When running, racing or training, athletes need tools that could help them track their racing time, heart rate and stress level for improvements in their athleticism and welfare. Smartwatches have proven to be such a tremendous tool for helping athletes through their workouts and trainings.
However, there are many of them that are now available to pick from. In this review, two smartwatches are reviewed to help you see which is suitable for your training needs. Is it the newly released Garmin Forerunner 935 (FR935) or the Apple Watch 2 Series? Find out more.
Apple Watch 2
Apple Watch 2 is an upgraded version of its previous versions. The battery life is longer, it has GPS and is water-resistant. But what does this watch really do to get you to want to buy it? Let’s get to that bit.
Different models of Apple Watch 2 were released on September 16, 2016. These models include the Nike+ model and the 38mm version, the 38mm model being the cheapest of them at $369 (even cheaper than its predecessor).
For those who have been waiting for the release of the new Apple Watch series, Apple Watch 2 comes with interesting features and amazing functions. For instance, the battery life is now extended plus it has a GPS chip that can track users’ races and a water-resistant feature which makes it useful for swimmers as well. The Nike+ version of Apple Watch 2 has an enhanced sports band and simplified users interface for easy use.
However, the downside of Apple Watch 2 is that people who are not fitness junkies may not find the need to use the gadget because of its features alone. For example, a non-fitness person doesn’t really need a GPS in their wristwatch, so why pay so much for one. Ironically, a real fitness and outdoor person may also become disappointed with this Apple gadget because it contains features that dwell more on the athlete’s health, not activities.
Moreover, the Apple Watch 2 series has a surprising gap in pricing. The 42mm model, for instance, costs about $30 more than the 38mm, without much difference in functionality. In fact, the high-end ceramic model of the Apple Watch 2 series could cost as much as $1,299. Also, the Apple Watch 2 series used to have a faster processor than the Apple Watch 1 but as it currently stands, the processor of the Apple Watch 1 is now as fast as the Apple Watch flagship but costs way less at $269.
Away from the deficiencies, a big plus to the Apple Watch 2 series is the models that they come in: ceramic, stainless steel and aluminium. They are slightly thicker (about 1mm more than the Apple Watch 1 series) and more rugged.
Another advantage of the Apple Watch 2 is its simple and elegant design that the Apple brand is reputed for. The preface is fine and the edges are nicely curved. In addition, this gadget from Apple is perfectly weighted, being not too light or heavy. Yet, the smartwatch has a shortcoming when it comes to the release button that is positioned on its bands. This button could be quite difficult to push.
Although much expensive, the ceramic edition of the Apple Watch 2 is more rugged and about 4x stronger that the order Apple Watch 2 models.
The Apple Watch 2 series seem to have all the needed combinations with fresher, brighter and clearer screen and a larger battery. The screen size is 1.65 inches while the display is 390 x 312 OLED. The OLED display could help preserve the battery life of the watch as it turns off when the user is not using it.
The water-resistant feature of the watch makes it such a wonderful gadget as well, this makes it useful for swimmers. After having a swimming session with the watch, all you have to do is to spin the digital crown then the speaker on the watch will make a pulse that will eject droplets of water that are left in the gadget. This function of the watch allows it to get rid of water that has lugged into the device while swimming with it, making it last longer.
Garmin Forerunner 935
Garmin Forerunner 935 is the flagship of Garmin. It was released in March, three months after the Fenix 5 series was launched. The Garmin Forerunner 935 is cheaper than its previous version, appearing in a plastic body instead of metal, but looks very much like the Fenix 5.
It features Wi-Fi and barometric altimeter alongside the Training Recovery/Load component and a Bluetooth sensor. In addition, it can synchronise workouts from the TrainingPeaks app.
Unlike the Apple Watch 2 series, Garmin has a 240 x240 pixel and 64 colours display that supports Emoji and numerous languages including Hebrew and Arabic. It also has a super charging functionality that allows users to charge in the middle of activities. Garmin Forerunner 935 (FR935) can also install 32 connect IQ apps and features a battery that lasts for twenty-four hours in GPS (one-second sampling) and fifty hours in UltraTrac.
FR935 also has an improved user interface which looks beautiful and simple. The interface allows for easy control and fast access to apps, widgets and menu. The FR935 is even more developed to favour bikers. It is Strava Live Segment supported for bikers (even runners as well) and its Bluetooth Smart Sensor is bolstered to accurately measure heart rate along with the cycling or racing power, cadence and speed of an athlete.
This watch from Garmin also gives incredible support for sportsmen in various sporting activities such as golf, swimming, mountain biking and so on. Its Added TruSwing, Autoshot and Green view feature helps golfers greatly while its other features like the Mountain Biking app assists mountain bikers.
The users interface, as mentioned before, is further simplified for easy exploration of the watch. However, a major disadvantage of the FR935 is that its lacks maps.
The FR935 series come in two packages. The Bundle Unit features a black faced watch, with a black band and yellow and charging cable. This cost $649. while the Base unit comes with a black face, black band and silver accent then a charging cable; and a price tag of $499. Also, it weighs 49 grams, the size of a medium-sized raw egg.
FR935 is a functional watch for sportsmen. It is a massive improvement on its predecessor but users may be disappointed in the gadget because it lacks map and the big rectangular display found in the earlier models.
Apple Watch 2 series, on the other hand, are not very exceptional and the fact they could be better enjoyed by users with other Apple devices makes them something not really worth buying for interested users of smartwatch.
However, selection of any of the two depends on what the user is looking for in a smartwatch. The Garmin FR935 can give users the necessary durability and information for racing and training while the Apple Watch series can serve hobbyists who run casually.