Smartwatches are much, much more than just a timepiece. They take phone calls and texts, track your heart rate, can read the weather, and can help keep your diary in check. But with so many models, knowing which one is right for you can be challenging.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to buy a smartwatch to maximise your purchase—and enjoy all its benefits for years.
Buy a smartwatch: get the right one
Firstly, ensure your smartwatch has all the desired features you need. You’d regret it otherwise. Check the battery life, band comfort, and compatibility with your phone. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of your new watch without any trouble.
Smartwatches can be broadly divided into two types – Apple Watches, which run watchOS, and Android-based watches, which run Wear OS.
Apple Watches are known for their super user-friendly interface and exceptional compatibility with iPhones. They offer many features, including tracking your health and fitness goals, making calls, sending messages, and using Siri. The Apple Watch also has its own App Store, which offers thousands of other features, such as music streaming and mobile payments. However, one downside of the Apple Watch is that it only works with iPhones, so if you have an Android phone, you’re out of luck.
On the other hand, Wear OS is an operating system developed by Google for smartwatches and other wearables. It is based on the Android platform and is compatible with Android-based smartphones. Wear OS is also user-friendly and has a store that offers a variety of apps and features. With a Wear OS smartwatch, you can check your notifications, control your music, track your fitness goals, and even make payments using Google Pay.
Fitbit also make smartwatches that use Fitbit OS. The Versa 4 and Sense 2 are examples that currently work with both iPhone and Android phones. Garmin also produces smartwatches that use GarminOS, which is compatible with both iPhone and Android devices.
Consider the cost
Smartwatches vary in price depending on the features they offer and the brand name. You can find some pretty affordable ones for around $100, while others cost you more than $1000.
It’s important to note that the most expensive smartwatches don’t necessarily offer more features than their cheaper counterparts. The higher price tag is usually due to the brand and hardware quality. For example, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Hermès have the same software and chipset, but the Hermès version is much more expensive because of its fancy name and high-quality band.
Buy a smartwatch: think about comfort
When picking out a smartwatch, comfort is essential – especially if you plan to wear it all day. It’s always a good idea to try on the watch in person before buying, whether you’re shopping online or at the store. The weight and size of the watch can also make a big difference in how comfortable it is. To avoid any issues, you should wear the watch for at least a week to ensure it’s a good fit for doing this; you can catch any problems immediately, and take care of them before it’s too late to return the watch.
There are tons of different watch bands available for smartwatches made out of all kinds of materials. The band you choose can also significantly impact how comfortable the watch is. Luckily, many affordable options – like on Amazon – make it easy to switch out bands until you find the perfect fit.
Consider battery life
Smartwatches from different manufacturers have varying battery life. If you plan to wear your watch throughout the day, it’s advisable to choose a model that can last at least two days before needing to be charged again. However, some of the best smartwatches available do not meet this benchmark.
The good news is that smartwatches now have faster charging times. Here’s a helpful tip: recharge your watch while you shower or bath.
Buy a smartwatch: do your research
Smartwatches can do many great things, like keeping track of your exercise, controlling your music, and even letting you pay for things with Apple Pay. Of course, you should ensure that any watch you’re considering buying has all the features you want before spending money.
One way to determine if a particular watch is right is to read what others say about it. We’ve reviewed some of the best smartwatches of the year, including the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Apple Watch Series 9, among many others.
Related: The best smartwatch for kids: smartwatches and fitness trackers