Guide to Smartwatches

Today, we have the Apple Watch and many different brands who make watches that run on the Android Wear operating system. So, let’s look at what a smartwatch is and what can a smartwatch do.

Last updated: 16th Oct 2018 at 4:19pm

We feel a little bit sorry for the good old watch – they have been around since the 16th Century (read the ‘fascinating’ history of the watch – if you have the time😉) but now when someone says ‘what’s the time mate?” you reach for your smartphone rather then glance at your wrist. But then, the smartwatch was invented, and watches are back with a bang and doing so much more than a traditional timepiece.

What is a smartwatch

A smartwatch is essentially a miniature computer that is worn on the arm. They perform many of the functions seen on smartphones but obviously, the small screen limits certain features. Using a smartwatch is easy with a combination of taps on the touchscreen or the twisting and pressing of buttons.

If you are looking to buy a smartwatch, then you should consider the two main types:

  1. Wi-Fi only smartwatches - These can access the internet over a Wi-Fi network but essentially need to be next your smartwatch if you want to answer calls.
  2. 4G e-SIM smartwatches - These have an electric SIM built inside and can have the same telephone number as your smartphone. This means that you can leave your smartphone behind and make and receive calls with true smartphone-less freedom.

The latter of these two types of smartwatches are clearly more desirable but they are a little more expensive. Examples of these include the Apple Watch 3, Huawei Watch 2, Samsung Gear S2 and Samsung Gear S3.

Sports and fitness

Almost every smartwatch has a sports and fitness tracking feature. In fact, it is this feature that drives many people to buy a smartwatch in the first place. You can go running or cycling and leave your smartphone behind, while a smartwatch records data such as steps taken, or calories burned.

If this is the reason that you are looking to buy a smartwatch, then take care to make sure that the smartwatch you choose has the features that you want. Some smartwatches estimate the calories you burn from steps alone, while others incorporate a heart rate sensor, GPS tracker and elevation.

Virtual assistant

If you buy a smartwatch then you will need to get familiar with its virtual assistant. On the Apple Watch this is Siri and on Android Wear devices it is the Google Assistant. Both assistants are innovative and will save you a ton of time.

If you want to send a message or email, then the assistant can do this for you and you don’t need to type a word. Aside from dictation, the assistant can answer questions, add items to your shopping list, find hotel and restaurant reviews, check the weather and more.

Contactless payment

The latest smartwatches include a technology called NFC (near field communication) and this will allow you to make contactless payments, just like many smartphones can. With Android the feature is called Android Pay and with Apple it is called Apple Pay.

Smartwatch apps

A smartwatch can download apps to do more things. There are many apps available covering areas such as music, sports, shopping, transportation, education, productivity, news, and travel. If you need to do something specific, then chances are that there will be an app to help you do it.

You’ll need data to use and download apps via your smartphone and an Asda Mobile SIM is the perfect answer – order yours here.

It is unlikely that the smartwatch will ever replace your smartphone altogether. Quite simply size causes restrictions and limitations but they are improving in functionality and consumer adoption – so to end as we began – watch this space 😉

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