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Smartwatches – should you go for them?

Smartwatches – should you go for them?

A smartwatch may seem like an interesting gadget to own. But is it really worth the hype? We take a look at smartwatches available to give you a clearer picture.

In recent times, smartwatches have been in the news quite a bit, with offerings from Samsung and Sony now available in India. Even Google announced its own version in development (Android Wear), but when that will come to India is not yet certain. They follow the Pebble smartwatch which came in July 2013. Every major electronics company has, at one time or another, been associated with the development of a smartwatch – a device seen as the future of personal computing.

Sony’s SmartWatch officially costs Rs7,990 but has been succeeded by the SmartWatch 2 which retails at Rs14,990. The SW2 is water-resistant and compatible only with devices running Android 4.0 and higher. It has a claimed 3- to 4-day battery life under normal use and a standby time of about 7 days on low use.

Even Samsung’s Galaxy Gear – priced at Rs15,290 – is only compatible with Android 4.3 handsets, and that too with only a limited number of Samsung devices. It is beefier when compared with Sony’s offering, and has 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory and a 1.9-megapixel, autofocus camera.

What can they do?
A smartwatch interfaces with your mobile phone wirelessly. The appeal of such a device is to keep you notified without interrupting other activities. So for example, you could be in a meeting or at a movie and still be aware of incoming calls, texts and notifications. With specially designed apps, a smartwatch could also allow you to track your fitness as you jog, swim or cycle.

At the steep price, is a smartwatch something you really need and would actually use? Probably not – the possible uses at present probably don’t justify the price tag. And the less-than-impressive battery life doesn’t bode well either. Right now, they fail to make a need of themselves. Even if you like recording every bit of your exercise routine, a smartwatch doesn’t do much more than a smartphone, which you could also use (with the right apps) to track your progress on fitness tasks.

But if you want your already connected world to get a little more so, you could consider a smartwatch. However, make sure it’s compatible with your mobile phone and prepare yourself for the battle with the battery life.

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