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20150802_105240Today, it seems like more and more manufacturers are making their own smartwatch. The concept of a smartwatch is not new. We have seen older movies that had a smartwatch featured, such as Dick Tracy.

Although smartwatches are the new trend, do you need one?

I have heard arguments for and against smartwatches. The most common response against smartwatches that I have heard is “What is the point if your phone is in your pocket?” Another response I have heard is “These things are useless without a phone.” I thought it was strange to hear this from an employee at my local Apple Store.

Today I will give you a brief run down of the pros and cons of smartwatches.

Pros

  • Convenience: My personal smartwatch of choice is the Samsung Gear S. The Samsung Gear S is very unique because it can function without a phone. In addition, it is water and dust resistant. Why is this convenient? The smartwatch is convenient because it allows me to go through my day without my phone. Think of it as a break from hunching over and looking at a screen for hours. I can go about my day without constantly looking at a phone. It does come off as impolite when you decide to pull out your phone and check emails during a live conversation. Smartwatches will give you a glance at information to see if it is worth additional effort to pull out your phone and read/respond to your notification. Related only to the Samsung Gear S, I am able to keep my phone safe when I’m at the beach. I can leave my phone in my car and just take my watch. My Samsung Gear S is great at the beach because of its resistance to water and dust. This way, I can still stay in touch with people without risking damage to my phone that is not water resistant.
  • Phone Battery Life: Ever since I started using a smartwatch, I touch my phone less and less throughout the day. This is because I’m not constantly checking my phone for every little thing. The screen on your phone consumes a lot of battery life. Before using a smartwatch, I was down to about 20% battery life by the time I go to bed. After using a smartwatch, I am down to about 35%-40% battery by the end of the day.

Cons

  • Price: Depending on the manufacturer of the smartwatch you want, you will be paying quite a bit for an accessory. One of the best entry level smartwatches that I have used is the Pebble. The Pebble is a very popular smartwatch that started on Kickstarter. This will be one of the lower cost smartwatches to try and see if you need a smartwatch. If you are looking for something a little more luxurious, you can expect to spend $200 or more.
  • Charging: When people think of a watch, they are thinking of something that lasts really long without needing to change a battery. Definitely not the case with smartwatches. The Pebble, which can last 7 days on one charge, is probably the smartwatch to get if you value battery life. Other smartwatches such as Android Wear watches, the Apple Watch, or Samsung Gear devices will get 1 day or battery life or 2 days if you use power saving features. Charging your smartwatch will most likely be added to the list of other things you will need to recharge often.
  • Out of Date: Unlike traditional watches that take a long time to become out dated, Smartwatches will become out dated as soon as a manufacturer builds the next model. No matter how much you spend on a smartwatch, or how fancy it looks, it will get out dated within a year. Traditional watches do get out dated, but people can easily keep a traditional watch for decades. Since you cannot replace the battery to a smartwatch on your own, it is guaranteed that your smartwatch will have an expiration date.

Now that smartwatches are here, do you really need one? My answer is no. No one really needs a smartwatch. The keyword here is convenience. Smartwatches are great at offering convenience. It definitely depends on your lifestyle. For myself, I enjoy exercising and being active all day. Because of my activity level, I think a smartwatch is great because I don’t risk damaging my phone. If you are a person that is always playing games or working on your phone for the majority of the day, you may not need a smartwatch since you are already holding your phone. Smartwatches do come in handy when your hands are full. For example, I was able to answer a phone call while I’m carrying groceries, changing oil on my car, or while I’m swimming. Again, not everyone will need to do this, but the convenience will make your day much easier. Although I really do enjoy having a smartwatch, I still don’t “need” it. But, I do like looking high tech in front of everyone and looking like James Bond, Dick Tracy, Captain Kirk, etc. Since smartwatches are still a new idea, you will be the center of attention if you are wearing one. Especially something flashy like the Moto 360, Apple Watch, Samsung Gear S, or LG Watch Urbane.

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