Do I want a smart watch?

KneesUp

Guru
MrsKU wants to know if I'd like a (green fruit) smartwatch from Father Christmas, which is wha the joint account seems to be known as in December.

The thing is, I'm not sure if I do or not. I already have a smart phone, tablet and laptop from the same fruit-themed manufacturer, and I do like how they all integrate, but I'm not sure that the watch would add much. If I can look up trivia and ignore reminders to clean the filter on the vacuum cleaner on three devices, do I need a fourth? Equally I have an early Casio solar, waveceptor watch that happily tells me the correct time, all the time, without me ever having to charge it or do anything other than wear it, and I don't have to worry about damaging it or losing it because I could get a replacement off eBay for £30.

But then am smart watch will tell me my heart rate and do an ECG and show my blood oxygen levels, which would be a much quicker way of confirming that I exist than anything Descartes came up with. And it will no doubt do other cool stuff I've not thought of that would absolutely appeal to the tech-nerd in me.

Essentially I really like the idea of a smart watch, but wonder if I'd get £370 of value out of it. So I'm asking Cyclechat for their experiences.
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
No, you don't.
 
MrsKU wants to know if I'd like a (green fruit) smartwatch from Father Christmas, which is wha the joint account seems to be known as in December.

The thing is, I'm not sure if I do or not. I already have a smart phone, tablet and laptop from the same fruit-themed manufacturer, and I do like how they all integrate, but I'm not sure that the watch would add much. If I can look up trivia and ignore reminders to clean the filter on the vacuum cleaner on three devices, do I need a fourth? Equally I have an early Casio solar, waveceptor watch that happily tells me the correct time, all the time, without me ever having to charge it or do anything other than wear it, and I don't have to worry about damaging it or losing it because I could get a replacement off eBay for £30.

But then am smart watch will tell me my heart rate and do an ECG and show my blood oxygen levels, which would be a much quicker way of confirming that I exist than anything Descartes came up with. And it will no doubt do other cool stuff I've not thought of that would absolutely appeal to the tech-nerd in me.

Essentially I really like the idea of a smart watch, but wonder if I'd get £370 of value out of it. So I'm asking Cyclechat for their experiences.
I’m an Apple gadget lover too and have iMac, MacBook, iPad and iPhone but always resisted the watch due to poor battery life compared with my Garmin but eventually went for it and got one about 2 weeks ago. Have to admit I am enjoying it and it motivates me to fill in my exercise and calorie rings every day. Lol. I now also know I don’t have atrial fibrillation at least on the few times I’ve recorded it. :laugh:

I have got into a routine of sticking it on the charger beside me early evening when I’m watching tv and it only takes an hour or less as I usually have around 30% left. Kind of wishing I had got the cellular one now so I could leave the phone and still be able to make/take calls in an emergency. May well go for that in the future but happy enough just now.
 

Time Waster

Über Member
Wouldn't get a fruit one, they're about the brand and not the best watches out there by some way. However if you're a fanbois of theirs then yes but be disappointed.

Seriously. If you have a reason get one if not don't. Above all do not stick with the fruit. Research the others. Especially fitbit, garmin and withings.

Fitbit is just shy of sports watch level but is more about getting you the information on your lifestyle and helping you to improve. IF you get motivated to actually use it well.

Garmin is for the fitness and sports enthusiast. No other better.

Withings, I've recently learnt, is about the medical grade data collection. If you have heart issues it's x lead heart monitor level of ecg accuracy and certified as such. They've got programs in place to accredit other sensor algorithms. Print out your withings history and your gp might listen to your complaint more.

Garmin great app. Fitbit great app. Apple doesn't look great. No idea about withings. I've only had fitbit and Garmin. I've got a work iPhone so I've had a look at things on that.

I hope that helps.
 

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
Just my two
Wouldn't get a fruit one, they're about the brand and not the best watches out there by some way. However if you're a fanbois of theirs then yes but be disappointed.
Seriously. If you have a reason get one if not don't. Above all do not stick with the fruit. Research the others. Especially fitbit, garmin and withings.
Fitbit is just shy of sports watch level but is more about getting you the information on your lifestyle and helping you to improve. IF you get motivated to actually use it well.

I'd have to disagree on the above. My brother in law is an Iron Man level triathlete. He has managed to destroy watches from Fitbit and Garmin - repeatedly. The only watch that has survived his exercise regime is his Apple Watch.

As to whether it is worth it, if you are into exercise and want to be able to track that well, not have to carry your phone about when you are out running (you can play music and take / receive calls from your watch), pay for goods with your watch etc then I'd say it's worth it. On the other hand I am a tech freak and have a decent android watch.

But I just don't use it.
 

Mr Celine

Discordian
I was given a Nokia smart watch for Christmas about 4 years ago. These are now sold as Withings.
It's the most pointless gadget I've ever been given.
On the plus side it has a good battery life compared to competitors, mine still lasts two months between charges.
It doesn't keep good time, unless synched to my mobile.
It can integrate with Strava but only if paired to my mobile.
It can apparently buzz me when I receive an email, but only if paired to my mobile. (The very last thing I want to know when I'm out and about)
Pairing it with my mobile needs bluetooth which drains the battery on my phone.

In short, apart from the heart rate monitor it does nothing my mobile can't and can't do it properly unless I have my mobile with me.
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
I've got a cheap (circa £30) Honor fitband that does just about everything you seem to want. I've tested the heart rate monitor against chest strap measurements and found the results to be almost identical. It tells the time, gives SPO2 measurements and runs for around 1 week between recharges. This would be longer if I turned off continuous HR monitoring. Battery life seems to have increased in more recent models. Huawei also do similar budget models.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I've got the Samsung Active (came free with my phone) and I quite like it, especially if the phone is tucked up in my rucksack. These are the budget smart watches but it does most things my Wife's better Galaxy Watch does.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I have a Garmin Vivoactive HR which I got when I swapped my retirement presentation watch for it. Is it useful? Well yes I guess so.

My phone is always on silent mode so the watch vibrating is useful especially if I'm waiting for an important call.

Equally the vibration feature lets me quickly check when something comes through when I'm riding.

The two most useful features are for recording walks and backup to my Wahoo recording. When walking is because it's easy and lightweight to carry and use. Cycling I only use it on BIG rides as a backup to the Wahoo. For example I'd have been very upset not to record the Fred so ran both my Vivoactive and Wahoo in record mode.

I don't know about all the fancy features available these days but do know mine always show HR as 10-12 bpm to fast.

Would I replace it? Unlikely. Could I live without it? Definitely.
 
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figbat

Slippery scientist
Here's my tuppence-worth.

I have an Apple Watch SE. I have had it for just under a year. I resisted getting one because I had a nice mechanical watch that I had bought myself with an inheritance and didn't want to not use it. However the geek in me fancied a smart watch and my wife got on well with her Fitbit so I relented.

Generally it is good thing - I don't use all of its capabilities but do use it for fitness tracking, sleep tracking, heart health tracking and also for getting app notifications from my iPhone. It is great to glance at a text message or WhatsApp or whatever without having to fish your phone out of your pocket (which apps notify you is configurable, so I don't have them all). I have built a watch face that I like with various "complications" on it (data feeds, like weather, battery status, date, GMT time etc).

Battery life - it'll go 2 days between charges but I have not once gone flat with it. I have a charger next to my bed and either charge it overnight (if it's getting low at bed time) or if I wear it overnight then I put it on charge first thing when I wake up; by the time I am showered and dressed it's got enough for the day. I also don't wear it for MTB cycling for fear of damage, so it charges when I'm out (I use a Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt and TICKR). I do use it for tracking walks and less vigour cycling (eg to the shops, commuting) and the Apple Workout syncs to Strava.

Overall I like having it, although I do miss wearing a nice mechanical watch.
 

Joffey

Guru
Location
Yorkshire
I’m an Apple gadget lover too and have iMac, MacBook, iPad and iPhone but always resisted the watch due to poor battery life compared with my Garmin but eventually went for it and got one about 2 weeks ago. Have to admit I am enjoying it and it motivates me to fill in my exercise and calorie rings every day. Lol. I now also know I don’t have atrial fibrillation at least on the few times I’ve recorded it. :laugh:

I have got into a routine of sticking it on the charger beside me early evening when I’m watching tv and it only takes an hour or less as I usually have around 30% left. Kind of wishing I had got the cellular one now so I could leave the phone and still be able to make/take calls in an emergency. May well go for that in the future but happy enough just now.

Same here but I changed from Garmin to Apple Watch about 6 months ago. The battery life hasn't really been an issue over that time and it is pretty good how it links up with everything. I have the cellular watch and it's handy when you forget your phone or just have your shorts on and your phone is a bit bulky to carry.

The best feature though, by far with the reintroduction of face masks, is you can unlock your phone with a mask on when wearing the watch - or just use Apple Pay on your watch. In fact it was so handy during the last lockdown I hardly ever carry a wallet now or use Apple Pay on my phone - I just pay for everything on my watch.
 
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