Smartwatches, are they worth the investment?

So, yesterday, Pebble announced their new smart watch called Pebble Time. And Apple is rumored to be launching their smart watch this year as well. Motorola has one, LG just came out with one, Samsung has one. It seems that this is the year that the manufacturers are going to shove this new tech down our throat.

The real question is, do we need it, or is it just a trend that people are going to want to jump on?

I know that I’ve kind of waffled on the subject myself, going back and forth about whether or not I would make it usable enough to buy one for the crazy prices that they are looking to charge. I would like to lay out my pros and cons about it. I don’t really intend to make a decision quite yet, but this might get some more of my thoughts out and get me further along.

Pros

Notifications

I would be able to get many of my notifications on my wrist instead of having to reach ALL the way into my pocket, take out my phone, and unlock it… Just kidding, it’s not that bad to have to whip out my phone 100 times a day to check for phantom notifications. I’m one of those phone users that is always checking my phone for notifications, but also using my phone for almost everything. Getting notifications on a watch would be nice but would have to be done in a way that doesn’t take away from my phone experience. With the current trend of phone sizes getting bigger right now, I don’t see replacing my phone with a watch face happening any time soon.

Hands Free Talking

Being able to talk hands free is always nice. Well, if you could talk into your watch, you could theoretically be free to keep your hands on the wheel, or whatever you are doing at the time. Answering calls would be much smoother I would think as you would only have to look at your wrist and accept or reject the calls instead of having to try to dig out your phone and hope you can answer before someone hangs up. The way I see it, it’s a lot like a bluetooth headset except your ears don’t have to hurt as much from wearing it. Although, I don’t know how much I would want to just have my watches speaker on to talk to someone, so I could see it just pushing the call up to my bluetooth, which would not be as helpful.

It’s fun and cool

Becoming an early adopter of things can be fun. You get to get in before others do and learn to use technology that is rapidly evolving and just being developed before it matures and gets set in it’s ways. I know right now it’s going to be more of a tech status symbol to a lot of people. But people outside of the tech world are going to mostly not care in my honest opinion. It is a cool concept, but we will see if it’s just gimmicky or it can actually make our lives easier to navigate the world with.

Cons

Charging Station/Battery Life

Think of all the plugs you are going to need just to plug everything in here? We’re talking bluetooth headset, smart watch, phone, tablet, etc. We’re going to need a bigger surge protector

One of the biggest cons that I can come up with is battery life. I know that the Pebble line of watches claim to last 7 days between charges, which is a huge leap above the competition that I’ve seen. I think most watches that are out last about a day like most smart phones. I can see having to charge my watch at the end of the day just like my phone, but I feel like we are just adding accessories just for the sake of adding accessories. Can you imagine the charging station?

Expensive

Most of these watches are going to be between $99 to upwards of $1,000. These watches seem to be you get what you pay for as well. I have seen some really nice watches and some watches that are just absolute garbage. I will be interested in how the pricing works out on these devices and how they fluctuate over the next few years.

Conclusion

So there you have it a few pros and cons of smart watches. I am still on the fence with them as they would be fun to play with and would possibly bring the wristwatch back to the next generation who have gone the way of the phone for keeping time. I think overall if they can work to make it more useful then gimmicky, they will have a win on their hands. Only time will tell!

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