Home Tech Accessories Best Smartwatches in 2021 – Smartwatch Buying Guide in Detail

Best Smartwatches in 2021 – Smartwatch Buying Guide in Detail

Do you have a smartwatch or are you planning to buy a smartwatch? If you are wondering about a wristwatch that only shows time in digital format, let me tell you that it is not a smartwatch. It is one of the fashion accessories that you carry on your hand to enhance your looks and see the time.

Technology has developed with a rapid rate in the last decade. After the rise of the android operating system, we saw many smart devices such as smartphone, smartwatch, smart speaker, smart home, etc. We saw many innovations in automobiles, mobile phones, televisions, or any other gadgets.

Internet of things and 5G will take it to the next level by building an ecosystem of connected gadgets. Just imagine a device that you can tie on your wrist and that gadget is handling many of your daily activities such as alarms & reminders, notes, calls & messages, health & fitness, etc. There are many other functions that it can perform and you can replace it with your wristwatch. That wearable smart gadget is a smartwatch.

The modern smartwatches have many wireless connectivity options such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, etc. Let’s discuss in detail about the smartwatches. If you want to buy one, you can select the best option for yourself after reading this post.

What’s in it for me-

What is a Smartwatch?

A smartwatch is a digital wearable device having many advanced features apart from a clock to see the time. There are many smartwatches available in the market with a display, internal storage, internal battery, touchscreen, etc. Many watches come with a colourful display while the lower end smartwatches come with a black and white screen.

So, what makes a smart watch smart? The variety of features and convenience bundled in a small device let us call it a smartwatch instead of a time machine. (I mean a machine that displays time, not the one that can let you travel to a different time zone).

The modern smartwatches can connect with your smartphones and provide many flexible functions. They contain many useful sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor. etc. You can use it to monitor your health activities, communicate with people, set alarms & reminders, access media files, and much more.

Types of a Smartwatch

There are many types of smartwatches if we talk about build quality, display, features, sensors, connectivity, etc. But, in a broad category following are the types of a smartwatch-

Hybrid Smartwatch

A hybrid smartwatch is a traditional analogue watch with a mechanical interface but, it has a few smart features. It does not have a screen and looks like an ordinary watch. But, you can connect it with your smartphone via Bluetooth. You have the option to receive notifications and alerts through vibration.

They run on standard batteries and you don’t need to charge them daily. They have not an option to run any kind of apps but, you can assign the particular minutes and hours to specific contacts. The watch will show it to you when those contacts try to call you on your phone. These watches are not so costly as compared to full-fledged smartwatches.

Example – Fossil HR FB-01

a man wearing Fossil HR FB-01 hybrid smartwatch

Sports Watch

As the name depicts, these watches are specifically designed and created for athletes and sportsperson. You can still purchase them if you are not from a sports background. They have a few smart features that are included by keeping in mind the needs of a sports person. A sports watch lets you keep a record of your daily progress in training or practice sessions.

They also allow you to connect to your smartphone to receive notifications, alerts, calls, and messages. You can not install any other apps for additional functions. They have GPS and heart rate monitor to track and analyze your speed, distance, and heartbeat during running and exercise. Some sports watches have NFC for mobile payments.

Example – Garmin Forerunner 235

a man wearing Garmin forerunner 235 sports watch

Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers, also known as activity trackers are very lightweight bands that you can tie on your hands. The main goal of these bands is to track the fitness metrics such as footstep count, calories consumed and burnt, and in some cases heartbeat, blood pressure, etc.

They have sensors like accelerometer and other features such as Bluetooth, GPS. You can connect them with your phone and install an app that can track your daily activities and tell your fitness reports based on them. Also, you can get the notifications, calls and messages of your phone on them.

Example – Mi Bands

an image of mi band 3 box

Modern Smartwatches

The modern smartwatch is a mini smartphone with a lot of advanced features. You can use it as a fitness tracker, a sports activity tracker, calculator, stopwatch, timers, and many other utilities. There are many apps available to perform various tasks. You can connect the smartwatch with your smartphone and control many activities through watch only.

It allows you to receive notifications, calls, messages and respond to them without your phone. You can control media playbacks and also use maps and navigation. A smartwatch is packed with convenience and compatibility. The innovations and developments are still going on with endless possibilities in the future.

The modern smartwatches are of 3 types-

  • Apple Watch
  • Wear OS Watch
  • Tizen Watch
modern smartwatches 2021

How to Select a Smartwatch?

Smartwatches are available in many variants with different features and editions. There are different segments of users in the market. If you are planning to buy a smartwatch and confused about how to select the best suitable smartwatch for you, then you can go through the following points that will give you an idea and clear your confusion.

Design

The dial of the smartwatches generally comes with two types of designs. The one is square and the other is circular. It depends on the brands which type of design they want to implement in their models. A single model is not available in both square and circular shape dial.

It depends on your choice which kind of design you like and prefer to wear. You can go for any of them. The shapes of dials look different on various personalities.

Display Type

The digital smartwatches have a screen to display the functions performed and their outcomes. The display can be an LCD screen, an LED panel, or an OLED display. The LCD screens have a comparatively low display quality.

It doesn’t mean that LCDs are bad. But, LED displays have the output of bright colour. Also, LED displays to consume less power than LCD. It is beneficial for the long battery life of the smartwatch device. The OLED panels have self-illuminating pixels and a wider viewing angle than LED panels.

Touchscreen

We have discussed hybrid smartwatches. These watches come with a physical mechanism. They don’t have a screen. However, digital watches have a screen to display information. But, two types of smartwatches come with a screen display.

The one is a normal display in which the watch has physical buttons to perform or execute any function. These types of display are common in fitness trackers because it has limited functions. But in case of a full-fledged smartwatch, you will see touchscreens. You can perform all the tasks with ease and it gives a better user experience.

Battery Life

We can see that the size of the batteries is increasing in smartphones. But, smartwatches don’t come with large-sized batteries. The reason is that a smartwatch is a wearable device. Hence, it should be light-weight so that the users feel comfortable wearing it for a long time.

Hybrid smartwatches have an analogue mechanism. So, they have a very long battery life. In digital smartwatches, various companies offer different battery capacity and runtime. You should compare the battery life before finalizing a smartwatch to purchase.

Features

In the decade of 2010-2020, the development of technologies in a smartwatch was next level. Today we can see many convenient features wrapped up in our wrist in the form of a smartwatch. Many different models offer a lot of functions in a single device.

You can get access to many smart apps, connectivity with your phone and its various controls, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitor, oxygen level monitor, fall detection, and much more. Explore all the models and find the one with maximum features and comparatively fair price segment.

Water Resistance

Since you hold the smartwatch on your wrist, it might be possible that it gets wet in the rainy season. You might also want to wear it while swimming to know how much calories you have burnt. For this, you should find a smartwatch that has the water-resistant capability. Don’t get confused with water repellent or splash resistant. You need a water-resistant watch that you can easily use in rain or underwater.

Compatibility

It’s good if you find a smartwatch of your choice with the best suitable features, good display, and long battery life. But, you need to make sure whether the model you are going to purchase is compatible with your phone. There are a few major operating systems that are ruling the smartphone and smartwatch industry. Those are Watch OS by Apple, Wear OS by Google and Tizen by Samsung.

The watches that are compatible with Android smartphones can also connect with Apple iPhones. But, there will be a limitation of features that you can use. You will get very less control over the setting and apps. In the case of Apple Watch, the main drawback is that you cannot connect it with your android phone at all. So, if you want to purchase an Apple watch, you have to purchase an iPhone first.

Pricing

If you are an Indian consumer, you might be price sensitive. Am I right? It is the basic and common thing among all of us that we always consider price as a very important factor in our shopping. Similarly, in the case of smartwatches, you should think about it whether the price you are paying for a particular model is worth buying.

For any electronic device, the price for the products with the same specifications varies based on the image of that brand in the market. If you follow or prefer a specific brand, you will go for it. But, if you are neutral and want to make a purchase, you should consider the model of the lower price if it is also from a reputed brand.

Best Smartwatches in 2021

Amazfit Bit U

amazfit bit u smartwatch
TouchscreenYes
Operating SystemWear OS
Display302 x 302 Pixels, 1.43 inch TFT Display
Speaker & MicrophoneNo
Battery230 mAh Lithium-ion Polymer Battery, OxygenBeats, Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI), SomnusCare, up to 9 days of battery life
Compatible DeviceAndroid 5.0 or higher, iOS 10.0 or above
Weight30 gm
NotificationsYes
ConnectivityBluetooth, GPS
SensorsAccelerator Sensor, BioTracker PPG Bio-tracking Optical Heart Rate Sensor, Gyroscope
Fitness FeaturesCalorie Count, Steps Count, Heart Rate Monitor, Activity Tracker (Distance, Steps, Calories Burned, Sleep Quality Monitoring (Deep Sleep, Light Sleep, REM, Awake Time, and Afternoon Naps, Sleep quality Score and Insights for Improvement), Heart Rate and Blood-oxygen Level Measurement, Stress Monitoring, Menstrual Cycle Tracker (Menstrual and Ovulation Periods), Sedentary Reminders), 60+ Sports Modes with High-precision GPS, PAI Health Assessment System
CompassNo
CalendarYes
Alarm ClockYes
Water-ResistantYes, up to 50 m
Additional FeaturesSmart Notifications (Text, Email, Social Media App Alerts, Weather Forecasts, Alarm Clock, Calendar Alerts, Countdown, Stopwatch), Remote Control Mobile Phone Camera, Customizable Watch Faces, Mobile Phone Music Control, Find My Phone, Pomodoro Clock, World Clock, Customizable Modular

Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit versa 2 smartwatch
TouchscreenYes
Operating SystemWear OS
Display360 x 360 Pixels, 34 mm AMOLED Display
Other Display FeaturesHigh-Resolution Touchscreen with Amplified Brightness up to 1000 nits and Durable Screen Made from Corning Gorilla Glass
Speaker & MicrophoneMicrophone, Voice Control
BatteryLithium Polymer, up to 6 days of battery life
Compatible DeviceAndroid Smartphones, iPhones
Weight30 gm
NotificationsYes
ConnectivityBluetooth, GPS
Sensors
3-axis Accelerometer, Altimeter, Optical Heart Rate Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Relative SpO2 Sensor, NFC
Fitness FeaturesCalorie Count, Steps Count, Heart Rate Monitor, Activity Tracker (Real-Time Pace and Distance, Steps, Calories Burned, Heart Rate, Sleep Duration, Sleep Stages, Sleep Score, VO2 Max, Auto Tracking of Selected Exercises, Smart Wake, Reminders to Move, Female Health Tracking, Cardio Fitness Score)
CompassYes
CalendarYes
Alarm ClockYes
Water-ResistantYes, up to 50 m
Additional FeaturesSmart Notifications (Text, Email, Social Media App Alerts, Weather), Alarm Clock, Calendar Alerts, Customisable Clock Faces, Always on Display, Built-in Alexa Support, Control Your Music, Personalised Reminders

Realme Watch S

realme watch s smartwatch
TouchscreenYes
Operating SystemWear OS
Display360 x 360 Pixels, 1.3 inch LCD Display
Speaker & MicrophoneNo
BatteryLithium Polymer, up to 15 days of battery life
Compatible Device
Android 4.4 or Later
Weight40 gm
NotificationsYes
ConnectivityBluetooth
Sensors

3-axis Accelerometer, Heart Rate Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, SpO2(Blood Oxygen Saturation Level)
Fitness FeaturesActivity Tracker (Distance, Steps, Calories Burned, Heart Rate, SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation Level), 16 Sport Modes
CompassYes
CalendarYes
Alarm ClockYes
Water-ResistantYes, up to 1.5 m
Additional FeaturesSmart Notifications (Text, Email, Social Media App Alerts)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

a man wearing Samsung galaxy watch active 2 smartwatch
TouchscreenYes
Processor Name1.15 GHz processor with 768 MB RAM
Operating SystemTizen
Storage4 GB
Display360 x 360 Pixels, 36 mm Super AMOLED Display
Speaker & MicrophoneYes
Battery
340 mAh Lithium Polymer, up to 5 days of battery life
Compatible DeviceAndroid Smartphones
Weight30 gm
NotificationsYes
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-fi, GPS, Calling
Sensors
Electrical and Optical Heart Rate Sensors, Barometric Altimeter, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor
Fitness FeaturesCalorie Count, Steps Count, Heart Rate Monitor, Activity Tracker (Distance, Steps, Calories Burned, Heart Rate), Multiple Exercise Modes (Walking, Running, Cycling, Rowing, Elliptical Trainer, Swimming)
CompassYes
CalendarYes
Alarm ClockYes
Water-ResistantYes, up to 50 m
Additional FeaturesSmart Notifications (Text, Email, Social Media App Alerts), Alarm Clock, Calendar Alerts, Wide Range of Watch Faces to Customize Display

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung galaxy watch 3 LTE smartwatch
TouchscreenYes
Processor NameExynos 9110 1.15GHz dual-core processor
Operating SystemTizen
Storage4 GB
Display360 x 360 Pixels, 45 mm Super AMOLED Display
Speaker & MicrophoneYes
Battery
Lithium Polymer, up to 43 hours of battery life
Compatible DeviceAndroid Smartphones (Android 5.0 or Higher), iPhone 5 and Above (iOS 9.0 or Above)
Weight30 gm
NotificationsYes
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-fi, GPS, Calling
Sensors

Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Light Sensor, Optical Heart Rate Sensor
Fitness FeaturesCalorie Count, Steps Count, Heart Rate Monitor, Activity Tracker (Distance, Steps, Calories Burned, Heart Rate), Multiple Exercise Modes (Walking, Running, Cycling, Rowing, Elliptical Trainer, Swimming)
CompassYes
CalendarYes
Alarm ClockYes
Water-ResistantYes, up to 50 m
Additional FeaturesMilitary-grade Durability, Location Technology: A-GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo

Apple Watch Series 5

apple watch series 5 smartwatch
TouchscreenYes
Processor Name
S5 64-bit Dual Core Processor (with W3 Apple Wireless Chip)
Operating SystemwatchOS 6
Storage32 GB
Display368 x 448 Pixels, 44 mm OLED Display
Other Display FeaturesLTPO OLED Always-on Retina Display with Force Touch, 1000 nits Brightness
Speaker & MicrophoneYes
BatteryLithium-Ion up to 18 hours battery life
Compatible DeviceiPhone 6s or Later
Weight41 gm
NotificationsYes
Charger TypeMagnetic Charger
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-fi, GPS, Calling
Sensors
Electrical and Optical Heart Rate Sensors, Barometric Altimeter, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor
Fitness FeaturesCalorie Count, Steps Count, Heart Rate Monitor, Altimeter
CompassYes
CalendarYes
Water-ResistantYes, up to 50 m
Alarm ClockYes
Additional Features
Fall Detection, Digital Crown with Haptic Feedback, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS Support

Apple Watch 6

apple watch series 6 smartwatch
TouchscreenYes
Processor NameS6 Dual-Core Processor with U1 Chip (Ultra Wideband)
Operating SystemwatchOS 7
Storage32 GB
Display368 x 448 Pixels, 44 mm Retina Display
Other Display FeaturesIon-X Glass Display, 1000 nits Brightness, Retina LTPO OLED Display
Speaker & MicrophoneYes
BatteryLithium-Ion up to 18 hours battery life
Compatible DeviceiPhone 6s or Later
Weight41 gm
NotificationsYes
Charger TypeMagnetic Charger
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-fi, GPS, Calling
SensorsBlood Oxygen Sensor, Electrical Heart Sensor, Optical Heart Sensor (2nd Gen), Altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor
Fitness FeaturesCalorie Count, Steps Count, Heart Rate Monitor, Altimeter, Blood Oxygen, ECG, High and Low Heart Rate Notifications, Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification
CompassYes
CalendarYes
Alarm ClockYes
Water-ResistantYes, up to 50 m
Additional FeaturesEmergency SOS, International Emergency Calling, Always-on Altimeter, Apple Pay, GymKit, Digital Crown with Haptic Feedback, Fall Detection

Conclusion

It is very fascinating how technology is developing day by day to make our routines and tasks easier. You can control your smartphone functions such as media playback, alarms, etc. today without even touching it. You can read its notifications, respond to them, and even make calls with the help of your smartwatch. How amazing this experience is.

If you are planning to buy a smartwatch, you can choose anyone from the above options according to your budget. It is very useful for you if you are health conscious and even better if you are a fitness freak.

There is one thing that you should remember. You don’t have to buy a smartwatch just because you have seen people wearing it and it has cool features. You should spend money on it only if you need it. There are many smartwatches available for kids also. You can buy one for your child and pair it with your smartphone to locate them through GPS. They also have games and basic features by which you can monitor the health status of your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are smartwatches worth buying?

Smartwatches are very useful devices for a health-conscious person or a fitness freak. Many models have additional features to control the smartphone with the watch only. It is worth buying. But, if you want to purchase it just to show it to others, it will add no more value to your life. Buy only if you will use it for the right purpose.

Are smartwatches safe to wear?

Yes, smartwatches and fitness bands are safe devices to wear. There is nothing that can harm your body. They are made for monitoring your fitness activities. However, privacy and collection of your health data can be a concern.

Do smartwatches show accurate results?

The smartwatches are tested many times for all the activities before launching in the market. They might not show a 100% accurate result but, you will get very close readings. Don’t buy the smartwatches of untrusted companies just because you get them at cheap prices. They generally show incorrect readings as told by many users.

Can smartwatches work with iPhone?

Yes, if you have a smartwatch that runs on Wear OS or Tizen OS, it will work with iPhone. However, you cannot have full control over the device. You can perform a limited number of basic tasks. But if you purchase an Apple Watch, it will pair with iPhones only.

Do smartwatches have a camera?

No, Smartphones have no integrated camera till now. You will get many useful sensors, media controls, call controls, wireless connectivity. But, as you wear it on your hands and the size of the device is very small, there is not enough space to install a camera in it. The technology is going far with a rapid rate. If the need occurs, you might get a camera in the smartwatches also.

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