It may seem a bit decadent to add yet another device to your collection, given that many people already depend on their smartphones, tablets, readers, and laptops. But a smartwatch offers features that none of these other devices can provide. Essentially, a smartwatch serves as an extension of your phone, enabling you to perform many of the same tasks with less hassle.
For example, you can set up your smartwatch to alert you when you have notifications on your phone, freeing you from distracting sounds or picking up your phone frequently to check. This feature alone can help you save your phone's battery charge, save you from the eye-rolls of family and friends who want your full attention, and lessen your dependence on your primary device.
Smartwatches usually pair well with smartphones and other devices, especially if they're in the same ecosystem. For example, Android users can find smartwatches that use the Wear OS operating system, which serves smartwatches meant to interact seamlessly with Google's software. Smartwatches also include helpful apps similar to mobile apps. The following are six great reasons to buy a smartwatch now.
1. Discreet Notifications
Wearing a smartwatch allows you a level of freedom from your phone. Rather than setting your phone to make a sound when you get notifications (which can be annoying for those around you) or picking up your device every half hour to check for them, you can set your smartwatch to lightly buzz your wrist. You're the only one who knows this is happening and, if you're busy, you can check the notification later, either on the watch itself or on your phone.
2. Robust Fitness Tracking
Smartwatches usually include a fitness tracking component that's similar to what you might find with a fitness tracking device such as Fitbit. You can track your steps, monitor your heart rate, and analyze your sleep. You can also use smartphone apps to track your workouts, such as how many miles you ran, your route, how long it took you, and your average heart rate during that time. You can track many activities in this way, including swimming, cycling, hiking, and yoga.
Some smartwatches even monitor your stress level by combining measures such as heart rate and blood pressure to determine when you're most stressed. You can use this information to proactively perform self-care such as taking a few deep breaths, meditating, or taking a walk. In worst-case scenarios, some watches can detect when you might be in danger and call emergency services on your behalf.
3. Simple Payments
Many smartwatches support contactless payment systems like Google Pay and Apple Pay. Just when you thought paying by tapping your phone to an NFC reader was convenient, you get the option of doing the same thing without having to take your phone out of your pocket or purse. You can even use your watch for this purpose if you leave your phone at home. In addition to being convenient, contactless payment can help you avoid germs.
4. Easy Communication
When you get a call on your phone, your smartwatch lets you know. You can answer and start your conversation right through your watch, with the help of wireless earbuds, or through your phone. Or you can decline the call using controls on your watch. You can also send and receive text messages with the watch. If you're busy and want to avoid communication altogether, you can activate your smartwatch's Do Not Disturb feature.
5. Immediate Information
Like phones, smartwatches have apps. Want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow? Just swipe to the weather forecast app on your watch. If you integrate your calendar with your smartwatch (for example, if you use Google Calendar and you have a Wear OS watch), you can easily check your upcoming appointments. You can also use your voice to issue commands to various assistants, such as if you want to access Alexa to add an item to your Amazon shopping list.
6. Helpful Task Assistance
You can use your smartwatch to help you with tasks throughout your day. For example, you can use it to set an alarm to wake you up in the morning or set a timer for cooking. Some smartwatches have a "find my phone" feature that's useful if you misplace your smartphone.
Some models also include GPS, so you can find your way around a new area without holding and staring at your phone. And, when you start an app like Spotify on your phone or another connected device, the controls show up on your watch. So, you can start and stop the play, skip songs, and switch playlists, all without having to pick up a device.
Smartwatches are like other devices in that, once you start using one, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. You'll find that the smartwatch can help you in just about every aspect of your daily life. And, oh yeah, it can tell you the time too.