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How to choose a smart watch or fitness bracelet

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The choice of smartwatches with fitness bracelet functionality is complicated by the wide variety of such devices. To choose exactly the watch that will be used on a regular basis, you need to understand several components, among them: the operating system, personalization, applications and additional functionality. In addition, you need to pay attention to the ability to receive calls and support for contactless payment – these functions are not available in all smartwatches.

Types of watches

Today, there are about five types of smartwatches on the market: classic smartwatches, children’s watches, fitness bracelets, professional sports watches and heart rate monitors. The purpose of each type of device is different.

Classic smart watch are the most versatile solution. They not only send notifications from your smartphone to your screen, but also allow you to sync with your calendar and specials. Many models support audio / video playback.

Calendar, games, applications – this is certainly good, but the main advantage of smart watches lies in something else – they allow you to monitor physical activity indicators. They look very diverse:

Children’s watches – an irreplaceable accessory for every parent. This type of device is used to monitor and track a child. Modern children’s watches are equipped with several communication modules at once – this duplication allows you to find a child, even if one type of communication fails. Most often, children’s watches are equipped with separate GPS and GSM modules (SIM card slot).

You can not only see the location of your child on the map in real time, but also call the child, as well as indicate the so-called safety zones, getting into which, the parent will receive a notification that the child is already safe. Many children’s watches cannot work fully without pairing with a smartphone – this should also be taken into account when buying children’s watches.

When choosing a children’s watch, be sure to ask the child’s opinion – he should like the watch, otherwise he may not want to wear it and will constantly try to take it off.

Fitness bracelet Is a specialized device that is suitable for those who play a lot of sports and want to keep a record of their physical activity. Starter fitness bracelets always come with a pedometer and a simple heart rate monitor. Higher-level models can not only receive calls from a smartphone, but also have additional functions: heart rate control, sleep monitoring, oxygen consumption.

Conveniently, you can set a goal for a specific indicator, for example, for calories burned. If you want to go for a run and not take a heavy smartphone with you, then a fitness bracelet will not help much here – without a mobile device nearby, the functionality of the bracelet will be significantly depleted.

Sports watch – this is the same fitness bracelet, but with advanced functionality. Such a watch will be useful for those who need a device not only for sports, but also for hiking or trekking, for example.

Hiking is a short hike, most often in the mountains. Trekking is a longer hike, often in mountainous areas and with overnight stays. Backpacking is an independent journey without tour operators, with minimal cash costs. In all three cases, smartwatches are the perfect companion.

A sports watch is also indispensable for backpacking – if additional functionality is required, then a sports watch will definitely be the right choice. Almost always they have additional functions that are not in fitness bracelets – an altimeter, a compass, and often a barometer.

Heart rate monitor – a highly specialized device that is used to monitor the heart rate. In general, heart rate monitors are more accurate than sports or all-purpose smartwatches.

Some heart rate monitors have a precise purpose: for running, for measuring blood pressure, for measuring heart rate. Specialized heart rate monitors are equipped with a chest strap. Devices with a built-in sensor, or with a blood pulse sensor, which is worn on the finger or attached to the earlobe, have not yet received mass distribution in the form factor of a sports watch.

A little about the strap

The watch strap also plays an important role, especially in intense sports. Some manufacturers allow the use of removable straps, which is especially convenient if the watch is planned to be used not only for sports, for example, but also for regular appearances. Silicone, rubber, metal, leather, fabric – there are a lot of options. You need to choose a strap that is more suitable for your use case. So, if you plan to do a lot of sports, choose a rubber or silicone strap. If it is the visual aspect that is important, then it is better to choose a fabric or metal strap – they look stylish and unusual.

Touchscreen

Most modern smartwatches are equipped with a touchscreen display. On such devices, control is performed by touching the touch screen – just like on a smartphone. It is convenient and very compact. Due to the absence of mechanical knobs and buttons, manufacturers make the watch display as large as possible.

Compatibility

Most devices today support both Android and iOS operating systems. When buying a watch, special attention should be paid to a type and operating system versionthat the watch or bracelet can work with. If your mobile device is using an outdated version of Android and it is no longer possible to update it, then the smartwatch will not be able to pair with your smartphone.

Sensor set

The functions and set of sensors, in different models, can vary significantly. Most smartwatches can:

  • Measure steps.
  • Measure your pulse.
  • Measure atmospheric pressure.
  • Track sleep.

In many models, several types of sensors are installed at once:

  • GPS – for orientation on the ground;
  • Gyroscope – to determine the inclination of the clock in relation to the horizon line. Relevant if you need automatic screen orientation change;
  • Barometer determines atmospheric pressure – for building a weather forecast, its presence is important for weather-sensitive users;
  • Accelerometer allows you to keep track of steps and speed;
  • Altimeter or altimeter determines the height above sea level, relevant for snowboarders and those who are engaged in alpine skiing;
  • Pulse Oximeter measures the oxygen level in the blood.

Wireless connection

Several types of wireless communication can be implemented in modern smart watches: Bluetooth, ANT +, NFC, MST, WiFi, GSM (from 2G to LTE).

Bluetooth usually used for pairing with a smartphone. It is via Bluetooth that data from watch sensors are transmitted to an application on a mobile device. If your smartphone has Bluetooth defective, then buying a smartwatch is a bad idea.

ANT + the interface allows you to connect smart watches (ANT + is most often found in bracelets and sports watches) with professional medical devices, in addition to this, ANT + is used by many professional simulators. The multi-channel interface allows you to transfer information from several sensors of a smart watch to a medical device or a sports simulator at once. Your doctor / trainer can monitor the dynamics of sensors (power meter or pulse, for example) in real time already on your medical device, and you on yours.

NFC-the module in a smart watch is used for contactless payment when interacting with a POS terminal. MST is a technology with similar NFC functionality that only Samsung smartphones use.

Wi-Fi-module is found most often in children’s watches, since it is in them that the most accurate determination of the coordinates of the device in space is required. But to get access to the Internet using a public Wi-Fi network, for example, the child will no longer be able to, since such an opportunity is not provided in the watch. Wi-Fi can also be found in “adult” watches – in this case, this interface partially replaces the Bluetooth functionality – transferring data from sensors to the application, even if there is no smartphone nearby.

GSM – this module is used on smart watches that can access the Internet even without a smartphone. Simply put, it is a SIM card slot.

Dust and water resistance of smart watches

The degree of protection of smartwatches is marked using the standardized IP classification, which is also used for smartphones and other electronic devices, electrical equipment. IP marking includes two digits. The first one indicates the protection of the device from the penetration of external solid objects, the second – the protection of the shell from the penetration of water.

The protection of a smart watch from dust according to the IP standard can have two values ​​- 5 or 6. In the first case, the smart watch will have a relatively dustproof case, in the second – a completely sealed dustproof shell.

The protection of smart watches from water according to the IP standard is somewhat more diverse: it can vary from 4 to 8:

  • 4 – the watch is protected from small splashes;
  • five or 6 – protected from small ones by a stream of water;
  • 7 – can be immersed in water for a few seconds;
  • eight – can be immersed in water for several minutes, to a depth of up to one meter.

Smart watches designed for water have an additional WR marking:

  • WR30 – the shell is protected from water penetration when exposed to small splashes;
  • WR50 – the shell is protected from water penetration during single and irregular dives;
  • WR100 – the shell is protected from water penetration during prolonged and constant exposure to water. A watch with this level of water resistance is the perfect choice for athletes who practice water sports;
  • WR200 – a waterproof standard that ensures the smartwatch can be used for scuba diving and diving.

Choice options

If you look after your health and want to do it even more effectively, pay attention to fitness bracelets.

If you are into any sport, it is possible that a specialized sports watch will help you achieve high athletic performance quickly.

Waterproof models will serve as a convenient and irreplaceable accessory for swimming.

If you are worried about where your child is and what he is doing, choose among children’s watches with a tracker function – and at any time you can see on the map where your child is and where he was during the day.

If you want to monitor your physical activity to prevent heart problems, use a heart rate watch or heart rate monitor.

If you want to protect your credit card details and be able to pay with a wave of your hand, choose from a smartwatch with MST or NFC support.

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