I remember seeing the first iPhone and thinking how pretentious it was. I certainly didn’t pay to be one of those early iPhone adopters, but I eventually bought into the hype and am now ingrained in the iOS ecosystem. I get the same kind of feeling, though, when I see people with the Apple Watch. Maybe its because I haven’t worn a wristwatch in so long. I think the last watch I owned was a pocket watch in my early 20’s. It was a phase.
On the other hand, fitness trackers have much more appeal to me. I had a Fitbit Flex and enjoyed reviewing my daily stats both on the app and with the online dashboard. I don’t use the Flex anymore, but have thought many times about upgrading to another Fitbit device, like the Charge HR for the continuous heart rate monitoring or the newer and more stylish Blaze or Alta. Although as a runner, I’m more interested in having gps capabilities. The Fitbit Surge has gps tracking, but it seems bulky and I’m not a fan of the monochrome screen. Instead I think I’ve settled on the Garmin Forerunner 230, but have yet to pull the trigger. I like that it’s an all-in-one watch, fitness tracker, and gps device with a color screen. Plus I like that it looks like an actual watch rather than a square screen wrapped around my wrist.
I think the problem with smartwatches is that they are wristwatch versions of our phones, but with less functionality. I don’t understand the need to get notifications on my wrist when my phone is in my pocket. The reason Fitbit is dominating the wearable market, aside from the affordability factor, is that they are making devices with a specific purpose that, oh yeah, can also be a watch. The wearable market is still young, but I think we will see the functionality of fitness trackers and smartwatches continue to merge until the next big idea comes along.