7 Reasons Why Smartwatches Are a Dumb Idea

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At first blush, smartwatches may seem like a great idea, but a closer inspection reveals them as expensive and redundant tech baubles masquerading as useful devices.

Smartwatches have been getting a lot of press lately. The number one smartphone maker, Samsung, introduced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch last month to mixed reviews. That said, it’s not the size or weight of the devices that should give would be smartwatch buyers pause; it’s the fact that they’re unnecessary. Here are seven reasons why smartwatches are a dumb idea:

The Ties that Bind

The popularity of the two-year smartphone contract is right up there with visits to the dentist, public speaking and government shutdowns, yet buying a smartwatch may further tighten the ties that bind you to your smartphone and service provider.

Why? If you buy a $300 Android smartwatch you have 300 fewer reasons to switch to Apple, even if you really must have the new iPhone 6x, the one with the extra large 5-inch screen and companion iWatch. Providers know this – and that every device and app you buy makes the cost of switching that much higher, which is good for the cellphone providers but perhaps not so good for you.

Do I Look Fat in This?

Smartwatches will increase the obesity epidemic. Really. People in developed countries get precious little exercise as it is. With smartwatches, they’ll get even less, as it takes two less calories to check your Twitter feed than reaching into a pocket or purse and using your smartphone. Assuming that smartwatches reduce smartphone "reachage" by 10 reaches per day (or 20 calories), that’s 7,300 more calories per year that smartwatch wearers are not burning, or the equivalent of 13 Big Macs!

Boy, Those Keys Are Small

Think it’s tough to type on a smartphone’s miniscule keyboard? Try typing on one that’s several times smaller.

Microsoft Will Ruin It

What’s the one guaranteed thing that we know about the smartwatch market? Microsoft will produce one, but it will be two years behind everyone else, receive poor reviews from tech bloggers and have abysmal sales.


Users Don’t Like Small Screens

Here’s a quote from CNET’s recent review of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch: "Your phone is way too big and unwieldy – what you need is a smaller second screen to let you know what's going on with ease. At least that's what Samsung reckons." Oh, yeah, Samsung? Then why have smartphone screens been getting larger – including Samsung’s pocket busting 5.7 inch screen phablet, the Galaxy Note 3. Even Apple joined the bigger-is-better club by increasing the size of the iPhone’s screen with last year’s iPhone 5.

The Galaxy Gear’s screen is tiny, 1.63 inches and only 320 x 320 pixels. Remember when a 50" flat screen TV seemed huge? A quick look at flat screen TVs on BestBuy.com shows several 80" models. When is the last time that you heard someone say that their (phone, tablet, notebook, TV) screen was too large?

It’s Another Thing to Keep Track Of

And charge, and worry about where you put it or forgot to recharge it, backup and obsess about (should I buy AppleCare for my iWatch?). In short, who needs more stress from their devices?

A Job for the Department of Redundancy Department

Buy a smartwatch, and you will spew redundancies like a two-year-old spews gibberish. Sentences like, "As an added bonus, I’m absolutely certain that I’m having tuna fish for dinner," will become commonplace, resulting in social alienation and possibly unemployment.

Why? You already have every smartwatch function, including a still camera, video camera, voice recognition, text and email capabilities – plus the ability to run hundreds of thousands of apps on another device already in your pocket or purse. It’s called a smartphone. You’re already paying for it and, most likely, are happy with it.

Plus, the functions you have on your camera are noticeably more advanced than the Samsung Galaxy Gear’s 2003-quality 1.9 megapixel camera, itty bitty screen and incredibly limited supply of apps. Why buy an inferior version of a product you already have? Smartwatches – a tech redundancy for the ages. Who needs 'em?


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Robert Springer

Robert Springer is a freelance writer based in the small mountain town of Sisters, Oregon. He has written articles for national magazines, online publications, websites and newspapers. Before freelancing, he worked in the banking, television and information technology industries. In addition to writing, he enjoys being delightfully distracted by his school-age twins.