There is much talk about the characteristics of a smartwatch, for some it is not a tool that provides some plus that the cell phone does not have and for others it has become a device that cannot be missing in their day to day life.
All this will depend on your lifestyle and of course, on the capabilities of the devices. That is why today we want to talk in detail about these equipment, so that you know the functions of smart watches that you should look at, materials and others to get the best out of them.
Let’s start by further explaining the term and everything that surrounds these devices.
Do you know what a smartwatch is and how it works?
If someone asked you to tell what a smartwatch is and how it works, could you describe it clearly? Well, the answer may seem obvious, however, it does not seem so easy to explain. Here it goes with simpler terms:
A smartwatch is nothing more than a device that in appearance looks like a watch, but with more digital-focused functions, allowing connection via bluetooth with cell phones, headphones and others.
They are characterized by the fact that they come with a reduced version of an operating system, either Android or iOS, thanks to which the smartwatch can make use of certain functions and access other devices, becoming a wearable. What does this mean?
Smart watches: the most popular wearables
When talking about wearable devices, reference is made to wearable technology, that is, those devices that can be incorporated into clothing and accessories for daily use.
These devices allow continuous interaction, accompanying the user wherever they go and facilitating their daily tasks, even managing to interconnect devices with each other thanks to their built-in microprocessor.
Smartwatches have been particularly popular because they are devices available to anyone with multiple tools and functions, because in this category of wearables you will find smart glasses, clothing that detects the body temperature of babies, medical devices and sensors to monitor health.
All devices with a single function, while smartwatches offer a variety of features that you should identify before buying one.
Characteristics of a smartwatch What to analyze before buying it?
The important thing when choosing this class of wearables is that they fit your needs, budget and style, but without neglecting useful tools and properties necessary for their proper functioning. Let’s look at each aspect:
Taking into account that it is a device that you will use to be your digital assistant, it is important that it last more than a day and follow your movements without any pause. So let’s look at the characteristics that matter in this property:
The battery is measured in milliamp hours (mAh), which is a unit of electrical current and is used to determine the duration or use capacity of a smartphone, smartwatch or technological device in general.
The higher the mAh, the longer does a smartwatch last on?
Well no, the amount of mAh does not determine the time of use, because in addition to this value, the amount of resources and energy that a device consumes to carry out its functions must be taken into account.
And in addition to this, there are features of a smartwatch such as the screen, which require a greater expenditure of energy on these devices, as well as notifications, links to social networks and continuous use of calls.
That is why teams focused on the sports field tend to provide longer use time, since the functions of smart watches to exercise consume less battery, so that about 100 mAh would be enough for several days of use. In the case of watches with other uses, the ideal would be that their capacity does not fall below 200 mAh.
How are they loaded?
Its way of charging is simple, the most current ones no longer have a USB input that damaged their design. Now it has a pair of pins to the back, these must fit with the base of the charger that is magnetic.
Charging will start once the base is connected to a computer or an adapter with a USB input. The process varies from device to device, but usually takes no more than two to three hours.
And if you wonder how long a charge should last? That, as we already mentioned, will depend on the resources consumed by the watch and not just on the power of the battery.
This, together with the processors, are the pair that determines the compatibility of the watch with your cell phone. For this wearable, there are three different operating systems that are the best known. We explain them to you:
Initially called Android Wear, now known as Wear OS by Google, it is the operating system for wearables based on Android. It was presented by Google in 2014 and since then it has had adjustments in its versions to make them more complete.
The most current version is the H-MR2 that incorporates improvements in the response speed of the clock when restarting it and a 20% increase in the speed when opening apps. Even the Bluetooth pairing process has been modified for efficiency.
It is based on Android 9, so the version for Android 11 is expected soon, which may bring even greater adjustments.
Operating system developed by Apple Inc and designed solely for the Apple Watch, so you will not find any wearable device with this software that is based on iOS.
The latest update is 7.3.1 for the Apple Watch Series 5 and SE, with which the new dials called ‘Unity’ were the sensation, in addition to the possibility of receiving irregular heartbeat warnings, (function available in some countries ).
Many are waiting for the release of the WatchOS 7.4 version that focuses on privacy and increases security protocols, to such a level to achieve the unlocking of the device even with a mask on.
It is the operating system that is based on Linux and is used mainly by Samsung, this is because Tizen OS is open source, allowing adjustments to improve the user experience.
Its most recent version is 5.5 that was incorporated into the Samsung Galaxy Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, this update allows the watches to achieve greater performance and speed.
As if that were not enough, with Tizen OS 5.5, users can receive notifications with photos, access voice-guided training and, in addition, it makes the wearable compatible with AR Emoji and Bitmoji.
Now that you identify the most well-known operating systems, you should know that these in turn, with their updates, can make the performance of the smartwatch battery higher or lower, as they can determine the energy consumption in the use of the tools that they have incorporated.
RAM and internal memory
Since these devices store information such as notifications and of course the installed apps, it will be necessary for them to have a memory that is clearly not as large as that of other computers. We tell you everything:
- RAM : these watches already have this kind of memory that can reach 32 GB, 56 GB or more. And the higher your random memory capacity, the faster the clock will run, although this will also depend on the processor and other software components.
- Internal Memory : from it it is possible to store data such as received SMS, call log, contacts, app notifications, etc. In addition to the records of functions such as the step counter and blood oxygen measurement, data that you can access and that, to save them, a memory space is necessary.
We could not leave out the appearance of these devices, much less when companies strive to make them increasingly slim and aesthetic, always keeping details of traditional analog wristwatches.
With a round, rectangular, mobile edge screen, with additional buttons, silicone, leather or metal straps, the possibilities are endless and it will depend on your taste to choose one option or another.
However, keep in mind that the straps are soft, with hypoallergenic materials or that they will not cause an allergy in your skin. On the other hand, thanks to the round screens without the addition of external buttons, you can not worry about damaging your clothes or the device getting tangled and suffering some damage.
So that there are no doubts on the subject, we want to give you a quick guide to the pulses of smart watches so that you can combine it with your daily outfit or so that you can look for the one that is best for your skin.
Wearables straps by material
This determines the quality, if you choose the ideal you will reduce the risks of it bursting, getting dirty quickly, or being damaged by rain or dust. In addition, the perfect material will also depend on your daily activities, let’s see why:
More and more companies are offering their smart watches, leather straps or synthetic materials that simulate leather. These are ideal for business people, they are flexible so that with use they are attached to the shape of the hand, in addition, they are the least likely to cause skin irritation.
The preferred ones in resistance issues, as it is more difficult for them to break. You will see two options here: steel and titanium.
- Steel: easy to recognize as links are joined in a variety of combinations to provide different designs. They are lightweight, inexpensive, do not rust, and are easily cleaned with water.
- Titanium: this material is found in the form of silver gray powder and shiny metal, they are usually softer to the touch, so the feeling when using them is more pleasant on the skin. Belts made of this material are too light, but extremely resistant to shock, pollution, water, etc., which increases their commercial value.
It is the ideal material for those who practice sports, as they assure the user that they will not be damaged by sweat or water if the activity they practice is aquatic or requires submersion.
They are not elastic, so they will not lose their shape with use, but being ergonomic they fit quite well on the wrist, it is much cheaper which allows users to change the straps by varying the colors.
The only disadvantage is that its synthetic material tends to get dirty a little faster, although its cleaning is very simple and does not require extra care to preserve them.
An unusual style, the straps in thread or nylon can have different designs, it feels like one more garment, so it is possible to wash them but because of their material they get even more dirty.
They can be damaged if they become entangled with devices that break the threads of the strap and sometimes the clasps can rust on the strap, leaving a poor appearance.
Which one to choose then? Well, it will depend exclusively on your tastes and needs. Remember that there are materials that work better under certain conditions such as the style of sport you practice or the way of life you lead.
We now come to an important factor. The screen of watches has two main factors that must be analyzed, first, its touch and then the panel. These properties allow the quality of the device to be identified. Let’s look at each feature:
The touch screens of smart watches allow us to tell the system the command to execute.
You may have tried using the touch while wearing gloves or using other devices without success. You wonder why the touch does not respond to any touch? Let’s explain it to you.
Screen types according to touch
This is basically due to the fact that there are three types of touch screens that are commonly used for wearables, these are: resistive, capacitive and surface acoustic wave.
It is based on electrodes that apply voltage evenly across the surface and respond to change. These are usually made up of multiple layers, in this way, when touching the screen, two of these layers come into contact and generate a change in the electrical current to detect the touch, calculating the space where the contact was made.
Although this type of screen offers greater resistance and coverage to dust or water, due to the number of layers it has, the brightness of the screen can be affected.
They work by touch or by devices such as the stylus pen, and can be easily damaged by pressure with sharp objects. In addition, they are not multitouch, so it does not recognize gestures or simultaneous keystrokes.
On the other hand, capacitive screens make use of glass, which is an electrical insulator that stores energy and this is covered by a conductive material that reacts to touch.
The human body is a conductor of current and these screens make use of it. In this way, when the glass identifies the contact, the voltage of the insulator changes, this process is perceived by the sensors and they recognize the place from where the command arose to react as well.
Unlike the resistive ones, in the capacitive ones it is not necessary to exert pressure, so its use is smoother and more fluid, also offering multitouch technology with multiple points of contact to recognize gestures.
Surface acoustic wave touch screen
Also known by its acronym in English SAW that translates Surface Acoustic Wave, they make use of three axes of tactile information to more precisely identify the point where the pulsation is exerted.
They work thanks to ultrasonic waves that spread over the surface, each one has an amount of energy and travel in an equal propagation time. In this way, when the user presses any point on the screen, the wave is absorbed causing a change, this leads the controller to identify the contact and process the command.
Screen types according to the panel
In addition, of the categories that we mentioned about the tactile ones, there are also different kinds of screens according to the panel with which they are manufactured, so that you understand a little better, we are going to see each one of them.
The first thing is to identify which are the most common for wearables, it is IPS, AMOLED and OLED screens.
A term also known as In-Plane Switching, it is a kind of liquid crystal display, thanks to which it is possible to view colors more real, the tones they emit are more vivid and defined by its pixel panel backlighting process. usually.
The IPS display experience is better for users, as it is more durable and resistant, which is an excellent combination along with the image quality it provides and can be seen from any angle.
That is a plus of this kind of panel, that the definition and sharpness can be perceived no matter where it is viewed from since its viewing angle is wider.
In addition, it is also noteworthy that its technology is one of the best, so the response time is much lower, exactly one microsecond.
They are the acronym for Organic Light — Emmiting Diode, which translates Organic Light Emitting Diode, unlike IPS, the backlighting of this type of screen is not general but specific, that is, each pixel is illuminated individually.
What are the advantages of this process? Basically, the black tones are deep, since the pixel simply will not illuminate, providing better contrast and brightness to what is displayed.
However, the enormous disadvantage of panels with this technology is that they degrade more quickly and since the light is projected on each pixel, over time it is possible that the areas exposed mainly to white and bright tones, burn.
Additionally, this type of screen represents a higher consumption of resources of the devices that include it, causing the battery to discharge faster.
These screens are a version of OLEDs. It is a backlit LED panel with a higher contrast than the conventional one, but its way of working is the same: illuminating pixel by pixel.
It is characterized by using two sub-pixel structures: the first is RGB with red, green and blue colors; the second is RGBG Pentile which includes red, blue and two green sub-pixels.
Given its configuration, most users describe the visual experience as quite saturated, however, for others it is a remarkable feature due to the vivid tones that are seen with this type of screen.
Now, if you wonder which is the best option among the three types of screen per panel that we mentioned, we must say that. Although each offers a unique experience, IPS is the first in terms of visual quality.
And not only for that, because as if that were not enough, the useful life of liquid crystal screens is longer than those of the OLED and AMOLED type, since IPS panels have an approximate use time of 60,000 hours, a higher value compared with the 14,000 hours that the other alternatives support.
So which one would you choose? …
Resistance and protection
Let us now turn to a relevant property for those who use their smartwatch as a digital assistant: resistance and protection.
If you enjoy sports or even when you only use it to be in the office, it is important that this device has high protection against water and dust, why?
Maybe you don’t exercise often and you think the wearable is not going to get wet with sweat, but have you thought about the pollution of the city when you are on the way to the office? Or better yet, what would you do if your device was damaged on a rainy day?
Well, that is why knowing the levels of liquids and dirt particles that the watch supports is so important, and determining their quality is very easy, we explain it to you:
How to know the levels of resistance to water and dust of the watch?
It is classified under a degree called IP, from the English ‘Ingress Protection’ which translates to Ingress Protection. The way to name it is by accompanying the initials with two digits that indicate the quality levels, let’s see how:
Dust protection: it is the first number and is measured from 0 to 6 :
- Has no protection
- It can resist particles with diameter up to 50mm.
- It can resist particles with a diameter of up to 12.5 mm.
- It can resist particles with a diameter of up to 2.5 mm.
- It can resist particles with a diameter of up to 1 mm.
- It can resist particles with diameter less than 1mm.
- Complete protection and absolute insulation against dust.
Protection against water: it is the second number, its measurement goes from 0 to 9 :
- Without protection. Water can easily seep out and damage the device.
- Protection from drips and very light rain, withstands a slight exposure to water.
- Protects against moderate rains. Water fall with a maximum inclination of 15 degrees.
- Provides protection against sprayed water.
- Provides protection against light jets of water of 10 liters per minute.
- Provides protection against moderate jets of water of 12.5 liters per minute.
- Provides protection against strong jets of water, approximately 100 liters per minute.
- Provides device protection in temporary immersion situations of maximum 30 minutes.
- Provides device protection in submerged situations. That is, deep immersion in longer periods of time.
- Provides protection against high pressure jets, between 14 and 16 liters per minute and up to 80 ° C
Now let’s talk about one of the most important factors. Once you have reviewed the materials of your watch, design and its operating system, it is time to go on to analyze the functions that it allows you to execute.
We are going to divide this section into three categories to explain them further, these are: sensors, dialing and additional services.
Here we are going to find all the tools that work through the sensors, whether they are motion, location, etc., such as:
- The accelerometer: allows the exercise tools to count how many steps you take in your activities or in everyday life.
- The gyroscope: allows you to measure the orientation and rotation.
- The compass: for you to go to this tool if you need to orient yourself.
- The heart rate monitor: commonly used to analyze heart rate, it is quite useful for athletes.
- The barometer: measures the atmospheric pressure, in this way it calculates the altitude and its changes.
- Thermometer: with this tool you can know your body temperature.
- Altimeter: to identify the height above sea level, taken from your point.
- The geolocator: known as GPS, it provides help in locating within an area.
Dialing and notifications
The functions of the smart watches that you find in this category are: calls, records, contacts, messages and notifications.
- Calls: most of them allow you to answer or hang up phone calls from the watch, but there are others that additionally have a built-in microphone to answer from the bracelet.
- Registry: it is the access to all the calls received, made and missed.
- Contacts: so you can see your agenda and dial who you need.
- Messages: Given the capacity of many of these devices, it is likely that most only store the last 5 messages received on your phone so that you can read them from your watch.
- Notifications: so you can keep up to date with the interactions you have on your networks and with the messages you receive in your chats. Synchronization with some applications will depend on the phone and your ability to access them.
Here you will find other tools that are quite useful and that you can also find in these wearables, such as: alarms, stopwatch, calculator, sleep monitor and music control.
- Alarms: when you program them on your cell phone you can control them from the clock, turn them off and postpone them.
- Stopwatch: to take time, quite useful for those who want to pass their records in some physical activities.
- Calculator: not common on all devices, but many allow the use of this tool with basic functions.
- Sleep monitor: to count the time you sleep and the quality of your sleep.
- Music control: from this function you can pause, rewind or change the song that you are playing on your cell phone thanks to the Bluetooth link that wearables allow.
And of course, see the time … but even for this basic function, you will find the ability to customize the display. To do this, you must go to the dial settings of your watch or from the cell phone application and there choose the wallpaper that you like the most and the way the time is displayed: analog, digital, centered clock style, in the top, etc.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
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