Smartphones allow 24/7 connectivity, but can be an inconvenience or a social faux-pas around others. Work meetings aren't a place to respond to personal tweets and you shouldn't check the score of the big game when you’re on a date. While whipping out your iPhone may be glaringly conspicuous, innocently glancing at your digital wristwatch may not be. Welcome smartwatches; we’ve been waiting for you. Three of the top smartwatches on the market are the MetaWatch Strata, Samsung Gear 2 Neo and the Moto 360.
A smartwatch works with your smartphone using Bluetooth capabilities to enable smooth and convenient connectivity, and, unlike your iPhone or Android, a smartwatch is an unobtrusive way to stay connected 24/7, no matter where you are or what situation you are in.
Your digital watch and iPhone don’t need to be next to one another to get updates either. In fact, with the best smartwatches, you can access apps, get email updates, make phone calls, listen to music, get directions to meet friends and track your exercise, all from your wrist. Plus, the super-stylish design of some of these smartwatches will only add to the overall chicness:
Like any device, congruency is key. Although your smartphone doesn’t need to be near your smartwatch to operate, your watch does need to be 100 percent compatible to your operating system in order to provide the flawless performance you expect. Before purchasing any digital wristwatch, we suggest you double-check the watch’s system and operating requirements with that of your iPhone, Android or Windows device.
Looking past the inner-workings of the smartwatch, such as compatibility, functionality and user-friendliness, the design is truly the best part. The face and band of the watch are, after all, the only thing that you and others can actually see. The design of these digitized watches are nothing extraordinary or out of the ordinary, but that is the point. They weren’t made to stand out, but blend in.
There are smartwatches that have a classic wristwatch look. You can also opt for a genuine leather band or steel. You'll want to get a watch face large enough for you to read messages on and make sure the display is fully customizable in terms of widgets. Also, consider a techier aesthetic where the smartwatch looks like a mini touchscreen computer instead of a classic timepiece. Whatever your aesthetic, classy or techy, make sure that you choose a smartwatch whose design works for you in terms of readability and durability.
For the price of an actual tablet or smartphone, you want your smartwatch to earn its keep. Functionality is key to owning and loving your digital wristwatch. A smartwatch is meant to partner with your smartphone, not take its place, so there are limitations to what it can do. Whether for work or for play, the majority of smartwatches on the market will enable you to receive email updates. Other basic features include a fitness tracker, such as a pedometer, weather updates and access to social media sites. And, as it is a watch, you can also actually use it as a watch to, you know, tell time.
Look for a watch that works with apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as well as access to thousands of others. Some smartwatches can control your TV and you can actually make and receive calls, all on your wrist.
Behind all of the fascinating workings of the smartwatch is the battery, or heart of the operation. Like an iPhone or Android, you can charge the majority of these digital wristwatches via USB. Others have docking stations. Battery life is essential to the functionality of the watch, so choose one that meets your needs. Some watches, for example, can last days on a single charge, while others require that you charge them every night.
Ease of Use
Select a watch that is easily customizable. What’s the point of all the fancy options if you have no idea how to use it? Each smartwatch typically comes with a user manual, access to customer support and YouTube videos showcasing features. Look past the apps and all of the eye candy and make sure you can customize the watch to your needs. As the watch face is obviously smaller than your smartphone’s screen, the interface should be clean and streamlined. The whole point of the smartwatch is to not distract, so toggling from app to app should be seamless.
When considering a smartwatch to add to the collection of technology in your life, look at compatibility, straightforward (but still classy) design, apps and features. As the best smartwatches offer some stellar features, you may find yourself glancing down at your once unnoticed wrist more often and pulling out your phone less frequently.