Last Updated: 16 Aug 2016

5 excellent reasons NOT to buy a smartwatch

Just to be clear, I’m as much a gadgetarian as the next person. I love shiny new things as much as the next man or woman. I love researching new gadgets and the frisson of excitement that comes with a good old unboxing. But one the one thing that has failed to float my boat time and time again is the good old smartwatch. To me, smartwatches are like the Emperor’s New Clothes. While my colleague laid out good reasons to buy one here, I felt it time to take a counter-position. So, here’s my 5 reasons that I won’t be buying a smartwatch anytime soon.

1. They’re not fulfilling any human need

If smartwatches were fulfilling a human need, they would be flying off the shelves. The truth is, I hardly know anyone apart from the hardcore geeks that own one. Call me old fashioned, but I use my watch for …….telling the time! Heck, I may even want to know the date. I own two analogue watches and one digital one, and they all do a grand job. That job being, to tell me what time of day it is. I never really wanted much more from a watch, and I’m don’t think other people do too. The argument may overrule this line of thought that all phones ever need to do is make a phone call, but it isn’t the same thing. When it comes to phones compared to watches, they have bigger screens, can show more information and are perfect for other tasks. Watches are best at telling the time and a few other things, but they should stick to what they do well and do best.

2. The screen size is annoying

If you’ve used a smartwatch before then, you’ll get this one. Modern mobile phones have a trend which is that they’re getting bigger. This is clearly due to a desire for larger screens. Sure the 4″ iPhone SE is bucking the trend, but for many people – bigger is better. Teeny smartwatch screens are just plain annoying. You can’t read much on them, and all that pinching and zooming is a pain. Once again, it boils down to the fact that they need to perform a single job well. For most people, that one job of telling the time is enough,

3. Smartwatches need to tether to a smartphone to work well

Huh? This is just plain odd. The Apple Watch needs to tether to an iPhone to do what it’s meant to do. Even when it’s tethered, all the watch becomes is a glorified notification system. In an age in which we’re bombarded with new messages and notifications do we need something more? I’m enough of a slave to my phone’s constant buzzing and pinging to then have my watch vibrating and flashing at the same time.

4. We don’t need more battery angst in our lives

If there’s one thing I can rely on to work is my self-winding analogue watch. It has served me well for 15 years to deliver the time every time. I depend on it to keep me punctual and its an essential tool in my life. Why would I risk this by replacing it with something that could die on me? I won’t jeopardise the sacred relationship I have with my watch to sit there worrying that it will die if I listen to music or perform other tasks on it.

5 Smartwatches make people slaves to more screens (and also look rude)

We have enough people staring vacantly at screens already. Apart from yawning, looking at your watch is the next best thing to signal that you’re bored. If you’re sitting with someone and always looking at your watch, then it has only one inference. I once sat in a meeting with two people who had Apple Watches. They were continuously looking at their wrists and playing with their watches. It was off-putting and rude. Apple Watch also has that stupid exaggerated flick you do to get the screen to wake up. Try sitting with someone who’s trying subtly to wake their watch up and you’ll see what I mean. Nope. If it’s all the same to you, a world where people are endlessly checking their watches is tantamount to a world of incredibly rude, bored people.

So there we have it. I shan’t be popping out to spend a fortune on a smartwatch anytime soon. If it’s all the same with you, I’ll stick with my analogue watch and look really attentive and polite.


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