When is a smartwatch (too) old?

Classic watches sometimes last a lifetime, but does this also apply to ‘smart’ clocks? You can read everything about the question of when a smartwatch is actually old in this article.

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Is my smartwatch too old?

A smartwatch and a ‘normal’ watch both show the time, but that’s where the similarities end. Smartwatches are packed with sensors and parts that can basically do the same thing as your smartphone. Average watches have less fuss on board, but they last longer as a result.

Some people receive a watch from their parents at a young age and can enjoy it for the rest of their lives. That will never work with a smart watch. But, how long can you actually do with it? In other words: when is a smartwatch (too) old?

A tired battery

The answer to this question has two sides. On the one hand, you have to do with the durability of the parts in the watch. The battery is especially important.

The majority of all smartwatches (just like smartphones) have a lithium-ion battery. Every time you supply this battery with power, the total capacity shrinks. At some point, the total battery capacity becomes so meager that you have to charge the watch all the time because otherwise it will fail.

It differs per smartwatch brand when this is the case. With some smartwatches you will notice a clear difference after wearing it for a year, while other smartwatches can easily last for three years.

Is the battery of your smartwatch suddenly deteriorating? Then you can have it replaced, or go for a new one. Speaking of repair: in many cases (out of warranty) replacement of a smartwatch battery is still quite expensive, if it is possible at all. Many people therefore choose eggs for their money and purchase a new clock.

A good lock on your smartwatch

As far as the hardware of a smart watch. At least as important is the software. Unlike traditional watches, a smartwatch runs on an operating system. There are all kinds of advantages to this, but also disadvantages. Consider, for example, the (sometimes downright) lax update policy of manufacturers.

It is especially important whether the security of your smartwatch is still up to date. Is the watch running on a recent security patch? Then nothing is wrong. If your security hasn’t been updated for months (or even years), it’s probably time for an alternative.

A smartwatch that runs on old software runs more risk. The name says it all, but security updates are crucial for the safety of a smart watch. They close discovered vulnerabilities in the software, thereby closing the door for malicious parties. You are never completely safe from hackers, but you run a lot less risk with an up-to-date smartwatch.

When is a smartwatch too old?

How safe is your clock?

Do you want to know which security update your clock is running on? The specific directions may vary by make (and model), but you should in any case go to the settings. Here, tap on ‘System’ (or something similar) and then go to ‘About’. You should see in this window which security patch the watch is running on.

Unfortunately, not every smartwatch manufacturer has its update policy in order. Some parties release updates sporadically, while other makers speed up this. For example, Samsung promises to support the Galaxy Watch 4 (Classic) for four years with updates. Other manufacturers, such as Huawei with its Watch GT 3, are a bit more unclear about the update policy.

Conclusion: When is a smartwatch too old?

A smartwatch is old when the hardware (read: battery) fails, or when the software gets stuck. The battery is sometimes replaceable, but usually there are considerable costs in return. A bigger problem is the lack of (security) updates, because this is what the watch manufacturer is about.

If your smartwatch hasn’t been updated for a while, it’s safer to buy a newer model. In the field of smartwatch updates, Samsung in particular has a good reputation.

The company is working closely with Google for this, which is also expected to release a smartwatch soon: the Pixel Watch. When it comes to phone updates, Google has a good name, so hopefully this will also apply to smart watches.

More smartwatch stories

It Android PlanetJune’s monthly theme is smartwatches (and wearables in general). For example, we list the best smartwatches for between 150 and 250 euros, but we also dive into the world of wearables for your four-legged friend and other pets.


Source: Android Planet by www.androidplanet.nl.

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