Huawei, Samsung, TCL, and Nokia might be the stars of IFA 2019 so far, but there have actually been a ton of smartwatch announcements at IFA this year. 14 smartwatches made their debut at the trade show, and that’s not even counting the eight watches that launched over the last few weeks.
Wondering which smartwatches from IFA 2019 you should pay attention to? Read on to find out.
Garmin Venu, Vivoactive 4, Vivomove, and and Legacy Hero series
Garmin announced a ton of new watches at IFA 2019, and all of them seem pretty great.
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 line isn’t the highest-end or most exciting of the bunch, but it’s essentially the product on which all the other new Garmin watches are based. It’s a straightforward update to the Vivoactive 3/Music series. This year, the Vivoactive line comes in two models — Vivoactive 4 (45mm) and 4S (40mm) — and both sizes have music support, Garmin Pay, pulse oximeters, and newer health features like Body Battery, menstrual cycle tracking, and respiration and hydration tracking. All the new Garmin watches also come with new on-device animated workouts.
The Garmin Venu is the exact same as the Vivoactive 4, only with an AMOLED display. This is a first for Garmin, as the company usually sticks to transflective MIP displays. The Venu supports live, customizable watch faces, and can apparently last roughly five days on a single charge.
The Garmin Legacy Hero GPS watches are also the exact same as the Vivoactive 4, only with designs themed around two of Marvel’s most popular characters: Captain America and Captain Marvel.
The Captain Marvel model comes with a 40mm watch case and “Danvers blue” leather and silicone bands. The Kree insignia is printed on the lens, and Danvers’ famous challenge “Higher, further, faster.”
The Captain America watch comes with a 45mm case, a tactical leather band, and a textured nubuck leather interior modeled after Steve Rogers’ 1940s military gear. Captain America’s famous saying, “I can do this all day,” is engraved on the back case.
Garmin is also updating its Vivomove hybrid watch line with new designs and new specs. The older Vivomove HR devices were getting a bit long in the tooth, so updated Vivomove watches are certainly welcome.
Most of the new Vivomove models (aside from the cheapest two) have two hidden displays on the watch face, as opposed to the one display found on the original Vivomove HR. All the models come with plenty of advanced features like pulse oximeter sensors, Body Battery, Garmin Pay, connected GPS, five-day battery in smartwatch mode, and up to an additional week of battery life in time mode.
Last week, Garmin announced the new Fenix 6 line, which includes the Garmin Fenix 6, 6S, 6X, and 6X Pro Solar.
The Garmin Fenix 6 and 6X both have larger 1.4-inch displays, a step up from the Fenix 5’s 1.3-inch screens. The 6S has a smaller 1.2-inch display. Aesthetically, the watch cases look about the same as the previous models. All three watches come with either standard glass or sapphire glass on the front (for an extra fee).
Also read: The best GPS running watches
The Fenix 6X Pro Solar is Garmin’s very first solar-powered outdoor watch, though it’s not completely solar powered. The watch comes with something called Power Glass, which is a transparent solar charging lens on top of the 1.4-inch display. The battery on its own will be able to hold a charge for roughly 21 days. Using solar power charging for about three hours a day, the battery should be able to stretch an additional three days, bringing the total to 24 days.
You can find tons of additional details in our announcement article here.
Wear OS watches galore
Fossil announced a total of six Wear OS smartwatches with various partner brands at IFA this year.
Michael Kors released three models, the Lexington 2, Bradshaw 2 (not pictured), and MKGO. All three models are powered by the Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC, and all three can be customized with Michael Kors’ new app called My Dials (coming soon).
The Lexington 2 and Bradshaw 2 are the classier models. They both have a built-in speaker with the ability to receive phone calls (rolling out later this month), as well as the same battery modes found on the Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch.
Michael Kors’ MKGO is the brand’s first sporty watch. It’s actually Michael Kors’ lightest watch to date, which will likely make it a great workout companion. It’s also made mostly of aluminum and nylon — think Fossil Sport, but Michael Kors-ified.
Puma’s first smartwatch made its debut at IFA 2019 as well. Fitting in nicely with the Puma aesthetic, the Puma smartwatch has a sporty design that’s also slightly reminiscent of the Fossil Sport or Michael Kors MKGO. There’s only one physical crown on the right side of the case, as opposed to the three pushers we normally see on Fossil watches. It’s a curious omission, but not really a dealbreaker.
Under the hood, the watch comes with a Snapdragon 3100 SoC, a built-in GPS, heart rate sensor, and NFC for Google Pay. There’s only 512MB of RAM, though, and just 4GB of storage. Now that we’ve seen how well Wear OS can run on the proper hardware, we’re a bit nervous that the Puma smartwatch might be a little laggy. We’ll withhold judgment until we get one if for review, though.
Emporio Armani and Diesel were the final two brands that unveiled new Wear OS watches this week. The Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 and Diesel On Axial share the same specs, but vastly different designs.
Both watches come with the Snapdragon 3100 chip, a 1.28-inch display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage, NFC, and a built-in speaker.
The Diesel On Axial is the toughest looking device on this list. It’s pretty bulky (and certainly won’t look good on smaller wrists), but I didn’t think it was overly big when I tried it on. It’s not too heavy either.
Emporio Armani’s Smartwatch 3 looks a bit more sporty than the Diesel watch. It’s light on the wrist and not too bulky, and comes in five different colors — certainly a step out of Armani’s comfort zone.
Fossil recently unveiled its Gen 5 Smartwatch. With the latest Qualcomm processor, a full gigabyte of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage, and a built-in speaker, the Fossil Gen 5 is by far the best Wear OS watch you can buy today.
A couple weeks ago, Misfit also unveiled its new Wear OS watch, the Misfit Vapor X. It doesn’t have the specs to match the Fossil Gen 5, but it sure looks nice. We have a model in for review, so stay tuned for our full thoughts on the latest from Misfit.
Asus VivoWatch SP
Withings isn’t the only one with an ECG at IFA. Asus announced the VivoWatch SP, a new smartwatch that comes with built-in ECG and PPG sensors. Asus told Android Authority it’s already submitted the application to the FDA to get the VivoWatch SP recognized as a medical-grade device, which is expected to go through in November or January at the latest.
Elsewhere, the VivoWatch SP has a heart rate sensor, autonomic nervous system tracking, and a pulse oximeter. The watch can also track your sleep, stress, and daily activity thanks to its built-in GPS and altimeter.
Amazfit GTS and Amazfit Stratos 3
Huami announced two new Amazfit smartwatches at IFA, and one looks pretty familiar.
The Apple Watch-esque Amazfit GTS comes with a rounded-square case covered in 2.5D glass with a pixel density of 341ppi. It’s quite the sporty watch, too — it has a 5ATM rating, an optical heart rate sensor, GPS, GLONASS, 12 different sport modes, and 14-day battery life.
The Amazfit Stratos 3 is the beefier of the two models both inside and out. It also has a 5ATM water resistance rating, along with a 1.34-inch transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display — the same type of display found on Garmin’s GPS watches. This means the display will be easy to read outdoors in direct sunlight and help the battery last quite a while. The company says the Stratos 3’s battery can last two weeks on a single charge.
TCL’s new smartwatch isn’t for everyone — it’s actually aimed at seniors. The TCL Movetime is all about keeping people safe and sound at all times. It features large font for easy reading, a companion locator app that tracks the smartwatch at all times, and has the ability to send SOS messages to preset numbers. It has a number of fitness features included, too.
Withings Move ECG
Okay, so this one’s cheating a little bit. Withings announced the Move ECG back at CES 2019, and we actually gave it one of our Best of CES awards in January. It just passed CE clearance in Europe, though, which means it can finally go on sale to the public as a medical-grade device.
Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit threw in some much-needed upgrades with the Versa 2 — an OLED screen, a faster processor, and Amazon Alexa built-in. Improved sleep tracking is also here, along with Fitbit Pay support and Fitbit’s long-awaited Sleep Score.
Have a favorite out of the smartwatches listed above? Tell us in the comments.
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September 6, 2019 at 08:52AM