What is a Smartwatch?
You’ve probably heard this word a lot over the last two years, and it’s only becoming more prevalent, so if you’re not familiar with what a smartwatch is, lemme break it down for you. According to Webopedia, a smartwatch is:
A wearable computing device worn on a user’s wrist that offers functionality and capabilities similar to those of a smartphone.
This is a pretty simple definition, and one that encompasses the basics of what a smartwatch is. Sometimes they have app access, sometimes they just have their own proprietary programs; some have cellular access, some require that you use your phone to make calls or texts; some are round, some are square. There are a few major differences between models, but mostly, smartwatches are the same across the board. What it comes down to is which watch you like best and what you absolutely need it to do.
Why Do I Need a Smartwatch?
You Need Convenience
The primary reason anyone wants or needs a smartwatch is convenience. Wearing one of these babies around your wrist keeps your phone in your pocket and your mind at ease when you see that much-anticipated e-mail notification come through without having to constantly check your Gmail app.
You Want to Be Fashionable
They’re fancy, so why wouldn’t you want one? Anyone who is into being stylish and fashionable would be well served with a smartwatch around their wrist. Plenty of smartwatches come in sleek, modern designs that would fit any wardrobe.
You Want to Get Organized
Stay organized more easily when your messages and meetings are all easily accessible on your wrist. Monitor your calendar, set alerts and never miss an update with a smartwatch on your wrist. You probably already use your phone to keep track of these things, but a smartwatch streamlines your digital experience to the most important things you use.Smartwatches are fancy, so why wouldn't you want one? Click To Tweet
What Type of Smartwatch is Right For Me?
The Tag Heuer Connected is one of the priciest models on the market. Weighing in at $1500, this designer model boasts the latest software and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. If you don’t care how much you spend and want the fanciest thing in smartwatches, the Tag Heuer Connected is the smartwatch for you. It utilizes Android Wear, allowing you access to thousands of apps and works well for active wearers as well, boasting “directional wind and weather monitoring” for outdoorsy types. The screen is scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and the vulcanized rubber wrist strap comes in seven colors.
Huawei’s newest smartwatches are incredibly stylish, made of cold-forged stainless steel and leather, and cost as little as $349 (with models as high as $799.) The prettiest of the bunch is the Rose Gold Jewel ($599) with a gold-plated, stainless steel Swarovski crystal-encrusted case and blue Italian leather strap and unique watch face. It runs Android Wear, but it’s not as processor-powerful as the Tag, so your performance might suffer a bit comparatively.
Snazzy, customizable, the Apple Watch is probably the most discussed smartwatch on the market. Recently, Apple paired up with Hermes to design a range of high-end smartwatches, and they sure do look smart. Ranging from $1100-$1500, the Double Tour, Single Tour and Cuff models of Apple Watch come in 38mm and 42mm bands, and they all run on the latest version of iOS.
At $129, the ASUS ZenWatch 2 provides the market’s cheapest, quality model of smartwatch. ASUS is known for its computers, motherboards and other internal PC components (which I’ve used for years), so seeing them get into the smartwatch game is kinda neat. If you’re looking for a starter smartwatch to get you into the current tech trends, the ZenWatch is an excellent choice. It runs Android Wear and has fitness trackers, so you’ll get the premium smartwatch experience for a fraction of the cost.
The Samsung Gear S2 is a great choice for any Android device user, especially if you’re using one of Samsung’s phones, and its pricing starts at $299. That may not seem cheap, but it’s one of the least expensive, highest quality watches on the smartwatch market, which should give you an idea of what the rest cost. Only get this watch if you have an Android device; it doesn’t run Android Wear, so it can’t be paired with an iPhone or other iOS device.
Running Android Wear with a simplistic design, the Pebble Time provides an excellent fitness tracking experience, starting at $149. Sure, the watch can do other things, but it’s great for the hiker, swimmer or runner who needs their watch to last and work in less-than-ideal conditions. The Pebble Time boasts a 7-day battery life and is water resistant up to 30 meters, making it the ideal smartwatch for the athlete who needs to do it all.
You probably know Garmin best for making GPS devices, but did you know they’re in the smartwatch game, too? With a focus on fitness, Garmin has produced several smartwatches, but their best option for athletes is the Garmin vivoactive. Fully connected to Garmin’s Connect Mobile software, the watch tracks everything from steps to sleep habits and has a stylish, classic design. Priced at $219, this watch has built-in GPS and has a battery life of up to 3 weeks (10 hours if you’re using the GPS the whole time). Be warned: the vivoactive does not use iOS or Android Wear, so you can still connect it to your phone via Bluetooth, but the only apps you’ll get are off the Connect IQ store.