What is a smart watch and what are its functions

In this article we will tell you what a smart watch is, what functions they have, how they differ from a fitness bracelet, and which gadget you should choose if it comes to purchasing it.

What is a smart watch?

The name of the smartwatch comes from the English Smart Watch. Unlike the classic mechanical and electronic ones, they connect to the smartphone, use touch screens, offering the user all the necessary information that is downloaded from the mobile device.

In other words, this is more affordable dubbing of your smartphone. If the smartwatch works without a phone, it uses various sensors to measure your heart rate, count your steps, calculate your distance, and even your blood pressure. The indicators are displayed in real time.

Smartwatch features

Smartwatch functions are similar to some smartphone features, but a wearable device can offer you something more that your phone cannot.

Most smart watches offer a range of standard features. Let’s consider in detail what smart watches can do.

With a connected phone, you can receive notifications right on your wrist:  

            → messages from social networks

            → application alerts

            → SMS and missed calls

            → incoming emails

            → calendar events

            →  reminders alarm clock

There are also notifications that provide only watches. Here are some of them:       → you sit for a long time and you have to move

            →  heart rate warning

            →  goal achieved by the number of steps taken

            → low battery on your smartphone

            → Bluetooth interrupted

Install applications on the watch

In addition to displaying smartphone notifications, SmartWatch supports the applications they work with. Ecosystems of programs differ and most of them are based on Apple and Google operating systems, with the exception of Samsung with its Linux kernel-based Tizen OS.

Various additional tasks can be performed using additional software:

            → music player

            → calculator

            → voice recorder

            → Lantern

            →  parcel delivery

            →  sports tracking program

            → browser (not on all models)

Settings and personalization

Manufacturers made it possible to customize the overall appearance and style of the screen according to the preferences and taste of users. There are versions where you can install widgets and dials from the Internet, and in special stores there are spare accessories for watches.

When choosing a model, the buyer can choose the appropriate dimensions of the case and the length of the strap so that it is comfortable to wear for both women and men. The common sizes are 42 mm, 44 mm and 46 mm, but also some companies offer 38 mm and 40 mm cases, and, as a rule, this is a female version of the product.

The characteristics of the watch may indicate the width of the interchangeable strap – for example, 20 mm, 22 mm, but usually it is written compatibility with certain dimensions of the device case.

Display the necessary information on the screen

Time, date, day of the week are the basics. But in addition to the basic information on the scrollable screens of the gadget, the user can see various statuses and data of their active activity:

            • digital or analog time

            • battery charge

            • connection status

            • weather information

            •heart rate

            • Steps

            • calories burned

            • distance traveled

            • how much is left to the goal in steps

            • walked floors

            • amount of water drunk

            • and much more

Track your sports workouts and fitness

Many smart watches have a whole range of sensors with which you can monitor and track vital indicators:

            ○ Steps.

            ○ pulse

            ○ sleep

            ○  stress

            ○ blood oxygen level

            ○ blood pressure (rarely)

            ○ calories burned

            ○ risk of bruising on falling

If you are an avid athlete, then you can certainly answer the question of which is better: a smart watch or a fitness bracelet, since you understand that the latter is much easier and more convenient, and is also specifically aimed at tracking active activities. However, there are manufacturers that produce watches that are imprisoned for monitoring physical activity. They have a more athletic design and have all the necessary functions to provide training data.

NFC payment

Recently, more and more smart watches have been issued with the ability to make contactless payments. Payment is carried out using the built-in NFC chip, and the technology works similarly to a smartphone:

            1. Map binding of a supported bank.

            2. Presentation of hours to the terminal for payment.

It is worth considering that different manufacturers can use different payment systems, some of which are not supported in our country. Before choosing an NFC watch for payment, carefully study the availability of this function.

The most common payment systems:

            * Apple pay

            * Google pay

            * Samsung Pay

            * Garmin pay

Unsupported payment systems in our country:

            * Xiaomi, Huami, Amazfit – Ali Pay

             * Huawei Pay

            * Fitbit pay

Additional features

Smart watch features include a variety of additional options and functions:

            √ GPS to track location and view tracks

            √ multimedia control when paired with a smartphone

            √ function anti-loss of the phone (when moving away from the mobile           device you will receive a signal on your wrist)

            √ emergency call (programming the SOS button)

            √  smart home management voice input

            √ NFC payment (contactless payments)

            √ remote control

Why do you need a smartwatch

Briefly, we can highlight the main features that will make it clear why a smart watch is needed:

            √ quick access to information

            √ vital indicator tracking

            √ quiet or smart alarm

            √ control music and smartphone camera

            √ free hands

            √ duplication of options of your smartphone

What you need to work with smart watches

Why do we need a Smart Watch to figure it out, but what is needed for a smart watch to work fully? It depends on the model and operating system of the wearable gadget. As a rule, there is a standard list of necessary criteria:

            1. Watch compatibility with smartphone operating system.

                2. Suitable version of Bluetooth in the phone.

            3. Companion application installed on the smartphone.
            4. Sometimes you need to install a SIM card with an Internet connection.

Before you buy a smart watch, read their characteristics and description, look for reviews or reviews on the forums to be sure that you are buying the right device.

Photos of popular smart watches

Types and types of smart watches

SmartWatch can be divided into three types according to its functionality, design and operating principle.

Kids watch

A children’s smart watch with a phone function and a GPS tracker works with a SIM card, uses the Internet and is tracked through a mobile application installed on the parent’s smartphone. Smart Baby Watch (smart baby watch) come with wiretapping, games, a video camera and in addition to displaying time and date offer a number of additional features. They make the device not only a means to track the location of the young owner, but also an interesting and useful gadget. The following features can be distinguished:

            • two-way telephone

            • one-button emergency call

            • programmable contact list

            • pedometer

            •  alarm clock

            • hand sensor

            • calendar, flashlight (depending on model)

            • reward points

            • change the background and theme of the dial (on some models)

            • making photos and videos (optional)

            • voice chat

Hybrid smartwatch

They combine ordinary mechanical and smart watches and work via Bluetooth paired with a smartphone through the installed application. It looks like a classic mechanic, but when used, it uses smart functions that are inherent in SmartWatch:

            • step counting

            • smartphone notification alerts

            • other alerts that you can then check on your phone

            • alarm clock

            • programmable buttons

            • remote shot from smartphone camera

            • phone music control

            • mobile device search

Detailed information can be viewed in the software on the connected telephone.

Smart watch

As a rule, SmartWatch work in tandem with a smartphone and offer many options and options for use. Some models are autonomous and may not need a bundle with the phone . What smart watches can do, we generally described above . There are three basic forms of housing:

            1. Round

            2. Square

            3. Rectangular

They also use various materials of the case: stainless steel, plastic, ceramics, etc. and strap: textiles, silicone, leather, etc.

In turn, smart watches are recognized by style and functionality, these are:

            → Classic (include premium and budget)

            → Sports smart watches (convenient when playing sports)

            → Male, female, unisex (vary in size, color and some options)

Another niche includes special wrist gadgets for specific use cases. We give examples of these specialized devices.

Watches for travelers

Designed for travel and tourism, as a rule, they have features such as:

            → long battery life

            → equipped with gps tracker and navigator

            → basic vital functions

            → weather forecast

            → shockproof, waterproof, moisture and dust resistant

Diving watch

This is a waterproof smart watch. They can be used at great depths of immersion and see important data on the screen:

            √ depth

            √  time left

            √ temperature

            √ other important indicators

Clock for aviation

This is a niche market, but some well-known companies, such as, for example, Garmin, release SmartWatch, which includes:

            → Puls Ox sensor for monitoring blood oxygen levels

            → logbook

            → moving map with gps

            → weather forecast

Operating system and smartphone compatibility

In the consumer market, there are three main operating systems that smart watches work on:

            1. WatchOS – developed by Apple, compatible only with iPhone.

            2. Wear OS – developed by Google, is used by many manufacturers in smart            watches to work with Android and iOS smartphones.

            3. Tizen is a proprietary operating system developed by Samsung for its popular Galaxy Watch line. When paired with iPhone, many features will not be available.

 Check out the  Samsung Galaxy Watch Rose Golde  in our review.

Other companies use their own OS in the products, based mainly on the Android OS.

Do smart watches work without a smartphone

As a rule, smart-watches work together with the phone, connecting to it via Bluetooth.

 But can smart watches work without a phone? Yes they can. There are models on the Android operating system that do not need to be connected to a mobile gadget. On their own, they collect data on physical activity, measure the pulse or monitor sleep, keeping reports on internal memory. Then the information is provided on the display or in the mobile application the next time you connect to your smartphone.

Also, some manufacturers offer smart watches with a phone function that use a SIM card to make calls and the Internet. But in this case, it’s easier to use a smartphone, because It is much more convenient for all these functions.

The difference between a smart watch and a fitness bracelet

 We will tell you how smart watches differ from smart bracelets, because many people think that they are the same devices that have only external differences. But this is not so.

Smart watch

After analyzing what smart watches are and their functions, we concluded that Smart Watch is more like a wearable miniature computer, because combine a watch, a smartphone and a sports tracker. They duplicate the functions of a mobile phone, receiving notifications, such as messages, emails or notifications from social networks, and also let you know about missed calls, and some even give you the opportunity to answer a call. The capabilities of this device are expanding with each generation.

PROS:                                                            MINUSES:

+  A huge number of functions              – Many features can confuse the user             

+ Sleek and stylish design                       – Weight and dimensions are greater than                                                                                          that of a sports bracelet              

+ Connect with smartphone                 – Short battery life  

+ Hands free                                             – May be expensive

Fitness bracelet

Fitness tracker is a more self-contained device that collects owner’s physical activity data and displays statistics in a mobile application.

In most cases, the activity tracker comes in the form of a bracelet, can have a display and contains many different sensors. These sensors monitor daily physical activity and provide indicators related to sports activities.

 Some of the fitness bracelets have features that a smartwatch might not have:       • blood pressure measurement

            •  determination of oxygen level in the blood

            • sleep phase tracking

            • counting laps in the pool

            • recognition of running techniques

            •  automatic workout detection

            • much more

Speaking of cost, most fitness trackers are several times cheaper than smart watches due to limited functionality.

PROS:                                                                        MINUSES:

+  Cost lower than watch                         – Limited functionality

+ Designed for sports and fitness          – Not a substitute for a medical device for                  enthusiasts                                                   measuring vital signs

+ Comfortable and light

+ The choice of colors and sizes

+ Lots of features to track activity

+ May look like a watch

Thus, Smart Watch and Fitness Tracker are two different devices, each of which carries its own mission and has individual characteristics. And which is better: a smart watch or a fitness bracelet, you decide for yourself, based on your budget, goals and lifestyle.

 If you are a fitness fan who wants everything related to sports and nothing more, then a fitness tracker is your thing. And if you like multitasking and you need a device that monitors your level of fitness and works like a smartphone, choose a smart watch.

How much and where to buy

The price of smart devices on average can range from $ 20 to $ 300 or more. However, high-quality watches can reach $ 6000. Why such difference?

            1. High-end products are of higher quality, reliable and durable, have a         guarantee for a long period.

            2. The price depends on the number of functions, technologies used, the       breadth of capabilities, as well as the materials from which the device is      made.           

            3. The high price is justified by high-quality online resources and customer    support.

            4. Inexpensive watches use cheap materials and have a short warranty          period.

            5.  As a rule, Chinese models from little-known companies offer a budget      option for users who are not very picky about build quality and a variety of         functions.

            6. Brands that have conquered the world market by their own name set a    higher price on their products.

            7. Typically, new generation models are more expensive than their      predecessors. For older versions, the price decreases over time. But there is            a risk of losing technical support.

This way you get what you pay for. From our own practice, we concluded that it is better to give at least $ 50 to have decent smart watches of the middle class with basic functions.

 It is better to buy a smart watch in official stores, from representatives of a particular company or distributors who can provide a guarantee and technical support.

A brief history of the emergence of Smart Watch

 While digital watches were produced for decades, and some of them offered a calculator or a flashlight, only after 2010 did technology companies start manufacturing wearable devices with options similar to smartphones.

 It is believed that the first smart watch was sold to customers in 2013, the developer of which was Pebble. The startup collected a record amount on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, and more than 1 million units were sold.

But in fact, these smart gadgets appeared much earlier. Check out the full  story of the first SmartWatch .

We hope that our article helped you understand what a smart watch is, how a fitness bracelet differs from a smart watch and what you need to pay attention to when choosing a device type. Leave your comments or ask questions, we will try to answer them.

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