Question My first ever smartwatch: I need your advice!

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Apr 25, 2020
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Hi all,

I'm looking to buy my first ever smartwatch and I'm a bit undecided which one to pick. Budget is not really set and I have a few requirements, which I will list below. One key question I still don't have a definitive answer to is whether I need key features like GPS/ location tracking and Spotify to be available stand-alone or whether to rely on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S8) for them... From what I can see, that will heavily define both the options available to chose from as well as the price tag they come with - but also other important factors that should be taken into consideration, like battery life... Tough life decisions!;)

Here some info on my use-case and requirements:
  • To begin with, the watch is NOT intended to be used as my everyday watch. There is the exception of the yearly summer holidays (more below) and on occasion here and there maybe, yes. But I have other analogue watches that I prefer and I really don't need things like stress or sleep tracking.
  • Most importantly, I will need it to track my running progress. By no means a pro, but currently doing a few 3-5Ks a week and looking to grow that over time. I want to have accurate tracing of KPIs available, like distance, time, pulse, oxygen, etc. How good is location tracking without GPS these days, like step count? Are watches without stand-alone GPS and without smartphone within reach reliable when it comes to that?
  • Music control for Spotify is a definitive must-have feature and as indicated above, I'm still undecided whether I need local music storage. Especially now that it gets warmer, I don't have a pocket for my phone available so it would actually be sweet to be able to leave that one at home. Then again, good to have along in case of an emergency and there are also arm straps... Really undecided here! I would appreciate your input and especially from people that had the same thoughts prior to buying and what they went with after all.
  • I also plan to use the watch for swimming occasionally. Mostly in public swimming pools, but swimming in the ocean in the summertime shouldn't be a no-go. I know that every watch should be thoroughly rinsed thereafter of course, because of the chemicals/ salt.
  • The watch should be relatively sturdy, as I plan to "transform" it to be my everyday watch during my yearly summer holidays on my boat in Greece. That means swimming in saltwater, sunshine, heat, and the occasional bump.
Watches I like so far:
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4S
  • Garmin Instinct
  • Fitbit Versa 2
I know, tough questions I ask here. But any insights and recommendations would be highly appreciated!

Many thanks in advance
 

ashleydent

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Apr 23, 2020
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Garmin Vivoactive 4 has built-in GPS, music storage, full waterproofing, and even NFC for mobile payments with Garmin Pay. It can track your every move. It gives usual heart-rate monitoring with activity and sleep tracking. It is good for energy monitoring, and 20+ preloaded sports apps and plus Ox sensor helps in monitoring blood oxygen and saturation levels. Built-in GPS is a good thing as it will map the outdoor runs. For swimming, it can go till 50 meters. You get 8 days of battery life but it is a little expensive.
 
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