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

Jimmy Westenberg/Android Authority

The authentic Samsung Galaxy Watch Active turned me right into a watch man. Not a Rolex and Omega sort of watch man, but a smartwatch man. I realized 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 can use a smartwatch to observe runs and document exercises, but I in the end made the change to a GPS watch the Coros Pace 2. It wasnt an ideal change, but I discovered to love the marginally completely different set of options. Now, I do not see myself going again.

See additionally:The finest 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

Smartwatches are seldom recognized for his or her battery life. Its powerful to stretch the Apple Watch past a days utilization if youre benefiting from 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 Pace 2? Days. weeks. Im charging it possibly twice a month, and thats laborious to flip down.

If you put on it as only a watch, the Pace 2 can deal with round 20 days of battery life. Tapping into the GPS will sap the juice sooner, but you may nonetheless crank out about 30 hours of operating or different tracked exercise earlier than you want a charger. On the typical non-running day, the battery drops about 5% in my expertise.

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

I wont faux that I love the proprietary charging for my GPS watch. In truth, the USB-A cable with a single finish might be the least handy a part of the entire setup. I have to maintain a appropriate charging brick readily available for the occasions I ultimately have to cost. However, I’ve by no means as soon as had to take my charging setup with me for every week away. I can head for trip and know that my GPS watch has sufficient juice for runs and hikes on high of each day life. The Apple Watch? Not a lot.

See additionally:Our information to the most effective charging equipment

Where the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch pack somewhat extra punch is with highly effective notifications. Ill admit that my GPS watch doesnt supply essentially the most in-depth notifications. I can learn texts, and I get alerts for brand spanking new emails and telephone calls, but then its time to choose up my telephone. Honestly, I dont thoughts it. Its good to take calls on an Apple Watch from time to time, but have you ever ever tried to sort a whole message on one? There is a cause 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 great outdated school attempt, but I ended up pissed off each time. My fingers merely aren’t sufficiently small to make the keyboard work. Before lengthy, I was pulling my telephone out to reply to messages the identical as I would with a trusty GPS watch. If I might, Id carry Apples Walkie Talkie characteristic to my GPS watch, but thats about it. Otherwise, simplicity has turn out to be bliss.

One space the place each varieties of watches appear to excel is in navigation. However, my Coros Pace 2 and Apple Watch have a tendency to go about it otherwise. The Apple Watch integrates completely with Apple Maps, and acts as a heads-up show to present your subsequent flip because it approaches. On the opposite hand, my GPS watch packs loads of room to obtain path maps and different operating routes in order that I at all times know the place I am and what number of miles I have left to go. If you want comparable performance with a standard smartwatch, youll have to obtain an app and infrequently pony up for a month-to-month subscription.

Ready to store?The finest smartwatches you should purchase

Ill additionally give conventional smartwatches the sting when it comes to music playback. My Pace 2 doesnt supply music controls, but the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch 4 pack loads of management over your Spotify alternatives. Ive even used the Galaxy Watch to management music throughout a marriage ceremony earlier than, which I have to admit was a cool feeling. Of course, there are GPS watches that supply Spotify integration just like the Garmin 245 Music I simply selected to go a unique route.

Operating system disharmony

Apple Watch vs Garmin Connect home screen on Google Pixel 6

Jimmy Westenberg/Android Authority

One of essentially the most important points I have with smartwatches is the necessity for exclusivity. Every time I bounce from an iPhone to an Android gadget, I change to a unique smartwatch for a smoother expertise. That often means holding an Apple Watch and a Galaxy Watch shut at hand for straightforward entry. On the opposite hand, my GPS watch doesnt care what telephone its paired to. The expertise is an identical, whether or not Im rolling with a Pixel 6 Pro or an iPhone SE. It actually makes you sit down and surprise why it can’t at all times be this straightforward.

Need inspiration: The full Fitbit consumers information

All I have to do to pair my Pace 2 to a brand new gadget is obtain the Coros app one thing I have already got to observe my runs. It works like every other wearable app, providing management over watch faces and carrying software program updates. You might in all probability get an identical 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 youre hoping to measure an ECG or take your blood stress with a Galaxy Watch 4, it merely wont work with no Samsung Galaxy telephone. Sorry, Pixel customers, you will have to maintain out hope for the Pixel Watch.

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

To make life much more sophisticated, some Android smartwatches dont play properly with different Android gadgets. I was almost in a position to put down my GPS watch for Huaweis Watch GT Runner. It delivered spectacular battery life round 14 days and charged again up very quickly. Huaweis giant show made studying notifications a breeze, but the pairing course of was a nightmare. Before I might pair the watch, I had to obtain a collection of Huawei software program to my Pixel 6 Pro, and there have been much more hoops to soar by to export well being information to companies like Strava.

See additionally:The finest operating apps for Android

Given a selection between a clean but barely restricted expertise throughout all platforms and a curated expertise for every completely different gadget, Ill take the previous. Ill take weeks of battery life over the power to watch a 30-second video on a tiny show any day. Im looking forward to the way forward for smartwatches heres you, Google but itll take some extra development earlier than Im prepared to dive again in.

Do you favor a smartwatch or a GPS watch?

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