The Dick Tracy radio watch was the first pop-culture incarnation of the smartwatch, and we’ve arguably exceeded the technology that was first imagined.
Nowadays when you ask for the time, the first thing most people do is check their phones. So the traditional wristwatch has become more of a fashion accessory or a status symbol than a real necessity.
The same can be said for smartwatches. Most of them are tagged to your mobile phone anyway, acting as an auxiliary screen for secretly scrolling through Instagram, or playing trivia when you’re supposed to be listening to your partner complain about his/her day at work.
But as technology expands the functionality of small devices past our wildest imaginations, will smartwatches be the key to making wristwatches important again? Perhaps the day when it’ll be the norm to stick your nano-sim card into your watch instead of your phone isn’t as far off as we'd think.
For now though, smartwatches still more or less sit squarely in the realm of “good-to-haves”, no matter how much tech companies want to kick them into the region of “must-haves”. With that in mind, these are some smartwatches you might want to consider if you're itching to try one out.
Apple Watch - From RM1299
Unofficially known as the iWatch by fans as well as detractors, the Apple Watch is probably the most successful smartwatch to date. Why? Because it’s Apple. That and the fact that it bears the minimalist design touches that the brand is known for - and that applies even to the charging cable.
Device navigation is aided by a digital crown and a side button, since precisely poking at the dainty watch face can be a bit tricky. It also comes with a heart rate monitor, and force touch - which is disappointingly not a Star Wars thing.
Although it has some limited functionality on its own - including storing music and photos, and tracking your biometrics - you should keep your iPhone around to make the best of this smartwatch. Comes in 38mm and 42mm sizes.
Great for: Making other Apple fans jealous with your latest one-upmanship tech swag
Samsung Gear S2 Classic - From RM1599
The Samsung Gear S2 Classic could easily pass for a traditional round-faced timepiece. It has an upright dock that works fairly well as a display stand, in case you want it to take up a place of honor on your mantle.
You’ll really either love or hate the look of the ridges around the watch-face bezel, which functions as a rotating dial control in addition to the two side buttons. The watch has plenty of pretty watch face presets that disguise it as an analogue timepiece and the stylish leather strap makes for a subtle and fashionable package.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung's flagship smartwatch also comes with heart rate monitoring via the optical sensors on the back of the watch. It's also available in fancy Rose Gold or Platinum at a tidy price of S$698.
Great for: Hiding the fact that you have a smartwatch, only to surprise your friends when you talk to it