2015 Smart Watches

Introduction


2015 Smart Watches - Introduction Whether you consider them to be high-fashion or just a high-tech fad, smart watches grow more popular with each passing year. It seems that each time a new and flashy flagship phone is announced a new smart watch is announced to compliment the device.

So if you’re curious and want to dip your toe in the smart watch pond, where do you start? Are smart watches device-specific? Do they require their own 4G signal? How much can they actually do?

The answers are not always clear, and that’s why BFads.net has done the work for you and compiled it all into our 2015 Guide to Smart Watches. So if you’re just curious about the tech or have a full-blown childhood Dick Tracy fantasy you’re dying to make real, read on and find out all there is to know about smart watches.


Compatibility


2015 Smart Watches - Compatibility First and foremost, when choosing a smart watch it’s vital to understand that all but a handful of smart watches on the market require a smartphone to make them fully functional. There are a couple exceptions to this, such as the Samsung Gear 2 and the LG Urbane; however, they require their own SIM, complete with phone and data plan for a major carrier - essentially making them smartphones themselves.

There are some newer smart watches that claim they can operate off of Wi-Fi only, allowing you to leave your phone at home, but that's really only half of the story. Once you’ve paired the watch with your smartphone, these watches can use Wi-Fi to connect back to your phone over the Internet as long as your phone has an active data connection. So while this does offer a bit of freedom from your smartphone, it technically is still required for full functionality.

The next step is determining whether or not your existing smartphone is compatible with the smart watch destined to be wrapped around your wrist. There are many choices in smart watches, and most of them are designed with Android compatibility in mind. If you’re looking at one of the dozens of Android smart watches on the market, you can start by visiting the Android Wear compatibility checker at g.co/WearCheck from the Android or iOS smart device you intend to pair with your new watch. Note that new Android Wear-compatible devices require Android 4.3+ or iOS 8.2+.

From the Android Wear checker, you can learn which gear is compatible with your specific device, taking much of the pain out of finding a watch that will quickly and easily pair with your phone. Take note, however, that while your device may be listed as compatible, many manufacturers design their devices specifically to be paired with their products. So while the device may have some functionality, a few key features may not be compatible if the watch was not specifically made to accompany your smartphone.

Looking at an Apple Watch and want to be certain that it will work your device? It’s much simpler, since the Apple Watch is only compatible with iPhones running iOS 8.3 and higher. On another note, sorry Blackberry die-hards and Windows Phone enthusiasts! There are no smart watches that are compatible with those dwindling but beloved gadgets.


Features


2015 Smart Watches - Features Now that you’ve got a comprehensive list of which smart watches are compatible with your smartphone, it’s time to decide exactly what features you’ll want. Just like smartphones, not all smart watches are created equally, and features can vary wildly between devices. Also, as we mentioned before, many smart watches are designed by manufacturers such as Samsung and LG to work specifically with their respective smartphones. Before making your purchase, check and re-check the product listing on the manufacturer’s website to make sure the device will do exactly what you’re looking for when it’s paired to your phone.

Phone Calls

It may seem like a no-brainer to want to make and receive phone calls right from your smart watch, but believe it or not, even some of the most popular smart watches don’t offer this option. This is probably because it’s difficult to effectively have a microphone and speaker on the watch, and many watches that do offer this feature require a Bluetooth headset to work properly. Nevertheless, they are out there, and if this is a deal breaker for you, make sure to choose a watch the specifically lists phone calling as a feature.

Remote Functions

One of the best and most widely used features of smart watches is operating your phone without taking it out of your pocket or handbag. But while many think of this feature in regard to reading texts, checking emails, clearing notifications, and viewing incoming call info, the remote functions can go way beyond these standard tasks. Most smart watches can operate the media controls on your phone, launch and operate apps, or start navigation features. Some watches even allow live remote viewing of your smartphone’s camera, complete with a hot mic. With thousands of apps on both Google Play and the iOS App Store designed specifically for smartphones, the possibilities are all but endless.

Fitness Features

Smart watches can be the ultimate fitness companion, so if you’re a track rat or gym junkie, you’ll want to choose some features that will help compliment your lifestyle. In addition to pedometers that will track your steps, many smart watches come equipped with heart rate monitors and GPS to track distance and areas you’ve walked while working out.

Screen Type & Battery Life

Who wouldn’t love to be greeted by a bright, beautiful, high-resolution screen every time they looked at their wrist to check the time? This may sound fun and luxurious, but just like their smartphone brethren, the best and brightest screens also drain battery life faster than anything else on the device. This means frequent recharging if you don’t want to compromise on screen brightness. If you want the most battery life possible, you can choose between smart watches with beefier, heavier batteries, or those like the Pebble that feature battery-sipping e-ink displays.


Style


2015 Smart Watches - Style While everything we’ve mentioned thus far sounds great, let’s not forget that you’ve actually got to wear these smart watches. Most smart watches can be considered anything but high-fashion, sporting a bulky rectangular shape that would make even the least fashion-conscious person think twice before checking their notifications.

Now that smart watch tech is getting smaller and slimmer, many manufacturers have taken steps to make watches more attractive, although that comes at a price in many cases. If you don’t want to break the bank, but still want an attractive smart accessory on your wrist, try opting for a watch that has leather, metal, or interchangeable bands that are more stylish than a rubber or plastic band.

You may not be able to go down to the watch shop and pick out a band, since many smart watches use the band for functionality, but manufactures like LG and Samsung offer watches that are downright slick - featuring real leather bands, and slim, curved screens surrounded by chrome or steel bezels. If you’ve got more money than you know what to do with, that $10,000 gold Apple Watch is sure to turn heads for one reason or another.


Conclusion


2015 Smart Watches - Conclusion If there is one thing you take away from this guide, it should be to check the product listing! The recurring theme in smart watches is definitely that features, specs, and compatibility vary wildly between one and the next, almost more than any other category of tech.

With fall kicking off, that means Black Friday is just around the corner and we here at BFAds.net will be bringing you the best and latest updates in price breaks and doorbusters, from everything including smart watches, smartphones, HDTVs, appliances and more.

October 2, 2015
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