SMARTWATCHES

The traditional watches are no longer sufficient to meet the increasing need of users and their desire for more technical functionalities. That forced technology brands to invent new devices, later on, called smartwatches, with new features like wireless internet connection, instant message notifications, phone calls, Bluetooth, cameras, etc. So what are smartwatches?

Smartwatches are devices that are not simply timepieces but smart mini-machines, wristwatch-shaped phones that can fulfill most of your tasks such as paying bills, surfing the net, sending and receiving documents, GPS, touch screen, calculator, and so forth. 

They operate with the same smartphone systems, Android or IOS, in terms of the services they offer and the processing of information. 

Smartwatch potentials

Smartwatches have very powerful functionalities that vary from one company to another. Here is a list of the common most prominent features that these watches obtain in addition to giving the time:

  • Opening and running mobile applications.
  • Playing media from videos, images, and audio files.
  • Doing the calculations using a built-in calculator program.
  • Touching control via the touch screen of the watch.
  • Providing various numerical information such as temperature, humidity, and date.
  • Connecting to the internet and benefiting from its massive amount of information.
  • Linking to a smartphone, which means that you can receive and send calls, messages, and notifications.

Some smartwatches are designed particularly for athletes, as they have more features that include:

  • Tracking the distance the player traveled while jogging or running.
  • Heart rate tracking to protect the player from any maybe health troubles.
  • Providing sailors with the needed information related to their jobs such as wind speed and direction.
  • Health monitoring during physical activities such as measuring the heartbeats and blood pressure.

Of course, not only sportspeople can avail of these features but ordinary individuals as well.

Types of smartwatches

Smartwatches are classified according to their various uses. Generally, there are two main types of smartwatches:

Smartwatches for general purposes

smartwatches for general purposes are the most common watches on the market.  They have almost just replaced the traditional, mechanical watches. They can be connected to a smartphone and can be considered as one of its accessory devices. The most famous smartwatches are Apple watches that can be connected to Apple phones, and Tizen watches that can be connected to Samsung phones.

Smartwatches for specific purposes

We can mention three types of watches for specific purposes  

Smartwatches designed for walking

These smartwatches are dedicated to commuting and traveling. They are known for having a long battery life, GPS, weather forecast, health monitors, and many other vital tools. Also, they are durable and resistant to shocks, dust, moisture, and dirt.

Smartwatches designed for diving

As for these types of smartwatches, they can work underwater. When we connect them to a smartphone via Bluetooth, they provide us with a lot of information related to water such as its depth and temperature. 

Smartwatches designed for flight 

 These types of smartwatches can measure the pulse and provide us with an animated GPS-powered map, information about the weather, and a notebook to write in.

The most famous smartwatches

There are many brands that invented their own smartwatches with different features and functionalities. The most famous ones are:

Apple smartwatch series

They are among the best smartwatches in this industry. Their battery life is between 18-24 hours. They support GPS and work underwater, in addition to a heart rate measurement system. We should not forget that Apple watches, like other various products of this company, have elegant and distinctive designs, but their prices are usually high.

Samsung Galaxy smartwatch series

These types of smartwatches are the best for Android users. Their battery life is about 36 hours. They are suitable for working underwater, and they support GPS. They can be used to measure heart rate and track the user’s sleep and activity. Generally, they work best with Galaxy series phones. Their prices are acceptable compared to others.

Fitbit Versa smartwatches

They are best suitable for women. Their sizes are smaller and their battery life is up to four days They support GPS only when connected to a smartphone and can work underwater. Also, they measure heart rate and provide health monitoring for females. In addition to that, the design of these watches is elegant and modern. Their weight is light,  and they can be connected to both Android and IOS systems. 

How to buy a smartwatch

General tips:

Here are some of the most important things to consider before buying a smartwatch:

  1. Don’t buy a smartwatch without ensuring that itwill work with your smartphone. For example, Apple watches work only with iPhones. Samsung watches will work with both Android and IOS phones. But when connected to Iphones, they work with fewer features than when they are connected to Samsung phones.
  2. Choose a watch with a heart rate sensor and GPS if you’re a fitness lover.
  3. Pay attention to the estimated battery life. Hybrid smartwatches, which resemble analog watches, tend to have the longest battery life, but they do not have touch screens.
  4. Make sure that the watch straps and buckles are available on the market, easy to use, and easy to change.
  5. Choose a smartwatch that offers you the possibility to install and remove applications.

It’s important to choose a smartwatch that you feel comfortable to wear. Does the way it looks on your wrist go with your desire? Does the watch interface display what you want? Here are some considerations to consider:

Design

Smartwatches come in a variety of designs and styles. Some of which are compatible with standard watch bands (16mm, 20mm, and 22mm) that you can change to customize the look of your device. 

Most smartwatches available today, such as Moto 360 and Apple Watch, offer lots of customization options. For example, you can choose the material, color, interface, as well as size. 

If you prefer a classic style that looks like a traditional watch, you can opt for a device with a leather or stainless steel band. Other watches come with flexible silicone bands, which are a good option if you plan to use them for outdoor or fitness-related activities.

Screen

All smartwatches that are now available use a color LCD or AMOLED display, which allows you to display photos, apps, and other content in richer and brighter colors. But this feature tends to reduce the battery life, despite the smartwatch makers’ efforts to improve the efficiency of these devices.

Color screens noticeably consume a lot of energy. That is why the watches turn their screens off during sleeping times.

 In addition, LCD screens tend to be thicker than OLED screens. Because of this,  Apple developed its first-generation OLED screen to make it as thin as possible. Samsung created its first OLED smartwatch (the Galaxy Gear) in 2013.

Interface

The interfaces of smartwatches are so different, in that some watches have buttons, while others have touch screens. It seems that smartwatches with touch screens are easier to use than those with buttons. Yet, sometimes it is difficult to take advantage of some functionalities because of the small size of the icons on the screen. Besides, some gesture-based interfaces do not work automatically. 

Water resistance

If you know you will be using your smartwatch for outdoor activities such as running or cycling, then you should consider a waterproof smartwatch. You will need to check the detailed product specifications to see the amount of water your smartwatch can stand.

Reinforced glass

Watches with toughened glass, like Corning Gorilla Glass, are designed to support everyday life scratches, dust, and other causes of damage so that you won’t have to worry about these things.

Notifications

Smartwatches can display a variety of notifications such as incoming calls, missed calls, text messages, emails, social media posts, appointment reminders, alarms, and much more. Many of the watches are fully customizable. They do allow you to choose the notifications to receive, home screen displays, background images, widgets, and more. 

 Some watches will merely alert you of a notification with a vibration, beep, or icon. While others can display the entire message. Similar to Bluetooth headphones, some smartwatches enable you to make and receive phone calls directly through your device instead of just receiving an alert, provided it’s within the wireless range of your smartphone.

To conclude, smartwatches have become must-have devices because of the various options and functionalities they provide us with and which we need to make use of every day. Maybe in the upcoming years, they will become more widely used, and our need for them will increase.

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