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QCassidy352

macrumors G5
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
12,032
6,061
Bay Area
Hi all, I'm hoping you smart folks can help me find the watch that most closely meets what I'm looking for.

The primary reason I want a new watch is for running. If it works for other things that's cool, but meeting my running criteria is by far and away the #1 goal. I don't care about other types of fitness tracking (steps, sleep, calories, etc.) -- in fact, I'd rather not have that stuff.

My ideal watch would have:
  • Stand-alone GPS (meaning without a phone; this is absolutely mandatory -- so :apple:watch is out)
  • Nike+ support (have used this for years and prefer it to other options such as Garmin Connect or map my run)
  • Cadence tracking and/or ability to install a metronome app
  • Play music through bluetooth headphones

My research indicates that no watch currently available can do all of these things. The two strongest contenders I've found are the Samsung Gear S and the Garmin Forerunner 220. They are very different from one another and check off different boxes on the above list, but each is very appealing in different ways.

The Gear S has nike+ and can play music through headphones. My concerns with it are (a) I don't have an android phone, and loading apps seems to require one (b) is there a decent metronome app for it (c) could the metronome app and music be playing at the same time?

The Garmin has no nike+ support and no music. But, Garmin has many years experience making excellent GPS running watches, and the 220 has on-screen cadence information. For music, I could use an iPod shuffle.

Can anyone share experiences with either of these two watches, and/or suggest an alternative I may not have thought of? Thanks so much!
 

mi7chy

macrumors G4
Oct 24, 2014
10,495
11,155
Most serious runners use Garmin Forerunner series. For marathons and training I use a Forerunner 310XT since it has a large easy to read display, about 8 hour battery so plenty for marathon and doable for triathlon, it's water resistant and reliable. It includes a wireless dongle to connect to your PC to upload data points that you can view graphically overlaid on a map with elevation, terrain, etc. It's relatively inexpensive too at ~US$170.

For music I use a tiny Sony NW-E505 MP3 player/radio stuffed in a cap or visor to keep the cords to ear short to avoid annoying cord slap when running.

16nxv9.jpg
 
Last edited:

MRU

macrumors Penryn
Aug 23, 2005
25,368
8,948
a better place
I think its likely a very bad time to buy a smart-watch. Even if the apple watch doesn't live up to expectations - it may drive android wear devices to go further and have greater capabilities.

Battery life is universally rotten at the moment, that needs to be updated and we also need greater onboard storage if they ever mean us to use the devices for music playback whilst exercising too.

I expect much of the things you mention will also arrive at some stage this year on a device.

It's a wait this one out - kind of thing.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G5
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
12,032
6,061
Bay Area
Most serious runners use Garmin Forerunner series.

I know; I myself currently use a Garmin Forerunner 10. But because of recent professional advice to change my form, the cadence thing has become very important to me, and the 10 is useless for that. I've also never liked running with wired headphones; they always seem to fall out. Hence looking for BT watch options.


I think its likely a very bad time to buy a smart-watch.
...
Battery life is universally rotten at the moment, that needs to be updated and we also need greater onboard storage if they ever mean us to use the devices for music playback whilst exercising too.

I expect much of the things you mention will also arrive at some stage this year on a device.

It's a wait this one out - kind of thing.

Yes, the technology needs another 1-2 years to mature. But I think everything I want exists on one model or another already; the question is what model would get the most of them on board at once.

I'm actually fine with the battery life as-is, though more is always better. 4 GB on board storage, which is common these days, is Ok too, since I don't want a lot of apps, mostly just music.

I think you're right that I should probably make do with what I have for now (running with an iphone or Garmin 10).
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors G3
Oct 27, 2009
8,780
10,844
I think its likely a very bad time to buy a smart-watch. Even if the apple watch doesn't live up to expectations - it may drive android wear devices to go further and have greater capabilities.

Battery life is universally rotten at the moment, that needs to be updated and we also need greater onboard storage if they ever mean us to use the devices for music playback whilst exercising too.

I expect much of the things you mention will also arrive at some stage this year on a device.

It's a wait this one out - kind of thing.

I disagree. I have the Gear 2 Neo, and it's worth every penny. My battery life is still at 75% after 2 1/2 days, while connected and recieving notifications. I thought I wasted $200 on something I didn't need the first week of owning it. Now I wouldn't want to live without it.

I will agree that, smart watches have plenty of maturing to gain. But at the moment, it's still a very productive wearable tech.
 

Fernandez21

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2010
4,839
3,177
You know, after looking at your list, take a look at the Moto Actv, it seems to have most of the features your looking for. It is 3 years old though.
 

Ffosse

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2012
1,827
652
Loving my Sony SWR50 - it has GPS and the Walkman app plays flawlessly via bluetooth. That workout was more of a leisurely walk, but the GPS is as accurate as my phone. With music and fitness on the watch, I don't need to carry my phone everywhere now

2015%2B-%2B1


2015%2B-%2B1


2015%2B-%2B1
 
Last edited:

epicrayban

macrumors 604
Nov 7, 2014
6,517
5,353
Loving my Sony SWR50 - it has GPS and the Walkman app plays flawlessly via bluetooth. That workout was more of a leisurely walk, but the GPS is as accurate as my phone. With music and fitness on the watch, I don't need to carry my phone everywhere now

Image

Image

Image

Wait is this the Sony smart watch 3?
 

Lloydbm41

Suspended
Oct 17, 2013
4,019
1,456
Central California
Hi all, I'm hoping you smart folks can help me find the watch that most closely meets what I'm looking for.

The primary reason I want a new watch is for running. If it works for other things that's cool, but meeting my running criteria is by far and away the #1 goal. I don't care about other types of fitness tracking (steps, sleep, calories, etc.) -- in fact, I'd rather not have that stuff.

My ideal watch would have:
  • Stand-alone GPS (meaning without a phone; this is absolutely mandatory -- so :apple:watch is out)
  • Nike+ support (have used this for years and prefer it to other options such as Garmin Connect or map my run)
  • Cadence tracking and/or ability to install a metronome app
  • Play music through bluetooth headphones

My research indicates that no watch currently available can do all of these things. The two strongest contenders I've found are the Samsung Gear S and the Garmin Forerunner 220. They are very different from one another and check off different boxes on the above list, but each is very appealing in different ways.

The Gear S has nike+ and can play music through headphones. My concerns with it are (a) I don't have an android phone, and loading apps seems to require one (b) is there a decent metronome app for it (c) could the metronome app and music be playing at the same time?

The Garmin has no nike+ support and no music. But, Garmin has many years experience making excellent GPS running watches, and the 220 has on-screen cadence information. For music, I could use an iPod shuffle.

Can anyone share experiences with either of these two watches, and/or suggest an alternative I may not have thought of? Thanks so much!

Might want to look into the FitBit Surge.
 

Markyboy81

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2011
514
0
Omate Truesmart certainly ticks all the boxes, but not sure I can recommend it, as the GPS isn't that good. Music streaming via Bluetooth works well though
 

TimelessOne

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2014
236
2
I own the 220. I like it for running as it gives everything I need in terms of pace. There are several ways oils out there that are out let you convert Garmin files into one Nike ones.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G5
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
12,032
6,061
Bay Area
Pebble. Android and Apple watches are expensive in comparison and they just aren't market-ready.

Thanks, but no gps is a complete deal breaker.

All of your great suggestions have been much appreciated. After exploring them all, my conclusion is that what I want doesnt yet exist. Many come close, but none quite get there. Fortunately, this is an exploding product area, and I'm sure there will be some great new entrants this year -- hopefully one that does all I want.
 
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