Smartwatch 8 criteria for choosing it well
It’s decided you want to swap your classic watch for a smartwatch!
This little gadget wraps around more and more wrists and offers unprecedented connectivity.
Receiving calls or text messages alerting you to your progress in the gym, smartwatches have become an extension of our cellphones, offering ever more innovation.
But what are the crucial criteria to consider when you want to buy a connected watch?
How to choose a suitable device from the multitude of products on the market?
We give you our advice to find THE smartwatch you need.
1. The type of smart watch
You read correctly; there are several types of connected watches!
Connected bracelets are used more for monitoring sports performance, such as measuring heart rate, energy expenditure, distance traveled, etc.
There is no screen (or pretty small), and a cell phone connection is required.
Their autonomy is excellent since these bracelets do not offer a wide variety of options.
Smartwatches or smartwatches
It is one of the most common models, which you pair to your cell phone via Bluetooth.
In this way, certain features of our cellphone are found on the watch: we can therefore receive notifications and alerts without having to consult our phones.
Compatible with wifi, they offer good versatility and can also synchronize to the internet when the cell phone is off, as long as you have wireless access.
You can also pair them with wireless headphones or earphones.
Smartwatches with SIM card
Finally, some watches include a connection to 4G mobile networks: thanks to the integrated microphones and speakers; you can make phone calls.
The connection is made possible by the presence in the watch of a virtual SIM card associated with the same subscription as the cell phone.
We agree that people may have a good laugh when they see you put your wrist in your ear and talk to yourself!
2. Cellular compatibility
When choosing your smartwatch, one of the essential points is to make sure that the watch is compatible with your smartphone.
Imagine that you buy an Apple Watch Series without having an iPhone. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use it. Frustrating, right?
Indeed, the Apple brand is stubborn, and none of these devices is compatible with a cell phone from another brand.
Even though some features can only be activated on a Samsung mobile, Samsung is more adaptable (a watch from another brand can be paired with a cell phone from another brand).
This monopoly can be frustrating, and unfortunately, there are few alternatives.
3. The operating system
To have the best user experience possible and frequent updates, it is best to use the same operating system like your cell phone.
Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) is Google’s operating system and the most widely used globally.
It houses Fossil, LG, Garmin, Huawei Watch, and Mobvoi (TicWatch). Now, Samsung offers the best compatibility and integrates most devices from different brands.
Watch OS is Apple’s operating system and only supports iPhones.
Samsung uses the Tizen OS system on most of its connected watches. Despite a smaller catalog of applications, it offers excellent compatibility with all smartphones (Android, iOS).
For sportive people
Are you athletic and would like to monitor your performance in real-time?
Sports watch models allow you to measure your heart rate (ECG), number of steps and distance covered during a walk or run, number of calories burned, etc.
Thanks to sensors, pedometers, and other gyroscopes, a good smartwatch allows you to keep an eye on all your health data and well-being in real-time.
It’s ideal during your running, trail, or bike training sessions: the watch helps you in your progress!
Also, many devices allow the analysis of your sleep by noting the time of falling asleep and waking up, the variety of cycles and their duration, and the phases of insomnia.
Some also incorporate an altimeter, accelerometer, or barometer, great options for mountain enthusiasts. In contrast, others will have more advanced functions for diving.
For everyday life
And don’t panic for people less interested in sports performance: smartwatches are just as great for everyday life!
As with connected bracelets, the main functionalities of smartwatches have appeared with the development of health and physical activity applications.
Most models offer miniature versions of mobile applications, such as built-in GPS, notifications from social networks, incoming calls, SMS, etc.
On some watches, you will also have the option of paying contactless (having registered your credit card beforehand) simply by reaching out to the card terminal or even storing your loyalty cards and train tickets in a virtual wallet.
In the high-end smartwatch market, products also act like audio players, either through an internal speaker or wireless headphones or Bluetooth headsets as peripherals.
Last but not least, an efficient function, they allow you to read the time!
In conclusion, watches become an extension of your cell phone at your wrist: no need to take out your cell phone every 5 minutes.
Stainless steel, leather, silver, and Beautiful materials are used for the best models, making connected watches accurate and customizable fashion accessories.
Some watches will offer a dial similar to classic watches. In contrast, others will have an ultra-technological screen with beautiful finishes.
And for sports performance-oriented watches, the materials offered are often waterproof and sweat-resistant to provide a comfortable and long-lasting experience.
6. Screen type
Are you more of a touch or button type?
The type of screen is also a determining criterion in the choice of a watch. Some models will offer a touch screen with the possibility of text entry. In contrast, others are controlled only by wheels/buttons.
Also, there are different screen sizes: for good display quality, we will favor a large AMOLED screen (between 42 and 44 mm). At the same time, a smaller screen will offer a lower resolution but will also be more discreet and less expensive.
It’s all a matter of taste!
7. Battery life
Most connected watches need to be recharged because of their touch screen and are connected 24/7 to your cell phone or earphones.
In general, count between once a week and once every two days in the vast majority of cases, or even once a day in the case of intensive use.
If having to recharge it every day or 2 days already annoys you, perhaps you should turn to a more resistant, more miniature, energy-consuming model.
You shouldn’t get tired of using it, and your watch ends up in the closet!
Then, pay attention to the charger that comes with the watch: in many cases, the charger is unique to the watch and cannot be replaced by a phone charger, for example.
Therefore, it will be necessary to take it everywhere with you when you leave the house for a few days.
Otherwise, there are also models with wireless charging, which are then less restrictive!
Finally, some connected watches (particularly with a dial) rarely recharge because of their hybrid side: they have a classic dial with needles. Still, they have some basic functionalities, such as heart rate measurement.
It allows them to offer several months of autonomy easily.
Last criterion but not least: is the budget to be provided to afford a connected watch.
As they are real gems of technology, a certain amount is required.
The more accessible models cost $200, like this Fitbit Versa 2 model, offering a heart rate monitor and connectivity with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
You can find it on our buying guide listing the best-connected watches in Canada.
The best smartwatches in terms of design and quality go up to $600, like this model.
Choosing the right smartwatch: what to remember
A connected watch marvelously combines design, practicality, and innovation.
To make an informed choice and obtain a product at the best value for money, it is essential to take specific criteria into account when shopping:
- the type of smartwatch;
- Cellular compatibility;
- the operating system ;
- functionalities ;
- the style ;
- the kind of screen;
- battery life;
- the price.
To learn more, check out how does a smart watch work