I just revived my fitness club membership, which I had let lapse. It reminded me of one reason why I want to be able to use a smartwatch without a smartphone nearby - one reason why I will probably buy an iPhone X, or at least the new Fitbit Ionic, in the next year: workouts.
I like going to the club and listening to podcasts while doing a variety of exercises. On elliptical and rowing machine a smartwatch slaved to a smartphone isn’t so bad, although it would be nice not to have to carry the phone around. But swimming makes having a waterproof smartwatch independent of the smartphone much more desirable. Locking phone away in a locker while swimming risks theft, while wearing phone in pool in a waterproof bag while swimming, quite literally, drags. Whereas a waterproof smartwatch by itself means that all I need to place in a locker are my shirt, shoes, and towel. Which I am much less afraid of getting stolen.
The main feature I want for exercise is the ability to play podcasts. Both the iPhone X and the Fitbit Ionic can store audio, music, on the watch, connecting to a new Bluetooth headset. The IPhone X almost certainly has better podcast players.
I was about to say “Unfortunately, Bluetooth doesn’t work well in a pool. So I may fall back to using my old waterproof iPod Nano with earplugs - and hence not need the smartwatch to play the podcasts”. But there are quite a few Waterproof Bluetooth earbuds for swimmers, so that may not be an issue.
=> stand-alone smartwatch with music/podcast playing to Bluetooth waterproof earbuds while doing workouts including swimming. That will be what makes me buy an iPhone X or Fitbit Ionic.
If I can get the “Gentle Wake” app from my old Pebble Classic, all the better.
Exercise and alarm clock: two things smartphones have never been good enough at to make me happy.