Since Google launched the Wear OS watch series in 2014 and the Apple Watch was introduced the following year, wearable tech has become more interwoven with smartphones than ever before. Today, smartwatches are worn world-over and are fast becoming one of the most popular tech accessories on the market.
What can a smartwatch do?
The specific capabilities of a smartwatch will vary in line with brand and model, but there are some key tasks that most smartwatches on the market can do:
- Receive notifications. When your smartwatch is synced up with a phone, you’ll get a notification of every message or phone call on your wrist.
- Listen to music. You can stream and play music on the move from a smartwatch, even when you don’t have your smartphone on you.
- Monitor your fitness. Use your smartwatch to record your running routes, take your heart rate or even keep track of your sleeping patterns.
- Check the weather. If you’re just about to go outside, but you’re not sure how warm it’s going to be, use a weather app on your smartwatch to check if you’ll need a jacket.
- Map out your route. Use your smartwatch as a navigational tool if you get lost. GPS will help you with directions so you can get back on the right track.
Which smartwatch is right for me?
From affordable models which can carry out everyday tasks, to the more sophisticated designs like the Apple Watch, the smartwatch market offers a huge range of options. With that in mind, if you’re looking for a piece of wearable tech to pair with your smartphone, you should check that it’s compatible with your handset before making your purchase.
For example, the Apple Watch is only compatible with an iPhone, while there are some smartwatches which only work with an Android phone, and Google’s OS Wear smartwatches are compatible with both operating systems.
Apple has released several new iterations of this flagship watch since the first generation arrived in 2015. The Apple Watch Series 7 was released in 2021, providing users with the largest display of any Apple Watch yet. It’s also the most durable model to date, with a crack resistant display and an advanced water and dust resistance rating of IP6X.
With Apple Watch 7, you can measure your blood oxygen levels thanks to an intelligent sensor, and you can even take an ECG using electrodes that’re built into the device. Not to mention, there’s a collection of built-in workouts to enjoy on the Apple Fitness+ app, to help you reach your goals and measure your progress.
You can set up Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, allowing you to leave your cash and cards at home next time you’re out, and use the Wallet app to pay instead. Pair your Apple Watch with your bluetooth headphones to listen to your favourite playlists on Spotify or Apple Music, and keep in touch with friends and family via iMessage and calls, all from your wrist.
Apple Watch 7 uses Apple’s latest generation of smartwatch operating system, watch OS 8. It’s compatible with iPhones that run on iOS 15 and above, which includes models such as iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 series.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung has been developing wearable tech since 2013, but it made a notable impact in 2018 when the Galaxy Watch was launched. The South Korean tech giants released the Galaxy Watch 4 in August 2021, becoming the first Samsung wearable to operate on Google Wear OS since 2014.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is perfect for those who are passionate about their fitness, with a three-in-one BioActive Sensor so that the smart watch can monitor blood oxygen levels, heart rate and body composition.
Power and efficiency are two of the Galaxy Watch 4’s greatest strengths. It combines Samsung’s Exynos W920 chipset with 1.5GB of RAM, making it one of the fastest running smartwatches on the market. The Galaxy Watch 4 is also compatible with non-Samsung Android smartphones, although you’ll need a Samsung handset, like the Galaxy S21 Plus or a Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, to make the most of all the features this device has to offer, such as blood pressure and ECG measurements.
The Google-pioneered Wear OS tech is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, and is quickly becoming the chosen operating system for many smartwatch manufacturers.
The devices running on Wear OS range include dedicated fitness-focused watches like the Fitbit, to the versatile Fossil Sport and the powerful TicWatch Pro 3, which features a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset and could be paired with a Google Pixel 6.
Now that you know exactly what a smartwatch has to offer, you can choose the ideal smartphone to pair it with. For the best deals on iPhones and Android handsets, as well as smartphone accessories, be sure to visit Mobiles.co.uk.