It is even more appealing now to have a fitness tracker double up as your wristwatch and there are so many brands out there. So how do you pick the one that you want that suits your personal taste, without leaving a huge dent in the pocket?
Well, everyone is unique (yes !!!). So the features like any other tech gadget appeal differently to us. For me, I had some requirements and here is how I picked my smartwatch.
The main constraint with the watches out there is that most of them need a frequent charge. Remember, it is a watch and if you have to remove it to keep it charging quite often, then that soon could mend into an inconvenience. If you're moving around throughout the day that means you need to carry your charging station as well. That isn't exactly mobile! I looked around and found the Huawei GT series of watches and I liked the GT 2e with the red strap. It gives me the juice for about 2 weeks before I need to charge it again. Well, even a week is great and the price is quite reasonable.
Features are the next in line for me and am okay with compromising some of the features against the battery life.
Looks - I will give it 80/100 for the looks.
It is trendy, modern but not too jazzy. You have clock faces for party and official work meetings without putting anyone off. I particularly liked the red strap and after using it daily for the last year, it still is holding up pretty well. I also got the screen guard (unbranded made one @ amazon) and it so far has been scratch-free.
Connectivity and App - a solid 90/100.
The device connects to your Huwaei watch app over Bluetooth and I have tried with both iPhone and Android. It works flawlessly and I have never encountered any problems so far. The Huawei Health is good and serves the purpose of tracking most of the things that matter to me.
Step Count - Again, 80/100.
This is the bare minimum in any smartwatch out there where it lets you know how many steps you have taken and thereby the calories burnt. It is all an approximation game when it comes to calories, so I don't particularly pay attention to that. I am more interested in looking at how many steps am I taking daily.
Heart Beats - a solid, 90/100.
It very accurate in sensing the heart rates. I have compared it with that of a pulse-oximeter and it is very accurate. You would be able to set up the boundary values and if any time it reaches below or above, it would alert you. Overall, the tracking is quite good, be it at an idle time or when you're doing some cardio exercises.
Sleep Tracking - I would give 90/100.
It does have sleep tracking inbuilt and gives you very different sleep trends that is quite welcome. I get to see how long I slept, how many hours were spent between light sleep, deep sleep and REM sleep etc. I now know that I sleep on an average of 6 hours and 30 minutes every day, over the last year. It also gives you advice on how to improve sleep and references to better exercises for deep sleep.
Notifications - I would give 80/100.
The watch gives you notifications of messages, outlook emails, call alerts etc. It comes in handy when you're away from the phone at home (Yeah, all of us are at homes now for the second year). This particular model doesn't come with inbuilt speakers or a microphone. So you won't be able to make phone calls or take calls. But, I guess that would be asking for too much considering the price bracket.
SP02 Readings - I would give 70/100.
Mind you, this isn't a medical-grade device but it is always welcome to see that the watch is capable of taking the Oxygen saturation reading if you want. I checked it with a pulse-oximeter and it isn't off by too much. It kind of gives a fair idea about the saturation levels which is good enough for most cases. So yeah, you can't use it for CORONA but for all other practical purposes, it would serve okay.
Stress Levels - I would give a 50/100.
Now, I don't really know how it calculates the stress level or the algorithm behind it. It just works and it kinda gives a feeling that you're alright or you're tensed.. Hey, but from a feature point of view, it is there. At work when you are in a heated discussion, I have seen it go up and most of the other times it tells me that I'm relaxed. Not sure of what to make of it but it sort of does continuous monitoring as well.
Water Resistant - I would give a 100/100.
One of the quirks of any smartwatch is that it should be able to deal with sweat and water. In this department, I have to say that GT2e exceeds my expectation. For all of last year, I have been literally wearing this on me all the time. That means while sleeping, taking bath etc and so far I haven't faced any problem and it always amazes me how these folks manage to avert water from electronics. It is nicely done.
Other Alerts - it is okay, like 50/100.
There are other alerts as well. For every hour if you have been sitting, it gives you an alert to start moving or do some exercises. It is a good gesture and you know you have been in the same position for a long time and it's time to start moving or flexing that muscle.
There are integrated conveniences like weather readings. It is picking it up from the phone, so it has to be connected to a phone for it to work. Then you can also control the music flow (play, stop, forward etc) on whatever music you're playing on the phone. I have to admit that I've never used that.
There, these are the 10 most important features I would look for in a smartwatch and the other factor is affordability. Overall, for the cost - this is an amazing device giving out a lot of information on my health routines and conditions.
Smartwatches are a convenience but it isn't a luxury nowadays. It has become more and more affordable. I know that Apple is planning to even bring the blood pressure and sugar level monitoring in those devices and then it becomes an all-around health device.