Wearable tech has taken a dramatic upswing in recent years, with the release of high-tech devices opening up a world of possibilities for everyday consumers.

Although the term ‘wearable tech’ is typically associated with the latest smartwatches and fitness bands, there are countless others to consider. For example, HomeAuto distributes a range of smart tech gadgets like the Zigbee SOS button that immediately alerts family members and other administrators of the app when the button is pressed in the case of an emergency. There are also various medical alert monitors that use artificial intelligence to detect health warning triggers in users.

As forward-thinking technology from the health and wellbeing industry has been refined into consumer products, including Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch, the usefulness of these devices improves every day. Here, we consider the best features from the latest smartwatches and explore where this exciting tech might be heading in the future.

How a Smartwatch Might Change Your Life

While Apple and Samsung have unsurprisingly enjoyed a massive head start on the competition, more tech companies are entering the wearable tech space. With stylish and feature-rich products that seamlessly integrate with our smartphones, smartwatches could revolutionise our daily lives. But if you’ve already gotten your hands on one of these wearable tech devices, how can you make it function as something more than a mere fashion accessory?

Setting Up Your Device

If you purchase the latest Apple Watch, it’s easy to enjoy its features once you've paired your smartwatch and smartphone. Start by customising the appearance. Choose from several watchfaces and additional features - called complications – such as weather updates or stock prices.

Also, remember to calibrate fitness tracking by adding your age, gender, weight, and height. Plus, use the Workout app to personalise the accelerometer.

This process is pretty much the same when setting up a new Samsung Watch. You'll need to download the Galaxy Wearable app to link your smartwatch to a mobile device. The app also allows you to keep track of software updates, connectivity settings, app downloads and even use Samsung's Find My Watch service.

You can also customise your smartwatch to personalise your device. And remember to toggle which notifications you want to receive so you're not bogged down by spam.

Must-have Apps

With the release of Apple Watch Series 6 and watchOS 7, there’s an even better range of apps to use on your device. Strava: Run and Ride Training is one that dedicated athletes will love. Whether you’re training for a marathon or grinding out a daily 5K, you can track your progress, compare results and join communities. Other great training-focused apps include Nike Run Club and Peloton.

For professionals who want to push their productivity up a notch, the latest Apple Watch supports Microsoft Outlook, a comprehensive email and calendar app to keep you on top of things, as well as Noted, a handy note-taking app which uses voice memos.

There’s no shortage of awesome apps for Samsung smartwatches either. If you own multiple Samsung devices, the Samsung SmartThings app ensures users can monitor and control everything from smart TVs and speakers to refrigerators and robot vacuums. Meanwhile, those constantly on the move can use the Spotify app and listen to their favourite tunes during their morning commute or workouts.

Best Features for Power Users

As wearable tech continues to develop rapidly, there’s an ever-increasing number of ways to use your smartwatch. If you choose to buy Apple Watch Series 6, you can make the most of the new Blood Oxygen app to receive insights on your overall wellness. The optical heart sensor calculates your blood oxygen levels while the new ECG app, detects irregularities in your heartbeat.

The hugely popular Samsung Galaxy Watch3 also comes with plenty of exciting features. With a tactile rotating bezel, users can navigate through apps and settings with ease. There are also 80,000 different watch faces and 40 complications, ensuring you can find the perfect setup for everything you need on the screen. Meanwhile, a great selection of detailed health and wellness features helps users stay up to date on their daily performance. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 has built-in oxygen measurement and fall detection tools and will reach out to emergency contacts when needed.

The Future of Wearable Tech

The latest smartwatches are undeniably impressive. But with so much focus on the industry right now, you can expect wearable technology to improve even further in the coming years.

As we’ve seen in both Apple and Samsung smartwatches, providing users with accurate ways to assess their overall health – from blood oxygen testing to electrocardiogram sensors – is something more people want. And this technology could become central to the way we understand our health and fitness. In fact, blood glucose testing is one of the rumoured features for future Apple and Samsung smartwatches, potentially transforming how millions look after their health.

Along with considerable health and fitness benefits, the wearable tech industry will also benefit massively from the uptake of 5G. This technology means blisteringly fast data transfer speeds, ensuring these devices can access vast amounts of information from the cloud.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Smartwatch

Adding some wearable tech to everyday activities could dramatically enhance your experience. However, if this is your first smartwatch, consider these points before deciding which smartwatch you want to get.

1. Customisation

No matter which smartwatch you choose, there are plenty of customisation options for watch bands. For Apple Watch Series 6, you can purchase Stainless Steel, Leather, Nylon and Braided bands in several colours. Another popular choice is Solo Loop – a stretchable liquid silicone rubber with no buckles or clasps for a comfortable fit.

The selection of smartwatch bands for Samsung devices is just as impressive. Samsung’s Stitch Leather Band presents a timeless aesthetic. Meanwhile, a range of Samsung Galaxy Watch Active bands feature improved breathability and a tight fit for active users.

If you want more options, there are other third-party watch bands for both Apple and Samsung smartwatches.

2. OS and Smartphone Compatibility

Smartwatches are remarkable on their own, but most are designed to be used with a particular smartphone. Although it’s possible to use Apple Watch devices with an Android phone, you’ll miss out on many cross-device features.

Similarly, while Samsung smartwatches can connect to Apple devices running on iOS 9 or later, you’ll lose functions like message replies and SOS.

Therefore, if you're looking for a new smartwatch, you should really only consider buying a product from the same manufacturer unless you don't mind compromising.

3. Size and fit

When buying any wrist-based product, you need to consider the size and fit to ensure a comfortable day-to-day experience. Apple Watch Series 6 is available in 40mm and 44mm sizes. Likewise, each Samsung smartwatch can be purchased in a range of sizes. For instance, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is available in 40mm and 44mm options.

That said, remember that you can always customise your wristband if you find that the default option doesn’t cut it.

Find the Best Wearable Tech at M1

If you’re ready to welcome wearable tech into your life, head to M1 to find the latest smartwatch devices such as Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch Series 7, and Samsung Galaxy Watch3. With this incredible technology helping you keep track of your wellbeing, life will only get better.