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Smart Watches: Should you jump on that bandwagon?

We've all seen mini computers posing as time pieces hang on wrists in several sci-fi and spy-fi films ever since the dawn of timepieces. Finally, technology has made it real.

What wowed us in fiction is now something you can actually buy and wear everyday.

The coming of the iphone changed life as we know it, inserting the smartphone into every facet of our everyday lives. The Apple Watch has launched but it has been quiet so far. It seems that the smartwatch has really not made that much of an impact, with most of the population still clinging to their retro timepieces.

However, the question is, is it worth investing in a smartwatch?

  The Pros

 Never Commit: With a plethora of watch faces to chose from, you can change what you look at anytime. Buying a normal watch means you commit to one look. With a Smart Watch you chose your face according to your mood. 

 Focus: Smartphones can be a distracting affair. It’s easy to get sidetracked from your work mail into the black hole of Facebook’s kitten videos or Buzzfeed’s viral madness. With your smartwatch and its small screen you have to focus on one notification at a time.

 Activity Trackers: Smartwatches pair with your phone and send sensor data from their gyroscopes, health monitors and more. From simple things as keeping an eye on how much you walk and workout routines to advanced tracking like sleep and water intake. It’s a health band that’s a nice looking timepiece too.

The Cons

 A new screen: Smartwatches introduce a new screen into your life which can be insanely distracting, not only for you but also the people you are sitting across. Not only that. To be clearly legible, a screen has to be of a certain size. While there are some clever ideas and some future concepts of cool wraparound watches, for now it’s slightly big bulky screens or health wearables with simple readouts.

 Not Needed: Smartwatches today are glorified notification relays and not smart enough to be useful, like a smartphone level useful.

Battery: It’s yet another device that runs on battery and needs to charge. Something most watches don’t need.

 Now, Let’s see what's out there

From Apple’s Watch, Samsung’s S2 to the plethora of Android Wear based smartwatches, there’s quite a lot of contenders vying for your wrist. Here are some of the best out there, for both men and women.

Apple Watch - Rs 30,000 onwards

As usual Apple wins big with fantastic design. The Apple Watch looks premium, with several styles to choose from. It’s small enough to look great on both a male and female wrist. And it’s got a plethora of sensors to do all the activity monitoring. Expensive though, and iOS only.

  Moto 360 2nd Generation – Rs 19,999 onwards

The watch that snapped attention of the world was not the Apple Watch, but Motorola’s beautiful circular Moto 360. The first generation had its share of problems, but the 2nd Generation looks beautiful. With a few amazing styles, the Moto 360 looks great on the wrist, especially with leather bands.

  Huawei Watch – Rs 25,000 onwards

The Chinese giant Huawei has stepped up its game with the opulent Huawei Watch, looking like a premium wristwatch with Swiss-like build and really smart internals. Just recently, they showed off the Jewel and Elegant variations. They’re smartwatches geared towards women, with the Jewel bringing the much needed bling thanks to Swarovski Crystals on the edges. The Elegant, on the other hand, has a rose gold plated body. If there was one Smartwatch you will fall for, it will be Huawei’s offerings.

  Fossil Q - Rs. 20,000 onwards and Tag Heuer Connected – Rs 1,00,000 onwards

Watchmakers Fossil and Tag Heuer too have their own SmartWatch offerings, bringing their signature styles with the Fossil Q and the Tag Heuer Connected running Android Wear. The former collection is a beautiful set with metal and leather straps, featuring a simple dial. Tag Heuer Connected looks like a sleek watch, for those who like that look, but also want the utility of a smartwatch. The best part is that the Connected watch faces look real and go well with the rest of the product. Both offerings have all the activity trackers you would want from wearables today.

  Samsung Gear S2 (and S2 Classic) - Approximately Rs 20,000

The Tizen powered Gear S2 from Samsung adopts the same circular dial as the ones above. With the regular packing, there’s also a futuristic minimal watchface that’s trendy and very Swatch like. The S2 Classis is slightly old-school looking with a notched dial. The Tizen interface looks amazing with some really cool watch face designs and an interface that rivals iOS and Android Wear. It’s packed with sensors to monitor heart rates, and also water and caffeine intake. Plus, the S2 also gives youyou timely reminders.

  Asus Zenwatch 2 - Starts at Rs 11,999

Probably the most affordable premium Smartwatch out there. The Zenwatch 2 has a simple square, round-edged screen, available in two sizes. With all the functions you will want out of a smartwatch, it comes with a price that’s right. If it was any cheaper, you’d be deep into cheap Chinese knockoff brand territory.

  Sony SmartWatch 3 – Rs 12,000 onwards

If you want a fuss-free square dial, Sony has you covered with the SmartWatch 3. It’s got a big square screen and built-in Wi-Fi so you can use your watch independently from your phone. For style, there are several bands you can use to pop the core unit into. Plus, it’s quite affordable at this time.

  Pebble Watch - Rs 8,990 onwards

This small manufacturer had one of the first Smartwatches that were actually useful on the scene. With a very cool pixel-like interface, the Pebble comes in several shapes and sizes, materials and styles. Be warned, you will need to import the Pebble into the country.

  Casio WSD F10 Smart Outdoor Watch - TBA

This year began with legendary watch maker Casio launching their very own Smartwatch. The Casio WSD F10 Smart Outdoor Watch sports Casio’s signature design, a bit on the large side, but it's water resistant to up to 50m. It’s got military grade constructions and a dual layer display structure. It’s meant for rugged outdoor use with specs that include trackers for direction, altitude and atmospheric pressure, and the sunrise/sunset. There’s also a tide graph, an activity graph and the other usual activity tracking sensors when trekking, cycling and fishing. In addition, the watch will give you notifications these activities, like when to drink water or take a break.

  Honorable Mention: Simple watch-like wearables

Apart from the several products out there, there are wearables that double as smartwatches, with simple displays that show text and small images on simple LCDs. Products like the Huawei Honor Band Z1 and Microsoft Band 2. The benefit: because of a simple display, you can get a lot more fashionable and slim wristbands that look great.

  So, Should you get that SmartWatch?

To jump or not to jump, that is the question. To make that decision you will have to ask yourself if you need one, and which of its features will benefit your life. Sure, if any of the above smartwatches caught your eye, that's a valid excuse to jump too. Waiting and watching is not bad an option either. We’ll wait to see how deep this smartwatch rabbit hole goes.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 4:55:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/entertainment/Smart-Watches-Should-you-jump-on-that-bandwagon/article14030375.ece

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