Best Standalone Smartwatches 2018:
Smartwatches were first introduced back in 2015 as an extension of your smartphone by simply syncing it to your phone you can have all of your phone’s notifications and even stream music, control activity.
All this sounded really fancy back in 2015 but in 2018 this is the bare minimum a smart-watch should do!
Why Smart Watches aren’t that smart!
If you are reading this you probably don’t care about all those features maybe you’ve used a smartwatch long enough to know this or you simply are smart enough to realize that smart-watches are not really as smart as they claim to be. That’s pretty smart for someone looking to get a smartwatch. (Pun intended)
However far the marketing goes to make you get one harsh reality is the functioning of a smartwatch is entirely dependent on your phone.
How does this make it better than a normal watch let alone a ‘smart watch’?
More importantly in today’s era of increasing dependency on our phones, we don’t need a ‘smart-watch’ that will only make us get more dependent on them. All this time we’ve had this mirage of a ‘smart watch’ until now where the market truly has a smartwatch or a ‘smarter watch’ I should say; a Standalone smartwatch.
What is a standalone smartwatch? And why it is better!
A smartwatch is simply a sidekick, but a standalone smartwatch is when the sidekick turns into the superhero!
A Standalone Smartwatch is much more than an ordinary smart watch. It goes much beyond being simply an extension by now functioning without any dependency on a smartphone. You can now use the smarter watch wholly on cellular and LTE connectivity which is basically how a smartphone functions. I can go on and on but I’ve highlighted the two major reasons why a standalone smartwatch is smarter than a smart watch
- No more Smartphone tethering: In today’s era of Immense smartphone dependency a standalone smartwatch does not require you to sync or connect to your smartphone to function
- Almost like a smart phone: A standalone smartwatch that allows you to make/receive calls, browse website just like a regular smartphone.
Should you buy a standalone smartwatch? And why you should NOT!
YES! If you want to truly get that whole experience of a genuine smart smartwatch that doesn’t require you pulling out your phone all the time. The freedom alone justifies spending a little extra to get the whole package.
NO! If you want something to completely replace your smartphone. I won’t sell you something based on wrong information. A standalone smartwatch will not replace your smartphone entirely. It won’t do EVERYTHING your phone can do. You’re buying a smartwatch to replace your smartphone at times when it’s inconvenient to use your big phone like whilst working out or in a meeting you get the point.
A smartwatch is a costly investment let alone a standalone smartwatch. The cellular connectivity making the smartwatch completely independent is a major disruption. There will be drawbacks and limitations, however, a smartwatch realistically not replace a smartphone completely. We still need our bloody smartphones but what a standalone smartwatch will definitely do is reduce our dependency on our phones.
We don’t really want to live without our phones we simply not want to have to use our phone EVERYWHERE. Think having to send a quick text during a meeting without pulling out that big phone.
Which standalone smartwatch should I get?
Standalone Smartwatches are like those dot-com companies just before the crash everyone’s talking about how great they are but honestly there’s a lot are a lot of shit products on the market. Hence I’ve written this no bullshit article to educate you on what a standalone smartwatch really is and what are the ones you should consider getting.
You are probably reading this to either upgrade your current smartwatch or to get a standalone smartwatch for the first time. Some of you are probably wondering how to use a standalone smartwatch in your daily routine to manage your days, in sports or even for your business.
Keep reading this article because I will go through everything you need to know whilst buying a standalone smartwatch and what are the best available on the market.
How we chose our standalone smartwatches
Before we get into the comparison and review I’ll talk about the key metrics we used to compare our smartwatches and how each metric is important. This will also give you a good idea as to what makes a good standalone smartwatch.
- Battery life: A standalone watch relying on cellular connectivity would imply a great deal of power usage. Without a good battery life, your fancy standalone smartwatch will not stand the test of time (the pun is strong in this one: P)
- Connectivity: This one’s obvious but it’s important that the standalone is defined into what connectivity you are paying for that is 3G, 4G LTE or WIFI
- Hardware: Being able to look good and connect to cellular is not enough it is as important to function without any inconvenient lag or hassle. Thus we chose our top picks based on performance.
- Display: For your standalone smartwatch to truly be standalone you need a good display to be able to articulate and understand the display.
Comparison Table of Best Standalone Smartwatches 2018
|Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (Smart Buy)||Apple Watch Series 3 (Top Pick)||LG Watch Sport||LG Watch Urbane|
|Super AMOLED With gorilla glass protection||42/38MM AMOLED 16M colors||1.38-inch P-OLED (Scratch resistant glass)||1.38-inch P-OLED|
|Stainless Steel||Aluminum Base model (Stainless Steel, ceramic upgrades available)||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|3G/4G LTE, Wi-Fi, NFS Support||Built in e-SIM, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi Support||LTE, GPS, NFS Support||2G/3G/4G, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
|1 GHz Dual Core with 768 MB Ram||Apple S3 Dual-Core eith 768 MB Ram||1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 with 768 MB Ram||1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 with 768MB RAM|
|279mAh battery||430mAh 4 day battery life||570mAH batter with 2 day battery life|
|Water resistant||Water resistant & dust resistant||Water proof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes & dust resistant|
|Wireless Charging||No Wireless charging||Wireless Charging||Wireless Charging|
The Verdict: What we’d buy?
Honestly, there is no best standalone smartwatch in reality that depends on what you will use it for or whether you are an android user or apple user. However, that being said we have curated our top picks list below:
Reason to Buy: Price isn’t a problem for you and you want the whole standalone experience with ultimate responsiveness and functionality and hands down the best app support.
Best cellular connectivity: If you want standalone there isn’t any that’s offering better right now. Apple has been late with a standalone smart watch but it’s made sure to take its time developing the best standalone smartwatch with the Apple watch series 3. The built-in-e-SIM that lets you receive calls and even stream apple music right from your wrist!
Best App Support: If you’re gonna use your smartwatch a lot then you probably will need an app and there’s no other that will come nearly as close to the apple watch 3 with regard to app support. There’s an app for almost anything on play store.
Versatile Look: If you’ll be wearing your smart-watch a lot you’ll probably need to change it looks a lot which is easy with the apple series 3 having a fully customizable digital face and band. Apple’s added a whole arsenal of bands with its series 3 collection and you have so many more options with a third-party. Also, the explorer 3 makes it super easy to customize the digital face.
Minor Drawbacks with Apple Watch Series 3
Low Battery life: Other than being pricey the Apple series 3 doesn’t have the best battery life. In fact, it’s got terrible talk-time of only 1 hour but again it isn’t a replacement for your smart watch it’s a smart alternative.
Costly to use: You’ll be charged 10$ a month to use the LTE feature on your Apple series 3 watch which makes sense as it’s got a separate sim and you’ll be using it to make and receive calls along with browsing the internet.
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (Smart Buy)
Reason to buy: You are tight on the budget but still want that standalone 4G LTE Experience at good performance and aren’t really going to use it more than for making or receiving calls.
The rotating bezel on its face is a simple concept but makes navigation so much more user-friendly that we almost forget the small screen.
Strong Performance with long battery life
The frontier comes with a 1.1Ghz dual-core processor making it super responsive and more importantly a whopping 4-day long battery life. You’ll be able to comfortably navigate through apps and make calls without any lag on this smartwatch.
Qir Wireless charging support
Bad App Support: We have to admit the app support isn’t that great meaning you won’t get as many apps as compared to the apple watch 3. However, if you are planning to use your smartwatch more for the convenience of receiving and making calls then the frontier is definitely a smart buy.
Reason to buy: You’re a hardcore android user who will your smartwatch for more than just making calls.
- Extremely powerful performance:
The responsiveness on this one is great with a 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ Wear 2100. Definitely the best performance on the market.
Minor Draw Backs:
- Bulky build quality:
The only drawback about the LG Watch sport is the bulky feel you get with that 89 gram body. It is a price to pay for performance.
Honorable Mentions: Despite our top picks there are still a few more standalone watches you could also consider. These didn’t make our list as they didn’t have an equal balance of our selection criteria but are still worth mentioning as they have some pretty features that stand out.
Another great standalone smartwatch which is also LG’s first 4G smartwatch which looks great! For only $319 you get a stainless steel model with a crisp P-OLED display and you’ve got 4G enabled. Moreover, this watch gives out a real luxurious look that’ll go really well with a suave outfit.
A well-refined android watch by Asus. One of the best features I must say is that great battery life despite the gorgeous AMOLED display which is a rare combination. The colors pop with clear crisp text making it really easy to text or simply browse through stuff. Moreover for the price of $229 this one surely is a bang for the buck.
Features that stand out:
- Adjustable Display: the 1.9 inches super AMOLED display depicts extremely crisp with vibrant colors with crisp text and images. The dimming feature auto adjusts for better visibility outdoors making it great for texting anywhere.
- Good build quality: Asus has made an undeniably attractive watch that doesn’t only look good but
- No GPS or NFC support which you’d expect to have in a standalone watch. Also the styling isn’t very versatile making this smartwatch not suitable for everyone.
- Lack of bands: Asus doesn’t offer a lot of customization for the watch band restricting the look to chunky lug bands that are honestly very stiff and suffocating.
If you want a standalone smartwatch which will last you a long time. It’s also got a watch mode to extend that already long battery life even further, talk about an overkill. The performance is impressive with a 1.1 Ghz processor and 768 MB ram allowing you to easily use the app without any lag.
- The 4G LTE version is pricey coming in at 419$ with limited availability
- The LTE version isn’t available in America yet.
Best Standalone Smartwatches 2018
When you are buying a standalone smartwatch, you need to make an informed decision according to your needs. We have reviewed just but a few but best smartwatches on the market today.
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