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Smart Watches Buying Guide

Looking at purchasing a new smart watch but not quite sure where to start? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here at H. Samuel, we know the popularity of smart watches is constantly increasing and so we’ve put together this handy buying guide to help you in your smart watch hunt!

To get things started we have the science of smart watches which details the basics. If you know you’re after a Fitbit, then jump straight to everything you need to know about Fitbits to help make your decision. Perhaps its Garmin you’re after? Then the Garmin smart watches overview will detail everything you need to know.

Once you’ve got more information on the different brands, you’ll want to know the processes behind using your smart watch, and if you’re ready to make your decision or for some further inspiration, browse the smart watch range.

The science of smart watches

What is a smart watch?

A smart watch is a touch screen device worn on your wrist that offers connected features and apps. Often, smart watches connect to your smart phone, allowing you to receive message notifications, take calls and even make contactless payments from your watch - effectively acting as a mini-computer on your wrist. Before buying, check that your chosen model does in fact connect with your phone, or you may not be able to take advantage of all the features.

What does a smart watch do?

Smart watches also usually offer fitness and health functions such as heart rate measurement, sleep monitoring and activity tracking. There are different types and styles of smart watch, from a range of brands.

Dedicated smart watches usually have touch screens that offer an immersive experience – effectively like a tiny version of your phone. There are also hybrid models available, which masquerade as traditional analogue watches but have hidden smart features.

With such a breadth of smart watches available, your lifestyle and requirements will

have a big say on the best model for you.

Budgeting

The prices of smart watches can vary by brand, its style and the features they have. The more you pay, the more features the watch is probably going to have so you need to decide on exactly what you want to use your watch for and which features would be most beneficial to you. Once you’ve decided this, you can assess your budget and find a watch that fits!

It’s also worth noting that for a selection of our smart watches you don’t have to fork out the full cost all in one go. Here at H.Samuel, we offer interest-free credit for up to 3 years which is perfect if you are on a budget or looking to spread the cost over a manageable time frame.

Please note this is not on all smart watches and is subject to credit status.

Everything you need to know about Fitbits

Fitbit is the largest smart watch group that we offer at H.Samuel so we thought we’d give you an overview of the brand, their style and design and everything you need to know about cost!

Fitbit style and design

A great entry into the world of smart watches are Fitbits. There are several series of the Fitbit which all offer a range of different features. With a basic face which shows your steps and the time at a glance, they have an accompanying smart phone app that provides you with additional detail to monitor your progress.

Depending on what you want the watch for and how advanced you need the features to be, there’s a range of models for you to weigh up your options. If it’s something quite basic and small you want, the Fitbit Inspire and Fitbit Charge models are perfect as they have a smaller, rectangle-shaped face that doesn’t look too chunky.

However, if you want something that resembles a watch more, the Versa and Iconic models are for you with a larger, square-shaped face and with slightly more features. The Fitbit Ace 2 is perfect for kids who want to build up healthy habits and motivating challenges!

Choose from the following series:

Unique features of Fitbit smart watches

The Fitbit range all offer similar features including exercise tracking, heart rate measurement, calorie counting and sleep monitoring, however, some have slightly advanced features too!

If you’re a keen swimmer, a water-resistant smart watch is a useful accessory. The Fitbit Versa and Ionic both offer the ability to track and measure your performance in the water and both watches also provide fitness coaching programs from the convenience of your wrist. You can also store music without the need for your phone, helping you to workout with some inspirational tunes for company.

No matter which model you go for, there’s no doubt that it will have a range of features that will keep you on track with your fitness goals. As we’ve said previously, the features you want to go for entirely depend on your goals and lifestyle.

If you want something that monitors your daily steps, calories and how you sleep, the Fitbit Charge and Inspire models are the perfect option, but for those who need a little something extra, the other ranges are for you!

How much does a Fitbit cost?

The cost of Fitbit watches varies by model but prices go from around £70 at the cheapest, to around £250 for the most expensive. The Fitbit Ionic watches are at the higher end of the price scale, whereas the Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR are at the lowest end of the price scale.

Garmin smart watches overview

Garmin is the second largest smart watch group offered at H.Samuel. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know…

Garmin style and design

Garmin is a brand that’s carved an impressive reputation for itself in the smart watch area, offering durable pieces with a wealth of functions to support outdoor pursuits. They all look similar in style with a rounded face, but the variety of colour and strap options are endless!

You can choose from leather and silicone straps in a range of colours and there’s also a variety of watch face colours such as silver, rose gold and black.

Garmin also has a range of children’s smart watches that come in Marvel and Disney designed silicone straps! Perfect for your little one, they’re a fun way of incorporating a healthy lifestyle and goals into their daily routines.

Unique features

Garmin have a range of models with different features including the following:

  • Garmin Vivoactive
  • Garmin Fenix
  • Garmin Vivomove
  • Garmin Venu
  • Garmin Vivosport

The standard features of Garmin smartwatches include a range of all-day health monitoring including, step counting, calorie tracking, respiration tracking, wellness monitoring and more!

On ranges such as the Vivoactive you can download Spotify or Deezer playlists straight to your watch for phone-free listening during your workouts, as well as having 20 preloaded sports apps and workouts ready to watch on your screen. With the Vivomove, it will automatically detect activity and movement and will start a timed walk or run for you, and again, the Vevu has on-screen, animated cardio, strength, yoga and pilates workouts readily available on your wrist!

The Fenix series is a brilliant option for an active person who loves the outdoors! Alongside the standard offerings, it provides advanced information including built-in mapping and navigation which helps to guide you on walks and climbs. The watch’s intelligent ascent features provide information on your elevation and progress up an incline – ideal for walking or mountaineering trips.

Using your smart watch

How to use a smart watch

How you use your smart watch will vary by brand and model, but most watches have a basic touch screen function which you can swipe through to access different features.

Your watch may have its own app too which you should download to your phone where you’ll be able to customise features such as your daily goals and personalisation of the watch face and background etc.

Each watch will come with user instructions, so you don’t have to worry too much about knowing how to use it, you’ll soon learn once you have it and get to grips with its functions and features.

Is my phone compatible?

If you have a smartphone, then it will most likely be compatible with your smart watch. However, it’s important to note that some watches are only compatible with certain devices e.g. Android or iOS.

Before you choose which smart watch you want, you should check that your chosen brand and model does, in fact, connect with your phone so you can take advantage of all its features.

How to set up a smart watch

For basic set up, all you’ll need to do is switch on your watch and follow the onscreen instructions to pair it to your phone. Your watch may also have its own app which you should download on to your phone as it will offer customisations such as different watch faces, notification control etc.

After basic set up and installation of the app and your smart watch, you can begin to personalise your watch to exactly how you want it. For example, your watch will probably have pre-downloaded apps but you can choose which you want, if there’s any extra you want to add and can sometimes change around the display of your watch and what you want it to notify you for.

In addition to the above, your watch may also allow you to make mobile payments and if you want to, now is probably a good time to set this up too. Contactless payments are helpful and convenient, so what better way to be able to pay for something at the shop than through your watch?

If you’re using your smart watch for fitness reasons, now is the time you should think about setting your fitness goals and reminders. Your watch will most probably have pre-set goals such as daily steps and calorie burning, but you can tweak these and customise them to your own goals.

Your watch may also allow you to download music to enjoy phone-free listening while exercising, you should download a playlist on your watch now so you have something to listen to when out and about and have no internet connection.

Browse the smart watch range

Shop online

If you’re just getting started and looking for some inspiration, browse our range of smart watches online to see which style and brand is for you.

Shop in-store

If you prefer to browse your options and see the real thing before making a purchase, you can head into your local H.Samuel store. You can also book an appointment where one of our friendly advisors will be able to help you find the perfect smart watch to suit you and your lifestyle.