Why you want a smartwatch

Pile of smartwatches
By Adam Zeis on 22 May 2014 03:40 pm
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When Pebble first showed up on Kickstarter I was eager to back it, I had never seen anything like it, and "need" it or not, it was something I wanted to own. A few weeks later I actually cancelled my order. I wasn't quite sure I needed to spend the money on something so new and geeky, so I rescinded and never really regretted it.

Fast forward - Pebble hit the streets and was getting very good reviews. Many of my tech friends had picked one up and were simply loving it. I was still unsure if I really "needed" one, and was able to hold out a bit longer.

It wasn't until after BlackBerry Live 2013 that I started to thing seriously about buying a Pebble. We had seen a great demo of an app that would allow it to work with BlackBerry 10, and I had other devices at my disposal that I could play with too. So when Best Buy put the Pebble on sale, I was quick to pick one up and haven't looked back since.

Why I love my smartwatch

I've always been connected. I have a phone (or two) with me wherever I go, at home I'm usually on my computer or tablet. I've never unreachable, never too far away from the internet. You would think that strapping a smartwatch on my wrist would make that worse, but it's actually made it better. Having my notifications come to my smartwatch, I've toned down my connectivity quite a bit. Where I used to pick up my phone to check an email or read a text message, I'd soon after get lost looking at my Twitter feed, jumping on Facebook or browsing Instagram. Now, I can see what notifications need action — right on my wrist — and choose to ignore them if I want. Watching TV I don't constantly have my phone in my hand, waiting for a ding so I can check it. Doing yard work or tending bar — everything comes to my wrist.

I've been through a variety of watches over the last few months, everything from the Pebble Steel to the Qualcomm Toq to the Gear 2 and Gear Fit. I prefer my Pebble currently, but I'd really go with any of them at this point. I was never much of a watch wearer before, but now I can't seem to be without one.

Pebble

Why you need a smartwatch

When people ask me about watches, I usually tell them "you don't know until you try it." A smartwatch is something you don't think you need until you actually own one. I know many people that wouldn't have ever considered a buying one, but after some prodding they picked one up and absolutely loved it.

"I have my phone, why do I need my notifications on my watch, too?" You don't really, but the convenience factor can't be beat. When I'm driving I can send calls to my speakerphone from my watch, I never have to pull out my phone when I'm out to dinner, I can check the weather just by looking at my wrist — the list goes on and on.

As we move forward there will be even more smartwatch offerings too — many of which will look even better and do even more things. Android Wear shouldn't be too far off now, and that will certainly change the face of smartwatches. Don't forget that Apple has yet to release a smartwatch either, something they've be rumored to do for years.

Take my money!

What's my point? My point is that you need a smartwatch. My father always said, "needing and wanting are two different things," and he's right — but so am I. You NEED a smartwatch. There are plenty available online or at local retailers, and many you can even try out before you leave the store. Even if you don't buy one now, you should start thinking about them, because we'll see plenty of amazing new watches in the months and years ahead.

Own a smartwatch? Plan on buying one? Sound off in the comments!

Reader comments

Why you want a smartwatch

29 Comments

A lot of sounds aggravate me. I hate ringtones and I hate phones left on vibrate that buzz incessantly. My phone is always on silent because of this.

With a smart watch I am constantly in the loop and I don't miss a thing. Around the house and at my job I stay on top of emails, and other notifications, all without disturbing others or irritating myself with my phone going off.

funny, i was just about to write the exact same thing :)

and that's why everyone needs a smartwatch as well, otherwise i'm the only one (or one of few) that has a silent phone and still gets annoyed by all the silly ringtones!

with the last update, the Sony SW2 got a real nice extra set of features, thanks to the watch face editor and watch face widgets, i'm really starting to like this thing (left it at home today by accident, really miss the thing all day long)

i backed the HOT Watch, wonder if it will be able to replace my SW2...

very much looking forward to the new watches (and Android Wear) coming out this year

I want a smartwatch, but since none of them support windows phone in an official capacity, and the AGENT watch I backed on kickstarter is in production delay purgatory it looks like I won't be getting one any time soon.

I'd love a smartwatch. But until someone supports mobile Microsoft platforms I will be waiting on the sidelines.

No support for BB10. Nothing currently available is cool enough to pull me back to another platform. Maybe Android Wear...

Been looking forward for BB10 smartwatch, too! But I heard we can use Pebble. Well, hopefully.

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I'm looking forward to getting one in the couple months to come. If I don't, a Boxing Day sale will do it for sure.

Adam, I completely get your points... I often think about a smartwatch and wonder why I would ever "need" one, and I can't ever justify the need. But I do think it would be convenient, for the reasons you mention. I think it's probably like most devices (including smartphones, actually) - you don't "need" them, but once you have them, you can't live without 'em.

I definitely don't think I need one for sure but I absolutely want one! I know once I do get one I will be like 'why did I wait so long?!'

I bought three OG Galaxy Gears at the $99 firesale price. One for my GF and her Note 2, another for my buddy and his Note 2 and one that's still in the box sitting on my living room table (bought it two days ago and I don't use Samsung phones). At $99, it was an impulse purchase but I am interested in the Moto360 @ $249 if that price holds. I want a smartwatch to look like a nice watch and not a geek tech toy and the Moto360 is pushing all the right buttons for me.

Adam, you said it perfectly. I got my pebble back in November. Never wore a watch previously. This pebble is just flat out awesome. It can do so much. Anyone that says they don't need/want one has no idea what their talking about.

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Notifications, simple and clean. While some features may be nice, I want to leave my phone on the shelf and be able to simply glance at any notifications to know if they are important or not

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I am thinking about getting a pebble for a lot of the reasons you mention. Especially being able to leave my phone at my desk and walk away. Or being able to keep an eye on notifications when meeting with the boss...

I'm a turn-on-silent and no-vibrate type of person. I just want to check notifications over time whenever I wanted to (but it also depends on the importance). I hate it when I get distracted with tones or vibrations whenever I'm doing something. But when I first saw Pebble I seem to want it and need it at the same time and promised to buy one for me after I graduate.

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Waking me up without waking others.
Don't need to take my phone out while I'm on the bus. (In Thailand, some bus are more crowded than my classroom. ( Even my dad is the owner of that bus, I rarely get a seat.)
Talk without having my phone which is getting hotter overtime laid on my face. (Thailand's weather's always hot) (Hot Smartwatch seems to solve this problem.)
And many more reasons.

I've had a Smartwatch since the original Sony smartwatch launch, I loved that little guy he went everywhere with me. He was always on time always told me what was going on always kept me in the loop.
But suddenly he passed away, and now my little buddy is gone I'm lost. I mourned his passing and my life was never quite the same, what am I to do? I just can't bring myself to don a gear to pair with my Note 3, so I sit here mourning the loss of my little buddy. Who for years was there with me every step of the way always by my side (literally, or until I lifted my arm up)
But now I hear there is hope! Android wear is coming, even though I will miss my little guy I know he wouldn't want me to ever be lonely. So I'm sitting here patiently with the family album remembering the fun and frolics me and my little guy had, hoping the day will come soon when I can find a new little friend to be by my side day and night.
Here endeth thy tale of my little buddy and me...

I preordered a kreyos but it was taking so long to arrive I had time to reconsider. I decided to cancel that order as I felt that maybe I didn't "need" a smartwatch.
I'm currently still in that phase of not feeling like I need or even want one. I still lurk around here waiting for that watch with that killer feature that will make me snap. So far the kreyos still comes closest to what I'd like (I'd use it mostly for cycling) but it still isn't quite right. Not sure if it's the clunky design or what but I'm not convinced yet.

I'm still going to wait for the next generation.
And there aren't any smartwatches for Windows Phone.
But mostly, I'm going to wait.

When I bought my Pebble in December, I wanted it but wasn't sure I needed it. After 6 months, I am sure that I need a smartwatch. As Adam said, I handle my phone less now that I have a smartwatch. I turn the sound down on my phone and I receive notifications on the watch for calls, emails and texts and even some IMs. I can tell at a glance if I need to handle the message or can let it slide for a while.

The original Pebble is not exactly elegant, but then neither am I.

Defenitely gonna get a smartwatch, but I'm also one of the waiting parties... I backed the AGENT and the Kreyos Meteor and both of them got delayed, the AGENT to a ridiculous extent. But need Windows Phone support, so I need some more patience :) The Meteor is closest to shipping right now.

I would love the moto 360. But I believe that battery life needs to improve before smartwatches will be really useful for most people.

I helped fund Pebble through Kickstarter because I am a kind of geek. An old one, but I have been a geek ever since my first crystal radio set. Kids today have no idea. Anyway, I spent my $5 and when Pebble came out, I drove the 90 miles to Yuma to collect mine. As the author pointed out, all my notifications now come to my wrist, no more looking for the phone or tablets. All it says is, I have a message. If it's important, fine, I go hunt down the phone or tablet. But if it's some idiot on Facebook being a jerk, then why bother? You will need the smart watch. Unless it's from Microsoft or Apple, then you might as well turn off the pilot light, turn on the gas and stick you head in the oven. Neither Microsoft or Apple should be delving into non core projects.

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