Smart Watch Guide
What Is a Smart Watch?
Some smart watches, like the Samsung Gear 2, work as stand-alone music players.
Previously relegated to science fiction and cartoons, smart watches have evolved since the days of George Jetson and 007. These conventional devices bear the time-tested hallmarks of a watch, while bringing the convenience of a cell phone or computer to your wrist. The latest models, such as Pebble smartwatches and the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2, boast crystal-clear screens, microprocessors, and high-power batteries.
What Else Does a Smart Watch Do Beside Tick?
Popular smart watches help users answer calls, text, snap pictures, and interact with apps. In addition to these day-to-day activities smart watches can also help individuals monitor their health by tracking heart rate and physical activity—with sophisticated sensors and GPS.
How Does It Work?
Smart watch capabilities are enabled by a Bluetooth connection between the smart watch microprocessor and a companion Android or iOS device. Basically, a smart watch is a sophisticated computer that connects wirelessly to your cell phone, tablet, or laptop.
How Is a Smart Watch Different from an Activity Tracker?
Although many smart watches monitor biometric data and daily activity just the same as activity trackers, smart watches allow users to do much more. The ability to interact with apps, a display or watch face, and call capability differentiate these seemingly similar wrist-wear forms.
What About Compatibility?
Customers should consider two factors before making a purchase: operating system (OS) and Bluetooth version. Typically smart watches are designed to work with a specific OS, such as Android or Apple iOS. Selecting a smart watch compatible with both is a smart move if you’re undecided about your future smartphone. Additionally, certain smart watches are only compatible with a particular version of Bluetooth. For example the Samsung Galaxy Gear is designed to work with the latest Bluetooth 4.0 smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 or Note 3. You can learn more about compatibility in the “Product Features and Technical Details” section of each product page.