Should I get a Smartwatch?June 27, 2018
Smartwatches have quickly changed from an expensive novelty to an increasingly popular choice for timekeeping. With changes to both their technology and design you might be considering finally taking the plunge and getting yourself a smartwatch. So, I’m here to help with a few things to consider and reasons why to join this next stage in horology.
Not just a Fitbit
Smartwatches are no longer just a fancy (and expensive) way of measuring your steps or heart rate. A range of updates to their hardware and software have made many smartwatches a very useful accessory to your mobile phone, giving you easy access to messages, emails and voice recognition with the slew of new digital assistants from Apple, Microsoft and Google. To put it simply, there is increasingly more and more that you can do with a smartwatch. Plus, you know, I’ve heard that they’re useful for keeping track of the time.
If you’ve never particularly been sold by the sleek look of most smartwatches, then you’re in luck because there has been a distinct change in direction towards emulating older watch designs. You’ll still find the occasional orange plastic wristed monstrosity, but for the most part smartwatches have taken on a more dignified look. This has been furthered by the range of option for customising the watch face as well, allowing you to choose a plain digital face or an animated skeleton look and everything in between. Unfortunately, the faces are still digital and animated without any moving mechanical parts, but this can be a nice compromise for those of us who are a little more old fashioned.
I’m sure some of you are still unsold on whether a smartwatch is really worth it, especially at the eye wateringly high prices they still reside at. But there is still something that might interest you within this whole smartwatch craze and that is the hybrid watches. Hybrid watches maintain mechanical movements but incorporate a number of different nifty digital improvements. The majority of these are still of the heart rate and step counter variety, but more and more are incorporating increased functionality in some really interesting ways.
For example, some hybrid watches will vibrate to notify you of a message and an additional hand might point at a number that you’ve set to be associated with a specific app, so that you know what sort of notification it is. Some hybrid watches also incorporate small LCD screens which let them display readouts. Hybrid watches can also be used as an accessory or peripheral for your phone in some cool ways, like controlling the camera shutter, selecting music or setting alarms. To top this all off, while they’re still costly, they can be much more affordable than a full blow smartwatch.
Hopefully you’ve now got a better idea of what you can get from a smartwatch and might even consider buying one in the future. For any luddites like me, I can’t recommend a hybrid watch enough, you’ll get a lot of the gadgety benefits of a smartwatch, but you’ll still be able to keep that classic look and the charm of a mechanical movement.