Completely revolutionizing the world of sport, connected watches are particularly popular with athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This is thanks to various features to monitor, improve and optimize their performance. In this article, we transport you into the world of these little technological jewels. You’ve come to the right place if you’re an avid runner, an avid swimmer, or simply looking for a healthier lifestyle. Our top 10 connected watches for sports will guide you through the best models on the market.
Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)
Much more than an ordinary smartwatch, the Garmin Epix Pro 2 is an excellent ally for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and outdoor activity enthusiasts. It offers a wide range of advanced features, making it one of the best models on the market. We are talking in particular about its 24/7 health monitoring technology, high-end GPS navigation functions and autonomy, which can reach 16 days in smartwatch mode and 30 hours in GPS mode.
Apart from these qualities, which make its strength, it is distinguished by its dimmable LED flashlight. Combined with a red safety light, this allows for optimal training in low-light conditions. Another benefit much appreciated by athletes is the Hill Score function, which assesses their ability to climb hills based on their VO2 max and training history.
Added to this is the Endurance Score option, which measures their ability to sustain prolonged efforts using data recorded during the various exercises. This way, they can have visibility into their performance in real-time. However, while it is an excellent option for many fitness enthusiasts and athletes, its 42mm case can feel bulky on smaller wrists. Also, the AMOLED screen is relatively small next to the whole watch.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Like any other model in this selection, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 revolutionizes the world of sports with its exceptional features. In addition to having the Retina, the brightest screen produced by the Apple brand, it underlines Apple’s commitment to the planet thanks to an eco-friendly design.
Robust and versatile, it is suitable for a broad category of physical activities. It is particularly perfect for endurance and adventure sports. It is also available with the Alpine Loop or trail bracelets to meet the specific needs of each discipline. Additionally, it leverages a SiP S9 chip that delivers unmatched power, powering an ultra-bright display and allowing intuitive interaction without touching the screen.
It also benefits from a titanium case, guaranteeing resistance to corrosion and a water depth of 100 meters, making it an excellent companion for water athletes. In addition, it offers advanced features much appreciated by athletes, such as heart rate zones, personalized exercises and high-precision dual-frequency GPS. However, despite its many qualities, it is handicapped by its relatively low autonomy compared to other watches of its generation.
Garmin Fenix 7X
Designed for athletes and demanding adventurers, the Garmin Fenix 7X has a simplified and intuitive interface. Its 1.4-inch screen features multi-continent mapping for advanced navigation, music playback and payment functions without contact. In addition, it incorporates multi-band satellite positioning, which guarantees exceptional GPS accuracy.
It is also equipped with an LED flashlight for more comfortable practices in the dark. But what is most impressive about this watch is its Power Glass solar glass technology, which gives it a lifespan of up to 300%. For the delight of athletes, it features dedicated Stamina technology for uninterrupted health monitoring and real-time data.
This allows you to manage effort, develop endurance and optimize recovery. However, this multitude of features can make this model more complex. In addition, its high price may deter some users without forgetting that its case can be imposing for those who prefer more discreet watches.
Equipped with offline maps, a compass, weather forecasts and storm alerts, Suunto Vertical is a perfect ally for outdoor activity enthusiasts. Among its many advantages, we can cite its high autonomy of 500 hours in hiking mode and 60 hours in high-precision GNSS tracking mode.
This is reinforced by a solar charging function offering up to 30% off during sunny days. Offering detailed recordings of various data related to exercises, stress, post-workout, sleep and other everyday activities is particularly appreciated by demanding athletes. Its 90 sports modes ensure personalized use in any discipline.
In addition, it benefits from a titanium design, which gives it a quality that meets military standards. Using heatmaps, Suunto Vertical offers navigation and route planning options to stand out. It also offers experience-sharing features and connectivity to third-party applications like Strava or Training Peaks. A victim of its many strengths, it can sometimes show signs of slowness. It can also seem oversized because of its imposing case.
Coros Apex 2 Pro
Designed for the outdoors, the Coros Apex 2 Pro is a smartwatch perfectly equipped to cope with extreme conditions. This is largely thanks to its 1.3-inch sapphire crystal display and grade 5 titanium alloy bezel. It uses an exceptionally accurate GPS function and downloadable global landscape and regional Topo maps, facilitating navigation. Highly appreciated by high-level athletes, it is possible to use data such as training load trend, recovery counter and training level.
Like the brand’s other models, it benefits from a very long lifespan of 30 days in typical use and 75 hours in full GPS mode. In addition, it benefits from rapid recharging, which does not exceed two hours. Despite its impressive performance, the Apex 2 Pro may take some time for beginners due to its state-of-the-art interface. In addition, some deviations in cardio measurements and the absence of the route creation function may be lacking.
The Polar Grit meters. To meet the demands of high-level athletes, it offers a GPS function of unrivaled precision and a world-renowned cardiac monitoring solution. Added to this is an impressive lifespan of 40 hours in GPS mode and complete heart rate monitoring and 7 days in standby mode with continuous monitoring. In addition, it offers automated sleep analysis to optimize physical activities.
However, a victim of its innumerable advantages, the Polar Grit X Pro can prove complex for beginners. Also, it is often handicapped by its slowness and the absence of classic functions such as mapping and SpO2 measurement.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro
The 9 Peak Pro is a watch perfectly equipped for the great outdoors. Faithful to the essential characteristics of the Finnish giant’s products, it is designed according to a military standard (MIL-STD-810), guaranteeing exceptional resistance in all situations. It is made entirely with recyclable materials to highlight the brand’s commitment to sustainability.
Standing out with its fine lines, it is mainly aimed at lovers of refined style. A design that has no impact on its lifespan given that it benefits from various intelligent battery modes, ensuring a maximum autonomy of 300 hours. But that’s not all since it benefits from a water resistance of 100 meters and a barometer allowing latitude measurement. Added to this is an analysis of heart rate and blood oxygen.
For increased performance, it offers athletes 95 different sports modes. It records essential data such as daily activities and sleep. Its dedicated app allows route planning with 3D heat maps showing each activity’s best locations. Cellular connectivity and popular apps like Strava, Training Peaks and Komoot are added. Despite this, this model has weaknesses, including a small LCD screen, lack of integrated mapping, limited connectivity, and some slowdowns.
Garmin Forerunner 255
The Garmin Forerunner 255 is a model particularly suitable for runners. Like any other watch in this selection, it relies on precise data to optimize athletes’ performances. To do this, it uses applications to measure heart rate, carry out morning reports, help with energy management or even monitor stress levels.
Its PACEPRO technology allows route planning based on training conditions. In addition, it offers several preloaded disciplines, including running, cycling, track running, swimming and many others. Beyond its sports use, this watch also offers functions useful for everyday life. It notably includes an option for tracking calls and SMS, incident detection, assistance, weather and data.
LiveTrack functionality. All with an impressive battery life of 14 days in connected mode and 30 hours with GPS activated. There’s no denying that the Forerunner 255 is a capable watch. However, its non-touch LCD screen and its less precise cardio monitoring may make athletes reluctant.
Huawei Watch GT Runner
As its name suggests, the Huawei Watch GT Runner is a smartwatch designed for running enthusiasts. One of these critical strengths is its hidden antenna in the bar for enhanced connectivity and optimal location performance. Also, it supports all five major satellite systems, ensuring faster search and precise positioning.
Ideal for demanding athletes, it offers cardio monitoring via TruSeen 5.0+ technology, which guarantees precise measurement, even during intensive training. In addition, it includes the KII trainer, an application allowing you to personalize the training program based on several criteria. This includes gender, height, weight, heart rate, distance covered, pace and more.
Added to all this is a battery life of 14 days and the possibility of wireless charging using a smartphone. Finally, although it is on the cutting edge of connectivity, this watch may be limited by the HarmonyOS 2 system or compatibility requirements.
Apple Watch SE
Last in our ranking but not least, the Apple Watch SE is a versatile watch ideally suited to various everyday activities. It offers basic features such as managing calls and messages or audio playback. Beyond that, it has many safety-focused options like fall detection, emergency call, and accident detection.
Of course, it has a large number of features dedicated to athletes. The most basic are continuous and instant tracking of physical activities, heart rate monitoring and alerts in case of abnormalities. It also includes cutting-edge tracking functions for more demanding sports practices. Added to this is a recovery phase monitoring application.
The Apple Watch SE uses its high-quality GPS and the GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS systems for infallible location accuracy. It combines an S8 SiP processor with an OLED Retina LTPO screen for exceptionally comfortable use. Also, it benefits from water resistance of up to 50 meters, making it suitable for water activities. But the Apple Watch SE has a specific limit beyond its careful design and high-end performance. Indeed, we can criticize it for having relatively low autonomy compared to its competitors.
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