Smartwatches and activity trackers are the most popular wearable gadgets on the market today. Modern smartwatches have many health, fitness, and smart features that make your day-to-day life much easier. However, many people are still not convinced about smartwatches and their benefits, and if you are one of them, this blog post is for you.
Many people are concerned about the safety of smartwatches. In fact, smartwatches are safe to wear and don’t cause any health issues in humans. In this blog post, let us check the benefits of smartwatches. I am sure that after reading this article, you will understand how these devices can be helpful in your life.
There are different types of smartwatches in the market for different purposes, and you can buy a smartwatch that suits your needs and preference. At ReviewsBreak, we have many buying guides, reviews, and comparison guides to help you choose the right smartwatch that meets your needs.
Difference between Smartwatches and Traditional Watches
A smartwatch doesn’t just tell the time! It has many health, fitness, smart, and safety features that will make your life secure and easier. Even if you have a super expensive Rolex or Patak Philipe watch, it cannot do what a smartwatch can. A smartwatch is like a mini smartphone on your wrist that can even make phone calls from your wrist.
- WHY APPLE WATCH ULTRA — Rugged and capable, built to meet the demands of endurance athletes, outdoor adventurers, and water sports enthusiasts — with a specialized band for each. Up to 36 hours of battery life, plus all the Apple Watch features that help you stay healthy, safe, and connected.
24 Smartwatch Benefits: Ultimate Guide
Let us start with the health benefits of a smartwatch.
1. Heart Rate Monitoring
Heart Rate(H.R.) Monitoring is a common feature on every smartwatch, and your heart indicates your overall health and fitness. So, it is important to monitor your H.R., especially during physical activities.
The heart rate sensor of your smartwatch continuously monitors your heart rate and sends the data to the companion app. The app then analyzes this for any increased or decreased heart rate. On top of that, it also displays it in an easy-to-understand graph.
2. Irregular Heart Rate Notifications
As mentioned, heart rate monitoring is an essential feature on every smartwatch and fitness tracker available today. However, irregular heart rate notification is an advanced health monitoring feature available only on high-end smartwatches such as Apple Watch Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Garmin Fenix 7 Series, etc. If your H.R. goes higher or lower than the set limits, the smartwatch will notify you so that you can take the necessary steps.
Electrocardiogram or ECG is one of the smartwatches’ most advanced health monitoring features. A smartwatch with ECG can detect irregular heart rate(H.R.) and Atrial Fibrillation(AFib) and notify you about it so that you can seek medical immediately.
When you buy a smartwatch with ECG, always buy the best FDA Approved ECG smartwatches for more accurate and precise results. Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 4 and above, Fitbit Sense 1 and 2, and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 are some of the best FDA Approved ECG smartwatches available. We have an in-depth guide on the best electrocardiogram smartwatches, which have helped many readers choose the right ECG smartwatch.
4. Blood Pressure Watches
Do you still carry a bulky blood pressure machine to measure your B.P. everywhere? Well, with a smartwatch with a built-in blood pressure monitor, you can say goodbye to that! A smartwatch with a blood pressure(B.P.) monitor is very handy to use, and it also records and stores your readings so that you can track your blood pressure over time.
Due to the complexity, there are only a handful of smartwatches with built-in blood pressure monitors. The Omron heart guide is the only FDA Approved smartwatch with a built-in blood pressure monitor, and it is also the most accurate! However, it is costly compared to other smartwatches.
Fortunately, Samsung offers a few smartwatches with a built-in blood pressure monitor. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and the Galaxy Watch 5 are two of the best smartwatches with a built-in blood pressure monitor. Even though the FDA did not approve it, our tests with these watches give accurate B.P. readings.
5. Blood Oxygen Level Monitoring
Blood Oxygen Level Monitoring is another significant health feature available on smartwatches. The normal oxygen saturation(SpO2) level is between 95 to 100 percent. If your blood oxygen level(SpO2) falls below 90 percent, it indicates that you have a health issue and need medical attention immediately.
Similarly, when you hike at high altitudes, your SpO2 level drops, and a smartwatch with this feature can notify you about it. So you can take the necessary precautions before it is too late. Apple, Garmin, and Samsung Smartwatches have real-time SpO2 monitoring, meaning you can take a SpO2 reading anytime.
However, these smartwatches do not alert you about low SpO2 levels automatically. The Amazfit Falcon, GTS 4, GTR4, and T-Trex 2 feature low SpO2 alerts, meaning you will be notified about low blood oxygen levels at any time.
6. Sleep Tracking
Good sleep is important for your health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep daily. But most of us don’t get enough sleep because of multiple reasons. Whatever the reason, insufficient sleep has many side effects, like fatigue, anxiety, depression, and others.
A smartwatch with a sleep-monitoring feature can monitor your sleep and gives you a sleep score based on your sleep quality. Every morning, you can get your sleep score on your smartwatch, which gives you a good idea of how well you slept the previous night. Based on this data, you can make positive changes to your sleep habits to improve your sleep quality.
Fitbit is known for its advanced sleep-tracking features, but Apple and Samsung offer excellent sleep-tracking features. These devices not only track your sleep but also detects sleep apnoea and Heart Rate Variation(HRV) to give you an accurate sleep score. Since these devices use multiple metrics, such as blood oxygen level, sleep apnoea, Heart Rate Variation(HRV), etc., to track sleep scores, you can expect accurate sleep scores.
7. Stress Level Monitoring
How do you feel if you have a friend who tells you to take a break and relax when you are stressed? Won’t it be great if your smartwatch does the same thing? Smartwatches with a stress-monitoring feature use sensors to detect your heart rate and skin conductance to see how your body responds to stress.
When your smartwatch detects that you are stressed, it will notify you to relax or take a deep breath and do other relaxation exercises. This is a great way to manage stress and anxiety. Many smartwatches come with stress monitoring features today. However, the Fitbit wearables such as Sense 2, Sense, and Charge 5 come with a dedicated Electrodermal Activity (EDA) Sensor to give you more accurate stress readings.
8. Track your Calorie
A smartwatch can help you track your calorie intake and expenditure. Based on your age, sex, and activities, a smartwatch can estimate how many calories you’ve burned. This can be very useful if you are trying to lose or maintain your current weight.
If you want to calculate your calorie intake, you can use a smartwatch compatible with calorie-tracking apps such as MyFitnessPal. With these apps, you can log your food and drinks so that you can see how many calories you are consuming. At the end of the day, you can have a clear picture of how many calories you’ve burned and how many you’ve consumed.
9. Female Health Tracking
Nowadays, many smartwatches offer female health tracking. These watches can track your menstrual cycle and even ovulation by monitoring different body metrics such as your heart rate, body temperature, mood changes, etc. A smartwatch with fertility tracking can be very useful for women trying to conceive. With this feature, you can better understand when you are most fertile and have a higher chance of getting pregnant.
Apart from that, some smartwatches like Garmin also offer pregnancy tracking. With this feature, you can track your baby’s development and get reminders for prenatal appointments. Additionally, Garmin watches have a contraction timer that can help you track your contraction during labor.
10. Body Composition Monitoring
You need to track your body composition if you are trying to shed those extra pounds/kilos or gain muscle mass. Body composition is the percentage of fat and muscle in your body. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, Galaxy Watch 4, and Watch 4 Classic feature a Body Composition Monitor(via Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor) that allows you to track your body fat percentage and muscle mass. It may not be a useful feature for others. However, if you are a weight watcher, this feature helps track your progress and see if your diet and workout plan is working.
11. Built-in Sport Modes
All smartwatches and fitness trackers can track your activities like walking, running, and cycling. The built-in sports modes in these wearable devices track your activities more accurately and give you detailed insights into your performance.
Many smartwatches also have training coaches that give you real-time tips and guidance to improve your performance. If you are a beginner, then these feature helps you to get started with your workout regime. Additionally, the ability to set fitness goals and track progress motivates you to stick to your workout plan and achieve your fitness goals.
If you are a professional athlete or a sports enthusiast, many outdoor and indoor sport-specific smartwatches are available in the market that tracks your performance more accurately. For example, the Garmin Fenix 7 Series and Forerunner Series are designed for outdoor activities and give you a wealth of information about your performance. Running, swimming, biking, mountain biking, etc., are other popular sports modes available on most smartwatches.
12. Heart Rate Zones
When you work out, it is important to maintain your heart rate in the desired heart rate zone to get the maximum benefits. The built-in heart rate monitor in smartwatches and fitness trackers tracks your heart rate continuously and gives you real-time insights into your performance.
If your heart rate goes beyond certain limits, you may get notifications on your smartwatch to take a break. This feature is very useful for people new to working out as it helps them avoid over-exertion, a deadly mistake that many people make when they start working out.
Additionally, the ability to see your heart rate zones gives you an idea about how hard you are working out. For example, if you are doing a light workout, then your heart rate will be in the fat-burning zone. Similarly, your heart rate will be in the cardiac or peak zone if you do a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout.
13. Multi-GNSS Navigation
If you have a smartwatch with an on-screen map, you dont need to grab your smartphone to see the directions. The built-in GNSS receiver in your smartwatch uses satellite signals to determine your location and map out the route on the watch itself. This is an excellent feature for people who like to go for hikes, runs, or bike rides in unfamiliar territory, as it gives you peace of mind knowing that you won’t get lost.
The new Apple Watch Ultra, Garmin Fenix 7 Series, and Polar Vantage V2 are popular GPS Smartwatches with Multi-GNSS support. It gives you more accurate tracking even in challenging environments like dense urban areas where the mobile signals are weak.
14. Water Resistance
A good smartwatch has at least 5 ATM water resistance(1 ATM=1 meter). This means you can use a 5 ATM-rated watch in the rain or even for swimming for up to a depth of 5 meters. However, if you are looking for a smartwatch for diving, you should consider one of the best diving watches because a simple water-resistant watch does not withstand extreme pressure during diving.
So it is important to make sure that your smartwatch is designed for diving before jumping into a pool. For instance, the Apple Watch Ultra comes with 10 ATM water resistance and can be used for swimming up to a depth of 10 meters. You can also use this smartwatch for diving up to a depth of 40 meters, which is not bad.
15. Safety Features
In case of an emergency, a smartwatch can be your savior! With features like GPS and the ability to call for help, a smartwatch can get you the assistance you need when you’re in trouble. For example, smartwatches like Apple have life-saving fall detection and car accident detection features that automatically call the local emergency services if they detect a fall or car accident.
Similarly, many smartwatches also have a panic alarm feature that you can activate in an emergency. This feature sends Emergency SOS messages to your emergency contacts with your location so they can come to your rescue.
16. A Smartwatch can be your travel companion.
A smartwatch can give you a lot of information from your wrist while you travel! It can alert you about the time back home/ hotel, the local time where you are, upcoming events in your calendar, the nearest gas station, and even the weather. So you don’t need to take your phone out of your pocket every time.
Additionally, it can also store all your boarding passes, hotel reservations, and other important documents in its built-in memory. So you do not need to carry your wallet everywhere you go. Voice assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, etc., make accessing all this information easier even without touching your smartwatch.
17. Entertainment Benefits
You can also use your smartwatch to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks while on the go. With Bluetooth headphones or earbuds, you can enjoy hands-free listening without carrying your phone. I love listening to music while running, but I want to carry something other than that heavy smartphone, so I use my Apple Watch Ultra or Fenix 7.
Both are excellent smartwatches with music for running, and it also supports streaming services such as Apple Music(Ultra), Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora. Some smartwatches even support video playback, including Netflix and YouTube. But I don’t watch videos on my smartwatch as the screen is too small for that. Plus, it will also put an extra burden on the battery life of your watch.
18. Make Phone Calls and Send SMS from your Watch
A smartwatch can make phone calls and send SMS just like your phone. If you buy a smartwatch with LTE/cellular features, it does not require a connected smartphone to make phone calls or send messages. It comes with an eSIM that automatically connects to the cellular network and allows you to send SMS and make calls without a smartphone.
However, a smartwatch with LTE has many downsides. The biggest one is the battery life, as it drains the battery very quickly. Other disadvantages are as follows.
- Monthly bill on smartwatch cellular plan
- LTE is only available in some countries.
- Only a limited cellular provider supports LTE on smartwatches.
There are many smartwatches that support Bluetooth calling, which can make phone calls and send SMS from your smartwatch as long as it is connected to your smartphone. But the disadvantage is that you must carry your smartphone everywhere you go.
Also, check our handpicked list of the best smartwatches that make phone calls without a smartphone.
19. Get smartphone Notifications on your Wrist.
A smartwatch can show you all the notifications from your smartphone on your wrist. So you don’t need to grab your phone when it vibrates. This is very useful when you are in a meeting or class, and you can quickly glance at your wrist to see who is trying to reach you and what the message is about. The ability to customize the smartwatch notification is handy because it allows you to only show notifications from certain apps or people.
You can also respond to some notifications directly from your smartwatch. For example, you can reply to a text message or an email on your smartwatch. Or you can dismiss a notification with a simple swipe or touch of your finger.
20. Contactless Payment
If you hate carrying your wallet or smartphone while running like me and still want a cup of coffee, then a smartwatch with contactless features is for you. With a tap of your wrist, you can make payments at stores that support NFC payments, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, and Garmin Pay. The Smartwatch with NFC Support works everywhere contactless payments are accepted.
To use this feature, you need to add your credit or debit card to the smartwatch’s wallet app. Once it is added, you can make payments by holding your wrist near the NFC terminal at the store. The payment will be made through the linked credit or debit card. Since it is highly secure, you don’t need to worry about someone stealing your card information.
21. Save Money on Health Insurance
Do you want to save some money on your health insurance premium? If so, you should get a Health Insurance Plan that offers a discount if you share your smartwatch data with the insurer. Health insurance companies like John Hancock, Vitality, and Aetna offer such discounts.
In addition to sharing the health data with the insurance company, some companies may ask you to meet certain fitness goals that the health insurance company sets. This way, they ensure that you are staying active and taking care of your health so that you don’t have to make any insurance claims. However, there are some security concerns with sharing your health information with an insurance company.
22. Reminders and Alarms
Smartwatches also have some other features that can be useful in your everyday life. For example, you can set reminders and alarms on your smartwatch. So if you need to take your medicine at a specific time or have an important meeting, you can set a reminder on your smartwatch, which will vibrate to remind you.
You can also use the alarm feature on your smartwatch to wake you up in the morning. The best part about using a smartwatch as an alarm is that you can set it to vibrate instead of making a loud noise. So if you share a room with someone, they won’t be disturbed by your alarm.
Fitbit has an innovative alarm feature called smart alarm that wakes you up when you are in a light sleep stage. This is the optimal time to wake up since you do not feel drowsy and can start your day with a clear head.
23. A Statement of Fashion
In addition to their multiple benefits, smartwatches have become a fashion statement. There are many different smartwatch designs and styles; you can customize the bands and display to match your style.
For example, the Apple Watch has multiple band options, including sport, leather, and stainless steel bands. You can also choose from different case materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium.
24. Safety for Kids
If you are worried about the kid’s safety, you can get a smartwatch with calling and GPS tracking. This way, you can track their location right from your phone, and you can even call them if you need to.
Some kids’ smartwatches also have a panic button that the kids can press if they are in danger. The watch will then send an emergency alert to your phone with your child’s location so that you can reach them when they need you.
Apart from that, a smartwatch for kids can also help them stay active since most of them come with fitness-tracking features. Plus, it offers fun games and other activities that keep your kids entertained and reward them for completing certain fitness activities.
Disadvantages of a smartwatch
We have already discussed smartwatch benefits. Now let us check some disadvantages of smartwatches.
Generally, a smartwatch is more expensive than a regular timepiece. I am not talking about luxury watches like Rolex or Patek Philippe. Depending on the features and brand, a smartwatch can cost you anywhere from $100 to $1200. The high price tag reflects the additional features that a smartwatch offers. For example, a smartwatch’s advanced health, fitness, and activity tracking features may be more expensive. Also, smartwatches with LTE and built-in GPS are more expensive than those without these features.
2. Poor battery Life
Smartwatches are generally known for their short battery life compared to other electronic devices. The Apple Watch is one of the most popular smartwatches today, yet it only offers 18 to 20 hours of battery life. With that said, the Apple Watch Ultra gives over 36 hours of battery life on our multiple tests.
Also Read: 21 Proven Tips to Save Apple Watch Battery Life in 2023
The battery may drain even faster if you use features such as GPS, music streaming, or other energy-consuming functions. This can be frustrating for users relying on their smartwatch to stay connected but prefer to recharge it only a few times a day.
3. Need a smartwatch Nearby
While smartwatches have come a long way in recent years, they still rely heavily on smartphones for many features and functions. Even the most basic tasks, such as checking social media notifications or the weather, require a nearby smartphone to connect to the internet.
More advanced features, such as making phone calls or sending messages, require your smartphone nearby. If your smartwatch doesn’t have cellular/LTE connectivity, many of the watch’s functions will be disabled if the phone isn’t nearby. This can be frustrating for some users.
When it comes to smartwatches, compatibility is a key issue that you need to be aware of. You cannot use or enjoy some features if you use a smartwatch incompatible with your smartphone. For example, you cannot use an Apple watch along with an android smartphone. Likewise, if you use a Fitbit or Samsung Watch with Apple Phone, you will be restricted from using some features. So, you must always ensure that your smartphone is compatible with the smartwatch you plan to buy. Otherwise, you may be disappointed with the capabilities of your new smartwatch.
5. A Cause of Distraction
While it is true that smartwatches do not emit harmful radiation or contain toxic chemicals, there are still some ways in which they can be dangerous. For example, if you are driving or operating heavy machinery, a smartwatch can be a major source of distraction. The notifications and incoming calls may force you to take your eyes off the road or your work, increasing the risk of accidents.
Now you have a long list of the advantages and disadvantages of smartwatches. If you look at the benefits of smartwatches, their disadvantages are minimal and can be easily overlooked. There is no double that smartwatches will make your life more convenient, easier, and healthier. You can do more things with a smartwatch than you ever thought possible.
I like smartwatches because of the features and functionalities mentioned above. I hope this article helps you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the smartwatch. If I miss anything, please feel free to comment below so that you can help your fellow readers to choose the right smartwatch.
Shnisa has been running for over 10 years and cycling for even longer. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new trails and routes. He also likes to experiment with different running and cycling gear, such as shoes, watches, and apps. He loves smartwatches and fitness trackers more, as he believes they make running and biking even more fun!