Who’s Actually Buying Smartwatches & Why?


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Do you own a smartwatch? Do you enjoy using it? Is it Android Wear or an Apple Watch? What do you ACTUALLY do with it? Am I missing something, here? 

As is always the case inside Q1 of any New Year, MWC looms just over the horizon and everyone is eager to see what Samsung, LG and Sony will come to the table with for 2016. 

Increasingly, though, wearables — specifically, watches — are getting harder and harder to ignore. A lot of this is to do with the Apple Watch, which “magically” introduced the smartwatch concept to the public, but mostly it is because hardware companies want to make more dollar and the only way to do that is to sell, well, more hardware. 

And in 2016 we’re looking at the usual suspects (phones and tablets) alongside a couple of newer players, smartwatches and VR headsets like Gear VR and Oculus Rift. I get VR. I get it and I cannot wait to try out some of the devices en route to market — especially PlayStation VR. 

But I’m still unsure about smartwatches. Have been since, well, 2013 when they first started popping up. I’ve tried a couple of times to get into it, embrace the “freedom” of not having to check my phone, but always come back with the same impression — meh. 

My house mate has an Apple Watch and he never uses it;  the damn thing just sits on his bedside table collecting dust. I asked him why, and he replied: “Oh — I just forgot to charge it…” But we both know the real reason. 

The real reason, though, is because unlike your phone, PC or laptop a smartwatch isn’t essential. You can get along just fine without one should you forget to charge it or leave home without it. The same cannot be said about laptops or phones, though. They are an essential component of modern day life. Hell, most people don’t even have landlines in their homes these days, such is the prevalence of the mobile phone. 

This article, therefore, is kind of a shout out to the people regularly using smartwatches to find out which device you use, what you’re doing with it, why you love/hate it, and where you’d like to see things go in the future. Qualcomm has big plans for the space in 2016/17 with the launch of its Snapdragon Wear platform, but beyond this what else would you like to see with respect to features and usability?  

Personally speaking, I’ve had three or four Android Wear watches over the years and have never really gone past the “month stage” with them. I wear one for a bit, use it to monitor my steps and for navigation, check messages (before taking my phone out to respond to said messages), and, back when I was single, experiment with some wrist-based Tindering. But that was literally it and, to be perfectly honest, I’m happy doing all of the above on my phone anyway, a smartwatch doesn’t feel like a “solution” in this regard, 

I’m very interested in your thoughts on wearables, the different models available, Android Wear vs Apple Watch and everything else in between, let us know in the comments section below!

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