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Our advice to buy a connected watch. THE best smartwatches, those for running, swimming, golf. Traps to avoid.
It’s been a long time since we talked about connected watches on the MBA blog, but I receive many questions about this type of watch and also messages from readers complaining about their purchase. Being familiar with recent connected watches, here is an article to advise you. For the sport part, I spoke with various sportsmen and specialized sellers whom I thank.
How to choose a smartwatch in 2020?
Since their appearance about ten years ago, connected watches have evolved a lot. The most important criteria in choosing a connected watch in 2020 are:
– for what purpose do you need a smartwatch?
– what price are you ready to invest?
– what precise functions are you looking for?
Indeed, if you are looking for a connected watch for your leisure activities (running, golf, swimming, mountaineering) or for everyday life (emails, music, sms, stock market prices, health, etc.), your choice will not be necessarily on the same models. And be careful, even if some low-cost brands are starting to invade the market, we quickly realize that as with automatic watches, the price remains often a guarantee of quality.
For each use, I will recommend you best smartwatches for men or women in various price ranges. And in order to show you that this is not just my isolated opinion, I will put links to user comments. I chose reviews on Amazon because that’s where there are the most of them, but you’ll find equivalent reviews on other sites online.
The best smartwatches for everyday life:
A connected watch would be useful in meetings, when traveling by train to check your emails, manage your agenda, listen to music, here are 2 essential models:
The Apple Watch Series 5: our opinion
The Apple Watch Series 5 is one of my favorite smartwatches. Anyone who is addicted to their iPhone knows the quality and ease of use of Apple products, well, it’s the same with this very complete connected watch. In addition to its futuristic design, it is the multi-use connected watch by definition, with the Apple Watch you can read your emails, pay without contact, listen to music, activate the GPS, the altimeter, follow lessons stock market, monitor your heart and sports performance… and even tell the time! There are an infinite number of applications to satisfy your most specialized needs.
Compared to Series 3, the Apple Watch has improved even further! The display area has increased from 740mm to 977mm making it a very easy to use watch and the battery life is now very good (minimum 2 days).
I bought it as soon as it came out and I like to wear it alternately with my automatic watches, I can only recommend it to you. The comments are unanimous on this watch, go see on Amazon below, you will see all the features:
Apple’s advertising will give you an idea of the infinite functionalities of this connected watch, obviously not all useful, but there is really something to find what you are looking for:
The Samsung Galaxy connected watch, what do you think?
If you have a tighter budget the watch Samsung Galaxy is a great alternative. With its interesting sporty design, it is a generalist watch, perfect for everyday life, amateur sports, listening to music, dealing with text messages, etc…
I will make the analogy with smartphones: I prefer Iphones to Samsungs, but Samsungs are clearly excellent value for money.
Reviews of the Samsung Galaxy smartwatch are also very good:
Connected watches useful for running:
You want to know your number of kilometers traveled in the day, month or year, you want to know your average speed, follow your performance in a marathon, control your heart rate or follow the improvement of your times from one date to another on the same route: you need a gps watch for running. You will tell me that some generalist models do all this; yes this is the case of the Apple Watch for example, but the biometric data, the GPS and the calculated speeds will be more precise on watches specialized in running. Some watches will even advise you on a recovery time based on your runs and your level.
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS watch: the best for running.
Running enthusiasts will confirm it to you: the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is the best GPS watches for running, jogging, running.
Its Running Dynamics system offers a stride analysis very interesting, its cardio is very precise and is worn on the wrist (no chest strap needed), and it even analyzes lactic acid data and you advise recovery time after each run. The Live Track function allows your loved ones to follow your real-time route which is very nice during long runs like trails or marathons.
Reviews are excellent on this watch! Check out all the features below:
The Garmin Forerunner 35: a GPS watch for running at a better price
If you are more of a beginner or average runner (this is my case) who is not looking for the best of the best in biometric data but you demand the most necessary information: integrated GPS for running speed, distance, position, heart rate, number of steps and calories… SO don’t ruin yourself and go to the Garmin Forerunner 35 :
I bought it last March for motivate me to run once a week and it works. It’s very fun to see your performance evolve and it gives you a little boost at the end of the race so you don’t let go! It is really very easy to use and very pleasant. Its only flaw: Garmin should offer more elegant bracelets: you can play sports and have taste! 🙂 Apart from this detail, I highly recommend it:
If some of you play golf like me, a connected watch is very practical to save your performance for each course and follow their evolution over time. It’s a digital scorecard strapped to your wrist. Many courses are also pre-recorded with their different difficulties.
The Garmin Approach S60: the top GPS Golf watches
This watch is a gem of technology, and we can see that it was designed by experienced golfers! With more than 40,000 courses on board, you can view your distance from the dangers and doglegs specific to this course. The detection of the blows is automatic, it is very precise in the distances and is quite intuitive, even if the instructions can impress at the start! The post-course analysis is very well done and instructive and feeds many discussions between golfers after the course.
The autonomy is excellent and the design quite nice.
I see it’s right now Amazon’s best selling golf watchThat does not surprise me :
And yes, even golfers do not necessarily have more than 300€ to put in a connected watch! 😉
For a cheaper price than the Garmin Approach, I recommend the TomTom Golfer 2 ! And I will even tell you that it has an advantage: it detects shots better even on the green where the movement of the wrist is lighter! It has a number of very impressive features as well.
It’s a watch too popular with golfers confirmed :
The best smartwatches for swimming:
Not all connected watches are recommended for swimming for 2 main reasons:
– sealing Obviously, most models have a basic waterproofing compatible with a shower from time to time, but are not designed for regular use in the pool.
– it takes a big enough touchscreen and simple and fast applications so that it doesn’t take 5 minutes to obtain the information you are looking for while swimming (speed, heart rate, number of lengths, etc.).
Garmin Swim2: the connected swimming watch par excellence
Once again, it is Garmin, a brand specializing in sports, which offers the best smartwatch for regular swimmers. Unlike multi-sport connected watches like the Forerunner 735XT, the Swim 2 has been designed for swimming and that makes all the difference: lightness, hydrodynamics, large buttons that are easy to use in the water without wasting time, its design has really been designed and tested in the pool.
In terms of functionality, there is everything you need: in addition to the great classics (speed, distance, cardio…), the Swim 2 estimates your anaerobic threshold speed, automatically tracks your rest times, has data for every type of swimming…in short, fun underwater!
Beware of scams! Not all smartwatches are created equal!
By risk of lawsuit, I could not make you the list, unfortunately long, patterns to avoid but know that they are very numerous. The main shortcomings of low-end smartwatches are:
– battery problem, if your watch does not last at least 24 hours, you will quickly get tired of it.
– long-term quality problem: the prices are low, but after a few months, the watch starts to bug, certain functions no longer work or give you erroneous data: delirious heartbeat, altitude of 1300m in the heart of Paris. .. in short, you thought you got a good deal… but you won’t like your Pakistani connected watch for long…
If a “too good to be true” price should alert you, rely mainly on consumer reviews, there are many on Amazon here, any watch with few comments or not having at least 4 stars out of 5 must be viewed with a critical eye.
If you still have doubts or questions after reading this article, send us a short email.
And do not hesitate to give us your feedback on the connected watches you have tested, this will allow us to feed the debate!