“Always On” Smartwatches Are Dumb & Make No Sense: My Apple Watch Series 5 Review

Ren Willis
10 min readSep 30, 2019

The feature I always wanted and immediately turned off.

This review supplements our review on the Tech It Out Pod, listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.

In the beginning…

Many moons ago, well over 15 years ago, I got myself a cellphone. Don’t ask me which one, but I’m assuming it was one of those Nokia candy bar phones. Before that, I had a pager (as well as a Palm Pilot, just to really date myself). The reason I’m bringing it up is because once I had a cellphone, I quit wearing watches and, at the time, never looked back.

You see, there’s something I noticed back then that only holds more true now. We are surrounded by clocks. At home we have alarm clocks, clocks on our microwaves and on our ovens. We may even have a wall clock in our house. We have clocks on our cable boxes, VCRs/DVD players, and even on our TV home screens.

We have clocks on our home computers (even in the 90s) and our work computers, we have clocks on our work desk phones, and all around the office. We have clocks in our cars. And of course, we have clocks on our tablets & phones we carry with us. Basically, if you ever need the time…. let’s just say, you’ve got options folks.

So when I gave up wearing a dedicated clock on my wrist, I didn’t miss it. At all. After about a week or two of “feeling naked” without it, I developed new muscle memory and quickly forgot it ever existed, well once the tan line faded away.

This all changed when I got my OG Pebble Watch. My first smartwatch… well… really more of a wrist 2nd display for my phone.

I was doing a lot of running at the time, run commuting on weekdays and longer runs on weekends, plus I was still riding my bike to work a lot too. The Pebble was great. I could get my run & bike stats from my phone as well as not miss any important notifications (I’m the mamabear in the family and need to stay connected).

Ren Willis

singer-songwriter, writer, maker (baltimore, hon) — https://renwillis.com