Can You Really Ditch Your Smartphone For A Smartwatch?
Smartphones have become such a pivotal object in our lives that many can’t even think of living without them. Smartphones have opened the door for countless opportunities, and given us a dramatic increase in our productivity, connectedness, and overall interaction with the digital world. However, in recent years, the rise of the smartwatch has begun to take a place of increased importance. Though a relatively new gadget in the tech world, smartwatches have taken a step forward in terms of usability, and now pose as a serious standalone option in anyone’s tech repertoire.
The most well known smartwatch maker of recent years is Apple, with their Apple Watch. So for the sake of this article, we will focus on the Apple Watch. When it was first released, it was seen as a novelty tech item. While extremely cool, it’s usability was extremely limited, and the user interface was not well polished. Another aspect that made a smartwatch limited is the fact it must be paired via bluetooth with your smartphone. If the watch wasn’t paired with a smartphone, it would lose practically all real usability, since it utilized the smartphones cellular connection.
Earlier in September, Apple announced the Series 3 Apple Watch, which offered a brand new feature of having LTE (cellular data) connection. Users would be able to have a separate data plan through their cell carrier for $10-$20 a month, included on their existing data bill. With this, users would be able to make calls, send messages, listen to music, and use data-dependent apps without the need to pair it with a smartphone.
This has opened up a whole new world to those who purchase this gadget. Users can now go for a jog, take the dog for a walk, or go shopping and still be connected without their phone. Imagine no longer carrying a phone, instead only bringing along the watch on your arm. While this may seem appealing to some, there are some drawbacks to this. First, the battery life on an Apple Watch is nowhere near advanced enough to take on heavy data usage. Holding an hour long call is reported to drain the battery by at least 25%. Secondly, the smartwatch has nowhere near the level of sophistication as a smartphone. Apps are not able to fully utilized on the very small screen of the watch like they are on a smartphone. Finally, the smartwatch will not be a good candidate for messaging or emailing, due to the difficulty of using voice dictation for long messages.
So can an Apple Watch replace a smartphone completely? Well, yes and no. An Apple Watch can effectively replace your smartphone in certain situations, especially those that you are active in, including going for a run, hitting the gym, or cycling. Going on simple errands, walking the dog, or going out for drinks are certainly other situations where bringing only your Apple Watch would suffice. Nevertheless, the Apple Watch simply does not bring enough functionality to replace your smartphone.
I think with the introduction of LTE connectivity within the Apple Watch is bringing us in a direction that will eventually bring us smartwatches with increases capability of filling in for a smartphone. We could be in for a future where the functionality of our phones have become completely crammed into our watches. But for now, I’d stick with your trusty smartphone.