I’ve been looking at my phone a lot less recently. Normally, no buzz in my pocket can go un-checked, no news alert or Snapchat unseen. But thanks to these watches I’ve been wearing, my phone spends a lot more time in my bag. I can just flick my wrist to see what’s going on.

Smartwatches have become a thing. They’re a thing because Google says so, because it just released Android Wear and unleashed a torrent of wrist-bound devices. As a result, we’re being forced to consider an important question: What is a smartwatch, anyway? Is it a computer or smartphone on our wrists, the Dick Tracy Two-Way Wrist Radio come to life? Or is it an ancillary device designed not to replace but to augment another device? Samsung’s Gear 2 lives on one extreme, the Pebble Steel on another. I think the answer lies somewhere in between.

I wear a watch every day, a simple black-and-silver Seiko model I’ve worn for years. I replaced it with a Pebble, then a Pebble Steel, then a Gear 2 and a Gear Fit. Nothing stuck, and I kept coming back to my analog wristwatch. As I strapped to my wrist the $199 Samsung Gear Live and the $229 LG G Watch, the first Android Wear devices to hit the market, I figured out why.

Android Wear has a future, maybe even a bright one, but only when Google and its partners remember why we wear watches in the first place.

Read our full review of Google's Android Wear here