Go to Reviews.org AU Edition
Before you buy a smartwatch, consider what you are looking for and which device fits your needs.
Staying healthy is more important than ever.
These days, many people are not only looking for ways to stay fit at home and around the neighborhood, they're turning to technology to aid them in that endeavor.
So we’re going to help you weed through the smartwatch options out there, to complement your smartphone choice, and make the best decision for you and your needs.
The Apple Watch Series 6
So let's begin with the Apple Watch.
Having used several smartwatches and fitness focused watches, I can unequivocally say that I've found the Apple Watch Series 6 to be the best companion to a smartphone.
However it's only available if you're an iPhone owner, for the most part With the introduction of watchOS seven, and the Series 6 Apple Watch, you can now purchase one for a child or aging parent as a standalone device sans iPhone.
You'll need to pay for a separate plan to go with that watch, but you won't need an actual phone. Because of the Apple effect, the Apple Watch has arguably the largest library of third party apps available, so you should be able to find just about any app to compliment your fitness needs, no matter how obscure or niche.
You'll also be able to find any number of bands to match your, or your family’s fashion and fitness needs on Amazon, or from many popular case manufacturers.
And with COVID in mind, I'm also excited to check out Apple's new Fitness Plus program, where you can take classes virtually from their trainers via video, and watch or use follow along with that video, on any of the screens in your house from your iPhone, to your iPad, to your Apple TV.
I think when you buy a smart watch, you're gonna rock it for a few years, so I'd recommend going with the newest version of the watch you can afford, and the Series 6 is a fantastic device, but not everyone is working with the same budget.
So just know that if you go with a Series Three or S E, you're still getting a great device, which will compliment your iPhone nicely.
Now, if you go with the non LTE version, and it'll be a strong standalone device, if you go with the LTE version, the difference is that the LTE version requires its own rate plan, but you can use it without the phone like I do when I go to the gym or for a run around the neighborhood. You can answer text messages, initiate them, make phone calls and more, it's basically a phone on your wrist.
The only weak point for Apple here is their community feature. You can compete against other Apple Watch wearers, but you're going to give up your cell phone number in the process, as the feature, which allows you to taunt them during competitions actually uses the text messaging directly from your phone to do so, or from the watch if it's LTE.
And that's where the next watch shines.
Fitbit has a smartwatch or fitness band for every budget.
Their community features are the best in class, competing with all of your friends on social media is easy, because you only need to use the email address associated with your Fitbit account to do so.
There are all kinds of weekly and monthly challenges you can participate in, which have leaderboards and all kinds of social gaming experiences. Initially a fitness tracker brand Fitbit delved into the smartwatch category, and has improved their connectivity over the last few years.
The other strong point to the Fitbit is that it works with both Android and iOS. So you only need to decide which of their watches best meets your needs and go from there.
The downside is that it is a Jack of all trades, master of none. You'll get better connectivity with your phone in terms of reading messages and responding to them from other devices in this roundup.
There is some basic connection worked into the Fitbit app, so you can respond to text messages in some cases, but in many scenarios, you'll just be able to see notifications on the watch, then get to your phone to respond.
You can expect to see stronger discount prices around Black Friday for Fitbit's lineup, than you will for Apple historically. So that's something to keep in mind as well.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Someone else who's put in some strong discounts around launches and holidays is Samsung, and they have my favorite Android watch on the market.
There are several Android watches, but the latest Galaxy Watch 3 is tops for its feature set, construction, and user interface.
The Galaxy Watch 3 is the latest in Samsung's lineup of smartwatches. It gives you a Swiss army knife of sensors to measure and track your heart rate, your stress levels, your heart rhythm, blood oxygenation, and built into the watch( but not yet released as a feature) eventually your blood pressure.
The Galaxy Watch 3 works best when connected to a Samsung device, but you can pair it with almost any Android watch by downloading the Samsung suite of software.
Samsung has the broadest array of watch faces you can choose from, and it works with watch industry standard bracelet sizes. So, it is one of the devices with the largest amount of choices available for bands.
Like the Apple Watch, you can buy it as a GPS device, which needs to connect to a smartphone for full functionality, or in an LTE version, which will allow you to use it without the phone.
It runs on an operating system called Tizen. So there aren't as many apps available for it, but the main ones most people are looking for are there, such as Spotify or MyFitnessPal, or Outlook, and it even supports Samsung pay. So you can use it to pay for things from your wrist.
The great thing is that because it is so popular, you won't have any trouble finding third-party bands or other accessories for it.
As I talked about in the beginning of the video, health is so important right now. I mean, it always is, but that also means that rest is important. And the Galaxy Watch 3 has one of the best built in tracking functions of any of the smartwatches. It'll show you how much time you spent in REM sleep and in deep sleep, light sleep, and it has an easy to read graph to keep track of your sleep.
The TicWatch Pro 3 GPS
Last but not least, I had the opportunity to check out something many of my reviewer pals have been loving–the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS.
And you know what? I'm loving it as well.
First for its battery life. Unlike the top watches, this one will get you three days of views. And that's impressive for what it does.
It doesn't skimp on connectivity and features either. Matter of fact, it even has a feature others don't, which is what allowed it to get that battery line. It has an always-on display, but instead of the amyloid being dimmed, the watch actually has two layers of displays. The top layer is a low power consumption, always on display and FSTN (Film Compensated Super-Twisted Nematic) display.
And if you use it only in that mode or essential mode, Mobvoi, the maker, says you can actually get 45 days out of the watch's battery. I have not yet tested that. I have tested the fact that you get about three days out of it using it in a standard mode.
The other item which helps with stamina is the new Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform inside the watch. TicWatch is the first Android Wear OS watch to utilize this feature.
One of the other things I like about the TicWatch Pro three, is that it is large. The body is 47 millimeters and it works with any 22 millimeter watch straps, which is an industry standard so there are more options than you'll ever be able to weigh through, in terms of straps or bracelets. You can swim with the watch (pools only), and it's IP68 rated for dust and water ingress.
I actually liked the strap that came with it, but I'm real partial to cloth straps for how they breathe. So I'm rocking the Nylon NATO Style Straps from Urban Armor Gear, AKA UAG.
Smartwatch wrap up
So those are my picks, Apple Watch for iPhone owners, unless community is the most important aspect for you. I'd still choose Apple Watch over Fitbit for iPhone, but we all have different needs.
So I want to make sure yours are met because the Fitbit is indeed a fantastic device. Then for Android, my advice remains the same. Galaxy Watch 3 is my top choice with the TicWatch coming in a very close second. It's definitely worth checking out if you're a pure Android fanboy or fangirl.
So, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let's fight in the comments.
Hey, I'm Tshaka Armstrong. If you have any questions, if this review, this overview of these watches brought up any questions, or you have more thoughts about other devices, please leave that in the comments below.
Of course, you can check it all out on reviews.org on the main site, and we don't take it lightly that you spent your time watching with us.
I'm Tshaka Armstrong, for reviews.org, catch you on the next video.