Do I Need a Smartwatch?

a picture of a woman with a smart watch

Unless you’ve been living on a desert island, chances are you’re well aware of the smartwatch revolution. It seems like this wearable tech is everywhere these days, with new models getting released all the time—like the Apple Watch series 9 or Samsung Galaxy Watch—featuring advancements that seem to make life more manageable. Plus, they look cool. But do you really need a smartwatch?

While it’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon just to keep up with the crowd, a smartwatch is a big investment. To some, a smartwatch is just a smaller version of your smartphone… but to others, it’s a lifesaver that helps them effectively manage their day to day. Before you buy one of your own, consider the questions below—they’ll help guide you to the decision that’s right for you, and your wrist.

Do you have the money for a smartwatch?

While your finances come into play no matter what tech you’re considering investing in, they can play an even bigger factor into whether or not you should get a smartwatch. A phone is a must have, but for many, a watch isn’t as pressing a tech need. Even though they might cost less than a smartphone, a smartwatch can still set you back hundreds of dollars.

However, there are ways to work around dropping a grip of cash for your new wearable. For example, you may be able to pay for your smartwatch using an installment plan, depending on which wireless carrier you use for your phone. You can also consider going with a slightly older model of smart watch to save a little money. For example, consider the Apple Watch series 8 or Apple Watch Series 7 instead of the current series 9, or the Samsung Galaxy Watch5. And if you currently have an older model smartwatch that you’re considering upgrading to a new one, you may be able to use your older model as a trade-in to help bring down the price of your new smartwatch.

Do you like the idea of being connected all the time?

Because a smartwatch often mimics the experience of your smartphone in a smaller package, that means you’ll get the same kind of notifications on your watch as you do on your phone. Texts, emails, calls, reminders… you name it, it’ll show up on that little screen on your wrist.

And while there are ways to manage or silence your smartwatch notifications, it’s still another device you’re connected to, with no respite until you take it off. This can be either a pro or a con, depending on your mindset, so consider which category you fall into before you get one home and decide you don’t like being connected 24/7.

Are you reasonably tech literate?

Sure, smartwatches are reasonably intuitive to use—especially if you already have tons of experience with a smartphone. But if you already have trouble navigating your phone, computer, and TV remote, maybe adding another piece of tech to your collection isn’t the right thing for you. But if you love the Next Big Tech Thing and can’t wait to get your hands on it to figure out how you can get it to monitor what’s in your smart fridge, go for it.

Do you have a big fitness regimen?

Much has been said about the smartwatch’s fitness tracking capabilities, surpassing dedicated fitness trackers by being able to constantly update and evolve existing apps. Sure, you can count your steps and monitor your heart rate, but many smart watches now have the capability to monitor for falls and get help if you’re unresponsive. They can also monitor your sleep patterns, and help you identify physical patterns that could help when it comes time for your yearly physical. It can even remind you when to drink water.

And if you have a specific workout you’re into—say, cycling, scuba diving, running and the like—there’s now plenty of specialized smart watch apps designed specifically for the activity you’re into, so you can easily keep track of your gains without having to retrofit existing tracking capabilities to your preferred workout. This is the biggest smart watch selling point for fitness enthusiasts.

Are you busy both personally and professionally?

Running from meeting to meeting, picking the kids up from school and taking them to a soccer practice, then taking a planned date night with your significant other… life can be busy! If you have trouble keeping on top of it all, a smart watch may help you make heads and tails of your to do list. From reminding you of appointments to prompting you to manage your tasks, and even screening messages, a smart watch is a quick-glance way of helping you keep on top of your life both in and out of the office, which can be hard to juggle if you’ve got a lot going on.

Do you constantly lose your phone?

If you have a bad habit of putting your phone down somewhere and forgetting where you left it, your smart watch can help you figure out the mystery of where it is now. Because your phone and smart watch are linked to the same account—and for optimal use, are linked to each other—you can use your smart watch to locate your phone so you don’t have to run through your house yelling, “Where is my phone?” Think of it as a larger AirTag that helps you do a bunch of other things, too.

Do you want something to express your personal style?

Overall, smartwatches come in a couple different sizes, but don’t vary much outside of the standard round or rectangle face and a thick strap to hold it. If the general size and shape of a smartwatch doesn’t appeal to you, it might not be a must have. But if you can look past the basics, there are actually quite a few ways you can personalize your smartwatch.

For example, you can swap out the standard watch band with other options that feature colors or patterns that are better at channeling your personal aesthetic. You can also adjust the face display in different colors and fonts, characters, or an all-apps display, if that suits your fancy. So, while the watch itself is pretty standard looking, there are still ways you can make it your own.

Have you decided a smartwatch is right for you? Congratulations! Once you pick the smartwatch you want, make sure you have a good wireless plan that helps support its best features so you can make the most of your new wearable tech.

This article is AT&T sponsored content written by Carly Milne, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are her own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.

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