Many of us have likely kept up with the advancements in portable technology. Although smartphones may have hit their peak in terms of development, smartwatches are currently enjoying a surge in popularity and innovation.
Smartwatches have the greatest potential for development among all wearables. The Casio F-91W was the introduction to smartwatches, but soon the perspective changed when Casio introduced a watch with a calculator and IR connector capable of turning off TVs. This has amazed us with the advanced capabilities of a watch back then, and now it has become an indispensable tool that we use every day. These smartwatches assist us with various tasks, including receiving phone calls and SMS notifications, setting alarms, occasional health monitoring, music playback control, and of course, telling time.
The Mi Band 2 was the first-ever smartwatch introduced to the market. However, many consumers were faced with the dilemma of choosing between a conventional smartwatch that required daily charging or a device that could last up to 10 days without needing a recharge. After much contemplation, some individuals decided to opt for the latter option and purchased devices like the Band 3 and Huawei Watch GT. Although many hoped for the release of a Nokia smartwatch, the Nokia Steel HR was the only product that briefly fulfilled that expectation. Unfortunately, the device proved to be unreliable and many had to return it.
Various smartwatches were available in the market, and many consumers had the chance to try them out. However, some individuals did not have the opportunity to test the Apple Watch. Among the available options, Huawei watches stood out, and many became hooked on them. The GT series, in particular, met the requirements of several users. The device had a battery life of around 9 to 10 days, was accurate, reliable, aesthetically pleasing, and had a well-developed smartphone application. Although it was not a true smartwatch, it combined the functionalities of a wristband and a smartwatch. Xiaomi also introduced some appealing watches, but Huawei was the first company to launch such a device.
Xiaomi played a significant role in revolutionizing the wearable market with the introduction of its Mi Band. However, it was Huawei that reintroduced watches as popular wearable devices with its first GT series. Several years have passed since the release of these devices, and the market has advanced to the extent that affordable wearables are now capable of functioning as proper smartwatches, suitable for use by divers, sailors, and other adventure seekers.
Garmin was the pioneer in developing high-end smartwatches with its Fenix series. The company was bold enough to create a digital smartwatch that was just as expensive as professional watches from Seiko or Citizen. Although Garmin was initially in a class of its own, it is no longer the only player in the game, as new companies are entering the market. Withings was one of the first to do so with its Scanwatch Horizon, which reminded me of my old Citizen Promaster. Priced at €500, it was one of the more expensive and durable smartwatches available, and I was initially sceptical of Withings’ strategy.
Apple disrupted the smartwatch market with the announcement of its Watch 8 Ultra, featuring a MIL-STD titanium case and exceptional tracking capabilities, with a price tag of USD 800. However, Apple has always been a trailblazer in the tech industry, and it was only a matter of time before other companies followed suit.
Huawei had previously released impressive Pro versions of its Watch GT and Watch series. However, the company recently responded to Apple’s Watch 8 Ultra with its Huawei Watch Ultimate, priced at €1000. This watch features the same specifications as the Huawei Watch 3 Pro, but with a 530 mAh battery and a rugged case designed to withstand occasional dives in the Mariana Trench.
For those who don’t want to break the bank, the Amazfit T-Rex Ultra is a great alternative. This watch boasts a 500 mAh battery, a MIL-STD case, a 1000 nits bright display, and reliable GPS capabilities for outdoor tracking. Best of all, it’s available at a reasonable price point of 400 USD.
Over the past 30 years, smartwatches have come a long way, from a Casio calculator watch to a rugged 1000-euro smartwatch. The future of smartwatches looks promising, with major players in the market continually striving to improve each new model. These wearables have evolved to a point where they’re comparable to smartphones from around 8 years ago, but the pace of development is even faster. It’s exciting to think about the integration of blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring into smartwatches as they continue to advance.