Published: 2022-11-21

How does a smartwatch work?

Nowadays one of the most popular smart accessories is a smartwatch. Smartwatches are a stylish ally for both adherents of active lifestyle and those who do not want to miss any important notification that is received on their phone. 

How does a smartwatch work and what functions does it perform? 

Smartwatches are a modern technology that allows you to keep track not only of the time, but also of various health indicators, lifestyle habits and activities performed. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS functions can be found in every modern smartwatch model. Various sensors built into smartwatches allow you to collect information and later view it on the screen of the watch or phone. 

For the most part, the functionality of smartwatches is very similar, as the main smartwatch manufacturing focus is placed on the basic needs and wants of the users. The main functions of a smartwatch are: 

  • data synchronization with a phone through mobile application where you can configure all the necessary notes for monitoring activities and alerts; 

  • notifications on incoming calls (the ability to accept or decline a call), as well as notifications from instant messaging platforms (SMS, Whatsapp, Telegram, etc.) and social networks; 

  • control of physical activities and selection of different sport activity modes, measurement and monitoring of sleep quality, pulse and medical indicators, such as blood pressure and oxygen levels, as well as counting calories burned and steps taken; 

  • determination of location, which allows you to see the coordinates of the geolocation in an unfamiliar place or to view the location of your child, if it is the smartwatch of a child; 

  • control of the music player with the ability to switch songs and adjust the volume; 

  • alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, calculator as well as movement monitoring reminders that can be set up in the mobile app, as well as on the screen of the watch itself. 

How to choose a smartwatch? 

Nowadays the market is saturated with smartwatch options from various manufacturers, so it is important to understand how to choose the one that suits you the best. One of the most important factors is the connectivity of the smartwatch with your phone. It will not be possible to fully use an Apple watch with an Android phone – it will be possible to pair the devices, but some of the functions will not be available. For Android phone users a smartwatch from Samsung or other manufacturers would be more suitable. Before making a purchase, it is advised to check which manufacturer’s phones a watch will be compatible with, as, for example, previously it was possible to pair older Samsung smartwatches with Apple products, but the latest models only support devices for which Google mobile services are available. Garmin has also gained popularity among smartwatches, as this brand focuses on sports watches that are more durable and offer more features for tracking sport activities.  

When making your decision, before buying a smartwatch, it is also necessary to take into consideration the parameters of the watch – size, shape, color and supported functions, as well as battery capacity and other technical parameters. From a single charge the battery life of a smartwatch varies from a few hours up to two months. For example, Garmin offers a few models that are equipped with solar cells and can be charged by sunlight. Accordingly, if in everyday life a lot of time is spent outdoors while wearing such a watch and it has direct contact with the sunrays, it will charge, and you will have to charge it by electricity less often. 

The table showcases the most popular smartwatch models in Latvia, their design description, and the typical battery life after a single charge:

Smartwatch Design Typical smartwatch battery life*
Apple Watch SE GPS Square display with aluminum body and sports strap (silicone)  Up to 14h
Apple Watch Series 8 Square display with silicone strap  Up to 18h
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Circular display with titanium body and silicone strap  Up to 40h
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Circular display with silicone strap  Up to 40h
Xiaomi Imilab KW66 Circular display with zinc body and silicone strap  Up to 30 days
Huawei Watch GT 3 Circular display with leather strap  From 7 to 14 days
Garmin Fenix 7 Circular display from stainless steel with silicone strap  Up to 18 days
Garmin Instinct 2 Circular display with a fiber-reinforced polymer case and silicone strap  Up to 28 days
Garmin Enduro Circular display from stainless steel with silicone strap  Up to 50 days

*Actual battery life may vary depending on usage habits, conditions and features used etc. 

How to pair a smartwatch with a phone? 

Most often smartwatches synchronize data with a phone through a mobile app. However, there are models with built-in SIM card slots. These models can function as an independent device, through which it is possible to answer calls, messages, as well as monitor other notifications. In such case pairing of devices is not required. 

However, most smartwatches do not have a SIM card slot, thus they require to be paired with a device, which usually is a phone. Importantly, pairing a smartwatch with your phone should most often be done through an app provided by the manufacturer, which needs to be installed from Google Play store or App Store. Depending on the brand the app that a watch can require to ensure successful device pairing might differ, for this reason we advise to thoroughly study the smartwatch user guide where the pairing process is explained before attempting to synchronize devices for the first time. 

What problems can I face when using a smartwatch? 

The most frequent problem faced by the users of smartwatches is inability to pair devices or periodical loss of connection. If such problems are observed, it is recommended: 

  • to disconnect and reconnect devices (if the phone shows that the devices are connected but the data does not synchronize). Before reconnecting it is advised to check in the phone’s Bluetooth settings that the watch is no longer listed there; 

  • to restart your phone and/or smartwatch; 

  • to reinstall the smartwatches’ pairing app, as well as additional services if the app has installed them on your phone. 

Smartwatches can also encounter problems of fast battery discharge. In such cases it should be noted that the typical battery life specified by the manufacturer is achievable when using the watch with default settings. Therefore, if the battery is draining quickly, you first need to check the watch settings – in order for the battery to work for a longer time, it is necessary to uninstall all apps that are not being used, reduce the brightness of the screen as well as disable functions that keep the screen constantly switched on, perform continuous pulse measurement or constantly connects the watch to the mobile network. If the device has enabled eSIM (MultiSIM) service, it should be noted that the service contributes to faster discharge times. However, if it seems that the smartwatch works for shorter amount of time than it should, it is better to submit it to service for diagnostics. 

Smartwatches equipped with touchscreen might encounter problems with the operation of the screen. They are most often observed if the smartwatch is dropped, received strong impact damage, is exposed to water or other substances, for example used in a bathhouse or sauna, or is used in other ways that do not comply with usage terms and conditions. At home, you can initially try to solve touchscreen issues by cleaning the screen and making sure that the watch is kept in a suitable temperature (in cold conditions it tends to not work fully). However, if the touchscreen problems cannot be solved in this way, please send it to the service centre where it will be checked by professionals.  

When a smartwatch is sent to us, we will perform diagnostics and after finding out the extent of the damage will contact you to inform on what actions are required in the repair process and how much it would cost. Important to note that the maintenance and repair of the smartwatch will be carried out in accordance with the instructions of the device manufacturer, using certified tools, the most suitable methods, modern equipment and of course, original spare parts, as we are an authorized service centre.