Not so long ago, the digital watch was the cool, hip new timepiece on the market. Then came the 1st generation of “smart watches”, though we cringe at calling them even that. Those early pioneers were little more than laggy, expensive electronic statements of wealth, and we’re perfectly OK with them staying right were they are in the tech junkyard.
Last year, Pebble successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a new generation of smartwatches. Their $150 model syncs via bluetooth with smartphones and displays emails, texts, phone calls, and more. Last week, Samsung finally announced their “Galaxy Gear” smartwatch, slated to come out next month to the consumer at a price of $299.
Apple is rumored to have a team of 100 developers working on their own smartwatch model, although nothing concrete has provided truth to these claims. Still, it’ll be neat to see if anything along those lines comes out from Cupertino in the next year or two.
So is it worth it? The answer to that question is subjective, and depends entirely on your planned uses for a smartwatch. Do you really need another screen to look at? For the past several years, we’ve been focusing on building bigger and better smartphone screens. Would it be prudent to pay $150-$300 bucks for an even tinier screen than the one in your pocket? Perhaps–if you’re George Jetson.
Sure, it’s a futuristic concept; wearing a computer/phone on your wrist and performing those type of activities. The only thing is, you can’t–yet. While Samsung’s model does let you make phone calls, it does so in an extremely mediocre fashion. The watch itself tends to lag during use, and is kind of difficult to become accustomed to. What’s more, is that it isn’t even made out of e-paper, like the Kindle e-reader displays.
It does come with a 1.5 megapixel camera for taking (super) low-quality pics, although it does allow you to shoot video in 720p, a feature it performs quite nicely. The battery will last you a day on a single charge, which is where the kicker comes in.
Your watch will probably outlast your phone’s battery, at which point it will become a very expensive timepiece. It’s fashionable, certainly, but worth the price tag? Again, that is subjective. Still, we love the possibilities for smartwatches in the future, even if we don’t think they’ve reached that potential yet.
In the meantime, there are some very ecological (and economically sound) watches you can buy right now while you wait for smartwatches to evolve to a healthy balance of technology and fashion.
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