Smartwatch Buying Guide: 7 Things to Check Before Buying
Earlier we used to get new phone launches every month but now that place has been takeover by Smartwatches, you won’t believe the smartwatch market has grown by 200% in the last year in India.
So if you’re planning to buy a new smartwatch then here are the 7 things to check before you buy one because it’s hard to purchase value-for-money watches.
7 Things to Check Before Buying Smartwatch
Smart-Watch comes with lots of sensors and if the brand wants they can add up to 20 sensors in a single smartwatch. Other than the sensors, we also have to see display type, design, battery life, after-sale service, software, and most important price to performance ratio.
We commonly have six types of smartwatch displays AMOLED, LCD, TFT LCD, Transflective LCD, and E-Ink Display. Out of all the display types, AMOLED is the best one but it also comes with a premium price tag.
If you buy a Rs 3000 smartwatch then there is a chance that it will have a TFT LCD display because it’s a cheap panel, and because of that, a brand can add extra features like built-in GPS or even Bluetooth calling.
Now, when you pay Rs 5000 then you will get an AMOLED display but you will miss out on either built-in GPS or Bluetooth calling because an AMOLED display comes with a premium price tag.
Also, do check display brightness, if the smartwatch has 500 nits of pick brightness or more then it will be visible outdoors and you won’t face any kind of problem while reading text or using the watch UI.
Concluding everything, when you buy a new smartwatch, first check the display type, brightness, and screen bezels. If the watch has an AMOLED display and above 500 nits brightness then it is considered to be the best.
Design and Build Quality
Design is subjective, some might like a rounded and some might like a square design. So pick the design per your liking, personally, I prefer the square design when it comes to smartwatches.
Now, build quality is where smartwatch brands do cost-cutting.
Plastic is cheaper compared to metal or steel and that’s the main reason why we don’t see steel or metal-build in budget smartwatches.
I have also noticed that, if the watch has stainless steel build then it won’t have a built-in GPS or Bluetooth calling feature, for example, OnePlus Nord Watch.
In short, if you want a premium-looking design, build, and if your budget is Rs 5000 then you will lose out on either built-in GPS or Bluetooth calling but if you go up to Rs 10000 then you can get almost everything from better build to even AMOLED Display.
Now, if the smartwatch is focused on the fitness side of things then it will have IP67 or IP68 water-resistance ratings. This will let you use the smartwatch under the water.
The IP67 rating means the watch will survive under the water up to 1metre for 30 minutes whereas the 3-ATM or 5-ATM rating indicates that it will survive up to 30 meters or 50 meters.
Some of the premium watches from Samsung and Apple come with both IP67 and 3-ATM or 5-ATM.
One of the most important parts of any smartwatch is its software because it will decide everything from battery life to user experience.
We commonly have six types of smartwatch OS Google Wear OS, Apple Watch OS, Fitbit OS, Tizen OS, FreeRTOS, and Zepp OS.
When it comes to budget smartwatches, they will usually have FreeRTOS because it is cheaper, faster, and provide longer battery life but it doesn’t support third-party app.
Apple uses its own Watch OS which means they have full control, so they optimize the OS for iPhones. It’s also faster and more reliable compared to other smartwatch OS.
Now, keep in mind, the Apple Watch only works with iPhones, it won’t work with any other devices whether it’s an iPad, Mac, or even Android.
The Google Wear OS can work with almost all devices whether it’s iPhone or even Android, it’s up to the brand, whether they want to enable it or not.
For example, Samsung uses WearOS but they don’t allow their smartwatch to work on iPhone whereas Fossil also uses WearOS but they allow their watches to work on both iPhone and Android.
By the way, Wear OS is made by Google, so you will able to use the play store, and you can install the app you like from Play Store, just like an Android smartphone. More, check out the 20 best WearOS Apps.
In short, Under Rs 10,000 you will get FreeRTOS but if you go above Rs 10,000 then you will get to use WearOS.
As I have said, if you’re an iPhone user then just go with Apple Watch because it’s made by Apple for iPhone, so you will get a better experience compared to other smartwatches.
Now, for Android users, Samsung is the best option but if your budget is under Rs 10000 then do consider Amazfit which uses the FreeRTOS.
Also, keep in mind, some of the smartwatch brands don’t allow their watches to work on iPhones, so makes sure to check on the Product page or reach out to them.
For example, Samsung and Google don’t allow their smartwatches to work on iPhones.
Health and Fitness Features
Let me give you a very clear answer,
If your budget is under Rs 5000 and you want the best smartwatch for the fitness side of things then just go with Amazfit smartwatches because they’re a fitness-first brand and they provide close to accurate health data.
Now, if the money is not the problem then Consider the Fitbit or Samsung watches for Android and Apple Watches for iPhone.
Here are some of the sensors to check before you buy a new smartwatch,
Heart Rate Monitor: It does what the name says, it will measure the beats per minute (BPM and provide the heart rate data. It’s a commonly used sensor and you will get this sensor in almost all smartwatches whether it’s priced at Rs 2000 or Rs 50000.
SpO2 Sensor: Another commonly used sensor that checks blood oxygen levels. If you’re curious about, how SpO2 sensors works in smartwatch then do click here.
ECG: Now, this is a premium sensor that provides close to accurate heart rate data and it will let you know your heart condition in real time. Brands like Samsung, Fitbit, Googe, and Apple use the ECG and that’s the main reason their smartwatches are costlier.
Related: How ECG Works On A Smartwatch? Is It Reliable?
Built-in GPS: It’s must have a sensor if you do outdoor exercise. Built-in GPS provides a real-time location on the smartwatch which means, it can also help to calculate burn calories accurately.
As I have said, some of the budget smartwatches don’t come with built-in GPS because it’s a bit costlier. So if you’re into fitness then buy a smartwatch that comes with built-in GPS. For more, you can read further on how GPS works in smartwatches.
After Sales Service
I have used more smartwatches then a smartphone and I haven’t face any major problem with them nor I have visited the service sensor.
Now, your experience might differ.
Apart from brands like RealMe, Xiaomi, Apple, and Samsung, other brand doesn’t have a dedicated service center, they have partnered with existing service centers.
I have seen that a single service center provides services to Noise, Amazfit, Nothing, and even Micromax too.
So what I’m saying is, if something happens to your smartwatch then the service center won’t have all the parts, they will ask the brand and it may take 15 days or even more to fix the watch.
Whereas, brands like RealMe, Xiaomi, Apple, and Samsung have dedicated service centers, so you won’t have to wait longer.
So first of all, check with the brand about the service otherwise, you will have to wait and wait, if something happens to your smartwatch.
Value for Money
Now, the question is how you will define the value-for-money smartwatch.
Its simple things,
For example, if you want to buy OnePlus Nord Watch which is available at Rs 4999 then, first of all, check out the features OnePlus is offering and then, compared the same with other smartwatches at the same price.
I know, it will take lots of time to search and compare and that’s where WearablesDrop comes in, just visit this page and select budget and you will get a few options at your budget price.
You can also consider the RealMe Watch 3 Pro which comes with an AMOLED display, Bluetooth Calling, and built-in GPS while it’s priced at Rs 4999 whereas OnePlus Nord Watch doesn’t have built-in GPS or Bluetooth Calling.
So in this case, the OnePlus Nord watch is not value for money smartwatch.
Concluding everything from sensors, build, and software to display, if you want the best smartwatch with great experience then it’s better to buy a smartwatch from a well-known brand rather than buying from a new brand.
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