What Is a Smartwatch? Concept, Types, and Features!

Technology is always evolving. And with each day that passes, new things appear that attract thousands of people. One of the latest developments that are currently setting trends in the tech industry is the Smartwatch.

what is a smartwatch
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These new-generational watches integrate top-notch technology with incredible functionalities that a casual – or tryhard – geek can’t miss. If you want to know more about smartwatches and all you can do with one, you should check out this article.

We will talk about their most important features and what are the functionalities that make them the latest in hand-wrist technology.

What Is a Smartwatch?

Smartwatches are wristwatches with touch screens that work in sync with a smartphone. In addition to giving the time, they allow access to various features, such as:

Play sound and video
Make phone calls
Function as a speedometer, voltmeter, compass, or barometer
Internet connection

The average consumer – that includes us – is attracted to them because it combines both the elegant style of a watch with the technological usefulness of a smartphone.

But were they always like that?

History Of Smartwatch

If you’re wondering how these devices came out, we have to go back in time to 2012. This is the year when the Pebble brand launched the first smartwatch for sale. 

This device left many people delighted, and quickly other brands such as Apple, Sony, Samsung, LG, and Huawei among others wanted to bring their own smartwatch to the market.

However, going a little further back, the smartwatch was initially created through the digital watch, which originated in 1972 through the Hamilton Watch Company with the Pulsar brand. 

The NLCO1 version of the Pulsar had the capacity to store 24 digits, thus becoming the first watch with programmable memory.

Then, with the creation of personal computers in 1980, Seiko began to develop watches with computing power.

By 1985 certain wrist computers could be used for programming, world time, and the application of calculations with four functions.

In 1999 Samsung launched the SPH-WP10, the world’s first watch phone based on CDMA communication technology.

In the year 2000, the company Casio launched the “Wrist Camera”, the first wristwatch to incorporate a digital camera. This one had wireless communication with another computer or another watch of the same brand through the infrared port. 

On the other hand, the same company released – in the same year – the first wristwatch with an mp3 player.

In 2004, the company Microsoft launched the SPOT watch which was connected to its MSN direct network, which gave users the possibility to receive text messages, news, stock market status, and weather forecast.

This watch is considered by many to be the father of today’s smartwatch.

Now, these technological devices are a success in the market. More and more people choose to buy a smartwatch whether they appear in different models, light, elegant and smart, adapted to different functions, and designed to perform specific activities.

Features Of a Smartwatch?

We have already seen some of its features, but the benefits that smartwatches have are many more than you can imagine.

The primary function that these devices have is internet access. Starting from there, they have a lot of functions that are worth knowing about. 

Traditional Watch Functions: The most basic function a watch has to have is to tell the time. All smartwatches are capable of doing this very simple task. In addition, many of them incorporate alarms and timers, something less common in analog watches. They also include the compass function. But undoubtedly, one of the best features and one of the most successful among consumers is the pedometer or step counter.
Making And Receiving Calls: You can make and answer calls through your smartwatch with a simple touch, even if the device is in your backpack or pocket. You only need to be connected to your smartphone.
Read Messages And Notifications: With this watch, you won’t need to take out your smartphone to keep up with news and notifications from social networks or pages you like. 
By looking at your wrist, you can conveniently access them whenever possible.
GPS: There are smartwatch models that allow you to track maps, routes from road maps in real-time, check your location, and other GPS functions.
Playing Music: Another benefit of smartwatches is that they allow their users to play music from their smartphones or their favorite platforms – like Spotify. However, new smartwatch models now have a feature that allows users to play music on the smartwatch itself without connecting to a phone.
Fitness Training: Smartwatches are becoming more and more common among sports people as they allow you to measure your training time. They also help you set goals and measure results conveniently and reliably. There are even apps for mobile devices that connect with the Smartwatch and perform the function of a personal trainer so you can enjoy guided sessions from your wrist.
Body Wellness: Smartwatches also allow you to track certain body values such as heart rate, body temperature, and even sleep monitoring. This way you know how many hours you have slept or any important information about yourself. You can also keep track of the calories you ingest as well as those you burn, a really interesting aspect if you are looking to lose weight or maintain a diet.
Personalize Notifications And Alerts: What these devices are looking for is that you turn them into a useful and necessary element in your daily life. That is why most smartwatches seek to be customizable so that the user can adapt the device according to their tastes and preferences. 
You can choose the graphic style that you like. You can also activate alarms, filter notifications, or choose frequently used applications – personally, I like the stock notifications. You must choose the external aspect that best suits your taste. This depends mostly on your lifestyle and preferences.

How Does a Smartwatch Work?

To use a smartwatch, you need a phone. Period.

You need to install the app that comes with the smartwatch – Whether it is Apple Watch,  Android Wear, or others – and then synchronize via Bluetooth with your smartphone.

Since both are connected, you will be able to see notifications from the phone on the smartwatch screen, emails and messages, calendar appointments, or answer calls.

At a certain point, anyone might come to think that smartwatches are gadgets and no more than that. However, when you get used to their use and they start to be part of your activities you will realize how beneficial they are for life in general.

Types Of Smartwatch

There are different types of smartwatches you can find in the market. There is the good old Apple smartwatch that uses the iOS operating system and requires you to have an iPhone 5S or newer to be able to link both devices. Or the Android Wear OS smartwatches that are gaining popularity.

Either way, depending on their designer, functions, and some particular features, the main types of smartwatches are:

Apple WatchDevelop by Apple, it’s a great device that is used by most Apple users. They feature interactive Siri assistance, as well as having music in the Apple Music app and changing the appearance of the dial.
Wear OS SmartwatchesThis gadget is based on Android and was created by Google. These types of devices are compatible with Android 4.3 and iOS 9 or later versions. This system is for smartwatches, smart bands, or any other Android-based device.
Wear OS BasicThe basic smartwatch, also called essential, seeks to present the best value by balancing functionality, price, and design.
Wear OS FitnessFitness smartwatches are intended for sports enthusiasts, such as the Sony Smartwatch 3 or the Apple Watch Sport. These come with a considerable number of exercise modes, as well as GPS chips to keep more precise control of the activity.
Wear OS AdvancedHere we enter the series of premium Android devices, with large AMOLED screens, a GPS, and many applications available in the Play Store.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

Smartwatches have a curious appeal. Personally, when I first saw one I wasn’t attracted to one. But as time passed and kept seeing how they evolved and combined technologies, I was thrilled.

Right now I own one and I use it even more than I use my phone. It makes my life easier than you may think.

If you’re going to get one, make sure you check their features and compatibility with your mobile. Otherwise, it may not work as it should.

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Alberto Araujo
Alberto Araujo

Alberto Araujo is a former tech support professional that had a change of heart and now aims to write top-notch tech content for his readers. Writer, digital nomad, tech-geek and hunger for knowledge, that’s how you can describe him. If you want to learn about technology, building PCs, and software applications to make your life easier, his content is for you.

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