Initially, the budget smartwatches used to come with heart rate sensor as standard. Later the OEMs added blood oxygen tracking and stress monitoring. And now with the COVID-19 era, we have skin temperature sensors on smartwatches. But again, how to check if the temperature sensor on these smartwatches is real and not fake? Well, let’s look at three ways to find if your smartwatch body temperature sensor is fake and check its accuracy.
Check if Your Smartwatch Has a Fake Temperature Sensor
As of yet, smartwatches with a temperature sensor can only measure the skin temperature. Their ability to measure internal body temperature is still very limited. And even with skin temperatures, the readings can vary based on external factors.
Since this is the new hyped-up feature in budget smartwatches, most generic brands and OEMs take it to their benefit by giving a fake temperature sensor. This can be very misleading if you rely on your watch to gauge your body temperature or fever.
Thankfully, there are some handy ways to check whether the smartwatch has a fake or real temperature sensor. Besides, you can also check the temperature sensor’s accuracy to know if it’s reliable.
Method 1- Check Temperature on Hot and Cold Objects
The easiest way to find if a smartwatch has a fake temperature sensor is by checking it on a hot or cold object. If the watch shows deviation in temperature reading, then it has a real sensor.
Take your smartwatch and put it on a mild hot object or surface, like a tissue soaked in hot water or a warm utensil (make sure it’s not too hot). Then, check the temperature monitor to see if readings increase. If not, it has a fake temperature sensor.
Alternatively, you can put the watch’s sensor on a cold object like an ice cube or frozen materials. If the temperature readings decrease gradually, the smartwatch has an actual temperature sensor.
Smartwatches with wear detection may not show the temperature on random objects. In that case, you can rub an ice cube on your wrist or make it warm by standing next to a room heater, and then check the readings.
Method 2- Check Smartwatch Temperature Accuracy With a Thermometer
Another way to check if the smartwatch has a fake temperature sensor and what’s its accuracy is to use a digital thermometer. All you need to do is a temperature check on both devices and compare the results.
Wear the smartwatch on your wrist and start the temperature monitoring. At the same time, put the digital thermometer and wait a few minutes for it to detect the temperature. Then, compare the readings on the two devices.
The thermometer will show an accurate temperature. If the watch deviates too much from those readings, then the sensor cannot be relied upon.
We tested the temperature sensor on two smartwatches- Boat Mercury (review) and Noise Caliber. Noise closely matched reading on thermometer with a minor difference of 1-degree Celsius. However, Boat Mercury produced a variance of more than 2-degree Celsius which makes it less accurate.
Overall, an inaccuracy of one to three degree Celsius is passable, given that wrist is generally cooler than than elbow or tongue where you’re using thermometer. But anything more than that makes it unreliable for gauging fever or COVID symptom.
Method 2- Check Smartwatch Temperature Accuracy With IR Temperature Gun
The infrared or IR temperature gun is a popular device to measure body temperature, used across schools, hospitals, malls, and other public places in the COVID era. It uses an infrared light to detect the body temperature contactlessly.
To check the accuracy of temperature sensor on your smartwatch, wear it and start the detection. Alongside, measure the temperature on wrist using the temperature gun. Check and compare the readings.
The watch should match the reading on the IR gun, albeit with a difference of one to two degrees. However, if there is a notable difference between the data of both the devices, then the watch sensor can be termed as inaccurate and unreliable.
These were the three ways that can help you check the temperature sensor on your smartwatch. Checking if it fluctuates over objects with high or low temperatures will make it clear whether its fake or real. At the same time, comparing the readings with a digital thermometer or IR temperature gun would give you an idea of its accuracy.