Smartwatches have come a long way since its launch a few years back. Initially, they had few basic features like step counter, calorie counter, etc. With the advancement in technology and increasing competition, several brands started launching smartwatches with new interesting features and looks. As a result, today’s smartwatches are capable of performing various tasks like making payments and even perform an ECG!
These smartwatches can function independently with cellular connectivity and can also be used for capturing pictures.
So, in this article, we are going to discuss the key features of smartwatches, which will help you to choose your smartwatch. If you are planning to buy a smartwatch but are confused about what features your smartwatch should have? then this article will surely help you. Let’s get on to the features now.
1# Light & Comfy Design
Smartwatches are meant to be worn the whole day and if you are using it for sleep monitoring then it has to be worn while sleeping at night too.
So light and comfortable design are very essential to serve the purpose.
Although many people wear it as a style statement that has smart features if it is being used for fitness purposes then a light design with comfortable materials is a must.
2# Bluetooth connectivity
Bluetooth connectivity is a must for every smartwatch as it enables users to sync their wearable to a smartphone and almost all the smartwatches have this function. So if your wearable has no bluetooth, then simply don’t buy it!
Once synced smartwatch offers full functionality like notification alerts, incoming calls, and messages, music control, camera remote, etc.
All the companion smartwatches rely on Bluetooth connection for most of their features, unlike standalone smartwatches that are capable within themselves.
GPS and navigation are very important features in a smartwatch. It is useful in tracking distance while walking or running or to plan route while hiking. In very few smartwatches, you will get the built in GPS sensor, most of the smartwatches use the GPS of the smartphones for tracking purpose.
However your watch must-have navigation features. Navigation is of great use when you are in an unknown city or place as you don’t have to look in your phone again and again for directions.
Some smartwatches also have different vibrations for telling whether you have to turn left or right while navigating.
4# Activity Tracking
Again it is a very basic feature for a smartwatch. Almost all the smartwatches have activity tracking features in them. It automatically identifies in which activity you are indulged in or you can manually also select the activity.
Smartwatches have multiple sports mode for sports like cycling, running, treadmill running, hiking, swimming, mountaineering, etc. for tracking your fitness data accordingly. Like my personal smartwatch, Huawei GT has 10 sports mode.
Such sports features you can also get even in very cheap smartwatches (under $50) like umidigi uwatch 2S. It has 15+ sports mode!!
They have various sensors like a barometer for measuring changes in elevation while mountain climbing and hiking or GPS for measuring distance while running or cycling.
5# Notification Alert
Checking your smartphone again and again for every notification can be very annoying sometimes and it also doesn’t look good when you are in a meeting or somewhere important.
This is where smartwatches come in handy to allow you to check notifications by just tilting your wrist and decide whether it is useful or not. You just need to connect your watch with the Bluetooth to get a notification on your smartwatch.
Most of the budget smartwatches only support notification for calling & messages. Like if someone calls you, it will show the calling notification with the name of the caller. You can check the notification alert on the watch and you can pick the call from your smartphone or simply reject the call with the smartwatch. You can not accept calls from your smartwatch (because most of the budget smartwatches don’t have a speaker & mic)
You need to carefully check this feature before buying a smartwatch.
6# Answering Calls & Messages
Answering phone calls and replying to messages comes in handy with smartwatches when you are exercising or driving or in any other awkward situation where you cannot take the phone out. This feature generally found in premium smartwatches. It is available in Apple series watches, Samsung galaxy watches, etc.
You can also use the screen touch to pick the call from your smartwatch. The most important thing which is needed for such smartwatches is a built-in speaker & Mic facility.
So If you want to use your smartwatch as a smartphone, just check first that it must have a speaker and a microphone.
Some smartwatches have this unique feature that if your smartwatch is connected with your smartphone via Bluetooth and if any phone calls come, you just need to shake your hand to pick the call, Isn’t it amazing!
Many smartwatches also have voice support for more convenience. This, of course, cannot replace smartphones but can be very useful in some situations.
7# Long Battery Life
Long battery life is one of the great concerns for smartphone users. Smartwatches are designed to complement smartphones but many people don’t like charging it again and again like smartphones and it is also not possible many times.
There are many budget smartwatches like Amazfit BIP that give you more than a month battery life!!
This is the most important feature which you should consider while choosing a smartwatch. If your watch does not have a good battery life, it will ruin all the joy of this smart gadget.
We have covered an article, which has some of the best smartwatches with the longest battery life. If you want to know more, you can read that article.
So having a longer battery life which can last for a few days or at least a whole day is very important for any smartwatch. Don’t go for a watch if it has less than 1 day of battery life in regular use.
8# Fitness Tracking
Fitness tracking is a core feature for many smartwatches available in the market. You can replace your fitness band with a good smartwatch with features like a pedometer for counting your steps, calories, distance, etc.
It has sensors like a heart rate sensors for keeping a track of your heart rate, pulse rate, etc. Some smartwatches now even offer ECG functionality. Smartwatches can also be used for monitoring sleep quality and also remind you to take a walk when you have been sitting for too long.
Some smartwatches also have female health apps for keeping a check on women’s menstrual cycle.
9# NFC Pay
Many smartwatches nowadays have NFC support for making payments on the go. NFC support is very helpful for making payments quickly without taking out your cards and can be very useful when you don’t have your cards with you.
NFC transactions are also accepted quickly than credit cards thus saving your time when you are in a hurry.
10# IR Sensor
IR Blaster or IR Sensor is also one of the handy features in smartwatches. It lets you use your wearable as a remote for appliances like TV and AC.
Also with the increasing popularity of home automation systems, this feature can be of great use for controlling various smart devices around your home.
11# SIM Card Support
A smartwatch with a SIM slot can perform all the features of a basic smartphone. Of course, it can never replace your smartphone with a high-end camera and big display, but sometimes when you don’t want to carry your bulky phone like on a jog or long walks it can be a great companion.
The standalone smartwatch can be used to make a phone call, send messages, browse the internet, use various social apps over cellular connectivity.
They also have enough memory to store music and videos for entertainment on the go. Kids smartwatches also have SIM card support so that kids can make a phone call in an emergency.
A water-resistant smartwatch is a great buddy while swimming or running in rains.
Smartwatches have various levels of water-resistance like 3ATM, 5ATM or 10ATM indicating how much depth and water pressure they can resist.
Waterproof smartwatches above 5ATM is an essential feature for rugged smartwatches as they can be worn during extreme water sports or even deep-sea diving.
13# Internal Storage
A smartwatch cannot store a large amount of data like your smartphone but having enough internal storage for music, photos, apps is very important. When you don’t have your phone around like when running, exercising or any other situation it can offer you the convenience of listening to music, watching videos or playing games.
Many smartwatches have an in-built camera so internal storage is also used for storing captured photos and videos.
14# Smartwatch with Camera
A smartwatch camera is not as advanced as a smartphone’s camera but it comes handy for taking pictures and videos in emergency situations or for video calling.
There are many spy smartwatches available in the market which have camera smartly hidden in their design and offer HD video recording and also night vision lens.
15# Emergency SOS
The SOS feature is a great use for women and kids for sending alerts in an emergency situation. The smartwatch has some shortcuts like pressing the power button a few times which directly sends a message and your location details to the contacts you have set up in the SOS contact list. This feature can save you in critical situations.
So these are the features you must check before making any buying decision, hope this article will help you to choose your first smartwatch.