For the past month or so, I’ve been playing around with the Samsung Galaxy 6 and their first-generation smartwatch, Samsung Gear, thanks to Verizon. Samsung has recently updated to a new version of their smartwatch, which quite frankly, looks badass and dates this review a little bit. However, the functionality is essentially the same. So keep that in mind.
There are quite a few smartwatches on the market right now besides the Samsung Gear. First, there’s the Apple Watch which has a lot of functionality as an extension of Apple and it’s other products. Then there’s the Moto Watch from Motorola that works with Android phones. I couldn’t tell you much about functionality, but I’ve got to say that I find the aesthetic the most pleasing of any current smartwatch offerings.
I think it’s important to note that aesthetics are important. I wear a Fitbit on a daily basis, and it’s really ugly. But the thing is, there are options out there like fancy Tory Burch bracelet and pendants, and colorful band replacements.
With smartwatches, there are options to change bands and customize the watch face and background, but if you buy a smartwatch that’s bulky, there’s no way around that.
The first-generation Samsung Gear is a little bulky when compared to it’s competitors. But I think the creators must have understood that, which is why one of the new versions looks more like what you’d consider when hearing the word, “watch.” Check it out:
On the left is the Samsung Gear first generation, the right is Samsung Gear S2 (second generation).
Alright, so aesthetics aside, here’s what else you need to think about when trying to answer the question, “Do you need a smartwatch?”
If you’re wearing a smartwatch all day, everyday, you need to be charging it on the daily as well. The Samsung Gear I played with had decent battery life, but wouldn’t last over a day with all day use.
What I really liked about the Samsung Gear was the ability to see my day at a glance. It could replace my Fitbit, as it tracked my steps, gives me at-a-glance weather information, top headlines, and my hour-by-hour schedule by sinking with my Google account.
Not to mention, I can see if someone’s calling me without having my phone out. Isn’t it annoying when you’re expecting someone to call and want to put your phone away but don’t want to miss the call? You can avoid that entire jittery situation with a smartwatch. It also gives you quick access to your email in a similar situation where you’re just waiting for someone to email you back.
I didn’t mess around too much with apps, but there were plenty to choose from to get additional functionality out of the Samsung Gear, including some fun games. But a caveat… if you have big fingers, it’s probably just going to be super frustrating to use your smartwatch as an entertainment device!
All smartwatches start in excess of a couple hundred dollars. But the Samsung Gear is relatively inexpensive when compared to some of the other options currently available. This seems to be a trend with Samsung products. They provide a good quality without charging an exorbitant amount for it.
So here’s the big question…
Do you NEED a Smartwatch?
Short answer: no.
But here’s where I think a smartwatch would be incredibly useful: A person who rarely sits still or is constantly on the road for a job. An executive who’s day is full of meetings. Anyone who’s likely to forget about something unless it’s right in front of their face.
Smartwatches are definitely cool and fun, but work for some people more than others.
So what do you think? Do you need a smartwatch? Or maybe just want one? What are the most important features to you? Share your thoughts in the comments!