Smartwatches are all the rage. It seems like everyone has one or wants one.
A smartwatch can be a fun addition to your life, or it can simply be a clunky piece of tech that shrinks everything to a ridiculous point.
Choosing the right smartwatch is as much a matter of taste as it is function. Here is a beginner’s introduction to smartwatches, particularly hybrid watches that fuse style and function seamlessly.
What is a Smartwatch?
A smartwatch is defined as “a mobile device with a touchscreen display, designed to be worn on the wrist,” by Google dictionary.
That’s a classic smartwatch. It stands as a decent definition for most smartwatches, but it doesn’t cover all smartwatches. For example, the new Superbe by NOWA doesn’t fit this standard. It’s part a new generation of watches that offers a classic analog watch face with the data-gathering abilities of other watches. The analog face isn’t touchscreen, but behind that face, it is gathering the same activity data that other sports smartwatches do.
Essential Elements of a Smartwatch
There are some elements that need to included in every smartwatch. Some of these elements come from its need to be “smart” and others from its need to be a “watch.”
- Function – A smartwatch needs to have all the functions that one needs. Most smartwatches, particularly fitness watches, track movement, sleep time, and more. Some watches allow you to surf the internet, listen to music, or talk phone calls.
- Smartphone tie-in – Many smartwatches are designed to work with your smartphone. They act as access devices for your phone, allowing you to do many of the same things on the watch that your phone can do. This means that your phone needs to be in the area to provide you with the full set of functions, but often, the watch will still track many things while the phone isn’t around.
- Style – For the most part, smartwatches look like, well, smartwatches. They are slicker little sisters of those hideous calculator watches that were so popular in the 1980s. They tend to simple be square faces with black bodies. The face itself has a digital watch on it. The Superbe is different in that it has a classic analog face without any digital elements showing.
- Ease of use – The best smartwatch is easy to use. If it’s not, it will not be worth owning. Some smartwatches attempt to do too much for the tiny screen that one is wearing on their wrist. A well-designed watch will allow the user to do anything that they need to do, without struggling.
- Size – Many smartwatches are, as was mentioned earlier, very similar to the calculator watches of the Eighties. They are thick, wide, and are quite unattractive. There is a movement, led by companies like NOWA, to make smartwatches something that looks great with even the finest clothes. Their watches are thin, stylish, like a traditional analog watch, and are designed to notstand out as a smartwatch.
Techy or Suave or Both?: The New Smartwatch
Until now, every smartwatch was designed to be as technologically intense as possible. Every subsequent generation of smartwatches has included more and more features. The problem with many of those features is that they aren’t really useful.
A few smartwatch companies, like NOWA, are designing smartwatches that look more like watches and less like tiny computers. This style is likely to lead to the true future of smartwatches and attached devices. Many believe that the future will include devices that don’t require a cell phone nearby. Instead, they can simply access networks on their own. At that point, style will take precedence over tech and watches like the NOWA Superbe will become the standard.
The short answer to the question above: techy, suave, or both? is both. Watches like the NOWA Superbe and other fashion-forward watches are changing how we see and feel about smartwatches.
The Features You Want
In order for a smartwatch to truly be of use to you, it needs to provide you with the features you need.
Here’s a list of features, some of which many watch owners don’t think about, that can make ownership of a watch more pleasant and more stylish.
Stainless steel case – Plastic-cased watches can crack easily, causing the owner to have to get the watch repaired. By placing all of the fragile watch and electronic parts into stainless steel, a company can ensure that even a solid hit on the watch won’t crack the case.
BlueTooth compatibility – In order for the watch to communicate with a smartphone, it needs to have easy access to BlueTooth.
Water-resistant – No watch is waterproof, but a decent watch can be water-resistant. The Superbe watch, for instance, is water-resistant to 30 meters, more than enough for swimming pools and casual diving.
Activity tracker – The most used technical feature of smartwatches is the activity tracker. This information tells you how many steps you’ve taken and how much sleep you’ve gotten. In this way, the user is able to use their smartwatch to improve his or her health.
The Smartwatch Revolution
Smartwatches have been around for over a decade, but the popularity really climbed when Apple released the Apple Watch and FitBit came out with a fitness-forward watch line.
Since then, there has been a movement to make smartwatches look a lot less like a smartwatch and more like a watch worn by a smart person.
At one time, the watch a man or woman wore was as important an accessory as a tie or earrings. When the smartwatch became prevalent, everyone had on those little black boxes.
Now, smart and style are re-emerging giving back the fashion that made watches among the most desirable accessories.
The NOWA Team