How to choose the best smart watch?
According to jbq, In a market full of options, choosing a new wearable can be daunting. What to look for and how do you prioritize your options?
Features, sensors and compatibility are just the beginning. Before you shell out a lot of cash, our buying guide can help you choose the right smartwatch for you. If a new device is on your radar, consider the following questions. Each should get your wheels turning on one of the most important aspects of choosing the right smartwatch.
- Is the latest wearable flagship really the best option for you?
- What are your wearable needs?
- How much should you spend?
- What is the best device for your current ecosystem?
Don’t get caught up in the hype Just because a watch is the latest doesn’t mean it’s the best, especially in terms of value. Apple and Galaxy watches are great for some, but that doesn’t mean they should be your first choice. Many of the biggest contenders are household names and are all worth considering.
Likewise, you may not need all the new stuff that drives up the price of a flagship device. Or, maybe there isn’t even that much new anyway. For example, when the Apple Watch Series 7 arrived with minimal changes, we still recommend the Series 6 for most users. If you already own a device with well-supported software, you may not need to upgrade just yet.
How do you want to use your smartwatch?
A Garmin Venu 2 Plus on the wrist that shows the face and face of the watch
Not everyone who uses a smart watch uses it in the same way. Before you buy, determine what type of user you are likely to be. Most people fall into three general categories: the casual athlete, the athlete, and the communicator. Each of these categories of users should consider different factors when choosing a smart watch to buy.
Activity tracking is one of the most common reasons people trade in their analog watches for something smarter. Smart watches allow you to know your basic fitness without extra effort. The average athlete is committed to getting in shape, but doesn’t need the data that users training for competition. Instead, this user appreciates the motivation of one-glance features like Apple’s rings. They may even have a passing interest in other health analytics like sleep tracking.
Not everyone is looking for just the basics, some users are looking for a workout companion. An athlete needs highly accurate fitness tracking and high-level insights. They prioritize features like advanced heart rate monitoring, workout and recovery tools, and long battery life. Often, they gravitate toward devices with plenty of sport modes, durable builds to withstand sweaty workouts, and water resistance for hours. Athletes are also likely to prioritize built-in GPS to avoid pocketing the phone during long training sessions. You must have firm band for your smart watch.
For other users, the smartwatch is first and foremost a complementary device for their smartphone.
Communicators are users who should stay connected, not set a new 10K PR. Instead of pulling out their phone dozens of times a day, communicators rely on their wearables for notifications, voice assistance, and even support for phone calls. They need a device that pairs seamlessly with their existing ecosystem and has plenty of screen real estate to take actions from their wrist. They are also likely to appreciate an extensive program library to further simplify tools and tasks.
How much do you want to spend on a smartwatch?
According to jbq, Better yet, how much should you pay for a smartwatch? Budgeting is never easy, and it’s really different for every buyer. What’s important is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to bring home a powerful device. Average smart watches fall in the $200-$400 price range, with a few affordable options coming in at lower prices and a few feature-packed devices at slightly higher prices.
Fortunately, these days you’re more likely to buy something that will last. Smartwatches don’t need to be replaced every year, as many companies offer software support for older devices. As with most things, the more you spend, the more features you get in terms of features.
For example, depending on what level of health and fitness tracking you’re interested in, you may need to increase your budget. Likewise, if materials and construction are a high priority, you may want a more expensive model of a particular device. When deciding how much to spend on your new smartwatch, think about what features are especially valuable to you.
Compatibility: Which ecosystem are you using?
Before you commit to anything, determine if your current ecosystem is compatible. For example, Apple Watches are only reserved for iOS users while Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 keeps iOS users dry. The last thing you want to do is buy a smartwatch that won’t sync. Once you’ve figured out if a device is even an option in terms of compatibility, evaluate how much integration you expect.
Sticking with your current ecosystem often provides the best user experience. On the other hand, devices from companies like Garmin and Fitbit work with many ecosystems. You can find your smart watch accessories.
Do you really need a watch this year?
The answer of question is probably not. As mentioned above, most wearable companies offer software support for older generations of devices so users don’t have to shell out cash every year. Hardware and design upgrades are the main reasons to buy a new flagship watch.
For example, if a company adds GPS or SpO2 to a line that didn’t already have those features, you might want to go with the newest model.
What is better heart rate monitoring or battery life?
Some lines even introduce innovations such as solar charging. Meanwhile, if your current device works just fine and you’re not particularly excited about anything new on offer this year, you can probably pass on it. Likewise, if you want to save some money, you can shop around for older technology that is still very reliable.
Before you go too far back, make sure the device you’re considering still receives regular updates. We also don’t recommend investing in older Wear OS devices that are eligible for Wear OS 3. Evaluating the longevity of the device’s software is an important step in choosing the right smart watch to buy.