Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

How to choose the best smartwatch for you

Written by Fiona

May 27 2019

From big names such as Fitbit and Apple to sports brands such as Suunto and Garmin to traditional watchmakers like Fossil and Tag Heuer, there are dozens of companies manufacturing smartwatches. These watches deliver apps, notifications and many more features and functions to your wrist.

Smartwatches have become popular in today’s technological world thanks to the fact that they can track your fitness stats as well as other daily routines, such as paying bills. Moreover, others come with built-in features including GPS and a heart rate sensor.

So how do you choose the right smartwatch for you? Here is a point-by-point guide.

1.  Design

Choose a design that appeals to you, as well as one that is comfortable to wear. After all, most people wear their watch full-time so it’s important that you like what you are wearing.

If it’s a sports smartwatch, you might only wear it for fitness activities, or al the time. Think about how the watch will look if you wear it to the office as well as for running.

Think about the material of the watch and strap, the weight, the size of the components and the colours available.

Unisex or not? Some brands manufacture their smartwatches to have a unisex style, while others design theirs to have either a masculine vibe or a feminine vibe. Here, the decision lies with you. Sizing could be important if you are female with slim wrists, so try to try on your top choices of watch before buying to see if they fit.

Or if you are purchasing one for your brother or sister in the military, then find the most rugged ones on NanaDC.. Furthermore, you might choose a brand that allows you to personalise the design of the smartwatch.

2.  Display

The display is important because the size of the display will determine what you can see each time you look at the watch. Many smartwatches allow you to change the look and size of the display but it’s important to check this is the case before buying.

Experts recommend you go for a watch that uses a colourful AMOLED display or LCD screen because it will allow you to view app and any other content in vibrant colours that are bright enough for easy viewing.

3.  Battery capacity

You don’t want to run out of battery when tracking your fitness. Good battery capacity is one which allows you to use your smartwatch for at least 12 hours. Some watches will require you to charge it overnight daily. Well, that is not a bad thing, although there are some with a battery life of five to seven days. A battery capacity above 250mAh is an excellent choice.

If battery life is important for a long-distance activity such as an ultra race, ask friends who do these sports for recommendations. Sometimes what the manufacturers state for battery life is not quite true on the trail.

Battery life can also be affected by how you use the watch. For example, in GPS mode the battery will be drained faster than without.

4.  Storage

Storage is essential in computers and smartphones. That also applies to smartwatches. The right storage for you will be determined by what you are planning to use the smartwatch for.

For instance, if you plan to listen to music, then you need one with a decent storage capacity. On top of that, a smartwatch with external storage can be a better option, especially if you are planning to listen to a good variety of tunes.

5.  Phone syncing

What we are talking about here is the compatibility of the smartwatch with other devices. First, check if it syncs with your phone. Some watches are compatible with both Android and iPhones, while others only serve one purpose.

Check that the syncing is done through bluetooth otherwise you’ll need to sync a watch to a computer via a USB cable, which is a bit more of a hassle.

6.  Notifications and alerts

Many smartwatches alert you on incoming text messages, incoming calls and emails with a quick and soft buzz on your wrist and allow you to discreetly check if the notification is worth answering or reading right away.

Go for one that allows you to only swipe from either the top or bottom to check the notification. On top of that, a smartwatch that will enable you to integrate notifications from social media channels is an excellent pick for you.

Make sure you can also switch off these alerts because not everyone wants a constant buzz on their wrist.

7.  Fitness features

Most smartwatches come with fitness tracking features. Some of these features include showing you the calories you’ve burned, counting your steps and even how many floors you have climbed.

For further detailed fitness analysis choose a smartwatch with built-in GPS and a heart-rate tracking feature. These are usually more expensive but they show you distance, elevation gain, pace and location, and they will help you to check your fitness progress.

8.  Smart features

Hi-tec smartwatches now come with smart features such as the Internet of Things (IoT) capability. This is a feature that enables you to control your home devices such as heating and air conditioner from your wrist. Other smart features include making online payments and allowing you to store and play music from the watch.

9. Apps

If you are a technical guru, then a smartwatch with several apps and watch faces is the best option for you. For instance, some of the best smartwatches come with apps like Uber app. That is a very vital application if you are constantly on the move. Besides that, a smartwatch with many apps will save you the time, and money spent downloading apps from app stores.

10.  Price

Smartwatches are sold in a wide variety of price brackets. Usually, the more features they have the pricier they will be. It’s best to pick a budget and then look for a watch in that bracket.

Hopefully, this guide will help you to choose the right smartwatch for you.

More Like This

Adventure

Historical landmarks of the Golden Triangle – A journey through time, taste and tranquillity

Adventure

Six new sports you might like to try

Adventure

Cycling on the Black Isle

Adventure

Cycle Aviemore to Inverness

Run

Strategies for making a meaningful impact in life

Kit

Review: Energy Bytes, gummies with caffeine