Wearable review methodology

Here's how we break down the scores for our smartwatch and fitness tracker reviews.

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Here at Finder, we rigorously test the smartwatches and fitness trackers we review to determine scores for design, performance and battery life as well as an overall score. Our reviewers rate each category out of five, with zero being the lowest possible score.

This is how we break down each score:


Design

To determine the design score, we consider the following:

  • Functionality. Is the design functional? Does it make the device easier or harder to use?
  • Aesthetics. How does the product look? Is it available in multiple colours and designs?
  • Materials. What is it made out of? Does it feel cheap or high-quality?
  • Comfort. How does it feel? How big and heavy is it? Does it come in multiple sizes to suit different people?
  • Display. Is there a touch display? How big is it? Is it easy to read in all lighting conditions?
  • Durability. Does it have a waterproof rating? Is it dustproof and sweatproof?
  • Set-up. What's included in the box? How easy is it to set up?

Performance

To determine the performance score, we consider the following:

  • Features. What features are included? Do the features perform as promised?
  • Virtual assistant. Does the device include a virtual assistant? How effectively does the microphone pick up voice commands?
  • Device support. What operating system does the device use? Is it only compatible with certain phones?
  • Corresponding app. What can you do with the corresponding app? How easy is it to use?
  • Additional app support. If the device supports additional apps, is there a robust marketplace? Do the apps add functionality to the device that is otherwise not available?
  • Tracking accuracy. Is the tracking information comprehensive, accurate and reliable?

Battery life

To determine the battery score, we consider the following:

  • Battery life. How long does the battery last? Does the battery life live up to the manufacturer's promise?
  • Charging method. Does it use a micro USB, USB-C, lightning cable or proprietary charger? Is wireless charging available?
  • Charging time. How long does it take to charge fully?

Overall score

The overall score is not an average of the other scores. To determine the overall score, the reviewer considers the ratings for design, performance and battery life as well as the price and how it compares to other available wearables. For example, we may give a smartwatch high scores for design, performance and battery life, but a low overall rating if it has an exorbitant price.

When coming up with the overall score, we consider the following:

  • Our overall impression of the product
  • Value for money
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • How it compares to the rest of the market

Our scores reflect the value we give each device. However, there's a level of subjectivity to each review. If you've had a different experience with a device, we'd love to hear from you.

After we review a wearable, subsequent software updates may affect the performance of the device. We aim to reflect these updates in our reviews where possible.


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