Planning to buy a new smartwatch? Check out our smartwatch buying guide for some quick pointers that you should consider before putting down your money.
Buying a smartwatch can get a little tricky, especially with the plethora of budget options available in the market today. While that might sound good for consumers on a tight budget, there is more than what meets the eye. To make things easier, we have simplified the process and listed some key points that you should consider before buying a new smartwatch.
The most important factor that you should consider while buying a smartwatch is the ecosystem. If you own an iPhone, then it is probably best to get an Apple Watch. The reason for that is pretty simple – you get the best compatibility as it is made for the Apple ecosystem, and every single feature will work as intended. There are a few third-party smartwatches that can be used with an iPhone, and surprisingly work well when paired with their dedicated apps, but nothing can compare with the seamless experience that is delivered by the Apple Watch.
Lastly, there are numerous budget-focused smartwatches. These are from brands like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei, Realme, Amazfit, and some local brands like Boat, Noise, and so on. While some of these are not bad in terms of design and features, it is the ecosystem where they fail to impress. Sure, they will do all the basics like tracking your health, delivering notifications, receiving calls, and much more. But they do have certain caveats which may hamper your experience, especially when it comes to third-party app support.
Primarily you are going to find two dial options while buying a smartwatch - a traditional round one or a square or rectangular one. There is no better option here and it is entirely up to the consumer to decide based on their preferences. Personally, I love a round dial, but a square or rectangular dial can offer slightly more screen real estate.
It is very important to consider the quality and capabilities of the display. Like smartphones, the display is a core component of any smartwatch as it shows you all the information as well as lets you interact with the watch itself. Thus, it is recommended to choose a smartwatch with a good display that can work well indoors as well as outdoors, especially under direct sunlight. Make sure it has high-quality protective glass and a responsive touch system. The latter is extremely important and worth considering as a poor touch response can completely hamper the user experience.
One of the biggest pain points of owning a smartwatch is battery life. Since they are tiny little smartphones for our wrists, smartwatches offer limited battery life. Feature-rich smartwatches with features like built-in GPS, cellular support, continuous heart rate tracking, and other biometric sensors, usually need to be charged overnight, essentially offering you a day's worth of charge. One can however stretch that to more than a day by disabling these features. Mid-range and budget smartwatches tend to offer longer battery life with some models claimed to stay up for multiple days. These watches compromise on high-end features thus are not the most advanced options on the market.
This is something that is often overlooked when considering a good smartwatch. Apple's WatchOS and Google's Wear OS both support a wide range of third-party apps, with some that can be installed on the watch itself using their dedicated app stores. Essentially apps can directly run on the watch, rather than relying on a paired smartphone to push notifications.
Most common smartwatches today offer connectivity features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and built-in GPS. Some of the expensive ones also offer optional cellular LTE connectivity, wherein you can configure an eSIM in parallel with your original SIM card. A smartwatch with both GPS and cellular connectivity gives you the ability to use it without being connected to a smartphone. This allows you to go for walks and runs, make phone calls or navigate using the built-in GPS using the smartwatch rather than relying on the smartphone. Of course, these features do take a toll on the battery.
One of the primary features offered by smartwatches today is the ability to track your health. Step count is a very common feature where you can keep a track of how many steps you've taken thereby calculating the amount of workout you did. With improvements in technology, health tracking on smartwatches has gone way beyond just counting steps. Features like ECG heart-rate monitoring, SpO2 meter, activity tracking, sports tracking and many more are now available on a variety of smartwatches.
A premium smartwatch is more expensive for a reason. Apart from offering top-of-the-line build quality and design, it also offers the most advanced technology features, something that budget smartwatches cannot live up to. Now, this doesn't mean that a cheap smartwatch is going to lack basic functionality. In fact, most affordable models today have managed to cram in a lot of features that were impossible to have a few years ago.
The most premium smartwatches offered in India are available from Apple, Garmin, and Samsung. As you lower your budget, you can find various options from Fossil, Amazfit, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and many more. While we wouldn't really recommend going for the ultra-low-budget smartwatches priced under Rs 5,000, they are more or less similar to fitness bands only with a larger screen. Similarly do not buy something overly expensive, like an Apple Watch, just because everyone is buying it. Understand the features, look at your requirements, set a budget, and then choose the right smartwatch.
Speaking of which, make sure you go through our list of the best smartwatches for 2022 to find your next smartwatch.