At IFA 2014, smart wearable tech was everywhere. With the Moto 360 and Pebble Watch, the wearable tech market are becoming more mainstream than ever. These wearable gadgets are now becoming cheaper and affordable, so maybe we're getting closer to a new fascinating world.
But the question remains will you buy a smartwatch, especially is there a requirement in India?
Most of us don't know what type of smartwatch we'd really like to us. So, we tried to find some unknown answers over the past few days, and here's everything you need to know about the smartwatch market.
What is a Smartwatch?
A smartwatch is more than a normal looking wrist watch. It provides live access to certain kinds of information on your wrist. That said, even a non-tech inclined user can easily operate the smartwatch.
Smartwatch: More Than an Accessory
One camp argues that a smartwatch is a mere accessory. Others, however, says that a smartwatch is more than an accessory. Normal watches tell the time, but a smartwatch offers additional features such as Google search, Maps, GPS for running and more.
Kinds of Smartwatches
There are several types of smartwatches available in the Indian market. Some come with e-ink displays. Some feature Super AMOLED colour screens. Some can even look like a miniature mobile phone. Some come with a round display.
Android Wear Vs Conventional Software
Google's Android Wear is a dedicated software designed to support the wearable tech. All Android Wear smartwatches have more-or-less similar looking interface. All Android Wear watches have colour displays, a dedicated internal processor, RAM and an internal memory. Speaking of battery life, expect at least 2 days of backup on a single charge. Notably, you can download a ton of apps, which install automatically to your watch when the Android app is downloaded to a companion handset. Since these watches run Android OS, they even recognizes voice commands.
Samsung Gear Watches
Samsung, the tech giant from South Korea, is making a lot of smartwatches lately. Unlike Android Wear watches, a Samsung-made intelligent watch can make calls.
Samsung Gear watches run Tizen OS, Samsung's own mobile OS. They are far better in terms of features but at the same time have less apps. Most can also record heart rate. Some even come with cameras. Interestingly, the Gear S has its own SIM card.
There are a lot of companies who've made their name in the entry-level segment. These smartwatches are affordable yet powerful enough. They run on Android and iOS. For instance, the Pebble is the most successful smartwatch in the market. It is priced at $99 (approximately Rs. 6,300).
Fitness and Heart Rate
Most of the current-generation smartwatches come with decent internal hardware. But great software really makes the difference, in case, you need to use the smartwatch as a fitness coach. All smartwatches packs incredible fitness-related software and apps. They can log activity, sleep, calorie counting and much more.
Best of all, you may even find a heart tracking feature in select smartwatches. For instance, the Moto 360 has a built-in heart rate tracker. Similarly, the Samsung Gear Fit, which is priced at Rs. 8,000, features a heart rate tracker.
Smartwatch: Connectivity is Important
All Android Wear watches works only with Android phones. Samsung Gear range, on the other hand, works only with Samsung phones. Meanwhile, the Pebble watch, for instance, is compatible with Android and iOS platforms.
Wearable gadgets still aren't priced economically. The cheapest smartwatch in India, Spice Smartwatch, is priced roughly around Rs. 3,500. The Motorola Moto 360, a solid looking watch, will cost you around Rs. 17,999. Meanwhile, Samsung's Gear range starts upwards of Rs. 8,000.
Do You Need a Smartwatch?
Right now you're probably thinking "do I need to splurge Rs. 17,999 on a smartwatch". And that's a valid point. As of now, smartwatches are mere toy, with no path breaking features to offer. Yes, they can make calls, send or receive calls and even tell you you're fitness-related history. Still, a smartwatch looks like an extended experience rather than dire necessity.