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Do I Need a Smartwatch? No You Don’t

by Mrinal Saha

People often ask me, ‘Are smartwatches worth it?’ And my short answer is – ‘No, they offer little value for money, rather go for a fitness tracker‘. But if you are still not convinced, here is my detailed explanation on why you should not buy a smartwatch.

First, a little background here. I use Galaxy Watch as my daily driver. Before that, I was using the Apple Watch and Android watch (Ticwatch E).

Now before I start ranting about Smartwatches, let me quickly tell you why you should get a smartwatch. The biggest reason, for me, is, reply to the notification. This is my most used feature in my Galaxy watch. If I get a notification, I can quickly glance at it from my watch and reply, without having to pick up my phone. This increases my productivity. The second reason I still use smartwatch is the inbuilt activity monitor. It automatically tracks my runs, swimming, etc without having to pull out my phone.

That said, there are many other things I use my smartwatch for, like alarm, controlling music playback, step counter, sleep tracking, heart rate monitor, timers, watch faces, etc. But all of this could be done with any fitness trackers. So, there is no real reason to spend 10x more on a smartwatch.

Now, with that out of the way, here are 4 reasons you should not get a smartwatch

1. Most of the features are gimmicks – For example, picking up calls on a smartwatch. You have to bring your wrist near your mouth, which not only looks stupid but the quality of the calls is also not that great. Same is the case with voice assistants. ‘Ok Google’, ‘Hey Siri’, and ‘Hey Bixby’, all 3 of them are not as reliable as they are on the phone. For me, they work less than 50% of the time. I also tried to download music from Google Play Music onto the Android watch and connect Bluetooth headphones for the gym, but the connection was never stable. Same was the case with the Galaxy Watch. Though Apple Watch is an exception. It works fine when directly paired to Airpods.

2. Most Apps don’t work – Okay, Apple watch is again an exception here. But if you are thinking of getting a Samsung or Android smartwatch to try out different apps, well, think twice. The problem with Wear OS is that the Play Store is filled with plenty of apps that are not optimized for watch and often doesn’t work. Same is the case with the Galaxy Watch.

For example, when I got my first smartwatch, I was excited to install the Uber app, and unfortunately, it didn’t work on Galaxy watch or Wear OS. Though, it worked fine on Apple Watch. And that’s just one of many examples. After a while, I have stopped trying.

3. You have to charge them, every day. Yes, some smartwatch has a better battery than others. For example, the Apple Watch and Galaxy watch can last 2-3 days on regular use, while my Ticwatch last a day. Fitness trackers, on the other hand, last 3-4 weeks. Now, even if you are comfortable charging your watch while you taking a shower, you have to consider the fact, that battery will die in a few years. Instead, spend a bit extra and get a Rolex. It’ll last for generations and you don’t to worry about charging it every day

4. Overpriced. Pretty much all smartwatches are priced between $200 to $300, sometimes even more. You can get a good mid-range smartphone at this price which can do a lot more than a smartwatch.

So, who should get a smartwatch?

Well if you are thinking of getting an Apple watch, you should go for it. That said, if you have an Android device, the only two options you get is Galaxy watch and Android watch. The Android watch is not ready for prime time yet. Software is slow and the price is high. Galaxy watch is slightly better.

So, to sum it up. Smartwatch needs to be charged every single day, most apps don’t work that well and many inbuilt features like picking up calls is a gimmick. If you get a smartwatch, mostly you are going to do is, reply to the notification and a few fitness activities. Other than that, everything you can do on a smartwatch can be done on a fitness tracker. So, ask yourself, do I need to spend $300 for a smartwatch?

Sure, if you are into tech and like having cool gadgets in your wrist, then go for a smartwatch. Reply to the notification and a few fitness features is an added bonus. However, for most people, smartwatches are not useful.

Smartwatch doesn’t really serve the purpose

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