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Time check 05:45 AM, the usual time I wake up and the first thing I do is pick up my smartphone (that’s obvious since I have to silence the annoying alarm), I have to set my day’s appointments, respond to those Whats app messages all on my smartphone. In short, my life basically revolves around this gadget. Not so long ago I got the opportunity to review an Android wear Smartwatch called the Moto 360 and I can assure you that up to now, I feel like getting myself one of these expensive gadgets. But, when I get the urge to buy a smartwatch, the left hand virtually pulls my right hand trying to stop it from pouring over $290 down the drain. This begs to ask the question at hand, do you really need smartwatch anyway? I often wonder if you’re going to need a smartwatch in the near future.
It’s time to understand what this smartwatch craze is all about. It’s not about picking up on the next trend before it replaces the smartphone. It’s not about jumping on the bandwagon before it leaves without you. It’s about cashing in on the wants and desires of those with cash to burn obviously not me. Otherwise, a regular watch can do the basic purpose of time telling. Things may change, but for now, you do not need a smartwatch to continue living your life, or do you? We’ve worn watches before. Personally, I don’t wear one while I’m working because it interferes with my typing, and I can check the time on my smartphone anyway. So, do I need a watch? Not so much.
Do I need a smartwatch?
I suppose that if I’m going to wear a watch, it may as well be smart. That’s the opinion I’m hearing from most of the people purchasing the first wave of smartwatches like the Apple Watch and the tonnes of Android Wear smartwatches on the market today. I can give five reasons why I am not ready for a smartwatch:
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At $350 to start, an Apple Watch isn’t cheap. We can point to the Apple Watch as a trendsetting timepiece, but also as the class leader for emptying your wallet. How can I use Apple Pay when I’m broke, Apple or worst still it won’t roll out here in Africa till the year 3000?! Android Wear isn’t a whole lot better. At $250-plus, Android Wear devices aren’t an impulse buy for many. When you consider price versus features, buying a smartwatch can’t be justified in many cases.
I don’t want to be the the naysayer, but what a smartwatch really does is to tell you to look at your smartphone. What? So why the *&%* would I buy one? Outside of monitoring health and fitness stats, a smartwatch doesn’t do a whole lot. It’s highly likely that, you’re not wearing a “regular” watch because of your smartphone, so why take a half step forward to compromise and put notifications on your wrist?
One thing is for sure, all current smartwatches are pretty bulky, even the Moto 360, as svelte and cool as it looks, is pretty massive. If you’re a watch cognoscente, a smartwatch will likely offend your sensibilities.
Seriously, I already have the burden of charging my phone on daily basis and on-top of that carry around a portable power bank all day long, I don’t want the extra stress of yet another device to worry about.
Too Early to call
For those who thought that a smartwatch was all that, well you are dead wrong. The truth is, smartwatches just don’t do much. You get a slew of sensors and a tight little screen, but these are early days, its too early to call. A smartwatch may seem cool, but there is still a ton of stuff you can’t do, even though it’s on the roadmap as a feature everyone is “working on”. Today’s smartwatch is for early adopters, and that’s probably not you.
Plainly speaking, the smartwatch isn’t something that you should expect would replace your smartphone. Okay here is what a smartwatch does that the smartphone doesn’t:
1. Your current smartphone does it all already.
2. Even that other thing you were thinking about
3. It’s tiny and it is wrapped around your wrist.
If you can afford a smartphone, you’re set. If you have the cash you want to spend on extending the functionality of the smartphone to your wrist, then by all means, go for it.