moto-360.jpgStudents will be heading back to school very soon and so back to school shopping is already well underway. While technology is important for students, you may not have considered the value a smartwatch can bring to student life so today let’s spend some time looking at the world of smartwatches and which would be great picks for students.


10340290_4.jpgThe basic freshman budget smartwatch

Students on a budget would benefit from something like the Striiv Fusion smartwatch for example. It is inexpensive yet features enough features to help students track activity, sleep, and make use of Bluetooth smartphone control. The battery will last about a week and charge in a half hour so it is very convenient, yet the functionality means full time tracking of sleep, steps, calories burned, et cetera. This model sports a silent vibration alarm, and can deliver incoming call alerts and text notifications from your Bluetooth phone. A student would certainly find it handy to track their activity levels in order to keep a handle on that extra weight freshmen gain when starting school, and all the new lifestyle changes in store.


Something a little nicer for the sophomore


If you want something for a student beyond just the basic freshman entry level smartwatch you’ve got plenty of options still. One of the most popular smartwatches available is the Pebble smartwatch. I see these frequently as they’re budget friendly yet have a lot of customizability and functionality at the same time. The Pebble supports fitness tracking and a silent vibrating alarm, as well as the usual basic call and text notifications from your phone but as well as all that it goes beyond to provide even more. This smartwatch has a great e-paper display which looks fantastic even in bright light, and a backlight for dark settings. The waterproof smartwatch is very customizable allowing you to download new watch faces and apps to have the watch match your style and exhibit a little personality. This watch can also let you view notifications, control your music and more right from your wrist.


10324651_7.jpgA smartwatch to help juniors stand out

For those students who really want to stand out among their peers, something a little nicer than the basic options isn’t quite enough. These students will want something special that makes a distinct visual statement. For them I would recommend the Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch. This model does a wonderful job of combining classic styling with the punch of modern technology. This smartwatch looks at a glance like a classically styles analog watch yet the screen is actually a beautiful round 205 ppi backlit full colour LCD touchscreen. The watch is made from steel, leather, and glass so it appears to be more of a fashion accessory than a gadget. This is certainly one of the most stylish smartwatches out there, for students who don’t want to have to sacrifice style for substance. In terms of functionality, this smartwatch handles all the usual controls and notifications as the others, and yet goes beyond with build-in voice controls, multiple watch faces to choose from, and more. The battery life won’t last you anywhere near a week though, however the make up for that by including a wireless charging dock to let you charge it conveniently as you sleep – a pretty nice trade off.


The smartwatch for the senior at the top of their class

10370275.jpgIf you really want to get a premium smartwatch, you would be well served by getting an Apple watch. These smartwatches are one of the hottest wearables on the market today. You have many options like the Sport in anodized aluminum or the more premium level model in stainless steel. Each of those collections gives you an option of two different screen sized (38mm and 42mm) and a selection of bands to suit your personal style choices. The real feature here, however is the software ecosystem. You can be sure that the number of apps and customization options for this watch will continue to grow over time as more developers get onboard. As for onboard features, the Apple watch has a retina display with force touch, heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope onboard. There is a built in microphone and speaker, and the watch even has WiFi capabilities. If you’re looking to do a lot with your watch, this is probably the best option for you right now as it should offer a wide selection of options for new software based functionality provided you’re using an iPhone too.

As you can see, there is a wide variety of smartphones suitable for a variety of people from budget conscious freshman to top performing senior. Each of the smartwatches we’ve looked at sits at a different price point, feature set, and even fashion sensibility and I’m just scratching the surface of what the world of smartphones has to offer. Really there is no shortage of options on shelves, so no matter who you’re shopping for, you can find a great smartwatch to suit them.

They can be invaluable tools in student life too, not only letting you track your activity to keep your lifestyle healthy but they can help you navigate your way to and around campus, they can help you keep track of classes and appointments, they can help you keep studying without the distraction of your phone, since you can have important notifications sent directly to your wrist, and so on.

The world of smartwatches is growing rapidly so particularly for the higher end smartwatches we’re seeing more and more apps come out to expand on their functionality. Who knows what creative uses for students we’ll see in the near future. Picking out the right student smartwatch now could mean that student life going forward is easier, more efficient and more convenient than ever before. If you choose wisely, you could even find yourself wearing the hottest fashion accessory on campus.

Raj Patel
I'm a writer, photographer, film producer, avid reader, gamer, architect, programmer, artist, community manager, and general nerd. You can visit my website