Which connected watch to choose for sports?

Connected watches don’t just display mobile notifications. Some go much further by accurately measuring the sports activities of their wearer. This is particularly the case with models from certain specialists. Futura takes stock.

With smartphone clocks, the good old tocante has left the wrists. But today, it is gradually coming back up to date in a high-tech version. It must be said that the size of mobiles keeps increasing to the point that they become foldable. The watches connected then become a useful extension of the smartphone, because she knows view messages, notifications and appeals. The connected watch also makes it possible to control the music of the telephone, to be guided and it also serves both as a sports coach or to control the quality of sleep, for example.

The first connected watches originate from the world of sport. They have been displaying data from heart sensors for a long time, or integrating a GPS chip.and accelerometers to assess the pace and the number of kilometers traveled for cycling or running, for example. These watches which were frankly unattractive, heavy and endowed with a fairly low autonomy can now come out of sports fields to be worn permanently on the wrist. They now display mobile notifications and can even be considered for the most part as real smartwatches. Moreover, if the goal is to use your watch as a sports coach and analyze its performance, immediately forget the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch and other Huawei Watches.

Garmin’s Fenix ​​6 is arguably the best for running enthusiasts looking to compete in such competitions as the Marathon, ultra-trails and triathlons. © Garmin 

Count on the specialists

Better to turn to sports specialists. Several brands exist, but some are essential. This is the case with Polar, Suunto, and even Garmin, one of the greatest specialists in GPS navigation systems. Its models are very popular with sportsmen and especially running enthusiasts. Some watches are even above the rest. This is the case of the Garmin Fenix ​​6 with a titanium case and whose autonomy peaks at 21 days, it is the most enduring on the market with the GPS in operation. Its level of performance and its materials make it a true luxury watch.

Overall, their real asset is the precision of their sensors (GPS / Glonass, barometer, compass, accelerometer, heart rate) and data processing. They generally have a significant autonomy to be able to function on long sporting events by exploiting all the sensors and in particular the GPS. They also have the advantage of being robust and very often waterproof and even rather light compared to smartwatches.

You have to pay the price

For an athlete, one of the most important measurement tools to assess his progress remains the heart rate monitor. Until a few years ago, models for measuring heart rate on the wrist with a sensor and LEDs were not sufficiently precise. From now on, connected watches for sportsmen and in particular mid-range and top-of-the-range models are also efficient, as Futura was able to observe by testing the two systems simultaneously.

In all cases, however, the price must be paid… Watches around a hundred euros will not suit sports enthusiasts who really want to progress in their discipline. The sensors are less precise and these watches are more like physical activity trackers.