Giving a watch is as risky a bet as giving a book: it depends enormously on the recipient’s taste. However, with the premise of smart watch we incorporate the claim of added technological functionality. Although born with sports spirit, today it is possible to find smart watches for all styles: sports, casual, minimalist … If you are thinking of giving a smartwatch, in this article we show you a wide variety of options.
Models for athletes
Beyond a sporting aesthetic with resistant and comfortable straps or resistance to water, the main differential features of this type of watches is the contribution of advanced metrics and the inclusion of GPS, two characteristics that will help us quantify our workouts by providing data such as travel and distance, pulse, cadence, maximum heart rate, oxygen consumption …
To make this possible, some of these models integrate sensors and instruments that go beyond the classic accelerometer and heart rate monitor (GPS and GLONASS, barometric altimeters), allow data collection through chest bands or the introduction of personal parameters to estimate the efficiency of the training.
It is also important to be clear about the sport that the person in question performs , since there are more general clocks and others more specific, for example for golf, mountaineering or swimming in open waters.
In addition to the metrics provided and the trainings monitored, a key factor when choosing a sports smart watch is the battery life with GPS enabled.
In this article about sports watches you can find an explanation in more depth to know which GPS watch to buy, although here are some interesting models.
The Polar M430 ( 144 euros ) is a sports watch that provides advanced data such as aerobic capacity estimation (fitness test), recovery time, training load and training history, in addition to the classic steps, calories, sleep, distance traveled and pulse. If you activate the GPS, it is able to record rhythm, distance, altitude and route outdoors for up to 8 hours.
It also has smart notifications, allowing you to see what comes to the phone on your high resolution screen of 128 x 128 px, yes, without the ability to answer them.
Garmin Forerunner 235
One of the GPS watches with the best value for money is the Forerunner 235, with a circular design that is very discreet and attractive, but quite large. Which on the one hand allows to see graphics in a comfortable way, but on the other hand limits it to the thicker wrists.
Measure the pulse on the wrist and activity, either with the accelerometer for indoor and the GPS and GLONASS for outdoor. With the GPS on, this model has an approximate autonomy of 11 hours. It is a watch mainly indicated for running and cycling.
It provides a robust and complete smartphone connection: it automatically loads your sessions, allows you to download widgets, spheres and applications depending on what interests you, as well as download training plans, share training sessions on social networks, maps, watch the weather … On Amazon for 169 euros, available in 3 colors.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT
If we look for a model with more battery (up to 14 hours) and more sports, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a multisport watch that includes even triathlon. Among its metrics, it provides the contact time with the ground, the stride length or the vertical ratio. Regarding the state of our body during exercise, it provides maximum VO2, lactate threshold or recovery control.
Like the Forerunner 235, it is also possible to download and install spheres, applications, share training … in addition to showing you the notifications that arrive on your phone. On Amazon from 199 euros
Suunto – Spartan Trainer Wrist HR
The Suunto – Spartan Trainer Wrist HR is also a popular model within the mid-range. This watch stands out for its versatility, providing programs for the gym, cycling or swimming. It has a simple and intuitive interface, showing how our activity is with graphics and colors. It provides data such as heart rate and workload based on our pulse, steps, calories and sleep.
If you do sport outdoors , in addition to showing us the route and distance with precision thanks to GPS (the battery lasts 10 hours with GPS enabled), shows maps and nearby points of interest. On Amazon for 199.95 euros.
Polar Vantage V
In the high range we find the elegant Polar Vantage V, a model with a finer and more elegant aesthetic compared to the usual but very complete in terms of sensorics, metrics and autonomy, offering about 40 hours with GPS enabled.
It has more than 130 sports profiles to choose from, allowing you to change from one sport to another in the same session. Among its advanced metrics, it offers aerobic capacity and shape status, muscle load analysis and training load.
It also has an app on which to pour the trainings to monitor them with greater comfort, with training plans, analysis tools, progress reports, etc. On the Polar website for 499.90 euros.
One of the most premium models within watches with GPS is the Suunto 9 ( 599 euros ), a device that stands out for the autonomy and efficiency of its battery, as well as for its finishes.
With more than 80 sports programs, it integrates a series of sensors that allow it to provide data related to training, location and climatology with precision. For its functionalities, precision and finishes, this is a terminal for the most gourmand users.
In this section would fit the classic smart watches, which over time have been incorporating functionalities and varying their designs to offer a very attractive compromise between a versatile aesthetic and the possibility of replacing the mobile phone thanks for example to the LTE, which allows to perform calls.
Fitbit has gone from selling bracelets to launching its first smart watch, a compact model with 1.34 inches of screen, we talk about the Fitbit Versa.
The Versa ( 185 euros ) is an alternative that combines aesthetics and functionality, since it measures hours of sleep, activity, has GPS, allows payments and has an app store to download those that you consider most useful. In addition the autonomy is of 4 days according to the manufacturer, resists water and is compatible with Android and iOS.
Recently we tested the Huawei GT, a model that is obvious due to its design and its good price-quality ratio, but that we were pleasantly surprised by the battery’s autonomy, which approaches 2 weeks.
We have a watch with a sober aesthetic, with good finishes and a large AMOLED screen of quality to monitor the activity, although the interactions with the phone are reduced for what one would expect. However, it has notable deficiencies , such as LTE or NFC, which prevents us from using it to make calls and to make payments, respectively.
The Huawei GT is an attractive watch, with good autonomy and simple, for users who seek to monitor the activity with a discreet wearable.
Xiaomi Stratos +
As we read in the analysis of the Xiaomi Stratos + ( 206 euros ) is a watch of casual aesthetics (with leather strap and silicone, which endow with very different aspects) with an eminently sporting spirit that stands out for its autonomy of 4 days. And is that this watch has GPS and sensor to provide advanced metrics such as VO2 Max.
One of its weaknesses is the screen, somewhat limited in terms of brightness and contrast, which can sometimes make the data display is not as comfortable as you want. As for its operating system, it allows us to access certain mini applications and phone notifications, but we can not answer them natively.
After the attractive Samsung Gear S3 , this year Samsung has presented its Samsung Watch, a continuist watch in terms of aesthetics, which is betting on a look between sports and casual quite versatile for audiences and occasions.
With standard NFC and the possibility to choose the LTE version, the Samsung Watch provides a complete experience, thanks to a good stock of own apps, 2 days autonomy and that offers basic activity monitoring.
Apple Watch 4
We are before the leader of the sector, one of the most popular and complete models of the market for the general public. And with the passage of time the Apple Watch has been gaining functions and autonomy, one of its weak points.
Today, the Apple Watch 4 (from 429 euros ) is a model with more screen thanks to a better use of the edges, lighter, with a screen that looks better and that together, provides a better user experience.
The Apple Watch 4 is a more mature and settled model, with programs to control the sport, activity and health monitoring, the ability to pay, make calls (LTE version) and, in general, view and respond to notifications.
Models for design lovers
With the popularization of designer watches, some fashion brands have dared to launch models of discreet and elegant aesthetics, closer to the traditional clock with round dial, steel or aluminum case, leather straps or links.
Of course, this type of models usually offer quite limited functionality, with notifications of basic notifications that we can not attend and the estimation of steps and calories thanks to the familiar accelerometer. However, there are also notable exceptions in the form of models launched by specialized technology brands.
Nokia Steel HR
The Nokia Steel HR ( 124 euros ) has one of the most minimalist and compact designs, with a sphere of 36 millimeters (there is also a larger model of 400 millimeters).
Despite this minimalism, it does not fall short in terms of functionality : it provides data such as heart rate, hours of sleep, activity, calorie consumption. As for notifications, it warns of text messages, calls and appointments to your mobile phone, although we will not be able to respond to them from the watch itself. It is resistant to water and surprises for the duration of its battery, reaching approximately 25 days.
One of those exceptions comes from the hand of Garmin and his Vivomove ( 199 euros) , an analog watch that combines a casual design with the incorporation of some advanced sports metrics : it controls the heart rate continuously, calculates the maximum VO2 level, esteem physiological age. It also provides data such as steps, calories and distance.
With touch screen, the needles allow us to see notifications such as emails, calls and WhatsApp, although we can not answer them.
Fossil Q Explorist
Available in various colors and materials, the Fossil Q Explorist ( 269 euros) provides a casual aesthetic and very interesting functionality : water resistance, payments with Google Pay, personalization through spheres, GPS, music control and notification display. Of course, your battery lasts one day.
Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen
This Marc Jacobs model is not the first, but the second generation of smartwatches of the fashion brand. With Wear OS and a 1.19-inch OLED touchscreen, the Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen is a watch that allows you to receive mobile notifications and control daily activity and sleep. Inside, Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor, 523 MB capacity and 4 GB of RAM.
The Riley Touchscreen has a very minimalist design with very rounded lines and a single semicircular crown. It is available in black, gold / white, and pink gold / cement. In Marc Jacobs for 329 euros
Skagen Falster 2
Nordic design for the Falster 2 ( 329 euros ) of the Danish Skagen brand.
This model combines design and functionality : it integrates the operating system Wear OS, is equipped with NFC to pay through Google Pay, with GPS to control routes, location and distance and finally a heart rate sensor to control the activity through Google Fit . This model notifies of calls and messages, but you will not be able to attend them from the wrist.
This compact hybrid has a stainless steel case, white dial and steel mesh. It is water resistant and has three buttons on the side, two of which are programmable to launch the apps you want.
Emporio Armani Connected
The prestigious fashion firm Emporio Armani has launched Emporio Armani Connected, a smart watch with matte finish, touch screen and steel strap with Wear OS as operating system and Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 as processor.
This watch allows you to know the heart rate, monitor activity, change songs, view notifications and make payments through Google Pay with NFC. It is compatible with iOS and Android and the duration of its battery is 1-2 days. Very interesting for those who look for design and functionality . In El Corte Inglés for 419 euros.