Are Smartwatches Worth It?

More and more people are wearing smartwatches and ditching the conventional watch because of its many functions. These gadgets tell the time and are like smartphones you can wear on your wrist. Smartwatches can be synchronized with your phone and have an integrated fitness tracker that helps you measure your daily activities.

A smartwatch is worth it if you need its hands-free functionalities and features. A smartwatch is a wise investment if you have an active lifestyle and require mobility. It will allow you to engage in activities that otherwise make carrying a smartphone inconvenient. 

What is a smartwatch? What does it do?

A smartwatch on a man's wrist.

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 today’s day.  

You can synchronize your smartphone with your smartwatch so that you can 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 and specialty or specific-use.

General-purpose 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 mere accessories to or support devices for smartphones at their most basic.

Aside from synchronization, most smartwatches offer other standard features, including app support, media management, GPS, and fitness tracking. 

App support

Your smartwatch is defined by how many apps it supports. Connecting 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, your smartwatch should be able to give you access to the same things.

Media management

Most smartwatches allow media playback management. That means you can play music on Spotify through your smartphone and 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.

Fitness tracking

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 sleeping patterns.

GPS

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 designed for a 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.

Smartwatches are also designed for flying, boating, 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, plenty of affordable ones are now on the market. Many 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. You might discover that you need it more than you had expected.

However, if you want to look at a smartwatch as an investment and ensure it’s worth every penny, consider the benefits of having one. You can make a checklist and see how many benefits apply to you. This is especially helpful if you get a premium smartwatch model like the ones from Apple or Garmin.

Benefits of having one

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 receive calls and reply to messages instantly. You no longer have to miss important messages and calls while you’re busy exercising or have 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 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 while 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 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 phone and 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’ll be ready. 

Fitness data on your wrist

Wearing a smartwatch lets you track 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 see if you’ve been getting quality sleep or 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 and TV and plug and open smart locks through your watch. So, buying a smartwatch is a pretty cool step if you have a smart home.

Safety features 

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 navigate the waters via its built-in GPS. It will let you know where you are and where to go next.