Are you in the market for a great smartwatch with features that are actually helpful to those of us in the Baby Boomer generation? We’ve put together this guide to provide you with the most important information you’ll need to make a smart purchase decision. Plus, we’re giving you our top 4 picks for smartwatches we feel are the best for Boomers.
Let’s start with our top 4 Smartwatch picks and then move on to our Smartwatch Buyers Guide.
- OUR TOP PICK
Fitbit Versa 2
Samsung Galaxy Active 2
Fossil Gen 4 Smartwatch
Apple Watch Series 5
Fitbit’s Versa 2 fitness tracker offers exceptional value for money. It has a long and reliable battery life, and a fantastic lightweight design.
Samsung’s Galaxy Active 2 smartwatch is a great multi-functional smartwatch and fitness aid. It can be charged wirelessly and has a sleek design.
This smartwatch from watchmaker Fossil has a great stylish design and is perfect for seniors who want a notification smartwatch.
Includes Built-in GPS
Apple’s Watch Series 5 smartwatch comes in various designs to suit your taste. It has an always-on retina display and built-in GPS.
- 300×300 pixel touchscreen display
- 5 days of battery life
- Water resistant up to 50 meters
- Ambient light sensor
- Vibration monitor
- Optical heart rate monitor
- Voice assistant which allows you to perform commands hands free
- Has a 40mm or 44mm display
- A pricier LTE variant can be bought
- Lightweight, thin and sleek design
- Uses real-time data to monitor your workouts
- Made of aluminum and has a silicone strap
- Made of stainless steel with a two-tone design
- Can receive app alerts, social media alerts, emails and more
- Heart rate tracking and built-in GPS
- Google Pay compatible
- Has an always-on retina display
- Comes with an ECG app
- Built-in GPS
- Fall detection and elevation monitor
- Fully compatible with iPhones
- Comes in various designs and colors
- No built-in GPS, so you’ll need to carry your smartphone during workouts
- Not integrated with Google Fit or Apple Health
- Although you can customize the appearance, some men may find this watch to have a feminine look.
- Not as multi-functional as some other smartwatches
- Apple products are known for being very expensive. Not everyone is willing to spend this much on a smartwatch
The market for smartwatches has exploded in recent years, and there are now countless different brands and models that challenge Apple’s dominant line of smartwatches. A smartwatch can be an excellent gift for a member of your family or a useful (and sensible) purchase for yourself, as they can help you stay fit and make your days more productive.
A smartwatch can be an especially great purchase for baby boomers, as they offer much more when it comes to functionality than a standard watch, and many seniors will enjoy utilizing its fitness and health tracking apps to get in shape.
6-Step Process To Choosing The Best Smartwatch
To keep things nice and simple for you, we’ve put together a 6-step process that you can use to find the best smartwatch for you.
We’ll go through each point in more detail throughout this guide, but here are all the steps together for reference:
- Decide if you want a smartwatch or a fitness tracker
- Do some initial research to get a sense of pricing and the features available
- Decide what your must-have features are
- Set a budget (but be open to increasing it if need be)
- Compare individual models
- Order and begin enjoying your smartwatch
Smartwatches Vs. Fitness Trackers
Smartwatches and fitness trackers both fall under the broader category of wearable tech. Although the differences between the two have become somewhat blurred in recent years, as the functionality of both devices improved, there are still some key differences to consider.
A smartwatch can be synced to your phone so that they can share data. You can download a wide variety of apps onto your smartwatch, just like you can on your smartphone, to suit your needs and preferences. There are many apps that are great for seniors, particularly when it comes to fitness and healthy living.
On the other hand, a fitness tracker is a device designed to help you improve your workout, by collecting and communicating data, such as your heart rate, the number of steps you’ve taken so far on a specific day, and much more. Most models can still be connected to your phone and will notify you when you receive a text message or a call, but can’t do much more than that.
As your smartwatch can help you stay fit the same way a fitness tracker can – and at the same time offers so much more – smartwatches are generally preferred, though they are considerably more expensive.
How About Notification Smartwatches?
Instead of being designed and manufactured by tech companies, notification smartwatches are usually produced by traditional watch brands. While they are still classified as a smartwatch and can be connected to your smartphone, they don’t offer much additional functionality.
They can receive text messages, calls, and social media notifications, but don’t allow you to respond, though some models have Android or Apple operating systems and do offer such functionality.
However, you should bear in mind that such models are pricier than mid to low range notification smartwatches.
Some models allow you to customize your smartwatch’s face and perform some commands with your voice.
Now that you know the difference between smartwatches, notification smartwatches, and fitness trackers, you can decide which is best for you and move onto the next step.
What Features Are Available?
As mentioned, smartwatches have various features that improve their functionality and make them more useful.
Here are some of the most important features…
Using your smartwatch to get more active and track your performance is just one of the many great benefits and uses they offer. Some come with pre-installed and integrated fitness apps, and there are countless more which you can download.
The exact apps available for you to download depends on which operating system the smartwatch uses, but all smartwatches will allow you to download a good selection of fitness apps. Such fitness apps can monitor your heartbeat, track your step count and help you follow a diet, and track your progress over time.
Apps & OS Compatibility
Smartwatches can do a lot more than just tell the time and serve as a fitness tracker. Seniors can download hundreds of other apps onto them to make their life easier, more productive, and more enjoyable.
However, they need to be connected to a smartphone to unlock most of their potential, and this works best when both devices use the same operating system. So, if you own an iPhone, it makes sense to buy an Apple smartwatch, for example.
Smartwatch Battery Life
Like other portable electronic devices, a smartwatch is of no use when it’s out of battery. Users – retirees, working adults, and children alike – don’t want to have to constantly be charging their smartwatch, so battery life is unquestionably one of the most important things to look at when comparing different models.
Some of the latest models have a battery life of up to two weeks, while others can only go a couple of hours without charge. You should keep in mind that a smartwatch’s on-paper battery life might be a lot higher than what you can actually get out of it, so try to find customer reviews that support manufacturers’ claims.
Design & Aesthetics
Each brand and model has a different design, so you should have no trouble finding one which you find aesthetically pleasing. Some models look very futuristic, while others are closer in appearance to classic watches, so there’s something from everyone.
The next stage of our 6-step research and buying process is to set a semi-flexible budget, so you have a chance to think about how much you’re really willing to spend but can also increase it if required.
Smartwatch prices vary quite a lot. You can buy a brand-new model from as little as $100 to over $500. At the lower end, from about $100 to $200, you can buy basic smartwatches, such as notification smartwatches. These devices can relay notifications from your smartphone and can also serve as fitness trackers.
In the next price range, from about $200 to $400, you have smartwatches with considerably greater functionality and more powerful processors. Such devices can fully integrate with your smartphone (assuming they use the same operating system) and allow you to access a much greater variety of apps on your smartwatch.
Lastly, we have the top of the range smartwatches, which cost $400 to $600 (and sometimes even more.) The full power and functionality of these smartwatches can be utilized without needing to connect them to a smartphone, as most of them have Long-Term Evolution (LTE) functionality.
Some of these top of the range models have novel features and great designs, so they can be worth the money depending on what exactly you’re looking to get from your smartwatch.
Smartwatch Buying Tips
Resist the urge to buy a second-hand smartwatch to save yourself some cash, as they may be defective or out of warranty.
Consider insuring your smartwatch, especially if it’s quite a pricey model.
Before buying a smartwatch, it’s a good idea to check when the manufacturer will be releasing its new, latest model. If it’s in just a few weeks, it might be worth pre-ordering it instead of buying an existing model.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use my smartwatch to make payments?
It depends on the type of smartwatch you buy and whether or not it supports mobile payments. If it does, then it can store your banking details and be used to make payments via mobile payment apps, such as Apple Pay.
Do I need to connect my smartwatch to my smartphone?
Unless your smartwatch has LTE functionality, it is advisable to connect it to your smartphone to unlock its full capabilities. For example, you won’t be able to make calls from your smartwatch unless it’s connected to your smartphone.
Can I pay for a smartwatch in installments?
As smartwatches can be pretty expensive, many retailers offer payment plans which allow you to pay bit by bit. This can be a great way to buy a great smartphone for many American seniors, but you should keep an eye out for high extra charges for such financing (usually in the form of high interest rates.)
A Quick Summary
- Smartwatches and fitness trackers can be great purchases for seniors to make, as they can encourage you to be more active and offer loads of functionality.
- Finding the best smartwatch for you can be difficult, but this guide should simplify the process and put you well on your way to finding a great smartwatch.
- We’ve also included our top picks, which we arrived at after reviewing dozens of the latest smartwatches and fitness trackers on the market.
- Our 6-step process gives you a step by step guide to identifying which type of product is best suited to you and gradually refines your options, leaving you with a handful of great smartwatches to choose from at the end.
- First, you should decide if a fitness tracker or a smartwatch is best suited to your needs.
- Then, you can decide what features you want, how much you’re willing to spend, and make your way through the rest of the process.
- Things to look out for when comparing different smartwatches include battery life, design and aesthetics, and compatibility with your smartphone.
- Some of the more expensive models don’t need to be connected to a smartphone to unlock their full connectivity and more advanced capabilities, as they have LGE capabilities.
- Some models which can be connected to your smartphone allow you to make payments via the mobile payment apps.
- Smartwatches vary widely in price, with some models costing just $100 while others can sell from over $500.
- We advise against buying used smartwatches in most cases, as they may look good on the surface but may be in poor condition and out of warranty.
- It’s sensible to get insurance for your smartwatch, especially if it is quite a pricey model. and