One of the most common misconceptions about smartwatches is that it is not a necessity. Most people like to think practical and see smartwatches as a mere luxury, and that it is not a value-for-money purchase. On the contrary, because of the smartphone revolution, a smartwatch is now a much-needed companion for people on the go. Features like heart rate monitors for fitness buffs and simple text alerts for those whose purses are too big for the phone ring to be heard are incredibly useful. No more missing calls because you didn’t hear the phone ring or you didn’t feel that vibration notification, right?
There is also a fear of a steep learning curve for those who’ve never had a wearable gadget before. But like any new gadget, a smartphone is as easy to get used to as anything. Finally, the more fashionable nay-sayers see smartwatches as clunky bits of chunky wrist-candy that bulk up and throw off your style game. But brands like the Fossil Q, the Pebble Time Round, and the Mondaine Helvetica No.1 Smart are more chic than ever, so with that said, what’s stopping you from going out and getting the right one for you?
What to consider before making your purchase
Every smart shopper wants to get the most of a purchase, finding the right balance between durability and all the bells and whistles that come with wearable tech. Because your smartwatch is a partner to your smartphone, your choice of mobile is the main factor to consider when choosing the right watch. For instance, iPhones leave you with pretty much just a single choice, which is the Apple Watch. Samsung smartwatches run on Samsung’s Tizon OS, but the new Gear S2 can be paired with other Androids as well. Other than that, most Android handsets can pair with Android watches, thanks to Google’s software.
You should also be aware of the apps that you want to take advantage of in every smartwatch. Each brand has a different developer, like the community-made apps for the well-loved Pebble watches. Make sure the ones you choose maximize your watch’s functions, like the Pebble Time’s e-paper screen and Timeline functions.
Naturally, you should always consider your budget and specifications of the smartwatch. Do you want a big or small digital display? Are you looking for sharp colors or do you want more battery life? The e-paper technology on the Pebble smartwatch, Garmin Vivoactive and Vector Luna can help you with longevity, while the vibrant visuals of the Apple Watch will have you charging your gadget at the end of each day.
Which smartwatch is best for you?
The perfect smartwatch companion depends on your lifestyle and usage. Obviously, there is only one best choice for the iOS, which is the Apple Watch. But for the others who are not yet decided, we’re here to help you out.
Wearable tech that’s sleek yet old-school is hard to come by, but with the Tag Heuer Connected, you’re getting a high-quality, Intel-powered beauty that still retains its original Tag look. It almost seems like a regular watch from afar despite its bulk, with a 1.5-inch LCD display and 360 x 360 resolution. The screen is good enough for people who don’t want all the distractions of blaring notifications and instead want to focus on telling time. It is a watch, isn’t it? You also get a trade in option after two years; sadly, the downside to this smartwatch is that it has an incredibly hefty price at $1,500—you are paying for its luxury brand, after all.
For the more budget-conscious Android wearer, the $149 ZenWatch 2 is a funky option with male and female models as well as a wide collection of choices for straps such as rubber, steel, leather and Swarovski designs. The big plus for the ZenWatch 2 is its fast-charging functionality, with a promise of powering up your watch up to 50% in half an hour. The Wi-Fi chip also comes in handy when you’re maximizing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz CPU with 512MB RAM and 4GB storage.
At $199, the Pebble Time is still one of the most popular wearables in the market today. Yes, you still have your basic music, calendar, weather, plus the 6,500 apps developed by loyal fans of the brand—not to mention the sleep tracking and native activity monitor of the Pebble Health. As for the battery life, the Pebble Time Steel supposedly promises a ten-day life, but the main advantage of the Pebble is that it is compatible with both iOS and Android.
For the sports buff, the Moto 360 Sport makes run tracking a breeze with its built-in Moto Body app and naturally adaptable AnyLight LCD display. The 1.37-inch display can easily be readable in dim light as well as out in the sun, which is perfect for running under all kinds of lighting conditions. The built-in GPS connectivity lets you leave your phone at home whenever you go for a run, and the IP67 water-resistant feature makes it easy to clean all the grime off your smartwatch. Your device can also take a beating when you encounter the occasional tumble out on the track with the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 covering for the display, so the $299 watch is as practical as it is compact and comfy.
Finally, if you’re looking for both sleekness and complete functionality, the Samsung Gear S2 at the same price is your best bet with its tactile rotating bezel. The high-quality stainless steel and polished plastic editions can be worn by both ladies and gentlemen, topped with a bright 1.2-inch Super AMOLED screen. There are over 1,000 Tizen apps available for the smartwatch, including health and fitness trackers that even remind you that you’ve been lazily sitting down for quite a while or how much coffee you’ve drunk so far. The latest update is the Gear S2 3G e-sim coming out in March, making room for even more enhancements with the space saved.
What’s your favorite wearable tech this 2016? Will you be investing in a good smartwatch, or do you still think it’s not a worthwhile buy? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
*Videos courtesy of YouTube. Smartwatch from Pixabay.com. Used under Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.