Smartwatches have become essential gadgets for many.
But is a smartwatch worth it?
It is a common question asked by many. I am using a smartwatch for the past few years, and I have my Fitbit Versa 2 on my wrist even while writing this article, and I really love it.
In this article, I will explain to you the advantages and disadvantages of the smartwatch. I strongly believe that it helps in deciding on whether to buy a smartwatch or not.
A few months back, CNET published an article in which 5 people share how their smartwatch saved their lives. In that article, 27 years old woman also shares how her smartwatch detects an abnormally high heart rate.
Is a Smartwatch worth it?
The answer is yes! A smartwatch can provide you with more opportunities to stay active and healthy. The importance of staying active cannot be underestimated, as lack of activity harms your physical, emotional and mental well-being. You may not be able to get up from your desk to go for a quick walk, but a fitness tracker or smartwatch reward you for each step that you take each time, and that will make a difference in your day.
The modern smartwatch with ECG can notify you in case of an abnormal heart rate or irregular, erratic heart rhythm. Even though it does not replace any medical equipment, this information may be helpful in both diagnosis and treatment at the medical facility.
Advantages of Smartwatches
Now let us have a look into the advantages of a smartwatch.
Heart rate Monitoring:
Smartwatches and fitness trackers come with advanced sensors to closely monitor your heart rate. Advanced smartwatches like Apple, Samsung, Garmin, etc. detects irregular heart rate.
An irregular heart rate can be an early sign of life-threatening cardiac issues. You should never ignore an irregular heart rate notification on your smartwatch and must get immediate medical attention.
ECG App is the latest addition to advanced smartwatches like Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit. All these devices come with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approved ECG app and sensor to detect irregular heart rate and atrial fibrillation( a severe heart condition that requires immediate medical attention).
As I said earlier, it has already saved people’s lives by detecting the early signs of a cardiac arrest.
The ECG feature in smartwatches is promising, and it allows people to take an ECG anywhere, anytime with a minute.
If you are looking for a smartwatch to track your overall fitness, you can check our latest article on the best ECG smartwatch.
Blood Oxygen Level(SpO2)
Smartwatches with the SpO2 sensor can detect the oxygen level in the blood. If you are looking for a smartwatch with SpO2, then you must go for Samsung Galaxy Watch2, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, Apple Watch Series 6, or Fitbit Sense.
Many other smartwatches and fitness trackers come with VO2 max, and it does not allow you to measure blood oxygen levels as a SpO2 smartwatch does. Here you can learn more about what is VO2 Max.
If your primary purpose is to measure SpO2, then you must go for a smartwatch with SpO2 rather than a smartwatch with VO2 Max.
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Smartwatches are also capable of measure your blood pressure at home. Regularly monitor blood pressure at home allows you to detect any signs of hypertension(increased blood pressure) at the earliest.
Not all smartwatches do not have a blood pressure monitoring feature. If you are looking for a smartwatch with a blood pressure monitoring feature, you can check our latest article on the best smartwatch with blood pressure monitoring.
Fall detection is an advanced feature only available in premium smartwatches like Apple, Samsung, and Garmin Smartwatches. It is an important safety feature that automatically contacts emergency services when it detects a hard fall.
If you do not respond for one minute after a hard fall, it automatically contacts emergency service with your location. It helps them to reach you easily.
Apple Watch fall detection feature is also saved people’s lives already. Here you can read how the Apple watch saves the life of a man who falls during hiking.
Sleep is crucial for your overall fitness and well being. Many people do not get enough night sleep because of many reasons. A smartwatch can track your sleep stages accurately and can tell you how well you sleep at night.
If you are not getting enough sleep, make some sleep patterns for good sleep.
If you want to get accurate sleep data, then you must go for a sleep tracking smartwatch with heart rate monitoring and blood oxygen level monitoring. All these data together can give you accurate sleep data.
Do you want to gain or lose weight? Then tracking calorie burned is an important metric that needs to be tracked every day. Most of the modern smartwatches and fitness trackers come with this feature.
When I hit 85Kg in the weight machine, my dietician advised me to track food intake(calorie intake) and calorie burn to lose weight. To lose weight, one needs to burn more calories than they eat.
I was using Fitbit Versa 2, and it was precisely saying how many calories I was burning each day. If you want to track calorie intake, you can connect your smartwatch to calorie intake tracking apps like MyFitnesspal.
In my case, I connected my Fitbit Versa 2 to MyFitnesspal, and it was giving me my net calorie intake at the end of the day. You can use any MyFitnesspal compatible smartwatches like Apple Watch Samsung, Fitbit, or Garmin.
Ideally, you should track calorie intake and calories burned to lose or gain weight. This data allows you to plan your diet and activities to achieve your fitness goals.
Activity Tracking or Sport Tracking
Smartwatches can track your various indoor and outdoor activities such as walking, running, swimming, yoga, and much more. If you are a fitness enthusiast looking to improve your physical fitness, a smartwatch can track and monitor your activities 24/7.
A smartwatch allows you to set your activity goals and display your progress towards the goal. You can also see your activity data on the companion app on the smartwatch.
If you are a sports person, then you need an advanced smartwatch-like Garmin or Samsung. It allows you to compare your performance on a monthly or weekly basis. Based on these data, you can make the necessary changes in your training to improve your performance.
Are you a swimming lover? Or are you preparing for a swimming competition? Then a smartwatch can help you as well. If you are looking for a smartwatch for swimming, you should choose a smartwatch that tracks various swimming metrics such as pace, distance, SWOLF, and swimming style.
Make calls from the smartwatch.
Never miss a call!
If you have a smartwatch with LTE, you can call or send messages or SMS right from your wrist even when the phone is not with you. A smartwatch with LTE or cellular connectivity allows you to connect directly to a cellular network with an eSIM.
Once the LTE feature is activated on your smartwatch, it allows you to make phone calls, SMS and also allows you to use apps that required internet connectivity.
Moreover, you can use the same number on your smartwatch and smartphone. This smartwatch is worth buying if you do not want to carry your smartphone while going for a walk or Gym.
Not all smartwatches do not have this feature. If you want to buy a smartwatch that makes calls without a phone, you have to go for the best standalone smartwatches with a SIM card.
Unfortunately, a smartwatch with cellular connectivity costs you more money than a regular smartwatch. In addition to that, you also need to activate a cellular plan for your smartwatch that adds an extra $5-10 to your monthly telephone bill.
It is Fashionable
Many people buy smartwatch as a Fashionable piece of equipment. Unlike fitness trackers, smartwatches match with any of your outfits. You can even customize your smartwatch strap by changing the best smartwatch band that suits your outfit.
Apple Watches are an example of the best premium smartwatch that you can buy now.
Are you a music lover? Then a smartwatch can entertain you as well. If you buy a smartwatch with music, you can download music into your smartwatch from various music streaming apps or your computer.
So you do not need to carry a smartphone with you while going for a walk or jogging. You can connect your smartwatch directly to an earphone or earbuds through Bluetooth connectivity.
Access to Smartphone notifications
Once you connected your smartwatch with the smartphone, you can access the call, SMS, social media, and other app notifications right on your wrist. So you do not need to grab your phone every time to check your notifications.
This feature is very convenient while driving. It helps you filter out unnecessary or spam calls without stopping your car. So it is very convenient for you, especially while riding on a bike, because it will not be very easy for you to grab your smartphone.
These are some of the top benefits of having a smartwatch. It allows you to manage almost everything right from your wrist with a few taps on it.
You might be decided to buy a smartwatch now. However, before we go ahead, I have complied a few disadvantages of smartwatches as well.
Smartwatches like Fitbit, Apple, Samsung, etc. comes with a contactless payment feature. It allows you to pay a bill right from your wrist even without grabbing your wallet for money or a MasterCard.
After checking both the smartwatch’s advantages and disadvantages, you can decide; Is a Smartwatch worth it?
GPS for Navigation
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, then you probably know the importance of GPS. Many smartwatches come with GPS features, but it needs to be connected with a smartphone to track your location.
If you buy a smartwatch with a built-in GPS, it can track your location even when you are away from your smartphone. Premium smartwatches like Garmin, Samsung, etc. come with on-screen navigation that allows you to navigate unknown routes.
Disadvantages of Smartwatches
If you are looking for a smartwatch with advanced features, it will cost you more money. But if you are on a tight budget, you can go for cheap smartwatches under $50.
Even cheap smartwatches come with heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen level monitoring, activity tracking, etc. So if you are a beginner, you do not need to go for premium smartwatches like Apple, Samsung, or Garmin.
Besides, if you plan to buy a smartwatch with cellular connectivity, then the price will again go high. On top of that, a smartwatch with LTE also adds an additional cost to your monthly telephone bill.
Poor Battery life
Smartwatches have poor battery life. Even an Apple smartwatch battery can last over 18 hours only. If you use features such as music, GPS, etc., then the battery life decreases further.
So if you plan to buy a smartwatch, you should go for a smartwatch with longer battery life.
When you use a smartwatch, you should not use features like music streaming, GPS, always-on display, etc. for a longer time.
Smartwatches generally have a smaller display. It will be difficult for you to see the data and other notifications on its screen. However, smartwatches like Apple, Samsung, Garmin, and Fitbit have a larger display than other smartwatches.
Not a medical Equipment
A smartwatch should not be used as a piece of medical equipment. So if you feel not well, then you should seek medical support immediately.
Even though it can not be used as a medical-grade device, it can give you an overall idea about your health and fitness.
Now let us have a look into some frequently asked questions about smartwatches.
- Is it unhealthy to wear a smartwatch?
Generally, using a smartwatch does not cause any health issues. But if you are allergic to nickel, you should go for a smartwatch without a nickel.
- Is it worth buying a Galaxy watch?
Even though Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch causes more money, it can monitor your overall health and fitness than any other smartwatches in the market now. Galaxy Watch3 and Galaxy Watch Active2 come with advanced health tracking features such as ECG, SpO2, temperature monitoring, and much more.
It also works with both Android and Apple devices.
- Can I leave my phone at home and use my Samsung watch?
If you use a smartwatch with LTE/cellular connectivity, you can leave your smartwatch at home. Still, you can receive phone calls, SMS, WhatsApp messages, social media notifications, etc.
- Can I answer calls on the Samsung Galaxy watch?
Samsung Smartwatch with LTE can answer phone calls right from your wrist even without a smartphone with you.
If you ask me, is a smartwatch worth it? Then I would say it is. A smartwatch can help you monitor your health metrics, activities, and much more. In addition to that, it has smart features that allow you to minimize the usage of a smartphone.
Now you know the essential advantages and disadvantages of a smartwatch. I hope that it will help you decide whether to buy a smartwatch or not.
If your priority is health tracking, then you should go for an advanced smartwatches with ECG and SpO2.
I’m Saneesh VS. I’m a Registered Nurse by Profession, but my passion lies in Gadgets like smartwatches, fitness trackers and fitness. Nothing makes me happier than being able to share my knowledge to help people make informed decisions on what they need to buy or use in their everyday lives.