based interface.

  • Choose a smartwatch that comes with interchangeable straps, or that allows you to change them at will.

  • Go for a watch that allows you to answer calls with a convenient movement of the hand or the wrist.

  • Go for a smartwatch with a sleek design, which can also be worn comfortably.

  • Select a watch that allows you to check notifications and alerts at your convenience.

  • Look for a watch that has a significant selection of apps.

  • Look for additional features, like a heart rate sensor, GPS or a pedometer.

  • There are smartwatches for particular purposes--for example, there are smartwatches with special functions for fitness and health. Keep your eyes open for stopwatches for the particular "niche" that interests you. 

How to take care of your smartwatch?

Listed below are few tips on how to take care of your smartwatch so that it lasts longer.

  • Protect the screen: Protect the screen of your smartwatch by using tempered glass to prevent scratches or even cracks.
  • Clean with the proper cloth: When cleaning your smartwatch, use a microfiber cloth instead of a tissue or paper towel to prevent small particles from being left on the watch or scratching the display. Also, turn off your watch before cleaning it, and never use household chemicals or cleaners that can damage its electrical system. 
  • Get a cover: You should not place it near dangerous corners of furniture or doors, as this can cause a blow or scratch. Smartwatch cover accessories are recommended so that your watch does not succumb to further damage. 
  • Battery charging: Follow the manufacturer's charging instructions to ensure the battery of your smartwatch is well maintained. It is imperative to avoid overcharging your smartwatch. 
  • Water resistance: Many smartwatches are waterproof if submerged in water. Some smartwatches, however, are not resistant to saltwater, and most of them have internal mechanisms that are vulnerable to corrosion from saltwater. Thus, it is unwise to remain underwater for an extended time with the watch on.
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