After years of promise, it seems the age of the smartwatch may finally be upon us and an increasing number of tech manufacturers are now offering wearable devices within their product ranges.
In the past, many of these gadgets were considerably more appealing to men than they were to women – often bulky in form, heavy to carry and with apps aimed purely at the male fitness market.
Thankfully, designs are changing and it seems most major manufacturers are waking up to the demands of the female smartwatch market. New attractive models are being added all the time and there are even specific designer ranges available from Michael Kors, Skagen, Garmin watches for ladies and Armani.
Certainly, one thing’s for sure: the days of clunky, purely functional smartwatches are long gone. These days, materials and style are playing an increasingly important role in the design process.
Lower form factor and more aesthetic designs
Form, size and weight were always at the top of the complaints list by women about previous smartwatch models. Unfortunately, the dynamics in this equation are quite simple: smartwatches consume significant power, while batteries take up significant space.
If you want to reduce the size of a smartwatch, you either need to reduce the power consumption or reduce the battery. In this case, more often than not, it’s the battery that takes the hit. Consequently, in some cases, you may find your watch needs charging a little more frequently than you might expect.
One acceptable alternative that gets round the battery vs size debate is hybrid smartwatches – a kind of halfway-house design that does away with touchscreens, but still has most of the smartwatch functionality you would expect. Hybrids use considerably less power than their touchscreen counterparts.
Comfort and colour
Another major change in newer smartwatch models is that designers are putting more thought into the materials they use — in particular with the strap and buckle. Women’s wrists tend to be much thinner than men’s, so the size, weight and material of straps is much more important in watches designed for females.
And let’s not forget colour. Finally, designers are starting to have a far bigger influence on the styles and colours of straps on offer, allowing you to mix and match styles and looks. It’s quite incredible how a different coloured strap can completely transform the look of a watch.
The killer feature – apps
In much the same way that apps became the driving force behind the massive smartphone revolution ten years ago, apps on smartwatches are also proving to be one of the primary deciding factors in which model to buy.
An increasing number of app developers are beginning to wake up to the growing female market and are producing female-specific software applications for smartwatches, particularly in the realm of health checking.
Some of the more innovative female-specific apps on the market today include menstrual monitoring and prediction apps, stress apps, heart and health observation apps (specifically for the female body) and sleep monitoring apps.
Ultimately, your choice of smartwatch will mostly boil down to personal preference, but it’s reassuring to know there are considerably more design-led, svelte models on the market aimed specifically at women.