Future Tech Product Reviews

Should You Buy A Smartwatch Now, Or Wait?

Chris Hoffman 27-02-2014

Everyone is talking about smartwatches and other wearables as “the next big thing.” The Pebble saw massive success on Kickstarter, and companies as well-known as Samsung and Sony have jumped into the ring with their own smartwatches. Future smartwatches from companies as diverse as Apple, Google, and Microsoft are rumored to be on their way. So, should you buy a smartwatch today, or wait for the smartwatches to come?


What’s the Point of a Smartwatch?

Every smartwatch manufacturer is scrambling to figure out why you would want a smartwatch. They know why they want to sell you a smartwatch — to create a new product category and make more money — but why would a normal person want to buy one?

Current smartwatches connect to your smartphone over Bluetooth. The “killer app” for a smartwatch seems to be notifications. When you get a text message on your phone, you don’t have to pull your phone out of your pocket — you can glance at your watch and see who sent the message and even read it. The same goes for emails and other messages you might want to receive. Smartwatches can also take advantage of this Bluetooth connection to do other things — for example, you could have a phone conversation while talking into the smartwatch on your wrist. You could control music playback from your wrist. Smartwatches also allow you to use apps, so you can play games, read, or even watch videos on your wrist.

Let’s be really honest here. If you’re interested in a smartwatch today, you’re probably a gadget geek or just someone who loves playing with new technology. It’s early days in the smartwatch market, and manufacturers are still polishing them and figuring out what they’re for. Samsung’s “A Long Time Coming” Galaxy Gear advertisement focuses on how smartwatches were once science fiction and how cool it is you can buy one today. The advertisement doesn’t explain why the Galaxy Gear would actually be useful.


Smartwatches You Can Buy Right Now

There are some other smartwatches on the market 4 Alternatives To The Pebble Watch The Pebble E-Paper Watch (which we've just reviewed and will be giving away) has a lot of interesting functions, is highly customizable, and raised over $1 million within 28 hours of being put on Kickstarter.... Read More , but the watches below are the ones you’ll probably be most interested in:



Smartwatches On the Way

The most interesting smartwatches on the way are from Apple, Google, and Microsoft. It’s no coincidence that these are the companies in technology. The challenge with making a smartwatch isn’t putting great hardware together; it’s creating great software that provides a compelling experience.

The below images isn’t a real photo of an iWatch. It’s one of the many concept images people have created over the years.



Should You Buy a Smartwatch Now?

Smartwatch manufacturers are experimenting with hardware and software, frantically trying to provide a compelling user experience. Smartwatches from Apple, Google, and Microsoft are on the horizon and we’ll probably see many new smartwatches later this year. Now’s probably not the time to buy a smartwatch. You’ll have many more options if you can wait until later this year.

If you’re a gadget geek, you may want to buy a smartwatch right now so you can get notifications on your wrist and experiment with the latest gadgets before they become mainstream. We’d recommend the Pebble as the smartwatch to get right now. It’s the most well-reviewed smartwatch today. Fueled by Kickstarter demand, the Pebble has a dedicate developer community behind it and a strong focus on notifications and providing a user experience that makes sense

Samsung is known for throwing products at the wall and seeing what sticks, and it feels like this is what they’re doing with the Galaxy Gear. The Pebble Steel also looks much more stylish than the original Pebble, which had a look that many people didn’t appreciate. The Pebble feels like an actual device designed for displaying notifications, while many of the other devices feel like little Android computers on your wrist. Pebble is onto something.



Have you picked up a smartwatch already, or are you waiting for a future smartwatch? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Related topics: Buying Tips, Smartwatch, Wearable Technology.

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  1. Bogarard
    April 18, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I would rather stick with my old-fashioned wristwatch for now. Unless there is one with an hologram pup-up on it or any other fancy futuristic features. Otherwise.. I'll pass. All of those so-called smartwatches are just a regular small gadgets with a bunch of unpolished features.

  2. James G
    March 1, 2014 at 5:46 am

    My watch already has an altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer, sunrise/set, 5 alarms, 3 time zones, stopwatch, countdown timer and is solar powered so never needs charging. That is smart enough for now.

  3. Hugh Glenn
    February 28, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Let me cut to the chase: Pebble is a pretty piece of plastic that serves as a watch (as long as it is FREQUENTLY charged). Purchasing a Pebble was a huge disappointment: My Pebble arrived DOA. At this point the bad news began.

    There is no access to tech support at Pebble via telephone. You must depend upon multiple e-mails. Count on a couple of days before receiving a reply. Moreover, the support you receive is WORTHLESS. Your e-mail will direct you to You Tube and web pages, which you already viewed and read trying to get the watch to work. Eventually, if you are lucky, you will receive an "invitation" to return the watch and receive a replacement--not a new watch but a refurbished one.

    I rejected the invitation and asked for a refund. This message was ignored FOUR times. I contacted my credit card company and filed a dispute. It was only AFTER I filed the dispute that I received the "invitation" to receive a replacement, which I declined and returned the watch.

    Conclusion: To know the time by looking at a pretty piece of plastic, you may like Pebble. But if your watch does not work properly, you will need divine intervention to receive any useful technical support or to find out how to return the watch for a refund. I found nothing to recommend this company or its product. If you want a Smartwatch, I'd wait for the iWatch from Apple.

  4. matthew
    February 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Yay for adding the clips from Babylon 5 !!!!

  5. Tom Uruqhart
    February 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I think it would be prudent to stay away from Huawei. I'd be afraid I would be hacked by some Chinese listening post.

    • TeeJay
      March 1, 2014 at 12:23 am

      Oh yeah. I can just imagine the Chinese authorities all sitting round a table eagerly listening into your telephone conversations. I'm sure they'll lose many hours of sleep in the process.

  6. antonio
    February 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I bought a Pebble, and even though it's serving it's purpose I wish I would have waited... The future looks awesome for these kind of devices. I disagree with the fact that some people think it's expensive... If someone were to buy a designer watch they would spend at least 400 dollars... with 2/3rds the price you can get a smart watch which will have more features than that expensive brand name one. Just my opinion.

  7. Liviu
    February 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I own a SmartWatch 2 (SW2).
    First of all .. it is a watch (you do not need any phone connected for it to be a watch). Paired with a leather wristband (or using the original metallic one) it is quite elegant.
    Second: it does NOT require to be recharged every day. I charge mine every 5th day or so.

    Useful ? ... for me yes, definitely. What I know is that I no longer reach for my phone every time it buzzes in my pocket. A quick look at my wrist will tell me if the message I just received is important enough to go on and pull the phone out (especially if I'm outside and I'm wearing gloves :) ). The main use for a smartwatch is to act like a WATCH in the first place .. and (in my case) as a notification extender for my phone. I do not need anything else and SW2 is providing these basic needs.

    • Jerry S.
      March 1, 2014 at 12:10 am

      It makes sense to me, and eventually will perhaps buy one. However, I will wait for Google, Apple, etc., offerings. ... I usually avoid jumping onto the bandwagon of first generation products, especially in emerging technologies.

    • Techygirl
      April 30, 2015 at 4:25 am

      Some smart watches I've seen have Sim ports in them, do you have to have a Sim (spare) card for the watch in order to use it or is it more along the lines of a Bluetooth? Haven't had a chance to see on in person.

  8. poless
    February 28, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Who needs "Smartwatch"? Give a me WatchPhone and I'm all in.

    • Techygirl
      April 30, 2015 at 4:20 am

      They already make them and have beend on sale for quite sometime now.

  9. Kevin M
    February 28, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I fail to see the point of these devices? They are big enough to be a wrist watch and well... they already do that! I see this as one of those things that falls into the just because you can doesn't mean you should category!

    • Gill_I_am
      February 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      What do you mean "they already do that"? If you fail to see the point of a smartwatch you don't understand the possibilities.

    • Kevin M
      February 28, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Meaning they are already a watch and there is very little use of them beyond that or perhaps some specialty need. I fail to see this being some big hit but everyone is acting like the day the first cell phone hit the market.

  10. TooCostly
    February 27, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    I'll wait until the joke pricing has snagged all the hipsters.
    Notifications and the ability to make and receive calls - without nuking your brain, are the lure for me. I'll wait until a high-quality analogue of the Huawei smartband becomes available.