Technology seems to be moving towards hands-free application. Not long ago, people would physically check what time it was on their Nokia 3310 and adjust their Casio wristwatches from the day of the week down to the second. Nowadays, it is possible to interact with your smartphone using only voice commands and benefit from the best technology around your wrist without carrying your smartphone everywhere.
What is a standalone smartwatch, you might ask? Well, a regular smartwatch is an extension of your smartphone as they will need to communicate with each other, usually using Bluetooth protocols. In contrast, a standalone smartphone will perform by itself most of the tasks a phone can achieve, making it independent and letting you jog without having to carry your phone.
To be completely smartphone-free, you will require a sim card, usually a micro-SD card. Once connected to the internet, it will become possible to listen to the radio, stream music, answer calls, and much more. In short, a standalone smartwatch is your high-end thousand-dollar smartphone that shrank into the size of a wristwatch.
One of the most important features of a standalone smartwatch is its use as a health monitoring and alert device. These gadgets will act as your health supervisor by alerting you when to take medicine, how far you’ve run, and how much more exercise is required to stay fit. Some will even monitor your stress level and inform you when to relax and take a deep breath. Below are some of the many advantages of owning a standalone smartwatch.
What are the benefits of a standalone smartwatch
All your data can be stored safely in the cloud
Not many people are thrilled when thinking about the risk of losing their valuable data. However, when uploading all your digital information to the cloud, they will be safe…as long as you properly secure them. Furthermore, when your smartphone gets damaged or lost, you will still have access to your data, which is a huge relief.
That sadly won’t be the case for anyone who is storing their info on physical memory. Doing so is similar to hiding your hard-earned cash inside a highly flammable mattress instead of converting it to bitcoin.
A reliable fitness tracker at your fingertips
Your new year’s resolutions probably have something to do about being healthy, and according to Forbes, less than 10% of the world’s population achieve their resolutions. Again, studies have shown that using health monitoring features on smart devices will significantly boost your chances of success.
The fitness tracking feature comes standard on most standalone smartwatches. However, it’s easy to forget that such an option is way cheaper and requires less effort than your gym membership.
So instead of throwing away money on supplements, why not listen to your standalone smartwatch. It will show you how many calories you’ve burned when walking to the office and what is the optimal number of hours you should sleep. It may even control your Heart Rate Variability and other physiological parameters.
A standalone smartwatch will send out a distress call
Don’t just use the gadget to post pictures of exotic locations you’ve visited and the fast-food meals you’re about to devour. Instead, use your smartwatch as a backup option in case of an emergency. When you suffer a medical emergency, your smartwatch will send notifications to your closest family members and friends. Check all you need to know about fall detection devices.
This capability has been tested where family members can be immediately notified when their elderly relative collapses. In addition, when wearing a smartwatch, family members can check on their parents’ health status in real-time from anywhere on the globe. These smart devices are not just for entertainment but can save lives.
Smartwatches have better batteries than smartphones
Smartphones have a habit of dying and losing network connection right when you reach that remote camping destination. On the other hand, smartwatches will have enough battery for you to get to higher ground and catch a few network bars. Also, smartphones drain their batteries faster because they have bigger screens compared to standalone smartwatches.
Smartwatches such as the Pebble Time Steel are known to go for ten days without the need to recharge. Such longer battery life encourages you to live life to the fullest by diving into adventures to remote corners of the world where you’ll switch to a local SIM card carrier and continue to be connected miles away from home.
You can make video and voice calls
Voice and video calls have become convenient, especially during the Covid19 pandemic, where social distancing is mandatory. As with any regular smartphone, standalone smartwatches enable you to cycle safely while close deals with overseas clients in different time zones.
Internet connection offers unlimited possibilities
Standalone smartphones use a cellular connection to access the internet in regions with poor broadband internet service infrastructures. The internet is a gateway to endless opportunities, from making money to requesting medical evacuation services. An investigative journalist will use a standalone smartwatch to safely document their stories because a smartphone won’t offer the same level of discretion.
Instead of using your smartwatch to cheat on exams, use it to save someone’s life. You can accomplish this by monitoring their health, then assess the results online for an accurate diagnosis. Internet connection also makes it easy to interact with smart homes, which are gradually becoming a norm.
Receiving real-time notifications is an edge
Imagine if you went on your morning run or cycling route, and halfway there, it starts to rain heavily. Now imagine if your standalone smartphone provided you with a real-time weather forecast to help you plot out a convenient jogging route.
Notifications become convenient for business people because they can address a work issue on the fly by replying to WhatsApp messages from clients and more. That feature makes a standalone smartwatch an ideal tool for a customer service representative.
When customers see that their queries are being addressed promptly, their loyalty to the business is strengthened. Perhaps as customer care, you’re doing all this on your morning jog via your smartwatch. The customer doesn’t care; they’re thrilled to be interacting with a real person and not some predictable automated chatbot.
Despite the overwhelming advantages of owning a smartwatch, they also have a few disadvantages.
What are the cons of Standalone Smartwatches
Despite having tremendous access to information and freedom, a standalone smartwatch may also have some drawbacks that need to be considered before investing a couple of hundreds of dollars.
- You pay quite a lot for a small screen. The price will inversely correlate with the miniaturization of the technology. With so much to offer in a small form factor, the price may seem.
- People suffering from eye problems may experience difficulty making out what information is on the small screen.
- These gadgets can be distracting, especially if you need to work and your wrist is blowing up with notifications. Some users are easily preoccupied with their smartwatches to realize that they’re riding right into a ditch or into a worse disaster.
- They are still a long way from being perfect. Some customers complain of errors and displaying inaccurate information.
- A majority of the market brands offer poor battery life that requires frequent charging. Only a fraction of the models can last days on a single full charge.
Luckily research and development in this industry are always ongoing, and updates to solve problems are released like clockwork. Therefore, standalone smartphone users will always find ways to navigate through some of the limitations. So, if you’re window shopping for one, below are models you should check out.
Top Rated Standalone Smartwatches for 2021
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is fast and features a Super-AMOLED screen, which is always easy on the eye whether you’re in direct sunlight or complete darkness. It is undoubtedly the best Android standalone smartwatch available.
The battery life is also among the best on the market, lasting a maximum of three days. The Samsung S-Health app is functional and practical. The only drawback is its price, and even though it features a great collection of apps, they all revolve around Tizen OS.
It has to be noted that The Samsung Galaxy watch 3 offers one of the best ECGs on the market. It then becomes possible for people suffering from heart diseases to go for a walk without the need to carry a phone in case of emergency.
Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch is a favorite of many. Their design and User Interface have paved the way for what a smartwatch should be. When it comes to health features, Apple is constantly upgrading its features and sensors. Some analyses, such as the Electrocardiogram, are even FDA-approved. As a result, the Apple Watch Series 6 feels and operates like a premium product.
The user interface is the best on the market, and the health apps offer value, unlike other brands that only show basic info. It may be considered expensive when it comes to the cons, but excellence comes at a price.
TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE
The TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE is one of the most durable standalone smartwatches around. Thanks to its metal casing. The design is also striking because, at a glance, it looks more like a Rolex more than it does a smartwatch. In addition, it features Google Wear OS, comes with 23 preloaded clock faces, and the smartwatch comes off as masculine.
Apart from being waterproof to a depth of one and a half meters for half an hour, the TicWatch Pro has a battery life of up to 3 days. It also features a stylish metal design.
Ojoy A1 4G LTE for Kids
The Ojoy A1 has been specifically designed for kids. Parents can use the associated app on their own smartphone and make most of the GPS tracking capabilities to check their children’s location. It is even possible to call them directly using the two-way communication feature.
The Ojoy A1 is undeniably a budget watch, but it delivers what it promises: Peace of mind! Good to note that the parents will have full control over the contacts allowed for calling.
Children will like the colorful design and the built-in games. Parents will feel safe knowing that they can easily call their kids without the need to carry a smartphone. Waterproof, robust, and including a camera, the Ojoy A1 will, of course, require a 4G-LTE SIM card and a data plan. For parents, we consider it as a must-have even though the smartwatch functionalities are somehow limited.
To wrap up
The world moves towards a hands-free technology ecosystem, and standalone smartphones are just a few steps towards that reality. These smartwatches are beneficial to society because they provide mobility and make connections easier.
In addition, they allow receiving phone calls while on the go or check your favorite fitness apps without the need to carry your smartphone and are also water-resistant.
Standalone smartwatches are the ultimate Sci-Fi writer’s dream and should be considered seriously. However, one thing you have to remember is to be cautious. Yes, enjoy the technology and be aware of the negative impacts lest you transform into a smartphone zombie.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In a nutshell, a standalone smartwatch can come in two flavors: with or without a SIM card slot. Without a SIM card, the watch needs to be paired to a smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to benefit from an internet connection. However, when fitted with a dedicated SIM card, the standalone smartwatch will turn into a phone and offer the best of the two worlds. It becomes possible to connect to the internet, make calls and even browse the Internet without needing another device.
It depends on how you connect to the internet. If you use a smartphone or a wifi router, you do not need a data plan to access the internet. But, somehow, if you use a SIM card and prefer to leave your smartphone at home, you will need to consider subscribing to a data plan.
The probability of being hacked is low; however, prevention is better than cure. So, since the brands play their part to protect you, there are measures required on your part to avoid falling victim:
– It is essential that you continually update your device with the latest and most secure operating system.
– Don’t give allow-permissions to apps you don’t recognize as 100% legitimate.
– Wipe the device clean by resetting it to factory settings before disposing of it.