Fri. Jul 19th, 2019

EmejTech

The best smartwatch

52 min read
The best smartwatch

If you want a smartwatch with touchscreen and need to run Android Wear. The Asus ZenWatch 3 is the best smartwatch of the moment. It is smaller and lighter than the typical Android smartwatch. And its three styling options give it a wider appeal than most competitors.

It can last a whole day with a full charge, and a 15-minute charge can last most of the day. If you forgot to charge during the night. It works with Android Wear 2.0, although with a little more delay than its more expensive competition. And costs about 112 bucks less than the other Android Wear smartwatches that we like.

It is true that smartwatches are fashionable and that everyone wants to wear one on their wrist. But before choosing the model you have to have certain things clear, to avoid later disappointments. So better start with some simple answers to essential questions.

Why do I need a smartwatch?

Smartwatches are not for making phone calls, although some may do so. They provide a quick and easy way to verify what notifications are on your smartphone. So you can decide if it’s worth poking around in your pocket or searching your purse.

What kind of smartwatch should I look for?
At this time there are two types of smartwatches: those with a colorful touch screen like the one you would find on your phone, and those that combine a normal analog clock with smart functions. They are called ‘semi-smartwatches’ and are also known as hybrids. We do not include them here, but the ‘Fossil Q Grant’ would be a great example.

Read more, The best GPS watches to go outdoors in 2019

Here we talk about semi-intelligent devices that normally provide information through a small LCD screen, LED.

If you’re an Android user, an Android Wear smartwatch is the obvious choice. But it’s not necessarily the best for everyone. The Google operating system modified for portable devices also works very well with iOS but gives them reduced functionality for iPhone owners to get more from the Apple Watch.

What makes a good smartwatch?

When testing the best smartwatch, the important factors to consider are the number of functionalities that your smartphone can perform, and how it handles each task.

It is also very important to make sure it is compatible with your smartphone. Because some are only for iPhone or Android, while others are compatible with most phones.

Do you like hiking? Best hiking watch for you

Some smartwatches use different software, such as the Samsung Gear S3 that runs Tizen. Samsung’s own operating system, and is a legitimate alternative to Android Wear.

Also, as things stand, you will have to choose a watch with more limited functions. If you want a long-lasting battery. While those that can do all sorts of things will usually last only a couple of days.

Fitness fans will want to look for a device with a heart rate monitor and an integrated GPS. Although heart rate monitors are often deficient.

We consider that the important factors of a smartwatch are the level of detail of the notification, the battery life, the style, the water resistance. Its compatibility with a range of devices/smartphones, as well as additional functions. Such as microphones and Wi-Fi support so you do not have to connect to a phone to get full functionality.

With very similar hardware, if not identical, in the offer of many of the Android Wear smartwatches. A large part of your decision will surely depend only on the design and the price.

Huawei Watch 2

The best smartwatch

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While the original Huawei Watch was for fashion lovers, the Huawei Watch 2 is more focused on exercise.

The Huawei Watch 2 is undoubtedly a great improvement over the first generation Huawei Watch. Despite changing the classic look for something a little more sporting.

But it is the hardware that really sets Watch 2 apart: it has optional 4G connectivity, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Allowing its use without a connected smartphone. The variety of built-in sensors provides exhaustive monitoring of the physical state. Which allows a more comprehensive vision of your exercise regime, although there are small problems that must be solved.

In terms of design, the sports variant of Huawei Watch 2 is quite far from the first generation Huawei Watch. Although that does not mean it is not an attractive garment. The stainless steel body of a traditional watch is over since the Huawei Watch 2 has a fairly generic. Full-body sports smartwatch design with a plastic body and a double chrome design.

As for the dimensions, the circular screen of the Watch 2 is quite large, 3 centimeters, with only a box size available (45 mm). Which means that it may seem a bit bulky and uncomfortable in smaller dolls, especially with a height of 12.6 mm. It is also quite heavy. 57 g compared to the second generation Apple Watch, which weighs 45 g.

Huawei says that the ceramic bezel used in Watch 2 is six times harder than stainless steel. Which makes it resistant to abrasion and at the same time relatively light. While initially worried that the beveled frames were prone to slight scratches, it seems that this is not a problem.

The ‘lugs’ are also lower than in other smartwatches available in the market. And this provides a more comfortable fit around the wrist. It is also not the only benefit since it also provides better stability to the watch during heart rate monitoring (especially when moving quickly during exercise).

And with regard to the color options, Huawei offers the Watch 2 in three colors: dynamic orange, smoke black and ‘concrete gray’. The last two are quite similar in appearance, but with a key difference: the ‘Concrete Gray’ Huawei Watch 2 has silver buttons, while the variant ‘Carbon Black’ has black buttons. The ‘Dynamic Orange’ color option is also exclusive to the 4G variant of the Huawei Watch 2.

While it is true that the color options are not as many as those offered by the Huawei P10, the Watch 2 straps can be changed by any standard 20mm watch strap, allowing for limited customization.

In general, the construction quality of the Huawei Watch 2 is around what is expected of a € 330 smartwatch. And despite having a plastic body compared to the first generation stainless steel watch. The double chrome mirror design provides a more elegant look than other smartwatches focused on physical activity.

The lowered lugs also make a big difference in comfort, especially when used for extended periods.

Characteristics and specifications

Before going into what Huawei Watch 2 can offer, let’s first look under the hood to see what powers it.

Within the second generation, Huawei Watch carries a Snapdragon Wear 2100 quad-core processor, with 768MB of RAM. The Wear 2100 brings several improvements on the Snapdragon 400 used in the older smartwatches. And while improving the speed, and the battery life has a smaller design.

In use, Watch 2 is touch sensitive with no signs of delay when navigating through menus. Swiping between notifications or running third-party applications.
As part of the independent nature, Watch 2 presents 4 GB of storage that can be used to store music.

Alternatively, Watch 2 comes with support for Google Play Music, and even offers users a free two-month trial for the service when they buy Watch. Which allows users to browse and download music on Watch on the go.

screen

As for the screen, the Huawei Watch 2 presents a 3-inch AMOLED circular screen with a resolution of 390 x 390. Which is equivalent to around 326ppi. Although the resolution is not bad at all, it can not compete with the 480 x 480 resolution of the LG Watch Sport, and it shows. Because not all spheres of observation are as well defined as would be desirable. Although it is a small problem that only the most agile will observe in everyday use.

In addition to problems with resolution, it can be said that the AMOLED screen of Huawei Watch 2 is bright and vibrant. With no complaints with use even in direct sunlight.

Fitness

Like many other smartwatches, Watch 2 is very focused on physical fitness. And its goal is to be a near perfect training partner, offering useful statistics and professional advice.

While the Watch 2 features pre-set exercises (cardio, fat burning, bike riding, etc.) that you can select on the fly. You can also use the Huawei Health app on your smartphone to create your own custom workout plans based on your objectives. And it will guide you during the exercise. Providing a scenic guide (warm up, high intensity, low intensity, etc.), a speed guide, reminders and more.

Watch 2 has a heart rate monitor that provides a real-time heart rate zone to keep your heart rate under control. While exercising, because, contrary to popular belief. Having a high heart rate can have a negative effect on your training. If your heart rate is too high during your workout, Watch 2 will inform you.

However, it does not stop there, as it also offers detailed statistics after training. Which are available on your smartphone. Reports for VO2Max, evaluations of the effects of training (for a long-term comparison) and advice on recovery time, depending on how hard you have worked.

Oh! And do not worry about the damage you may suffer under normal working conditions since the Huawei Watch 2 offers resistance to IP68 dust and water. Which means you could submerge it up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. That is, better not to use it while swimming.

The worst thing in this field is that it makes no attempt to automatically detect physical activities. A problem that certainly does not affect those who plan to run or ride a bicycle. But those who take good walks or work from one place to another. Without activating the activity of walking in the Clock, lose all that information.

In the same way, if we forget to finish monitoring the clock, we would still be following hours later. Which is not good for the duration of the battery or for our health data.

Connectivity

The Huawei Watch 2 features not only a built-in heart rate monitor but also GPS, Wi-Fi (802.11 b / g / n), Bluetooth 4.1 and optional 4G connectivity, allowing independent use.

This means that you can use the watch to exercise and even to make and receive calls without your smartphone being within range. It is worth mentioning that 4G connectivity is exclusive to the Sport variant and is not available as part of the Classic range.

In terms of sensors, the Huawei Watch 2 has an accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, barometer, compass, and a capacitive sensor, in addition to the FC monitor mentioned above.

Battery duration

In terms of battery life, Huawei says that Watch 4G and 4G-connected will last two days. While if we activate the saving mode it will be equated to the variant that is not 4G and will last one more day. That is up to three days with normal use (both have the same 420 mAh battery).

There is also a surveillance mode for those who just want to use the smartwatch to tell time. While it disables most of the functionality of the watch. It also allows it to turn on for a whopping 30 days on a single charge.

Huawei says that if everything is constantly in use (GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G connectivity) as when used to monitor workouts. The Watch 2 will reportedly last 11 hours before needing a plug.

The good news is that when the time comes to charge. The Huawei Watch 2 is quite fast and goes from empty to full in just over an hour.

software

In terms of software, the Huawei Watch 2 has the latest version of Android Wear, also known as Android Wear 2.0. It’s a big improvement over the original version of Android Wear. Which provides a more intuitive and easy-to-use user interface.

Due to the independent capabilities offered by the new version of Android Wear. The Huawei Watch 2 presents its own built-in Play Store for users to browse and download applications directly to the watch without the need for a paired smartphone.

While there are a handful of applications for Android Wear that allow independent use. Many (at the time of writing this analysis) still require a connected smartphone to function. While Google Play Music can transmit music to the smartwatch only through Wi-Fi, Spotify requires a smartphone to be connected for playback.

Of course, the Huawei Watch 2 also includes support for the Google Assistant. With users able to press and hold one of the two buttons on the clock to activate it. It is faster and more responsive than in the old smartwatches we have used. Which makes it a decent choice for writing text and responding to text messages and emails. For those who do not enjoy dictation. You can slide on the screen using the new keyboard.

Our verdict

The Huawei Watch 2 is undoubtedly a great improvement over the first generation Huawei Watch. Despite changing the classic design for something a little more sporting. The double chrome gives it a high-end appearance. Although it is a little disappointing because of the removable plastic strips that give an appearance of cheap.

It is the hardware that really distinguishes Watch 2: it has optional 4G connectivity, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, allowing its use without a connected smartphone. The variety of built-in sensors provides exhaustive monitoring of the physical state Which allows a more comprehensive vision of your exercise regime, although there are small problems that must be solved.

Apple Watch Series 3

The best smartwatch

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Series 3 with LTE does what it was proposed to do, but we could say that it is a bridge product. Because while we are not in a science fiction world in which everyone wants a watch to make calls, instead of a smartphone. The truth is that some people do, and for now those people need to carry an iPhone.

Apple has identified the integration form better than any other manufacturer. But with network restrictions and a high price, and even in some cases, with limited practical uses. It still will not become the smartwatch par excellence.

Of course, as a smartwatch is very good: iPhone users will love the perfect notifications. The monitoring of the physical state and excellent manufacturing quality.

It is true that in the 3 Series there is a model available without 4G LTE, but Apple is insisting on the version with eSIM for cellular connectivity without the need of the phone. Make calls and send text messages without the iPhone. All very Star Trek, but for that is a smartwatch.

On the design, even if you opt for the most economical aluminum housing, Apple Watch is still an excellent piece of design. As long as you are happy not to have a circular clock.

The stainless steel model is beautiful and adds a reassuring weight to the unit. It seems expensive, and that’s good because that’s the way it is. The black version shows fingerprints too easily. And it is easier to keep the watch clean in the cheaper aluminum version.

The digital crown has a red dot to indicate that the model and the button are on the right side of the body. With the speaker on the left, the ventilation hole and the microphone on the left. The red dot is a little unnecessary and pretty little Apple in its design.

The rear has the circular housing for the heart rate sensor to which the charger is magnetically attached and two small buttons for removing the belts.

Apple has managed to place an eSIM in the cellular version, adding only 2 mm to the housing, which is imperceptible. They have been able to build the antenna on the screen to transmit and receive. And the whole configuration is infinitely preferable to the SIM trays of watches like LG Watch Sport.

The Sport Band is a decent belt, but it wears easily. Even after five days of use, under the light, the black belt showed evident wear. The same goes for most watches, not just Apple’s. But keep in mind that the feeling again will not last long.

Of course, Apple has belts for all tastes, but collecting them is a hobby too expensive.

As for the design of the watch, it has aged well. The original criticism attacked its square shape. But two years later it is instantly recognizable.

So Series 3 is packed with everything you would expect from a smartwatch. GPS and GLONASS for track tracking and tracking services, an altimeter, heart rate sensor, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor. All in a housing that is water resistant to 50 meters.

The 38 mm housing (without strap) measures 38.6 x 33.3 x 10.5 mm, while the 42 mm one measures 42 x 35.9 x 10.5 mm. The big one is better because although the difference is only millimeters. They really help the screen. Although if you have a smaller doll, it would be better to try the 38’s.

Using cell

The real changes of this new smartwatch are under the hood, as with the iPhone 8 compared to the iPhone 7. The Series 2 is no longer for sale and in the 3 Series wins the Apple S3. An updated dual-core processor together with a wireless W2 chip. Apple claims that they are 70% and 85% faster than the previous generation. And they are certainly very good.

It is a massive technological leap. Everything flows as planned. The input of the touch screen is almost perfect and watchOS 4 is a world away from the full cluster of the original version.

Siri also improves, with the speaker that shoots to the left, letting it respond audibly to you for the first time. If you wish. It’s a bit strange, but so is talking to a real person who only wears a watch.

Setting it up through the application if you have an EE SIM on your phone is simple. But you have to accept a monthly billing contract to use the data. The amount is small because apart from calls, text messages and push notifications, your watch will not use much. You can not (and you should not want to see it at any time) transmit Netflix.

Making calls with him is more pleasant than you thought at first, and will get used more and more. With the added convenience of AirPods. The watch can be used as a complete phone, although relying on it all day is impossible for most people who need a real smartphone.

Many experts maintain that the non-cellular version of the 3 Series is the one that must be obtained. It’s cheaper, it does not have the odd red dot. But in real life, most people will not want to leave the phone at home, but rather be connected.

However, depending on their use cases, it is great for brokers to receive calls and text messages. For emergency situations or if their phone ‘dies’.

The watch intelligently switches to the most energy efficient connection available: your iPhone if it is nearby. Then a recognized Wi-Fi network if it is within range, and finally, as a last resort, to LTE.

The problem is that connected to LTE battery runs out very quickly, which is not surprising in a device so small. Also, keep in mind that. If your phone is turned off or you are not connected to LTE, you can only receive cellular calls, iMessages, and Apple notifications. You will not receive SMS, notifications from third-party applications. And will not load some applications.

Most users will not find this a problem, since usually if they leave without their phone. It will mean in most cases that it is not far away and that it has some kind of connection and enough charge. But it’s worth taking it into account.

As for the battery, Apple talks about 18 hours of use with a single charge but really lasts longer. Especially if you do not use it to talk on the phone, in which case it could take up to two days. And if you use it a little it could even last three. Much better than the model of two years ago. Which lasted a day and with difficulties.

In addition, intelligent network switching ensures that you are always in the most energy efficient configuration. But always, of course, depending on the use.

The training application is still good, with a lot of options that accurately monitor the workouts on the track, in the water, and in the gym, and that works quite well. But the most important feature here for fitness enthusiasts is GPS, along with LTE. Once Apple Music is compatible, go running with only AirPods and the clock and you will feel very liberated. Also knowing that you are still connected.

Because now Apple wants you to go out and use your watch without your phone. And for some, this will be attractive. But it is still a costly solution to a problem that does not really exist.

Fossil Q Founder

The best smartwatch

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There is no doubt that Fossil Q Founder is an Android Wear smartwatch that is very well made and attractive. Which also has a competitive price. The hardware offered is good, although some may bypass the heart rate monitor and GPS. The deflated effect of the screen is a great inconvenience and prevents it from being really great.

Why buy a smartwatch from a watchmaker instead of a technology brand? The design and construction quality is part of the deal. You are also buying the brand as you would with a fashion clothing brand. However, the Fossil logo stands out very little and appears on the metal strap buckle instead of on the front.

The Fossil Q Founder is a gorgeous piece of metal that keeps the look of a traditional watch but features an intelligent device.

The body of the watch weighs 56 g, but if you add the metal strap you may find the weight excessive. And even annoying because the load on your wrist rises to 156 g. So perhaps wearing it with a silicone or leather strap will be more comfortable.

Like other Android Wear devices, the Fossil Q Founder has an IP67 rating so it’s dust-tight and water-resistant enough to take a shower. You can submerge in water up to 1 m for 30 minutes. But you have to be careful and if you plan to swim with it, forget it.

Fossil manufactures chronograph watches with intelligent functions. But the Q Founder is the top-end model with touch screen and Android Wear.

The square screens seem to belong to the past, but the Q Founder screen is good: Almost coincides with the Moto 360 with an LCD screen of almost 4 centimeters and a resolution of 360 x 326 that results in a pixel density of 240ppi. It is sharp and bright.

Most smartwatches with Android Wear are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400. And Fossil has joined an Intel Atom Z34XX, as found in Tag Heuer Connected Watch. And it has 1GB of RAM, which is double that of many of the rivals.

Inside there are 4 GB of storage and sensors, such as a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope to monitor the activity. The Q Founder will track your steps, but there is no heart rate monitor on the back. It is true that in the great majority they are not at all precise. But here it does not even take it. As there is no built-in GPS.

You will have to connect the watch via Bluetooth 4.1 to your Android (4.4+) or iPhone (iOS 8.2+) to get the full experience of notifications. But the Q Founder also has built-in Wi-Fi so you do not become stupid without a complementary device. A small hole on the left side is where a microphone lives. And that will allow you to use voice commands and dictation.

Since Q Founder runs Android Wear, the experience does not really differ much from the various rivals listed here. And it’s customizable, allowing you to change the colors and information that is displayed. Such as the battery percentage, the weather, the date, the time zone. As mentioned above, it is a pity that it is cut at the bottom by the feeling of a punctured wheel.

What will be needed, as usual, is the Android Wear application on the phone to get going. Although Fossil has also made a complementary application where you can monitor your daily activity. Manage notifications and customize the appearance of your watches.

Drums

The charger for Q Founder includes an LED notification light and is charged wirelessly. Like all Android Wear smartwatches, the battery does not allow you to wait more than a day unless you set the screen brightness to a low level and just use the Fossil Q Founder device.

With the use of light, it could still have a 25 percent battery after 24 hours. But the reality is that it would need to be charged every night. The 400mAh battery charges almost 50 percent in about 30 minutes. Which is not so bad, although it is a bulky charger that is uncomfortable to transport.

conclusion

There is no doubt that Fossil Q Founder is an Android Wear smartwatch that is very well made and attractive, which also has a competitive price. The hardware offered is good, although some would miss the heart rate monitor and the GPS. And the worst is that as much as we like it. The deflated effect of the screen is a big drawback and prevents it from being really great.

Motorola Moto 360 Sport 

The best smartwatch

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The original Motorola Moto 360 was one of the most prominent smartwatches for Android Wear. And now that the watch is compatible with the improved Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch operating system. The second generation Moto 360 is really a breath of fresh air.

Despite the complaints about the flat design of the first of the series. Motorola seems to have loved it and keeps it in the new Moto 360 2nd Gen. And what it has really achieved is a worthy competitor of the smartwatches that came out in 2017

What is more important of the new Moto 360 is that it is no longer a unique watch for all tastes. Now there are two screen sizes, 46 mm and 42 mm.

The larger 46mm watch is described as ‘Designed for men’ and uses a 22mm strap. But seeing the two models, it is very likely that most, including men, opt for the smallest, 42 mm. However much the manufacturer has intended to classify it as a ‘watch for women’.

And the reason is that unless you like a really big watch, the smaller model is more comfortable and is not harder to read or interact than the larger model’s screen.

Of course, both models are 11.4 mm thick, which places them as a rather thick watch. At least compared to the Apple Watch, 10.5 mm, or the Asus Zenwatch, only 9.4 mm.

There is also a Moto 360 Sport, with built-in GPS and a molded silicone shell. Apparently very interesting but not included in this analysis.

Design

With this second generation, Motorola has provided numerous options to customize your Moto 360 to your liking. Through ‘Moto Maker’, which is quite simple to use.

In addition to choosing the size, you can also choose the color of the box. The color of the bezel, or even if you want it with a texture of ‘micro knurling’ (to facilitate the grip) or ‘micro cut’. In addition, there is a range of leather or metal straps. And all are easily removable thanks to the quick release tabs that have in the back.

It is not a clock with as many options as Apple, but it has many and with quite consistent prices. The cheapest watch (42 mm, silver, smooth bezel, leather strap) costs just $ 250. But you can buy a good quality used moto 360 only $ 89.99. While the most expensive watch (46 mm, gold finish, textured bezel, metal strap) revolves around 393 bucks.

Of course, in this last case, however golden it may be. It is not a real gold watch, as Apple has come to do. But at least the variations in Moto prices are small enough that you can buy the watch you want and not just the watch you can afford. A Moto 360 stainless steel with link bracelet costs about 324 bucks. While a similar-looking Apple Watch starts at more than 257 bucks.

The new 360 is the most customizable Android smartwatch, with around 300 possible combinations on offer. And you can easily add any watch strap you want, thanks to the standard lugs. It has more customization possibilities than even the Apple Watch.

Durability

The new Moto 360 is as strong as the previous one. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and has a resistance to dust and water IP67, so you can use it on the beach, but not in the sea.

It is worth noting that the previous Moto 360 had already withstood harsh treatments for months. There were even those who tried it and miraculously survived a trip through the washing machine at 60 ° C. Coming back to life after a day or two of drying!

The only weak point is still the leather band, which has a pleasantly crude finish. But that means that it is more permeable than a brighter band. And that can be a problem, especially if you use it all day and say you have at home. For example, two or three small children. Because that means that it regularly gets wet, receives strange splashes of food.

That’s why the basic strap of the Moto 360 is highly recommended for quite have a quiet and orderly life. But if you have more hustle. In too little time you will see the most worn strap of the appetizing.

But aside from that, the Moto 360 2nd Gen looks and feels great, and is very comfortable to wear. The button on the crown has been moved to a more accessible position. At two o’clock, with a distinctive click when pressed.

Drums

The internal components have also been improved. There is an upgrade of a more energy-efficient Snapdragon 400 processor (along with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage), which alone should increase battery life. In addition, the new smaller model maintains the original 300 mAh battery. While the larger model is upgraded to a larger 400 mAh battery. So both have larger batteries compared to their screen sizes.

The experience and the multiple tests to which it has been subjected. Show that the 42mm Moto2D Gen2 battery easily lasts a day of use even being permanently connected. So that you can always see the time, and still keep at the end of the day approximately 30% battery. And with that, you could enjoy two more days of light use of the device. Depending of course on how many notifications you receive and how much you use the watch to answer.

This new model also has an option to double click on the crown button to put the screen to sleep completely. This improves battery life since the watch will not come alive every time you shake your wrist. Although it will suffice that you click on the button again to wake it up.

The wireless charging base remains largely unchanged from the original. Except that it has a pair of additional protrusions at the bottom to help keep the smaller model in the right place.

The watch, if placed carefully, will work with any ‘Qi’ wireless charger, so you can get away with carrying a single charger of this type during the holidays. Most people, however, should take the small cargo stand when they leave.

What is not incorporated is NFC, so the Moto 360 2nd Gen will not benefit from any future effort to push Android Pay to Android Wear (since Apple Pay works with Apple Watch).

There are dual microphones so you can use voice commands to control Android Wear or dictate text messages. But you can not use them to answer calls by chatting.

It also carries a heart rate monitor, which could be useful for those who like the sense of accomplishment provided by achieving the constantly increasing targets set by your watch. The problem, of course, is the same as always when we submit to these types of objectives. Because at the beginning we are always very happy. But when we do not get involved in taking on the new challenges, they become annoying.

screen

The resolution of the screen is slightly higher than the previous model of 320 × 290, but not so much. Although 360 × 325 and 360 × 330 produce a respectable 263 and 233 pixels per inch, in the 42mm and 46mm models respectively. The LCD screen is bright enough to read in bright sunlight. And the ambient light sensor adjusts the brightness to match the conditions.

That sensor is at the bottom of the screen, where the new Moto Gen 2nd Gen still has the black section that so angered some in its first iteration. Many thought that it was a careless design. But it seems that it is a necessary evil to make a round smartwatch with such a thin bezel: after all. There are no others in the market that can match it.

Whatever the reason, that dark slice at the bottom will continue to aggravate the appearance a bit. Personally. I stopped noticing it a while ago, although I tend to use digital time displays. Because I find them more convenient, instead of analog designs that fit better to the design, that more closely match the shape of the screen. It may be a bit crazy on a round clock. But the last time I had a wristwatch in my hands was 25 years ago and I have no plans to go back to one.

Android Wear

The Moto 360 2nd Gen is compatible with Android Wear 2.0. Where you will receive a free update of the new operating system.

As expected, given Google’s iron rule on what manufacturers can do with Android Wear in terms of customization. The second generation of Moto 360 looks very similar to the original watch in everyday use. Notifications continue to appear as they arrive on your phone. And you can interact with them or discard them with a slip, or hide them for later. The applications are still on the right. Can be accessed with a slide and everything is integrated with Google Now.

The only major change for Motorola is the addition of ‘Live Dial’ clock faces. Which can be configured to show battery levels, step counts or shortcuts to applications without obstructing the time or any visible notification. This is just another degree of deep personalization available. But it is also a welcome way to make information at a glance more useful to your personal preferences.

Because the Moto 360 runs the latest version of Android Wear. It will play very well with iOS devices and Android smartphones. It still synchronizes with a phone via Bluetooth, but Wi-Fi is also available. So that you can receive notifications even when you’re out of Bluetooth range, which is useful for the home.

In use, he feels receptive, with inputs that act instantaneously and animations that seem fluid. The new hardware is a help, but looking at the Android Wear 5.1 update on the original Moto 360. We can see that Google’s improvements to its operating system are largely to thank.

Verdict

Android Wear is working very well, but smartwatches have not yet become an essential accessory for all smartphone users. Although, for those who want to keep their phone hidden and get all their notifications without problems. They are a great purchase. The Moto 360 2nd Gen is not going to change that, but it keeps it at the top of the Android Wear stack.

Its long battery life, more powerful hardware and slightly sharper screen are important improvements to this new Moto 360 and are welcome. But none of them are spectacular improvements.

Instead, it is the new screen size of 42 mm and the wide variety of design options the real advantage of this model. Whatever your gender or aesthetic preferences. There is something here for you, and at a reasonable price.

Even though Android Wear now works with iOS, it can still be said that Apple Watch is the best option for owners of an iPhone. But if you want to have a stainless steel watch and only want basic notifications for your wrist. Then the price of the Apple device will push you a bit towards the Moto 360. Although the steel version of Pebble Time would be in this case another strong contender.
For those with Android devices, the Moto 360 2nd Gen is a simpler option and is for many the new favorite smartwatch.

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

The best smartwatch

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The Gear S2 arrived with a well-deserved aura of novelty, but for some reason. The new Gear S3 Frontier has not aroused the same enthusiasm. The only thing that really adds is GPS and triggers the price in more than 112bucks. So it will be out of reach of many pockets.

Gear S3 Frontier is Samsung’s new high-end smartwatch. A very useful model for notifications. But in which its limitations become apparent as soon as it takes a smartphone out of the box. In addition, they maintain one of the main complaints we had about the previous Gear S2. Which was the lack of available applications, which meant it was a ‘glorified notification device’. And that lack of available applications was a clear disadvantage.

Design

Gear S3 Frontier is undoubtedly an original and sporty Gear S2 design update. The Gear S2 Classic was closer than we have now because Frontier looks more like a real clock than a piece of technology. The most successful thing is that construction quality is the best we have seen in a smartwatch to date. And it is placed at the top, along with the premium Apple Watch.

The very intelligent rotating bezel has ridges to move it easier, and observe the points for every minute that passes. The inner ring of the casing also has five-minute integers printed. It really presents a pretty face. And you can. Of course, choose your own watch face on the circular touch screen.

Gorilla Glass protects this touch screen and uses it to enter and select applications and menus. While two buttons to the right of you look like return and start commands. The back has the heart rate sensors housed behind the glass.

It may be problematic for some that Frontier is so masculine in its design. But the truth is that it is not the smartest of smartwatches for any of the sexes.

Of course, if you do not like the tough exterior look, with a little military-style metal casing and a good measure, this timepiece may not be for you. The screen and general structure are larger than the previous S2. And that means it will dwarf the small dolls, although a small and large band is included in the box.

The rotating bezel is very well made and gives a small metallic sound in each turn. Which is due exclusively to the materials. It gives, even more, a robust and premium feeling. However, be careful if you use a jacket with stiffer cuffs. Because the fluted edges can be hooked and even turn the bezel. Which is quite annoying, and we would be presenting different screens and applications.

In addition, the watch is about to be too large. So it is highly recommended to try it before in the store. That said, if the circular screen of 3 centimeters supposed to present us with more information and that we can see everything without squinting, it could be a good argument.

In general, the watch measures 49 x 46 x 12.9 mm. And Samsung has many different colors of straps and leather versions to choose from. The rubber band is quite difficult to put on and take off because it is very sticky. But it is a surprisingly comfortable watch to wear all day.

The strapless watch weighs 62 g, which is ridiculously light considering its many technological capabilities. Which include space for the microphone on the right side and speaker on the left.

And the design of the Gear S3 Frontier is quite resultón, although a bit risky because such a black and metallic device can generate rejection in some people. Which would lead us to conclude that Samsung may have slightly reduced its potential market?

Characteristics and specific

Gear S3 Frontier connects to any Android smartphone with Android 4.4 or higher. And Samsung also recommends a device with at least 1.5GB of RAM. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth but also has the ability to connect to the Wi-Fi network too. Which your phone is connected if it goes out of Bluetooth range, which is a good trick.

The 3-centimeter screen has an elegant and clear feel due to Samsung’s decision to use black as the main background color. Blacks are especially dark on the Super AMOLED screen with 360 x 360 resolution with a density of 278 pixels per inch. In real life that means that it is very good, and the colors of the applications, the text, and the icons create a sensation of the correct size of colors.

It is also good to see that the Gear S3 Frontier has an IP68 rating for dust and waterproofing. So you can use it in the shower, but you can not take it for a swim.

The battery, in general, will need to be charged every three days. And that is not a bad brand for a full-featured smartwatch. But the battery life will decrease if you have Wi-Fi on all the time. Of course. It is loaded into the magnetic base supplied and is very fast and easy to use.

Although there is no LTE, you can make and receive calls directly from the wrist, Star Trek style, with the Gear S3. In real life, as we have already said. Probably nobody will do this unless he is alone and makes sure that nobody sees him. But it’s really cool and you probably always wanted it to be technologically possible And now it’s here.

And it is useful to go running with our phone in your pocket because it means that you can respond quickly, or even reject the call. And if you do not do anything, at least you’ll see the notification and then you’ll decide what you do with your phone.

Another feature is NFC, but Samsung does not just launch that formula outside the United States. Payments without contact with a smartwatch like this, with integrated NFC technology, would be incredible and will work in the US. But out of there, we find that we can master technology, without being able to use it.

To go running, you can take advantage of the built-in GPS that was missing in the Gear S2 version. This allows the watch to monitor and assign outdoor training without having to rely on the smartphone.

With 4 GB of storage, you can move MP3 files to the clock directly and go running with music. As long as some Bluetooth headphones are combined. Leaving the phone at home is a great advantage for exercising. Although you will not be able to call if you do not have it nearby.

The Gear S3 has virtually everything a SmartWatch can have built-in, including an altimeter and a barometer. The question is, does everything work well and really are necessary things?

Software and daily use

Frontier runs Tizen 2.3.2 and is a minor update to the software that runs on the previous S2s. The use of the rotating bezel to pass the menus is still a great contribution in its simplicity, and once you have customized the different screens to your liking, you will be just a few clicks away from the music player, the calendar, the email, the frequency cardiac

When you receive a text message, the clock vibrates and all the message thread appears. You can even answer directly using the on-screen keyboard or using your voice. The software is good enough to recognize your voice and write your words but makes mistakes.

The real surprise of using the watch is to see how it fades in the background. Like all rivals with all functions, your little buzzes and pings will keep you up to date with your emails and text messages, but nine times out of ten you will return to your phone to answer. By making its best smartwatch to date, Samsung has gone further to highlight that this is the most that can be achieved with this format so far.

Slightly frustrating is also the lack of third-party applications. Although for many things they are not necessary. The S3 comes with text, email, phone, contacts, S Health, Weather, built-in music player, calendar … and everything is synchronized with the corresponding applications of your phone. This means that you can only write text messages or emails from the watch.

The interface is quite uniform, but customization is possible in changing the faces of the watches, many of which are already on the device and hundreds more can be downloaded from the Gear store. They can be as simple or as complicated as you want, and the possibility of choosing according to the occasion is useful. You can set the screen to always be on as well, but this means sacrificing battery life.

If you receive a WhatsApp you can touch respond, but since there is no WhatsApp application for Gear, you can not compose, just answer. It is also a pity that your email and text applications are only compatible with Samsung phones. With any other Android phone, these applications on the watch are not available, which means that any composition of the message is limited to a response from a notification

Health works well and the watch monitors the heart rate throughout the day. It is very good to monitor a career or training, show clear information and synchronize the records with the application of your phone. If you want the capabilities of a monitor the physical state in a complete smartwatch, the Gear S3 is the best option.

But really the best contributions that we can use this watch are as a remote control and as a notification device. Change the track without having to pick up the phone or lower the volume. Check how close you are to your goal by looking down or checking the weather …

Fast information is the ideal point of smartwatches and Gear S3 Frontier presents all these things as simple as possible in a refined hardware case. It is one of the best smartwatches available, but it does not do anything new or different.

Our verdict

The Gear S2 came in a deserved kick drum, but for some reason, we are not very excited about this new Gear S3 Frontier. The only thing that really adds is GPS, and with a price higher than 112 bucks, which will definitely disappoint some people. Reduced functionality when not used with a Samsung phone is also a problem, even though the software is easier and more intuitive than Android Wear.

The problem is not completely a problem of S3, but of the inherent limitations of smartwatches. For the time being, you will always need a smartphone to complete most tasks, and this is in addition to the fact that it is practically a new package. But if you want a smartwatch and can afford to spend almost 449 bucks, this is the one you should get. But it is not essential.

Asus ZenWatch 3

The best smartwatch

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With the ZenWatch 3, Asus eliminated the rectangular screen of the previous models and has moved to a traditional circular screen. And since it has focused more on design than on features, ZenWatch 3 essentially attracts a more fashion-conscious public than other things, but how is it on the wrist?

Design

The Asus ZenWatch 3 is without a doubt the best ZenWatch watch so far. The company has come a long way since the days of the voluminous ZenWatch first-generation rectangular watch, and now offers a high-end circular smartwatch, which would not look out of place next to traditional luxury wristwatches. In fact, we would say that the Asus ZenWatch 3 is one of the most attractive smartwatches in history.

The third-generation ZenWatch employs what they call an ‘annular solar eclipse design’ with a diamond-cut bezel surrounding the magnificent 3.5-centimeter screen. What does this mean? That the design reflects the image of an eclipse when the moon covers the center of the sun, leaving its outer edges visible.

It is a unique look for a smartwatch and adds to the overall luxurious look, which is especially seen when the color of the bezel matches small details on the watch face, such as the color of the text, widgets, etc. They are the little things that count.

The body is made of 316L stainless steel that was cold forged to be 82 percent stronger and is complemented by traditional leather straps sewn in Italian. While the straps were initially quite stiff, the leather softened over time and became extremely comfortable to wear.

There are three colors available: metallic bronze, silver and rose gold, each with different straps, although all can be changed by any 18mm strap, for an extra level of customization.

However, it is not only the general design of the Asus ZenWatch 3 that makes it so attractive. It is impressively thin, measuring only 9.95 mm, and weighs only 48 g, which makes it comfortable to use and not too heavy or bulky for those with thin wrists. It is also IP67 water resistant, which means it can survive up to half an hour at a depth of 1 m. Come on, you can get wet but it’s not good for swimming.

The ZenWatch 3 has three buttons modeled according to the crown you wear. They offer shortcuts to various functions of the smartwatch: the top button is customizable and you can start an application or function, the middle button provides a variety of functions, including access to the Google Assistant and settings, while the bottom button activates the Mode Eco, which allows extending the battery life.

It is annoying for left-handers who usually wear their watch on their right wrist because there is no option to turn the screen 180 ° so that the buttons are on the left.

Characteristics and specifications

The ZenWatch 3 has an AMOLED screen of 3.5 cm., Which is equivalent to around 287ppi and is one of the brightest and most vivid screens we have seen in a smartwatch, although it really offers the same resolution of 400 × 400 as the Huawei Watch 2. It is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 2.5D curved, which gives the screen a scratch-resistant cover.

Of course, being an intelligent watch, there are many elements available for the owners of ZenWatch 3. In fact, Asus offers six attributes: Luxury, Digital, Simplicity, Sport, Urban, and Youth, as well as a range of 50 exclusive covers for the ZenWatch owners.

It also has a full library of ‘faces’ of generic watches available for smartwatches with Android Wear. And if that is not enough, Asus offers a ‘Face Designer’ application for Android users, which allows users to design a new clock face with widgets, from scratch.

In terms of processing power, it carries the latest Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor from Qualcomm, which is optimized for use in smartwatches and offers better performance and battery life compared to the previous processor, Snapdragon 400. It also has 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage for music.

What does this data mean in terms of real-world performance? Well, although there are no benchmarks that we can run to quantify its performance, we could say that it is not the most agile smartwatch we have used, even with the Wear 2100 processor.

Even before upgrading to Android Wear 2.0, it was often quite slow and that delay had caused you to accidentally hit the wrong function.

And of course, after the update, the delay worsened to the point that it could take 10 seconds to start the Google Assistant, and a couple of seconds from the moment you pressed a button or touched the screen until something happened.

All this causes the watch to be extremely frustrating to use, to the point that you wish you had not bothered to try setting up that timer, or the reminder, or …

In terms of battery life, there is 340 mAh. Before Android Wear 2.0 we found that it lasted about 36 hours before requiring a load, but after that, it was considerably reduced. Now, the battery life is unpredictable. One day may last until 11 p.m., but on other days it may end before 7 p.m.

And that is not simply reduced to a more intense use: sometimes with very light use, the battery will be turned off prematurely and, therefore, it can last a whole day even when you use it to monitor the exercise.

The good news is that the magnetic charger has Asus’ own HyperCharge technology, which provides 60 percent of the load in just 15 minutes, much faster than many rivals. Is also a battery pack available that, according to Asus, will extend the life of the battery by 40 percent.

There is Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi for independent connectivity when it is out of range of the smartphone, although you will need to connect to the Wi-Fi network with your connected smartphone before it connects alone.

There is not much more than the Asus ZenWatch 3 can do. Like the ZenWatch 2, Asus decided not to include a heart rate monitor after unpredictable results with the first generation watch and does not have GPS for accurate tracking of physical status. It is clear from these omissions that ZenWatch 3 is more fashion-oriented than focused on physical activity.

In terms of tracking physical activity, the ZenFit application from Asus will automatically count the steps and encourage you to stand up regularly, but it’s too poor to evaluate general activity, so the Google Fit sphere is very likely never to be used
software

As mentioned above, Asus has released Wear 2.0 for ZenWatch 3, and it has improved a lot compared to its previous version.

Notifications are handled better (though not yet perfectly) and, of course, you have the Google Assistant. The settings are easier to access and you can respond to messages by using the tiny on-screen keyboard or by typing letters with your finger (a bit like Apple Watch).

Now applications can be run independently of your phone, but you will still need a Wi-Fi connection because there is no LTE version of ZenWatch 3.
Ultimately, however, until Asus fixes the slow performance of Wear 2.0, it will not be able to enjoy the new features.

Some users have said that disabling the responsiveness always on the screen improves, but even if that were a bit better, it still would not be good enough.

Our verdict

The Asus ZenWatch 3 is a magnificent smartwatch, and one of the slimmest, but has shortcomings in the circular smartwatch. It is limited in terms of monitoring the physical state, measures only the steps and hours of stay, and offers follow-up only for basic exercises because it has no GPS or a heart rate monitor.

Its performance is slow and it still gets worse when you upgrade to Android Wear 2.0.

The battery life is also poor with the new software.

So until Asus can solve these problems, it is better to spend more on a rival such as Huawei Watch 2.

Withings Steel HR

Many may be waiting for the launch of Android Wear 2.0, but sometimes what we call a smart semi-watch is a better option. Now owned by Nokia, Withings is becoming a master of wearable hybrid.

Withings launched the luxurious Activité for the first time at 438 bucks, and although it launched cheaper watches later, we imagined that steel HR with its additional features could generate a higher price. However, it can be yours for less than 224 bucks. A reasonable price for a smart and well-built watch with smart features.

Design and construction

Withings has done a great job to maintain the high level of quality in the construction of their watches, at lower prices. The main body of Steel HR is made of steel, comes with a heart rate monitor and comes in two sizes: 36 mm and 40 mm.

The 40 mm model only comes with a black clock face, so if you want white you should opt for the smaller option. Each comes with a smooth silicone strap of 18 and 20 mm, respectively, and use a quick release mechanism so you can easily change it.

There are two main differences compared to the regular steel Withings, apart from the heart rate monitor on the back.

To begin with, the activity tracking dial, which ranges from 0 to 100 percent of your target, now goes full circle. The other is a small digital screen that provides information and notifications. This is slightly hidden when not in use in the black model, but it stands out in the white watch face. A solitary button on the side operates the digital screen.

As with previous Withings watches, HR steel is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters, although the company says it can not be used for diving.

Specifications

The monitoring of the activity is one of the main characteristics of Steel HR and, in addition to activities such as walking, running and swimming, the gadget can now detect new activities such as dancing, volleyball, and ping-pong.

In its most basic form, it tells the device what its goal is for the daily steps (ten thousand is the default) and the additional dial will let you know how it is doing. You can also get detailed information through the Health Mate application, which is easy to use, or the information can be shared with many other popular fitness applications.

In addition, when the night comes the Steel HR offers an automatic tracking of sleep and the ability to wake it up with a silent alarm, using the vibration motor that is inside.

Another of the virtues of Steel HR, in terms of tracking, is the heart rate monitor that is located on the back and measures your pulse with green LEDs. Get a nice breakdown of the heart rate throughout the day divided into light, moderate and intense.

If you need to read every few minutes, the watch will start to continuously read your heartbeat when you are exercising. It does a great job and although it may seem that it’s mainly about appearance and progressive counting. Steel HR is a legitimate option for those who want to control their physical condition in a more serious way.

screen

Until now, it was difficult to understand why in previous devices Withings did not use a vibration motor to warn of a telephone call or a text message. Well, it has gone further with Steel HR and its useful screen.

Another virtue of this model is that it is very easy to use. You just have to press the button on the side repeatedly to go through the different modes. You can get basic information, such as date and battery percentage. But there are more useful things to offer. Namely, it receives notifications of telephone calls and text messages. Although it does not obtain a preview of what a message says, which does occur with calendar reminders.

Drums

In terms of battery life, after using Steel HR for almost two weeks, we found that it still has a 53 percent battery, which would show that the company’s promise of reaching 25 days could be true We make the watch come with a nicer charging bracket instead of a basic supplied cable. Which is not always connected correctly through magnets.

After that 25-day mark, the watch will enter an energy-saving mode that gives you an additional battery life of 20 days with basic activity tracking.

Our verdict

If you do not mind the full touchscreen smartwatch, the Withings Steel HR is stylish, well-made and offers excellent battery life. It also highlights your heart rate monitor and its screen for intelligent functions, even if they are basic. A great smart semi-watch for a good price.

Fitbit Ionic

The best smartwatch

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Fitbit has long been a leader in the market of activity monitors and now disembarks in the smartwatch market with its new Fitbit Ionic.

With a well-defined focus on health and fitness, the Ionic focuses on what Fitbit does best, but takes things to a new level, with built-in music, GPS, contactless payments and more. In fact, Fitbit calls the Ionic “a smartwatch with a purpose”.

The Ionic would theoretically replace the Surge, at the top of the Fitbit range of wristbands. But it includes many more features and a larger color touch screen.

His on-screen workouts through the new ‘Fitbit-Trainer’ are his most outstanding feature, But there are several more, including built-in GPS, onboard music and contactless payments that together mean you can exercise without worrying about charging with your phone or purse. And you can take it for a swim too!

The Fitbit Ionic is the most expensive Fitbit, and its price range moves between 280 and 380 bucks, which will allow it to compete with the best. But the reality is that it is a bit high for an intelligent watch that. Although it has complete fitness functions, still does not offer many applications or feels like premium in those with which it is competing directly.

For those in the market who are looking for a physical activity monitor, Ionic is going to be an attractive option with a brand and an excellent ecosystem of challenges and health orientation. With which fitness fans are familiar.

Design

The Fitbit Ionic definitely looks and feels sporty, designed to be lightweight (important for sports) and comfortable, although there are additional straps available if you want to use it on a night out, for example. It is noticeably thinner than most smartwatches and still has a battery life four times greater than the Apple Watch.

It is available in three colors: a silver gray body with Classic ‘Blue Gray’ strap, Smoke Gray body with Classic Charcoal strap; and the Burnt Orange body with Classic Slate Blue strap.

So far in Fitbit, the most popular belt was black, so its omission here is a bold move. That said, the carbon band is not far from black. Fitbit believes that these new colors are more modern and are designed to have a feeling of ‘space’. The Burnt Orange, for example, is based on the movie The Martian.

Fitbit has used nano-molding technology to pack sensors and antennas on the body of the watch without making it too bulky, and we discovered that its curved design helped keep the watch within arm’s reach for convenience and convenience, plus of more accurate cardiac monitoring.

The gorilla crystal display is an LCD touch screen, which we find bright, crisp and colorful, and is designed to work even in bright sunlight. Although it is a bit too receptive, sometimes we register a touch as a slip and vice versa, but we imagine that over time we would become familiar with how to interact with the smartwatch to prevent this from happening.

Fitbit Ionic in the box

What is in the box? The smartwatch is available only in one body size but comes with two belt sizes so that the smallest dolls are taken care of. You also get the clean charger, which connects magnetically.

The body of the detachable smartwatch, like many other smartwatches, felt too big for smaller wrists. However, for the majority, it should fit comfortably. In any case, if you are a small doll, it is better to try it before buying it.

And if you find it too big, you have the Fitbit Alta HR alternative. It is thinner, although it lacks the high-end features, such as built-in GPS and applications.
straps

For the definitive secure fit, the Sport Band comes in three color options with buckle, but with two ‘tabs’. A spike is a tip that fits through the hole in the strap, depending on how tight you like it on your wrist. The aerated sports strap is available in Cobalt and Lime, Coral and Blue Gray, and Black and Coal.

The perforated leather strap in Midnight Blue or Brown Cognac features the same one-touch buckle as the Classic, but (like the Sport) with a loop instead of a snap on the end. It’s made of Horween premium leather.

The straps are super easy to change, wherein the past and in some other smartwatches, the change of bands was a bit complicated.

You can go through the screens or use the buttons, as well as touch the screen. In the watch, you can press a single button to browse your daily activity statistics. The left button navigates backward and the upper and lower buttons on the right side activate the actions on the screen.

Heart monitor and sleep control

You’ll get everything you’d expect from a Fitbit wristband, including tracking Steps, distance, calories burned, floors up and active minutes, as well as automatic sleep tracking and activity. ‘Reminders to Move’ helps you take off your ass at least once per hour (during the day!) For 250 steps.

It has an improved heart rate monitor and a new relative SpO2 sensor that can measure oxygen levels in the blood. The latter is a future-proof sensor more than anything since it could lead to the ability to offer a deeper view of the user’s health and even detect sleep apnea and even arterial fibrillation.

Fitbit says the heart rate monitor is more accurate, partly because of the more stable contact point because the sensor lights are flush on the back. This is especially important during the exercise when the smartwatch has a more energetic movement.

The SpO2 sensor estimates the amount of oxygen in the blood. It works by emitting and then absorbing a wave of light that passes through the blood vessels in the fingertip. Good oxygenation of the blood provides the energy your muscles need to function, which increases during a sporting activity. If your SpO2 value is below 95 percent, it could be a sign of poor blood oxygenation (hypoxia).

Fitbit hopes that this will also help identify the signs of apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea have problems with excessive daytime sleepiness and deteriorating alertness and may have an increased risk of diabetes. This lack of oxygen in the body can also be fatal. It is estimated that up to 10 percent of people can suffer from apnea, although most do not know it.

Like the Charge 2, Alta HR and Blaze, the Fitbit Ionic is excellent at tracking your sleep stages. Using your heart rate and other sensors, track when you are in the stages of light, deep or REM sleep. The Ionic is comfortable to use in bed. You will just notice that it is on.

The dream is increasingly seen as a key indicator of long-term health, which is why it is important. And some smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, do not have enough battery life to allow users to use it overnight, so the Ionic is a clear winner in this field.

In addition, a key feature that fitness fans will love is the integrated Ionic GPS, which means you can monitor a race or ride a bike knowing all the details without having to have your phone while you are away from home. You can take advantage of GPS to monitor your pace and distance while running or traveling, as well as elevation, divided hours and a map of your route.

To eliminate the possibility of interruption of the GPS signal Fitbit uses not only standard GPS satellites, but also the Russian Glonass (global navigation in satellite orbit). Glonass offers better precision at high latitudes.

Smartwatch for swimmers

Another of its virtues is that for swimmers, the Ionic is water resistant up to 50 meters, and swimming tracking includes the ability to count rounds and the number of calories you’ve burned. The screen is visible in most clear water, but remember to use the buttons since the touch screen will not work underwater. It is also great that you can leave the watch on your wrist when you take a shower or a bath, although at first, it seems strange.

The Ionic can track many other activities, including fitness-based workouts, such as running on a treadmill or weight training. Activities include running, cycling, swimming, treadmill, weights, interval timer, and training.

Recognize when you are running and automatically put into ‘run mode’, which starts the GPS so you can see the key execution statistics on the screen. Even for automatically when you do it. So your pace and duration are more precise and take into account until the stops that the traffic lights or traffic force you to do to cross the street.

In the Fitbit exercise app, you can also customize your weekly goal or the number of times you want to exercise per week.

Since it is a physical state clock, it is a pity that the screen cannot be configured to remain permanently on, a common feature in many rival products. Raising the wrist to take a look at the statistics does not always activate the screen, so it can be frustrating to lift the doll to see your data while running, cycling and swimming since you will only see a blank screen.

The Ionic also allows you to choose breathing exercises in sessions of two to five minutes. Health is not just about keeping fit. Like other Fitbit, Ionic smartwatches can help you find moments of calm throughout the day to give you personalized instructions.

Ionic also comes with the new Fitstar Personal Trainer application. It offers more than 40 workouts that you can complete without needing to dust off an old exercise DVD or search for a video on YouTube. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete workouts. Such as a 7-minute perfect of training to start the day or audio-based training. Such as power intervals for runners.

You can select training sessions from 7 to 60 minutes, including audio coaching and seven Fitbit-radio stations. You can choose between multiple coaches and activity levels. Your next session will evolve according to your capacity and objectives.

The Ionic comes preloaded with a 7-minute workout, and a 20-minute treasure chest (including jumps, push-ups, shadow boxing, shoulder push-ups, one-leg spidermen, high knees, jumps, superman’s boards, bicycle kicks and more.

Access to all training and automatic training in the Coach application will cost also 9 dollars per month. In addition to what you have paid for this watch. But we believe that Coach will be the key application. By offering you a personal trainer on your wrist.

Music, notifications

The Fitbit house defines Ionic as “an intelligent watch with a purpose”, which is health and fitness. This in itself is quite successful since other smartwatches try to be everything for everyone. And therefore lack a meaningful purpose.

It is clear that the Apple Watch, for example, tries to trap Fitbit on the front of physical activity. But it can not offer some benefits, such as sleep monitoring due to the short duration of its battery.

In addition to all the health and fitness characteristics, the Fitbit Ionic also offers a large number of SmartWatch functions. There is a feature, Fitbit 2.5 GB of storage, which allows you to store 300 songs or a lot of podcasts and audiobooks (whatever helps you in your career or in the gym) directly on the clock to accompany you in your workouts.

You can also receive notifications from your phone directly on your wrist. Such as incoming text messages, emails, and phone calls. The same already worked in other Fitbits such as Charge 2, Alta HR and Blaze. And now the Ionic also receives automatic notifications from third-party applications such as Facebook and Snapchat.

Unlike the smarter clocks, you can not answer calls or messages through the clock itself. Although that is also quite rudimentary with many smartwatches.

You can also set a silent alarm that vibrates on your wrist and if you do not press the button to turn it off. It will be postponed once for nine minutes.

In this model, as already said, it is easy to make payments without contact with your mobile. Register your card, and then press and hold the left button on the Ionic until an outline of that card appears on the screen. You can then touch it on a compatible card terminal to make a quick payment without having to find the purse or wallet in your bag. The Ionic, of course, requires a password just like your smartphone. And Fitbit is already working with the main banks to make Fitbit Pay

Applications

With onboard music and GPS, on-screen notifications and contactless payments. The Ionic really mean you can leave your smartphone and your bulky wallet or purse at home when you run, or safely at the gym locker.

You can customize the Ionic with several optional ‘faces’ of the clock (there are 17 to choose from). And you can even design your own image.

Fitbit has opened the Ionic for developers, with the aim that they can create their own applications for the new Fitbit. There are already applications for Starbucks and music services such as Pandora. But we hope to see many more applications available over time.

The AccuWeather application allows you to see the current weather and 5-day forecasts in various locations, and it works well.

The Ionic works with Android, iOS, and Windows, so developers will like to make their applications accessible to the masses.

Many things are happening with this watch, which is fantastic, although a bit daunting at first. Because it is not completely intuitive. You will need some time to get used to it. But you can have some time playing inside your menus and settings to become familiar with where everything is and how everything works.

Due to the current lack of applications, the Ionic is not one of best smartwatches. It is not up to the Apple Watch Series 3 or Samsung Gear 3. But none of them is as good at fitness and health monitoring as the Ionic.

Drums

The Ionic battery lasts four days, which is more than some of its rivals. However, when you start using the GPS you experience a dramatic loss in battery life, up to 10 hours if the GPS is on all the time. Which is something that must be taken into account?

If you also have the screen set to be always on during a race, Ionic will last only five hours; That said, if you’ve been running for five hours you also deserve a break!

Apple says that the battery life in its new Watch Series 3 is 18 hours and that without using GPS. So the Ionic exceeds it with battery comfort even with the GPS on.

The watch has a low battery indicator, so it should not surprise you. And you will also receive an email that will inform you when it is time to charge.

Fitbit application and ecosystem

As good as a fitness monitor, a lot depends on how the data is stored and presented in the application instead of on the wrist. And the Fitbit application is unsurpassed in its clarity and richness of details. You can customize the health metrics that are displayed and then drill down to get more details and historical information. There is also an excellent desktop application to show your data.

There is also much more, like a great league of friends. Where you can compete against other ‘Fitbitusuarios’ if you wish. And this supposes a great motivation to continue surpassing. You can also compete against friends or against yourself in interesting daily or weekly challenges. And even virtual adventures in real places, like the New York Marathon.

And there are hundreds of medals for milestones achieved that will reward you while you achieve your goals.

In addition to all this, there are a lot of guides from experts in the application. Who inform you more about efficient workouts, cardio exercises, how to sleep better, etc.

Our verdict

We are very happy to see a smartwatch made by Fitbit. While it might seem expensive for an exercise monitor. The reality is that it includes a lot of high-end features that will appeal to many very different people. From fitness fans to the most ‘casual’.

And although the range of applications that are not fitness is not very broad yet. What it offers is still beneficial for people looking for a healthier lifestyle. With built-in GPS and music player, contactless payments and on-screen notifications. You can really leave your phone and wallet at home when you exercise.

The Ionic is light and comfortable, and looks good, even in the pool. The range of straps means that you can change it for different occasions. Whether in the gym, in the office or in the city.

While it can not compete with conventional smartwatches for a dazzling variety of applications. It can really be said that the Ionic is smart enough. And ally with Fitbit Coach is undoubtedly the best health smartwatch

 

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