The Features You Need To Look For When Buying A New Smartwatch

So you’ve been hearing all about these new-fangled smartwatches and are wondering if one of them might be right for you? Maybe you’ve known for a while you wanted one, only weren’t sure how to shop for it or what features to look for in a smartwatch. Perhaps you have had one for years and are picking out another as a gift.

Whatever your reason for seeking out a smartwatch, there are a few basic features that you need to understand and look out for. The following will explore these aspects of smartwatches to help you narrow down your choice from among the hundreds on the market. Of course, every person has unique needs in addition to what is mentioned below—feel free to add criteria to this list that suit you or the person you’re shopping for.

How Tough Are The Watches You’re Looking At?

It’s no secret that a smartwatch can cost a pretty penny. Because of this, most of us intend to keep our smartwatches around for a while. For some people, this is easier said than done. Be honest with yourself about how hard you are on your possessions and the type of activities you regularly do. If you or the person you’re shopping for needs something heavy-duty that can handle a wide array of adventures, this is your first criteria. There’s no point in thinking about the more delicate watches that aren’t going to make it past the six-month mark. Pay attention to the following features for hardiness:

  • Military-grade
  • Shock-proof design
  • Water-resistant
  • Thermal resistant
  • Stainless steel casing
  • Silicone strapping
  • Scratch-resistant screen

Depending on how hardcore your lifestyle is, you might also want to opt for a smartwatch that has dials in addition to a touch screen. This will make sure that even in the muddiest situations, you can easily use the watch’s other features. Alternatively, if you’re someone who doesn’t live a wildlife in the great outdoors, you can put this aspect to one side.

Do You Need Compass Or GPS Features?

Depending on where you tend to go in your days, you might want a built-in GPS feature. If you’re really hardcore, you might also want altimeters and barometers so you can keep yourself aware of the height and air pressure. If you decide to go for a compass feature, make sure you know how to read it and apply it—this sort of knowledge has been known to save lives. For those of us who get lost frequently and easily, some smartwatches even come with a trackback feature that allows you to find your way back after you’ve gone astray.

Always Learn About Battery Life

Just like our other smart devices, smartwatches need their battery charged occasionally. Ensure that you read about the battery life of the different options you’re considering (20 days is on the longer end of battery life to give you a metric). Smartwatch aficionados from emphasize that you should also read reviews from people who have already purchased the watch and discuss battery life. This is because smartwatches often advertise the ideal battery length at the perfect temperature without excessive use of features that drain the battery faster, like GPS and music.

Some watches use the more traditional coin cell batteries, which last around five months or so before they need to be replaced. For those of us who cannot deal with the idea of having yet another device to charge, this can be the perfect solution.

What Fitness Features Are You Interested In?

Many people who are seeking out a smartwatch are those who are looking to keep themselves more accountable for their health. This could mean paying more attention to their sleeping habits, making sure that they’re getting in the right number of steps per day, or pay more attention to their heart rate. Whatever health features you’re interested in, make sure that you do enough research to be confident in their effectiveness. Read reviews and research articles about the different measuring techniques to make sure that you’re not feeding yourself false data. It is these apps where the greatest variety of quality exists.

Beyond doing this initial research, you’ll also want to make sure that you make the best use possible of the information you’ve been given. Take a moment to read about how to best read, interpret, and use the different data sets your smartwatch gives you. There’s no point in monitoring your heart rate, for instance, if you don’t know what the numbers mean or what should be done about them.

Looks Aren’t Everything, But They Aren’t Nothing Either

The look of the smartwatch is a personal preference note, but it cannot be stressed enough. Some smartwatches look like they were built by robots in the future, while others look exactly like classic watches (they are sometimes called hybrid smartwatches). Think about which style you’d prefer and also ask yourself whether a watch would suit the rest of your clothing or not.

Keep Your Budget In Mind

When it comes to making a big technological purchase, it’s easy to find ourselves spending more than we meant to. Before you begin shopping, make sure that you know how much you’re willing to spend and keep yourself below that threshold. It’s more than okay to tell a salesperson, “I’m looking to spend this much or less.” Your smartwatch will be on your wrist and visible to you every day. If it’s a constant reminder of your credit card bill, you can bet that the watch won’t be enjoyed to its fullest.

The above information should help you navigate the sales onslaught that has become the smartwatch industry. Because this is a big purchase that might be with you on a daily basis for years, remind yourself that it’s okay if the search takes you a little bit of time. It would be better to get yourself a watch that you truly love, that has all the features you need and like, after a long search, than to have one that doesn’t meet your needs purchased right away. Taking your time shopping also means that you can compare different vendors’ prices and wait for those beloved tech sales.

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