Brian Burk
Brian Burk

Mar 03. 2 mins

Buyer’s Guide: Is a Smartwatch Right for You?

A debate is raging right now over smartwatches. Are they just the latest trend, or do they represent a revolution in wearable computing? If you’re following that debate, you’re likely having your own internal debate, asking, would a smartwatch be a smart purchase for you? Here’s a quick guide to help make your decision easier.

Eye on Style

Are you a “gadgets” kind of person, always the first among your friends to buy a new device? If you are Mr. or Ms. Early Adopter, any smartwatch may be right for you, including Samsung’s not-so-stylish Galaxy Gear. If, however, you’re more conscious about looks, and less interested in showing off a new shiny and tiny computer, your options are more limited. Style-focused ladies should check out the MEMI, a sleek, screen-free woman’s smartwatch. Forgoing a visual interface, its smart technology serves mainly to deliver audio alerts about email and social media messages. You can add filters to make the alerts more useful, notifying you, for example, only when select friends or family members contact you.

Practical Considerations

Tech-geek cache aside, nascent smartwatch technology does offer some practical benefits. You might find a smartwatch useful when working out and are unable to check your smartphone. Hands-free use is, indeed, the most helpful aspect of smartwatch usefulness. If you’re a family person, the most useful smartwatch might just be for your kids. The FiLIP GPS smartwatch helps keep your children safe with GPS tracking, two-way voice calling on up to five preprogrammed numbers, and an emergency panic button if disaster strikes.

How Good Are Your Eyes?

Even though smartwatches tend to be bulkier than “dumbwatches,” their screens are far smaller than those of smartphones. Bright sunlight, therefore, can make reading from a smartwatch screen difficult. The Pebble solves this with an e-ink display similar to a Kindle’s. It’s highly readable in even very bright light, and can be used for checking email and for viewing the time, as well as for simple app activity.

The Ideal Smartwatch Buyer

If you fit the ideal smartwatch buyer’s profile, you probably fall into one of three categories. One, you’re an early adopter of gadgets. You can’t say no to the newest microchip-embedded device. Two, you’re looking to make a futuristic fashion statement. You’re just dreaming of a time when you can wear your iPhone as jewelry. Three, you value practical concerns above all else. You may, for example, be a parent looking to keep your kids safe with the newest portable geolocation technology. If any of these describe you, chances are a smartwatch is the right choice for you.

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