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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.