Smartbands and smartwatches:
how to choose?
Which one to buy?
Get all the answers here :
Best Smartbands and Smartwatches Review :
Our favorite Smartbands and smartwatches
It is really difficult to choose between all Smartbands and smartwatches! Manufacturers do not make the task easier by offering a wide variety of products ranging from the simple activity tracker to the high-end watch that acts as a sports coach. All these products have the same objective. Connected with Bluetooth to your smartphone, these smartwatches and smartbands all offer to help you improve your fitness and well-being. In the case of watches, they sometimes go further with consulting certain applications directly from your wrist.
However, the distinction between these two types of appliances is becoming increasingly blurry with sports wristbands in the form of watches or watches that integrate more and more applications. In order to help you choose your bracelet or watch, PharaZone gives you all the advice and explains the advantages and defects of each.
Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch – Dark Gray
Price : $196.98
Customer reviews : (4.6 / 5)
The Gear S2 is virtually flawless on the part of Samsung. In addition to its particularly effective design, the watch allows to interact very easily thanks to its bezel. We also appreciate his heart rate sensor, fairly well designed and interesting for the more athletic.
- Send and receive texts, calendar notifications, news updates and more right on your wrist.
- With rotating bezel and unique circular interface, easily access your apps and notifications.
- With a circular design and stainless steel construction, the Gear S2 matches your style.
- Thousands of third party apps available.
- Interchangeable bands and hundreds of available watch faces. Please refer the User Manual before use.
- Size (LWH): 1.96 inches, 1.67 inches, 0.45 inches
- Weight: 0.8 ounces
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large
Price : $148.95
Customer reviews : (4.3 / 5)
With Charge 2, Fitbit offers a very good successor to the HR Charge, which includes the heart rate sensor. The bracelet offers a nice design, a large screen and good activity tracking capabilities. This is the best bracelet connected to a relatively affordable price.
- PurePulse continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking to better measure calorie burn all day
- Maximize your workouts using simplified heart rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak)
- See call, text & calendar notifications on the OLED display; Automatically track how long and how well you sleep and wake with a silent vibrating alarm
- Get a better understanding of your fitness level and see how you can improve over time with a personalized Cardio Fitness Score; Use Connected GPS during run mode to see real-time stats like pace and distance on your wrist
- Track all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes;Find moments of calm throughout your day with personalized guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate
The best (value for money)
Pebble Time Smartwatch – Black
Price : $58.94
Customer reviews : (4.1 / 5)
The Pebble watch takes full advantage of its color screen in electronic ink. It thus enjoys a range of 4 to 7 days, but also many features. If, in use, the setting is sometimes confusing, its price of a hundred bucks makes it an excellent model of watch connected by expensive.
- Notifications at a glance: calendar events, text and emails, incoming calls, and more.
- Includes Pebble Health, a built-in activity and sleep tracker with daily reports and weekly insights.
- Water resistant to 30 meters
- Built-In microphone for voice notes and quick replies
Xiaomi Mi Band 2 With LED Display Touchpad Smart Heart Rate Monitor
Price : $32.95
Customer reviews : (3.8 / 5)
If the Mi Band 2 of Xiaomi is far from perfect, the bracelet has a weight argument: its price. Available at less than fifty euros, it is endowed with most of the technologies that one would expect from a high-end model. At this rate, why deprive yourself?
- Compatible:Support Bluetooth 4.0 Android 4.4 or iOS 7.0 and above phones.
- Function:Compare with Heart Rate Monitor Version-2016 Newly LED Display Touchpad Mi Band 2 with Following Different Design:1.With OLED Display Touchpad;2.Touch Manipulation;3.Brand-New Bracelet Design;4.Upgrade Pedometer Algorithm
- Feature:Reading heart rate precisely by the installed sensor. Monitoring and reminding your heart rate when you are doing sports.The newest Xiaomi Mi Band adds the function of remind of long sitting. It is designed for the over-time employees or the group of people who lack of excises. Xiaomi Mi Band 2 vibrates when you sit too long and reminds you to get up and go out to do sports.
- New Skin-Friendly Material:bracelet body made of softer body skin-friendly material, breathable anti-sweat, a give you a better wearing experience.
- Unique Identity ID:Each Newly LED Display Mi Band 2 have separate identity ID,you can unlock the phone without password when you used Android phones to close the Mi bracelet;Vibrating Alert Message:ewly LED Display Mi Band 2 will vibrating alert when the phone receives an incoming call or text message notification even if the phone on your bag,vibrating alert will let you know the first time Important Notice
The best for sports
Garmin Forerunner 235 – Black/Gray
Price : $279.99
Customer reviews : (4.2 / 5)
The Forerunner 235 has an integrated heart rate monitor that is integrated into the wrist and allows you to avoid a belt that is otherwise less practical. Other statistics are available such as the VO2 max estimate, race time predictions and payback times. As for practical aspects, the Forerunner 235 benefits from audio announcements to inform the rider about the distance, the time of travel and the pace. It also offers music as well as notifications of calls, SMS and emails provided you keep your smartphone nearby.
- GPS Running Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate
- Customize Your Watch and Your Training, Larger Screen – a 44% Larger Screen than the 225 but the Same Physical Size
- Audio Prompts – Receive Audio Prompts from Your Connected Smartphone That Include Laps and Lap Times
- Smart Notifications – See Incoming Email, Text Messages, Call Alerts, Calendar Reminders and More from Your Compatible Smartphone
- Battery Life 11 Hours Training, 9 Days Watch, Activity Tracking, Notifications + Heart Rate
Garmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular Fit
Price : $59.95
Customer reviews : (3.9 / 5)
The vivosmart HR is an activity tracker that integrates a heart rate monitor and a large LCD screen. At a glance, all the necessary information is accessible, from distances traveled to the calories expended, passing through the floors that have been climbed. This tracker also allows to display the weather, the notifications of its smartphone, or to control its music.
- Wrist-based heart rate – tracks heart rate to provide more accurate calories burned information.
- Floors climbed – climbing stairs is tough -get credit for the extra work, thanks to an Integrated Barometric altimeter.
- Intensity minutes – monitor your Progress against aerobic activity goals recommended by Health organizations such as the American heart association
- Activity Tracking – displays steps, calories, distance, heart rate, floors climbed, intensity minutes and time of day.
- Smart notifications – displays any notification from your mobile Device; calls, texts, social, music, games, etc. With vibration alerts so you don’t Miss a Beat.
The most stylish
Withings Steel HR – Activity Tracking Watch with Heart Rate Monitoring
Price : $179.95
Customer reviews : (3.6 / 5)
For those who would like a beautiful watch connected to follow its activity and receive notifications to the wrist, Steel HR is certainly one of the best models of the market. However, it is not without defects, including limited notifications to calls, SMS and events. A situation that should be fixed soon with an update adding other features.
- Optimized heart rate monitoring includes continuous heart rate for workouts, daily heart rate trends, and resting heart rate at night to help assess overall health
- Automatic activity & sleep tracking – walk, run, swim (water resistant – 50M), sleep, and calories burned
- Classic watch with activity Dial includes an easy-to-read Digital screen that displays heart rate, Number of steps, distance, calories, alarm Clock, and all smartphone alerts
- Automatic synchronization – visualize hr trends, activity, and sleep cycle data on your smartphone with the free health mate app
- Best battery life of any hr tracker on the market – up to 25 days, plus 20 more with time & activity tracking only
Fitbit Flex 2, Black
Price : $94.95
Customer reviews : (3.9 / 5)
Especially fine, the Flex 2 Flex 2 bracelet takes the concept of the first model. Without display, it allows to display the progress of your number of steps daily thanks to a system with five LEDs and vibrations. The sensor can also be removed from the silicone bracelet to place it in a more feminine gold or silver bracelet, or even in a pendant. A good idea to change bracelets connected, rarely aesthetic.
- Track steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. Comes with both small and large size band
- Ultra-thin, removable tracker hides in bands, pendants and bangles
- Swim-proof for tracking swimming, life-proof for wear in the ocean, shower, pool and beyond
- SmartTrack automatically recognizes select workouts and records them to your Fitbit app; Get call and text notifications on your wrist with unique vibration patterns and color-coded LED lights
- Automatically track how long and how well you sleep, and set a silent alarm to wake with a small vibration; LED display lights up to show progress toward your daily goal
Questions to Ask Before Buying
Waterproof or not?
Some bracelets and watches connected can not be adapted to all uses, especially with the risks related to humidity. If some models are specially designed for swimming, others may fear the slightest drop of rain.
To ensure the protection of their appliances, some manufacturers have opted for a more or less strong seal, generally measured by the IP index. The IPX3 will provide a simple protection against rain while swimmers will have to opt for an IPX8 certified watch or bracelet ensuring a possible immersion beyond one meter of water for 30 minutes , Like the Samsung Gear S2. For common use with resistance to dust, rain, splashing and accidental immersion finally, the IP67, one of the most common, will be preferred.
Battery life: battery or cell?
Since the bracelets and watches connected are stuffed with sensors and connected in Bluetooth to your smartphone, it is necessary to supply them with energy. To do this, there are two options depending on the device chosen: the cells or the battery.
The cells are mainly reserved for trackers like the Misfit Shine or the Jawbone UP Move, or for watches connected watchmaking. Their main advantage is to keep the device active for a very long time, often for several months or even a year. However, it may be more complicated to find replacement cells when the sensor is in the battery port than to have access to a power outlet.
The second option for powering the connected wristbands and watches is the battery recharged with a USB cable. However, the autonomy is much less important than with a button cell, often limited to one or even two weeks for the bracelets and a few days for the watches. This is the solution adopted by most manufacturers, as with the Fitbit Flex, Pulse Ox or Jawbone Up24, which can be used for 1 to 2 weeks without having to recharge them. On the other hand, the presence of a heart rate sensor clearly impacts the battery. The Fitbit Charge HR, for example, operates between 4 and 5 days without being recharged. In any case, the more your device will integrate sensors and features, the less its autonomy will be important, a fortiori if it is equipped with a screen.
However, if the autonomy is often more than a week for the connected bracelets, it remains the main weak point of the smartwatch, despite some notable progress. If they did not exceed a full day on average a few months ago, most can now claim to go beyond 24 hours. Thus, the LG G Watch R is struggling to cross the day of use. The first Apple Watch makes a little better and pulls up two days in normal use, while the Series 2 can climb up to just over three days. We are far from the minimum autonomy week of connected bracelets, but for those who do not want to sacrifice the features on the alliance of autonomy, other manufacturers have chosen the electronic ink screen, less Gourmand. The Pebble Time manages to be active for almost a week without being recharged.
For everyday or sport?
Depending on the use, the watches and bracelets connected are far from all being worth. If for the more athletic, the essential functionalities remain the most reliable activity data possible, others will prefer a good management of the notifications, even the possibility of answering directly from his wrist.
Notifications of calls, SMS, social networks and sometimes even emails are a feature reserved for watches and wristbands connected with screen. Only the oldest or the cheapest models of bracelets do not offer it apart from a simple vibration. This function allows at least to be notified of a call or an SMS on its wrist and, at best, to be able to read the contents of these messages. In this second case, keep in mind that the screens of the bracelets are small and that the reading is rarely pleasant. Similarly, not all watches are housed in the same sign. The bare minimum is notification of incoming calls, messages and emails. The Cookoo or Steel HR of Winthings have only a few pictograms that illuminate during a call or receive a text message. For more information, it is essential to take the phone out of the pocket.
With Android Wear (used by Huawei, Motorola, LG …), WatchOS (exclusive to Apple), Tizen (only Samsung) and Pebble OS (for eponymous watches), things go further, Possibility to read the messages and even to answer them with smileys or using sentences like “I arrive” or “I’m in meeting” and sometimes using a keyboard. The Apple Watch, like watches under Android Wear (provided they use with an Android smartphone), even allow to respond by dictating its response through voice recognition. As for Pebble watches, it will be necessary to turn to some applications compatible with speech recognition.
Moreover, bracelets and most watches connected record the number of steps, distance or number of calories burned during the day. They therefore do not take into account the type of activity carried out. For example, if you spend half a day cycling, most bracelets will only count a small number of steps, your hands remaining fixed on the handlebars. However, some models integrate directly into a multisport mode. Before a physical activity, you can set the type of exercise practiced directly on the bracelet or the application so that the data is calculated accordingly. This is a feature offered by the Fitbit Charge HR, the Misfit Shine sensor or even the Apple Watch.
Making calls with a smartwatch?
When receiving a call, the contact name and sometimes the picture may appear on the screen of the watch or wristband connected, but it is usually necessary to enter the smartphone to take the call. Nevertheless, some models of watches connected allow to answer from his wrist, in the same way as a Bluetooth headset. This artifice inherited right from K2000 can be the subject of many mockeries, it continues to develop on new models. Both the Apple Watch Series 2 and Samsung’s Gear S3 are capable of communicating thanks to an integrated speaker. Finally, it is necessary to note that it can be found a utility, at the wheel or by cooking.
Few watches, such as the Samsung Gear S2 3G or the LG Watch Urbane 2, sold at more than 500 euros, are equipped with dematerialized eSIM chips, enabling them to connect to the mobile network without the help of a smartphone. They share the same number as the smartphone. This feature has the unfortunate tendency to melt the battery as snow in the sun.
Do I need a GPS?
When using a watch or wristband for sports, GPS can be very useful. Those who like to run will be happy to be able to do without the phone during their outdoor sessions in order to record the course. More and more manufacturers, like Apple with the Watch Series 2, are now integrating GPS chips into their watches. Attention however, this feature has the annoying tendency to be greedy in autonomy. It is also reserved for a handful of connected watches, often for sports-oriented models, and is rarely present on the connected wristbands. Note however the presence of a GPS chip directly integrated in the Garmin Vivosmart HR +.
Without GPS, things can be complicated in terms of calculation, since only “steps” make it possible to evaluate the distances. Suffice to say that real sportsmen attentive to their performances will have difficulty to go out without the smartphone in the pocket. Conversely, GPS is not essential on a watch for those who would like to use navigation, since the majority uses the integrated chip on the phone.