I want to love smartwatches, but I can’t replace my GPS watch

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The unique Samsung Galaxy Lively turned me right into a “ man.” Not a Rolex and Omega kind of watch man, however a smartwatch man. I spotted how good it was to have notifications and music controls on my wrist. Then, I picked up a critical operating behavior, and my wearable wants started to shift. You should use a smartwatch to trace runs and report exercises, however I in the end made the change to a watch — the Coros Tempo 2. It wasn’t an ideal change, however I discovered to like the marginally completely different set of options. Now, I don’t see myself going again.

See additionally: The most effective operating watches you should purchase

The battle for battery life and notifications

An image of the Coros Vertix 2 showing the battery usage app

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

are seldom identified for his or her battery life. It’s robust to stretch the Apple Watch past a day’s utilization in the event you’re making the most of its most spectacular options. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 fares a bit higher, lasting about 40 hours earlier than you want to set it on a charger. My Coros Tempo 2? Days. Weeks. I’m charging it possibly twice a month, and that’s exhausting to show down.

If you happen to put on it as only a watch, the Tempo 2 can deal with round 20 days of battery life. Tapping into the will sap the juice sooner, however you’ll be able to nonetheless crank out about 30 hours of operating or different tracked exercise earlier than you want a charger. On the common non-running day, the battery drops about 5% in my expertise.

My GPS watch can deal with a trip away from shops. The Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch? Not a lot.

I gained’t fake that I really like the proprietary charging for my GPS watch. In truth, the USB-A cable with a novel finish might be the least handy a part of the entire setup. I’ve to maintain a appropriate charging brick available for the occasions I finally must cost. Nonetheless, I’ve by no means as soon as needed to take my charging setup with me for per week away. I can head for trip and know that my GPS watch has sufficient juice for runs and hikes on prime of day by day life. The Apple Watch? Not a lot.

See additionally: Our information to the very best charging equipment

W. the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch pack a bit extra punch is with highly effective notifications. I’ll admit that my GPS watch doesn’t provide probably the most in-depth notifications. I can learn texts, and I get alerts for brand spanking new .s and cellphone calls, however then it’s time to choose up my cellphone. Truthfully, I don’t thoughts it. It’s good to take calls on an Apple Watch once in a while, however have you ever ever tried to kind a complete message on one? T.’s a purpose that telephones are phone-sized and watches are watch-sized.

An image of the Apple Watch Series 7 on a wrist showing the on-screen keyboard in watchOS 8

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

I gave typing on an Apple Watch the nice previous school strive, however I ended up pissed off each time. My fingers merely aren’t sufficiently small to make the keyboard work. Earlier than lengthy, I used to be pulling my cellphone out to reply to messages — the identical as I’d with a trusty GPS watch. If I may, I’d convey Apple’s Walkie Talkie characteristic to my GPS watch, however that’s about it. In any other case, simplicity has turn out to be bliss.

One space w. each varieties of watches appear to excel is in navigation. Nonetheless, my Coros Tempo 2 and Apple Watch are inclined to go about it otherwise. The Apple Watch integrates completely with Apple Maps, and acts as a heads-up show to point out your subsequent flip because it approaches. Then again, my GPS watch packs loads of room to obtain path maps and different operating routes in order that I all the time know w. I’m and what number of miles I’ve left to go. If you would like comparable performance with a standard smartwatch, you’ll must obtain an app and sometimes pony up for a month-to-month subscription.

Prepared to buy? The most effective you should purchase

I’ll additionally give conventional smartwatches the sting in relation to music playback. My Tempo 2 doesn’t provide music controls, however the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch 4 pack loads of management over your Spotify picks. I’ve even used the Galaxy Watch to manage music throughout a marriage ceremony earlier than, which I’ve to confess was a cool feeling. In fact, t. are GPS watches that provide Spotify integration — just like the Garmin 245 Music — I simply selected to go a distinct route.

Working system disharmony

Apple Watch vs Garmin Connect home screen on Google Pixel 6

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

One of the crucial vital points I’ve with smartwatches is the necessity for exclusivity. Each time I bounce from an iPhone to an Android system, I change to a distinct smartwatch for a smoother expertise. That often means protecting an Apple Watch and a Galaxy Watch shut at hand for straightforward entry. Then again, my GPS watch doesn’t care what cellphone it’s paired to. The expertise is similar, whether or not I’m rolling with a Pixel 6 Professional or an iPhone SE. It actually makes you sit down and marvel why it might probably’t all the time be this straightforward.

Want inspiration: The entire Fitbit consumers information

All I’ve to do to pair my Tempo 2 to a brand new system is obtain the Coros app — one thing I have already got to trace my runs. It really works like some other wearable app, providing management over watch faces and carrying software program updates. You may most likely get an analogous expertise with a Fitbit and its companion app, and it simply makes life straightforward. Samsung, nonetheless, locks a few of its most extremely touted options to its personal Galaxy lineup. If you happen to’re hoping to measure an ECG or take your blood strain with a Galaxy Watch 4, it merely gained’t work with out a Samsung Galaxy cellphone. Sorry, Pixel customers, you’ll have to carry out hope for the Pixel Watch.

My GPS watch does not care if it is paired with Android or iOS, the expertise is identical.

To make life much more sophisticated, some Android smartwatches don’t play properly with different Android gadgets. I used to be practically in a position to put down my GPS look ahead to Huawei’s Watch GT Runner. It delivered spectacular battery life — round 14 days — and charged again up very quickly. Huawei’s massive show made studying notifications a breeze, however the pairing course of was a nightmare. Earlier than I may pair the watch, I needed to obtain a collection of Huawei software program to my Pixel 6 Professional, and t. had been much more hoops to leap by means of to export well being information to providers like Strava.

See additionally: The most effective operating apps for Android

Given a alternative between a easy however barely restricted expertise throughout all platforms and a curated expertise for every completely different system, I’ll take the previous. I’ll take weeks of battery life over the power to observe a 30-second video on a tiny show any day. I’m longing for the way forward for smartwatches — .’s taking a look at you, Google — however it’ll take some extra development earlier than I’m able to dive again in.

Do you like a smartwatch or a GPS watch?

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