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How to Choose a Smartwatch

Choosing a smartwatch is a difficult task for many reasons:

  1. They can be costly.
  2. There’s stiff competition on the market.
  3. They’re not compatible with all smartphone systems.

Even though these reasons exist, smartwatches are still one of the coolest smart gadgets to own – for functionality reasons, as well as fashion and health.

What is a smartwatch?

A smartwatch is a computerised wrist watch that does more than just tell the time. Smartwatches are like tiny PCs that can sync to your smartphone, run mobile apps using a mobile operating system, track fitness and health, and more. Even though they’ve been around for a while, smartwatches are becoming more popular with the modern advancements that are taking place.

Consider whether it’ll work with your smartphone

This depends on whether you want it to! Most smartwatches on the market connect to smartphones via Bluetooth, but you need to consider the operating system of your smartphone and your watch. For example, Apple Watches only connect to iOS devices. Smartphone apps might let you control what music is playing on your phone or take a photo remotely. Functionality varies from smartwatch to smartwatch, so check before you buy.

Nike+ Apple Watch - shop.bt.com
Nike+ Apple Watch – shop.bt.com

Most smartwatches only work with Android and/or iOS smartphones, so you need to check the operating system compatibility first. Smartwatches let you keep on top of things with personal organisers and calculators, plus watch faces that do what any watch is supposed to – tell you the time! Watch faces can include novelty ones like Mickey Mouse, as seen on the Apple watch.

Do you want to be able to make or receive calls, emails, and texts?

Yes, believe it or not you can receive calls and text notifications from your smartwatch. You may feel like a spy talking into your watch, but it’s worth it for convenience and lets you carry on with your daily routine. As well as looking and feeling cool, the smartphone capabilities of modern smartwatches mean you never miss a thing. Notifications pop up on the screen which means you can just tap them or use the toggles on the watch face to answer them. You can turn off alert sounds if you wish, or set to vibrate.

Do you want it for fitness/ health?

Smartwatches and trackers have revolutionised the way people work out. Healthy living is always high on people’s agenda and smartwatch manufacturers are definitely aware of this. Some smartwatches let you track your daily steps, activity, goals, calorie intake, and can be swimming friendly. Built in GPS lets you plan or see routes, perfect for running, jogging and cycling. The water resistant design of some models means you can exercise while wearing your smartwatch, without worrying about it getting wet from perspiration or light rain. Water resistant doesn’t necessarily mean fully waterproof – so always bear this in mind.

Fitbit Charge HR 2 - shop.bt.com
Fitbit Charge HR 2 – shop.bt.com

Another great feature of smartwatches that makes them a perfect workout companion is that you can connect them to your smartphone to play music. If your smartwatch has Bluetooth, you can then connect your smartwatch to a Bluetooth audio device!

Touchscreen vs. Non Touchscreen

It may be a shock to some people that not all smartwatches have a touchscreen. Ones without a touchscreen can only be controlled via the toggles around the watch face. Make sure you get a smartwatch with the functionality you really want! Do you need one that just tells the time and tracks steps? Do you want one that connects to your camera and allows you to take photos on your smartphone from your watch? There’s a big difference between the two.

Smartwatches with touchscreens are usually more customisable and interactive, whereas those without can be lighter to carry and more suitable for hard exercise without worrying whether you’re damaging the watch. Just keep an eye on the rechargeable battery – how long does it last? While running apps, your smartphone’s battery will be impacted.

Browse our range of smartwatches here. 

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