Should you buy a smartwatch?
A few months ago after a friendly game of badminton, I saw one of my friends messing around with his new Samsung Gear S3 and I thought to myself: Should I buy a smartwatch? Do I need a smartwatch? Smartwatches are cool and all, but I wasn’t quite sure if they were worth my money.
The thought of having a smartwatch intrigued me. I did a bit of research about today’s top smartwatches because I wanted to learn more about smartwatches and what they have to offer. After some digging, I found out that although smartwatches cannot be considered as a necessity for now, they can still be quite useful.
After I did my research, I sat down for a while and did some thinking. A few moments later, I got the idea that yes, having a smartwatch would benefit me in some ways and I should buy one for myself soon.
You may ask me what benefits I am talking about, so I made a small list of 5 reasons why you should buy a smartwatch.
1. Displays important information while keeping your hands free
Smartwatches are able to display important information and notifications straight to your wrist. This is easily one of the most basic yet great uses for smartwatches in my opinion. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just get tired of having to get my phone out of my pocket every time I get a notification.
If you have a smartwatch, checking notifications could be done with just a glance. Like most smartphone users, you probably get a lot of notifications throughout the day. But how many of those notifications really need your immediate attention? I bet less than half of it does. If you’re like me, you probably receive a lot of emails throughout the day that aren’t really that important.
With a smartwatch, you can easily see the notifications you receive without pulling out your smartphone. This way, you can check the notification and decide whether some action needs to be done, or if you just need to quickly dismiss the notification and go back to what you were originally doing. It’s really that easy and convenient.
It’s not just limited to notifications too. Reminders and notes can also be viewed using your smartwatch. Most smartwatches today also have built-in weather apps that can show you accurate weather conditions. These features can certainly come in handy every now and then.
I think being able to check your notifications using your smartwatch is particularly useful in some situations. For instance, if you’re having a nice meal with someone, it may seem rude to pull out your phone to check if the notification you just received is important. On the other hand, having a quick glance at your wrist probably won’t seem as rude.
I could go on and on about this because this is one of the features I found most useful in smartwatches. I bet if you think about it, you would probably find this feature useful too.
2. Great for doing ordinary, everyday stuff
That smartwatch on your wrist may look like an ordinary watch, but in reality it’s actually a small computer. With that being said, your smartwatch is perfectly capable of doing simple tasks that you would normally do with your smartphone.
There are a lot of useful apps available on current smartwatches that are great for accomplishing these simple tasks.
Do you need to quickly solve a mathematical equation? I know your smartphone has a calculator, but you don’t need to pull it out if you have a smartwatch.
Setting reminders and alarms are two very important tasks that people do every single day. These two are also basic tasks that smartwatches are great for.
Some top notch smartwatches today even have messaging capabilities, and some even allow you to make or receive calls directly, even with your smartphone sitting safely in your pocket.
Another cool feature that top notch smartwatches have is “virtual assistants” that can do some tasks quickly. The Apple Watch has Siri, just like the other Apple products. Android smartwatches on the other hand have Google Assistant.
While there may be some differences here, they somewhat have the same purpose, which is to make things a lot easier for you. With this feature, you only need to bark your instructions directly to your smartphone and your “assistant” takes care of the rest. This can be used for various basic tasks and it can really speed things up for you.
Those are just some of the ordinary tasks that smartwatches can help you with every day, and I’m sure there are a lot more. I’m also pretty sure that in the future there will be updates that would improve smartwatches. This means that the number of tasks that it can help you with would just increase.
3. Fitness tracking
I think that fitness tracking is the biggest reason why people buy smartwatches. In fact, this was how I got my interest in smartwatches, because I saw my friend using a smartwatch every time we played badminton.
Because fitness is one of the biggest factors that people consider when choosing a smartwatch, most smartwatches are now equipped with advanced fitness tracking capabilities.
As time goes by, fitness tracking features in smartwatches have become better and better. More features are being released, and they are always being improved as well.
Today most smartwatches offer different types of workout modes. Whether you’re going running, cycling, or lifting weights, smartwatches can track your stats and show them to you in real time or after your workout. This makes it easier for you to track your progress, and know whether you’re improving or not.
Smartwatches are also a great workout accessory because they are water resistant, so they won’t be damaged even if they are exposed to sweat during your workouts. Some smartwatches are even waterproof for up to 30 to 50 meters deep, which makes them ideal for swimming. Before you take your smartwatch swimming though, I do recommend that you make sure that it is safe to do so.
Along with all the features mentioned, some smartwatches even have a built-in GPS. These smartwatches have the capability to track the distance you covered, your pace, and the number of steps if you’re running. Smartwatches can also count the amount of calories you burned during your workouts.
An additional feature in smartwatches today is sleep cycle tracking. If you wear your smartwatch when you go to bed, it can track your sleep cycles, allowing you to track the times when you were in light sleep or deep sleep.
With all that being said, I think being able to track and see your progress can give you extra motivation with your workouts. Just seeing the amount of calories you’ve burned, or seeing that you went farther and faster on your run today than you did last week can make you want to push yourself even harder.
4. Other great features like LTE, NFC for Android Pay and Spotify
Although some of these features aren’t actually new, these can still come in handy in some situations.
For instance, NFC (Near Field Communication) is a technology “that enables two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device such as a smartphone, to establish communication by bringing them within 4 cm (1.6 in) of each other”, (source: Wikipedia).
Some Android Wear Smartwatches like the Huawei Watch 2 have this capability, although it is not available in all countries yet, hopefully it will be soon (fingers crossed). With this feature, you have the option to use your smartwatch for your payment transactions using Android Pay, which is really great in my opinion because you don’t need to bring as much cash with you.
LTE is another great feature that some smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 3 have today. This feature gives you messaging capabilities, and allows you to make and receive phone calls without bringing your smartphone with you.
Another great feature I found is offline Spotify support. The Samsung Gear Sport has this feature, and as of now I’m not sure what other smartwatches have this. This means that if you have a premium Spotify membership, you can stream your favourite tunes from Spotify even if you’re not connected to the internet.
5. Smartwatches look cool
Now this may not be a big reason for you to buy a smartwatch, but am I wrong about this though? Let me elaborate.
Modern smartwatches look sleek and elegant. Like any normal watch, design is a big factor when it comes to choosing smartwatches.
Smartwatches are very customizable, and it is very easy to change the way it looks so it would suit your taste. One way of doing this is to change the smartwatch’s straps.
Most smartwatches come with rubber or silicone straps, especially those that are more geared towards fitness. However, these straps can be easily replaced with straps made of different material such as fine leather, metal or plastic, whichever you prefer. A lot of these straps also come in different colours, patterns and textures.
This way you wouldn’t need to buy more watches to use for different events or activities. The smartwatch you used for working out in the morning could easily be used for a dinner party later that same day, simply by changing the strap to something more appropriate.
Aside from the straps, most smartwatches also have the option to change your smartwatch’s watch face. If you didn’t know, watch faces are sort of like the wallpapers for your smartwatch. Similar to the wallpapers for your PC or your smartphone, your smartwatch’s watch face can easily be changed.
There are a lot of different watch faces available and it varies from smartwatch to smartwatch, but I’m positive that there is a design for everyone.
With that being said, I think it doesn’t matter what look you’re trying to pull off, what event you’re going to, or what activity you’re going to be doing, a decent, good looking smartwatch can complete your look.
Those are the 5 reasons why you need a smartwatch, and should consider buying one in 2018.
As I said before, smartwatches cannot yet be considered as necessities for now, but they are no doubt awesome companion devices.
Smartwatches are made to make daily tasks easier. I don’t think they will be replacing smartphones anytime soon, but I think they play their own role, and they can definitely increase your efficiency if you use them the right way.
If you’ve already decided to get yourself a smartwatch, maybe you’ll be interested in knowing more about the top smartwatches today. This will help you decide which smartwatch is right for you.