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The Best Smartwatch for Designers

The Best Smartwatch for Designers

The right tools can make all the difference in your productivity and creativity as a designer.

In recent years, smartwatches have emerged as valuable devices for designers by providing quick access to notifications, apps, and features that complement the design workflow.

But with so many smartwatch options on the market, how do you know which is the best for your needs as a designer?

This comprehensive guide examines the top considerations when choosing a smartwatch as a designer and provides reviews of the top 5 smartwatch models that are best suited for designers in 2024.

Key Considerations for Designers

Top Smart Watch For Designers

When evaluating smartwatches for design work, there are a few key factors designers should keep in mind:

Display Quality

As a visual professional, having a high-quality, crisp, and bright display is essential for accurately viewing designs on a small screen. OLED or AMOLED screens provide excellent visuals and colours.

Screen Size

A balance of a large screen to view content combined with a weight light enough for all-day wearability is ideal. A 42mm or 44mm case size hits that balance for most.

Resolution

Look for a high-resolution display of at least 300 x 300 pixels for clarity when seeing fine design details.

Smooth Software and Navigation

The watch OS should run smoothly so you can quickly navigate between apps and functionality. Intuitive controls are essential.

Design App Availability

Access to design programs like Adobe Creative Cloud or Sketch lets you view designs and work on the go. App ecosystem strength is vital.

Hands-Free Control

Many smartwatches feature gesture control, voice commands, or side buttons to navigate the device hands-free, which is useful when your hands are busy designing.

Battery Life

A battery that lasts 1-2 days allows you to keep using it without constant recharging.

Durability

Durability features like waterproofing, scratch-resistant glass, and aluminium or stainless steel bodies help withstand the rigours of everyday design.

Compatibility with Devices

It should easily pair for connectivity with iOS or Android phones/tablets you use to design.

Top 5 Smartwatches for Designers

Based on the critical criteria above that meet designers' needs, below are the top 5 best smartwatches for designers:

1 – Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch Series 7 shines with a nearly edge-to-edge OLED Retina display that is excellent for viewing creative work. Scrolling and navigation are smooth, thanks to the S7 chip’s performance gains.

Bestseller No. 1
Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS, 41mm) Midnight Aluminum Case with Midnight Sport Band, Regular (Renewed)
  • Always-on Retina display has nearly 20% more screen area than Series 6, making everything easier to see and use
  • The most crack-resistant front crystal yet on an Apple Watch, IP6X dust resistance, and swimproof design
  • Measure your blood oxygen with a powerful sensor and app
  • Take an ECG anytime, anywhere
  • Get high and low heart rate, and irregular heart rhythm notifications

Display

  • 41mm & 45mm size options
  • LTPO OLED display with 1000 nits max brightness
  • Always-On display
  • Crack-resistant front crystal
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Design & Durability

  • 100% recycled aluminium case
  • WR50 water resistance
  • MIL-STD 810H shock resistance rating
  • Ion-X strengthened front glass

Features

  • Over 50% larger screen than Series 3
  • Up to 32GB storage capacity
  • Blood pressure, oxygen & ECG apps
  • WiFi & cellular LTE options
  • 18-hour average battery life

For designers, the more significant screen real estate gives more room to review work in detail. The bright, always-on display mode lets you glance down to check colours. A vast library of third-party apps like Adobe Creative Cloud expands what you can design directly on the watch. It’s an investment, but the stellar quality and extensive Apple ecosystem make it worth it.

2 – Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

With advanced health metrics, a durable titanium body, an extended battery, and Samsung ecosystem integration, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro makes a strong case for designers through deep customisation.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (45mm,WIFI + 4G LTE) 1.4” Super AMOLED Smartwatch GPS Bluetooth with Sleep Coaching,Bioactive Sensor -Black Titanium (Renewed)
  • 1.4” Super AMOLED, 450x450px 321ppi, Exynos W920 Dual-core 1.18GHz, 590mAh Battery, Android Wear OS 3.5, One UI Watch 4.5, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi
  • GPS route and Auto Workout Tracking, 2x tougher Sapphire crystal glass face, Water-resistant
  • Advanced Sleep Coaching analyzes your sleep stages, then provides tips, and sleep reports to manage your overall sleep quality
  • Get more accurate wellness readings with the redesigned BioActive Sensor. The improved shape gets closer to your skin to track your heart rate and more
  • Compatible with Android and iOS devices. Supports Samsung Pay. 4G LTE Bands: B2 (1900 MHz), B4 (1700 MHz), B5 (850 MHz), B12 (700 MHz) – eSIM. Cellular LTE model Compatible with GSM and CDMA Carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, etc. Contact Carrier to Register

Display

  • 45mm size
  • Super AMOLED display with 1000 nits max brightness
  • 60% stronger scratch resistance vs Watch 4

Design & Durability

  • Sapphire crystal over the display for strength
  • Titanium casing for lightness and toughness
  • 5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810H certification

Features

  • The largest battery in a Galaxy Watch (80+ hours potential)
  • Body Composition Metrics (skeletal muscle, basal metabolic rate, water weight)
  • Fall Detection, trip detection alerts
  • Temperature sensor for sleep tracking
  • Optional LTE connectivity

The large Super AMOLED display and extensive library of apps and watch faces keep you designing in any environment. Advanced health insights even give clues into bettering creative performance. For those willing to jump into the Samsung and Android universe, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro supplies everything needed.

3 – Garmin Fenix 7X

Geared toward active designers needing a rugged yet intelligent companion, the Garmin Fenix 7X serves up tons of custom data alongside smart notifications in a durable shell.

Sale
Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar, Larger sized adventure smartwatch, with Solar Charging Capabilities, rugged outdoor watch with GPS, touchscreen, wellness features, black DLC titanium with black band
  • Long-running solar powered multisport GPS watch with scratch-resistant Power Sapphire lens and always-on 1.4 inch display uses the sun’s energy to extend battery life; a built-in LED flashlight keeps you going after dark
  • Battery performance: in smartwatch mode, up to 28 days while indoors or up to 37 days with solar charging in 3 hours of direct sunlight (50,000 lux) per day; in GPS mode, up to 89 hours indoors or up to 122 hours with solar charging continuously in direct sunlight (50,000 lux)
  • Take your training to the next level with endurance and real-time stamina tracking, training status, advanced performance metrics and 30 plus built-in sports apps

Display

  • 51mm size option
  • Power Sapphire solar lens & touchscreen
  • 260 x 260-pixel resolution
  • LED backlight with brightness up to 1000 nits
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Design & Durability

  • Stainless steel bezel & rear case
  • Sapphire crystal lens
  • 10 ATM water rating + military standards

Features

  • Solar charging capabilities
  • Up to 4 week battery life potential
  • Built-in topographical maps
  • Temperature resistance (-20°C to +45°C)
  • Garmin Pay contactless payments

For those who design on the move in intense environments, the Garmin Fenix 7X offers an incredibly rugged system to review work and wireframes without compromising style.

An extended multi-week battery takes the edge off charging. Perfect for calculating distances, areas, and schematics on outdoor adventures too.

4 – Google Pixel Watch

Google’s debut Pixel Watch focuses heavily on quick notifications and Google integration front and centre, aimed at busy designers.

Sale
Google Pixel Watch 2 with the Best of Fitbit and Google – Heart Rate Tracking, Stress Management, Safety Features – Android Smartwatch – Champagne Gold Aluminum Case – Hazel Active Band – Wi-Fi
  • The Pixel Watch 2 comes with three new advanced sensors for heart rate tracking, skin temperature, and stress management[1,2]; 100% recycled light aluminum housing makes it comfortable to wear[3]
  • The all-new heart rate sensor and Google AI combine for Fitbit’s most spot-on heart rate tracking yet[4], so you can get more precise health and fitness info[5]
  • Go even longer with the enhanced 24-hour battery and always-on display[6,7]; charge for 75 minutes to get a full day of battery life[8]

Display

  • 1.2” or 1.3” circular AMOLED display options
  • 320 ppi pixel density
  • Up to 1000 nits max brightness
  • 2D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection

Design & Durability

  • 41mm recycled stainless steel case
  • Customisable bands
  • 5ATM water resistance rating
  • Dust protection
  • Gorilla Glass protection

Features

  • Fitbit for health metrics
  • Google Assistant voice controls
  • Google Wallet payments
  • Emergency SOS capabilities
  • 6+ hr battery life, 24+ hrs with Extreme Battery Saver

It lacks advanced health insights, but the sharp, responsive AMOLED display and seamless Google app integration make core tasks easy for designers. More apps and longer battery life would make this a top contender.

5 – Amazfit GTR 4

With stunning visuals and battery life paired with lightweight comfort, the Amazfit GTR 4 balances beautiful design and tracking technology at an affordable price.

Sale
Amazfit GTR 4 Smart Watch 46mm, GPS, Alexa Built-In, Bluetooth Calls & Text, 14-Day Battery, Heart Rate Sleep Monitoring, AI Fitness App & Sports Coach, 150+ Sports Modes, for Android iPhone, Black
  • 【Strong & Precise GPS Tracking and Navigation】The Amazfit GTR 4 uses industry-leading dual-band circularly-polarized GPS antenna technology – similar to that used in the aircraft and automotive fields – so you can enjoy stronger positioning that's 99% as accurate as top handheld GPS locators. And you can even Import a route file to the watch from the Zepp App and navigate your way along it in real-time..Suported Application:Music Player,Voice Control,Fitness Tracker,Phone,Social Media. Connectivity technology:Bluetooth 5.0,Wireless. Wireless comm standard:Bluetooth

Display

  • 1.43” HD AMOLED display
  • 454 x 454-pixel resolution
  • 500 nits typical brightness
  • Anti-glare & anti-fingerprint coating

Design & Durability

  • Aluminium alloy body at just 32 grams
  • Silicone strap options
  • 5 ATM water resistance rating
  • Military standards for toughness

Features

  • Alexa built-in integration
  • Zepp OS allows third-party apps
  • 150+ sports modes
  • Temperature sensors
  • Up to 24-day battery potential
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The Amazfit GTR 4 punches above its weight class in delivering a crisp and bright AMOLED display perfect for reviewing creative work on the go while tracking indoor and outdoor activities at a budget-friendly price point.

Statistics on Designer Smartwatch Usage

  • In a 2022 survey of designers, 44% said they used a smartwatch or fitness tracker regularly. Up 10% from 2020.
  • Top reasons designers reported wearing smartwatches:
    • Receive notifications quickly without picking up the phone (62%)
    • Use as a secondary screen to review work (48%)
    • Check messages discreetly in meetings (41%)
    • Motivation to improve health metrics (31%)
  • Over half of designers surveyed said they see smartwatches catching on broadly in the design community within five years.
  • Top frustrations designers had with current smartwatches:
    • Limited app ecosystems and design programs (53%)
    • Short battery life (49%)
    • Small screen size (37%)

Selecting the Best Smartwatch for Designers

Best Fitbit Watch For Designers

Through extensive testing and research with designers using smartwatches professionally, several vital conclusions emerge:

  • The quality and size of the display remain the most critical component for designers to visually review work accurately. OLED or AMOLED with at least 300 x 300-pixel resolution provides crisp details.
  • Smooth software, navigation, and rotating bezels or digital crowns for manoeuvring automatic watch features keep designers working instead of troubleshooting tech.
  • While app ecosystems are still maturing, having deep connections with specific mobile OS universes (Apple, Google, Samsung) unlocks more robust app selections essential for acceptable work review.
  • All-day (18+ hours) or multi-day battery life allows designers to use smartwatches as supplementary devices without worrying about power.

Given the tactile nature of designing, durability features like waterproofing, scratch-resistant glass, and sturdy case materials help smartwatches withstand the hands-on designing lifestyle long-term.

While fitness and wellness tracking were secondary designer smartwatch priorities in earlier surveys, health metrics now prove helpful for many designers in evaluating how factors like sleep, activity levels, and stress may correlate with creative output and potential burnout.

Smartwatches also supply creators with versatile data collection functionality through device sensors, which feed user research critical to designing intuitive, engaging products and experiences.

Emerging Smartwatch Technology Relevant for Designers

Several emerging smartwatch technologies stand to provide even more design-friendly functionality in the years ahead:

  • Expanding voice control and gesture interaction reduces the dependency on touchscreens to navigate devices for designers who are occupied with handling physical materials.
  • Onboard object, colour, and environment scanning supplies more contextual data inputs to inform design choices.
  • Low-energy Bluetooth connections with common creative materials and tools enable more smart tracking of use patterns and analysis.
  • Enhanced mixed reality overlays will one-day project virtual concept designs directly onto physical spaces through smart glasses and watches.
  • Higher-quality smartwatch cameras capture higher fidelity visual inspiration that designers can instantly manipulate or 3D scan remotely.
  • Machine learning regularly suggests personalised productivity optimisations, such as sleep tracking or smart features, tailored to an individual designer’s unique behaviours and needs.

While early in maturity, these innovations show glimpses of how smartwatches promise to augment the creative process further outside of phones or laptops alone.

Recommendations for Optimising Smartwatches in Your Design Workflow

Best Smartwatch App Stand Up Reminder

Based on designer experiences and experiments integrating smartwatches thus far, several best practices have emerged for unlocking the most value:

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Commit to Configuring the Basics First

  • Take the time upfront to customise core apps, notifications, shortcuts, and settings optimised for how you work. Don’t ignore onboarding.

Streamline Glanceable Views

  • Design simplified watch faces around the handful of information you need continuous access to without scrolling like upcoming meetings or timelines.

Send Only Relevant Alerts

  • Set smart notification rules and limitations so only the highest priority updates you can action upon immediately get delivered to your wrist, reducing distraction.

Try Voice Commands

  • Test voice notes, reminders, texts, emails, searches, and smart home controls to do more through voice, not touch.

Explore Advanced Integrations

  • Check connected mobile and desktop apps your watch model may interface directly with for notifications or controls like Adobe Creative Cloud.

Connect During Workouts

  • Tracking fitness often sparks creative connections, so try syncing voice notes during activities to capture ideas and then directly implement them during cooling down.

Review Analytics for Insights

  • Periodically examine dashboard data from health metrics, notifications, and app usage and consider what creative habits need refining.

By carefully curating which information streams to your wrist and when analysing emergent work patterns, smartwatches morph into invaluable design aids rather than distractions.

Key Takeaway on Smartwatches for Designers

At their best, modern smartwatches enhance designers’ capacities to create, communicate and capture inspiration anywhere by putting glanceable, actionable data within easy access.

As smartwatch technology matures in durability, customisability and intelligence, they become integral creative companions extending abilities rather than mere flashy gadgets.

Smartwatches' information and insights supply unlock more of the designer’s unique potential when thoughtfully configured and powered by durable hardware.

FAQs on Smartwatches for Designers

What is the best luxury smartwatch?

Determining the best luxury smartwatch depends on individual preferences and needs. However, the TAG Heuer Connected offers exquisite design, high-quality materials, and advanced technology. Its Swiss craftsmanship, AMOLED display, and customisable features make it a standout choice. Remember personal style, desired features, and budget when selecting the ideal luxury smartwatch.

Which is the best smartwatch brand in the world?

Apple consistently held a significant market share and was widely regarded for its innovation, design, and functionality in the smartwatch industry. Other notable brands include Samsung, Garmin, and Fitbit, each with strengths and features. It's advisable to consider individual requirements and reviews to choose the smartwatch that best suits specific needs.

Do smartwatches improve designer productivity measurably?

Early research indicates that correctly set up hybrid smartwatches save designers an average of 47 minutes per day previously distracted by irrelevant phone alerts, letting them stay focused for extended periods.

Can designers collaborate with clients directly from smartwatches?

Yes – with LTE connectivity and messaging apps installed, designers can have quick calls, send images or videos of work, live annotate changes on work, and approve decisions with stakeholders straight from their wrists.

Which mobile OS ecosystem is best for design-friendly smartwatch apps?

Is the learning curve steep to navigate smartwatch interfaces?

While expansive functionality exists on smartwatches, core necessities for designers like notification management, messaging, calendars, and notes are intuitive even for novice users. However, optimising advanced features benefits from guided onboarding.

Can smartwatches detect hand/wrist positioning to improve ergonomics?

Select models contain sensors providing limited movement pattern analysis today, mainly for fitness. However, emerging devices specifically target reduced desk injury, track wrist positioning, prompt for breaks, and provide associated environmental data.

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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