Leave behind Your Smartphone and Go for A Smartwatch

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Updated: May 07, 2018
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Reading Time: 8 Min
Leave behind Your Smartphone and Go for A Smartwatch

The Smartwatch is an electronic smart wristwatch and therefore the ideal replacement gadget for smartphones.


In our Smartwatch Test 2018, we first want to give the basic answer to the question of what makes the smartwatch actually. The term itself means as much as a smartwatch, and it is this intelligence that makes the smartwatch so interesting.


The wristwatch-sized device is equipped with sensors and actuators and features computer capabilities and sophisticated connectivity.


The display of the time is part of the basic equipment, and the smartwatches also display a wealth of information about the environment or the fitness plan, depending on the apps you have installed. These apps can be easily added by the user to extend the functions.


The smartwatch is used primarily in the business environment to facilitate communication. This is done for example by information about the incoming messages, regardless of whether they are calls or text messages. On some models, you can even call the clock directly.


Typically, the watch is paired with a smartphone. Through this wireless connection, which is established via Bluetooth, a call can be accepted immediately. The so-called near field communication (NFC) is made in no time and needs depending on the device of smartphone and smartwatch only a short confirmation.


If the distance between the devices increases, the contact may break off. The freedom of movement is therefore limited. If the connection is via WLAN, then longer distances can be bridged. So far, this connectivity is not yet available in many smartwatches.


Our smartwatch test also highlights the sports features that are a priority in these devices. The smartwatch sensors serve as pedometer and heart rate monitor. Blood glucose monitoring and other gadgets are also included with some smartwatches. The smartwatch comparison winner for fitness uses ambitious athletes accompany jogging and rowing, cycling or training at the studio equipment. To withstand the high demands, the wristwatches with additional functions are made very robust. The durable housing protects the display, which is also called Watchface, from damage. A clear view is enough to see how far you have already walked or how high the pulse is. Of course, the smartwatch also informs about the current time.



The smartwatch can be defined as an extension of the classic smartphone. In general, this smart clock works only with this smartphone, because without the mobile phone, the functions are severely limited.


The typical uses are fitness tracking, navigation, and telephony (including SMS). Depending on the usage, the batteries of the current Smartwatch comparison winners have a maximum running time of 40 hours. However, the producers are not just working on this point to optimize the performance and functionality of the smartwatches.


How does a smartwatch work?

When describing the smartwatch features, we included many aspects. Thus, the use or functionality of the smartwatch depends on the personal use or the preferences of the users. If necessary, an adjustment is possible. For example, the watch may be used as a digital clock or with many display features. Information from the Internet, such as a news ticker or the weather report, can be displayed as well as the lunar phases or a handy navigation system. Frequently, the devices are equipped with a voice control, which helps with dictating SMS or when using search engines. The combination with a navigation app transforms the smartwatch into a digital signpost. Whether you are traveling on foot, by bike or in the car, the navigation system reliably ensures that you reach your destination quickly. The instructions for changing direction are made depending on the setting by a voice output or by vibration.


The format of the watch turns the watch into a device that you do not have to worry about. Nevertheless, you always have a clear view of the display. In addition, the direct contact with the arm is a prerequisite for the vibration signal when, for example, an SMS is received or other information is sent to the user. The actuators of the smartwatch are responsible for this vibration. When it comes to capturing the current environment or determining fitness, the sensors are used. Among other things, they measure the temperature or the pulse.


The coupling with the smartphone via Bluetooth allows the transmission and storage of the measured data and also makes the phone easier. Interactions are also possible with other devices. The bidirectional exchange of data supports the use of all functions.


Another important feature of the smartwatch's function is the use of batteries. The rechargeable energy sources usually require a charge almost daily, so that the smartwatch is fully operational. Some models only need charging every two days or even more frequently due to the improved battery technology.


The functionality of the various smartwatches in the test is based on operating systems, some of which are proprietary products. Apple, for example, works with Watch OS and Google with its own Android version, which is tailored to the Android Wear devices. In order for the smartwatches to work properly, it is important to also adapt the apps to the compatible watches and operating systems.


A smartwatch, unlike a smartphone, is still a luxury item. However, more and more people see it as a useful and practical extension of the smartphone. Now, if you 're wondering if you really need a watch and how it works, here are the answers. In a smartwatch is actually relatively little computing power. In any case, enough to put the most important apps on the wrist in operation. If you forget your smartphone at home, you can easily play music or navigate to a destination via the clock. The manufacturers integrate more and more functions into a smartwatch making the purchase more and more interesting to the end user.


The functionality of a smartwatch can actually be compared with the smartphone. Put simply, there is actually a very similar technology in the smartwatch as in the smartphone. It is important to buy only that you buy a smartwatch with the same operating system. As a watch from Apple, you will not be able to connect to a Samsung smartphone. Unlike a conventional wristwatch, a smartwatch from Apple, Samsung or LG works with a battery. A very important point, which is not considered by many. A smartwatch has to be charged regularly like the beloved smartphone.



This circumstance was some years ago probably the biggest shortcoming. However, the individual manufacturers have meticulously worked on the further development and improvement of the battery in a smartwatch. Today's modern watches offer a battery life of several days. Of course, the runtime depends on how it is used, as with a smartphone, and can, therefore, vary widely. In normal use, the battery in a smartwatch usually takes two to three days.


It is important to know that most of the smartwatches only works in cooperation with a smartphone. There are some exceptions, however. The LG Watch Urban LTE can be used independently of the mobile phone. An advantage for users who use Android as the operating system. The selection of watches is very versatile. Who uses the operating system iOS, clearly has a disadvantage in the selection.




In summary, the exact function of a smartwatch actually resembles that of a smartphone. The smartwatch hides an operating system and storage for personal information. The display on the wrist allows you to transfer information (notifications, calls or appointments) from the smartphone to the watch via Bluetooth. You, therefore, have a second small display more available. You can use this clock to play music, use the GPS navigation and you can, of course, be notified.


A smartwatch works with a rechargeable battery that needs to be recharged for smooth and unrestricted use. In conventional use, the battery lasts for several days. If you need further information on the exact functionality, you will find it directly at the manufacturer, in the manual or in one of the numerous reviews. The smartwatch of the new generation now works perfectly. Initial problems or difficulties in use and handling have been seamlessly addressed by the manufacturers.


What can a smartwatch do?


Smart wristwatches, such as those worn by David Hasselhoff in the Knight Rider series, are today a real product. Operated with its own SIM card, a smartwatch today offers a variety of functions. Although the purchase is still not considered necessary for many people, the watches open up completely new possibilities. A conventional wristwatch is referred to by many as a piece of jewelry, which is worn on very special occasions. If you want to know the time of day, you can simply look at the smartphone or even at the smartwatch. A constant look at the display of the smartphone, however, can be interpreted in some situations as rude and thus is one Smartwatch a perfect alternative. However, such a watch can display much more than just the time.


The functions of a smartwatch


While technology has not come so far that you can summon your car with a smartwatch like Michael Knight, it does offer a host of useful features. We receive much important information today via the smartphone. In a personal conversation, however, we usually find it very unpleasant when the other person constantly looks at his smartphone. When you look at the smartwatch, hardly anyone will feel disturbed. Be it a reminder for an important appointment, an incoming call or a message via WhatsApp, all events are displayed on a smartwatch. With a subtle vibration or ringtone, notifications from the smartphone are displayed on the wrist.

In simple terms, a smartwatch is a combination of a wristwatch and a smartphone. Although there are now models that can be operated independently of a smartphone, a large part of the watches is connected to their own mobile phone. This circumstance also makes sense, of course, because ultimately you want to see on the wrist, which news is currently received on the smartphone. The smart wristwatch connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth. The setup is relatively simple and completed in a few minutes.




A companion for Healthy Lifestyle


Smartwatch offers the second display and is considered a useful extension. A feature that has become very important to many today is the measurement of various health issues. Many of us look for a healthy lifestyle and want to be informed as much as possible. With a smartwatch, you can record and evaluate your daily movement with the help of integrated sensors. Do you feel that you are not sleeping well or sufficiently at night? With a smartwatch, you can monitor your sleep habits. A completely new feature is the NFC chip. With this chip, doors can open and no longer need to enter an access code.


Monitor fitness and health with a smartwatch


With a smartwatch, many monitor their current fitness. Count steps or measure with this clock your pulse, the possibilities are today very versatile. The manufacturer Apple offers the most famous smartwatch. Apple now markets its watch as a health and fitness watch and focuses on this point. Of course, Apple's watch can continue to receive news or in-depth messages. Very handy is also the input of appointments. You will be reminded in good time of upcoming events and thus can’t forget anything. Since our everyday life is characterized by hectic and stress, this function is very useful and useful. The main functions and services of a Smartwatch :




  • Display of messages and incoming calls
  • Monitoring of health and fitness
  • diary
  • read important information directly on the wrist


Many experts have long ago claimed that the smartwatch will soon replace the smartphone. However, given current trends, such as the desire for larger displays, is currently not a replacement of the smartphone. However, tests have shown that more and more people do not want to do without the small practical companion on the wrist.




Apps on the smartwatch


On the modern smartwatch, you can also play music on the go or use the GPS navigation. While strolling through the shopping street, you can check out the latest deals on the wrist. The apps on the watch are the same as on the smartphone. They were only adapted to the size of the display.




To sum up, the smartwatch has meanwhile become established. What was considered as an unnecessary gimmick on the wrist some time ago has become an integral part of our daily lives. With a smartwatch, many features can be used by the smartphone. One advantage is that you do not have to constantly get your smartphone out of your pocket. Many are disturbed by a constant view of the screen of a smartphone.


A look at a watch is still considered to be not rude and yet you have all the events in view. The range of such smartwatches today is very versatile and almost every manufacturer of a smartphone also has a smartwatch on offer. If you are interested in such a watch on the wrist, you should think in advance about the desired and required functions your thoughts. With a comparison of the independent tests of these watches, you will certainly find a suitable model quickly. You will see that even you will not want to be able to do without this small technical sophistication soon enough.


So you do not make a bad buy, you should inform yourself in advance about the advantages and disadvantages of each model accurately. You can get a very good overview of various test reports. As soon as a new model is launched, you will already find a detailed test report. Use this information to find a good and responsive smartwatch. From a price point of view, there are also enormous differences. However, it is true that the price does not always provide information about quality, performance, and features.


Advantages & Applications


A smartwatch is suitable for home and business use. The devices with their innovative sensors are used, among other things, for fitness control. In addition, they can be used in conjunction with medical monitoring systems. The smartwatches equipped with sensors detect anomalies in sick or elderly people. They determine if a seizure occurs or if someone has fallen. Even in an endangered environment, for example at risky workplaces or in difficult applications, it makes sense to wear a wristwatch with intelligent functions.


The classic applications of the smartwatch also include reminder and time functions that complement the display of the time. Detecting activities make the smartwatch a versatile digital companion. The smartwatch can be used as an alarm clock as well as to collect personal data, as an extension of the phone and as an individual monitoring device.


Through networking, the smartwatch offers the opportunity to inform the wearer about relevant news or make records. Through the connection with the smartphone, the users are thus always up to date, regardless of whether it concerns the notification of important information or the current fitness data. For personally used applications, it is often not even necessary to install the apps on the smartwatch. It's often enough to set up the compatible apps on your smartphone to access the smartwatch. Depending on the operating system and application, you can still respond to a message with the smartwatch without using the smartphone. This makes the smart wristwatch in everyday life particularly practical and valuable.


Depending on the manufacturer and the technology, the apps and display functions present themselves as helpful features or as trendy eye-catchers.



The supported device systems may differ in model, configuration, and environment. In general, however, changes are possible to extend the compatibility of smartphones and smartwatches.


The individual adjustment of the dial is one of the fashion trends. Some vendors have displays and case elements to replace in their assortment. In addition, the touchscreen of many smartwatches can be changed with a few taps. It is not just about a new color representation, but also about a change of the display elements and the contents.


What types of smartwatches are there?


With the classical Smartwatches, there are only small differences in the construction method. The touchscreen gets the necessary support through a SoC and the battery, also includes Bluetooth or NFC and GPS equipment. Depending on the manufacturer, the brand of the compatible smartphone may be specified. Here we would like to introduce the main categories in our review of smartwatches. This description is intended to help prospective buyers make a personal decision on which watch is the comparison test winner or favorite.


The so-called all-rounder or classic smartwatch models have a round or square touch display, which is relatively large. This makes the interface suitable for numerous Actions, for example for writing SMS. Due to their size, these smartwatches are mainly suitable for men. They are often used in sports. The All-rounder category includes the Apple Watch, the Sony Smartwatch 3 and Samsung Gear. Other large format and robust watches can be classified here.


The mini-smartwatch is significantly smaller than the All-rounder watch. Especially women like to use the smaller and lighter wristwatches, although these often have a lower functionality. Also in the compatibility, there are some limitations in the mini version. However, manufacturers continue to develop existing products to improve apps and usage. In any case, the small-sized smartwatches are much more powerful than the simple fitness bracelets.


There are special outdoor models available from the major manufacturers. For use in sports activities, the classic smartwatches were equipped with particularly robust equipment. Such watches are protected against moisture and dirt and accordingly resistant.


Even compared to conventional outdoor wristwatches, these special models can convince with their stability and extended functions. Partly there are these outdoor smartwatches with a longer battery life, which is beneficial for multi-day tours. In addition, some brands offer smartwatches that work well in the water. However, the resolution of the display often leaves something to be desired here. Also with the operation with buttons instead of the touch screen the consumers and the manufacturers still need to be optimized.



As another special model, the SmartWatch can be described with autonomous function. It does not require a smartphone, but can also be used without an additional device. The brand ICS Group, for example, presents a smartwatch that can be operated without the help of other hardware components. The use of such wearables takes place without a WLAN connection or Bluetooth, which is why certain applications are only available to a limited extent. The self-sustaining smartwatch, without being paired with a tablet or smartphone, is equipped with an innovative mobile phone chip that accesses business and fitness apps, among other things. This technology has a positive effect on the operating costs of the smartwatch and optimizes the possibilities of use and ease of use.


Also interesting are the smartwatches, which were designed especially for seniors. With such an assistance system, the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems presents a model that improves the mobility of older people and at the same time increases safety. Also in the context of home health care and senior care, such a seniors' smartwatch can be used. People in need of care feel less dependent and can participate in society without fear of accidents. A custom-made assistance system for the special smartwatch significantly simplifies communication, enabling people to regain their independence and security.


Regardless of the type and audience of different smartwatches, these devices offer many benefits:




  • individually adjustable signals for calls and SMS,
  • Many uses in the areas of sports, business, etc.
  • helpful and customizable apps,
  • practical communication for every age group,
  • interesting designs,
  • The hands remain free.



The minor disadvantages of the smartwatch are mainly related to the fact that it is still a young invention whose potential has not yet been exhausted:




  • Relatively high purchase price,
  • Short battery life,
  • Restriction on compatibility with operating systems.



That's how we reviewed the smartwatches

Our smartwatch test of 2018refers to the capabilities and the degree of customization of the devices as well as the overall quality. The electronics industry has high-end, multi-functional wristwatches and fitness trackers designed to help measure and record their own activities. By transferring this data to a smartphone or tablet, optimal control is possible. At the same time, the multifunction watches should function as a time and fitness indicator and be used as additional hardware of the smartphone. Since the development of smartwatches has not yet come to an end, there are still some hurdles to overcome. We noticed this during our smartwatch test. There is still room for improvement in the models that have qualified as contenders for the Smartwatch comparison winner.



The specific features of the smartwatches are discussed in this section. We are not only concerned with the quality of retrieving music files or telephoning, but also with the display of standard functions, the options for data transfer and handling. In addition, our test of the smartwatches should give helpful hints to the important quality criteria.


The Battery Life


The performance of the battery generally depends on the power consumption of the smartwatch. It uses less energy when the display is smaller and has a lower resolution. The applications and the type of wireless connection also affect the load on the battery. If Wi-Fi and GPS are permanently enabled, the battery consumes more power than turning off these extra features. In addition, some smartwatches have a weaker battery than others. By adjusting the brightness of the display or a dial that requires little energy, the runtime can be extended even if the smartwatch has only a small battery.


Regardless of the strength of the battery, it makes sense to look for a simple charging function when selecting the smartwatch. Partly this is done by an induction charger. Here you just need to put the watch on the charging cradle to charge it. Other devices charge by plugging into the compatible charger or using a cable.


The Functionality of the Smartwatch


The typical functions of a smartwatch are the display of fitness data and important Internet information in real time in addition to the time display, phone calls, and SMS communication. This can be the current weather report or news. For this purpose, a WLAN connection is usually necessary. Some smartwatches also have enhanced functionality, such as a camera or a SIM slot. The pre-set main features can be complemented by apps, but the integrated technology of the watch affects the possibilities of use. Already with the selection of the Smartwatch one should, therefore, inform oneself about the installable Apps.


Operation: touch screen or buttons?


In our review of the smartwatch, we got to know different models and operating options. There are models with a pure touchscreen, wristwatches with hardware buttons and smartwatches that offer both. World-famous brands like Motorola, Samsung, and Sony usually work with touch controls, while other companies like Pebble present easy-to-use smartwatches with hardware elements. At Apple and some other manufacturers, there are also combined variants that connect the touch screen and the function keys with each other.




The size of the smartwatch


The rather small smartwatches are well-received by women but often have limited functionality. That's why the All-rounder is favorites in the market, and not just for men. The display is easier to read from a certain size. The indication of the screen size in the product description does not include the margin, which should be considered in the selection.


In our 2018 Smartwatch Test, we found that the case and screen size of the devices did not say anything about the adaptability. The bracelet can be optimally adapted to slim and strong arms so that the watch sits securely.


The Sensors


The quality of the sensors affects the precision of weather and health data display. Also in the fitness area, high-quality sensors are required, which measure, for example, the step frequency or the pulse. Fine temperature or barometric pressure sensors also help identify the exact environmental conditions with the smartwatch. This includes the height of the current position. If you travel a lot or train regularly, you should opt for a smartwatch with reliable sensors.


The Display


In our Smartwatch Test, the display plays one of the main roles, because it gives the watch a sort of face. That's why it should be stylish look and convince by its durability. A high-quality version of the display is based on a decent resolution. This depends on the pixel density, which should provide the users with an optimal representation.


The resolution is given in PPI, which stands for “pixels per inch" and means " pixels per inch " in German. For example, for a display that has 300 PPI, it will contain 300 pixels about 2.5 cm long. The comparison winners of the smartwatches may have 330 PPI and more, while the simpler models are at 250 PPI. The resolution should not be lower, because otherwise the individual pixels can be seen.



In addition to the resolution, the smartwatch is about the clear color and a good readability of the display. Contrasts and great precision make it easy to spot time, weather and other data, even in bright sunlight.


The modern smartwatches usually work with an OLED display, which impresses with its outstanding contrasts. The conventional displays of the LC technology, the contrasts are less strong, so that the representation in the sun is less clear.


The Sealing of The Housing


Smartwatches worn during sports or outdoor activities should be dustproof and resistant to rain wherever possible. But these outdoor watches are equipped with a water- and dust-proof housing. If according to the product description, a smartwatch has only splash protection, it should not be used while swimming. For surfing, swimming or diving are only those models that are clearly waterproof. Anyone who is not sure how to understand the information on the waterproof should pay attention to the IP degree of protection. This abbreviation refers to the resistance of the housing to dust particles and water. Dust density, marked with the first digit, ranges between optimal dust density (6) and minimum or nonexistent protection (0). The second digit indicates how high the water density is. There are nine levels available, with the number 9 for optimal protection even for high-pressure water and level 0 for no protection. For water sports enthusiasts are also the smartwatches, which have a waterproof level 8. 


What should you look for when buying a smartwatch?


The smart wristwatches from our test are multifunctional companions for many occasions So that they fulfill their task and can be used optimally; you should pay attention to some details in the selection. If you decide to buy a smartwatch, you do not just want to access different time functions, but you also want to upgrade your communication hardware. Therefore, the smartwatch should be selected in any case matching the already existing smartphone. If this mobile device is also bought new, then it is worthwhile to buy the complete hardware from the same manufacturer. This ensures optimal compatibility. The data can be transferred directly from the smartphone to the smartwatch and also in the opposite direction. This facilitates the handling of the innovative technology and ensures that you always have access to the important data.


The operating system of the Smartwatch plays an essential role in the selection: It is the basis for the simple data exchange from the mobile phone to the multifunction watch. In some cases, however, different operating systems can now also correspond if they are configured accordingly. There are some cross-platform systems available.