Are you thinking about buying a smartwatch? Do you think that you’ll use it every day? Or will it end up in storage somewhere? I’ll present some of the pros and cons to why you should buy a smartwatch or not. There are dozens of companies creating smart watches. From Apple to Fossil, they are all creating smartwatches. These watches will deliver you notifications and apps straight to your wrist and you won’t have to dig through your pocket for a phone at all. However, does that mean that they are good for your collection or for you to wear?
A Brief History Lesson
In 2013, a company called Pebble Technology Corporation released the first smartwatch called the Pebble. The company conducted a Kickstarter campaign that ran from April to May of 2012. The campaign raised a little over $10 million dollars, which at the time, became the most funded project in Kickstarter history. At the beginning of 2013, the company started shipping the Pebble to Kickstarter backers. The Pebble watch could be connected to Google and Apple devices and would show notifications and messages. An online app store could be accessed to download compatible third-party apps. It wasn’t much longer until other companies began to follow suit and create their own version of smartwatches.
So, What Do They Do?
Besides telling time, one of the most basic functions of a smartwatch is displaying notifications. The types of notifications can vary based on the manufacturer and the apps that are installed on the device and often times they can mirror what is already on your smartphone.
Applications, or, simply Apps, are another of the most basic functions of a smartwatch, so much so that it isn’t really a smartwatch without the apps. Available apps will vary per device, but they will always come in two different environments, Apple or Google. There are also styles of smartwatches that are made with a specific purpose in mind and will have apps that support that purpose, such as hiking for example.
If you are pairing your smartwatch with your smartphone, then you can also manage your media from the wearable. An example of this is if you are listening to music or a podcast, you can fast-forward, skip or pause the audio from the watch. In addition to this, you can also answer your messages from the wearable as well.
Smartwatches are also capable of doing fitness tracking. Most of them utilize apps that can count your calories, tell you how much water you need to drink, how many calories you’ve burned, etc. They can also perform GPS tracking of your location as well.
What Types of Smartwatches Are Available?
When it comes to smartwatches, there are typically two choices you need to make. Do you need one for a specific purpose or are you looking for a general, all-purpose smartwatch?
If you are needing a smartwatch for general purposes, then look no further than Google’s Wear OS powered devices or Apple Watches. These watches were created with the intent to be your everyday watch, similar to what a mechanical wristwatch is, however, it uses apps and also relies a bit on your smartphone.
With that being said, it will make most sense to buy a general-purpose smartwatch that is of the same environment as your smartphone. For example, if you own an Android phone, then it would be best to buy a smartwatch that uses the Wear OS operating system by Google. The reason for this is that the smartwatch will operate alongside your phone, almost like a support device. You will be able to see the same messages and notifications across both devices.
Besides general-purpose smartwatches, there are also those that cater to niche uses. These smartwatches will have features that will improve or be built for that specific activity or purpose. Take hiking for example. There are several features that hiking specific smartwatches will have, such as good battery life, GPS, navigation features like a compass, barometer, altimeter, and a heart rate monitor in addition to the ability to connect to your phone or PC.
Should You Buy a Smartwatch?
Now that you know what a smartwatch is and what it can do, should you buy one?
I think the answer to that would depend on what you are wanting it to do. If you are wanting a smartwatch for a specific activity or niche, it may be worth it. For example, for fitness buffs, a smartwatch that counts steps, calories, keeps track of heart rate and lets you listen to music, all while secured to your wrist may be well worth it.
In the likely event that you already own an Android or Apple smartphone, buying a general-purpose smartwatch may be beneficial and worth it if you understand it’s uses and limitations. It would be a great companion to your smartphone if it’s of the same environment, allowing you to pretty much mirror your phone.
This could be useful for checking notifications, emails, missed calls, and texts straight from your wrist. You can also use Google Assistant (Android) or Siri (Apple) from your smartwatch to have them check things for you such as your calendar or pull up directions for you.
On the flip side, I don’t recommend buying a smartwatch to replace your smartphone. That’s not what their purpose is and they are a long way off from being able to do that. They do however make great companions to your smartphone.
Also, if you really don’t feel like you need another gadget to distract you, then I would also recommend not buying. With a smartwatch, you will get notifications and alerts, just like you would on your phone. If you enjoy a traditional style watch due to its simplicity of just telling time with no alerts and notifications, a smartwatch may not be for you.
Hopefully this post helped answer why buy a smartwatch or not. What do you think? Will you be adding a smartwatch to your collection? If so, what do you plan on getting? Let us know in the comments below.