It’s been several years since the smartphone revolution hit the world and with them came a host of other smart devices that can give a company. The most prominent among all accessories are probably smartwatches which were introduced a few years ago.
Smartwatches evolved from fitness bands, which were the first iteration of Bluetooth devices to adorn the human wrists. They come with screens that displayed the time. They also performed other tasks like tracking health fitness, displaying smartphone notifications, playing music, replying to messages, and even placing phone calls among other things.
The very fact that one can do so many integral actions just from the watches on their wrist is an astounding technological achievement. And I was fascinated by the possibility that such a device can offer so many functions without accessing the smartphone. This led me to buy my first smartwatch, a Motorola Moto 360 back in 2015.
This happened to be the second watch I have owned in my life. The first one being a Titan stainless steel analogue model, which was given to me by my grandmother 10 years ago. The Titan analogue watch cost Rs 7,200 back in the year 2007 which made it a bit better than the average watches.
It tells the time in a 12-hour format along with the date and day of the week. It’s body and strap is made from virgin stainless steel and is water resistant up to a depth or water pressure of 100 meters (was a big thing back then). All the maintenance that the watch required in all these years was a change in battery that cost me Rs 50.
And the battery is what we will be talking about today. Yes, this is the main reason what makes it ‘not’ worth your money. Let me explain.
My Moto 360 first gen is a smartwatch that can tell time with support for different watch faces, display all the notifications from my phone, play music and help keep all fitness data at my fingertips. Needless to say, it is a whole world of difference between it and my analogue watch in terms of functionality.
And in the time since I have had the Moto 360, I reviewed other smartwatches as well like the Samsung Gear S2 and the Asus Zenwatch 2, something that led me to a conclusion. They really need to improve their battery life. I found that smartwatches could not merit replacing a traditional watch which along with utility is also a statement for few people.
I agree that a smartwatch keeps you on top of everything in a much easier manner. But I simply hate the constant fear of the draining battery, checking it over several times in a day and taking the extra pain in charging it every night.
I agree that a wristwatch is a sensitive piece of hardware and the battery cycle of the device will decrease over time. But frankly speaking, this is something that requires an extra effort. You’re charging your smartwatch only to stay updated easily the next day. You can do it with your smartphones as well. Afterall how much extra time and battery will it take?
When we consider these conditions in the case of traditional timepieces, the amount of money spent on a smartwatch will get people some really good analogue watches. They might not keep you updated with what’s going on with your smartphone. But they do what they are best at, all without bugging you each minute.
People own great watches through generations. But a smartwatch will only last people a few years at most after which it just becomes a bother on the wrist (also, outdated). Like I mentioned above, you will always be on the tenterhooks of whether the smartwatch battery will die in the middle of your workday.
Hence, I feel that smartwatches are extremely innovative and amazing pieces of hardware but with a very short lifespan. This somehow conflicts the idea of watches. They should last for years, or at least more than a week in case of smartwatches. We really have a long way to go.