Smartwatch Guide 2023: Pros, Cons & Should you Buy it?
Smartwatches have revolutionized the way we interact with technology on a daily basis.
In fact, the number of smartwatches sold in Q1 of 2023 was 1.03 crore as compared to 37.2 lakhs in Q1 of 2022 according to IDC, a whopping 179% increase in just over a year 😳!!!!
Let’s talk about some features, pros & cons of smartwatches so that you can decide whether it is a sensible purchase for you or not.
Table of Contents
The smartwatches provide users with a plethora of features. Some of the important ones are:
The primary reason, according to me, why people buy a smatwatch is that it gets connected to their phone & displays their phone’s notifications such as messages & calls without having to take out their smartphone.
Although not all smartwatches have the function to send or reply to messages, one thing they can surely do is making and receivng calls. You just have to connect your smartwatch with your phone through its app.
This is quite a handy feature when you are driving a car or a bike and you get a call or notification on your phone but don’t want to take it out to avoid any mishap.
3) Time-related Features
A smartwatch shows you time, providing you with features like stopwatch & different time zones. They also have the alarm clock feature however most smartwatches don’t come with speakers & hence they use vibrations as a way to alert you at the time of alarm.
4) Health & Fitness Tracking
Most of the watches come with heart-rate monitoring which gives you an update about your heart health, though the data they provide you with is not 100% accurate, it is just to give you an idea or a rough estimate of your heartbeat.
They also count the number of steps you have taken on a given day so that you can track your fitness or cardio-related goals, again, with a closer estimate, not 100% accurate.
Smartwatches are also worn as a fashion accessory. They give a new & different look because of their form-factor and the way they are built.
I think the notification feature & the fashion part are the 2 main reasons why the smartwatch is so popular.
Benefits of Having a Smartwatch
Basically, having a smartwatch greatly reduces the frequency of taking your phone out of your pocket. I am saying this based on the main & most of the benefits it provides revolve around this very concept which you can understand better below:
1) Convenient Notifications
A smartwatch can be most useful in crowded places like metros and lifts half a dozen people. These are the places where you can often find it difficult to reach into your pocket and take out your phone.
Having a smartwatch in such a place can help you make a call to someone or see notifications coming in your phone.
2) Heart Monitoring
Although it is not 100% accurate, a smartwatch can surely give you a fairly close estimate of your heart rate.
Another way to use this is that you can buy a smartwatch for your parents or the elderly in your house or neighbour, who have heart-related problems.
This way, they will have a 24/7 monitoring assistant that will warn them & others around them if there is something wrong.
3) Improves Productivity
When working on something like a project or homework, anything, all of a sudden there comes an urge to grab & check your phone for social media notifications or anything else which ultimately leads you to engage in chatting & scrolling thorugh.
Having a smartwatch lets you see all of them on your wrist without using your phone after which you can get back to work.
All android watches give you a variety of interfaces and display styles to choose from so you can customize your smartwatch and give it a personal touch.
5) Fashion Accessory
One of the biggest advantages of a smartwatch is that you can wear them as a fashion piece and still have the ability to make calls and stuff like that.
6) Water Resistant
Not all, but most of the watches that are above ₹1,500 are water resistant. This means that you don’t have to worry about a few drops or even splashes of water coming your way.
If you have made up your mind about buying a smartwatch, our best smartphones under 5000 can surely help you.
Disadvantages of a Smartwatch
While being trendy, smartwatches have received a lot of criticism.
1) Can’t Reply to Texts
That’s right, the biggest disadvantage of the smartwatches under the range of ₹3-4k, which is the biggest segment of customers, is that you can see the messages you got on your phone but cannot reply to them.
2) Dependency on Phone
In simple terms, a smartwatch needs a smartphohne to be able to use all its features. So, if you have to go out and think you can leave your phone behind then you are wrong.
Yes. you can do this with watches that come with eSIM but they are a bit too expensive as compared to your average smartwatch.
You can read all about smartwatch cellular technology here if you don’t know what that is and how does it work.
3) Inaccurate Data
As I said earlier, the data which a smartwatch provides is not 100% accurate and can cause havoc in the minds of those who don’t know about it or don’t pay attention to it.
You can read about how a 70 year old woman diagnosed with a condition of irregular heartbeat also got diagnosed with anxiety because of a smartwatch here.
Companies like Apple & Samsung themselves claim that the data their smartwatch provides should not be taken as 100% accurate and a base for actionable steps ahead.
But why give a function which is not even accurate in the first place?
4) Inexpensive Watches Have Limited Benefits/Use
The watches that come with speakers, allows messaging, provide more accurate heart & fitness data & lets you play music cost too much.
Their range starts from ₹5-10k easily and even goes up to a lakh meaning half the features which can really be of help (except 1 or 2) don’t come in watches which are worth 2-3k.
Are Smartwatch Sensors Harmful
Yes, smartwatch sensors can prove to be harmful if you take the data it provides too seriously. In fact, anything can be harmful if done in excession, not just wearing a smartwatch.
If you are someone who frequently looks at his smartwatch everyday to keep a check on your heart rate, that device on your wrist is deemed to be causing you more damage than good.
This stands for those as well who buy a smartwatch just to keep a regular check on someone with high blood pressure or heart-related problems.
You have to understand that the smartwatch sensors are not 100%, or even 95% accurate as they are not a substitute for blood pressure & heart rate monitors. Companies just use this point as a way to market their watches.
Therefore, it’s important to view the data provided by smartwatches as indicators rather than definitive medical diagnoses.
Does Smartwatch Emit Radiation
Yes, smartwatches do emit radiation but so do other devices like our phones and laptops. However it doesn’t mean that you should stop wearing them at all. When big companies manufacture their watches, they need to pass the FCC standards of safety which ensures that their devices are safe for users to wear.
However, it is not recommended to wear it for long hours straight as it can irritate the skin around your wrist and the small level of radiation (which is still radiation) is not good to be in contact with all the time either.
Is it Safe to Wear a Smartwatch All the Time
Wearing a smartwatch all the time won’t cause any serious problems but it is still bad for you. We know all the electronic devices emit some sort of radiation and smartwatches are not an exception.
With that in mind, having it in constant contact with your skin (basically wearing it all the time) can affect you in the long run.
Wearing a smartwatch all the time can cause headaches & ruin your sleep routine as it will give a ring or vibrate if your phone gets a notification. To avoid all this and be healthy, try to wear it for not more than 3-4 hours & completely forget about it when you are going to sleep.
Now you’d be thinking, “I will just disconnect it from my phone” or “I will just turn on the aeroplane mode while sleeping”. Doing that can save you from being disturbed while you are asleep but what about the radiation it will release all night?
That’s why you should absolutely avoid wearing a smartwatch when you sleep or are inactive.
After discussing the features, benefits, and disadvantages of smartwatches, it becomes apparent that unless you have a budget of ₹5-15k, the value of purchasing one might not make sense.
The more affordable variants rely heavily on smartphones, don’t offer texting abilities and sleep monitoring, which the big brands boast about, doesn’t add that much value either because of the reasons I mentioned a little earlier in the blog.
In my opinion, the best use case for a smartwatch is in crowded situations where accessing your phone may be challenging, or when monitoring someone’s blood pressure or heart rate. Additionally, they are useful for tracking daily steps towards fitness goals or enjoying music on the go.
If you are considering a smartwatch purely for its fashionable appearance, it might be better to explore traditional watches or limit your daily usage to a maximum of 3-4 hours even if you choose to go for
Although servicing your AC every year is not important big brands recommend going for it at least once a year as it helps ensure that your AC system is running efficiently and effectively.
Smartwatch sensors, when used as intended and following safety guidelines, are generally not harmful. They undergo rigorous testing and adhere to safety standards.
However, individuals with sensitivities or allergies should be cautious and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary.
Smartwatches emit low levels of electromagnetic radiation, but they are considered safe if used in a limit. The radiation levels are well within the safety limits defined by regulatory authorities.
However, it's always recommended to follow usage guidelines and take breaks if needed.
Wearing a smartwatch all the time is not severely dangerous, but it can cause headaches & skin irritation
When it comes to sleep monitoring, smartwatches can provide insights, but they may not be as accurate as dedicated sleep monitoring devices.
Smartwatches can provide reasonably accurate fitness and health tracking metrics, including steps, calories burned, heart rate, and sleep patterns. However, it's important to view the data as indicators rather than definitive medical diagnoses.
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