Know someone who likes checking their phone, but knows they shouldn’t? Consider getting them a “wearable”, which is basically a gadget you wear.
Almost everyone has a phone these days and receives oodles of notifications both important an unimportant, and many might have a desire to see how they’re going, and that’s where the wearable comes in. Gadgets you wear are more often than not fitness trackers, so they bring a level of fitness and activity awareness when worn, but wearables also tend to bring with notifications.
That whole feeling of needing to check your phone because you think someone has called or messaged you is taken away with a wearable, because more often than not do they include support for notifications.
Instead of needing to check your phone, you just need to check your wrist. No notification? You can get on with your day, phantom ring ignored.
So what are your options if you’re buying for someone who wants to get on with their day and yet still track the important things? These are the options for everyday people with a wearable offering notifications and a little more.
First there are the wearables designed to be comfortable, but simple and easy.
These are the slim wearables, and while you might get a notification or two coming in as a vibration, know that the slim wearables are designed to be easy and effortless, and so many not come with all the fix-ins as other wearables.
Fitbit Flex 2
One of the first models you might want to consider, the Fitbit Flex 2 is basically a basic Fitbit, but it’s one made for your wrist.
You track activity, sleep, and get smartphone notifications, but it all happens without a screen, simply reading those notes with small LED indicators. Don’t expect to read much more than a showing of a dot to tell you that you have a notification, but you can rest assured it’s tracking your activity, complete with a battery life of up to five days.
Practically a thin bar worn around your wrist, Misfit’s Ray is a swim-resistant aluminium fitness and activity tracker that is reliant on a replaceable battery that offers up to four months of battery life.
Misfit’s Ray will track movement, distance, sleep, and calories, and will also offer vibration alerts for notifications and message, too.
Misfit also offers quite a few design options, too, so if you feel the need to go out on the town, you may be able to take the Misfit with you and change into what you need.
Garmin Vivosmart 4
Garmin’s take on the category includes a slim LCD in its design, but it also includes a blood oxygen sensor called a Pulse Oximeter and a heart rate tracking.
You’ll get notifications as well for your phone, and there’s a battery life of up to seven days possible here, complete with swim resistance.
Fitbit Charge 3
Fitbit’s latest, the Charge 3 gets the heart rate tracker, the blood oxygen Pulse Oximeter, the swim proof design, the seven days of battery life, and a sleek look, and it even gets the ability to pay for things with Fitbit Pay.
You also get a totally button-free design with a neat touch-sensitive side and a really slick screen. In many ways, it’s as if Fitbit was able to shrink its smartwatches into a nice, slim-line design.
The most capable of all the wearables is the smartwatch, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a watch that is “smart” because it connects to your phone.
More often than not, these come with all the features of the a slimline wearable, but encased in a device that tells you the time and looks like the standard definition of a watch.
Not sure if you’re ready for the full smartwatch experience? Skagen’s Hagen is a hybrid smartwatch that offers a standard watch design with activity and sleep monitoring on the inside, and can tell you get notifications.
It’s basically the smartwatch you have when you’re not having a smartwatch with a screen, and works on both iPhone and Android, using a standard watch battery for up to six months of battery life and a hint of music control thrown in for good measure.
The 2018 smartwatch for Fitbit, the Versa is a slim and softer take on the smartwatch, delivering a softened square design in a device that can get a little over four days of battery life and offers a full smartwatch experience.
There’s a screen to tell you information, smartphone notifications, heart rate tracking and a blood oxygen sensor, swimproof design, sleep tracking, on-screen workouts, and support for female health tracking.
What’s more, it will work on both iPhone and Android, making it ideal for anyone keen to join the smartwatch world.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Price: from $449
One of the best smartwatch options for the Android crowd, the Galaxy Watch also works on iPhone, making it friendly to both.
It’s one of the handful of smartwatches Australia saw in 2018, and it’s one that ignores the typically square design of the smartwatch in Australia that Fitbit and Apple make. Rather, it’s circular like a real watch, and gets a circular control wheel up top plus a touchscreen, with two different sizes, making it good for wrists big and small.
Apple Watch Series 4
Price: from $599
Apple’s Series 4 smartwatch is hard to look past, as it offers one of the best sets of technology for any smartwatch anywhere, and a design that is very easy on the eyes, not to mention accessories to customise it for your look.
Swim resistance? Yep. Heart rate tracking? Yep. Widely supported payment standard? Yep. Good looking design and screen? Yep. GPS support? That, too. Wireless 4G option that lets you go running with just Bluetooth earphones and no phone that can transfer you phone calls to your watch? It’s a mouthful, but yep.
Its one downside is that you can’t use it without an iPhone, meaning if you use an Android or you’re buying for someone with an Android, this is not a watch you’ll want to consider.
A little misunderstood in the grand scheme of things (and also harder to find), smart jewellery has become a thing in recent years, and it is exactly what it sounds like, too: gadget versions of jewellery that are connected to your phone.
Finding it can be a little difficult, but if you know someone who would prefer a ring or a necklace, these options could suit.
Fitbit Flex 2 with Pendant
Fitbit’s super slim Flex 2 can sit inside metal casings and be used as jewellery, and that’s one of the upsides to Fitbit’s Flex design: it’s a small bar that tracks your life, so it doesn’t have to be in a bracelet form.
The Pendant is a small metal clasp that is worn around the neck, meaning you can take the Fitbit out for a night on the town without changing a look significantly, and turning it into a necklace of sorts.
Alternatively, there’s metal bangle version of the Flex 2 pendant, so you can keep wearing it on a wrist, but do it in a way that makes it less about fitness and more about fashion of sorts.
Misfit Shine 2 Halo Necklace
Price: $50 USD
Misfit’s Shine 2 is a slightly different take on the small mobile tracker, using a circular design with LEDs to inform you of your activity. It’s basically the circular version of Fitbit’s Flex, though it’s one that doesn’t need its battery replaced for around six months.
And because it’s a simple design, it can go into other accessories, meaning it supports a necklace design as well, which is what this is.
As a note, Misfit’s products don’t have a major showing in Australia, so while you might find it in stores, you’re more likely to have to order this one online.