Types of Smart Watches


There are countless types of smart watches on the market today and the industry is constantly evolving with new technology. If you’re in the market for one of your own, it’s important to get a good feel for what’s available and what each category holds, so you can pick the best one for you. On this page, we’ll break down the three types of smart watches / digital watches and provide you with a six-point checklist to use when choosing a model.

There are Three Main Types of Smart Watches

How you intend to use your timepiece and whether you plan to use it in conjunction with your phone will determine which type of smart watch you need. There are three main types; standalone, classic, and companion.

1) Standalone

As the name implies, standalone smart watches do not require any other devices in order to operate. Because of this, you’ll usually need a SIM card and will have to set up service through a wireless provider in order to make it work, just like you would with your cell phone. However, from there, you’ll have access to all sorts of features and it will work like a smart phone. Although features vary on each piece, most will allow you to make calls and send text messages or surf the net.

2) Classic

A classic smart watch connects to your phone but has limited capabilities. These models won’t let you complete actions, like browsing the net or viewing your messages. However, they’ll show you when you have notifications or alerts, so you can pop over to your phone and check them out.

3) Companion

A companion smart watch needs to be connected to your phone, but it’s loaded with features. This is the type of model most people are looking for today because you can make your calls through it, check messages, and run many apps. It’ll likely have a better battery life than your standalone will, but likely less than your classic will because it’s doing more and will get more use.

There Are Six Primary Elements to Look for in Smart Watches

Because each wearer has different needs, there’s truly no best option on the market. You’ll want to explore each of the six primary elements, determine which you require, and then check each model you’re considering to make sure it meets your criteria.

1) Compatibility

If you’re going with a classic or companion model, your smart watch needs to be compatible with your smart phone’s operating system and the apps you intend to use. Take a moment to think about which apps you use the most, and make sure there’s an app for your timepiece that transfers. For example, the TAG Heuer Connected Modular can work with Android and iOS devices, but it has more functionality on Android right now. Those who go this route should know that, at present, their Connected Modular can’t initiate phone calls in conjunction with their iPhone, but the smart watch does offer a ton of features regardless.

2) Display

Screen types range from bold to high-contrast and serve up information differently. For example, if the tiny screens on most smart watches sear your eyes, you might want to consider an option like the Breitling Exospace B55 Connected, which combines a traditional watch face and hands with two digital blocks to show information and alerts. It’s simple, classic, and clean. On the other hand, if it’s purely the bright colors that get you and your eyes prefer a more traditional digital display, but with more functionality, look for a negative LCD screen which provides greater contrast. On the flip side, you’ll find a ton of smart watches have a display much like your cell phone, so don’t sweat the display too much if you don’t have visibility concerns.

3) Maintenance, Repairs, and Warranty

Find out what will happen if you have a problem with your smart watch. For example, if you have an Apple Watch, getting yours warrantied and repaired is fairly easy. When you’re going with virtually any luxury brand, you’ll likely find impressive warranties and ways to have it repaired by the manufacturer. This isn’t necessarily true when you get into lesser models, so check out the service plans and warranties before you invest.

4) Appearance

Do you want to look modern, futuristic, or classic? Again, there are many options within each grouping. For example, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar II and Breitling Exospace B55 Connected look like sports and aviation timepieces. They have more classic dials and hands paired with smaller areas for digital readings. A TAG Connected Modular is a bit of a shapeshifter. At a quick glance, the digital representation of a classic dial could allow it to pass for a traditional TAG. It’s not until you start to tap into apps that it becomes obvious you’re working with a modern marvel.

5) Battery Life

Batteries can last for less than a day to more than a week. For example, some Fossil models are rated to only last a day, when in reality, you know if you’re actively using one, it’ll need at least a mid-day charge.  Apple is about the same, though they claim some should last two days between charges. Garmin, of all brands, has a Forerunner 645 Music that boasts a seven-day life.

6) Waterproofing

Don’t assume your timepiece can handle any amount of water—even rain. Some are so finicky that getting caught in a storm will ruin them. If you have an active lifestyle or intend to keep yours on during sports, make sure it’s waterproof. The Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon, for example, is good up to 30 meters, while the TAG Connected model is water resistant up to 50 meters, though the company says you should not wear it while diving, snorkeling, or waterskiing.

Explore All Types of Smart Watches on Value Your Watch

As a leading online marketplace, we’re always adding new timepieces to our offerings. Head to our catalogue to see all types of smart watches now or if you’re planning to trade up, list your old timepiece with us.


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