The Best Smartwatches To Buy In 2022

The future of watches or a gadget? Elegant or not? Smartwatches have been the biggest disruptor in the watch industry since the release of the first Apple Watch in 2015. But, of course, watchmakers have been trying to squeeze more functionality into their products for decades, long before the advent of the smartphone.

Hamilton launched the first digital LED watch in 1972; The first calculator watches from Timex and Casio came out a few years later; in 1982, Seiko created a watch with a built-in television, and two years later, its first computer terminal worn on the wrist; there was a pager watch in the 1990s; and Microsoft actually launched a “smartwatch” – as it called them – in 2003.

Watches have always gotten smarter. But it was Apple – and more specifically the ability to link it to a smartphone – that changed the game. It remains to be seen how much this game has changed or will change.

What makes a watch a smartwatch?

First, the cell phone has become, in effect, a computer in our pocket. Now the smartwatch seems – with further miniaturization – to become a computer on our wrist, or at least an extension of it. At the moment, any advanced functionality depends on it being connected to a nearby smartphone.

Montblanc Summit 2Montblanc Summit 2

Whether you need a smartwatch is another matter – they work well as fitness watches and perhaps for those who travel a lot. But beyond that, it’s really for those who are, in a sense, too lazy to take their phone out of their pocket – a way to get a quick overview or access many of the apps the wearer uses.

At least that’s how the Swiss watch industry tends to see them – more as a novelty than a true competition. After all, a mechanical watch is a very different thing – an expression of craftsmanship and materials that, arguably, evokes something emotional rather than practical.

That said, the famous manufacturers of these watches are looking at the smartwatch boom with some nervousness. Indeed, some studies have suggested that people high on cellular technology not only have less interest in wearing a watch, but if they can be convinced to wear one, they expect it to do more. than simply indicating the time.

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“I think the point is that we’ll all be wearing some sort of smart device in the next five to 10 years,” as MB&F watch designer Max Busser puts it, “because connectivity will be so important. he uses of these devices are so varied.

Some sort of smartwatch – analog, touchscreen, some sort of hybrid – is likely to be the mainstream future of wristwatches, with mechanical watches surviving but becoming an increasingly esoteric and specialized interest. Or, at least, that’s what this app says. But then it needs to be upgraded.

The best smartwatches on the market

Apple Watch Series 4

It wasn’t the first, but thanks to the brand’s cult following, Apple’s smartwatch has certainly sparked interest in a product sometimes seen as more gimmick than beneficial. As with any next-gen technology, it’s meant to be the same as before, only better, and the Series 4 is just that: a bigger screen, bigger buttons, improved sensors and better performance, including a ceramic and crystal back, which improves cellular signal and makes calls with the watch now a real proposition.

If so, talking into your wrist still doesn’t feel strange. But then, as Bluetooth headsets have allowed us people to talk to each other, it’s only a matter of time before technology reshapes our behavior and the weird becomes mainstream.

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Apple Watch Series 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Just as the Apple Watch is for Apple fans, the Galaxy Watch is for Samsung fans – as with so many technologies, your smartwatch ecosystem often matters. Unlike the sci-fi style of the Apple Watch, however, the Galaxy hides its proverbial functionality under a bushel – with that stainless steel case and diver’s watch-style bezel, it looks a lot more conventional than it does. is not.

The bezel, in fact, is how you navigate apps on the Galaxy, arguably a more satisfying method than fat fingers on a tiny touchscreen. It is also good for physical fitness, including swimming. This is a smartwatch that is even waterproof up to 50m.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch

Montblanc Summit 2

You can’t fault the outside of this watch – DLC (or ‘diamond-like coated’) steel or grade 2 titanium are options – but then, for the tech savvy, the inside is also impressive : the Summit 2 has a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 chip. One of the benefits of being the first smartwatch to have it is that it gives the wearer (claimed battery life) up to a week between charges in mode “time only”.

Yes, if you occasionally need to wind this mechanical watch, of course, you more than occasionally need to plug in the smart variety. With Google’s Wear OS, Montblanc has clearly turned to the experts for the technical stuff and focused on the hardware itself – but in a smart way too. These traditional buttons launch the applications of your choice.

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Montblanc Summit 2

Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45

Tag Heuer was one of the first big names in luxury watchmaking to embrace the idea of ​​the smartwatch, rather than seeing it as the enemy. “We can’t ignore the trend,” as Jean-Claude Biver, then CEO of the brand, said when launching the Connected series. “As a luxury brand with an ‘affordable’ entry price, we couldn’t miss the smartwatch. We have to adapt to the tastes of a younger generation.

Often considered the best, albeit the most expensive, Android smartwatch on the market – it’s the first smartwatch to also achieve ‘Swiss made’ certification – the Connected has a modular design, which means there are around 4000 options of case and lug material, bezel color, strap type and so on to make the watch more personal.

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Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45

Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch

Although the gap between smartwatches and what the Swiss watch industry might call a “real” watch is closing, there is still the feeling that these are two separate worlds. Frédérique Constant is one of the first high-end manufacturers to produce models that are very classic timepieces on the outside, but – thanks to a partnership with Alpina and a Silicon Valley technology company – on the inside. capable of two-way communication with a smart phone.

All information regarding alerts, sleep monitoring, activity tracking, etc., is displayed using traditional analog hands, which saves on aesthetics, but arguably at the cost of utility. “The [have been] technical challenges, explains Pim Koeslag, head of watchmaking at Frédérique Constant.

“Normally, for example, connected objects are mainly plastic to help transmit radio waves, and stainless steel is not so good for that. So we had to redesign the dial to allow transmission through the glass – you can’t just start using materials not associated with high-end watchmaking. The findings could encourage rethinking of the watch market and what a “smart” watch is.

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Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch

Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch

If the watchmaking world once distinguished between serious watches and fashionable ones, the advent of the smartwatch has opened up a new market for manufacturers of the latter. Since the technology of a smartwatch is quickly outdated, few people want to spend too much on a watch in the first place. Nor are “fashion” watches subject to the same manufacturing standards as “serious” watches.

Step into the likes of Fossil, with a hybrid model – one that, usually lacking a touchscreen, makes it more affordable or power-hungry. The Collider looks like it was designed in a swanky studio in Scandinavia, but its hands are whistling and its vibrations are whistling to tell you to check your phone for various alerts.

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Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch

Huawei Watch 2 Sport

For every smartwatch trying to look like high-end mechanics, there’s a model that’s happy to embrace the inherent lifespan of tech with a simpler aesthetic. And so the Huawei Watch 2 is perhaps a bit plasticky (although it has a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel) and a bit bulky.

And yet it has 4GB of storage for music, GPS, wifi, bluetooth, 4G connectivity and – as many smartwatches at least aim to offer – a suite of toys to help your fitness regimen. fitness, including a real-time heart rate monitor, dedicated health app, coaching hub and workout stats. It won’t really get you exercising – maybe a little electric shock every minute until you start moving would work – but it’s a good companion when you do.

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Huawei Watch 2 Sport

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