What watches do you guys wear?

Hi all,

Just wondering what sort of watch/tracker you guys wear. I’m currently using Fitbit, but the battery on my Ionic has started to die and only last a day if I’m lucky!

I like having all the (useless) data such as HR, RHR, Sleep tracking, Steps etc

I have a Wahoo Roam for my bike recording so on the bike stuff isn’t really a priority for the device.

Basically, is something like the Garmin Fenix 6 really worth the price tag, or is it just a tarted up Fitbit device?

Thanks

I might be an outlier, but I am really happy with my Withings (formerly Nokia) Scanwatch. Tracks everything that I want it to track, no built-in GPS means the battery lasts close to 30 days. So it’s a hybrid watch, not a full smart watch.

And I can wear it with shirt/suit if needed by switching to a leather band.

Also, great support - they replaced it when I had some water ingress caused at least partly due to bad judgement on my side.

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I’ve had the Fenix 6x for a long time now, which replaced my 5 (which I sold to a swim buddy), which replaced my 4 (from which I extracted tremendous value). In other words, I’ve been using the Garmin watch for a while.

Here’s my take: if you are running, particularly distances and especially trails and ultras, the Garmin Fenix or the Suunto are your go-to watches. If you’re are running “only” marathon and below, the Garmin Forerunner fits your need.

If you are running and swimming, whether pool or open water, the Suunto is out (my knowledge of the Suunto is admittedly dated, so apologies if I’m wrong here, but you’re not considering Suunto anyway and you shouldn’t, I just included it here for comparison, like the Forerunner), but the Forerunner is in (I think). You can load swim workouts onto the Fenix, which is actually pretty awesome as it counts your lengths and tells you when you’re on your last length (especially helpful when you’re doing 500s, 800s, or 1000s… but for me also helpful when I’m doing 200s).

If you’re cycling and using the watch, then you’ll “suffer” from using the small screen that is the watch, but that may be ok for you, especially if you’re only interested in say two fields, ok to scroll with small buttons, but mostly it’s for recording. But you said that’s not the purpose of the device, so we don’t care. The Garmin ecosystem for a long time now integrates your Garmin head unit data with your Garmin wearable, which is nice when you’re looking at the body batter, work load, etc. (Personally, I find the Body Battery to be weirdly accurate.)

If you’re doing tris, then the Fenix or the forerunner (?) are great but I believe the Fenix provides more features than the Forerunner, but check that.

Ultimately the comparison to the Fitbit is what you want to use the device for. The Fenix does great mapping for running (road or trail), which I’ve used often. The former when I’m in a new city, typically for work, and want to get out for a run and yet make it back to my hotel, and the latter typically when I’m on holiday and exploring a new place and either want to know where I’m going or at least know where I’ve been and how to get out or for an ultra. I don’t think the Fitbit has the swim function covered and certainly not as well as the Fenix. Pre-covid I was swimming 3xweek for 2500-5000m each session and completely reliant on my Fenix to execute a workout and know where I was in the workout (it also detects strokes, which is cool). If you’re not swimming, then I’d suggest looking at the Forerunner. If you just want the (useless) data for daily life (ie not swimming, not cycling, not running, not the gym, not skiing, not rowing, all of which the Fenix tracks plus loads more), then the Fitbit might be for you.

I hope that helps.

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Suunto Spartan Trainer with wrist HR. Best budget full triathlon watch from about four years ago, according to DCRainMaker. Recently supplanted by a Coros watch, but mainly due to the app (Suunto’s is quite basic). The current equivalent is the Suunto 5.

The watch lacks many of the features that Garmin has, but is also about 1/3 of the price of the 945LTE. Highly recommend it.

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watch

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I’m a happy user of an Apple Watch 6, with cellular, very handy when running to not have to carry a phone in case of emergencies. Does everything I want, routes, mapping, intervals (with this app www.workoutdoors.net). Also does swimming etc.

Add in this app for a bit of info on RHR etc Training Today (trainingtodayapp.com) and this one for sleep tracking AutoSleep (tantsissa.com)

Can’t link up to any power meters that I know of, but like you I have a head unit for that. Also significantly cheaper than the Fenix!

My summary is if you want are an iPhone user and want a great smartwatch that is good enough for most sports, the Apple Watch is great! You’ll need to be prepared to charge it daily. I wear mine overnight then charge as soon as I get up.

If you want a primary fitness watch to link to ant+ devices and for longer 12 hour plus events that is an ok smartwatch then look at the various Garmin devices. 945 is a “lighter” less robust Fenix 6 IMHO. Fenix 5 plus is a cheaper option that still has mapping.

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I would recommend the fenix series based on the quality of the watch construction, battery life and multi sport features. I am on construction sites regularly for work and my regular fenix 5 plus is the first watch I have had in a while that has not scratched and shows virtually no wear. I’ve had an Apple Watch and it annoyed me that I had to charge it all the time. If you are a triathlete an Apple Watch will not meet you needs (at least it didn’t meet mine).

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fenix 6 pro sapphire

  • best looks (personal opinion of course)
  • more features then you would ever need (so never, I should have gone for that model, because I’m missing this or that)
  • long battery life
  • I like the screen, that is very visible in normal or bright daylight

only downside is the price and maybe for some the weight

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Nowadays a Forerunner 945 but beforehand an AW4. Never regretted the move. The superior battery life already was worth the change.

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Best thing about is it has never beeped at me once. It also never needs to be charged.

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I would recommend the Fenix also. I have the Fenix 6 Sapphire. I work as a High Voltage Lineman and have roughed it up pretty bad. The bezel has been scratched and beat up, but the glass is spotless. It has performed flawlessly over the past 1.5 years. It quickly pairs to all my PM’s and Heart rate monitors. Satellite signal is quickly obtained during rides and runs. Battery life is excellent, especially if you leave off the Pulse Ox feature. It was a bit on the expensive side…but again, tough AF.

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I went with a Vivioactive 3, its pretty basic. I didn’t see a reason for spending more when the features I needed would be already recorded by my Garmin edge and it looked ok on my wrist.

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Same here but a Vivoactive 4

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Give the Venu 2 a look in as well if you are coming from a fitbit. Could list a load of my own reasons but you’re better off seeing the bullet points and in depth review on dcrainmakers web page below or my edited bullet points from his page below.

for those who don’t want to use the weblink, here’s an edited version

– New Garmin Elevate V4 optical heart rate sensor
– Increased IR sensors from 1 to 2 for increased PulseOx accuracy
– New integrated processor & GPU for significantly increased graphic power (mainly for apps)
– Updated AMOLED display (slight behind the scenes tweak to merge the touchscreen and display together, Corning Gorilla Glass 3)
– Slightly increased GPS battery life from 20hrs to 22hrs (GPS-only), and 6hrs to 8hrs (GPS+Music)
(I charge from 20% to 100% in an hour, every 5 or 6 days with 2 to 3 activities a day. )
– Increased storage space from ~3GB to ~7GB of music storage
– Introduced Connect IQ 4.0 support (first Garmin devices to do so)
– Added widget glances, but with a more modern twist
– Added new rapid charging mode, charges watch 1 day’s worth (or 1hr of GPS time) in 10 mins
– Added new battery saver mode up to 12 days for the Venu 2 or 11 days for Venu 2S
– Added Firstbeat advanced sleep tracking/analytics (like Fenix 6)
– Added new Sleep Score each night
– New body battery algorithm accounts for crappy sleep better (or worse, depending on your point of view)
– Added new Health Snapshot feature (one-off recording of HR-driven metrics)
– Added Fitness Age estimate: Uses various 24×7 metrics + Garmin Index or BMI data to determine
– Added strength training profile with muscle map graphics for each workout
– Added new activity profiles for Hiking, HIIT, Indoor Climbing, and Bouldering
– Added HIIT workouts with animated instructions/steps (including Tabata, AMRAP, EMOM, and custom timers)
– Added ability to see challenges on the watch itself
– Significant revamp of the user interface, primarily making it look more modern/fluid

As far as things that have stayed the same, that’s all the essentials. So in short, it still does all the following (this isn’t an extensive list, just a quick overview):

– Optical HR sensor with PulseOx (SpO2 tracking 24hrs or just night)
– GPS with GLONASS & Galileo options for workout tracking (no reliance on phone)
– Downloadable structured workout support
– Music storage and streaming with Spotify/Deezer/Amazon Music
– Contactless Payments with Garmin Pay
– PulseOx, Respiration rate, 24×7 HR, stress tracking, body battery
– Sleep tracking, stairs step/activity tracking, Oreo consumption tracking
– Female menstrual cycle tracking
– Connecting to ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors
– Smartphone notifications
– LiveTrack for workouts & safety alerts for day to day usage

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Amen, brother. Amen.

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Garmin FR945. No head unit on the bike, but for me the watch is very fine both when I do a structured power-base workout, or when I don’t and just want to see some data fields like HR- and power-zone, current pace, avg. pace. Charging one time per week, with around 8 hours per week of training (triathlon) and almost permanently wearing it (tracking Puls Ox during the night only).

Nice!

SKX for me in the office today

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Like many here I like proper watches, so I wear a Vivosmart band on my right wrist and a proper watch from my collection on the left. For biking, servicing and other “shed” duties I bought this extreme value option:

I paid £26/$33, its tough, solar, day/date/light/5 alarms and never runs out and I don’t care how its treated. The band is a bit uncomfortable to I changed it to a NATO strap and all good.

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Previously had several Fitbits, didn’t like the build quality. Just seemed to have lots of issues with crashes, straps breaking, moisture getting into the watch even when being careful with it, etc.

Had a Fenix 5 for 4 years and love it. Very durable, all the data of the Fitbit plus more, and with a metal strap it looks more like a normal watch. On the occasions when I’ve needed to use it to record a ride or other activity it’s much more feature rich than the Fitbits I had - ability to pair devices with ANT+/BT like PM, HR strap, etc, and you get the full workout data in Garmin Connect for analysis. Could be the more recent Fitbits have improved on that front since the models I had though.

Great for calculations

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