Quantcast

Hey you, wanna buy a smart watch?

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,019
2,181
01776
Anybody have one of these things? How do you feel about it?

I am a semi-avid watch collector (I have like 9, they are all under $200), but have been intrigued by wearables because they are pretty cool. I think I'm committed to Android at this point and will be for the future.

Do you have one? Which one? Do you like it?

Looking at the skagen Falster 2, Samsung watch 46mm, or Fossil Sport right now...
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
well, first question is what do you want out of it? do you just want mini smart phone capabilities on your wrist? or do you want it more for fitness / activity tracking?
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,019
2,181
01776
a little of both. mostly a gadget to do neat things with, but mostly to control my music (skip songs) and see messages. I will also use it for rides, but honestly that's a bit of a back seat to every day casual wear.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
if that's what your after, take a look at garmin. when i was in your position, i did a ton of research. starting with the question i asked you. after looking into it some, i asked myself "ok, what are the critical features you need?" for me, it was waterproof and battery life. these requirements ruled out a LOT (at the time). for instance, fitbit only offers 1 or 2 models that are actually waterproof. plus, the battery life on them sucks donkey balls. my wife has a fitbit. she has to charge it like every other day. and they keep breaking. total garbage.

give the garmin stuff a look. has the features you want, and great battery life. i charge mine about once a week. i have the vivoactive HR, the new model that replaced it is the vivoactive 3. MSRP is $250, and it does internal HR, has GPS, bluetooth, ant+. will control music. they also have a "music" version of the watch for an extra $30 that will store music internally on the watch, so you can bluetooth your headphones to it and listen to music without your phone.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
also, fwiw i'm on my second garmin. my first one failed - and they still replaced it for me even though it was a year out of warranty. apparently one of the batches had bad glue on the casing that would fail after a long enough time and would let water in.
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
7,365
3,113
Ottawa, Canada
I have a Garmin Forerunner 35. I like it. I really only wanted 2 things from a smart watch:
1. see who is calling or texting while I'm out riding. Since having kids, I always carry my phone with me in case of emergencies. With the watch, I can quickly decide if I need to stop and take the call, or if I can safely ignore them.
2. has a GPS that syncs to Strava. I mostly use Strava to track my urban trips. Our city buys Strava's heatmaps, to see where people are biking. I want my trips to be captured in that data. Because I ride year round, taking my phone out to launch Strava was a bit of a pain. It's much easier to launch the GPS with the watch, I only need to take on mitt off.

I don't think there's anything else I'd really want from a smart watch (besides maybe being prettier). Maybe being able to sync the RFID to be able to use tap n' go payment function, but that's a stretch. I've never felt the need for a compass and altimeter, but some people are into that...
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
7,365
3,113
Ottawa, Canada
they now have garmin pay for that, i'm assuming it's RFID based. but it's only on newer models.

https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/garmin-pay/
yeah, I looked into that. But it's a third party system. I like google's system, and don't want to mess around with a third system having my CC information... But my point really is that though it would be kinda cool, I'm fine just tapping my phone. Tapping the watch might just be a little too dorky...
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
yeah, I looked into that. But it's a third party system. I like google's system, and don't want to mess around with a third system having my CC information... But my point really is that though it would be kinda cool, I'm fine just tapping my phone. Tapping the watch might just be a little too dorky...
i paid for my coffee this morning with cash.
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
7,365
3,113
Ottawa, Canada
i paid for my coffee this morning with cash.
My goal in life is to ditch the wallet entirely. I hate that bulging lump of leather in my back pocket. (and before people post slim-wallet options, mine is pretty slim already, and has very little "extras": drivers license, health card, two credit cards, debit card, buss pass, a couple of business cards, and a picture of each kids and my dad.)
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
My goal in life is to ditch the wallet entirely. I hate that bulging lump of leather in my back pocket. (and before people post slim-wallet options, mine is pretty slim already, and has very little "extras": drivers license, health card, two credit cards, debit card, buss pass, a couple of business cards, and a picture of each kids and my dad.)
have you considered homelessness?
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
6,499
2,806
Check out Suunto also.
I’ve the traverse, which I don’t think does anything you’re looking for lol, but the build quality and battery life have been stellar.
I’m sure they make something that fits your needs.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
Check out Suunto also.
I’ve the traverse, which I don’t think does anything you’re looking for lol, but the build quality and battery life have been stellar.
I’m sure they make something that fits your needs.
I've heard good things about Suunto, but they weren't on my radar when I was looking. What kind of battery life do you get?
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
6,499
2,806
I've heard good things about Suunto, but they weren't on my radar when I was looking. What kind of battery life do you get?
Daily use I recharge it once a month. That’s running things bare bones (no vibration/ audible notifications etc).

GPS cuts that down quite a bit and I typically sync after each ride (which also charges), but I’ve done 4 days trips running gps all day and not killed the battery.
 

Adventurous

Starshine Bro
Mar 19, 2014
7,108
4,324
Crawlorado
Had one, but now it collects dust. I love wearing watches, but could never get used to wearing a smart watch. It ended up just being an ugly digital clock as I rarely used the functionality it promises.

Different strokes. I like my automatic Steinhart.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
17,689
3,054
Colorado
I have a Garmin 735XT. The one thing it doesn't have that I wish it did was skiing. Otherwise, running, biking, swimming for fitness. I can control my music, look at emails and texts (first few lines), control answering and dismissing calls, and a few other simple things.It's light and a little over an inch across. The Fenix is larger, has more functionality and is more of a traditional looking watch, but is notably heavier.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
17,689
3,054
Colorado
My goal in life is to ditch the wallet entirely. I hate that bulging lump of leather in my back pocket. (and before people post slim-wallet options, mine is pretty slim already, and has very little "extras": drivers license, health card, two credit cards, debit card, buss pass, a couple of business cards, and a picture of each kids and my dad.)
Have you looked at the wallet phone cases?
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
3,154
902
I have a Garmin Vivomove HR and what a fucking useless piece of shit it is!
I don't seem to be able to track a ride unless I use STRAVA, I have to tell it how far I want to ride and it will make a route from where I am through the local streets, yaaay, how exciting! The app is all cloud based so if you have no signal you can't access any of your stats unless you go to a third party app it is also very shit at working out that you are riding if you use the auto activity sensormajig.

I bought it because I am crap at sleeping but the watch is also crap at telling if I am sleeping. It relies very heavily on your set wake and sleep times, if I am sitting at my laptop I'll usually be logging REM or sometime light sleep. It is just a HR/movement sensor with some fancy programming, I didn't expect much and I still feel ripped off.
I bought an Oximeter to check out what was going on with my sleep and it works well(for me), my phone can track my rides, I already have watches that tell the time and I have hands that can get my phone out of my pocket to read the message that just arrived on my phone so a smart watch has just ended up a tacky waste of money.

If you are fat, you aren't walking or riding enough, you don't need a watch to tell you that. If you are an antisocial jerk a smart watch is probably the perfect accessory for you.

Oh I'm not really allergic to anything but there is something in my Garmin's band that turns my skin bright red, swapped to a different band and have had no issues.

If you are set on one and only want something simple, the Withings/Nokia ones look pretty decent and have solid battery life.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
I have a Garmin Vivomove HR and what a fucking useless piece of shit it is!
I don't seem to be able to track a ride unless I use STRAVA, I have to tell it how far I want to ride and it will make a route from where I am through the local streets, yaaay, how exciting! The app is all cloud based so if you have no signal you can't access any of your stats unless you go to a third party app it is also very shit at working out that you are riding if you use the auto activity sensormajig.

I bought it because I am crap at sleeping but the watch is also crap at telling if I am sleeping. It relies very heavily on your set wake and sleep times, if I am sitting at my laptop I'll usually be logging REM or sometime light sleep. It is just a HR/movement sensor with some fancy programming, I didn't expect much and I still feel ripped off.
I bought an Oximeter to check out what was going on with my sleep and it works well(for me), my phone can track my rides, I already have watches that tell the time and I have hands that can get my phone out of my pocket to read the message that just arrived on my phone so a smart watch has just ended up a tacky waste of money.

If you are fat, you aren't walking or riding enough, you don't need a watch to tell you that. If you are an antisocial jerk a smart watch is probably the perfect accessory for you.

Oh I'm not really allergic to anything but there is something in my Garmin's band that turns my skin bright red, swapped to a different band and have had no issues.

If you are set on one and only want something simple, the Withings/Nokia ones look pretty decent and have solid battery life.
I think your issues with tracking relate to that particular model. The vivoactive hr I have does a very good job. This is today's ride data:

Screenshot_20190412-213431.png
Screenshot_20190412-213456.png
Screenshot_20190412-213506.png
Screenshot_20190412-213513.png
Screenshot_20190412-213520.png
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
3,154
902
That is correct but my watch uses the GPS on my phone and I assumed as Garmin is a GPS giant I would get some basic info but I get nothing unless I do what the little dictator on my wrist tells me to. If I go bush I can't do anything without using STRAVA, it just shows calories and bike rides broken up in to segments as it seems I bike ride for a bit then just have a stressful event then start riding again hahaha, it's such a piece of shit.

I could have bought a new cassette, chain and chainring but I bought a fashion accessory :(

If I was more active I would possibly buy an Ambit 3 but that would be the only smart watch I'd consider.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
31,612
3,823
I have a Garmin Vivoactive HR and a series 4 Apple Watch.

Garmin is great for activities. Slow and laggy for reading texts. Close to a week of battery life using it with gps for an hour per day.

Apple Watch is great for daily tasks. Voice texting, Siri, weather. Snappy. About two days battery life. GPS is less accurate at least when comparing the Slopes app to Garmin native ski tracking.

I wear the Apple one 99% of the time these days.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
That is correct but my watch uses the GPS on my phone and I assumed as Garmin is a GPS giant I would get some basic info but I get nothing unless I do what the little dictator on my wrist tells me to. If I go bush I can't do anything without using STRAVA, it just shows calories and bike rides broken up in to segments as it seems I bike ride for a bit then just have a stressful event then start riding again hahaha, it's such a piece of shit.

I could have bought a new cassette, chain and chainring but I bought a fashion accessory :(

If I was more active I would possibly buy an Ambit 3 but that would be the only smart watch I'd consider.
Oh yeah that's your problem. The vivoactive hr I have and the vivoactive 3 that replaced it have built in GPS.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
I have a Garmin Vivoactive HR and a series 4 Apple Watch.

Garmin is great for activities. Slow and laggy for reading texts. Close to a week of battery life using it with gps for an hour per day.

Apple Watch is great for daily tasks. Voice texting, Siri, weather. Snappy. About two days battery life. GPS is less accurate at least when comparing the Slopes app to Garmin native ski tracking.

I wear the Apple one 99% of the time these days.
9f596df5f6a0913eaf7c556801be5c4a72dbd734b624f66e71eb11f8c56a5ccf.jpg
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,208
4,980
AK
Well, I just "won" some $300 garmin watch for $200 during our trails fundraiser tonight. Gunna have to strava all the illegal trails now.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,019
2,181
01776
MAN I can't believe I never updated this.

Thanks for all the tips. I ignored all of them and bought a samsung galaxy watch 46mm. I absolutely adore the functionality, but find that one runs or MTBing, the damned stainless behemoth bounces around too much. HR and GPS have been accurate, and being able to pay with my watch is a nice touch during the pandemic.

So, I'm looking at GPS equipped fitness bands, and there ain't much out there. I'd love to keep my left wrist free for wearing real watches, and have a mega-compact fitness tracker on my right (or in collaboration on my left). amazon has the vivosport refurb for not a lot of money, but not great reviews. The alternative is to buy the galaxy active 2, which combines the two but I'd have to shell out more money than I want for it....
 

eric strt6

Resident Curmudgeon
Sep 8, 2001
18,666
7,798
directly above the center of the earth
I've been running the Fitbit charge 3 for almost 2 years. I killed the original in about a year and a half. The newer version is waterproof and its small. I use it for resting heart rate, hours active, as a watch, alarm clock. The original sucked as a route tracker outside of the city. I haven't bothered to try it on the newer version. the ten minute auto start function for activity bugs the shit out of me. It will keep vibrating to get you to tell it what you are doing so it can track it. even if you don't want it to; if you say don't track. ten minutes later it bugs you again.

on the plus side it will track and graph steps, miles, active minutes , heart rate in increments of days, weeks, months 3 months and one year. I get about 5 days per charge and it takes maybe 30 minutes to recharge it. It would bite it the back country unless you carry a battery pack to recharge both your phone and fitbit on a extended multi day trip. It has no internal GPS
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
19,958
7,674
behind you, don't wait up.
I have a Garmin. Other than being bulky it does everything it supposed to. Good gps, activity tracking, HR monitor.... Lasts 7 or 8 days on a full charge. I'd buy one again.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
I've been running the Fitbit charge 3 for almost 2 years. I killed the original in about a year and a half. The newer version is waterproof and its small. I use it for resting heart rate, hours active, as a watch, alarm clock. The original sucked as a route tracker outside of the city. I haven't bothered to try it on the newer version. the ten minute auto start function for activity bugs the shit out of me. It will keep vibrating to get you to tell it what you are doing so it can track it. even if you don't want it to; if you say don't track. ten minutes later it bugs you again.

on the plus side it will track and graph steps, miles, active minutes , heart rate in increments of days, weeks, months 3 months and one year. I get about 5 days per charge and it takes maybe 30 minutes to recharge it. It would bite it the back country unless you carry a battery pack to recharge both your phone and fitbit on a extended multi day trip. It has no internal GPS
my wife is on like her 7th fitbit. they're just garbage. and the battery life, while improved over the last few years, still sucks as well.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
70,646
13,247
media blackout
I have a Garmin. Other than being bulky it does everything it supposed to. Good gps, activity tracking, HR monitor.... Lasts 7 or 8 days on a full charge. I'd buy one again.
no one else is even close on their battery life and wireless connectivity for sport sensors.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,019
2,181
01776
vivosports sucked.
why? most people, even dc rainmaker says it's an accurate tracker with good battery. the only negatives I see are the band is not replaceable, which is a bummer but it's also $52, so if I get a year I'll be happy.

how often are you charging your samsung?
I charge it every day- not because it's necessary but because I take it off while I shower, dump it on the charger and then when I grab it after getting dressed, it's back to 100%. I can go an entire weekend on a charge by turning off the display and being conservative with the options...but I go through about 45% of a charge wearing it all day with AOD, 10m HR checks, a workout in the morning, and no charging. In theory I could get two days on a charge with the functions I use....I'm just tired of how big the thing is.
 

I Are Baboon

nuts of sashimi
Aug 6, 2001
30,824
4,438
MTB New England
I have the Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire and it is awesome. It looks nice too for an everyday watch. I've burned through a bunch of Garmins but this one has been rock solid. It does damn near everything you could possibly need out of a fitness device, but I don't think it qualifies as a smartwatch since all it does is take in data. You can't send anything outbound, other than your fitness activities. You'll get text ,e-mail, and phone alerts, but all you can do is read them. You can't reply like you can with those fancy smartwatches.
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
3,446
2,983
SADL
Looking at the garmin Instinct. Look bulky. Will need to try it on my bony wrist.