Top 10 Smartwatch Features You Should Know About

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Smartwatches have become an indispensable accessory for many tech enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals.

Beyond just telling time, these wrist-worn computers serve as fitness trainers, notification hubs, and even portable phones.

With a varied market and a plethora of options, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.

To aid in your decision-making, here’s a list of the 10 most important features that you should look for in a smartwatch.

1. Long Battery Life

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Why It’s Essential: Nobody wants to charge their watch several times a day. A long battery life ensures that your smartwatch can keep up with your busy lifestyle.

You don’t want a device that spends more time tethered to a charger than to your wrist.

A watch’s battery life can make or break your experience; after all, a smartwatch that dies by noon is more of a burden than a benefit.

Example: Garmin, Fitbit, and Huawei have been known to produce smartwatches with significantly longer battery lives.

Models such as the Garmin Fenix series and the Fitbit Versa series have been praised for their multi-day battery life, offering a balance between functionality and power efficiency.

Garmin Venu 3S claims to provide a very long battery life lasting more than a week, with the always-on display disabled.

Withings Scanwatch 2 offers a better battery life of 30 days before needing to charge, with a stated scenario you must follow.

2. Comprehensive Health Tracking

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Why It’s Essential: A smartwatch should serve as your health companion, tracking everything from your heart rate to your sleep patterns.

Heart rate tracking uses sensors to give you real-time feedback on your cardiovascular health, a critical metric for overall wellness.

More advanced health features are making their way into smartwatches, such as blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring and even electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities.

These features can be particularly useful for users who have specific health concerns or for those who want to get a comprehensive view of their health status during both rest and activity.

Smartwatches can be used to measure your blood pressure as well, helping you to track your health condition.

Example: The Apple Watch Series, for instance, includes capabilities for ECG readings, blood oxygen monitoring, and comprehensive workout tracking, making it a comprehensive health and fitness companion.

Similarly, the Fitbit Sense offers detailed insights into stress management, heart health, and sleep patterns, equipped with a dedicated EDA sensor for stress detection.

Both options represent the forefront of wearable technology designed to support users in maintaining and monitoring their health with precision and ease.

3. Waterproof Design

Why It’s Essential: A waterproof smartwatch means you can swim, shower, and face the elements without worry.

Example: Many devices now offer water resistance at varying depths, some even suitable for tracking swimming strokes and laps in the pool.

One smartwatch renowned for its solid waterproof design is the Garmin Forerunner 945.

This device is not only waterproof up to 50 meters, making it suitable for swimming and showering, but it’s also designed with triathletes in mind.

It offers advanced features such as tracking swimming strokes and laps, open water swim metrics, and even transition times between sports.

Garmin’s focus on durability and functionality in wet conditions makes the Forerunner 945 a top pick for those prioritizing waterproof capabilities in a smartwatch.

4. Cellular Functionality

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Why It’s Essential: With cellular connectivity, you can leave your phone behind and still receive calls, send messages, and stream music directly from your watch.

Example: Select smartwatches come with LTE options, allowing you to maintain connectivity and accessibility without needing a phone in your pocket.

Many smartwatches now offer LTE or cellular options, enhancing their appeal for users seeking connectivity without a smartphone.

Among the leading choices, the Apple Watch Series stands out for its seamless integration with the iOS ecosystem, allowing for calls, texts, and data usage directly on the watch.

Similarly, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch series provides robust cellular connectivity for Android users, ensuring that they remain connected even while on the go.

Another noteworthy mention is the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, which combines traditional watch aesthetics with modern cellular capability, offering an alternative for those who prefer a more classic look without sacrificing connectivity.

5. Bluetooth Capability

Why It’s Essential: Bluetooth connectivity lets you pair your watch with other devices, such as smartphones and earbuds, for a seamless tech experience.

Example: This feature allows you to receive notifications on your wrist, control music playback on other devices, and even find your phone with the touch of a button.

The latest Bluetooth specification making waves in the smartwatch industry is Bluetooth 5.0.

This advanced version ensures greater range, faster speed, and more reliable connectivity, enhancing the overall user experience.

Smartwatches equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 can maintain a stronger connection with other devices, transmit data more efficiently, and consume less power, thereby extending the battery life of the device.

Among the smartwatches incorporating this cutting-edge technology, the Apple Watch Series stands out for Apple users, offering unparalleled integration with iOS devices alongside improved performance and range.

For Android enthusiasts, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Series embraces Bluetooth 5.0, providing a seamless connectivity experience with a wide array of devices.

Similarly, the Garmin Smartwatch adopts this technology, aiming at athletes and outdoor adventurers who require a robust connection in diverse environments.

These smartwatches not only exemplify the latest in Bluetooth technology but also signify a leap towards more connected and efficient wearable technology.

6. Third-Party App Support

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Why It’s Essential: The ability to run third-party apps expands the functionality of your watch, turning it into a tool for tasks like navigation, ordering a ride, or checking the weather.

Example: Smartwatches with app stores give users the freedom to customize their devices with apps that cater to their specific needs and interests.

When it comes to app support and the ability to run efficiently on their native operating systems, Apple Watches and Wear OS-based watches lead the market.

The Apple Watch Series in particular, running on watchOS, has the most extensive range of available third-party apps thanks to the App Store, catering to a broad spectrum of needs from health and fitness to productivity and entertainment.

Its seamless integration with iOS devices and services like Siri enhances the overall user experience, making it a top choice for iPhone users.

On the Android side, Wear OS by Google powers devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Series and TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, providing extensive app support through the Google Play Store.

These smartwatches offer users the flexibility to download a variety of apps that can run smoothly on their operating system, making them highly customizable and versatile for a multitude of tasks beyond basic timekeeping and fitness tracking.

7. GPS Tracking

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Why It’s Essential: Built-In GPS is crucial for mapping your runs, hiking, and keeping track of your location without your phone.

Example: Accurate GPS enhances fitness tracking capabilities and, in some cases, provides turn-by-turn navigation right on your wrist.

Both the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch, among other high-end smartwatches, boast built-in GPS tracking capabilities.

The GPS technology in these devices is not only about pinpointing location but also optimizing the user’s fitness regimen by accurately measuring distances during runs, walks, or bike rides.

Furthermore, devices like the Garmin Fenix series take GPS functionality a step further by offering multi-satellite network capabilities (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) to ensure more precise tracking in challenging environments where traditional GPS might falter.

This advanced GPS tracking is invaluable for outdoor adventurers who frequent rugged or remote areas, providing a level of reliability and safety for the user.

8. Customizable Watch Faces

Why It’s Essential: The ability to change watch faces means you can personalize the look of your smartwatch to match your style or mood.

Example: From digital displays that mimic traditional watches to faces that show off your favorite photos, the level of customization is boundless.

Nearly all modern smartwatches provide the option to customize watch faces, allowing users to adapt the aesthetics to their personal taste or functional preferences.

For instance, Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch stand out in this arena with a wide array of customizable options available through their respective ecosystems.

Apple’s WatchOS and Samsung’s Wear OS present users with an extensive selection of watch faces, ranging from artistic creations and animated characters to more informational displays that include fitness stats, weather updates, and calendar events.

This feature not only enhances the personal connection users have with their devices but also allows them to quickly glance at the information most important to them.

The ability to switch between a classic look for a formal event and a more casual or information-rich face for everyday wear makes these smartwatches highly versatile and adaptable to the user’s lifestyle, thereby distinguishing them in the competitive market.

9. Payment Systems

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Why It’s Essential: Onboard payment systems allow for contactless payments, adding convenience and security to transactions.

Example: With NFC technology, some smartwatches enable users to pay with a flick of the wrist at supported vendors, making checkout lines a breeze.

Smartwatches like the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch, and Garmin Pay-enabled devices stand out for their integrated payment systems.

By utilizing Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, these wearables allow users to make contactless payments effortlessly.

This feature transforms how transactions are carried out, emphasizing convenience, speed, and security.

Users can leave their wallets at home and enjoy a seamless checkout experience by simply bringing their watch close to a payment terminal.

Especially in a world where minimizing physical contact and speeding up transactions is becoming increasingly important, the ability to make payments with a smartwatch is not just a novel convenience but a significant advancement in wearable technology.

10. Voice Control and Virtual Assistants

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Why It’s Essential: A voice-controlled assistant on your wrist can set reminders, send texts, and control smart home devices without lifting a finger.

Example: Integration with assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa turns your smartwatch into a personal assistant, making multitasking easier than ever.

When investing in a smartwatch, ensure that these features align with your priorities to make your life simpler and more connected.

Be it for managing daily tasks, staying on top of your fitness routines, or staying connected with loved ones, these features provide the versatility and efficiency that modern lives demand. Happy smartwatch hunting!

Smartwatches equipped with voice control features and virtual assistants include prominent models such as the Apple Watch with Siri, Samsung Galaxy Watch with Bixby, and devices compatible with Google’s Wear OS offering Google Assistant.

These assistants enable users to perform an array of tasks hands-free, enhancing convenience and efficiency in daily activities.

For instance, imagine you’re preparing a meal and your hands are too occupied or messy to touch your watch or phone.

You can simply say, “Hey Siri, set a timer for 20 minutes,” or if you remember you need to send an important message to a colleague, you could say, “Hey Google, text Mike that I’ll send the report by this evening.”

These scenarios highlight how voice assistants on smartwatches can seamlessly integrate into daily routines, providing practical solutions to common challenges, without interrupting your current task.

In Summary

In conclusion, when exploring the 10 most important features a smartwatch should offer, it’s evident that these devices have evolved from mere time-telling gadgets to comprehensive lifestyle enhancers.

From facilitating fitness tracking and health monitoring to enabling seamless communication and providing convenience through voice control and virtual assistants, smartwatches stand at the intersection of technology and practicality.

Whether it’s the Apple Watch enhancing your productivity with Siri, the Samsung Galaxy Watch keeping you health-conscious with Bixby, or any Wear OS device making daily tasks easier with Google Assistant, each feature plays a pivotal role in enriching our daily lives.

These advancements not only redefine what we expect from wearable technology but also emphasize the smartwatch’s role as an indispensable tool for the modern individual.

Choosing the right smartwatch involves weighing these features against your personal needs and lifestyle, ensuring that your selection not only keeps you connected but also supports you every step, every heartbeat, and every “Hey Siri” moment throughout your day.


What features should I look for in a smartwatch?

When considering the purchase of a smartwatch, there are several key features to look for that cater to a wide range of needs and lifestyles.

Battery life is crucial, particularly for those leading active and busy lives, ensuring the device remains operational throughout the day without constant recharging.

Fitness tracking capabilities, including heart rate monitoring, step counting, and sleep analysis, are essential for individuals focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Water resistance is another important factor, allowing wearers to engage in swimming and other water-related activities without worry.

Connectivity options, such as LTE/4G support, enable the smartwatch to function independently of a smartphone, offering greater freedom and flexibility.

For those invested in the ecosystem of their devices, compatibility with existing smartphones or other tech products should be considered to ensure seamless integration.

Additionally, personalization is important; look for a smartwatch that offers various watch faces and band options to match your personal style.

Lastly, voice assistant support enhances the convenience factor, making it easier to perform a wide range of tasks hands-free.

Taken together, these features ensure that your smartwatch not only complements your daily activities but also enriches your overall experience with technology.

What are the disadvantages of a smartwatch?

Despite the numerous advantages offered by smartwatches, there are several disadvantages to consider.

Battery life, while improved, can still be a limitation for power users or those who forget to charge their devices nightly, leading to inconvenience.

Privacy concerns arise with the constant tracking of activities and health data, which may be sensitive.

The small screen size can also make navigation and typing challenging, potentially frustrating users accustomed to the spacious displays of smartphones.

Additionally, the need for regular updates and the possibility of obsolescence with rapid advancements in technology can make a smartwatch feel outdated sooner than expected.

For some, the initial and ongoing costs of a smartwatch, including the purchase price, apps, and accessories, may be a financial burden.

Finally, there’s the risk of over-reliance on technology, with constant notifications potentially leading to distractions and stress, undermining the productivity and peace of mind these devices aim to enhance.

Are smartwatches worth buying?

Considering the combination of advantages and disadvantages associated with smartwatches, the question of their worth is largely subjective and dependent on individual lifestyle, preferences, and specific needs.

For those who prioritize health monitoring, appreciate the convenience of receiving notifications on their wrist, and value the integration of technology into daily life, a smartwatch can be a worthwhile investment.

It acts as more than just a timepiece; it’s a personal assistant, a fitness tracker, and a gateway to staying connected in a digital age.

However, for individuals concerned about privacy, budget-conscious consumers, or those who prefer the simplicity of traditional watches, the benefits may not justify the cost.

Ultimately, determining whether a smartwatch is worth purchasing comes down to personal value assessment, weighing the practical benefits against the potential drawbacks and costs.

Which smartwatches have ECG?

Several renowned smartwatches have incorporated Electrocardiogram (ECG) functionality, notably enhancing their appeal to health-conscious consumers.

Among the most prominent models equipped with ECG capabilities are the Apple Watch Series 4 and later, which were pioneering in this domain, offering users the ability to perform an ECG directly from their wrist.

Similarly, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and subsequent models feature built-in ECG monitors, allowing for on-the-spot heart rhythm assessment.

Fitbit Sense has also joined this advanced health monitoring trend, offering ECG app capabilities for detecting atrial fibrillation (AFib).

These smartwatches not only serve as fitness trackers and communication devices but also play a crucial role in preventive health care, providing users with valuable insights into their heart health.

Is it OK to wear smartwatch all the time?

While wearing a smartwatch provides continuous access to its features, it’s essential to consider comfort and potential health implications.

Continuous wear, especially overnight, can affect sleep quality for sensitive individuals due to the emission of blue light and subtle vibrations or sounds.

Furthermore, constant skin contact may lead to irritation or discomfort for some users, particularly in hot or humid conditions.

It’s advisable to give your wrist and the device a break, ensuring both personal comfort and the longevity of the smartwatch.

In terms of radiation exposure, smartwatches emit lower levels compared to smartphones, but limiting continuous close contact is a prudent approach for those concerned about electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure.

Therefore, while it’s generally safe to wear a smartwatch all the time, periodic breaks are beneficial for both personal comfort and health considerations.

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