They tell time: but my analog watch does that, even when I don't have my phone around.
The Apple Watch doesn't need your phone around to tell the time either. So; it's at least as good as an analog watch for this purpose (barring battery life discussions anyway).
They can buzz and show you text messages or phone calls, but they have to be within Bluetooth range of your phone anyway, so you will have your phone on your person and it can buzz you too. I don't see the advantage of this feature.
You don't need to be in bluetooth range, although that's one option- wifi works too. This is actually something I find quite useful:
* My phone is always on silent and I don't always notice the buzz. It's much harder to miss a wrist notification.
* I can quickly determine whether it's something that needs urgent attention or whether I can ignore it until next time I pick up my phone.
* I still have access and visibility while in the shower, swimming, or if I've left my phone in the bedroom while working in another room.
I hear you can use your apple watch to originate a text, but for the life of me I cannot imagine it being worth the extra effort to text with an obviously clunky user interface over using that phone in your pocket.
It's really not, but I guess it's nice to have it available as a backup option (eg. if somebody else is using my phone and I don't want to interrupt them; or if i'm in the shower or holding something heavy and an urgent reply is warranted). In practice I don't use this, but I can see that some people might find it useful. You can also talk and listen via the watch, not just text.
Then there are the "health and Exercise" features like a pedometer to count your steps or monitoring your heart rate, but in both cases doing that kind of sensing is hard so it turns out to be of dubious accuracy and limited application. The pedometer function can be approximated on your phone with almost the same accuracy level, and the heart rate monitor is more of a "it's faster" or "slower" indicator that is of zero clinical use beyond that.
Yes and no. I think that health tracking is a big deal in the long run, but I agree that what we have now has too many compromises to be a killer feature. It's still nice to be able to track your heart rate and other exercise metrics over time, notice how lifestyle changes affect your daily walking distance, etc. For people who are serious about exercise, I'm sure that this is a killer feature, although there may be cheaper devices if that's the only feature they want. It's also nice how Apple aggregates data from multiple devices.
Finally there is the battery life problem. These wrist worn smart devices are of significantly limited size and weight. Doing all the "smart" stuff requires power and power requires batteries that are sizeable and of significant weight. This means that the more stuff your wrist device does, the more often you will have to take it off for a few hours and charge it.
It is possible to flatten the device prematurely, much like it's possible to flatten a smartphone quickly. That said, it's good enough for normal usage and it charges fast. Some people charge it overnight. I personally charge it at my desk during the day; it only means taking the watch off for an hour. People who drive to work could charge it during the drive. Would it be nice to have it last a month or more? For sure. But the 1.5-day battery life is not a killer, or even a meaningful annoyance in most cases.
My standby analog watch can wind itself when I wear it and only comes off when I bathe or swim (because it's not water proof).
I don't generally take the Apple Watch off while bathing or swimming. This is a gen 1 watch, so it's not even officially waterproof but it's rated against anything short of diving so it's fine for doing laps in the pool.
.. not impressed with gadgets that really don't enhance our lives or serve a useful purpose.
I would say that they serve a useful purpose for the majority of people who buy them. Is it worth the money? That depends on your usage patterns and budget I guess. I'm certainly not in a hurry to upgrade, but I'm happy to keep wearing and using the one I have.
You've also missed at least two "killer features" that affect me personally. Other people probably have their own additions, but mine are:
* Silent turn-by-turn navigation. I can visit a foreign locale, request turn-by-turn navigation to a specific destination, and the watch will tap me on the wrist when i'm approach a turn. I don't need to walk around with a phone out looking like an obvious tourist or a target for somebody who feels like snatching a phone.
* Siri. While I find that Siri itself is a bit braindead, there are still situations where there are no real alternatives and where I don't want to pull my phone out just to issue a command. Being able to tap my wrist and issue a command (eg. to start or stop navigation while driving, or to play a particular song while driving) is certainly handy. Some cars have buttons to do this for you, but mine doesn't and I'm not about to buy a new car over the lack. The alternative would be reaching into my pocket, which means moving one hand away from the wheel and also relies on the phone being the "correct way up" so that I can reach it without trying to take it out of the pocket.