No matter how much the technological market advances, a watch is still a watch. Smart watches or smartwatch still do not enjoy the popularity that smartphones have and although they were created with the promise of replacing our mobile phones, the reality is that, for the moment, they are a complement.
The truth is that little by little smart watches have been gaining ground in the market and there are even smartwatch models for children. Nowadays they also coexist with activity bracelets, since it depends on the interests or uses that we are going to give our smartwatch, it may be that if they are oriented to measure our physical activity we will have enough with an activity bracelet. As long as taking into account that it depends on the preferences of each one and the needs, we will try to address some tips and aspects to take into account before buying a smartwatch.
Smartwatch or activity bracelet?
Before launching to buy a smartwatch we have to know if the functions that it is going to offer us compensate us or are what we are looking for. Keep in mind that this depends on the smartwatch model, but as a general rule they differ from activity wristbands in the following.
If our intention is to control our activity and lead a healthier life, surely with an activity bracelet we have enough, but if on the contrary we want to be able to leave our mobile phone at home, answer notifications through the smart watch or listen to music, the best option it will be a smartwatch.
The idea of a watch is to wear it 24 hours a day every day of the year, since smart watches are capable of measuring our daily activity and also sleep parameters. Not all smartwatches have good autonomy and in many cases there are to be aware of loading them more than we would like.
Its small size and continuous connectivity are the main reasons why a smartwatch has a limited battery. Although fast charging is a function that should not take long to reach wearables, they will continue to be limited to wireless charging that requires us to remove the watch in order to charge it. Therefore, autonomy is a very relevant aspect when opting for a smart watch if the intention is to carry it everywhere 24 hours a day.
A fundamental aspect in a smartwatch and in any electronic product is the interface, that is, the way in which we interact with it. The main software proposals are Tizen for Samsung devices, WatchOS for Apple devices, Amazfit OS for Xiaomi Amazfit or Android Wear OS for Android brands and manufacturers, among others. A lot of variety when the smartphone market is clearly dominated by iOS and Android. This is conditioned by considering it still a market yet to evolve. In any case, when buying a smart watch there are currently two different options.
On the one hand, the proposals for Android Wear OS as a universal platform where manufacturers can create their watches forgetting about the software and on the other hand is Apple that develops both software and hardware. Deciding on one or the other will also depend to a large extent on whether we have a mobile with an Android or iOS operating system. Choosing an Android Wear smartwatch ensures that we will be using an operating system with a large community and Google support, but there are also drawbacks such as that not all manufacturers have updates and sometimes they arrive late without fully adjusting to the characteristics of the model.
On the other hand, if we are users of smartphones such as iPhone, Samsung or Huawei, opting for the purchase of a smartwatch from these brands will provide us with a more brand-focused experience. For example, Apple currently gives us updates to the Apple Watch Series 3 model launched in 2017, that is, we ensure 4 years of updates, even if the device is more expensive than others.
Screen size and shape
In addition to its internal characteristics, we also have to look at characteristics related to appearance and design. At the end of the day, it is a device that we are going to wear all day and we have to feel comfortable. For tastes, colors. A larger screen will allow us a greater reading and interaction capacity, although for thin wrists it is not recommended to go above 40mm.
In the market we find different screen technologies. The high ranges usually bet on OLED screen, but we can also find LCD or AMOLED type screens. In this aspect, Apple bets on OLED screens with a high brightness that improves the viewing conditions. However, Samsung opts for AMOLED screens in its circular-screen Galaxy Watch. The smartwatch industry seems to be following the path of the smartphone industry.
Design and materials
In terms of design, there are smartwatches that may be more oriented towards their aesthetics being the main claim, such as smartwatches from brands such as Emporio Armani. But the usual thing is that those of sports aesthetics give greater functionalities and are those that the general public chooses to buy. This divergence is also notable in terms of the materials used in its manufacture. Smarter looking smartwatches use materials like steel or leather. For their part, those with a sporty appearance use plastic in their most economical range and aluminum, ceramic or steel in the most expensive models.
This aspect is very personal and depending on the use you are going to want to give it, it will be more appropriate to choose some materials or others. If you only want to use it on special occasions and you are looking for elegance, one with a more formal appearance may be your best option. If, for example, you are an athlete and you spend part of the day practicing sports, smart watches with a sports design will be the most appropriate.