1. ultrarunner2020's Avatar
    I would like to be able to read text messages, answer phone calls, and control my music player without pulling out my phone.

    I will be getting a Galaxy A51 (4G) Tracfone on Friday, so I'm thinking that maybe I should stick with Samsung and get one of their watches, but I have never owned a smart watch before, so I really don't know which one would be best for me.

    I am a runner, and in cooler weather, my phone is often buried under or in my clothing, making it a hassle to reach it to read a text.
    I have been running with wired headphones, so no music or phone control on my head like I would have if I were to use a Bluetooth headset.

    I am also interested in tracking my run progress, so GPS is pretty much a necessity - although the watch will be linked to my phone, so I would think it could access the GPS on the phone.
    I am also somewhat interested in sleep cycle apps, and I understand that some of the watches can do that.

    Perhaps I can find some Black Friday deals, but I am not going to limit myself to discounted items. I want something that is reliable, and will improve my overall experience rather than frustrate me with buggy software or hardware.

    Oh, and I should mention that I have rather large hands / fingers, so I really don't know how easy it will be for me to reply to a text on the watch. From what I have been told by others who wear them, they can use gestures. I have no experience with that, but I'm sure I could learn it.
    As it is, I have some difficulty hitting the right letters/numbers on the Gboard I am using on my Android 10 phone.

    Thanks for your advice
    Ultrarunner
    11-24-2021 09:28 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    One of the more recent Samsung watches would probably be your best bet -- I hear a lot of good things about the Galaxy Watch 4 (which actually runs Wear OS, and not Tizen, although it's a somewhat more customized version of Wear OS given that it's a Samsung product). If you want to consider other Wear OS watches, I wouldn't go for anything below a gen 5 or 5e, because those older watches are pretty sluggish. I have a Fossil Carlyle (gen 5), which works well and looks great.
    11-25-2021 12:51 AM
  3. ultrarunner2020's Avatar
    What about Garmin?
    I've owned some of their sports watches in the past, and always liked them.
    That said, I do suppose that a Samsung watch will work best with a Samsung phone; although who knows what phone I will own a couple years from now. It would be a shame to lose functionality on the watch if I decide to move away from Samsung phone.
    11-25-2021 08:32 AM
  4. Mooncatt's Avatar
    What about Garmin?
    I got the Garmin Vivoactive 4 not long ago, and it does everything you mentioned. It isn't Android, but does interface just fine.

    For text messages, you are limited to selecting preset replies, which you can modify in their app that syncs up the watch. Music is limit to a few apps, though. There's Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, and some others you can get via their app. I personally don't use my watch to control music, so can't speak to that experience. The main reasons I picked it over others is it's one of the few that can track pulse Ox at all times and not just during sleep (though it tends to read several points low when compared to a hospital O2 monitor), track respiratory rate, and monitor heart rate during swimming without extra add-ons. It's not super accurate, but good enough for my purposes.

    If you want an AMOLED screen watch, I would look at one of their other offerings. This one uses a color LCD. There's no risk of screen burn in and can read it great in sunlight, but does use a backlight for low light viewing. Battery life is about 2 days (from full to 20%) when running everything as wearing 24/7, but it charges surprisingly fast. Some people have complained about the sensor bump on the back plate, but it hasn't bothered me. I would recommend getting a screen protector, though.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    11-25-2021 09:04 AM
  5. ultrarunner2020's Avatar
    Thinking about apps; maybe I'm better off with a Google Wear OS watch. I use PowerAmp on my phone, and would hate to give that up.
    Although the prospect of owning a device that can read pulse & O2 is interesting, after the novelty wears off, I probably wouldn't use either of those features. That said; as a runner, I suppose I could use those features. Accuracy isn't as important for me as consistency, although I tend to be OCD about accuracy too.
    11-25-2021 10:05 AM
  6. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Thinking about apps; maybe I'm better off with a Google Wear OS watch. I use PowerAmp on my phone, and would hate to give that up.
    I just tried it on mine, but with the default music player on my phone. The watch has a basic music controls widget in addition to the apps I mentioned above. In the widget settings, you set the music source to PHONE (it has the ability to store music on the watch and play via Bluetooth as well). Once I had my music player opened and going on my phone, I could play, pause, and select next or previous tracks. Doesn't look like I can browse folders to pick specific songs, but I think should work ok if you have a playlist already setup for your runs. It also could play/pause and track skip in Pandora.

    I saw there was an apparent bug in Power Amp that prevented it from working with the Vivoactive, but those posts were several years old and I'm guessing fixed now.
    11-25-2021 11:19 AM
  7. ultrarunner2020's Avatar
    I don't think I would use anything but transport controls for music. I just start a playlist or shuffle and go. Normally I will complete a 10k run without ever pausing the music. It's when I'm out walking my dog that I sometimes want to talk to someone. I could just pull the headphones off my ears and talk - but I have some OCD about 'missing' songs while not wearing the cans.
    That said, it would be very convenient to be able to read and respond to text messages without having to dig the phone out of my pocket or pull it off my belt and open the case.

    About the pre-set text messages; Is this something specific to particular OS or app (like the Garmin), or is it more common than that?
    I would not be at all happy with that limitation.
    11-25-2021 12:04 PM
  8. Mooncatt's Avatar
    About the pre-set text messages; Is this something specific to particular OS or app (like the Garmin), or is it more common than that?
    I would not be at all happy with that limitation.
    This is a screenshot of the preset messages you can set in the app, with many more if I were to scroll down. These are just the ones included with the app, plus whatever custom ones you might want to add. This is my first smart watch, but I couldn't imagine trying to type out a full message on such a tiny screen. I work in sub-zero temps during the winter and I'd just prefer dig my phone out to type a reply if needed anyway. I'd probably be able to do that and put it away again before getting a few letters in typing on a watch.Which Android watch should I get-screenshot_20211125-111527.jpg
    11-25-2021 12:22 PM
  9. ultrarunner2020's Avatar
    Thanks for reminding me about the tiny screen. When I first began considering a wearable, I asked myself how difficult it would be to type a message on the tiny screen with my large fingers. Not too easy I think. So I guess the preset messaging would actually help.
    BTW: Can the Galaxy Watch 4 really read VO2 max? I would expect inaccurate and inconsistent readings, rendering the feature useless.
    11-25-2021 01:06 PM

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