Are Smartwatches Worth It? Here’s How To Decide
More and more people are wearing smartwatches and ditching the conventional watch because of the multitude of functions they offer. These gadgets not only tell the time, but they are like smartphones that you can wear on your wrist. Smartwatches can be synchronized with your phone, and they also have an integrated fitness tracker that helps you measure your daily activities.
- What is a smartwatch? What does it do?
- Two types of smartwatches
- Should you get a smartwatch?
- Benefits of having a smartwatch
A smartwatch is worth it if you need the hands-free functionalities and features it offers. If you have an active lifestyle and you require mobility, then a smartwatch is a wise investment. It will allow you to engage in activities that otherwise make carrying a smartphone inconvenient.
This article will talk about smartwatches and the benefits of having one. You will know whether getting this gadget is worth your time and money.
What is a smartwatch? What does it do?
A smartwatch is a digital wristwatch with a small chip that allows it to function like a mini-computer or a much smaller and wearable smartphone. So it does a lot more than tell you what time it is or what day it is today.
You can synchronize your smartphone with your smartwatch so that you could also see the notifications and alerts you get to see on your phone. These include text message and call alerts, calendar notifications, alarms, and social media notifications.
Two types of smartwatches
There are two main types of smartwatches: general-purpose smartwatches and specialty or specific-use smartwatches.
The general-purpose devices are those you can use daily. They have standard features and are heavily dependent on your smartphone. That means that most of what differentiates them from an ordinary wristwatch is their ability to synchronize with your phone. This is why many people think of smartwatches as a mere accessories to or support devices for smartphones at their most basic.
Aside from synchronization, the other standard features that most smartwatches offer include app support, media management, GPS, and fitness tracking.
Your smartwatch is defined by how many apps it supports. Being able to connect to your smartphone would be useless if your smartwatch doesn’t allow the same mobile apps you frequently use.
For instance, if you use your phone a lot to get weather information, monitor the news, or access your social media accounts, then your smartwatch should be able to give you access to the same things.
Most smartwatches allow media playback management. That means you can play music on Spotify through your smartphone and be able to control it through your smartwatch. You can control the volume, pause, skip songs, and change tracks.
It is handy if, for example, you are working out at the gym, and you wouldn’t want to carry your smartphone around and hold it with your sweaty hands as you hop from one exercise machine to another.
A smartwatch can do the basic things your fitness band can do. Many models have an integrated heart rate monitor, a pedometer to let you know how many steps you have taken, and an accelerometer. Some can also help you monitor your calorie consumption and even your sleeping patterns.
Most smartwatches include built-in GPS to keep track of your location. The GPS also allows you to receive location-specific alerts, including traffic updates. This function enables you to record or track your outdoor runs accurately.
Specialty or specific-use smartwatches
Smartwatches can also have special features that are designed for a very specific purpose.
While these smartwatches can be used as smartphone-dependent devices, they can also function independently. You can use them as a stand-alone fitness tracking device with more robust features tailored for a particular activity.
For example, hiking smartwatches boast GPS navigation, weather forecasting, basic vitals, and a long battery life that could last for hours even with all these features activated.
There are also diving smartwatches, which have added features like a depth indicator, temperature and time counters, and other diving measurements. These watches are, of course, waterproof and can withstand underwater pressure.
There are also smartwatches designed for flying, boating and fishing, and other activities.
Should you get a smartwatch?
Unlike in the early days of smartwatches, when these devices were sold for a hefty amount, there are now plenty of affordable ones on the market. A lot of manufacturers now offer them for a lot less than $50.
So, if you are not against spending that much on a new gadget, you can get a smartwatch and enjoy whatever you can of its technology. Who knows, you might end up discovering that you need it more than you had expected.
However, if you want to look at a smartwatch as an investment and need to make sure it’s worth every single penny, take a look at the benefits of having one. You can make a checklist and see how many of these benefits apply to you. This is especially helpful if you plan on getting a premium smartwatch model like the ones from Apple or Garmin.
Benefits of having a smartwatch
The following are the benefits of a smartwatch.
Receive calls and reply to messages faster
Having a device that you can wear and take with you whatever you do and wherever you go allows you to instantly receive calls and reply to messages. You no longer have to miss important messages and calls while you’re busy exercising, or you got your hands full.
Some smartwatches have voice support and allow you to dictate text message replies. Some also have built-in microphones and speakers that will enable you to take calls on your wrist.
This hands-free function is very helpful if you work out a lot or if your job requires you to work with your hands, like if you’re a baker or a mechanic.
See social media notifications instantly
You do not have to pick up your phone ever so often to see whether you missed an important notification on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accounts. You glance at your wrist and ignore things when they’re not relevant.
No more bulky phones while you’re exercising
You don’t have to carry your phone around while you’re doing something active, like jogging or lifting weights. That also means you don’t have to constantly worry about your phone falling on the ground and breaking.
If you keep your phone with you because you don’t want to miss anything important while you’re sweating out, you can let your smartwatch do the job. If you use your phone to listen to your music while exercising, you can do it through your smartwatch and a wireless headset.
Pay via NFC
If you don’t have your wallet and your phone and you need to buy or pay for something at a store, you can use your smartwatch as long as it has NFC (near-field communication) capability and you have stored your credit card details.
Say, for example, you are out running and decide to get a bottle of water or a cup of coffee on your way home. Tap your smartwatch on the store’s NFC reader, and you’d be good to go.
Fitness data at your wrist
Wearing a smartwatch allows you to keep track of your health and fitness goals. You will know how many steps you’ve taken today and whether you’ve been sitting too long. You will also if you’ve been getting quality sleep or if you have burned enough calories, among other things.
Integrate with your smart home devices
Some smartwatches support apps that allow you to control or view your other smart devices at home. You can turn on your smart lights, smart TV, and smart plugs and open smart locks through your watch. So, if you have a smart home, buying a smartwatch is a pretty cool step.
Smartwatches also have emergency support. If you figure in an accident while hiking, your smartwatch can recognize it and notify emergency services if you become unresponsive.
A smartwatch is also a great advantage if you are into special or unique hobbies, like scuba diving and fishing. You can monitor underwater depths, and you can navigate the waters via its built-in GPS. It will let you know where you are and where to go next.
Smartwatches are handy and helpful devices, especially if you value ease-of-use and mobility. They are worth the money if you know you can fully enjoy their hands-free features and their capability to synchronize with your smartphone.
And if you are into exercise and have an active lifestyle, or at least you plan to, then a smartwatch is definitely a must-have gadget to keep you on track.