Best Smartwatch for Men in India 2021: Review & Buyers Guide

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Best Smartwatch for Men Buying Guide

A smartwatch might seem like a novelty but it delivers the essential information from your phone to your wrist. The sheer convenience of being able to look at your screen without ever touching your phone is a valid enough justification. Purchasing a smartwatch isn’t as simple as it seems though. This is now a mature gadget and that means there are many brands and many models to choose from, starting from as low as Rs. 7,000 ranging to well over a lakh. We intend to simplify this purchasing journey but first, we start by figuring out if what we need is a smartwatch or just a fitness band?

What will it be – Fitness Band or Smartwatch?
Sometimes, devices walk a fine line between fitness bands and smartwatches . Both are guilty of mimicking others’ features to be a more relevant product. In the ideal world, a fitness band is geared to more health-conscious folk looking to integrate exercise and physical activities into their lifestyle. This means fitness bands can be less stylish but more rugged, skimping out on smartwatch features.

How well is it built?

A good smartwatch ought to be sturdy, so it last years of use on your wrist and it also needs to look good. It sits on your wrist so it ought to have a comfortable wristband that doesn’t look like a toy. Some smartwatches even come in different sizes, for men and women or those with slimmer hands. Look at customisations available for the watch in the form of straps too. Some watches ship with metal straps while some others with rubberised one, but offer upgrades as separate purchases.

If you get sweaty real quick or are going to be getting wet in the rains, a waterproof watch is something to keep in mind. Remember, water-resistant only means the watch will survive splashes in light rains. A waterproof watch can go under water, to some depth at least.

What OS does your watch run? Does it work with your phone?
This is one of the more important bits while choosing a smartwatch. Look at what platform the smartwatch runs. Most smartwatches use their manufacturer’s proprietary platform while some other brands adopt a mainstream one such as Android Wear. Either one has their own pros and cons. Android Wear, a popular OS by Google is used by some manufacturers. Android Wear works with both, Android smartphones and iPhones.

Watch OS, a platform developed by Apple is designed only for their Apple Watch devices. You can’t use the Apple Watch with an Android device either. Manufacturers such as fitbit and Garmin use their own operating systems and can be used on pretty much any smartphone. Depending on the model, they may varying levels of support for your phone’s OS and apps used.

The support we’re talking about is able to sync notifications back and forth between apps, being able to use the watch to control the phone using voice commands and things like that. As an example, you want to be able to control your phone’s volume control, or choose a contact to call, or respond quickly to a message. Less support may mean you’ll only be able to do some of these things.

What apps do you get and what customisations can you make?
Smartwatches can run a bunch of apps, whether you have a phone around or not. Look at the kind of apps available for the watch you’re considering that lets you do the most. The smartwatch is first a watch, so customisations and watch faces are important too. Look at the kind of customisation options available.

What connectivity do you really need?

Smartwatches have seen new connectivity features being added. The ones that matter are things like built-in GPS which lets you track your route during your workout without having to carry your phone with you. If this feature is lacking, you might need to let your watch connect to your phone each time. This takes a while. While it is convenient to have built-in GPS, it may not be a deal-breaker for most of us. NFC is another feature that makes pairing your NFC-enabled phone easy. Simply tap the devices together and you’ll be able to get going. NFC also might work on some devices as a payment method too, for some mobile payment services. This is most handy when you have merchants in your area who allow mobile payments using NFC.

Calling using your smartwatch, without a phone
One of the newer and certainly ground-breaking features is eSIM support. This feature lets your smartwatch use your phone’s mobile number. No more having to carry your phone to make and receive calls – it’s done straight from your smartwatch.

Focus on fitness

Many of the smartwatches can monitor a bunch of stats such as how often you walk, or run and how well you sleep. The good ones even have a built-in heart rate monitor so you know exactly how much effort you’re putting in through your workouts. That’s a must-have if you’re going to be doing a lot of physical activity and are into daily fitness.

How long will it tick?
This is a tricky one to figure, but a smartwatch with a bright, large screen is likely to take more power. Such smartwatches will easily last a day while some can last a couple more. Look at what brands are promising and accordingly decide. Most smartwatches can charge over a couple of hours so it’s not a major inconvenience. Leave it for charge at night and you’ll be good to go in the morning.

Does it work well in the sun?
Unlike regular watches, smartwatch needs to be bright so you can use them in broad daylight. Look at the quality of the screen, specifically the screen brightness and contrast. If a phone has all the features but a terrible screen, you might be in for a bad experience.

Touchscreens or physical controls – it’s your choice
This is a personal preference and having either one works just fine. Just know that there are watches that use physical controls like traditional watches so the screens aren’t touch-enabled. Touchscreen smartwatches maybe a little simpler to use but something about solid, physical dials makes things a lot more confirming than using fingers on a tiny screen. Touchscreens are more convenient if you want to be doing a lot on your watch.

TYPES OF SMARTWATCHES

Best smartwatch for men Type

Smartwatch

Straightforward smartwatches are notification centres on your wrist. While many have a high-tech design, other designer smartwatches look just like traditional analogue watches from a distance. Up close, however, you’ll see that their display is really a screen which shows pop-up messages from your phone.

Hybrid smartwatch

A hybrid smartwatch is a classic analogue watch with a twist. While they don’t have a screen, they do connect to your phone via Bluetooth. You’ll receive alerts through the watch’s vibration and alarms. It’s even possible to programme them to point their hands to different numbers when you get messages from certain contacts, so you know to check your phone if it’s someone important. If your watch suddenly points to six o’clock, it might mean your boss is on the line; half past four and your spouse is calling. Hybrids combine analogue style with tech sophistication.

Fitness tracker

Fitness trackers have much of the functionality of smartwatches – they all tell the time, for one thing – but their main focus is on keeping you healthy by tracking your activity and pushing you to achieve your goals. We’ll talk more about them later.

What features do I need on a smartwatch? 

Fitness tracking: Certain smartwatches have just as many exercise-logging features as fitness trackers, and some are particularly advanced. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Samsung Galaxy Watch, for example, have heart-rate monitors and built-in GPS so you can track your running route without taking your phone. They are also waterproof, so well suited to swimmers.

Good battery life: Most smartwatches use a rechargeable battery, but how long it lasts varies significantly between models. What features a smartwatch has will also have an impact on battery life – models with a large screen, heart-rate monitor or advanced sensors, for example, are likely to run out of juice quite quickly.

 Internal storage: Most good smartwatches should have a reasonable amount of internal memory: look for 4GB or more. This not only allows you to download new apps, but also store music so you can listen to tunes without a smartphone in tow.

Wi-fi: Another way to avoid relying on a smartphone for a connection. A smartwatch with wi-fi can connect to local networks, so you can continue to receive notifications and use online functions away from your phone.

 NFC (and MST): If you’re looking to make contactless payments via your smartwatch, make sure it has built in NFC (near-field communication). Also look for MST (magnetic secure transmission), which allows you to make payments at credit card terminals.

 Built-in GPS: Most smartwatches will be able to use the GPS on your smartphone. If you like to exercise outside and don’t want to be tied to the GPS on your smartphone, though, built-in GPS is the feature to look for. This will let you track your route and distance while leaving your smartphone safely at home.

Accuracy: We put every smartwatch through the same tests as fitness and activity trackers, including checking the accuracy of step and calorie count, distance travelled, and the built-in heart-rate monitor. For those that have specific swim metrics, we put the accuracy of the tracking to the test in the pool too. We know consistency is important too – if a smartwatch is accurate on some days but not on others it will be difficult to track improvements in your fitness levels. We repeat our walking test to see if the smartwatches consistently overstate, understate or hit the accuracy mark.

Waterproofing: Most smartwatches should be at least splashproof, and ideally IP67 or IP68-certified for immersion in water. Note that this doesn’t meant the watch is suitable for swimming; this capability is usually measured in atmospheres (ATM). For example, 5 ATM means a smartwatch is water resistant up to a depth of 50 metres.

Built-in heart-rate monitor: Measuring your heart-rate is one of the best ways to track improvements in your fitness levels, as well as being a useful metric for those looking to burn fat. The best smartwatches for fitness will measure your heart-rate all day, as well as telling you when you’ve reached your active heart-rate zone during exercise. Some will even measure the time it takes for your heart-rate to return to a resting rate after exercise, which is indicative of your fitness.

4G connectivity: Also known as cellular connectivity and LTE. This allows you to make and receive calls, texts and other notifications without your phone nearby. It’s not available for everyone, as you’ll need your phone and smartwatch to use the same network carrier, and only a small number of network carriers offer LTE. For example, to use the Apple Watch Series 4 with 4G, you will need a contract with EE. Connectivity will also have a large impact on the battery life of the watch. 

Built-in speaker: Most smartwatches have a built-in microphone (useful for dictating voice messages as responses, or using a voice assistant to issue commands), but it’s less common to find a speaker. This won’t be essential for everyone, but if you aspire to make phone calls using just your watch, it’s a must have. It’s also useful for alarms and reminders as an alternative to the vibration alert. 22mm watch strap: Some smartwatches (including the Apple Watch and older Samsung Gear watches) use a proprietary strap connection, which means you’ll have to stick to fairly limited set of branded replacements (or passable imitations).

HOW TO USE A SMARTWATCH

Using a smartwatch is simple; you can have yours up and running in moments. Here are the basic set-up steps that most models follow.

  • Charge your new smartwatch and turn it on.
  • Connect it to your phone via Bluetooth.
  • Download the apps and features you want to use, just as you would on a smartphone
  • If it’s a hybrid, programme the watch to notify you about new messages
  • Keep your smartwatch battery topped up by charging it overnight.
best smartwatch for men cover

Best Smartwatch for Men Brands

Fitbit

Apple

Samsung

Garmin

Amazonfit

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Last update on 2022-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API