The first full-fledged smart watches appeared in the early 2010s. For ten years they have considerably wiser, added functionality and battery life – it is worth at least a look at the capabilities of the top models of Apple, Fitbit or Xiaomi.
Nevertheless, the question of the futility of smart watches, or, in any case, their optionality, is still relevant. “Waste of money” is the mildest characteristic that they usually get. However, the list of advantages is such that after studying it, many haters of smart watches may well turn into their followers.
1. Time is not the point
A classic watch has two basic functions: 1) a fashion accessory, 2) a chronometer. The first is a matter of taste. The second is not necessary for someone who constantly uses a smartphone. In addition to the watch itself, the smartphone has an alarm clock, timer, stopwatch and calendar – all this is also in smart watches, but some of them even know what smartphones do not.
The owner of a smart watch does not need to take his phone out of his pocket to answer a call, SMS or a messenger message, in addition, this can be done on the go (or on the run). Some watch models support voice dialing, which is useful, for example, during training. Well, or in any situation when taking a phone with you is not very convenient. There are also models that can themselves work as a phone – such a watch requires a separate SIM card.
Many smartwatch models suggest direction of movement through vibration. That is, the user can adjust the route without constantly looking at the map on a smartphone – an indispensable function, for example, for traveling by bicycle.
Fitness functionality is one of the foundations in smart watches, which at least eliminates the need to purchase a separate fitness tracker and pedometer. A smart watch can count steps, distance traveled, calories burned, squats, heart rate, sleep control, etc. You can also download music from your phone to the watch to listen to it through Bluetooth headphones during training. A separate segment is a smart watch with a waterproof case, which is suitable for lovers of swimming, including underwater.
5. Wrist doctor
The watch evaluates the level of lactic acid, heart rate and the level of oxygen in the blood, timely warning of deterioration. Several devices for the mass market are under development that will be able to measure blood sugar levels, making blood sampling a microneedle.
6. View notifications from social networks
A number of models not only support notifications and view messages from Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook and other social networks, but also allow you to communicate in these applications. Of course, a small screen limits the possibilities of correspondence, but smart watches are quite suitable for concise answers.
7. Contactless payment
The top models of smart watches are equipped with an NFC-module, which allows you to pay for purchases through Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. payment systems. Thus, neither a credit card nor a smartphone is needed to go to the store.
8. Music, photos and videos
No matter how good a Swiss watch is, YouTube videos definitely won’t look at them. Of course, watching videos on such a small screen is not a pleasure for everyone, as, indeed, photos. But listening to music during a morning run is definitely a necessary function.
9. Easy smartphone search
It happens that you are late, you are going in a hurry – and, as luck would have it, the phone is stocked up somewhere. Most modern smart watches have a “phone search” feature. You can call the phone from the watch and find it in a couple of seconds.
10. Run longer than a smartphone
Not every smartphone lasts on one charge for more than a day. Some smartwatch models – for example, Garmin Vivoactive – work for several days without recharging. In addition, modern smart watches operate using Bluetooth 5.0 protocol with improved energy efficiency, which also extends the battery life.
A regular watch can run on a single battery for more than a year. Smart – on the strength of several days, and even then if they are new.
Like any mobile device, smart watches become as old as they evolve. After a couple of years, a new smart watch is awkward for someone to wear. In this sense, the same Swiss watch is an ageless classic.
3. Duplicate smartphone features
Most smartwatch functions are supported by smartphones, only in full form. Therefore, for those who do not need fitness options or health control, and the phone in their pocket does not interfere, the benefits of smart watches are not entirely obvious.
4. Not for extreme conditions
Smart watches are definitely not suitable for deep-sea diving, falling from a great height and other extreme sports. Fans of an overactive lifestyle are more likely to use the usual “hiking” Garmin or Casio models.
Be that as it may, the useful advantages of smart watches are much more than disadvantages. Anyone who still doubts whether to buy or not can be advised to test drive. It is possible that after a week of use, a smart watch will become as indispensable a device as a smartphone.
Should I buy a smart watch?
Smart watches have become quite a popular gadget. Smart watches combine the function of a regular watch and the capabilities of a smartphone . Initially, the gadget was invented to facilitate only a few tasks, for example, it had a built-in calculator or alarm clock. But over time, the functionality of smart watches expanded, manufacturers began to equip the product with new features.
Today, smart watches can be synchronized with a mobile phone and answer incoming messages and calls. Through the device, you can control your smartphone, make contactless payment and view email. In addition, smart watches help with sports: count calories, keep the pulse under control and count the number of steps. The watch also performs the function of a navigator: give hints during the route.
To figure out whether to buy a smart watch, you need to consider their main advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of the popular device are many:
Ease of use . The clock is synchronized with the main smartphone, and to answer the call you do not need to remove the phone from your pocket or bag. This is very useful in heavy rush or cold weather.
It is possible to quickly find a lost phone if it is within the bluetooth support. When the device is found, the smart watch emits a characteristic sound.
You can call through a smart watch, even if the smartphone is dead . Very handy function for emergency cases.
Control your own health . The gadget helps to calculate calories burned, to control the pulse, to provide information about kilometers traveled. The device’s system also provides various alerts to the user about the need to charge or warm up.
Help with orientation . In order to get to the right place, it is not necessary to have a navigator on hand. It is enough to set the route on the device and follow the necessary instructions.
The ability to take photos, record the right moments on the recorder, if there is no phone at hand.
You can download various applications to facilitate some tasks that are not included in the device’s functionality.
The compactness and durability of the device allows it to be used in active sports and extreme trips. In cases of outings and picnics, you can generally not take a smartphone with you to prevent loss, but use only a smart watch.
The ability to track the location of children and always know where they are. This is also possible in phones, however, children often lose them, and a smart watch is always on hand.
Using smart watches
In addition to the positive aspects, the device has some disadvantages:
Smart watches are the usual extension of the smartphone , performing almost the same properties. In addition, for the full functioning of the device, mandatory synchronization with a smartphone is needed, otherwise many functions of the gadget will not work.
The main purpose of the watch, that is, time information, is available only when the device is on hand, and in other cases this function does not work.
Some models need regular charging , the battery in the device may drain several times a day with active use. Therefore, it is highly likely to be in a critical situation without the help of a smart watch.
When synchronizing with the phone, the gadget receives all notifications about unread messages, missed calls, new emails. These notifications can greatly interfere with work and annoy others.
Relatively high cost . Some models of smart gadgets represented by today’s popular brands are quite expensive. For example, Apple Watch costs about 35,000 p. Cost, of course, can justify quality. However, it is not likely that the functionality of the device will be relevant in a few years. Every year, the development of technology moves up, and the properties that are in the watch today may become obsolete tomorrow. It turns out that the money was wasted.
In the event of a breakdown, users are waiting for expensive repairs . Most often, owners have problems with the screen, the replacement of which costs a decent amount. In addition, for a quality repair, you must contact the official repair center, where additional costs may be required. Going to ordinary workshops to save money is highly discouraged due to the possibility of bringing additional malfunctions to the device.
Heart rate and calorie consumption often show conditional information , which can differ significantly from reality.
The watch device does not support some document formats, so many files cannot be opened on them.
If the watch strap breaks, you will not be able to fix the problem yourself, because there is a special antenna in the strap. You will either have to completely change the device, or order a new part in the store where it was originally purchased.
View photos, videos and web pages from the small screen of the gadget is not very convenient . Most likely, it will not work to consider the necessary details in detail.
You can make calls from the device, however, in order to find the desired contact, you will have to search for it on the small screen . In such cases, it’s easier to find a phone in your pocket and make a call to the right person.
In general, if you want some changes, you can buy a smart watch. For the first time, it is better to focus on mid-range models. It is also recommended to carefully study all the properties and functions of the selected gadget, consult with a specialist and issue an additional warranty card.