Smartwatch Use Cases

It seems everyone loves to argue about what gadget platform is better. Just last week when Claire and I were at Books and Brews, she mentioned her new Android phone and some dude had to chime in with an “iPhone is better.” Here’s the thing though, there is no “better” once you get past “does it do what it said it’ll do.” After that, it becomes a matter of what gadget fits your use case the best.

With the new wearables coming out, I’ve been considering my own specific use cases for a wearable to help me decide which one will be right for me. I’m trying to avoid listing features here, and sticking with what I actually want it to do instead.

Must Haves

I can glance at my wrist, I can see the time.

I’ve always worn a watch. And since I’ve always worn a watch, I expect to¬†glance at my wrist and see the time. If I’m typing, I can see the time without stopping. If I’m on my bike, I can leave my hands on the handle bars.

I can see my sleep patterns.

Tracking my sleep helped me realize that if I stay up 30 minutes later, I could wake up at a more natural part of my sleep cycle. This was awesome, and I want to continue to have this functionality in the future for if/when it changes.

I can see my activity without using my phone.

The Timex IQ+ that I had was nice because it looked like a watch. But, it displayed my steps as a percentage of my goal. And once I crossed that, I had no more feedback unless I looked at my phone. Since one of my favorite things about smartwatches is they make me look at my phone less, this is counterproductive.

I do not have to charge the device everyday.

Since I want to track my sleep, I don’t want a device I have to charge every day. Plus, as I learned with my Pebble Time Round, when you start with a small battery it becomes as it loses efficiency. That’s the big reason I’m no longer using it.

I won’t be distracted by the device.

I know myself, and know how distracted I can get. Having a device that can run an OS like Android Wear that rivals my smartphone would be a huge distraction for me.

Nice to Haves

I can respond to messages without touching my phone.

I miss this from my Pebble. Being able to fire off a quick, canned, response is great. Especially if I’m in a meeting and my husband is asking if I want him to bring home lunch.

I can go swimming without having to remove my device.

I was willing to give up waterproofing with the Pebble Time Round, because it looked so awesome on. But having to take it off anytime I got in the pool got old quick.

When I go to bed, I can turn off the lights and lock the doors.

Controlling my smart home from my wrist feels cool and future-y. And is super convenient.

Long Shots

I want a device that looks good on my wrist.

The only device I’ve found that looks good on my wrist and fits all the “must haves” is the Garmin Fenix 5S. But at a $600 premium for features I won’t use, I can’t justify the cost.

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