It’s a question many of us have pondered in the last 12 months, and with more and more hitting the market, it is one that keeps coming around time and time again. Should you get a smartwatch?

Should I buy a Smartwatch?

Are these companies pushing these watch-like wearables a little too aggressively? Is there actually a benefit to your life by owning one? Will they make enough of a difference to you to justify the expense? The world is polraised on the issue, so many for, so many against, but realistically only you can answer that question. So here are some useful points to help you figure out if a smartwatch is really what you want/need.

Notifications

One of the main purposes of the a smartwatch is to show your notifications in a more digestible, less intrusive way. You don’t have to get your phone out of your pocket or pick it up off the desk to see that some twit has sent you ANOTHER request to play Candy Crush. It all pops up on your wrist, particularly handy for meetings and commuting. Oh, they’ll also notify you of the date & time, just like a regular watch. Fancy.

Functionality

Sure, you can go to a nice watch shop or jeweller and pick up a super slick timepiece, but for pretty much the same price as your average Fossil watch, you can walk away with something maybe a little less attractive, but on the whole, a lot more useful. With the notifications as mentioned, there’s also the option of installing apps, setting reminders, getting weather updates and so forth. Not to mention that there’s also the fitness element to it.

Getting / Being / Staying fit

Whilst some smartwatches focus on general apps and features, there are those more dedicated to people who take care of their bodies, or at least want to try. The new Garmin 920XT, for example, is packed full of features including GPS, ANT+ and VO2 sensors, it also syncs with heart monitors and does those classic digital watch things like timing and laps too. These watches can help with running, swimming, cycling and general training. Basically, they’re like a little wrist worn personal trainer that can help get you into the best form of your life. Apple Watch take note.

Power

The main power benefit a smartwatch has is that over your phone. Since you don’t have to pick it up and check to see who is calling, who just emailed you, or who just whatsapped a cute picture of a cat in a suit, you’ll be saving its battery life. Your phone’s, not you watches. In addition, you also don’t have the cost and time required in taking your watch into a jeweller to get the battery replaced, instead you can just plug it in and let it go. Of course, if you have a kinetic or solar powered regular watch, thats kind of null and void.

The Look

Currently, smartwatches have absolutely nothing on the look and feel of the beautiful timepieces that people spend thousands of their heard earned bucks on, they carry a different kind of look. They show you’re a first mover & early adopter in the electronics market, someone who embraces the new, loves change and wants everything to be better, more functional and enhance your life (if its an Apple Watch, you’re also seen as one of the Macolytes). Also, you can pretend you’re Dick Tracey.

BUT things are changing, the new MOTO 360 watch is by far the best looking smart watch out there, its more traditional looks offering the best of both worlds for our tastes.

Commuting

The help smartwatches can deliver to commuters deserves to have a section all of it’s own. If you’ve ever been crammed in a subway carriage, with less than a square inch of breathing space, and your fellow commuters violently invading your private space, you’ll know it is almost impossible to whip out your 6 inch device from your erm, jacket pocket. Whether you want to change the song on your spotify playlist, set a reminder to buy flowers for the Mrs when you get off the train (we all forget from time-to-time), check the status of your commute or snap a discreet picture of the hilariously dressed hipster who just sloshed some mocha latte frappe doo-dah all over his platted beard, well, it can all now be aided by a wrist-worn device.

Talking stuff

Smartwatches are, funnily enough, pretty clever. You can take and make calls, quite easily, without having to slide your phone out of your pocket or go fumbling about in your bag. With the cameras these watches come with, you can also indulge in a little face-to-face chitchat via your wrist. Anyone who has friends in far-flung places knows that keeping in touch via skype can be a pain, and this can make it just that bit easier. Oh, and you can also talk to your watch and get it to do stuff, that’s pretty smart too in a James Bond kind of way.

Finding your phone

Whilst some might be hesitant to admit it, we’ve all had that moment where we’ve patted our pockets, checked our bags, and scratched our heads trying to remember where we last put our phone down. I left mine in the car just yesterday! A lot of smartwatches that sync to your phone let you know when you’ve strayed out of connective distance, a reminder that you’re leaving your precious behind.

Upgrades

Give a man a watch, and he can use it to tell the time. Give a man a smartwatch, and in time, who knows what he can do. A smartwatch is, primiarly, a piece of hardware, through which software providers can deliver a vast array of limilitess functionality. Upgrades to OS and apps in the future make a smartwatch a more future-proof purchase than a regular timepiece. Want a watch that will boil your kettle when you’re down the street, so a brew is on when you get in? I’m sure we’re nearly (if not already) there.

Standalone devices

We admit we’re stretching just a bit here, but the final point for smartwatches is that a lot of them are really individual units. You don’t and won’t always need a phone to pair it with. It can make the world of difference travelling, in the office, or simply if you just can’t figure out if you truly need a smart phone. After all, if you’re around a computer 24/7, a smartphone isn’t ENTIRELY necessary, is it? Either way, they can bring the internet to your wrist, and that can’t exactly be a bad thing, can it?

So, how do you feel about a smartwatch? Does it appeal enough to you? The options are certainly many, and with loads being rumoured every day, and the more out-there ideas hitting kickstarter on a regular basis, now is the time to really consider if a smartwatch is right for you.

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