With the increasing need to keep a track of your daily step count, workout and more — here is your guide to the smartwatch market
With AQI in several cities around the country hovering around the severe mark, a major concern in many people’s minds will be their health. This, when 2021 has been especially unkind to many — with the pandemic either affecting them directly or indirectly. And rightly so, for a year where people have been worried about the wellbeing of their lungs due to the impact of Covid, the prevailing smog is not going to be doing them any favours. And if you are planning to embark on a healthy lifestyle with regular workout sessions and outdoor walks, now may be a good time to invest in a smart watch.
The Indian tech market is full of options starting as low as 4000 and going as high as 74,000. So in this crowded space which is the best companion for your long runs?
Let’s start with the basics –
Smart watches have come a long way now; contemporary watches are more than capable of accurately keeping track of step count, heart rates, the distance covered in a day, number of hours spent standing and so on and so forth. Measuring all these parameters and more in the long run can keep them informed and further help in making conscious choices to improve their health.
Secondly, smart watches are no longer an expensive, out of reach proposition — thanks to companies like BOAT, Mi, OnePlus and Fossil — all of which have watches in the budget segment. And while health bands which come with fewer features are cheaper still, opting for a watch is a smart move.
So let us look at some of the options you should consider in different price ranges –
Upto Rs 10,000
If you are in the market for a smartwatch or are in two minds about whether you need one or not, this price point is the one to be in. Watches from BOAT, like the Storm, start from as low as 2999, and watches with more and more options opening up as you loosen the drawstrings to your wallet. And mind you, we aren’t talking about low cost low functions gadgets. The competition is so fierce in the wearable market that even the watches at this price come with a wide range of bells and whistles.
Take for instance the BOAT Storm series. It comes with a 33 mm touch colour display, is water resistant upto 5 ATM has its own SPO2 sensor and 8 active sports mode, which if you ask me is a pretty good deal, all things considered.
If you are willing to splurge more, then you have the option of Mi’s Revolve watch. A decent machine with a rather premium fit and finish. The Revolve, which costs around 9,999 (offer price), is a good investment with a little more to spend. The watch boasts of a 14 days battery life, something not even Apple or Samsung watches can boast of — for different reasons obviously, and has an AMOLED screen, which is protected by 5 ATM water resistance and has 10 professional sports modes.
Rs 10,000 – 20,000
This is the space where wearable technology starts widening its horizons and asks customers to finally take the dive and invest. The segment has some pretty good options ranging from the OnePlus Watch, which although low on software performance is more than capable of running circles around most of its competitors. Priced at 14,999 — the features like an SPO2 monitor, heart rate monitor, smartphone free music and most importantly warp charging make this watch a good buy. Another similar product is the OPPO Watch which is priced at around 15,990.
This is also the price point where you can start finding traditional watch manufacturers entering the market, which works well for us. Watches from Fossil, Emporio Armani and others start making their appearance. And though these watches may not be as advanced as the ones being manufactured by mobile phone manufacturers — in terms of software– their high quality materials with amazing fit and finish, with some rather handsome looking models, make up for the lapses in software.
The best part about these watches is that they are good without your workout outfit while they come into their own when paired with partywear and formal outfits.
Now that you have read so far, let’s talk about different operating systems, ecosystems and how a watch strengthens it. For someone using an iPhone, investing in a Samsung or even for that matter a OnePlus watch might not be a wise decision — as they do not share the same operating systems — thus, might leave users feeling more frustrated than satisfied with their choices. This is also the price point where bigwigs like Garmin, Apple and Samsung choose to make their entry into the market and they come loaded. This is also the price from where you start seeing LTE versions being available, which just adds to the overall functionality, like making calls and receiving messages, of these watches.
The Apple watch SE is a fine choice for people who have invested in the Apple ecosystem, similarly for people invested in the Samsung ecosystem the Galaxy watch 4 is a no brainer. And for those who are yet to commit to a side and choose to draw the best of both worlds, the Garmin watch range is a good option. And while all of these choices come with their own pros and cons, there is no denying that this segment is sure to bring satisfaction to the user if not awe.
Rs 30,000 and above
Talking about awe, watches in this range can go as far as Rs 70,000-80,000 and for good reason. The Apple watch Series 7, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 LTE version, Casio G shock and Garmin Venu 2 are all good choices and it just boils down to the ecosystem and personal preferences.
For people who want to use their watches in more rugged terrains while rock climbing, the Garmin Venu 2 is a better choice while for those going swimming and using their watches for tracking light exercises the Apple series 7 is a good choice. For Android users, Samsung and Casio are good options and they all come with the water resistances, top of the line processors, heartbeat tracking SPO2 tracking and other shenanigans you expect from a smartwatch.
So for all the people out in the market, there is a plethora of options to choose from — for everyone and once you decide to invest in a smartwatch, chances are you will end up putting aside your old watches for the funkier and more practical tech savvy wearable.
(Cover: Getty images)