In five steps you will learn how to choose a smartwatch that guarantees a good purchase and meets the needs of each user. Choosing a smartwatch is easy if we know the offer on the market and what we need in a smartwatch.
That said, according to Statista, Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei, and Fitbit are the main manufacturers, with several types of the smartwatch to know. Now follow our guide with recommendations for making a good purchase!
1. Start by setting the budget
The budget will dictate the choice of the smartwatch and although the values may vary, it is from here that we will make the choice for an advanced product, or essential. Each manufacturer usually has a smartwatch for each market segment.
That said, decide how much you want or can spend on a new smartwatch and from there we can gradually reduce the options until we find the ideal product. For simplicity, we can outline three basic price ranges, simple reference points.
1. Input range. Watches whose value does not exceed 100 € and usually starts at 50 €.
2. Mid-range. Watches whose average value does not exceed 250 € and usually starts at 100 €.
3. High range. Smartwatches whose average value can exceed € 500 and start at € 300.
These reference points will help us to choose the best smartwatch for the budget available. Note that, as a rule, a higher-end product will have more accurate sensors, as well as better construction materials and technical specifications.
If the budget is very small we can consider smart bands, especially for fitness. In this case, we indicate the best smart bands to buy today, with several options for different needs.
2. Attentive to compatibility with iOS and Android
Most smartwatches need to be connected to the smartphone in order to function properly and display basic functions like notifications. So, before you buy a smartwatch, make sure it is compatible with your Android or iOS phone.
Compatibility can be categorized into two groups:
1. Apple Watch – compatible only with iPhone and other iOS devices, part of the Apple ecosystem. They use the watchOS operating system and can only be used correctly when paired with devices from the same manufacturer.
2. Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Fitbit, Garmin, etc. Compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. They use several operating systems, from Samsung’s Tizen OS to Google’s Wear OS, iPhone (iOS) and Android are compatible.
In summary, Apple watches only work with Apple devices. Watches from other manufacturers, as a rule, work with both smartphone operating systems, with compatibility indicated in the listing of each product.
For iOS users, we recommend the list of the best smartwatches compatible with the iPhone, with suggestions for different needs and various budgets.
3. Choose the best smartwatch size and design
When choosing a smartwatch we have to decide which is the best case size taking into account our wrist. That is, depending on the measurement of the pulse (circumference), a certain size of the smartwatch case will be better suited.
The main manufacturers offer two sizes, for example, 40 and 44 mm of the casing on the Apple Watch Series 6. A smaller watch tends to fit better on a female wrist and the larger one on a male wrist with the appropriate variations.
The personalization of the smartwatch goes far beyond the size of the box, passing mainly by the available bracelets, as well as the style of the dial or watchface. The variety of options depends mainly on the manufacturer.
Personalize wristbands and watchfaces
The bracelets can be exchanged and chosen to reflect the user’s personal style. In color, texture, material, and finishes, there is a wide variety of combinations to choose from, and the color and material of the watch case can also be customized.
To this is added the personalization of the digital display of the smartwatch, the watchface. There are several styles available, pre-defined or fully configurable, and shareable among users on some Apple Watch models, for example.
4. Pay attention to smart watch specs
The process of choosing a smartwatch should take into account technical characteristics or specifications. Their category and quality will have a direct impact on the product’s performance and longevity, so it’s important to know what we buy.
Attentive to the following characteristics:
- Processor (chip) – the higher the number of cores and processing frequency, the better.
- Display – the higher the resolution, the better. Regarding the type, AMOLED screens are better.
- Construction materials – range from polycarbonate plastic, aluminum, and even stainless steel.
- RAM and Storage – the more memory and space, the better.
- IP certification. Resistance to water and dust is a common feature, present in most smartwatches.
- Connectivity and Sensors. It values the Bluetooth 5.0 connection, GPS location, NFC for contactless payments, and advanced sensors to collect metrics such as SpO2 (oximeter), altimeter, compass, etc.
- Battery and Autonomy. Some manufacturers disclose the capacity (in mAh) of the battery, others disclose the average battery life (on average 2 days). The autonomy of a smartwatch is, on average, within two days of use.
- Operating system. Referring to points 2 and 5, the smartwatch platform has implications for its compatibility, available apps, access to updates, among other aspects.
Depending on the importance given to each of these aspects, we already know how to choose a smartwatch. These are the main variables and, from here, the consumer can find the product to present the ideal balance between these factors.
5. Apps available for smartwatch
The smartwatch can be the perfect complement to your smartphone, especially if you have your favorite apps. Whether to answer or reject calls, control Spotify, or respond to messages, the number of apps will vary depending on the platform.
Operating systems such as watch OS have a wide range of applications available. The same can be said of Google’s Wear OS, also with a wide range of apps for the smartwatch, with new ones coming gradually to the platform.
On the other hand, platforms like Samsung’s Tizen OS have fewer apps available, although the system is very stable and fluid. Our recommendation is to check, in each case, the smartwatch in question and available apps.
It is also worth noting that the same application may not have the same functions and/or performance on different platforms.
There are 3 main types of smart watches
We can make a generic division of smartwatches into three main categories in order to facilitate consumer choice. The price of each smartwatch will vary according to the category and the respective manufacturer, among other factors.
When choosing an advanced smartwatch we have the best features and technical specifications, in addition to the most accurate sensors, the best build quality, customization options, and the deepest integration with the smartphone.
On the other hand, they are the most expensive solutions where we include the latest generation Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch, and other top smartwatches. We also find smartwatches with the ability to make calls thanks to LTE connectivity.
They are the best buy for consumers looking for the best, regardless of budget. They may be available with stainless steel housing, among other more durable materials.
If the main use is monitoring and tracking the user’s physical activity metrics, then the fitness smartwatch will be the best purchase. We highlight the Fitbit and Garmin watches as the best options, as well as the Xiaomi Amazfit.
The shape of the box varies depending on the manufacturer, with a silicone bracelet as standard. We advise you to pay special attention to criteria such as IP certification, the sensors present, and the company application when choosing a fitness smartwatch.
Note that most smartwatches have various physical activity tracking capabilities, but fitness smartwatches themselves tend to have more and better biometric sensors, in addition to more complete apps.
The cheapest smartwatch has a careful balance between functions and price. We find excellent products with the best price/quality ratio such as the Apple Watch SE, or the Xiaomi Amazfit Bip watches, oriented towards fitness.
We found good products to track physical activity, or to put some of the smartphone notifications on your wrist. Cheaper watches have simpler construction and design but are increasingly capable.
For simple control of physical activity, they are an excellent option or as a basic complement of the smartphone. We can currently recommend this range of cheaper products without reservation.