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A watch is not a smart watch. The value argument is irrelevant.
@stmcgill Your "good value" comment interests me, particularly the comparison with non-smart watch pricing. I'd have thought that a non-smart watch of that price should still be working fine in 50+ years time. A smart watch? Probably 5, at best, if you include security updates?
Neil tweeted the above in response to my Apple Watch Ultra review and it got me thinking.
The argument over the value contained, usually argued by watch people, actually makes no sense at all because a smart watch is not a watch. It is a piece of technology that cannot possibly work as it should for decades. A traditional watch, particular a mechanical watch, can work for decades with servicing, but that does not make it better value because it’s simply not the same thing.
If you choose to wear a smart watch then you will get lots of functions and features that help you do all sorts of things in the best way that technology currently affords us. If you choose to wear a mechanical watch, you will have a consistent timekeeper that could be on your wrist in 20 years. Two completely different things. One is a computer, the other is (arguably) jewellery with an important ability built in.
Neil then mentioned his PineTime smart watch which is currently available for $26.99 from what I can see. For that you get the following-
Open-source operating systems
1.3 inch IPS capacitive touchscreen
Week-long battery life
Bluetooth 5 and BLE
Heart rate sensor
He reviewed it here and there is no doubt that it is highly flexible, and for some people it is likely the best choice currently available.
Personally, I am so shallow that I could not wear a watch like that purely on the basis of how it looks. For the price it is brilliant, for those who love to tinker it is an obvious choice, but the fact it would go on my wrist means that it is a non-starter.
I did not buy the Apple Watch Ultra because it is a good value smart watch and I didn’t buy it because I wanted one. I bought it for freelance writing purposes, but over the past few days I have come to appreciate the build quality and the fact that it is (almost) an aesthetically pleasing watch.
Objectively it is not good value compared to the PineTime and not when compared to smart watches in the £200-300 range. It is, however, not overpriced when compared to high-end Garmin devices and other premium built sports watches.
Value is in the wallet of the beholder and how they intend to use their purchase. It is, however, also in the emotion of the buying experience. Some will want the latest device that other people recognise and some will just look at the specs and decide that it will work for their needs. You cannot quantify value because we all see it differently. This is why marketing and advertising work because they inject value that often isn’t there, and the majority of us fall for it.