khelmr avatar

The Pebble watches. They may not be made anymore, but they are the only smart watches I have used that felt like an actual smart watch instead of a phone for your wrist. Once mine dies, I may switch to a BangleJS.

iAmTheTot avatar

Isn't the point of making a watch smart is that you can get your phone onto your wrist?

khelmr avatar

In some ways yes, but I think a smart watch is optimal for performing tasks quickly and and giving me information at a glance. A smart watch should feel like a dashboard on my wrist that stops me from using my phone unnecessarily. Most smart watches feel like a small second display for my phone with a worse user experience that make me want to always perform those tasks on my phone.


It is still the best "dumb" smartwatch out there. Long battery life, physical buttons, no touch screen nonsense and it just works.

I am still rocking my Pebble2 but unfortunately the silicon buttons are starting to deteriorate. It will be difficult to make repairs/upgrades to the watch, but I don't see a 1to1 replacement for it.


Garmin for sure.


I’ve had a Fitbit, Samsung Smart, and Garmin. Fitbit and Samsung were almost a daily charge where my Garmin Solar lasts about a week. Both Fitbit and Samsung died on me roughly after a year and a half, Garmin has shown no issues.

jennwiththesea, avatar

I’ll be switching to Garmin next time for other reasons, but my current Fitbit (Versa 3) actually has great battery life. 6-7 days between charges, unless I’m using the screen a lot.


I think both my Fitbit and Samsung were first or so gen, so I’m sure they’ve improved since then. But even still, I also like the simplicity of the Garmin screen vs having a small smart phone screen on my wrist.


Same here on the battery charge. Lasts me about 1-2 weeks on a single charge with the screen set to wake when turning my wrist.

Honestly the only real issue I have with Fitbit is the major syncing issues


For the most detailed exercise/health tracking, I’d highly recommend Garmin watches. First, no subscription fees, you buy the hardware and you own it and can customize it a lot. Second, the battery life can’t be beat. Third, stats, graphs, analytics! Plus it works just as well whether you’re an apple or android user.

I have the Forerunner 265 and it is so much fun for a stats and graph loving nerd like myself. My gf chose the Venu 2 Sq because she wanted a square screen and she is really happy with it.

unwinagainstable, (edited )

Can you use apps with Garmin? I’m getting into weightlifting a bit and want to use the Strong app to record my lifting routine without needing to take out my phone. The only other features I really want are decent heart rate monitoring and good pairing with AirPods.

I’ve never had a smartwatch. I’ve been looking to get a used one. I was leaning towards a slightly older series Apple Watch but open to something different

player2, (edited )

It probably would not communicate directly with a smaller fitness app other than some major ones like Strava and my fitness pal. You CAN track weightlifting in the Garmin app, and I do, the watch can even auto track your sets and it attempts to auto detect the lift type but isn’t always right so I correct them after I’m done. For lifting workout structuring, it probably won’t be as good as your lifting specific phone app. Garmin is very good at running and other cardio activities, most smart watches struggle to measure weight lifting.

The watches can connect to a second Garmin app on your phone called Connect IQ which is their app store where they support third party developers to make apps, widget, ultra customizable watchfaces, integration of new connected sensors.

It does not support common phone apps or have incredible advanced phone integration like an apple or Google watch would have but we like that because we already get enough screen time. I’m able to see and reply to text messages though, see and interact with all notifications, control audio/media that is playing and more though so it’s not devoid of features at all.


It seems like it has some great features. I think I saw the battery life is quite good which would be nice. I know next to nothing about smartwatches so I’m just trying to figure out what would work for me. I’m pretty sure I will end up getting something used, I just haven’t decided on what. Apps are an pretty important factor for me.


If you are an apple user, then the Apple watch is clear choice. As an Android user, Huawei could be a decent option but not in the United States. The Google watch is still first generation and might be ok for early adopters but I’m weary of it, and that’s coming from a long time google phone user since the first one. I’m hoping they release more generations of it with improvements.


I have an iPhone. Apple Watch probably makes more sense for me, I think I’ll try to get an old used one and see how I like it. I could see Garmin being really good for a lot of people though.


I’ve always associated Garmin with big over the top styling, but I like that Venu Sq 2. Garmin also seems best quality


yeah that’s the issue for me with choosing a watch. I like the Charge 4 because it’s sorta small and doesn’t have a huge face.


Waiting for the new garmin smartwatch to finally move away from fitbit.


I have this watch and can confirm it is excellent


I have a vivoactive 4s and it’s got all the features I want in a smartwatch while also being discreet and small. It doesn’t feel any different on my wrist than an analog watch and that’s what I love most


Been going through their product line now and this is the one I’ve landed on. Battery?


I can get mine to last 5-6 days depending on usage. The GPS function obviously drains it faster so if I’m going on bike rides multiple days in a row it’ll be about 4 days tops, but if I do stationary bike and weight lifting it’ll get 5 days easy, even going on GPS walks it usually doesn’t drain as bad as the bike tracking.

Also worth noting I don’t have any phone notifications on my watch because I just don’t need another device getting my attention. So I think that helps to extend my battery life.

Additionally, I disabled the Pulse Ox sensor by default as that thing drains juice so fast. My girlfriend had hers on 24/7 and was getting like maybe 2 days out of a full charge.

jennwiththesea, avatar

I’ve been a happy Fitbit user for years, but am finding their Premium push increasingly annoying. I shouldn’t have to pay a subscription fee to see data that my tracker is already getting. I almost switched to Garmin last time but didn’t, and I regret that now. My current Fitbit is still in great shape so it’ll be a while until I can justify a new tracker.

noxy, avatar

Currently wearing a mechanical watch. No data collection, no batteries, and it has radioactive tubes that glow for decades so I can see what time it is at night with zero effort.

If I wanna track fitness I’ll open vim and record it there.


Casio for sure! Best quality. Made in Japan


I am very happy with my Skagen Jorn gen 6 hybrid. Hybrid means both e-ink screen and physical watch hands. It has a few health sensors, can display notifications, track workouts, send commands to Alexa if you want that, and much more. It’s simply an awesome smartwatch in a classic inconspicuous design, and it has a hopping 5 weeks battery life, and it’s supported by Gadgetbridge. Nothing can beat it in my opinion.


I’ll wear my Pebble Time Round until it disintegrates


I loved Wear OS from Fossil before I switched to Linux phone.


I just want something that auto tracks my fitness, shows the time, and shows notifications from my phone on a nice looking display. Everything else is bloat for me.


I agreed. Additionally it has to be not too bulky and cheap. Mi Band does the trick in my experience.


Yeah, I got one a few years back. The heart rate tracking is piss-poor, but for £20 I wasn’t expecting much.


How did you figure out it was piss poor? Compared with another tracker?

It certainly shows my heart rate going up by a lot when I’m in the gym.


I’ve got a Mi Band 6 and I think it guesses based on activity half the time. I just sat still and shook mine about, and it reckoned I was well over 120bpm, but manually checking and it’s barely over 1 beat a second. Being half or double what it should be seems pretty common.

It could be because I’ve got hairy monkey arms, but my wife also found it to be poor with her old FitBit (which has shockingly bad phone connectivity instead) keeping much better track of it during exercise.

It’s nothing vitally important, but you probably shouldn’t use it for any actual athlete stuff.


Interesting. I mean there are random spikes that are much higher than before and after, but those are only once or twice a day and I assumed those were just wrong measurements anyway.

Thing is it does have my heart rate going up a lot when I’m at the gym, even when I’m not doing anything with my arms, it could detect as activity, so I assume it at least somewhat accurately measures heart rate.

You are of course right, I don’t expect Apple watch accuracy from a band for such a low price.


I use a Garmin vivomove Sport! It has a physical analog watch with a screen underneath the watch face. It tracks my steps and activities I engage in as well as shows me notifications from my phone. It has quite a lot of other options such as stress and sleep tracking as well but those are purely optional.


Got the same one! It’s awesome, I was looking for something a bit nicer looking than the Fitbits.


I’ve had it for a couple months and get compliments on it all the time!


Wow that looks really nice! When my Galaxy watch dies I’ll get one of those for sure. Thanks!


Ngl I have used the find my phone function a LOT on my smartwatch, and do like having google maps showing on it when I’m navigating in an unfamiliar location. I’m sure there’s other features I utilise but these came to mind as being really handy.


I wear an analog which has nothing to track and connect to a phone. Just like the good ol’ days.


Is there something like a fitness bracelet without a display that one could wear? I already have an old school Casio digital watch, and I like to too much to replace it with a smartwatch.


Mi band has a display, but it’s pretty slim and you could just leave it turned off. But a ring might be the better option for you.


My cousin has a tracker ring and it’s pretty cool


Check. I’ve been looking at something like that as well, but it comes with a $6/mo subscription model on up of the $370 price for the ring itself. The subscription model made me not want it anymore.


Eh I would have done the same!


I have wanted a decent product in this category for YEARS now and sadly, there’s really not many options at all. The ring one that requires a damn subscription is laughably a non starter. What on earth.


Perhaps a Fitbit Flex? I haven’t really looked into it but there are a few fitness bands that exist without a screen.


I have a garmin epix 2, best Damn watch ever. It lasts roughly 2 weeks on a charge. All the same features as the Fenix but OLED display.


Love my Fenix 5x. Sapphire glass, rugged and the battery lasts forever. It wasn’t cheap but worth every penny. No touch screen and I turn off most notifications. It just works as a nice watch with fitness tracking. Garmin really makes a good product.


I have an instinct and really like it. Garmin also does not seem as bad at collecting user data as say fitbit


PineTime my beloved


I don’t find my pinetime very good for using with an iphone. It somewhere on a shelve waiting for good sofware for iphone or for when I switch to android


Maybe someone will pick up InfiniLink in the future, looks like a cool app just unmaintained


I’m an avid paddler/wind sports/surfer, so having good water resistance, cellular connection for emergencies, at least 4+ hours of GPS tracking battery life, and good GPS are requirements. AFAIK only the Apple Watch Ultra ticks all those boxes. I used to use Garmin’s but the lack of cellular made me switch. If anyone has other options, I’m open to them.


Withings. All the features without looking like your wearing a computer on your arm

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