How Accurate is Your Smartwatch? | Consumer 101

How Accurate is Your Smartwatch? | Consumer 101


and Jack should be here in just a second
five four three reporting for duty Miss Bree at ease soldier so tell me about these smartwatches well smartwatches are becoming super popular with consumers now there are a
lot more on the market than there used to be and people are using them for everything from tracking their workouts to keeping an eye on their texts and
emails and here at Consumer Reports we need to test those features to make sure
that they’re both accurate and easy to use Bree is going to show me the scientific methods they used to test smartwatches but first we’re going to
warm up then it’s time to pick a watch Bree which smartwatch should I use why
don’t you pick out whatever one you like all right hey I like this metal one to
begin Bree hands me a clicker in the real test the team member uses this to
manually keep track of his or her steps if you’ve ever used a smartwatch you
know one of the many things it does is count your steps the point of this test is to verify if that step count is accurate the technique is to click every
time your right foot hits the ground and to walk a carefully measured course so
that the results have a scientific basis so how do smartwatches actually record steps well they use an accelerometer to track your movement and figure out
exactly how many steps you’re taking are smartwatches that accurate yeah I mean
they’ve gotten better over the years that’s for sure they all use pretty much
the same kind of technology and in our testing we found that even the most
basic smartwatch can be really good at tracking steps Bree says the step test is repeated multiple times by four different testers to verify results once
all those numbers from both the smartwatch and clicker are collected the
data is analyzed and they grade each device’s performance but the step test
isn’t the only way they put smartwatches through their paces in the second test team members put on a heart rate monitor like this this is our
top rated consumer heart rate monitor this is going to allow us to check the
accuracy of that smartwatch you’re wearing I love exercising on a stationary bike but when the test team sits in the
saddle the first thing they do is check their resting heart rate then the tester
pedals to get his blood flowing comparing the smartwatch measurement to the heart rate monitor at 110 130 and 150 beats per minute when you’re up at
150 that’s a pretty vigorous workout so how does a smartwatch measure heart rate well smartwatches use a technology called photoplethysmogram say what
again yeah it’s basically the green light on the back of the watch yeah they use that to detect blood flow and from that the watch can calculate your heart rate oh that’s great so what do we learn from all this testing what makes a smartwatch really good well good really depends on you I mean say you’re a runner and you want to leave your phone behind you need to get one with cellular
so you can stream your music and take calls while you’re out and about and say
hey you’re a swimmer you need something that’s full swim proof and has the apps
for tracking strokes that you need we test watches to make sure that they will
survive that dunk in the pool they also test them to see how scratch-resistant
the face is and before you buy make sure that the watch has the apps that you
want some do more than others Bree there’s a family that wants to ask a
question let’s ask CR okay hey Jack my name is Giuliana and I really like my
fitness tracker but I was wondering what the difference between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker was we define smartwatches as devices that can take
third-party apps things like social media sites news sites stuff like that
fitness trackers generally don’t have those capabilities but on the flip side
they generally cost less Bree the good thing is I don’t have to go to the gym today yeah totally because you’ve got four more watches to test really yeah I’m serious Rico okay you got it

1 comment on “How Accurate is Your Smartwatch? | Consumer 101

  1. Kapil Mathur Post author

    I dont know why CR/Mr Rico tries so hard to make these videos conversational/entertaining instead of making them more informative .. maybe, the target audience is only teenagers (who don't watch such videos anyway)

    Reply

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