It’s less than 50 days until Christmas. That means it’s crunch time for finding the perfect gifts to give friends and family.
And with so many emerging trends in tech, gifts like smartwatches, smart TVs, and connected speakers are super popular this season. However, when making a decision, it can be difficult to cut through all the online noise and reviews.
Smartwatches especially can vary greatly in terms of price, features, and functionality. And this year, several different smartwatch options are on-trend for different reasons. With all the great choices out there, the challenge really lies in finding the right product for the right person.
To help with this, here’s a closer look at three of the top smartwatches on the market: Apple’s Series 5, Fossil’s 5th Generation, and the T1 Tact Watch.
Apple’s Series 5: Trendy and customizable, but at a premium price
The luxury tech company, Apple, always has products that are well designed, modern, and of course stylish. And their newest smartwatch, the Series 5, is no different.
Only on the market for just over a month, the watch has gained positive reviews despite its basic technological features. The watch can stream music, take phone calls, use apple pay, and display push notifications. It also has several relevant health tracking applications for menstrual cycles, heart rates, and sleeping patterns. However, prior generations of smartwatches can do similar and these functionalities are generally standard for smartwatches.
This watch does have some new notable features. One of which is the inclusion of Apple’s new S5 chip, which provides a minimum of 32G of storage space. People also like the new ‘Always-On Retina’ display technology. The watch can now display the time 24/7 without the need to press a button or tap the screen. Some people have been hesitant to take the leap to a smartwatch for this very reason. This new technology helps bridge this gap between smart and traditional watches.
Like with other Apple products, the design, look, and feel are very important. The Apple watches are made from high-quality materials and have a sleek, modern design. People also love how customizable the watches are. There are significantly more compatible band options than other smartwatch brands. From casual and sporty to high-end and fancy, there is a band option for everyone.
This latest watch from Apple will set back consumers a minimum of $500. Depending on which band is chosen, this price can easily extend beyond $1,000. Although it is a high-tech piece of jewelry, the premium price is really for the Apple logo.
The T1 Tact Watch: Affordable, durable, and content-creator friendly
The T1 Tact Watch is a relatively new smartwatch brand that was founded by a small group of military engineers. Their first release is called the ‘Midnight Diamond’, which is designed with the sports enthusiast in mind.
In contrast to Apple’s minimalist design, this Apple-compatible tactical smartwatch is much sportier and resembles masculine sports watches from the 1990’s. Outdoorsmen, military, and sports professionals appreciate this design as opposed to Apple’s trendier look. It is also super durable, and according to the brand’s promotional videos, can withstand being run over by a car or hit by a hammer.
The watch also has all of the standard features of a smartwatch. It can display notifications, access an app store, track distance, monitor sleep, and count steps.
In addition to users with more active professions, the Midnight Diamond is also popular among content creators on Facebook and YouTube. Why? The watch’s remote control feature is compatible with both the Apple iPhone 11 camera and the Samsung Galaxy S10 camera.
This feature is extremely useful for popular YouTubers and Insta-celebs who record videos every day. Using this remote control function, they can record videos on their phones much more efficiently.
Apple’s smartwatch can also be used as a remote control, however, it is not compatible with as many devices.
The Midnight Diamond sells directly from the company website at a retail price of $80. The makers of the watch consider affordability a top priority and considering all of the functionalities the user gets with the Midnight Diamond, it is great value for the money.
Fossil’s Generation 5: Sophisticated design but lacking in tech
Traditionally a jewelry brand, it has been interesting to see Fossil crossover into the tech space. Their latest generation of watches, Gen 5, has been out since August of this year.
Similar to the Apple watch, the look of Fossil’s Gen 5 is fashionable and on-trend. This makes sense considering they are a premium accessories brand. The watch itself is also available in many different styles, colors, and materials. There is also a wide range of bands available that can lean on either the masculine or feminine side. The watch’s round display shape is also attractive to people who do not like Apple’s rectangular shaped.
In terms of technology, Gen 5 has all the basic features of modern smartwatches. It is powered by a Qualcomm’s Wear 3100 chip and runs on Google’s Wear OS. Like other smartwatches, it has a heart rate monitor, GPS tracking, and NFC technolhttps://www.fossil.com/us/en/wearable-technology/smartwatches/gen5-learn-more.htmlogy. It also has a built-in speaker for users to talk to the Google Assistant, take phone calls, and play music.
There are some negatives with this watch though. For example, some publications report a slow and clunky GPS data loading time. However, PCMag says this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. Additionally, many are critical of the watch’s battery life. PCMag tested the watch and it only lasted 12 hours. However, this can vary depending on what setting the watch is on. This is frustrating for users given that fossil advertises the watch as able to last over 24 hours.
Another complaint is the limited availability of apps on the Wear OS library. Compared to Apple and Samsung’s library, the Wear OS library leaves more to be desired. However, as the popularity of smartwatches continues to grow, perhaps Google will invest more in smartwatch apps.
The Fossil Gen 5 watches start at $295. Less expensive than the Apple watch, but much more than the T1 Tact Watch. Compared to the T1 Tact Watch, the watch is not necessarily any more high tech. However, for those who do not want a sporty looking watch, the Fossil is a more reasonably priced option that is also stylish.
Decision Time: Think about who will be wearing the watch
Struggling to choose between T1 Tact Watch, Apple, and Fossil? It’s always best to consider who the watch is for, and how they will use it.
For those who want status, brand image, top tech, and a contemporary style, Apple’s series 5 is the best choice. However, it will come at a premium price. Die-hard Apple fans will always love Apple products, so this watch is a great choice for them if the budget allows for it. For people who like fashionable watches but aren’t too picky about the technology, Fossil Gen 5 watches are a perfect option. Only setting the buyer back $295, any of Fossil’s Gen 5 smartwatches would make a wonderful gift.
T1 Tact Watch’s ‘Midnight Diamond’ is a perfect choice for a wearer who may use the watch while at work. It is super durable, sporty, and definitely affordable at only $80. It could also make a good option for someone who creates lots of videos on their phones, considering the watch’s flexible remote control options.
For more information, you can visit watchiwatches.com.