Sunday , December 6 2020

Guidemaster: Smartwatches worthy of replacing your favorite timepiece, Ars Technica


    

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Everything you want to know about the smartwatches you’ve been itching to buy.

      

      

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If you hate looking at your smartphone all day, you should consider getting a smartwatch. While it may seem counterintuitive to get a new gadget to lessen your dependency on another, it can be more effective than you think. Smartwatches take the most crucial parts of a smartphone — call and text alerts, app notifications, and quick controls — and put them on your wrist.

That means no more fumbling with your smartphone during a meeting to silence a call, no more checking Twitter or Facebook every two minutes for the newest post. Instead of absentmindedly staring at your smartphone’s display, the most important information hits your wrist as it happens. As wearables, smartwatches can also track daily activity, and some even double as high-end fitness watches equipped with heart rate monitors, GPS trackers, music storage, and more.

Today, your smartphone remains the biggest factor to consider when you buy a smartwatch. Most smartwatches must pair to your phone to receive information, so the smartwatch you choose must be compatible with your handset either through its operating system or a companion mobile app. So to make the selection process easier for would-be watch wearers, we’ve revisited all of the smartwatches we’ve reviewed in recent years and picked out the best ones for all types of users with all types of phones.

************************** Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post throughaffiliate programs.

  • (********************************** (Lots of runners want a device they can use to train and the best runner’s smartwatchwe’ve found is the the Garmin Forerunner
  • . The entire Forerunner family is designed for these athletes in particular, and the Forerunner keeps things simple and relatively affordable at $ 301. It has Garmin’s heart rate technology as well as built-in GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo positioning technology to map runs and outdoor workouts. It also has incident detection, which can alert emergency services if you’ve fallen while training (as long as you have your smartphone with you), and Garmin’s LiveTrack lets you share your real-time location with family and friends in case you want others to know where you’re going for a run.

  • (********************************** (**************************** (Samsung’s Gear Sport) ************** is thebest smartwatch for Android smartphone users, mostly because Samsung’s Tizen is a solid alternative to Google’s WearOS. It’s the closest thing Android users will get to an Apple Watch alternative as it has robust fitness tracking features as well features like NFC for Samsung Pay and downloadable apps that let you to do things like check the weather, play music, and more. The Gear Sport is a few years old at this point, so you can opt for the (Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2) ************** if you want the newest version.
  • (**********************************
      Sporting a tiny screen on your wrist isn’t for everyone, and (Fossil’s Q Commuter) ************** (smartwatch is the) ***************************** (most stylish smartwatch) ******************************* for those that like a more traditional look. It’s an analog watch that looks like any of Fossil’s normal watches, but it’s made a bit smarter with embedded technology. It tracks daily activity and uses its subeye to show step counts, message and calendar alerts, and more. You can also customize its three side buttons to do things like remotely take a photo with your smartphone.

    • (********************************** Best overall Apple Watch (********************************************
  • ************************ Enlarge /Apple Watch Series 5.

    ******************************** (****************************************

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    Starts at $

    (****************************************OS (watchOS) ******************************************************** (**************************************** (App store) (Yes) ******************************************************** (*************************************** (GPS / HRM) **************************************************** (Yes / yes) ******************************************************** (**************************************** Music storage / streaming

    Yes, streaming only available models with LTE

    (**************************************** (NFC payments) (Yes, Apple Pay) *********************************************************** (****************************************Waterproof (Up to) ************************************************************************************************************************ meters************************************************ (****************************************Sizes

    (mm, mm (case sizes)

    (****************************************Battery life (********************************************************* (About 2 days) ******************************************************** (**********************************************************The Apple) Watchis the obvious choice for iOS users, but it’s also the best smartwatch you can get right now. Over the past few years, Apple has worked on making its Watch as streamlined as possible, and it has succeeded in making a smartwatch that beats the rest with superior hardware and software.

    It may look like a tiny iPhone, but the Apple Watch has a design that’s relatively subtle but can be personalized with bands in different colors, textures, and styles. That’s important in a device you wear on your body every day, but arguably more important are the hardware features that lie under the hood.

    The newest model, the (Apple Watch Series 5) **************, has an always-on display, a water-resistant body, a slew of fitness sensors including an always-on heart rate monitor, an onboard GPS, and an updated accelerometer for fall detection, NFC for Apple Pay, and optional LTE. All of those things, save for the always-on display and fall detection, are also features of the Apple Watch Series 3, so you don’t have to pay top-dollar for the newest model to get most of the key features.

    WatchOS makes the Apple Watch easy to interact with when you want to and easy to ignore the device when you don’t . You could choose to view and reply to all notifications that beam from your iPhone to your wrist, or enter Do Not Disturb mode when you need to concentrate. The new on-Watch App Store lets you download Watch apps directly to the device, so you no longer need a companion iPhone app to do so. You can choose to have your favorite vacation photos as your watchface, or pick a design with numerous complications so you can see a lot of information at a glance. There’s a lot of customization you can do in watchOS, and that makes it easier to make your Watch feel more like your own personalized timepiece.

    The watch delivers all of this with battery life that can easily last up to two days on a single charge. The biggest downsides of the Apple Watch are its price and its limited compatibility. The newest Apple Watch Series 5 models will set you back at least $ (*****************************************************************************************************************, which is not chump change (the Series 3 is still around for $ 199, tough), and the fact that watchOS only works fully when connected to an iOS device basically shuts out all Android device users. However, if you have an iPhone and want the best wearable you can get, the Apple Watch is the way to go.

            

                

                    

                        

                                                    

                                

    ********************************************************                                                                           Apple Watch[Series 3, Series 5]                                                                                                                                              

                

    (Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post throughaffiliate programs.)

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    Enlarge

    Valentina Palladino(************************************ (Specs at a glance: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

    ****************************

    Starts at $ (**********************************************************

    (****************************************OS

    Garmin’s proprietary OS

    (**************************************** (App store) (Yes) ******************************************************** (*************************************** (GPS / HRM) **************************************************** (Yes / yes) ******************************************************** (**************************************** Music storage / streaming

    (Yes) ********************************************************

    (**************************************** (NFC payments)

    Yes, Garmin Pay *********************************************************

    (****************************************Waterproof (Up to) ************************************************************************************************************************ meters************************************************ (****************************************Sizes

    (mm, (mm (case sizes))

    (****************************************Battery life

    4-7 days

    (**********************************************************No matter if you have an iPhone or an Android phone, or if you switch platforms regularly depending on your mood, the ($) ************************************************************************************************************** (Vivoactive 4) will work with most of them. WearOS and watchOS have the OS limitation — if you’re not paired to the right smartphone, not every feature of the smartwatch will work. But since Garmin makes mobile apps for both Android and iOS, the (Vivoactive 4) is fully compatible with a wide range of smartphones.

    The Vivoactive 4 delivers all smartphone alerts to your wrist, supports Garmin Pay, and has music controls, standalone apps, and watch faces you can download from the Connect IQ store. It also has onboard storage space for music, so you can download personal tracks and playlists from music streaming services like Spotify onto your wrist. Combine that with its onboard GPS, and you have a wearable that you can go for a run with, safely leave your smartphone at home, and still listen to music, track your progress, and pay for a coffee on the way back.

    Garmin added pulse ox to this smartwatch so you can monitor your blood oxygen saturation all day or while sleeping. This will be useful for a specific group of users, but it’s also interesting to see where your pulse ox levels are at any given time. This feature does affect battery life though, but thankfully it’s not detrimental. Garmin estimates the Vivoactive 4 will last up to seven days on a single charge, and I got four days and nights with the device with pulse ox turned on while sleeping. Additional new features include breathwork exercises (that aren’t your typical, boring guided breathing exercises), workout animations, menstrual cycle tracking, and more.

    The smartwatch also does everything more affordable Garmin wearables do: track all-day activity and sleep, monitor continuous heart rate, rep-count for some gym-based exercises, and more. Garmin also supports sport profiles that many other devices don’t, including skiing and stand-up paddle-boarding, so there’s a good chance that the device can track even your most obscure physical hobby.

    The Good (**********************************

    Best Budget Fitbit Versa Lite

    ******************************************************************

    for its minimalistic design and its reliable health tracking sensors, including a solid heart rate monitor. It doesn’t have a built-in GPS, but it can connect to your smartphone’s GPS to map outdoor workouts when you have your smartphone with you. It also doesn’t have NFC for Fitbit Pay or onboard music storage — those advanced features are reserved for the Versa and the Versa Special Edition watches. The only thing we wish the Versa Lite had is an altimeter because that would allow it to track floors climbed. Otherwise, though, it’s a capable smartwatch with an attractive price tag.

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