7 Different Types of Smartwatches You Need to Know About

Types of Smartwatches

Nowadays, smartwatches not only come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, they come for a variety of different purposes as well.

So if you’re planning to buy a smartwatch this year, knowing what is a smartwatch or how does a smartwatch work is not enough.

You also need to know about the different types of smartwatches available in the market.

Currently, there are 7 different types of smartwatches you can buy such as GPS smartwatches, hybrid smartwatches, standalone smartwatches, luxury smartwatches, fitness-focused smartwatches, and smartwatches for specific sports.

Given the variety of options, identifying the right type of smartwatch can become quite difficult.

If you’re confused about which type of smartwatch is best for you, you’re not alone!

The smartwatch market has grown a lot in the past years.

According to research, the global smartwatch market has grown from just over $51 billion in 2021 to $60.14 billion in 2022.

Despite that growth, figuring out which type of smartwatch is best for your personal needs has only gotten difficult.

If you’re in the same or similar dilemma, you need not worry.

In this guide, I’ve explained different types of smartwatches in detail to help you make the right decision.

Types of Smartwatches

Today, there are dozens of smartwatch brands manufacturing several different types of smartwatch models. This makes identifying the perfect smartwatch for your needs a bit tough.

Thankfully, there is an easier way to identify which type of smartwatch is best for you.

It involves understanding the different types of smartwatches to figure out which type of smartwatch will be the best fit for your personal needs.

Here are the 7 different types of smartwatches you need to know about to find the right one for you.

1 – GPS Smartwatches

GPS smartwatches are successors of GPS watches, which were highly popular among outdoor enthusiasts such as hikers & mountain climbers.

The primary purpose of a GPS watch was to provide navigation to the users. But the new generation of GPS watches (a.k.a GPS Smartwatches) can do much more.

At first glance, GPS smartwatches may look like fitness-focused smartwatches (more on this later) as they both help to track different workouts & provide navigation. But a GPS smartwatch is more accurate and can provide real-time feedback.

To elaborate, a GPS smartwatch can continuously monitor your position, provide a step-by-step route, and allow you to see your pace while running or cycling.

A fitness-focused smartwatch, on the other hand, relies largely on its compass & accelerometer to provide navigation and calculate your steps or other fitness activity.

If you’re an average fitness fanatic, a fitness-focused smartwatch might be right for you. But if you’re a professional, buying a GPS smartwatch is recommended.

2 – Hybrid Smartwatches

As the name suggests, a hybrid smartwatch is a traditional analog watch but there is a catch!

Unlike traditional analog watches, a hybrid smartwatch is usually equipped with a processor, a couple of sensors, and Bluetooth connectivity to pair with your smartphone.

This allows you to track your heart rate and workouts but without interaction with the watch. The only way to see your workout data is by syncing your hybrid smartwatch with your phone.

Although, a hybrid smartwatch does allow you to check your daily step count or alert you about incoming notifications. And this is actually the biggest benefit of a hybrid smartwatch.

Because it does not have a typical smartwatch screen to interact with, hybrid smartwatches can last almost a month and even longer on a single charge.

And if you ever run out of battery, it will still tell you the time. Only smart functions such as the step counter, heart rate monitoring, and a few other features will stop working until the next charge.

Believe it or not but hybrid smartwatches were one of the most popular types of wearable devices back then. However, their popularity deteriorated with the arrival of new types of smartwatches.

3 – Standalone Smartwatches

Standalone smartwatches are the most popular smartwatches right now.

They’re designed to fulfill a wide range of needs, from tracking your workouts and checking notifications to listening to music during your commute or daily run.

Currently, Apple and Samsung are dominating the standalone smartwatch space with their flagship devices. Most Apple & Samsung smartwatches come with built-in GPS, SIM card slots, high-end processors, sensors, and so on.

To enable these smartwatches to fulfill their purpose, they’re equipped with an operating system such as Watch OS for Apple Watch and Wear OS for Samsung & other Android smartwatches.

The operating system allows a smartwatch to run various apps provided by its manufacturer and even from third parties as well.

The only downside of a standalone smartwatch is they need to be recharged almost every day.

4 – Budget Smartwatches

If you wish to own a smartwatch but are not ready to spend hundreds of dollars on it, budget smartwatches might be the right pick for you.

Compared to other types of smartwatches, a budget smartwatch costs somewhere between $50-$200 apiece. Granted that you won’t get all features that a standalone smartwatch offers, but a budget smartwatch will still satisfy most of your needs.

For example, a budget smartwatch does allow you to track your workouts, receive notifications, and control media.

However, most budget smartwatches do not allow you to install third-party applications. On the bright side, though, budget smartwatches have decent battery life that often lasts at least a week on a full charge.

5 – Luxury Smartwatches

If you’re looking for a combination of a high-end fashion accessory & useful gadget on your wrist, a luxury smartwatch might be a more suitable option for you.

There are plenty of Swiss watch brands manufacturing luxurious smartwatches for fashion enthusiasts.

That said, the most important thing you need to know about luxury smartwatches is that they aren’t much different from standalone smartwatches.

The only difference between the two is that you’ll be paying a premium price for the high-end look and a brand logo.

Other than that, both types of smartwatches use the same operating system which is either Watch OS or Wear OS.

6 – Fitness-Focused Smartwatches

Fitness-focused smartwatches are specifically designed to appeal to fitness enthusiasts.

In terms of design, fitness smartwatches are slim to ensure they do not obstruct your workouts. The casing of the watch dial is also made from light materials such as plastic instead of stainless steel. The straps of fitness smartwatches are made from silicon so that they’re more comfortable during your workouts.

As for the features, the majority of fitness smartwatches come with built-in music storage, various sensors to track different workouts, and Bluetooth to sync data with your smartphone.

There are a few brands that manufacture premium fitness smartwatches with the capability to make and receive phone calls, send text messages, etc. to give you a tether-free experience.

7 – Smartwatches for Specific Sports

There are a few brands that manufacture smartwatches with specific sports in mind. These types of smartwatches are similar to fitness smartwatches but with extra features or applications to aid a particular sport.

For example, there are several golf smartwatches that let you download course maps and come with built-in GPS to guide you on the ground. Additionally, they also track how many shots each hole took automatically.

Just like golf, there are dedicated smartwatches for hiking, mountain climbing, biking, skiing, and rowers.

Compared to other types of smartwatches, specific sports smartwatches tend to be more expensive. So they’re only worth the money if you’re a regular at a specific sport.

Over to You!

The number of smartwatches available in the market is truly staggering. But since I have tested all types of smartwatches firsthand, I can tell from personal experience that choosing a smartwatch is not that difficult if you know your preferences.

Hopefully, this post has helped you to identify which type of smartwatch is best for you based on your personal needs & preferences. But if you’re still confused, feel free to comment with your doubts and I will definitely help you out!

Jaimin Kapadia

Jaimin is an avid gadget lover & wearable tech enthusiast. Every day, he reads about the latest wearable devices launched around the globe and writes about his experience and review on this blog.

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