How to choose a smart watch

When choosing a smart watch, you should pay attention not only to their compatible with smartphone, but also on technical specifications the device itself.


  1. How to choose a smart watch: what you need to consider
  2. What is a smart watch?
  3. The main criteria for choosing a smart watch
  4. Specifications
  5. Ergonomic features
  6. How to choose a smart watch for Android
  7. Where to buy a smartwatch
  8. Smart watches from China. Choosing on AliExpress
  9. What tariff to choose for smart watches
  10. The best manufacturers of smart watches
  11. Smart Watch Video

How to choose a smart watch

How to choose a smart watch: what you need to consider

When choosing a smart watch as a companion device, you should pay attention to the following options:

  1. Type – actually smart watches (so-called smartwatch) or smartphone in the format of smart watches (smartwatch phone);

  2. Compatible with smartphone operating system;

  3. Specifications;

  4. Display specifications;

  5. Protection against moisture and dust;

  6. Battery capacity;

  7. Design;

  8. Features of the strap.

  9. The manufacturing company is also important.

What is a smart watch?

It’s worth directly distinguishing between smart watches and smartphones, made in the format of smart watches.

Smart watches are a companion device. That is, “in isolation” from they practically do not work on a smartphone (apart from the limited number of models with LTE module or eSIM). Such a smart watch designed for quick access to smartphone features – view notifications and responses to them, Internet searches, interactions with virtual assistants launching a number of applications.

Smart watches can be divided into two generations:

  1. The first one. Devices with native firmware (operating system). Examples are Sony Smartwatch mn2, Pebble, Xiaomi AmazFIT. Have limited developer dependent functionality firmware itself and third-party software. That is, such hours, in fact, are designed to view notifications from Phone

  2. The second one. Devices with special global firmware Android Wear or Apple watchOS. Examples are LG Watch Style, Huawei Watch, Apple Watch. Have broader functionality allowing respond to notifications, search the Internet, run various applications etc.

Such devices are a good solution for people who need just a companion device. All smartwatch functionality directly depends on the smartphone.

Smartphone in the format of smart watches (smartwatch phone) – fully stand-alone device that is equipped with a full-fledged GSM module to make calls, receive or send SMS and exit to the Internet. They do not need any connection with another phone. More Moreover, many models of such “smart watches” are in principle not intended to connect with a smartphone.

An example of such devices is most Chinese smart hours “- for example, models from NO.1, Uwatch or Texet.

An important advantage of such devices is autonomy. So, if you have a SIM module and in conjunction with Bluetooth headphones turn into an almost complete phone for calls or listening to music.

The disadvantage is obvious. Since the vast majority of such devices running the Android operating system, using them can be inconvenient – the small screen does not leave scope for action. Almost all applications are displayed wrong, and the keyboard is not optimized at all and is shown not entirely.

In general, distinguishing between these devices is simple:

  1. Classic smart watches – work together with a smartphone;

  2. Smartphone in the format of smart watches – works instead of a smartphone.

The main criteria for choosing a smart watch

Criterias of choice

When choosing a smart watch, you should pay attention to the following specifications:

  1. Operating system and smartphone compatibility;

  2. Specifications;

  3. Ergonomic features.

Operating system and smartphone compatibility

The operating system of the watch directly determines compatibility with a smartphone. So:

  1. Clock on its own firmware. In the characteristics of such devices in the column “Operating System” most often is a dash. Similar devices may be compatible with Android or iOS depending on manufacturer support. For example, Pebble “bind” to almost any smartphone, but Sony mn2 – only with Android. Limited compatibility;

  2. Watch on Android Wear. This is a companion device. Compatible with smartphones on Android 4.3 and later, as well as on iOS 9 and later;

  3. Watch on Apple watchOS. This is a companion device. Compatible with smartphones exclusively on iOS 9 and later (Apple iPhone 4S and newer);

  4. Watch on Android (not Wear). This is a standalone device. IN In most cases, it does not communicate with smartphones. May be limited compatible with Android 4.3 and later, as well as iOS 9 and newer.

Limited compatibility means view only some notifications, not even interacting with them. But specific functionality depends on the developers of the firmware and varies from device to device.


The main technical characteristics of smart watches, which can determine the practical qualities are:

  1. Battery capacity;

  2. Size, shape and type of display;

  3. Case material and moisture protection.

Watch battery

The battery life depends on the battery capacity. AND the optimal value of this parameter is determined by the operating device system.

Watch on Android Wear 2.0 can work up to 2 days in connected mode with a battery of 500 mAh or less. For companion devices on previous versions of this operating Systems optimal battery capacity – 500-700 mAh. Smart watch with 300 mAh battery and less are not recommended for purchase.

Smart watches with full Android should be equipped with more capacious the battery. So, devices with a battery less than 800 mAh can work less than a day. However, a watch equipped with a battery for 1000 mAh or more are too large.

Screen specifications


The screen is the most resource-intensive design element of smart watches. The autonomy of the device depends on its resolution and type.

AMOLED screens show the greatest energy efficiency. However due to their high cost, they are found only in smart watches middle or premium (Huawei Watch latest generations, LG Watch Style, LG Watch Sport, Moto 360 gen. 3).

Significantly lower energy efficiency is shown by screens, made by IPS technology or the like. Therefore the key Display resolution matters. Screens that have permission 192 × 192 pixels with a diagonal of up to 3 inches, the most optimal.

It should be borne in mind that round screens when indicating permissions are “interpolated” to a square shape. I.e their actual number of pixels is lower than indicated in the specification. This means less power consumption and more autonomy. hours.

Readability in the sun also depends on the type of screen. The best value shows all the same AMOLED thanks to “lighting” only active pixels and a completely black background. And here is IPS, TFT and such screens are fully illuminated and therefore have significantly worse readability.

Body material

The watch case can be plastic or metal. Both of these material show approximately the same strength characteristics in everyday use.

However, the metal case of smart watches on full-fledged Android they heat up quite a lot, which leads to discomfort, especially in hot days.

Protection against dust and moisture

Protection against the penetration of moisture and dust – the most important parameter for smart watches to be used in extreme conditions (or at least during the rain). It is certified by international IP standard. The protection level looks something like this: IP67 (instead of 67 there can be any other number).

In IP standardization, the first number stands for dust protection and the second – moisture protection. In addition, there are absolutely dustproof devices. They are marked not with a number, but with an X.

The following devices are recommended for purchase:

  1. IP66 – withstand dust and slight wetness (for example, while washing hands);

  2. IP67 – withstand dust and significant wetness (for example, during a shower);

  3. IP68 – can withstand dust and short immersion into the water (for example, while swimming without diving);

  4. IPX7, IPX8 – withstand immersion in dust or sand, and significant getting wet.

It is worth remembering that some Chinese manufacturers significantly overestimate the device’s security values, and the clock, Standardized to IP68 and above must not be immersed in water.

Ergonomic features


To the characteristics that determine the usability device (ergonomic), include design and material strap.


When choosing a watch, it is worth considering that only round models look quite “serious” and blend with the classic style in clothes. Square devices seem more likely to be “geeky” (for except for Apple Watch, but marketing played an important role there. campaign).

In addition, only round hours look beautiful “analog” dials (with arrows).


The strap can be made of rubber (as well as silicone and the like materials), genuine leather, leatherette or fabric.

Better skin contact without overheating or discomfort provide leather straps. But they are notable for their high price and limited number of design decisions. Rubber and silicone – very reliable materials, but not always pleasant to the touch. Artificial leather (leatherette, eco-leather) is not recommended for purchase, because it quickly loses its attractive appearance. the cloth differs by a variety of design solutions, but not always pleasant to the touch and very easily contaminated.

If there are no functional elements (cameras, sensors, etc.), it can be replaced with any other. But only if the device is equipped with a standard mount. Its width (the distance between the “ears” on the case) is 22 mm.

How to choose a smart watch for Android

With smart watches, versions of Android newer than 4.3 are fully compatible inclusive. When choosing a device, it is recommended to pay attention on the following options:

  1. The best solution is a smart watch on Android Wear;

  2. Optimal – smart watches of the first generation;

  3. Acceptable – smartphone in the format of smart watches.

  4. Apple Watch is not compatible with Android.

Where to buy a smartwatch

Smart watches of the second generation – in offline stores. The first generations and smartphones in the format of smart watches – in online stores (e.g. on Aliexpress).

Smart watches from China. Choosing on AliExpress

Choosing on AliExpress

On AliExpress, mainly smartwatch phone is presented – smartphones in the format of smart watches. Therefore, the main thing to consider when choosing:

  1. Notifications that are capable of displaying hours – only calls and SMS, or also notifications of the calendar, social networks, etc .;

  2. Operating system – pure Android, Android with deep interface modification (preferred) or native firmware;

  3. Battery capacity (from 700 mAh);

  4. The presence of a camera (not needed);

  5. The presence of a tray for SIM (a moot point, needed when necessary);

  6. Fitness functionality (if necessary).

  7. Material, dust and moisture protection, the type of strap should be chosen based on from my own wishes and features of operation.

What tariff to choose for smart watches

For smart watches of the first and second generations, a separate tariff is not needed. It is worth considering that devices on Android Wear periodically download new firmware versions via smartphone, but do it when connecting to wifi.

For smartphones in the format of smart watches, a tariff with the internet. But not too much, because “sit on social networks” with they won’t work out because of the tiny display. Therefore, enough tariff with 1-4 GB of Internet.

The best manufacturers of smart watches

The best manufacturers of smart watches are:

  1. First and second generations: Apple, LG, Huawei, Sony, Motorola, Xiaomi, Samsung, Pebble, Garmin;

  2. Smartphones in the format of smart watches: NO.1, UWatch, DZ, GV.

It is better to choose a smart watch of the first and second generation, since they provide the most in-depth interaction with a smartphone.

In the following articles, our experts tell you what to choose – smartphone or tablet and secrets of choosing an e-book.

Smart Watch Video

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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