As a tech guy, when I see a new gadget I can’t resist to buy it. But, before taking the final decision, I always like reading reviews and ask random people what they think about it. And the same thing happened for the smartwatches.
Tons of smartwatches
Right now there are about 20/30 models available and the main players are Samsung, LG, Motorola, Asus and the upcoming Apple Watch.
This is a relatively new world and there are still many things that will change by the next months about wearable technology and smartwatches in particular.
A Second Screen
It is a second screen and, with most of them, you can’t get rid of your smartphones since it must always be connected via Bluetooth. The latest Samsung, for example, the Gear S, comes with a 3G sim card integration which allows you to use it even without your phone nearby.
This feature shows that brands are still exploring the most demanded functionalities and releasing new models based on the market needs. (maybe should be better doing it before a launch of a new product :-))
One of the best operating system out there is Android Wear
Right now with a smartwatch running Android Wear you can:
- Read text messages and reply to them
- See incoming calls and reply to them using your phone or, using the smartwatch but wearing a Bluetooth headset.
- See different notifications from social media, apps, calendars, reminders and notes.
- Use your voice to control your phone just saying “Ok Google”
- Keep track of your fitness activity
- Play Music
- Get GPS support
- Check the weather forecast
- Use voice search
- Check your heart rate
That’s a pretty long list of usage but you must always have your smartphone with you in order to complete these actions.
One of the gift I received this year was the new Moto360. After looking around and trying different models it seemed to be one of the best for design, functionalities and quality.
The design is absolutely beautiful and elegant. The size might be a little big based on your wrist size but the circular shape gives a beautiful and old style look. The core of the smartwatch is in aluminum and combined with the leather band make it perfect to use for any occasion.
I have been using it for a couple of days and the most interesting features I tested are:
- See the time (obvious, but with other wearable devices you can’t. ex. Jawbone, FitBit etc.)
- Change the look of my smartwatch whenever you like (there are many watch faces available)
- Check my heart rate
- See my fitness activities, as steps and time
- Check the weather
- Take reminders and notes just using my voice
- See messages and notifications, as WhatsApp, without pulling out of my pocket my smartwatch
- Use the navigator.
You must consider that the Android Wear devices are compatible just with Android phones so, if you have an iPhone you have to wait for the Apple Watch.
The Bad Things
To own a Moto360 (or any other smartwatches) it’s cool. But we must consider the limits it has. As said before, you always need your phone to be with you, which is fine, since a lot of actions are pretty tricky to do using such a small screen. Can you imagine to type messages from it or using a voice control constantly misunderstanding what we are saying? Also, you cannot use two hands to be faster.
The battery lasts about a day and recharging it will be a daily routine for you and another device you have to recharge every day.
Are we ready for a smartwatch?
It depends. If you are a tech gadget lover and you cannot wait, yes. The average price for a good smartwatch is about $250 and it is a fancy gadget as absolutely cool as unnecessary to have. Pulling out your phone when you get a notification is not a big deal compared to just looking at your wrist. I think there’s still a lot of things to improve and probably by the next year new devices will pop up with new features and better performances. Or maybe not. After all, smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, and the trend is to replace laptops and tablets. So smartwatches will possibly be the new smartphones.