You may have seen the explosion of fitness devices and new products touting that they use or incorporate Bluetooth Smart, Bluetooth 4, or Bluetooth Low Energy. The idea is that this is a very low power version of Bluetooth used for shuffling a few bytes of data back and forth.
Apple has done a magnificent job of touting that it has the first Bluetooth Smart iPhones and tablets to the market, but then again it is really good at unquestioned advertising. The reality is that there have been Bluetooth Smart capable phones around for a while, although they weren’t branded as that. Most people didn’t care about that new logo and name for what essentially ends up being a piece of software.
If you’re the owner of an HTC One, One Mini, One Max, Desire (300, 601, ot X), Butterfly S, LG Nexus 4,5, Optimus G, 4X, G2, Moto X or G, Sony (Xperia V, Z, SP, L, M, Z Ultra, Z1, or C), Samsung (Galaxy S3, S3 Mini, Galaxy S4, S4 Mini, Galaxy Gear, Note 2, and Note 3), Blackberry (Z10, Q10, Q5, Z30), iPad 3+, or a host of other devices that may or may not have been marketed as Bluetooth Smart, you’re probably covered.
I became interested in this while testing a fitness watch that only connects via Bluetooth Smart, and I connected it to my two-year-old HTC EVO 4G LTE, which was introduced a long time before I started hearing about fitness watches and the term Bluetooth Smart.
According to Wikipedia, the chips used by Bluetooth Smart have been around since 2009 and are usually just firmware updates to handle anything new. Your operating system will also have to support it, so if you’re not interested in rooting the device to push a new ROM with updated Bluetooth profiles, there’s a chance you might not be able to get proper Bluetooth Smart functionality. But who knows?
If you’re trying to breathe life into your old HTC EVO 4G, however, it appears that it’s too late for that, as the spec was Bluetooth 2.1; similarly the EVO 3D ended at Bluetooth 3.
Whether your device will support Bluetooth Smart however is up to your device’s equipment, the ROM capabilities, and the manufacturer, but the technology has been around for several years now, even though the Smart branding seems to have been popping up relatively recently.
So to summarize, if you’ve got Bluetooth 4.0 on your device, you’ve got a chance that it will work with Bluetooth Smart, although you might have to jump through some hoops to get there.