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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 227475 8-Jan-2018 20:38
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Hey all. Am looking at getting a new fitness tracker/smart watch. Currently have a Fitbit Charge HR and thinking it's time for an upgrade. If money were no object I'd plump for the Garmin Fenix 5x, but that's a wee bit too expensive hahaha so I've narrowed it down to the following.

 

Fitbit Ionic: Advantages are I'm already in the Fitbit environment and am happy with the data it provides. Has a great battery life, good gps reading,sleep tracking, waterproof and internal storage for music files. Disadvantages: limited apps selection, no spotify offline integration, Fitbit Pay a non starter in NZ.

 

Garmin Vivoactive 3: Advantages. great design IMO, highly readible e-ink display so has decent battery as well, can track lots of different fitness activities including golf (something I've just picked up), waterproof, measures stuff like cadence etc which is a big thing for runners, standard wrist straps so can swap out as needed, can use external devices to link with it (ANT+ or bluetooth HR monitors for example). Disadvantages: once again a limited apps selection, no onboard storage for music, so no offline spotify, not as good as Fitbit for sleep tracking.

 

Samsung Gear Sport: Advantages. Great design and that rotating bezel control is awesome, offline spotify so can save playlists directly to watch so no need to take phone, amoled screen looks fantastic, tizen runs smoothly, replaceable wrist bands, samsung pay via nfc, waterproof to 5atm. Disadvantages. Does fitness tracking ok...seems to do the basics well without being exceptional, Tizen has limited apps as well, how good is a Samsung smartwatch if I'm not using a Samsung phone (i.e. Samsung Health app etc). Would also include the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier in this as they are pretty close to the same thing, but the S3 being larger and having a few extra features (but costlier).

 

I've chosen these 3 in particular as they all seem to come in around the $499ish price, and seem comparable in terms of features. If anyone has had any experience with any of these devices, please let me know how you find it, and if you can think of any more advantages/disadvantages to each device.

 

I've done a heap of reading on them and can't seem to separate them...Please help!!


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290 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1932389 8-Jan-2018 20:41
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Check out dcrainmaker.com. He’s the go to for sports tech. He’s reviewed the Garmin and the Fitbit and has the Samsung to review. From his comments on the Samsung on Twitter and in other reviews, as an accurate sports watch, he wouldn’t recommend it to his worst enemy.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1932401 8-Jan-2018 20:45
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SheriffNZ: Check out dcrainmaker.com. He’s the go to for sports tech. He’s reviewed the Garmin and the Fitbit and has the Samsung to review. From his comments on the Samsung on Twitter and in other reviews, as an accurate sports watch, he wouldn’t recommend it to his worst enemy.


My 2c, go for the Garmin, but I’m a little biased as I have 3 Garmin products FR235, Edge 520 and Vivosmart 3.

Also, wait until after CES before buying, rumours are there may be new Garmin devices announced, like a FR 245 and FR645.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1932405 8-Jan-2018 20:58
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One thing that's worth checking is the charging connection type. I originally had a TomTom which had a charging cable with badly designed pins that easily bent, and eventually the pins on the watch body failed due to corrosion. I've since bought an Apple Watch and the inductive charging connection is far more resilient.

 

I'm not suggesting that you buy an Apple Watch because the fact that you've omitted it from your list makes me think you've quite rightly decided not to consider it as you're not an iPhone user, however if one of your other options has inductive charging then it would be a definite plus.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1932412 8-Jan-2018 21:17
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alasta:

One thing that's worth checking is the charging connection type. I originally had a TomTom which had a charging cable with badly designed pins that easily bent, and eventually the pins on the watch body failed due to corrosion. I've since bought an Apple Watch and the inductive charging connection is far more resilient.


I'm not suggesting that you buy an Apple Watch because the fact that you've omitted it from your list makes me think you've quite rightly decided not to consider it as you're not an iPhone user, however if one of your other options has inductive charging then it would be a definite plus.



I have three different charging cables for my 3 Garmin devices. It's very annoying when travelling although I do understand they're trying to consolidate.

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  Reply # 1932415 8-Jan-2018 21:22
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I had a couple of Garmin here before for review and was pretty annoyed with the problems with synchronisation. Fitbit at least works with smartphones, Windows devices, etc.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1932416 8-Jan-2018 21:23
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freitasm:

I had a couple of Garmin here before for review and was pretty annoyed with the problems with synchronisation. Fitbit at least works with smartphones, Windows devices, etc.



What sort of problems?

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  Reply # 1932428 8-Jan-2018 21:25
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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1932431 8-Jan-2018 21:29
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freitasm:

Not synchronising at all... Obviously even the log errors are faulty as it doesn't even fills the % variables:



 


 



Weird. I wouldn't say mine is perfect (not at all) but it syncs what I need to eventually. My biggest issue with syncing is with the Edge 520 which fails to sync maybe 20% of the time.

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  Reply # 1932457 8-Jan-2018 22:22
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alasta: One thing that's worth checking is the charging connection type. I originally had a TomTom which had a charging cable with badly designed pins that easily bent, and eventually the pins on the watch body failed due to corrosion.

 

Another thing that's worth checking is the strap material. I also had a TomTom (Spark Cardio+Music) and while I really liked the watch itself, and the software was ok, the strap broke up after about 6 months - split in three different places. I got that replaced and 6 months later the replacement strap started doing exactly the same. I took the whole lot back and got a refund. Agree with alasta about the crap design of the charging cable but, fortunately, I didn't experience the same problems. I'm back with a Timex Ironman watch at the moment but do miss the large numerals on the face of the TomTom, it was a very easy to read watch.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1932495 9-Jan-2018 07:06
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I’ve used polars, fitbits, and am now using a Garmin forerunner 235. Absolutely love it. Great tracking, strapless HRM, waterproof, Bluetooth for control of music, headphones, messages etc. battery lasts up to a week.

When it dies I’ll probably replace it with a Fenix 5s (or wahatever is th current model then)

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1932496 9-Jan-2018 07:08
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Garmin FR645 announced overnight. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/01/garmin-forerunner-645-music-gps-watch.html

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  Reply # 1932519 9-Jan-2018 08:04
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I went with a Garmin 235 18 months ago. I would have liked to have gone with an Apple Watch but there is no way I could be bothered charging it everyday. The battery life/waterproofness on the Garmin was the deciding factor for me.





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  Reply # 1932521 9-Jan-2018 08:19
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I have the gear sports using a one plus 5t. Works great with Samsung health and battery last a few days with Bluetooth and sync of notifications. I do charge each night but I tend to have over 70% before charging.

Last night I took it off the charge about 9pm, it’s used 7% over the last 11 hours. :)



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1932582 9-Jan-2018 09:57
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I love the idea of onboard music but it's certainly not a hassle to take my phone out with me so not a necessity by any stretch. I also love the idea of the rotating bezel on the Samsungs, which I think is a brilliant idea, but certainly expendable if the watch doesn't do the core functions well (decent fitness tracking and measurements).

 

@alasta yes I discarded the Apple watch immediately as I'm an Android user.

 

@SheriffNZ I had a read of that link from DC Rainmaker and it seems the music function is basic at best with only iHeart and Pandora offline support (which requires premium accounts) or mp3s. Seems that it does not have a touchscreen either which I find puzzling. There may be some people that prefer buttons only, but I would think a touchscreen to be a big selling point for most casual runners like myself.


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  Reply # 1932973 9-Jan-2018 16:42
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Loving my new Ionic. Comfortable to wear. Was already using a Fitbit, so happy to stay in that ecosystem. Picked up some well priced 3rd party straps from Amazon to switch it up for going out etc. Picked it up for about $400 with Christmas/New Year sales.




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

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