January 22, 2022

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How to choose a smartwatch or fitness bracelet (hints and tips)

How to choose a smartwatch or fitness bracelet (hints and tips)

Do not be attracted by the extensive list of features. To make the watch really functional, you need to pay attention to some basic details.

  • The most important thing is proper compatibility and battery life.
  • The quality of the application is also very important.
  • A list of jobs alone is not enough. It is important that the watch or bracelet works really well.
  • It is better to build on brands with traditions and a sufficient number of references.
  • Not only is it worth saving every euro at any cost, but it’s also headless to spend on the most expensive euro.

Various smart watches and sports bracelets have been in the market for several years now. After the first experimental years, manufacturers have already taken many jobs, gained enough experience, and therefore it can be said that today there are already many mature products on the market, which makes sense even for those who are not directly among technology enthusiasts. In addition, prices for high-quality products are gradually declining. Wearable electronic devices are no longer just an expensive fashion, but a truly practical utility.

True, this only applies if you choose the right watch or bracelet. Manufacturers often try to have the longest possible list of supported features, but that doesn’t tell much about the value of a smartwatch. So we have prepared a summary of tips and advice on what to focus on when choosing.

Compatibility

In the first place, the compatibility of the watch or bracelet with different operating systems is important. You have to choose according to the future smartphone owner.

If you are an iOS iPhone user, the Apple Watch is an obvious choice. No other wearable with an iPhone will work as a watch from the same manufacturer. You only have to choose between individual models, and your budget is crucial.

The older Apple Watch Series 3 is also a very good base. However, for an additional fee, you get a larger display and fall detection (SE), an ECG measurement (Series 4 and later), and even an oxygen saturation monitor (Series 6 and 7).

Although we recommend buying an Apple Watch for payment in most cases for iPhone owners, there are some exceptions. Among them, for example, are athletes or users who consider smartwatches and bracelets a separate device. They want everything on their watch, they are not interested in smartphone connection, voice assistant or contactless payments. Then you can also look at models from other manufacturers, which are often better than the Apple Watch in these respects.

If the future owner has an Android smartphone, you can also look at the lower price categories. Buying an Apple Watch does not make sense in this case, as the Apple Watch cannot be paired with Android smartphones at all or set.

All watches from globally known manufacturers should work with all Android smartphones – usually you just need to download the right app from the Play Store. And although the differences are not significant in this case, it is still true that the smartphone will work better with a watch of the same brand.

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In addition to Huawei, the Korean Samsung can be an example of a good collaboration between the phone and the watch within one brand. All the software needed to pair the Galaxy Watch is pre-installed on the phone, so there are no complications in pairing or syncing the device.

As mentioned, in many cases, watch pairing apps are only available on the Play Store. This is a big problem for users who own new Huawei App Gallery smartphones. To avoid possible problems in this case, we recommend focusing exclusively on Huawei smart covers and fitness bracelets.

Athletic and independent features

After checking the compatibility, watches and bracelets should be selected primarily in relation to whether they are worn by their future owner. It’s not just about taking steps or measuring your heart rate: the bracelet can do that nowadays.

If you want to please the athlete with a really useful gadget, watch or bracelet, you should not lack water resistance and advanced setup options. They should definitely have the support of satellite navigation services (for accurate location recording) and ideally also a barometer, which makes it easy to track altitude.

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For outdoor athletes, the independence of the watch is especially important.

Source: editorial office

If you are serious about your training, choose among advanced sports trackers from well-known brands (especially Garmin, Polar and Suunto). They are usually more expensive than regular smartwatches, but provide more accurate data and broader compatibility with fitness apps or accessories. In addition, they are usually more durable and therefore last longer even in the most demanding use. Other brand enthusiasts will serve enthusiasts well, but over time they may reach their limits and need to upgrade to an advanced tracker.

For a tighter budget, you can also look at older models. Although they will be without software support, they still work well and you can get them at a huge discount. A typical example is older Samsung smartphones with the Tizen operating system. Today, Samsung uses the operating system from Google, and Tizen is still very much alive. But this does not mean that he is bad – on the contrary, he can offer an amazing amount at a good price. The same can be said for many older Fitbit models.

Conversely, if you are looking for a sports tracker over a watch, look for Garmin models that are cheaper or on sale. They do not look like anything, they do not understand each other additionally, but even pieces under 200 euros can perfectly measure sports activities, support a variety of accessories, are compatible with advanced training tools … and this is important.

Contactless Payments

Contactless payments are a very useful feature of smartwatches and fitness bracelets. It is a convenient and secure method of payment at the same time without the need to swipe a card or phone. This is a special feature for runners who like to “easily” do sports without unnecessary things.

However, it is not enough to check whether the watch supports contactless payments or not. There are many technologies for every bank Don’t support them here.

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We were looking to see if other banks would start supporting Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay

The best option with support in all banks would be to monitor contactless payments through them Google Pay. The problem is that this technology only came to Slovakia on wearables this year, so the supply is quite limited. These are specifically the latest devices running Wear OS 2.15 or later. see details In a separate article.

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For example, the latest Samsung smartwatches support Google Pay with us.

Source: Samsung

The second best option is Apple Watch with support Apple Pay. This technology is not only supported by Raiffeisen Banka, it is supported by everyone. But then again, the Apple Watch only makes sense to iPhone owners.

Moreover, Slovak banks largely support the technology Fitbit Payment a Garmin Pay. These are offered on the watches of those brands. The table below will help you with your choice.

If you don’t want to spend hundreds of euros on a smart bracelet just for contactless payment, an interesting solution could be this Xiaomi Mi Band 6 in version s NFC. Although payments from this facility are officially supported in our country only through mBank and soon by Prima Banka, this can be bypassed using the free Curve service. You can then pay with the bracelets through Curve using the cards of all Slovak banks. see details In a separate article.

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In the Slovak Republic, they launched payments with the Xiaomi Mi Band 6. Few banks support them

Battery life

When choosing between models, be sure to check battery life. For some, the maker himself admitIt will not last until 24 hours of active use. This is the case with the Apple Watch, which is one of the few shortcomings. Of course, depending on the style of use, endurance can vary and even prolong.

Enduring a day or two is relatively common in the world of smartwatches. It does not matter if the user is accustomed to putting smartphones in the charger before bed, similar to theirs. However, in this case, the sleep monitoring functions are completely lost, which requires wearing the watch at night.

If battery life is important to you, we recommend focusing on models designed for athletes, or simpler fitness bracelets. These devices usually provide endurance at the level of several days, often no more than a week. We can recommend, for example, fitness bracelets from Xiaomi, Fitbit products or the Garmin brand in a higher price category.

Before choosing, however, we definitely recommend looking at the experience of the owners. Because stamina affects a number of things, manufacturers also more or less incorporate successful saving modes. Practical experience will not replace anything.

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Application support

Smartwatch apps are not a necessity, but they can become a huge advantage if the manufacturer “opens the door” to the community. Therefore, do not get caught up in the tricks of small manufacturers, who will write a long list of pre-installed applications in the product description, but will not really allow you to download anything extra.

Again, it’s best to reach for a famous brand. If the manufacturer’s devices are popular with users, then application developers will also be interested. That’s why watches from Apple, Samsung and Wear OS devices from Google have the largest selection of applications. Fitbit and Garmin are also good at that.

But you don’t have to expect the same from smartwatch apps as you do from your smartphone. Don’t search for social media apps, games, or mobile banking on app stores.

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Support to install your own apps can be a big plus for the watch.

Source: Apple

For example, apps to control music streaming or play songs directly via a Bluetooth headset without using the phone will be more useful. There will also be, for example, smart home control software, a one-time two-factor authentication generator, a QR calendar or wallet, and barcodes for loyalty cards.

Beware of surprisingly cheap scum

In the case of smartwatches, buying models from unknown brands with no date and references is definitely not a good idea. These are usually simple, low-quality pieces that will quickly get you bored and end up as another piece of electrical waste.

Cheaper models often have basic functional problems. Some won’t want to pair with your smartphone, and some will order an app from a suspicious-looking website (mostly in Chinese). The vibration may be disproportionately strong and accompanied by strange sounds, or the proprietary belt may be made of a material that is uncomfortable to wear against the skin.

One particularly insidious problem with Chinese smartphones is that they only support standard Bluetooth technology, not Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE). In this case, the combination of a smartphone and smartphones is significantly more energy-intensive and drains the batteries of both devices. Connecting to such a smartwatch can discharge your smartphone much faster than a watch that supports Bluetooth LE.

And don’t get caught up in the full-featured Android operating system on your watch. You can have all the apps like a smartphone, but they won’t have a small watch screen to adjust to or their humble hardware won’t be “cocked” into the wearable. In addition, competing alternatives such as Wear OS and other “watch systems” are specifically designed to meet the needs of this type of electronics, so they are better optimized and offer important features.

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