How would you test a smart watch

A week ago, I challenged testers on “How would you test a pen?”

During the proces, I learned an interesting perception about tester “software testers cannot test a pen because it’s a physical object…”

Let’s show what testers are capable of :point_down:

How would you test a smart watch?


I will check if I can successfully connect that smart watch to my smart phone or not.
I will check all the functionalities of smart watch which I can operate with my smart phone. Example: receiving call, rejecting call, alarms, messages, view gallery, and so more…
I will check other functionalities of smartwatch like counting steps by moving from one location to another. (There can be a lot more scenarios for testing this )
I will check heartrate count is displayed correct or not by measuring heart beat from smartwatch and measuring it with device at the same time and comparing the reading.
I will check the accuracy of sleep quality check functionality by waking up at night multiple times.
Then after comes checking the UI & physical part of smartwatch.
I will check by connecting it to multiple phone at a time.
There can be a lot many more scenarios…


My Fitbit stopped reminding me for incoming calls after a while. I didn’t change it intentionally…

So it either stopped after an upgrade from either itself or Android itself or after I connected more Bluetooth stuff to my phone… Now, it’s ‘less smarter’ because it doesn’t know about the incoming calls etc :rofl:

Lets see, I blew up your pen. So for the watch…
A hammer?
Give it to my daughter for her swim training? (small wrists plus deep water can be fun!)
Check to see if it has any hidden laser-beam functionality. You know, in case Doctor X locks me in a cell again.

On a more serious note, the hammer and water aren’t bad ideas, but they’re usually out of my context. Structural testing is done across the hall with the mechanical people. I just help out when I can (because, who wouldn’t want to drop test expensive equipment!)

On a more historic note, “Can the watch tell time?” can be an interesting question. And the follow up, “How accurately?” opens up a big rabbit hole. And “How accurately does it tell time in Bombay?” and, “What about the time in Tokyo when I’m in Amsterdam?” (and what about the other way?) I’ve also seen the most advanced systems throw absolute fits when daylight savings time comes around. And how about, “When I do something else, does it affect the time?”

And that doesn’t even touch on the “smart” part of the smart watch. So what I’m saying is…
Perhaps the context of our tests should be broken down into sub-systems, interactivity and so on. Am I testing the watch, or something on the watch?


First of all I would go and find some nice heuristics against which you would like to test. This could fit not only to smartwatch (or pen) but for any object (real or software creation). My favourite is Michale’s Bolton SFDiPOT. Such heuristics are always fine for me to create a high level test pla, which then I can make more detailed.

S for Structure.
Components of smartwatch
water resist
shock proof
how the glass of watch durable

F for Functions.
What functions does it have?
Does it have any Business Functions (Emial)?
Does it have any Special funtions(Sleep monitor)?

D for Data.
What data does it accept?
Can you send files to it?

I for Interfaces
Is there any UI - buttons?
Watchface and it’s functions?
Is the watchface visible fine in the sun/night etc
Can you connect it with cable?
How to charge it?

P for Platform
What’s OS does it run?
How does it integrate with phone, laptop?
Does it required any driver depends on the OS?

T for Time
Are there any time related dependencies?
How long does it take until battery drain with and without load?

O for others
Anything which I missed?

Of course you could put the pieces differently than I do, but this is only an idea how I would attack the thing I don’t really know. Also it works really well with a whiteboard and piece of paper and combine it with a mind map. Try it! :slight_smile:



I like the SFDIPOT approach, but I’ll go one step higher and keep it light and fun.

What’s a smart watch?
Did you mean to say smartwatch as that seems to be a bit different than smart watch?
Is it a watch on a Smart car?
What kind of watch it is, paper, wall, software-based, or others?
What is ‘smart’? What would be the characteristics that make it smart?
Do you want to know how do I test the words ‘a smart watch’? if so, what are you interested in?
What information would you like me to give you about this smart watch?
Is the smartwatch used for hacking? is it linked to a nuclear reactor? is it used for calling my tesla from the parking lot? is it used in a military operation?
Where am I? Am I close to this ‘a smart watch’? do I have any resource(hdd, or soft) available?
How much time do I have to test it? Am I alone or with someone else?
Do you want to test the hdd, software, or the way hdd and soft work together?
Do you want to know if a smart watch is smarter than a human? or than another smart watch?
Do you want to auction it and you need an evaluation of it’s worth?
Do you want to copy it and you need someone to help reverse engineer all the things it does and doesn’t do?
Do you want to know if you can block streets on google maps traffic using smart watches like the guy with 99 phones did a few days ago?

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