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Hey you, wanna buy a smart watch?

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,777
5,420
AK
I "won" a Garmin Instinct at a trail fundraiser, as in bid for it and no one else did. I actually like it a lot and it works great. Battery life is better than the flashy color screen deals, it connects with my phone and rings when my phone rings or shows messages when my phone gets a message. It records HR. It can be loaded with a course for navigation (but not the best way to use it, due to small screen). It was real helpful in the Iditarod with the stages from lodge to lodge, because you want to know how far away from the next checkpoint you are, given the conditions and lack of civilization, so knowing you are 20 miles in to a 40 mile leg is huge. Temp sensor is more like a what-is-the-temp-of-your-hand?-sensor, but it can pair with an external sensor like I have on one of my bikes. Would buy again. At the time I was considering the Fenix and similar models, but in the end I'm more than happy with this.
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
3,560
3,178
SADL
I "won" a Garmin Instinct at a trail fundraiser, as in bid for it and no one else did. I actually like it a lot and it works great. Battery life is better than the flashy color screen deals, it connects with my phone and rings when my phone rings or shows messages when my phone gets a message. It records HR. It can be loaded with a course for navigation (but not the best way to use it, due to small screen). It was real helpful in the Iditarod with the stages from lodge to lodge, because you want to know how far away from the next checkpoint you are, given the conditions and lack of civilization, so knowing you are 20 miles in to a 40 mile leg is huge. Temp sensor is more like a what-is-the-temp-of-your-hand?-sensor, but it can pair with an external sensor like I have on one of my bikes. Would buy again. At the time I was considering the Fenix and similar models, but in the end I'm more than happy with this.
Nice review! Do you find it bulky?
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
72,261
14,316
media blackout
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.
general lack of features. i mean yea, it does what it does well, but it doesn't do much.
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,970
1,891
Tustin, CA
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.
I have the same one. I like it. Tried my brother's old Apple Watch for a while when he upgraded. I prefer the functionality/battery life of the Garmin, plus it just looks better. I got annoyed with the Apple of just being more tied to stupid bullshit texts and notifications. It's annoying enough a lot of times on my phone, I don't need it on my wrist 24/7. The Garmin does everything I need, plus logs routes for riding and activities, but isn't overly annoying like the Apple was to me.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,777
5,420
AK
Nice review! Do you find it bulky?
A little, the strap is very soft though so it seems to be more comfortable than it might suggest. I tend to bang/knock stuff all over the place, so it's been pretty durable. It's a bit of a PITA for shirts/layers with tight sleeves to get them past it, usually turning your sleeve inside-out, but otherwise it's been great.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,777
5,420
AK
A little, the strap is very soft though so it seems to be more comfortable than it might suggest. I tend to bang/knock stuff all over the place, so it's been pretty durable. It's a bit of a PITA for shirts/layers with tight sleeves to get them past it, usually turning your sleeve inside-out, but otherwise it's been great.
Also, for run-time continuously, (in the kind of cold, but attached to my somewhat warm arm under gloves or pogies) I get about 14-15 hours or so, recording. I've done several 100 mile races in 10 hours or so and they always showed a couple bars left, but it conked out at about 15 hours of continuous on my way to the first Iditarod checkpoint (in sideways snow, I rode (mainly pushed) for 16 hours straight). Not so bad since I was so close to the checkpoint. It's also relatively quick to recharge and doesn't use a lot of juice to do so. I had an extra phone battery USB charger battery thing I brought and even though I charged that a couple times at lodges, I probably could have been fine for a week or more just recharging the watch from that during my down time/sleep. In normal use I'm usually able to record 3 or so rides before I think about charging, a big all-day ride, if recording, will suck it down closer to the 100 mile race level.
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
3,560
3,178
SADL
Finally ordered the Garmin Instinct at $50 off. Will update when it gets here.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
3,316
1,035
I am not sure where my smart watch is, it's probably plotting my murder from under a couch or bed as it's battery heads for irreversible damage.

I did buy a smart bike light which is pretty rad, bought it with the intention of doing some overnight rides with the bike left outside the swag. Lay the bike down, start the app on your phone when you go to bed and if some naked drunk person tries to take your bike in the night your phone sounds an alarm.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,777
5,420
AK
I am not sure where my smart watch is, it's probably plotting my murder from under a couch or bed as it's battery heads for irreversible damage.

I did buy a smart bike light which is pretty rad, bought it with the intention of doing some overnight rides with the bike left outside the swag. Lay the bike down, start the app on your phone when you go to bed and if some naked drunk person tries to take your bike in the night your phone sounds an alarm.
I have a couple of these: https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Anti-Theft-Vibration-Motorcycle-Waterproof/dp/B0734QN8KR/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-p13n1_0?crid=37XZXRAG5TXMM&cv_ct_cx=bicycle+alarm&dchild=1&keywords=bicycle+alarm&pd_rd_i=B0734QN8KR&pd_rd_r=c3ae016a-d7d5-486d-a798-ff64ded8381f&pd_rd_w=T7dmz&pd_rd_wg=wjv4Y&pf_rd_p=865e0d87-7dd3-47cb-8098-f5232fd0510a&pf_rd_r=Z57EBRJ4JHHR9A5QKE0D&psc=1&qid=1590336874&sprefix=bicycle+alarm,aps,258&sr=1-1-beb77b32-1078-477f-b152-b09baa1ee7f7

They are excellent.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
ended up buying the garmin vivosport. We'll see if amazon ever ships it, then how it does once it's here.

I appreciate the suggestions to buy an even heavier and even bigger watch than the one I already have that I said was too big and heavy.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
ended up buying the garmin vivosport. We'll see if amazon ever ships it, then how it does once it's here.

I appreciate the suggestions to buy an even heavier and even bigger watch than the one I already have that I said was too big and heavy.
If you wear the even heavier and bigger for two weeks, then the old one will suddenly feel just perfect. :D
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
3,560
3,178
SADL
Got my Garmin Instinct. Nice watch with loads of feature. Built in altimeter is great.

Not too big or bulky. Bracelet is really soft and comfortable.

Only complaint, seems my Samsung S4 is now obsolete since I can't install Garmin Connect. :shakefist:
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,999
560
Warsaw :/
If someone wants a sportswatch not a shitty smartphone on their arm I have the Polar Vantage since Jan 2020 and I'm super happy with it. Good batery life. Good sleep tracking and regen fuctions. No problems with tracking HR even when interval training with weights where my heartbeat goes high. Good GPS and syncs with strava.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
So I bought the vivosport because why not
It's a neat little device, has almost all of the capabilities of the Galaxy watch but of course it's nowhere near as pretty. It is very comfortable though, and strava and exercise integration is better. The garmin app is awesome, too, I like it better than samsung heatlh so far. My watch, which is a refurb, has a bit of damage to the screen and I haven't figured out yet how much it bothers me. In addition, you cannot multitask on this watch...so if I start a timer for an experiment, then try to check the time, it resets the timer. It's similarly difficult to check the time at the same time I'm riding a bike....but the HR monitoring is great and the GPS works, though not as well as the samsung. I may end up returning it and getting a GW Active instead.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
Yeah but that's a smart watch, not a fitness band. On my GW, I see everything all at once.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
So I'm back from outerspace. Had the Vivosmart for about a year and a half and have liked it at times but struggled other times. It's small and unobtrusive, but HR sucks on the bike or rower and sleep tracking is mediocre. I love the idea of the body battery, but if it's based on bad data, then what am I really getting out of it?

So, I'm looking at the fitbit luxe or whoop strap as a replacement. I don't love the idea of a subscription service, but a year and a half is ~$300 and that's around what I paid for my samsung watch. The luxe is a one-time deal but it doesn't come with the wealth of data that the whoop does...but it's $200 cheaper. Anybody spent time with the whoop? DC Rainman says the old version was mediocre, but that the newer one may address those issues. I just plan on keeping it on all the time and tracking activities with my HR strap.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,777
5,420
AK
Garmin watches that interface with HR sensors are less than $300 and have no subscription.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
Garmin watches that interface with HR sensors are less than $300 and have no subscription.
My problem (among many other things) is that I don't want a watch. I want a "band". I want something that is unobtrusive and small so i can wear a regular watch. Right now I have the VVS on one wrist and a regular watch on the other. If I wanted a solo watch, it would probably be one of the garmin venu or 945 or whatever they have now...but those are enormous and uncomfortable to sleep with too.

are you using a chest strap or just the built in HR?

also, which version of the vivosmart?
Vivosmart 4. Not compatible with external sensors.

I use a strap attached to zwift/my PC for indoor cycling, a strap and strava/my phone for rowing. I found the VVS to be horrific for tracking HR for either of those activities. Generally I don't run, but ironically last time I went out I used both my strap/phone and VVS/phone GPS and the traces were virtually identical (as they should be) including HR. So- great HR for running and resting, miserable for the activities I do the most.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,777
5,420
AK
My problem (among many other things) is that I don't want a watch. I want a "band". I want something that is unobtrusive and small so i can wear a regular watch. Right now I have the VVS on one wrist and a regular watch on the other. If I wanted a solo watch, it would probably be one of the garmin venu or 945 or whatever they have now...but those are enormous and uncomfortable to sleep with too.
Well it doesn't *have* to go around your wrist...

1631815416697.png
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
72,261
14,316
media blackout
My problem (among many other things) is that I don't want a watch. I want a "band". I want something that is unobtrusive and small so i can wear a regular watch. Right now I have the VVS on one wrist and a regular watch on the other. If I wanted a solo watch, it would probably be one of the garmin venu or 945 or whatever they have now...but those are enormous and uncomfortable to sleep with too.
this is what i immediately pictured (not the bananas part, mind you).

1631815278285.png


Vivosmart 4. Not compatible with external sensors.

I use a strap attached to zwift/my PC for indoor cycling, a strap and strava/my phone for rowing. I found the VVS to be horrific for tracking HR for either of those activities. Generally I don't run, but ironically last time I went out I used both my strap/phone and VVS/phone GPS and the traces were virtually identical (as they should be) including HR. So- great HR for running and resting, miserable for the activities I do the most.
i have the vivoactive HR, and have also found the wrist based HR to be not the most accurate when performing an actual activity. although newer models are supposedly better - not just garmin, the technology has improved in general. but with my watch its bluetooth and ant+, so i just use a chest strap. have you considered going with something that is external sensor compatible?
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
this is what i immediately pictured (not the bananas part, mind you).

View attachment 164927



i have the vivoactive HR, and have also found the wrist based HR to be not the most accurate when performing an actual activity. although newer models are supposedly better - not just garmin, the technology has improved in general. but with my watch its bluetooth and ant+, so i just use a chest strap. have you considered going with something that is external sensor compatible?
honestly the other day I had three watches on...my wife's charge 2, my vivosmart, and my dress watch

I'd love to go external compatible, but I couldn't find anything that will do it, or nothing reasonably new at least. I think I looked into the vvs HR, but there was something wrong, like it can't do connected GPS or something? I forget at this point. It doesn't really matter as I like having my phone with me when I ride or run. NBD on the bike, and i ended up with a fanny pack for the run. The phone has music, pay, GPS if I get lost, and all the connectivity for my HR strap. I just want a wrist sensor for high quality sleep tracking and recovery metrics.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
33,642
6,404
Portland, OR
I have run into a bunch of guys wearing the gps golf watches that I think are just nutty.

I can see it being useful for @stoney who does somewhat important stuff. But for me it's way more info than I could need or use.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
18,103
3,378
Colorado
I have run into a bunch of guys wearing the gps golf watches that I think are just nutty.

I can see it being useful for @stoney who does somewhat important stuff. But for me it's way more info than I could need or use.
Bwahahaha. I have an overly expensive smrt watch now. I use it for email and GPS tracking on rides. I haven't done shit with it since I stopped tri.
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
4,292
1,645
In the bathroom, fighting a battle
So, I'm looking at the fitbit luxe or whoop strap as a replacement. I don't love the idea of a subscription service, but a year and a half is ~$300 and that's around what I paid for my samsung watch. The luxe is a one-time deal but it doesn't come with the wealth of data that the whoop does...but it's $200 cheaper. Anybody spent time with the whoop? DC Rainman says the old version was mediocre, but that the newer one may address those issues. I just plan on keeping it on all the time and tracking activities with my HR strap.
Have you seen the Halo? https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Halo-Fitness-And-Health-Band/dp/B07QK955LS/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3JH3Z1AFKQCYC&dchild=1&keywords=halo+band&qid=1631904769&sprefix=halo+,aps,267&sr=8-1

When I was looking at Whoop, the Halo seemed to do everything that a Whoop does, just does it for less money and maybe worse analytics. Ultimately I bought neither, and am still rocking a Fenix 3 from 2015.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
45,632
11,248
Sleazattle
Work has a discount code with Garmin for 20% off their smart watches. Took a look at them and thought they were neat, also realized I have zero need for such a thing.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
Hey @Sandwich not sure what the discount is, but Phil Gaimon's Whoop referral link should save some money according to his latest vid I just watched.

https://join.whoop.com/philsentme
Thanks! I found a generic youtoober that had a 15% off coupon. In the end it's about the same, but I appreciate the heads up! I'd dive in, but the problem right now is A) the whoop 4 is new and untested, and B) when it does start shipping, I guess it's 7-9 weeks out from being delivered.

Have you seen the Halo? https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Halo-Fitness-And-Health-Band/dp/B07QK955LS/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3JH3Z1AFKQCYC&dchild=1&keywords=halo+band&qid=1631904769&sprefix=halo+,aps,267&sr=8-1

When I was looking at Whoop, the Halo seemed to do everything that a Whoop does, just does it for less money and maybe worse analytics. Ultimately I bought neither, and am still rocking a Fenix 3 from 2015.
I dig it but amazon creepin on my 24/7 is scary. I do like the no-screen strap all-the-time thing though.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
I saw that yesterday. Most people who review the whoop after a year+ seem to like it. I don't know if that's because they've been paying for it for a year plus or what. I think whoop has what I want, and honestly a year and a half subscription is not unreasonable compared to a mid-range garmin or apple smartwatch. I think I've ruled out the Oura because a lot of people report inaccuracies and I don't have a lot of faith in their customer service. I also don't know how it will work with grip activities, like biking and rowing, which are 90% of what I do.

I'm still debating grabbing a fitbit luxe for its tiny size and small screen, and since it does 90% of what the whoop does just without the data metrics. I think I'm just stalling at this point as the new whoop comes out the 27th, the charge 5 comes out the 27th, and it sounds like shipping delays will keep the whoop from hitting customers until black friday, so I may as well wait and see what the reviews say and if there are any sales.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
3,316
1,035
I said I wouldn't buy another smart watch but it seems the French got FDA clearance on the oxygen sensor and all I want a smart watch for is pulse and oxy.
I have to get an ultrasound on my heart soon because of shitty hearts on my family, my brother had open heart surgery a few months ago.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,314
2,438
01776
That's pretty. Not sure how accurate or valuable ECG is on a watch. I guess if your concern is heart health and function, then it makes sense.

I ended up getting the fitbit luxe. I have HR, SPO2, HRV and some other measurements all in a relatively compact package. I enjoy wearing watches too much to give them up, so having a compact tracker on one wrist and a fashion watch on the other makes some level of sense. I use the timer daily and alerts let me keep my phone in my pocket.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
3,316
1,035
That's pretty. Not sure how accurate or valuable ECG is on a watch. I guess if your concern is heart health and function, then it makes sense.

I ended up getting the fitbit luxe. I have HR, SPO2, HRV and some other measurements all in a relatively compact package. I enjoy wearing watches too much to give them up, so having a compact tracker on one wrist and a fashion watch on the other makes some level of sense. I use the timer daily and alerts let me keep my phone in my pocket.
Fancy!
1637459956236.png


It has a lot of functions for the price, battery life is solid too.
I don't really care about ECG, just want HR and O2.