Smartwatches Are Actually Useful!

Quick disclaimer before I get going… I was lent the watch by Verizon.

Picture I found of the smartwatch I used for a few months a couple of years ago.
Picture I found of the smartwatch I used for a few months a couple of years ago.

Flashback…

A couple of years ago, I was lent the original Samsung smartwatch.  It was fun to try out the tech, but it was before the days of Android Wear.  There was no uniformity.  The operating system was somewhat clunky.  The whole experience, while relatively smooth, was not very robust.  It could do some basic things, but it didn’t really have a lot of razzmatazz. Oh, and it didn’t really look like a watch, either.

Today…

Fast forward to today and I’m wearing the LG Watch Urbane on my wrist.  I had the opportunity to pick from a variety of wearables from Verizon’s website and decided to go with this one.  Why did I choose this one, you might ask?  The biggest reason for the choice was the fact that it actually looked like a watch.

It has a circular face with what appears to be a ‘winder’ on the side.  The ‘winder’ in this case is simply just a button to help control the watch itself, but it is reminiscent of a traditional watch.  My only concern when I picked it was that it might be too large for my wrist.

Now, I’m not going to lie…  it is a large watch.  It wasn’t too large, in my opinion.  It fits and sits well on my wrist and looks pretty good, as well.

One of the cooler features, however, is the ability to customize the watch face.  When I say customize, I’m not talking about just changing the color.  I’m talking about choosing from a decent-sized library of different faces.  There are a bunch that come pre-loaded on the watch itself.  With Android Wear, there’s also the ability to download others from different creators.  A quick search on Google Play will help you find the one you’re looking for.  Here are a few that are available right out of the gate…

Classic: The shiny area even rotates based on how you rotate your wrist.
Classic: The shiny area even rotates based on how you rotate your wrist.

 

Red: Simple and clean. This may have been my favorite professional-looking face.
Red: Simple and clean. This may have been my favorite professional-looking face.

 

Google Fit: Allows you to keep an eye on your steps throughout the day.
Google Fit: Allows you to keep an eye on your steps throughout the day.

 

So those are just 3 of the possible choices.  There are so many to fit your style.  I saw and used one that linked to various weather information.  There was another that allowed you to take a picture of what you were wearing and it would create a watch face based on today’s fashion.  In other words… lots of options.

OK Google... set a timer for 15 minutes.
OK Google… set a timer for 18 minutes.

The style of the watch was one deciding factor.  Another factor that made this watch pretty awesome was the applications.  I ended up using this watch for more than I thought I would.  There was the time when I was cooking dinner and thought “will my watch set a timer for me?”.  I figured there was no harm in trying so I said “OK Google… set a timer for 15 minutes” and it did.  I was impressed.   Not only can you use the watch to set a timer, but you can also set an alarm on it.  By the way, the dinner was delicious, in case you wondered!

Then there was the time I was traveling home for the holidays.  I figured since I had this new fancy watch and the Delta app brought my boarding pass right up to my wrist, I might as well give it a shot.  Now, I love technology and am happy to adapt and change with the times, but I’ll admit that trying to use a boarding pass on my wrist made me a little nervous.  I had my phone ready with the boarding pass, just in case.  Luckily for me, it was a success!  It actually felt pretty darn cool to board a plane with my watch.

 


Overall, I am pretty impressed with how far smartwatches have come over the past couple of years.  With Android Wear and the multitude of apps, the watch actually now seems to serve a purpose rather than being just a new tech gadget.  Each and every day, I use it for the following things: watching the time, checking email and text messages, turning on and off the lights in my house.  It keeps me connected.  I also really enjoy that I don’t always have to remove my phone from my pocket to see what vibrated or what that message was.

Now that I have to return it, I’m actually considering buying one of my own.

Thanks again to Verizon for lending it to me.

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