We’re living in the golden age of smart gadgets. They’re all around us, making our lives easier and even keeping us in pleasant company in the case of Alexa. Smartwatches are no different, and today’s smartwatch is a virtual smartphone on your wrist. While you’ll be hard-pressed to find the screen size of a smartphone on a smartwatch, you’d be surprised just how much computing power smartwatches possess. If you’re into fitness or just want to know how many steps you logged at the mall on Saturday, smartwatches are loads of fun.

Before jumping into our list of six exceptional watches, we’re going to touch on how a smartwatch works.

What is a Smartwatch and How Does it Work?

What is a smartwatch and how does it work?

At this point, we all either own or know someone who owns a smartwatch. But ever wonder what makes a watch smart? After all, there are some great watches out there, watches that are thousands of dollars and not considered smart. So how do we define a smartwatch?

First, all smartwatches are digital watches; they are essentially tiny computers that run on their own operating systems. Yet, to use a smartwatch, you need another “smart” apparatus. And most times, that complementary apparatus is a smartphone. The majority of smartwatches have apps you can download into your smartphone and then sync with your watch. Once this is complete, you may read messages and emails on your smartwatch, peruse your calendar and even take phone calls.

In terms of exercise or daily activities, smartwatches are fantastic at measuring your steps, monitoring your heart rate, keeping tabs on calorie consumption, and even recording and analyzing sleep patterns. All of this is possible thanks to built-in GPS. Some of the more popular smartwatch applications are Whatsapp, Spotify, and Buienradar. App integration makes your watch so smart that you don’t need to rely on your phone 100% of the time. While a smartphone is still infinitely more powerful at the moment, we could conceive of a day when the smartwatch is doing everything our smartphone is currently engaged in. 

Are Smartwatches Safe?

Are smartwatches safe?

The one issue that comes up with every wearable device (smartwatches, fitness trackers, head-mounted displays, smart jewelry or smart clothing) is radiation exposure. All of these gadgets emit radiation, and we still don’t know the long-term effects or implications to our health. We have studies showing cell phone radiation affecting our reproductive system, causing mood swings and even disrupting sleep. Yet, the sample sizes are small, and much more needs to be done to affect any major public policy or public health decision.

The form of radiation that wearables like smartphones emit is known as Electro-Magnetic Frequency (EMF). Some studies have demonstrated that EMF is a form of carcinogen. This means, like other carcinogens, EMF can be potentially cancer-causing. For now, while the medical community recognizes EMF’s potentially harmful effects, the levels that wearables are emitting could be negligible. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has more information on EMF exposure.

Are Smartwatches Accurate?

Are smartwatches accurate?

We’ve all had the experience of being on a treadmill where you’ve put in a half-hour at a reasonably high speed, and for some reason, it notes you’ve barely burned 50 calories. This can be downright depressing, even though you know something is clearly off. The same applies to smartwatches. One of the most popular features that folks like to track daily is steps. In general, smartwatches are relatively accurate when it comes to step measurement, but when differences do occur, it’s related to folks who either move extremely slowly or have unusual gaits, since that can throw off the pedometer grade.

In terms of measuring heart rate, the technology has really advanced over the last decade. Today’s smartwatches are nearly flawless at measuring heart rate at rest or in recovery. The more expensive models maintain this accuracy as the exercise’s intensity increases, while the more standard models tend to lose a bit of accuracy.

By far, the one area all smartwatches can get better at is measuring calories burned. The watch does not know all the details of your body, so it’s guessing, in many respects, the relative proportions of muscle and fat of the user. The resulting “calories burned” report that the watch provides is generally in the ballpark but likely not 100% accurate.

The Coolest Smartwatches for Men in 2021

LIGE Smart Watch Waterproof Fitness Tracker for Android

LIGE smartwatch for men, waterproof.

With an eye-popping eight sport modes (walking, running, cycling, skipping rope, badminton, basketball, football, and swimming), no matter your physical interests, it’s likely you’ll find an indoor or outdoor activity to pair this smartwatch with. Featuring a 1.3-inch TFT-LCD transparent display, the only tough decision you’ll encounter with the LIGE is whether you want it in black or silver.

This smartphone has a fast charger, a feature we can all value. The built-in Bluetooth low energy chip combined with a 210mAh provides this watch an astounding 8 to 10 days of use on just 2.5 hours of charging! If your phone receives SMS messages and calls, the watch vibrates, and LIGE brings a full 12-month warranty along with a 3-month 100% replacement guarantee and full refund. LIGE is relatively confident that most customers will be quite pleased with this model, hence the super generous guarantee.

To learn more, click here.

Virmee Smart Watch Compatible with iPhone, Samsung, and Android

Smartwatch for men compatible with iPhone and Samsung.

Talk about sleek! The screen on this watch is as cool as it gets. A clean and timeless look, Virmee has brought to market a real winner here. On their site, Virmee walks you through how this watch is handy and useful at all times of the day. For example, once you wake, you’ll receive your sleep analysis with a detailed description of your various sleep stages – light, deep, awake, and REM.

After breakfast, choose your wallpaper watch face for the day. If your pooch is too cute to ignore, upload them and enjoy their adorable face throughout the day. After work, it’s exercise time, and whether you’re a runner, dancer, yoga fanatic, or volleyball freak, the Virmee measures all the related exercise data and keeps tabs on whether your heart rate is overly elevated or outside your target range. Once it’s time to turn in, set the alarm, review the following day’s objectives, and repeat tomorrow!  

Ready to buy? Click here.

SANAG Smart Watch Activity Tracker for iPhone and Android

Smartwatch and activity tracker for men by Sanag.

At first glance, this beautiful timepiece from SANAG does not look like a smartwatch. It looks like something out of a fancy watch store where you need to walk through security to enter. But underneath its glossy appearance lies a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform powering this one-of-a-kind gem.

The 1.3-inch screen is larger than most, and there are ten different motion modes to choose from to track your various trainings. No worries if this number gets wet, as it’s IP67 waterproof, so running in the rain is no issue. SANAG does indicate you can swim with this model, but some reviewers pointed to issues. Plus, you cannot track any swimming data, so using it in the pool is pointless.

One of the coolest features on the SANAG is the 40 plus watch faces you can choose from. Everything from sporty to alternative, futuristic, or plain stylish. The sky’s the limit with SANAG. 

Like it? Click here to learn more.   

Fossil Men’s Neutra Hybrid Smartwatch

Fossil men's Neutra Hybrid Smartwatch.

Surprised to see a classic watch brand like Fossil on a smartwatch list? You shouldn’t be. Fossil has adapted with the best of them and added to their timeless lineup a smartwatch certainly worthy of mention. The Neutra Hybrid boasts quite a bit, but perhaps the most eye-popping feature is it can last up to 2 weeks on a single charge. This watch is an absolute powerhouse!

Designed with integrated mechanical hands, the Neutra is water-resistant up to 100 feet, and this model works seamlessly with both iPhone and Android phones. Completely customizable, you can assign functions to the various buttons and prioritize the items and features most important to you. If heart rate tracking is your thing, that will be front and center on the dial. But if you’d like to incorporate music controls, notifications, general activity tracking, and similar features, you can place them where you see fit on the Neutra. Few watches are as adaptable. 

To see pricing, click here.

Garmin Instinct Smartwatch with GPS and 3-Axis Compass

Garmin smartwatch for men with GPS.

Rugged, sturdy, long-lasting: the synonyms could go on for days. On the Garmin website, there’s a guy with a chainsaw cutting through vast swaths of wood. Another fellow is weight-training, both with this Garmin model prominently displayed on their wrists. If there was a watch on this list that could survive the apocalypse, this is it.

Available in a literal array of colors (14 to be exact), the Instinct was constructed to US Military standards. It’s rated up to 100 meters water-resistant and features a super cool 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter. While this might not come in handy when you’re out grocery shopping, if for some reason you find yourself the following weekend lost in the Amazon jungle, you’ll be glad you have this watch.

In terms of battery life, this smartwatch provides up to 14 days in smartwatch mode on a single charge. In GPS mode, you get up to 16 hours and up to 40 hours in Ultratrac battery saver mode.

To read reviews, click here.

Fossil Men’s Gen 5E 44mm Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smartwatch

Fossil smartwatch for men with touchscreen.

Yet another winner from Fossil, the Gen 5E, does a little bit of everything. This model is an excellent all-around choice with the essentials in one package. A built-in speaker, fitness tracking apps, notification services, the ability to answer calls, the Gen 5E provides it all in a tidy package.

If you’ve got Google Pay, you’re in luck with the Gen 5E. Go hands-free with Google Pay, but do take note to check this feature’s availability in your city. For now, only select cities are offering Google Pay with the 5E. In terms of functionality, Fossil is known for its interchangeable bands; this model’s band measures 22 millimeters. This is one of the more popular Fossil band sizes, so personalizing this watch is both possible and fun!

To learn more, click here.

To Sum It Up…

Honestly, we can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t own a smartwatch. You might say, “yes, but my grandfather gave me his watch, and I swore I’d wear it until the day I die.” Ok, that’s a legitimate excuse, but for the rest of you, what are you waiting for? We covered a lot in this article, kicking it off with how smartwatches work, whether they’re safe, the issues that still remain in terms of accuracy, and finished it off with six great watches to choose from.

Many of you might already own a smartwatch, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have someone in your life that would absolutely love one of these watches as a gift. No more excuses! 

Check out our other article on Smart Home Devices next!