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6 reasons why Filipinos shouldn’t buy smartwatches yet




With the announcement of various smartwatches from different manufacturers, a lot of people are probably considering getting one – including me. However, I’ve given it some thought and I have decided that it’s not the proper time to buy a smartwatch, or to even plan to. Here are 6 reasons why you should hold back on getting one at the moment:

white-cookoo-watch

1. Dependence on voice control

If you’re getting into Android Wear, you have to know that a lot of the experience involves Google Now voice control. On the other hand, if it’s the Apple Watch you’re eyeing on, there’s Siri.

google-voice-search

Voice control is a nice thing to have, don’t get me wrong, but let’s be realistic; how frequent do you see Filipinos use Google Now & Siri? Or what about using their voice to type their text messages? You’ll have to use straight English / Filipino, and most of the time, there is a dependence on an internet connection too for analyzing voice.

But hey, if you find it okay to actually talk to gadgets in public, you can say “Sino si Steve Jobs” to Google and you have a constant internet connection for more functionality, feel free. Or you can get smartwatches like a Pebble which requires no voice control.

2. Google Now is not ready for the Philippine setting, and we should actually wait for Apple Watch coverage before planning to buy it

I’m a Nexus user, and as much as Google throws me Google Now notifications, I don’t necessarily find it accurate – it probably works better abroad, but not here. It gives me information on estimated time to get to my destination, but it was never accurate because of traffic, I want to get scores of UAAP teams and more, but it’s not ready. Soon maybe, but not now – and I’m saying this because Wear relies a lot on Google Now for the experience.

Apple Watch 2

The Apple Watch

For those planning to get the Apple Watch, it’s coming early 2015, but please don’t pre-order because we don’t even know what it will be like. In fact, I don’t believe in pre-ordering anything that has even the slightest hint of uncertainty – new game releases, new cameras and this case included. If it comes out and word gets to everyone on how it actually works, then you should decide.


3. No need to rush

It’s just probably the first or second wave of smartwatch devices to be announced, and you can always wait for the next launches if current offerings don’t look satisfying. Just because a lot of companies have already jumped into the bandwagon doesn’t mean we should as well. The market is just evolving, and I’m sure there will be better offerings in the future. Microsoft & Nokia has not even made any announcements yet.

samsung-galaxy-gear-watch

The Samsung Galaxy Gear

By the time an ideal smartwatch comes out, there will be enough straps, color choices, designs & software downloads to compliment it.

4. Compatibility

Planning to get into Android Wear? Check your Android phone to see if you’re running at least Android 4.3 Jellybean. Apple Watch? You need an iPhone 5 or better. Gear? Better have a Galaxy. Depending on which watch you’re going to buy, you need to pass the requirements first. Seeing that a lot of local smartphones in the scene are running old versions of Android, then we can easily say it’s not time to jump in the smartwatch craze for most people.

5. Sunlight legibility & battery life

It’s a nice thing that a lot of these smartwatches out now are waterproof or water-resistant, so that should at least take the worry off people when it’s rainy here in the Philippines. But if it’s scorching hot under the sun, then not only will you have a hard time seeing what’s on the screen of your smartwatch, but it will also probably heat up when you’re out a lot, and even before your day comes to an end, you’ll have no charge on your battery (some will probably do okay, but we’re sure that not all).

6. Price & Availability

MOTO360

Correction: It’s not time.

The Google Play Store is still not available locally, the Apple Watch is still not available anywhere, the Pebbles are hard to find and the buy is hard to justify at the moment, Samsung’s Gears are also hard to justify and will require you a Galaxy phone, then there are watches like the LG G Watch. If you want better looking watches like the Moto 360, you will need to pay a lot more as it is very rare and is currently unofficially priced at around Php20k. That’s a lot to pay for a smartwatch which is just starting to gain traction, but we guess you should just wait until companies officially distribute smartwatches to Filipino buyers.



Bob Freking occasionally contributes articles to the website. He is a UST Graduate of Commerce & Business Administration, Major in Marketing Management, and a full-time Sith Lord with three dragons.

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28 Responses

  1. wawawe says:

    Nice article, but, do not tell me what to do with my money.

  2. Sam Juan says:

    And battery life, power outage during calamities should also consider.

  3. Whudat says:

    See my email.

  4. Aki says:

    I don’t know if everyone will agree, but I think we Filipinos are conformist in nature.. no matter what happens, we should always be on the loop. Oh colonial mentality…

    • Hen-Sheen says:

      The title should be renamed – Smartwatch: A guide to the Conservative Filipino. I’ve made a Novel out of this contraption…..

  5. Hideki says:

    7. Snatchers XD

    • denise says:

      lol. exactly what I was thinking. Even snatchers are always updated on what gadgets are in nowadays so it’s easier for them to recognize a smart watch from an ordinary one.

  6. ren says:

    Makes sense. Thanks for the blog.

  7. Yrag says:

    we filipinos still prefer Swiss Made watches. We’re not ready yet for a wrist watch made in China.

  8. Hero Reyes says:

    I do have a gear 2 neo since May and
    1. Its not dependent on voice control there are a lot of apps for almost everything.
    2. I get the notifications fron apps that i like.
    3. Yeah don’t rush but for customization sake you can atleast get straps of your choice.
    4. This is a major issue I however own a compatible phone you need to take note of it.
    5. Mine last for 4 days and around 30mins of charging.
    6. I got mine for around 8k and it is expensive yeah..

    The term we are not ready is not that accurate we are actually ready as ready as the rest of the world are..

  9. ness says:

    Kimstore is already selling pebble

  10. marcusfenix says:

    Who’s selling the Moto 360?

  11. pGee says:

    I think the writer missed put the fact that snatchers will grab it the moment you leave your house. Cheers!

    • Bob Freking says:

      Manufacturers will have to come up with a design that does not draw too much attention to itself. That and making the design still good-looking will be a huge achievement.

      And while it is dangerous to commute with gadgets here, crime is not a thing exclusive only to Filipinos. Always take care of your belongings!

  12. Smoodie says:

    I would recommend pebble watch. Priced at 5-6k at online stores. Water resistant up to 5ATM. Compatible both on iOS and android. Battery life 5-7 days with very good readability on direct sunlight. Check it out getpebble.com

  13. Sw2 says:

    Iam using smartwatch 2, have it replaced with leather strap from my timex indiglo watch.
    so far so good, I don’t have to pull out my gigantic phone (Z Ultra) out of my pocket whenever i need to read incoming messages like from whatsapp, txt messages, emails and I can still read news via rss feeds and control my phone to initiate a call, send txt messages, play-pause-skip music., with heavy to moderate use it lasted 3-5 days,change the settings of my phone like wifi on/off, 3g data on/off, mute on/off. well for me that’s all i need for a smartwatch. I don’t need voice controls

  14. anongklase says:

    anong klase relo yan 5 days lang battery
    pag maiinit sa labas 3 days na lang?

    bakit pa ba kailangan yan kung hi-end naman and celfon mo?

    katamaran lang kaya ang dahilan dito?
    o mejo pasikat din na may pera ka?

    kung ako mag g-shock na lang ako
    sa 5K ko waterproof na at 2-3 yrs batt life

    ginawa nga ang mga features ng hi-end fon para gamitin tapos e limit lang naman pala dahil dadaan ka pa sa smartwatch.

    kung may edad na kayo katulad ko, mejo mahirap ng mag basa sa maliit na display.

    pinalakihan ko nga ang font ng note 3 ko para madaling basahin kahit walang glasses mata ko.

    pero kung may mag bigay nito sa akin, bilang gift
    tatangapin ko naman siguro

    kung iba ang paniniwala niyo, paki explain

  15. frekingfan says:

    you’re freking right dude! you nailed it right on the head!

  16. Raphiduz says:

    These smartwatches are only for those who can afford to have an additional gadget aside from their smartphones. In addition to that, these are best used by people who are not commuters. Try mo sumakay ng jeep or bus at suot mo yan, sigurado, kung hindi yan ma-snatch, hihingin sayo yan ng sapilitan. Hindi sya angkop para sa karamihang Pilipino. Un iba nga, kaya nag-smartphone with big screen displays para makita maige un mga messages tapos gagamit ka nito na maliit lang yun font?

  17. Hero Reyes says:

    Puro negative comments mula sa mga ala pa naman, mukang ok naman ang feedback mula sa mga meron na. Sabagay panu ka naman mag bibigay ng comment na maganda kung ikaw mismo di mo pa na experience magkarun. Just saying it’s by the way a smartwatch and not just a watch you use to check time.

  18. PositiveCommenter says:

    Wao. Isa sa mga more sophisticated articles nyo. Hopefully more contextual articles like these would be written, and less ng mga articles na ilang beses nang inuulit-ulit sa foreign sites. Strive for authenticity.

  19. itachi1 says:

    I commute and carry a large phone all the time. Ang ayoko sa lahat is I have to take out my phone in public when I have to check something, especially if it’s an important one. I purchased a Smartwatch 2 last year to address that, and I have to say it’s beneficial for me. I can respond to social media, check email, answer calls/SMS or control my phone discreetly without taking my phone out in public.

    I have to admit nung una hindi siya bumenta sakin. Pero after experiencing it, I found its purpose. Yes, this tech segment is still, relatively, in its infancy, pero depende lang talaga siya sa need ng tao.

  20. R2 says:

    A smartphone is a mini computer where many apps and software can be crammed, that includes time and the calendar. Wearing a watch is practically unnecessary now.
    If one thinks of replacing a phone for something wearable like a watch, it’s impractical. It’s too small to type on it, too small to watch video, too small to do anything useful and it’s too annoying to keep on charging a watch everyday. I just don’t see a watch as a wearable mobile taking off. It has its inherent limitations, foremost of which is the size.
    Just like its dumb cousin, its just for vanity.

  21. Jograd says:

    There’s no 6 reasons, but one:

    Mga kawatan na namamayagpag sa Pilipinas.

    It’s More Fun in the Philippines!

  22. goodha says:

    Personally not the right time yet for full fledged smartwatches. These just serve as accessories to the primary smartphone. I would still go for the classic swiss watch brands anytime.(Omega, Rolex, Baume et Mercier, Longines, Rado and of course the top of the line brands like Patek Philippe, Audemar Piguet, IWC, Universal Geneve, etc.)

  23. Athena Tria says:

    the url says 7 reasons. the title is 6 reasons, and the content, 6 reasons. Ako lang ba nakapansin? hehe

    anyway, medyo hindi pa nga practical ang smartwatch at the moment. at the moment. :)))

  24. jambalolo says:

    I somewhat disagree with this
    1. Dependence with voice control

    – nothing wrong with that, but the thing about smartwatches is that you don’t have that much options when it comes to input devices, sure keyboard is ok on a smartphone but on a smartwatch?

    2. Google Now is not ready for the Philippine setting, and we should actually wait for Apple Watch coverage before planning to buy it
    – Sure it does not give all the information you need/want but it’s sort of an evolving technology on the server side of things, maybe someday we’ll have traffic info support in Manila but at the moment the information of whether to bring an umbrella before leaving the house is still something.

    My point is there are still cases that it would be quite useful

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