By Vicente Radito David
We’ve had wristwatches for nearly 150 years, and for most of that time, wristwatch technology has remained essentially the same. That’s why when smartwatches became a thing, every pundit and his mother thought this could be the start of the age of wearable tech. Imagining the smooth, polished allure that Apple is known for, coupled with all the functionalities of Inspector Gadget right at your wrist had us all eager for the wearable tech uprising.
A few years down the line, the wearable revolution hasn’t exactly happened. High retail prices, limitations of the technology, and a profusion of problems unique to the device made people rethink about whether or not they really need a smartwatch.
But for those who know exactly what they want, a smartwatch can be a useful and fashionable accessory. If you’re thinking of buying one, here are a few tips that can help you get the right watch for you:
PAIR IT WELL
The smartphone you use fundamentally affects what type of smartwatch you should buy. If you’re eyeing an Apple Watch, for example, but use an Android phone, then something’s gotta give since Apple watches only work with Apple phones. Either start using an Apple phone or choose a different smartwatch.
Other smartwatches usually work with both Apple and Android, but finding the ‘perfect pair’ – like a Samsung Gear and a Samsung phone – will enable you to maximize the functionality of the smartphone. My advice: read reviews on which is the best smartwatch for your specific smartphone (or the one you’re planning on getting next).
With the wide gamut of devices available to you, adding another one to the list of things to charge might be too much. You already have your smartphone, your tablet, your portable gaming device, probably your wireless headphones, and a powerbank to keep them all useful. If you’re anything like me, you’d probably end up forgetting to charge your smartwatch.
That’s why it’s important to consider the smartwatch’s battery life before buying. Some only last for two days (if at that), while the mechanical ones tend to last a little longer. Still, it’s important to never take power for granted. It won’t matter if your smartwatch is top-of-the-line if you’ve left it uncharged.
WHAT’S YOUR FASHION STYLE?
Remember that you’d probably wear your smartwatch every day – so consider how you usually dress up. Are you more casual or do you always wear formal office attire? Leather straps might be more stylish, but if you sweat a lot (and who wouldn’t, in this kind of weather?), rubber straps would practically be a forced decision. Is the band swappable? These things are usually overlooked… until it’s too late.
KNOW WHAT IT’S FOR
The type of smartwatch you get should depend mostly on what you will use it for. Will it just be for every day wear? Do you expect it to be a workout companion? Will you take it swimming? These are important considerations when choosing a smartwatch.
Top smartwatches from the premium brands are like miniature phones strapped on your wrist. They have mini apps, gives you limited control over your smartphone, and features cool capabilities such as storing music, monitoring your activity, and even making phone calls (like Dick Tracy!).
And then there are the enhanced fitness trackers, or as they are sometimes known, outdoor smartwatches. They excel at tracking your activities, and maybe include a few smartphone features. They may show a few notifications, but you’ll definitely need your smartphone if you want to do something more complicated.
There are also the traditional-looking mechanical watches modernized with a few smartwatch functionalities. Usually, the added feature is step-tracking, but there could be a few other, limited add-ons. Knowing exactly what will be your primary use for the smartwatch will help you narrow down what you should buy without draining your wallet.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE?
But even more important than fashion, consider if you actually like the form and appearance of your smartwatch. Remember, you’re the one who would look at it the most – if your smartwatch doesn’t please your aesthetic sense, you’re in trouble. Be true to yourself and get something you’d actually want to look at.
In the same way, choose one that’s comfortable for you. You might be gushing about how cute your smartwatch is, but if it’s too heavy for you or too flimsy, it could ruin the whole user experience. Go to an actual shop and try the watch there. Comfort is a top priority for anything that you wear.
The apps and connectivity options are most often the most considered aspects when buying a smartwatch. And while that’s understandable, most people forget that a smartwatch is primarily a watch – it’s something you’d wear on your person at all times. Purpose, form, function, and comfort should be of utmost importance if you want to end up loving – and not regretting – your purchase. Think about the important things we mentioned here, do your research well and you should have no problems when you get that snazzy smartwatch.