How To Choose A Smartwatch – What should I look for when buying a smartwatch in 2023?

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How to choose a smartwatch has not been an easy task, with thousands of smart watch models found in the markets today. If you are here, probably you are just steps away to choosing your smartwatch and after reading this post, it is going to be a pretty easy task picking the right one that will fulfill the purpose for which it was intended. Keep reading!

Is it reasonable for you to buy smartwatches purposely for reading time? I guess NO, Smartwatches are expensive than traditional timekeeping watches. Smartwatches are regular wrist watches designed with complications that are meant to accomplish many tasks in our everyday life. They are not designed for a single reason of timekeeping and this is a serious point to consider

Smartwatches are heavily packed with features that not only help to accompany us in our outdoor activities, they are a useful professional tools to complete tasks in some kind of jobs. Some of the professions include – nursing, firefighting, EMTs and paramedics , hunting, mountain biking sports and more.

Related Watch: The Best Luxury Watches Under 40mm – Reliable Luxury Watch For Small Wrist Today


What can a smartwatch do?

Smartwatches are just innovated traditional wrist watches with much more complications than just timekeeping. First, a smartwatch is an extension for your smartphone, in the same way smart phones extended computers. With a smartwatch, you receive alerts, alarms, have 3G/4G cellular connectivity to make phone-free calls, track heart rate and sleep from your wrist.

Sport athletes find smartwatch as activity trackers with full functionality. Runners enjoy smartwatch also because they support Bluetooth earbud for music listening and most are Android or iOS smartphone compatible.

Nurses find smartwatches as medical tools to tracking patients vital sign, pulse rates , blood sugar and oxygen levels. Hunters, hikers, mountaineers and cyclists no longer needs hand held GPS and compass for outdoor exploration because all these tools come built-in to smart watches.


What Types of smartwatch to choose?

First, you’ll want to think about which of the three basic forms of smartwatch you’re most interested in.


Actual smartwatches are built to replace and or extend smartphones with high-tech design. They have almost all the phone functions, fitness functions, health functions and sometimes calling features. Some may look traditional with round faces and buttons, yet they are smart on the inside, have menus, apps, and touchscreen display.

Hybrid smartwatch

A hybrid smartwatch is a wrist wearable device with about 50 percent smartwatch features and 50 percent traditional watch functions. If you look at them, they have the appearance of classic analogue watches on wrist. A hybrid watch can connect to smart phone via Bluetooth, receive alerts and send alarms. Hybrid watches combine analogue style with tech sophistication features.

Fitness tracker watch

Fitness trackers are sport focused smart wearables with some functionality of smartwatches . In addition to telling time, a fitness watch(activity tracker) also monitors wearer’s health during workout as well as record activity performance like distance, steps, calories, cadence, pace and more.

Like pedometers, they can track a range of different activities based on your motion throughout the day and help you meet your goals. The best fitness or activity tracker is from sports brands like Fitbit and garmin.


Smartwatch Buyers Guide – How to choose a smartwatch.

Because of the myriad functions that are built into smart watches, it becomes difficult to pick the right smartwatch that suits the needs of professionals. That is why it is not easy to give a straight answer as to what is the best smartwatch for instant health and fitness tracking or construction works.

Even when you’re looking to purchase the best smartwatch for yourself or for your job, one gets overwhelmed with the endless list of choices.

So how do you pick the right and the best smartwatch that will perfectly serve your needs? Before you push down the “Buy Now” button, glance over this list of points we found very important when shopping for smart watches.

While you are considering how to pick your smartwatch, take a minute to check how to measure a watch band width and size, for a perfect fit on your wrist. You should also know which wrist to wear watch on – right or left hand wrist.

In addition to making sure your smart watch has GPS functionality , also consider the following factors:


How Do I choose A Smartwatch Considering Purpose Or Need -Specific Features

What is the reason that lets you to want to buy a smartwatch? What do you want in your ideal smart watch and what job do you expect it gets done by the smart watch? Are you looking for a watch to suit your personal lifestyle or to help you perform specific task or improve efficiency in your profession?

The answer to these basic questions will guide you to have a clearer starting point or purpose when shopping for the best smartwatch. When it concerns need-specific features, Most people want to purchase smartwatches to ease, execute or achieve some of the following purposes.

how to choose a smartwatch with GPS navigation and mapping features

1. Navigation – GPS & Topo maps

The most important feature to consider when purchasing a smart watch for. Outdoorsman adventures is the GPS navigation function and topographic maps. If GPS feature is lacking, you might need  your watch to pair to your phone every time. This unfortunately takes a while but it is convenient for your smart watch to have built-in GPS.

GPS and topo maps are field watch features that ensure you are safe in remote environment and rugged terrain. Beginners in hunting, hiking and cycling sports need often need to use GPS for location , distance and step tracking.

Moreover, the GPS trackback function in some smart watch brands like garmin is useful to helping outdoorsmen in path finding their way back to starting point.

Hunters, construction workers and land surveyors job requires topographical maps to exploring or navigate nearby areas. If you outdoor activities need mapping features, pick a smartwatch with google map support or one that can download topo maps.

There are also some navigation watches that come with built-in sensors like compass, barometer and altimeter. If you activity requires ascent or descent or altitude change, there is absolute need for elevation tracking smartwatch.

Some watches give storm and Weather forecasts, and if you want to track these natural weather changes, a smartwatch with barometer, pressure sensors and thermometer are the best outdoor gears to own.

2. Health Monitoring

If you are a Heath focused person, buying a wellness tracker smartwatch with heart rate sensors, sleep tracker, calories calculator and fatigue monitoring features, is your top priority.

Some smart watches like Apple Watch series even come with Heath support features like ECG, fall detection, blood glucose monitoring, emergency SOS calls and pulse oximeter.

Sports men and women with high blood pressure are often recommended Smartwatches with these medical features. Nurses and doctors also need a wellness tracking watch for vital signs and pulse rate timing.

Also, these lifesaving Smartwatches are not meant to replace diagnostic medical tools. So you should not overly rely on these watches for your medical records. For patients with serious health concerns, contact your doctor or any health specialists when choosing a smartwatch for health. Do this before you buy a health tracking smart watch.

3. Fitness Tracking

One doubt to clear when Selecting A smart Watch For fitness is whether you need a fitness tracker or a fitness watch. Make sure you know which type of smartwatch to pick before buying.

Smartwatches also track sports related activities. There are many fitness focused Smartwatches for athletes and it can be difficult to pick the right one that suits your specific sporting activity.

The best sports watch tracks distance, cadence and calories and. Moreover, Athletes also wear smart watches during workouts to monitor their breathing rate, oxygen blood saturation,  heart rate and sleep patterns.

If you are looking for a smart fitness watch to wear during indoor and outdoor exercises, Fitbit, Garmin, Apple, Samsung are some major smartwatch brands to look around for.

4. Smart Notifications

To get smart notifications, choose a smartwatch that can be connected with a smartphone. When paired to phones, a smartwatch displays email alerts, incoming calls, text and social media(Facebook, Twitter) messages.

While Some watches can allow display of the entire message, only few smartwatches support direct reception of calls that would have been answered with the smart phone. Where timekeeping is essential, alarms and alerts are available for you to just set them up.

5.  Entertainment – Music, Songs, Podcast

Runners and solo hikers often want to get entertained when exercising outdoor. The best smart fitness watch to buy is one that can Store, stream, control and play music from the wrist. Some of such smart watches can also play podcasts. Which one you choose depends of whether you want to enjoy your favorite songs or not.

6. Memory for storage

The best smartwatch for music and podcasts playing comes with large storage memory that can hold plenty of songs. If you want A watch that directly store music, select a smartwatch with large internal memory. Sometimes you need to download a music player app for your smartwatch.

7. Mobile Payment for Shopping:

Some advanced Smartwatches support Contactless payments. Such smartwatches allow you to shop and make payments right from your wrist. There’s no need for credit cards for you to buy food from a nearby restaurant after you went cycling outdoor.

Added to contactless payment, is the near field communication (NFC) – smartwatch innovation that also helps you to pay your bills, groceries, bus tickets, and more. Example – Garmin Pay, Samsung Pay. NFC is the most handy payment gateway with a smartwatch when you have merchants in your area who allow mobile payments using NFC.

8. Smart Control

Some people haves smart homes and the most convenient way for control is via a smartwatch. Your smart home gadgets can be controlled right from your wrist if you go outside or when you are running treadmill in a gym away from home.

9. Information Sharing

You can sync your fitness data with friends and family members while you are still exercising. That is possible with a smartwatch via apps, strava, ANT+, connect IQ, and more other channels and applications. If syncing your workout stats to online fitness community is in the list of your priorities, check to ensure the smartwatch is compatible or supports the feature. In addition to strava watch support, Bluetooth connectivity is vital when sharing information with smartphones , power meters and computers.

10. Even recording – camara,

In addition to gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, altimeters, and maps, the best outdoor smart watch also needs to have a Camara. You can take your pictures when limping mountains or when riding down hills. If you dreamed of visiting some dangerous hikes in US, I am pretty sure you won’t come back home without photos of your daring adventure.

11. Cellular services – Picking a smartwatch that calls and text

Do you want a smartwatch that can answer calls without phone? Some people feel uneasy working out with smartphones. This is common with runners, mountain climbers and hikers. If you feel likewise, it’s time to go phoneless by checking these cellular smartwatches that make calls without need for phone.

For you to make or receive calls from the wrist, make sure your smartwatch has eSIM support. This cellular feature lets the smartwatch use your phone’s mobile number. This cellular connectivity  makes your watch standalone(less dependent) on your phone  and is available on the Apple Watch Series.

The best way to live a phoneless lifestyle, is to wear a standalone smartwatch. This kind of watch comes with cellular SIM card slots, they can make and receive phone-free calls. If you find such a smart watch that that call without need for phone, then you lucky to go explore outdoor for as long as you want.

12. Durability

Looking for the most durable smartwatch can pretty be difficult sometimes. The best rugged smartwatch can endure beatings from rugged terrains, and most outdoor enthusiasts love to hear that.

Every field worker also wants to have a smart gear watch that can accompany them everywhere without breaking. If you are one of them, then a rugged Smartwatch is the best option for you.

How did you know a smartwatch is tough and durable? what you will find in a durable watch high water resistance, durable stainless steel case construction, durable strap, scratch resistant and shockproof crystal glass cover over the dial.

Most military Smartwatches are built to comply with US military standard for durability. If your smart watch complies with such a test, it can last for long.


how to choose a smartwatch with good compatibility - guide to buying the best smartwatches


How to Buy A smartwatch With Good Smartphone Compatibility – Android and iOS

Present day technology has turned traditional wrist watches into smartwatches with full extension of smartphone functions. This means a smart watch is designed to be a companion to (Or work compatibly with) smartphones.

For a smartwatch to work with a smartphone, they must be paired to each other. The pairing cannot be possible if the two gadgets aren’t compatible.

So make sure that your smartwatch is android device compatible if you are an android user. If you deal with IOS devices, I believe an Apple Watch is the best smartwatch that only work well with iPhones and iPads.

Other Smartwatches are powered by operating systems like android wear OS by Google . Most people call it android smartwatch. There are some Smartwatches with their own OS like the Samsung’s Tizen operating system, yet it works with android devices very compatibly.

Something you should note here is Apple watches don’t go nicely and compatibly with android phones, since they support features for android system.



How Do I choose a smartwatch with working Interface and Display Features?

1. Touchscreen vs button

You want touchscreen or button operated Smartwatch. While some smartwatches support only touchscreen, others  smartwatches are controlled with a rotating bezel and buttons which allow you to navigate apps and systems menus. With just s push button, or rotating a bezel you have access to watch menus.

It is easy to operate a touchscreen Smartwatch by swipe. That is pretty easy to do with a finger If your smart watch screen is slim and small, tapping to navigate, operate or access apps with gloved or big fingers may get pretty difficult.

So make sure to choose a smartwatch with non-touchscreen display screen. In the similar way, watches with smart interface are not easy to access by most outdoorsmen and sport athletes who may frequently get wet, muddy or gloved hands.

If your field work exposes you to water, infections, and mud or require you wear hand gloves, the best choice is that you pick a button operated smartwatch. Such watches have non touchscreen watch face, like those from the Garmin watch brand.

2. LCD screen

LCD display screens give good readability under sunlight. They also get illuminated during poor lighting conditions. Just think how frustrating if you are riding down the mountain under the heat of the day and you can’t see your cycling data due to bright light.


Some smartwatches have OLED (organic light emitting diode) while others come with AMOLED (active-matrix organic light emitting diode) screens. These light emitting display screens are common with thinner and lightweight Smartwatches.

They are also energy efficient as they have low power consumption. The difference is that OLED smart watches have screens that can optionally display single, multi, or full color while AMOLED Smartwatches have full color display interface.

4. Glass protection

Another kind of feature that is best for outdoor activities is a tough glass covering over the watch face. Just like sapphire, and mineral crystal, a watch with chemically fortified glass( example: Corning Gorilla Glass) is shockproof, durable and scratch resistant.

Because they protect the screen from scratches, water, beatings and other damages, such a smartwatch are suitable for rugged outdoor use. If you are not sure the smartwatch face is tougher, buy a tempered glass for additional protection against shocks.

5.Always-on display.

If you are one of those data-focused outdoor fitness fan, you’ll probably want to frequently glance over your wrist to check your workout performance. Smartwatches that dim their screen when not in use could save battery energy but they won’t be great for you. My recommendation is that you go for the best smartwatch with always-on-display interface.


How to choose a smartwatch with good Personalization, Style, and Comfort?

1. Watch band

If you want maximum comfort, pick a smear wrist wearable with comfortable wristband and with option to interchange straps into ones that suit your outfit. I would even prefer a smartwatch with variety of band colors and material for full customization. Some smartwatches have bands of different sizes, for men and women or people with skinny wrists. You should shop for a type of smartwatch, ensure it has  customisations available for the watch in the form of straps. Check if  there is variety  of straps from metal straps to rubberised bracelets. Also verify if the watch straps comes with with easy to fasten clasps and buckles and if they are more convenient to wear and may feel comfortable on your wrists.

2. Watch face

Watches with many watch faces to choose, are the best for someone who wants to personalize accessories into unique styles. Apple, Garmin, Samsung, Fossil are some top smartwatch brands that make watches with variety of faces.

Depending of life style, round watch faces don’t suit everyone, especially may be because Smart watches with round faces resemble traditional or regular timepieces. If you don’t cherish face watch, you can choose smart watches with square or rectangular faces.

Most best fitness tracking smart watches today come in rectangular watch faces for large screen display. If you are a sportsman, that’s your best choice.


how to do I choose a watch with excellent app support - guide to choosing a smartwatch - the best buying guide for smartwatches


Guide to choosing a smartwatch with the right Apps support

To have the best smartwatch is not necessarily that you choose the most technologically advanced watch but that you select the one with the right features you need. Without the right applications in the smartwatch, it is a complete waste of money because it can’t achieve the goals it was intended for.

The best way to have the right features in( or extend the functionality of) your Smartwatch is by installing the right apps that would do the job just fine. There are tonnes of apps available free and paid but you should know that Apple and Android Smartwatches differ in the kind of apps they support. Android apps won’t work hitch-free on Apple watches.

Android watches run on wear OS by Google and if you are an android user, Google Play Store is where you can access thousands of third part smartwatch apps for anything you want. Some apps are paid, others are free.

The Apple Watch has an impressive collection of free and paid apps in Apple Watch App Store. With more than 20,000 apps, you can always choose any watch app you want. Some apps include the CARROT Weather, ESPN, Things, and Just Press Record.

how to install smartwatch apps

You need an apple IOS smartphone to install apps in an Apple Watch. Google’s Wear OS has a different approach for app installation in a smartwatch. You can install apps directly on the android smart watch without having to use an android smartphone.

The apps you install depend on your outdoor activities. Sports and fitness smartwatches, have pre-loaded sports apps, so it is preferable that you choose their smart watches to have full right for these apps.

However, there many fitness and sports activities with apps for both Apple and android watches. Look around and you will see that cycling and mountain biking have for android and also for iOS outdoor smart watches.


Choosing a smartwatch with the right Operating System(OS)

The OS the smartwatch runs on is one most important points to consider when choosing a smartwatch. You need to check carefully at what platform the smartwatch runs. If the manufacturer has its proprietary platform, make sure it is still supported. What i mean is you avoid buying smartwatch with OS that is out of use.

Many smart watch brands run their own smartwatch operating system.

Android Wear OS

This is very popular smartwatch OS by Google . Many watch manufacturers use it and that is why many smartwatches re compatible with it. A smartwatch that runs on Android Wear can work compatibly with both, Android smartphones and iPhones.

Apple Watch OS,

This OS is another platform, but it is  developed by Apple, for Apple smart gadgets . One limitation is that you can’t use the Apple Watch OS on an Android smart watch or phone. Watch OS is one of the  world’s most successful wearable operating system . This OS has made Apple Watch a great wand  powerful fitness smart watch. With it, a number of watch apps gets downloaded from the AppStore although it is pretty limited.

Fitbit OS

Operating system for Fitbit fitness watches. After Fitbit lead the market, making simple fitness trackers, They are now making smartwatches and their latest smartwatches (such as the Versa) can connect with (iOS/Android/Windows, accept calls, make contactless, payments and run apps.


Xiaomi are mostly used in sport bands -Mi Band, Mi Smart Band 4.

Tizen OS – samsung smartwatch OS

Tizen OS is developed by a group of companies –  Intel, Vodafone, Orange, and Samsung. Samsung smartwatches used Android Wear (now Wear OS) but then switched to Tizen, the company’s own operating system. The good thing is Tizen for Wearables is an open-source OS for watches. It runs standalone apps, integrated apps and linked apps. There are thousands of apps available in the Tizen store.

Garmin OS

Garmin brand also focused on the fitness side of wearables. The Garmin Watch OS was developed as a platform for garmin smartwatches to allow users  access amazing functions like making and answering calls, phone-free listening to music and run applications. Thanks to this Garmin OS that you have access to Garmin Coach, Group Track – a real strength behind garmin sports watches.

Pebble OS

This OS is developed by Pebble Technology Corp, as a custom version of FreeRTOS . This Pebble OS is versatile as it can be paired with  iOS and Android smartphones. by the time Pebble’s first smartwatch model came out,over 6,000 apps and watch faces were available on this platform. For compatibility, this pebble watch OS support Android Wear notifications. So you can install Android Wear apps in Pebble smartwatches.


Excellent tip how to choose a smartwatch

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 Avoid Buying a wrong smartwatch!

There are many smartwatches in the market that you need to take extra steps not to buy the wrong one. Please check the video below and get guided.

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Related: Which wrist should a watch go on – right hand or left hand wrist?


How to set up a smartwatch

Using a smartwatch is simple but here ere are the basic set-up steps that most models follow.

  • Charge your new smartwatch and turn it on.
  • Connect it to your phone via Bluetooth.
  • Download the apps and features you want to use, just as you would on a smartphone.


Wrap Up

There you have it all. Its not going to be a difficult task buying the right smart watch that suits your needs. Focus on a gear sport smartwatch if you are athlete. Also, look for the best battery life smart watch if you intend to take long outdoor trips. Fitness enthusiasts should focus on smart fitness watches with smart activity and wellness tracking  capabilities. If you are android user, I recommend you choose a smartwatch with google play store, where you have access to wide range of third party apps.

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