Watching the evolution of cell phones, you can see that they are becoming larger in size, which is clearly redundant for their basic functionality (calls and messages). Actually, because of this, the so-called “smart watch” appeared, that is, a device with a small display worn on the arm, replacing or supplementing a smartphone. What smartphone features do smartwatches duplicate? These are all its features, except those that require a large display. To do this, smart watches are connected to a smartphone, or have their own mobile communication module.
So, a smart watch, in a broad sense, is a device similar to a computer, designed to be worn on the arm, that is, from the watch there is only an external form, and the internal device is much more complicated.
In what way does this manifest itself?
When looking at different models of smartwatches, you come across characteristics such as processor, RAM, and so on. All this matters only when the device is running on any operating system, due to which third-party applications can be installed on the smart watch, for which the performance of the hardware is important. As a result, the watch turns out to be a kind of mini-computer that can help in certain situations.
To date, smartwatches use the following operating systems:
- Android Wear
As you can see, this is a version of the Android OS specially designed for smartwatches. Used by LG, Motorola, Huawei, Samsung. Despite the similarity to the “big” Android, it uses its own applications.
Used only in Samsung smartphones. The operating system based on Linux, perhaps, can only survive thanks to Samsung.
Used in Apple Watch. The system is closed and updated only through the iPhone.
In addition, many smartwatches now have sports features. Let’s list them:
- Pedometer and counting the distance traveled
- Heart rate sensor
- calorie counting
- Sleep tracker
So, they are able not only to make life easier, but also to monitor health.
It is worth noting that smart watches, as a wearable device, are a fashion accessory, and therefore they are distinguished by a wide variety of designs, from copying the appearance of ordinary watches to ultra-modern and sports models. The general trend is that by default the clock and various counters are displayed on the screen, but there is also a menu in which you can work with “smart” functionality (built-in and installed applications, settings). Naturally, smart watches have a touch screen and a small number of buttons.
It is worth noting the durable case with moisture protection or full water resistance, which is present in many models.
So, let’s consider specific options, because using their example it is easier to understand how smart watches differ from each other.
Samsung Gear S3
In this generation, Samsung has completely moved to devices that look like regular watches.
They have two versions: Classic and Frontier, the second of which has a more aggressive look and military grade protection.
Samsung Gear 3 Classic (left) and Frontier (right)
The watch strap has a standard width and fastening, that is, it is easy to change, a strap for ordinary watches is suitable.
It uses a 1.3‑inch display with a resolution of 360x360 pixels. The glass is made with Corning® Gorilla® Glass SR+ technology to avoid everyday scratches.
The internal specifications of the watch are as follows: a dual-core processor with a frequency of 1 GHz and 768 MB of RAM. Also, in the presence of a hardware GPS-module, altimeter and barometer. Naturally, there is also a heart rate monitor.
Usually, in smart watches, “flipping” is carried out using the touch screen, then there is a circular bezel around the screen, turning to the right calls up application widgets, turning to the left — notifications.
Charging the battery here is enough for two to three days of use.
Smart watch KingWear
Not everyone can afford a smart watch that costs more than an average smartphone, and therefore devices from budget Chinese manufacturers have appeared on the market, which, however, do the same as expensive counterparts.
In particular, you can purchase the Kingwear KW88 smart watch, which runs on the Android operating system, which has a full-fledged Google Play store.
Smart watch Kingwear KW88
Thanks to this “openness”, applications originally developed for smartphones and similar devices can be used here.
The hardware of the Kingwear KW88 is also very interesting: it uses a Mediatek MTK6580 quad-core processor with a frequency of 1.3 MHz, 512 MB RAM and an AMOLED screen with a resolution of 400x400.
The built-in camera with a resolution of 2 Mpix is also of interest.
GPS, heart rate monitor and pedometer are also here.
Autonomy is not the strongest side of Kingwear KW88, from one charge they work for a day or two.
Apple Watch Series 2
Smart watch Apple Watch Series 2
The device is definitely for Apple fans as it is quite expensive and only compatible with iOS devices.
As usual with Apple, there are enough such people. The watch itself is undoubtedly one of the highest quality on the market.
Apple Watch Version 2 is waterproof, and sports features include swimming modes. True, in such cases, you need a silicone strap (leather may lose its properties).
The watch has a gigabyte of built-in memory, so you can download music and listen to it via Bluetooth.
The disadvantage of Apple watches is that you can only reply to messages with emoticons, voice, or text blanks, that is, you cannot fully print the answer.
As for autonomy, the Apple Watch with active GPS mode works for more than a day, without active use of GPS — two days.
Xiaomi Amazfit Sports Watch
Smart watch Xiaomi Amazfit Sports Watch
This smart watch is aimed at those who go in for sports: their design and, in fact, the name speak for themselves.
This watch has dust and moisture protection according to the IP67 standard, that is, they cannot be submerged under water.
Nevertheless, the watch is designed for fitness and sports, so the corresponding functionality is developed here: a pedometer, a heart rate monitor, GPS trajectory recording, various training programs, calorie counting and a sleep tracker.
The characteristics of the watch are at a quite decent level: there is a dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM. The 1.34-inch display has a resolution of 320x300 pixels.
The watch lasts five days with active use and up to eleven if training modes are not involved.
The minus of Xiaomi smart watches is the lack of the Russian language.
Probably the first thing you should pay attention to when choosing a smartwatch is its style. There are three options here:
- Original — such watches look like themselves, look as modern as possible.
- The style of ordinary wristwatches — suitable, for example, for business attire.
- Sports style — more appropriate for athletes. There is also often full protection from water.
The second thing to consider is the quantity and quality of applications. Here, the leaders will be well-known manufacturers and common operating systems.
A fundamental point may be the possibility of using a SIM card. If it is, the smart watch becomes a stand-alone device that does not require connection to a smartphone.
The availability of operating system updates is also important — here the leader is the Apple Watch, updating WatchOS every year.
A smart watch is probably not a device that every person needs. They do not seem to have become massive, but new models are being released, operating systems are being updated. We can say that they are intended for people with a high rhythm of life, for those who constantly need or want to be in touch. If you are such a person, then we advise you to purchase such a device, and our article will help you choose it.