Monday, April 15
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Top 7 Must-Have Features of a Smartwatch

A smartwatch is a digital wristwatch with added features that help you better connect to your phone and monitor your health. They typically run on a proprietary software and require a smartphone to function.

Aside from offering advanced fitness tracking and communication features, some smartwatches have advanced personal safety features like a crash detector or Safety Check timer that shares your location with loved ones in case of an emergency.

1. Waterproof

A smartwatch that’s waterproof is a must-have. Whether you’re into running in the rain or swimming, or just forgetful and often wear your watch in the shower, having this feature means you don’t have to worry about it getting wet. Look for a device that’s rated 5 ATM or higher for complete protection from water.

Besides being waterproof, the best smartwatches offer other useful features. A good example is that many of them have built-in GPS to help you track your route and location, as well as a heart rate sensor for accurate fitness tracking. Some even come with a sleep tracker, which is ideal for people who want to get better quality sleep.

Many devices are also equipped with a microphone so you can use voice commands like answering messages and setting alarms. Some models even allow you to call or text using your wrist, making them more convenient than ever. Plus, some of these smartwatches have a fall sensor that can sense if you’re injured and send you an escalating series of notifications until you get to safety.

2. Heart Rate Sensor

Many health-minded people rely on smartwatches to help manage fitness and nutrition goals. For example, a heart rate sensor is often built into some fitness trackers to monitor and display your pulse while you walk, jog or run.

A GPS function can determine your exact location and speed during a workout, while a countdown timer can be useful for those participating in a race or other event. Garmin Venu 3 vs Garmin Forerunner 265 is one of the better options you can choose between when looking for smartwatches.

Most smartwatches with a heart rate sensor use photoplethysmography to measure your blood flow. As you wear the watch, it flashes green LED lights hundreds of times paired with light-sensitive photodiodes on your wrist. Those green LEDs reflect off your body and the photodiodes detect when your heart beats by absorbing the red light that’s emitted during each beat.

Some smartwatches also have an EKG (electrocardiogram) feature that has been cleared by the FDA to monitor atrial fibrillation in patients with irregular heart rhythms. However, the FDA warns that these smartwatches are not diagnostic and should only be used as a monitoring device for people who have already been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation by their doctor.

3. Voice Commands

Some smartwatches use voice commands to help users navigate apps, make calls, and send text messages. Many of the newer smartwatches also include a built-in microphone and speaker so you can perform simple tasks like checking the date or time, making calculations, and controlling music playback without touching your phone.

Many smartwatches can manage media on a smartphone that is paired with them, including switching tracks and managing playlists. However, you will need to have a good wireless connection to ensure that your phone can keep up. Other smartwatches come with a dedicated music player and offer the ability to stream podcasts and audiobooks from your favourite streaming services. You can also find a variety of GPS-enabled smartwatches that can be used for navigation while hiking, biking or running. Some even have fall detection and SOS calling features that can alert emergency services if you take a tumble.

4. Phone Calls

Some smartwatches have cellular connectivity, which allows you to make phone calls on your watch without having your smartphone nearby. However, if you choose this option, it will typically require a separate mobile service and plan.

Besides letting you answer calls, a smartwatch can also send notifications and messages directly to your wrist. This can be handy if you’re working out or doing something that requires your hands. In some cases, you may even be able to text using your smartwatch’s screen – although that is often not ideal because most screens are too small.

If you want to be able to use your smartwatch as a hands-free call device, consider getting a model that supports Bluetooth headsets. This will give you the best possible audio quality during phone calls. Smartwatches can also display caller ID on incoming notifications and allow you to decline calls or redirect them to your voicemail. Some even have their own unique phone number, which will be shown to the caller. You can even choose whether to answer the call from your paired smartphone or use your watch’s microphone and speaker.

5. Games

You can play games on a smartwatch, but don’t expect to be playing modern blockbuster titles. The tiny screen just doesn’t have the room for graphics. However, there are hundreds of apps that have been developed specifically for smartwatches. They can be a great way to pass the time during a commute or when waiting for your food to come out at a restaurant.

Depending on the operating system, you can also use your watch to display notifications and messages from your phone, including calendar events and reminders. Many models support voice assistants like Siri or Google Assistant to allow you to interact with your device without ever touching it.

In addition, if your watch is paired with your smartphone, it can control media playback on your music streaming app, allowing you to change songs or adjust the volume right from your wrist. Some models can even connect to Bluetooth headphones so you can listen to tunes without your phone. Finally, some smartwatches can even function as a wallet, letting you pay for things right from your watch, using an integrated payment processor. This is particularly useful if you don’t want to carry your phone around with you while shopping or dining out.

6. Notifications

Whether you’re an active fitness fanatic, a busy professional, or just someone who loves cool gadgets, a smartwatch can help you stay organized and connected. You can use it to keep tabs on your daily activity and exercise goals, get important notifications from your smartphone right on your wrist, and even use it for a hands-free call or text message.

Notifications vary by smartwatch, but they generally show important phone calls and texts, upcoming calendar events, and app updates. Some also offer reminders and alarms. And you can control which apps send messages to your watch and how much information is displayed on the screen.

A good number of wearables also have GPS, so you can use them to get directions or track your route. Some can even help you avoid getting lost when you’re out hiking or in unfamiliar cities. If you’re going somewhere new, a smartwatch with navigation features can be an indispensable tool.

7. Bluetooth

A smartwatch has many functions beyond just displaying time. They can help you keep track of your fitness and health, and connect with your smartphone to receive notifications and make calls or reply to messages. They also offer various apps and watch faces that are customized to suit your tastes.

Most modern smartwatches have a built-in computer system with an operating system that can be updated through the cloud. This means that you’ll always have the latest features available, even after purchasing an older model. This can be important if you want to use the device for something other than its core functionality, such as tracking your sleep or hiking locations.

Some smartwatches are equipped with sensors that can detect when you fall and send an emergency notification to family and friends. This is an important safety feature for athletes and anyone who might accidentally drop their phone while running or hiking. It’s a good idea to consider whether you want this type of capability before making your purchase.