Best Smartwatches to Buy in 2020
The future of watches or a stylish trick, or not? Smartwatches have been the biggest hurdle in the timepiece business since Apple’s first watch was released in 2015. But, the fact is, long before the advent of smartphones, watchmakers have been trying to make their products more functional for decades.
Hamilton launched the first LED digital watch in 1972. Timex and Casio’s first calculator watches came out a few years later. In 1982, Seiko made a watch with an in-built TV, and two years later it wore its first wristband computer terminal. There was a pager watch in the 1990s. And Microsoft launched the ‘smartwatch’ that’s what it called them in 2003.
Watches have been getting smarter than ever. But it was Apple’s – and especially its ability to connect to smartphones – that was the game-changer. It remains to be seen how far that game has changed.
What makes a watch a Smartwatch?
The first mobile phone became a computer in our pocket. The smartwatch now looks like a computer on our wrist, or at least an extension, with more miniaturization. For the time being, any modern functionality depends on its connection to the nearest smartphone.
Whether you need a smartwatch is another matter. They also work fitness watches and maybe for people who travel a lot. But beyond that, it’s very lazy for those people, in a sense, to take their phone out of their pockets – many of the wearers who use it get a quick glimpse of or access the apps.
At least that’s how the Swiss watch industry tends to look at them. More as a novelty than real competition. After all, a mechanical watch it’s a very different thing. An expression of skill and materials that, arguably, evokes something emotional rather than practical.
“Famous watchmakers are looking at the rise of smartwatches with some nervousness”. This is because some studies have suggested that people on cellular tech are not only less interested in wearing a full stopwatch, but if they can be persuaded to wear it, they expect it to do more than just tell the time.
“I think the fact is that in the next five to 10 years we’ll all be wearing some sort of smart device as watch designer Max Busser of MB&F has it, “because connectivity is just as important. The possibilities for using these devices are very different.”
Some kind of smartwatch – analog, touchscreen, some kind of hybrid – may be the mainstream future of wristwear, in which mechanical watches survive but still become an esoteric specialist interest. Or at least that’s what this app says. But then it needs to be upgraded.
The best smartwatches in the market
Apple Watch Series 4
It wasn’t the first time, but thanks to the culture of the following brand, Apple’s smartwatch certainly increased interest in a product that was sometimes dismissed as a gimmick rather than a benefit. Like any next-generation tech, it meant to be the same as before, but better, and the Series 4 is that: a larger screen, bigger buttons, improved sensors and better performance, including a ceramic and crystal case-back, which Improving cellular signals and clocks is now a real suggestion to call.
If so, it still doesn’t bother you to talk on your wrist. But then, like Bluetooth earpieces, gave us people talking to themselves, it’s only a matter of time before the tech re-molds our behavior and the strange becomes mainstream.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Just as the Apple Watch is for Apple fans, so the Galaxy Watch is for Samsung fans – with as much tech, the ecosystem of your smartwatch is often mattered. Unlike Apple Watch’s sci-fi style of the Apple Watch, the Galaxy hides its functionality under the proverbial bushel – with that stainless steel case and diving watch – style bezel, it looks much more traditional than it is.
The bezel is a more satisfying way of navigating galaxy applications than the big fingers on a small touch screen. It is also good for fitness. Including swimming. This is a smartwatch that is even water-resistant up to 50m.
Montblanc Summit 2
You can’t fault the exterior of this watch – there are DLC (or ‘diamond-like coated’) steel or grade 2 titanium are options – but then, according to Tech-Literate, the interior is also impressive: one at Summit 2 The new thing is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 chip. One of the advantages of being the first smartwatch is that it gives the wearer (a claimed) battery life of up to a week between charging in ‘time-only’ mode.
Yes, if you have to occasionally wind that mechanical watch, of course, you more than occasionally have to plug in the smart variety. With Google’s Wear OS, Montblanc has gone to the experts for the techy stuff and focused on the hardware itself – but cleverly too. Those traditional pushers launch apps of your choosing.
Tag Heuer connected modular 45
Tag Heuer was one of the first big names in its Luxury watchmaking to embrace the idea of a smartwatch, rather than to see it as the enemy. “We can’t ignore this trend,” said CEO Jean-Claude Biver, when the series was launched. “As a luxury brand with an ‘affordable’ entry price, we can’t let go of the watch. We have to adapt to the tastes of the younger generation.
Often reviewed as the best, if most expensive, Android smartwatch on the market. It is also the first smartwatch to achieve ‘Swiss-made’ certification – the Connected has a modular design, which means that there are some 4000 options of the case and lug material, bezel color, strap type and so on to make the watch more your own.
Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch
Although there is a gulf between smartwatches and what Swiss watch the industry can call a ‘proper’ watch is closing, there is still a sense that these are two distinct worlds. Frederique Constant is one of the first high-end manufacturers to produce models that have a lot of classic timepieces on the outside, but – thanks to partnerships with Alpina and Silicon Valley tech companies – on the inside capable of two-way communication with a smartphone.
All info regarding alerts, sleep monitoring, activity tracking, and all such information are displayed using traditional analog hands. This saves the aesthetic albeit, arguably, at the cost of utility “There are technical challenges,” explains Frederique Constant’s head of watchmaking Pim Koeslag.
“Normally, for example, connected devices are mainly plastic to assist transmit radio waves, and stainless steel is not so good for this. So we had to rethink the dial to allow transmission through the glass. you can’t just start using materials not associated with high-end watchmaking. The results may encourage you to rethink the watch market and what a ‘smart’ watch is. “
Fossil Commuter Hybrid Smartwatch
If the watch world once made distinctions between serious watches and fashions ones, the advent of the smartwatch has opened up a new market for the latter. Because tech is fast evolving in smartwatches, very few people want to spend too much on one in the first place. Nor are ‘fashion’ watches beholden to the same standards of making as the ‘serious’ ones.
Enter the likes of Fossil, with a hybrid model – one which, typically lacking a touch screen, making it even cheaper and more power-hungry too. The Commuter looks as if it was designed in a swanky studio in Scandinavia, but its hands’ whizz and its vibration whirs to tell you to check your phone for various alerts.
Huawei Watch 2 Sport
For every smartwatch that looks like an upscale mechanical one, there is a model happy to embraces the inherent shelf-life in tech with a more bare-bones aesthetic. And so the Huawei Watch 2 can be a bit plastic (it has a scratch-proof ceramic bezel for all of them) and a little bit bulky.
And yet it has 4GB of storage for music, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G connectivity and – more and more smartwatches want to offer the least – a suite of toys to help your fitness regime, including a real-time heart rate monitor. Health app, coaching facility, and exercise statistics. It doesn’t make you work out – maybe a little electric shock every minute until you start moving – but it’s a good companion when you do.