Smartwatches are the rage and every manufacturer has either entered or is gearing up for this race. After Samsung & Sony failed to tap this trend with their first generation products (that ran their own software renditions), Google created Android Wear — a unified smartwatch OS.
The Samsung Gear Live and the LG G watch were the first Android Wear devices. The Moto 360, after months of teasing, has finally hit the shelves. Even the elitist Apple has unveiled the Apple Watch at the 9th September event.
Smartwatches eliminate the need to get the phone out of your pocket or bag for trivial tasks. Now while this means one less step for reading your notifications, you are paying a steep price for this convenience. Here are some of the reasons why a smartwatch will ruin your life.
Charging / Connector
Seriously, when was the last time you went to a watch shop to change the battery on your watch? It has been more than 2 years for me, but with a smartwatch you are expected to charge it everyday.
If you are the type who gets lots of notifications, you will have to charge it at least twice a day. But hey, you are already used to charging your smartphone or laptop twice a day anyway, so no big deal right? Well this wouldn’t be the same: while most devices use the microUSB cable for charging, most of these smartwatches need a specialised charging base/connector. Be it wireless or a charging cradle, it’s still gonna be clunky carrying another charger with you at all times.
While we can always keep our phone away when we are working on important stuff, the watch is just gonna make it worse, because it’ll always be there on your wrist, tempting you to keep glancing. Even if you mute your smart watch, you can still see activity on the screen.
Kills your smartphone Battery
Though its really cool to compute on your wrist, the actual computation is still happening on your phone. Your phone will still be the primary device that pushes all the notifications to the smartwatch and fetches information from the internet (for example, all the “OK Google” queries). Even if you argue that Bluetooth 4.0 is Low Energy, simple smartwatches like the Pebble are known to impact about 5-10% of your mobile battery per charge.
Makes you look like a Nerd
Having a smartwatch will be a really cool thing but you might come off as “the weird guy in office who talks to his watch”. Some might also think of you as a rude/arrogant person when you check notifications while talking to them.
And don’t forget, your Android gear smartwatch would only work with a compatible Android Phone. We are a bit far from the time when these watches are a standalone gadget and accept socially.
Less durable than a Gshock
The smartwatch is an evolved member of the watch family. They don’t mind getting dirty, with most smartwatches having at least an IP55 rating.
Dunk it in water and it will resist it to some extent but don’t expect it to replace a rugged Casio watch when it comes to protection and functionality. And while some still prefer the chunky design of the G watch, there is no smartwatch yet that offers the same rugged feel.
Product life cycle
The product life cycle of mobiles shortened with the introduction of smartphones. The average life of a smartphone is encoded when a manufacturer tells you it has “18 months of software support”.
Basically, they’re trying to say change your phone every two years, at least. However, the smartwatch is in a different league. Thanks to rapid advancements, manufacturers are experimenting constantly in this new category.
Thus, you can expect the product life cycle to be even shorter than that of smartphones. Companies are releasing new devices every 3-4 months pinching early adopters. And let’s not forget, you will still keep wondering if you need the watch, given that at a price point of Rs 23,999, you have the Moto X with voice activated touchless controls.