Are smartwatches worth it? – A Realistic Overview

by Mihail Angelov
smartwatch, worth buying, realistic review



In this modern era, we are becoming more and more addicted to technology.

The development progress of tech has increased rapidly, and it is hard to keep track of what is new and beneficial vs. what is another waste of money for a piece we don’t have the time to use it.

Gadgets are cool and exciting in theory, but nobody uses their full potential. On the other side, people are getting busier than ever, so we don’t have the time to explore all the functionalities of them.

Take your smartphone as an example. Nobody knows all the technical specifications and advantages. Most people just use a few apps every day, plus additional ones when needed, a few times a month.

Getting an Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch is not going to change that because your time is limited.

Smartwatches are just an extension of your smartphone. So, wearing one device all the time will become wearing multiple devices that basically do the same things while they are connected via Bluetooth.

Therefore, let us separate this article into several useful parts, which will set the right questions about this topic.

Are smartwatches worth buying in 2021? If that is true, how much should you spend on a smartwatch? How much are you going to really use the smartwatch?

Let’s cover the most important aspects and give you a realistic overview.

Here’s what is included in this blog post:

The benefits of a smartwatch

The primary and most used purpose of a watch is to show the time and serve as a fashion accessory. Or not?

The first thing to do when you want to buy a smartwatch is to check and identify the specifications of the OS (operating system) it is running on.

Having a nice design and core features like tracking features, smart features and a touch screen.

Likewise, GPS, fitness features and heart rate monitoring are must-have features.

However, besides all of these, I will mention the most essential features of a smartwatch.

So, let’s dive into every function that makes a smartwatch worth it.

Touchscreen

Today’s smartwatch manufacturers use an LCD screen or AMOLED touch display similar to the screen of smartphones.

This part is mostly for playing around with thorough options like selecting your song or even reading through a text.

Still, the main difference is how your watch screen looks in daylight and night. The quality of the screen directly affects battery life.

Phone calls and text messages

If you got a more premium smart watch you get the options to call people, receive incoming calls and respond to messages.

For some business people, these are essential features in running their daily work life.

Heart-rate tracking and blood pressure

The built-in heart rate monitor and ECG sensor are a must-have feature for every smart watch.

It provides you with real-time feedback on how your hearth is responding and performing in various scenarios.

This feature provides you with health benefits and timely analysis that can’t be recognized with the naked eye.

Fitness tracker

The fitness tracking is a critical feature and something that is expected from every smartwatch owner.

These include fitness tracking and setting up fitness goals on a daily level. A good example can be the option for step counting where you can set up a goal with a number of steps you want to achieve every day.

Besides basic fitness tracking, there are different sports tracking features like running, climbing, swimming and cycling.

Sleep monitoring

The sleep tracking feature automatically detects when you’re asleep by noticing small changes in your heart rate and in your body movements from its sensors on your wrist.

These variations are monitored to track the level of sleep, in other words, how long were you asleep and how often you woke up during your sleep.

Smart notifications

This attribute presents the ability to receive your smartphone notifications on your smart watch.

Therefore, your smartwatch is directly synced with your smartphone and you can pick to receive in example, social media notifications from Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and Twitter.

Similarly, you can receive alerts for calls, messages and emails.

But be careful with your smart notifications setup because they can become very annoying and interrupt you all the time.

Offline music support

If you are a music fanatic, you would like a smartwatch manufacturer that supports syncing your playlists from Spotify, YouTube and Deezer.

Smartwatches like Garmin, Apple, Samsung and Fitbit support apps like Spotify and are work to add almost all app features and control them from your wrist.

On the other hand, there are also devices that may not support music services but will still allow you to upload your own music to the device.

Contactless payment

This trend first became available on debit cards and then on smartphones with Android Pay and Apple Pay.

These mobile payment systems work with contactless payment readers so that you can pay without your card or phone. 

Today, there are some Wear OS watches that now support Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. That means, you can now quickly pay by bringing your smartwatch near the payment system and the transaction goes through quickly.

Other important features

Besides these functions, wearing a smartwatch gives you the comfort of having greater accessibility. Many of the features above but mostly getting instant notifications, reading messages and making phone calls can be done from your wrist instantly.

Smartwatches are fancy and they look good too, so you can combine them with different wristbands and change the watch face. They never get boring because they offer various customization options, except when the software (operating system) becomes obsolete.

Most of them are also waterproof, so they are great for people who want to track workout mode like swimming.

However, lets not forget about the battery life and the charging methods. These come as the biggest pain points of smartwatch owners.

Another great feature is that your smartwatch is synced with your phone and computer and even can access smart home devices.


NOTE

Probably the best functions of a smartwatch are the ones that cover the health and fitness tracking. These have become the favorite for every new smartwatch owner.

However, for most of the notifications, you have to refer to your smartphone for more detailed information. A never-ending relationship, right?

Smartwatch vs. traditional watch

The primary function of both is to show time and serve as a fashion accessory.

The first and crucial thing to compare is the battery life. A traditional watch battery lasts more than five years, where a smartwatch battery lifetime often depends on the functionalities. It could last less than a day or less than a month, depending on what type of smartwatch you are willing to get.

The fancier one is the smartwatch, the shorter battery life they got. Also, don’t forget that there is no extra effort to charge your regular watch. You can just put it and go.

There are no software updates or sync issues, and there is no need to restart it when something goes wrong.

The wristband lasts of a regular watch lasts longer than the one of the smartwatch, but it is not changeable as much.

Regular watches are all-time classic and they are meant to last for years, maybe decades. However, with the advent of the smartphone, watches are becoming less popular. The phones also tell the time, have alarm and calendar, and can provide many more features.

In the end, owning a regular watch has sentimental value and will represent an irreplaceable fashion accessory for a long time.

Why smartwatch is not for everyone

You should really only get it if you’re really into cool gadgets. It’s not very useful for most people, for most it’s just an accessory for fun.

If you don’t plan to use its full potential, a smartwatch is probably not for you.

The smartwatches are just another tech trend for those who have extra money to buy them and look cool. Hardly anyone uses them to achieve efficiency in their daily lives.

There are separate views on this subject, but many people say it is better to get a premium and modern smartwatch with all the latest technology than a budget-friendly one. Still, they will use the same features but pay the extra money just to wear a brand on their wrist.

How can a smartwatch be almost as expensive as a smartphone, and still, all of its functionalities are dependent on the smartphone? Ask yourself that question.

If you are not a manager that receives tons of notifications, a sportsperson that exercises almost every second day, a person that travels a lot, then a smartwatch is not for you.

Ask the right questions

No matter you want to buy a smartwatch or not, before making a decision, you should ask yourself these few crucial questions:

  1. Which is the main reason you need a smartwatch? Is it because it is trendy, or is it essential for your lifestyle?
  2. How were you able to handle your everyday tasks before taking into consideration buying a smartwatch?
  3. Why should you pay more for something that is exactly like your smartphone and it is dependent on it?
  4. Are you a busy person and you receive tons of notifications on a daily basis?
  5. What will you do with the tracking analysis and metrics? Do you make conclusions, make an analytical report, or use that data for something else?
  6. Do you need an expensive smartwatch or you can get an affordable one?

Best smartwatches right now that worth the money

If you decide that you want to get yourself a smartwatch, there few things that you should have in your mind.

There are many different smartwatch providers and various price tags. The latest smartwatches with the latest technology are (as we know) more expensive.

In this section, I will mention only the important notes you will need and save from the fluff.

Falling into this category are the very well know manufacturers like Apple and Samsung (Android).

Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy smartwatches vary between 199$ and 799$, so they are not cheap and cost almost like buying an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone. The price varies on the choice of the material, design and additional features. 

On the other hand, there are manufacturers like Garmin that offer price-friendly models and are mostly focused on fitness and sports tracking features.

However, we recommend the Fitbit products especially the Fitbit Versa models. Fitbit price range varies from 79$ to 339$ giving you a lot of models to pick from.

Another great smartwatch that you can get when you are on a budget is the Amazitfit watch or similar versions of the Xiaomi smartwatches.

Fitbit and Xiaomi are great choices if you want to buy your first smartwatch and don’t spend an enormous amount of money.

Conclusion

I guess there are two types of people who read this post.

The first ones are those who think that smartwatches are a waste of money and not worth buying at all. The second ones are those who would like to know more about the pros and cons of smartwatches before deciding on buying one.

I don’t want to deter you from buying a smartwatch (I own one), but I want to urge you to think whether you need one and ask the right questions. The honest advice here is to think twice before spending your money, and if you make up your mind about buying one, be economical and practical about your choice in purchasing something that may become obsolete soon.

Remember that right now, smartphones are going to last way longer and probably it is the only most “important” device you need today.

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