It’s a question that seems to arise in a person’s mind when he/she is not sure if buying one would be an addon to their life.
In this day and age, a smartwatch is a device that’s not a necessity in our daily lives but it can be a very helpful or even lifesaving device when it comes to, for example, measuring blood pressure and alerting the wearer of the watch when a too low or too high blood pressure has been measured.
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What is a Smartwatch?
Commonly referred to as wearable mini-computers, smartwatches enable mobility and ease of use.
They are used to tell the time, the date and also perform some of the functionalities that smartphones have, such as supporting applications, sending reminders, accessing the internet, receiving calls, replying to messages, and much more.
It is pretty exciting to have a computer gadget that can perform all these functions and still be small, trendy, stylish and easily portable.
When smartwatches were first introduced into the market by Timex Datalink and Microsoft in 1994, not so many people paid attention.
Later on, other companies such as IBM and Fossil also decided to try out their luck by coming up with their versions of smartwatches.
But It was not until 2012 when Pebble Technology Corporation virtually changed the wearable world by creating the Pebble smartwatch and putting in a $10 million Kickstarter campaign to back it up.
People were so much amazed by the whole idea which showed in the numbers that rushed to invest in it.
With time, so many companies have also embraced producing smartwatches including giant corporations such as Apple and Samsung.
Every day these companies compete to come up with better smartwatches in terms of design, quality, functionality, and price.
What are the reasons for not needing a smartwatch?
Maybe the reason why you are reading this article is to establish whether a smartwatch is worth it since you’ve heard some negative stories about them, or you are just curious about it.
Well, though smartwatches are an ingenious invention, the truth is some people may not find them useful or stylish enough.
This is especially true if you do not like fancy gadgets or already have enough computer gadgets that collectively perform the same functions a smartwatch can.
Also, considering that smartphones are faster and have a better display, you may not see the need to acquire a gadget that performs almost similar functionalities.
Nevertheless, there are good reasons why these small gadgets are now used by millions of people worldwide.
What are the functionalities that will make you buy one?
1. Receive Special Notifications
You can customize your watch to receive notifications in which you may be interested.
It could be Facebook updates, WhatsApp messages, changes in weather conditions, breaking news, stock market reports or sports matches reports.
The watch will keep you informed at all times.
Apart from receiving notifications, some smartwatches come with extra abilities such as fall sensors.
In this case, if you happen to fall, the watch picks it up and senses your subsequent movements.
If none is detected, it assumes you are fatally injured or unconscious and then it gets in touch with authorities on your behalf, alerting them of the current situation and location.
2. A Find Your Phone Feature
Misplacing a phone is a common occurrence.
You may have gone through an incident where you wanted to rush off somewhere and then suddenly realized that you misplaced your phone.
Since you cannot leave without it, you start turning things upside down searching for it.
Smartwatches can save you the hustle by helping you easily locate the phone within seconds.
You only need to press a few buttons on your watch and the phone shall ring wherever it is.
3. Use Awesome Apps
The types and number of apps accessible via a smartwatch depend on whether it runs on the watchOS operating system or Wear OS operating system.
With these apps, a smartwatch can help you pay your bills, pull up and create notes, plan for things to do, manage your working hours, know vital information about people before an actual introduction, catch up on reading important documents, access food delivery services, translate text using the Google Translate app and get appointment alerts.
You can also find some smartwatches whose design and applications enable you to perform specific activities better.
For example, a smartwatch that’s designed for diving and can function well at incredible depths.
4. Answer Messages And Calls
Smartwatches enable you to quickly respond to messages via a voice dictation system.
You can also answer your calls without bringing out your phone.
This especially comes in handy when you are in the middle of rigorous activities such as exercising.
5. Track Your Workouts
Just like a fitness band does, you can use a smartwatch to monitor your heart rate and keep track of your workouts.
It helps calculate steps, distance covered, heart rate, sleeping time and calories among other vital health data.
In this way, you can healthily manage fitness routines by neither overdoing it nor underdoing it.
A smartwatch can also help you manage some health conditions by monitoring your activities, pulse rate, and sleep cycles.
Recently, the smartwatch group came up with a summary of hardware and software which a smartwatch uses to monitor the health of users.
Below is a list of some smartwatches which use this software to help manage given conditions.
Smart Monitor: It targets patients with epilepsy. The device can detect the type of seizure and jerking levels associated with it.
Carunda 24: It is designed for patients with high blood pressure. The watch allows continuous blood pressure measurements for longer periods without the need for pressure cutoffs or catheters.
Biovotion (Everion Wearable): It is meant for patients with diabetes. The watch can track your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, sleeping patterns, skin temperature, and much more.
Currently, researchers in Canada are working on a smartwatch that will use radar and Artificial Intelligence to help diabetes patients manage their conditions better.
When they start using it, they won’t have to prick their fingers several times a day anymore.
Jawbone: It is installed with bioimpedance sensors which help track the heart rate. It can also be used for sleep tracking, monitoring steps and making NFC payments.
6. They Can Have Long-Lasting Batteries
One of the major downsides to smartphones is their short battery lives.
While some do a great job, most of them need you to charge them regularly.
In contrast, most smartwatches have impressively long-lasting batteries that can last up to 10 days on a single charge.
They keep you connected for much longer even when your phone goes off.
This is especially useful when you are traveling to new destinations and cannot predict the eventualities of your journey.
7. Access Your Favorite Social Media Platforms
Smartwatches not only provide notifications from your social circle but some will also enable you to quickly check them out.
You can use a smartwatch to access Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many more.
Though it may not be the best device to use (in terms of quality and size) it still helps you keep up with what’s going on in situations where taking out your phone would be awkward.
8. Improve Your Style
A good watch looks great on the arm.
Most smartwatches are stylishly designed and will complement both your arm and outfit.
They can also be fun as they allow you to change the interface to suit the environment or mood you are in.
For example, when going to work you could pick a clock interface whereas if going to the mall you can switch to a mickey mouse picture.
Generally, wearing a smartwatch makes you look more organized, trendy and elegant.
9. Control Other Devices
Smartwatches allow you to control other devices.
For example, if paired up with your music system you can use it to adjust the music volume or go to the next song.
You can also turn hue lights on or off.
10. Use It To Navigate You Through A City
A smartwatch can help you easily navigate you through a city or other areas through a map that tells you where and when to turn.
This is especially useful in areas where taking out your phone would be considered risky.
It can also provide you with traffic information, public transport schedules, and flight schedules.
11. Promoting Social Etiquette
Sometimes you may be tempted to check your phone in gatherings such as meetings or class sessions.
If you do, some people consider it plain rude.
Checking a watch for updates instead would be more tolerable.
Is a Smartwatch worth it?
Definitely! considering the many tasks it can perform, a smartwatch is sure worth every dime spent.
However, it comes with its fair share of troubles.
Just like any other computer, smartwatches may experience glitches from time to time which may force you to restart them or seek expert services.
Also, compared to simple traditional watches, they can be crazy expensive especially the good ones.
The fact that you need to charge it, may only add to the number of devices you need to worry about when it comes to power needs.
The bottom line is, your needs will determine whether acquiring a smartwatch is worth it or not.
If its functions do not excite you, then purchasing one is not a good idea as it may not add much value to your life.
In this case, a traditional watch coupled with a smartphone will prove to be more ideal.
Does a Smartwatch need a SIM card with a Data Plan?
Most mainstream watches do not require SIM Cards with data plans as they do not have cellular connectivity.
To use them, you only need to pair them up with your phone through a Bluetooth connection after which they use the paired phone’s cellular connection.
A few watches on the market are installed with built-in cellular radios which connect to LTE and 3G to access the internet.
They can also be paired to a smartphone through a Bluetooth or WiFi connection.
There also exists another caliber of smartwatches that are built with cellular connectivity and can take SIM Cards.
These watches can either function through connecting to your phone or independently on their own.
Is A Smartphone Needed To Use A Smartwatch?
Initially, smartwatches couldn’t do much without being paired to a smartphone.
This is because most of them were designed as accessories that mirror the activities of a phone.
Therefore, whenever the connection was lost you could only use them to tell time.
This isn’t necessarily the case anymore though.
Now, different companies have competitively come up with self-sufficient cellular connection smartwatches that do not need a smartphone to function.
Some may still require you to make an initial pairing but once that’s done you will no longer require a smartphone.
The watch will operate via a built-in eSIM or an actual SIM Card to access the internet which enables you to check emails and other internet sites.
You can also make/receive calls or send/receive text messages.
So if you fully want to enjoy the benefits that such watches have to offer then it is advisable to use the 4G/LTE connectivity.
This may drain your battery quicker but it is fast enough to stream videos and access apps.
You can solve this fast-draining issue by looking for a watch with long-lasting battery life.