How to choose a smart watch in 2018?

It seems that the smart watch industry has finally emerged from the crisis. Well-known manufacturers like Motorola, Microsoft and Pebble

refused to release wearable equipment, Asus, byrumored to be added to this list soon. As a result, it would seem that the choice should have been reduced by several times, and what kind of end of the crisis can be discussed then? In fact, sports and fashion brands have more than filled up the gap. And despite the variety of models, the ideal smart watch still does not exist. What then to choose?

Once you clicked on this article, then you probably haveThere is already an idea of ​​what a smart watch is. Perhaps you just wanted to write in the comments that a smart watch is a waste of money. Or look at our selection of the best smart watches. Or say that it was necessary to choose other models. Or that there should not be an Apple Watch. One way or another, the main goal of this article is to help you navigate the world of smart watches and talk about the most important and interesting models available today.

A bit of materiel

Before proceeding directly to the listof what we recommend, we want to note that a lot depends on the smartphone you use. So, it’s useless for Android users to buy an Apple Watch because they only sync with iOS. On the other hand, iPhone fans will not get some of the benefits of Android Wear (not to mention platforms like Tizen OS and Fitbit OS) that are only available on Android. At the same time, owners of Samsung smartphones will probably be even more comfortable to use the watch on Tizen OS (developed by Samsung) than usual on Android Wear.

Also, when choosing, you should consider whether you needLTE support in hours. Most users do not need it, since they almost never have a situation when they would like to leave their smartphone at home. Nevertheless, if it is important for you to be able to not take one of the gadgets with you and still have access to all notifications, your choice will narrow down to models with LTE. They are usually larger in size than the Wi-Fi version (with the exception of Apple Watch 3) and have less battery power. So far, there are few smart watches with LTE and they usually cost more than modifications without LTE, but you have a chance to find the perfect watch even with such requests. In addition, recently we talked about a startup that will add LTE to most modern watches, so it made sense to pay attention to the combination of watches with such a gadget.

Our recommendations

To make your life a little easier, we madea small table with key characteristics of the best, in our opinion, smart watches. In our experience, it is in these models that design and functionality are best balanced. As a modern watch believes, all these models have built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor, support for mobile payments and the ability to track activity while swimming. In addition, they all support third-party applications.


Apple Watch Series 3
Samsung Gear Sport
Fitbit onic
Garmin vivoactive 3

Integrated GPS
there is
there is
there is
there is

Heart rate sensor
there is
there is
there is
there is

Music streaming
there is
there is
there is
Not

NFC / Contactless Payments
Apple pay
Samsung Pay
Fitbit pay
Garmin pay

Moisture protection
Up to 50 meters
Up to 50 meters
Up to 50 meters
Up to 5 atmospheres

starting price
$ 329
$ 300
$ 300
$ 300

Apple Watch Series 3

If you have an iPhone, then Apple Watch Series 3 -the simplest and most optimal solution. This model offers advanced user health tracking, Apple Pay, music streaming, a user-friendly typing interface and a large native app store. Although not everyone likes the square dial of the Apple Watch, in practice, this design is combined with almost any clothing. It is important to note the presence of the LTE version. Nevertheless, in addition to the fact that it is not yet available in Russia, such a modification also greatly reduces battery life, which is already significantly less than most competitors.

Samsung Gear Sport

Like the iPhone with Apple Watch, Samsung smartphonesGalaxy is superbly compatible with Gear Sport. This model has a unique rotating bezel around the dial, which greatly simplifies navigation, and runs on Tizen OS, which now supports thousands of third-party applications. Gear Sport also works great in seawater, so you don’t have to take them off when you go to the beach. The watch is able to work up to 4 days without recharging and allows you to control SmartThings technology. So if you have already bought a couple of things from the Samsung ecosystem, Gear Sport will be a useful addition.

Fitbit onic

Fitbit's first full-fledged smartwatch is alsoa powerful contender for the title of the best, thanks to accurate tracking of sleep and training guides. Perhaps this simple geometric design will appeal to not everyone, but the functionality compensates for this drawback. In addition, the popularity of Fitbit shows that the aesthetics of their simple design finds its buyer. The manufacturer promises up to 5 days of battery life - this is more than that of competitors with color touch displays. In fact, Ionic loses only Vivoactive 3 on this point. However, the latter uses a different type of display, which looks dimmer when compared to Fitbit.

Garmin vivoactive 3

New Garmin Vivoactive lineupcompletes our list. Garmin watches are especially popular among runners due to their accurate tracking of the distance and, as a rule, the long life of a single charge. To be more precise, Vivoactive 3 is able to work up to 7 days without connecting to an outlet. In addition, this model recognizes not the most popular types of activity for such devices - for example, yoga, climbing stairs and even playing golf.

Worthy of mention: Samsung Gear S3 and Huawei Watch 2

It’s easy to see that the best todaysmart watches have many features of fitness trackers. However, there are several simpler and more universal models that are not tailored for sports. In particular, Samsung Gear S3 and Huawei Watch 2 are worthy of mention due to a sufficiently large number of “smart” functions that fit in a small and rather classically looking case.

In particular, the Gear S3 Frontier ($ 350) is capable ofrun third-party applications on Tizen OS, automatically collect data on physical activity and are equipped with the same navigation ring as Gear Sport. This model can often be found at a price below $ 300. Huawei Watch 2, on the other hand, is equipped with GPS and supports NFC payments, music streaming and heart rate scanning.

Both of these models did not reach the point thatappear on our list, due to limited use as a fitness tracker. Nevertheless, this is an excellent choice for users who do not engage in serious training and just want to control their activity throughout the day.

Fitness or design?

If you are categorically not happy with the squareApple Watch display or a rude Fitbit design, a rotating Sport Sport bezel or faded colors of Garmin displays, and you don’t think that, say, a new strap will solve the problem, pay attention to what familiar fashion brands can offer you. But do not forget at the same time that almost any stylish smart watch will not be as “smart” as all the models that we listed above.

So, if you have decided and designA smart watch is exactly what you need, then congratulations: you definitely have plenty to choose from. Fossil Group alone has released 300 models in collaboration with well-known brands (Kate Spade, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Diesel, etc.). At the same time, many companies like Movado, Montblanc, Tag Heuer and Louis Vuitton also released their own smart watches.

Most of them work on Android Wear andThey offer basic fitness tracking capabilities (counting steps taken and activity time) and broadcast music to Bluetooth headphones. In such watches, you rarely find a built-in GPS or heart rate sensor. There are also a number of watches on other operating systems, but they usually lack functionality and choice when it comes to third-party applications.

You can also pay attention to hybridsmart watches - they look like a mechanical watch, but offer basic fitness tracking features and a notification system. As a rule, they look much more stylish than models with touch screens, but the maximum of possibilities that you get is information about how many steps you took in a day, and vibration with new notifications on your smartphone. Mondaine Helvetica and the Timex and Frederique Constant watches (recently the company went under the wing of Citizen) are worth noting. Nokia Steel HR is another worthy candidate. Although the design of this model is not as beautiful as that of the same Helvetica, it offers more advanced fitness tracking capabilities and is equipped with a heartbeat scanner.

Total

The smart watch market continues to change, and for nowit is unclear which companies will stay afloat and which will close the production of wearable gadgets. Obviously, perhaps, just Apple and Samsung will continue to update their existing popular line. It is also worth noting that the popularity of smart watches and fitness trackers is unlikely to wane in the near future.

If you don’t like the Apple Watch Series 3 andSamsung Gear Sport, you have to compromise on functionality by choosing another watch. Fans of designer accessories will have to wait until branded smart watches begin to equip more advanced features for tracking physical activity. One way or another, universal smart watches have become advanced enough to be recommended for purchase - and this is a good sign for the industry.