Recommend your "watch"

jhoannam

Planner-aholic
Joined
May 12, 2014
I have the Apple Watch Series 1, it's time to upgrade. What does everyone recommend? My budget is $250 including taxes.

I can get an Apple 3 (the one with GPS), for $250. I like my Apple watch but I'm not sure it's the best for training. I also don't mind buying a refurbished watch.

I have a new DoppyBadger training plan and need something more that I Apple offers. or are there Apps that will work with an Apple watch?
 

FFigawi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 28, 2009
I recommend the 920XT. Not a smart watch like an Apple, but much better for serious training. You can find them online for $225 or so.
 

rteetz

Rumors and News Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
I have a Apple Watch 3 with Cellular and it works great for me.
 
  • kbenson13

    I ran Disney, and will do it again someday...
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2017
    I have a Garmin Vivoactive 3 and while it's no Apple Watch for non-running apps, it does have basic functionality for a number of things you might use an Apple Watch for. I can't speak for the Apple Watch 3, but the Vivoactive 3 has a way better GPS/HR monitor than the Apple Watch 2 did.... And I think the Vivoactives now also have music playing capability, though I don't know how robust that is...

    Bottom line, I have both an Apple Watch and a Vivoactive 3. I use the Vivoactive 3 for running and the Apple Watch for all day wear. I'm lucky I got the Apple Watch as a gift because otherwise having two watches would have been a pricier proposition...
     

    Kerry1957

    Will run for Hefeweizen
    Joined
    Oct 7, 2017
    Another vote to check out the Vivoactive 3. I have the music version which I love, but it is around $269. I think the non-music version is around $239. These are the prices on the Garmin web site; you may be able to do better.
     
  • bphilb

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 8, 2013
    +1. It does everything I need for running and I do not need to take my cell phone when I go out for a run. Biggest seller for me is the ability to stream Apple Music with just a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
    I listen to podcast and ever since they put the podcast app on the watch I also don't need to carry my phone with me. I use the intervals app as well which works on the watch. I know it's a 1st world issue, but its really nice not to carry a phone on my runs plus the Apple Watch is nice for my day to day use. It's nice sitting in a meeting a work and being able to read text without looking at my phone. I imagine some of the fitness watches are fantastic though so it's hard for me to say which is best for your situation.
     

    IamTrike

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2010
    I have a 235, and an Apple Watch Series 3.
    If you will only be wearing the watch to run I would get a Garmin. While the 235 is a great running watch I think I personally like the look of the vivoactive 3 a little bit more. I think for most people either of those watches will be more than sufficient running watches. .
    Garmin 235 = Really Good Running Watch with mediocre Smart Watch Capabilities.

    If you will be wearing the watch all the time and want a smart watch with running capabilities. Then the Apple Watch 3 may make more sense.
    Apple Watch 3 = Pretty Good Smart Watch with me mediocre running capabilities
     

    Bree

    Runs on Coffee
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2009
    I had a garmin, bought an apple watch, used it for maybe two months for running then went back to garmin.

    Apple seems to rely on apps for more advanced workout features. I also use dopeybadger plans and use the heck out of my workout feature in Garmin. This is the Garmin website, but there is also the Garmin Connect app to do this too. You'll need to use a third party app in order to do neat things like this with an apple watch.

    upload_2019-2-8_17-22-27.png

    upload_2019-2-8_17-24-23.png

    As a day to day watch the Apple Watch is prettier though. I wear my Garmin 645 as my daily watch and break out the fancy regular watches when needed. My watch is out of your price range, but I hear lots of great things about the vivoactive 3. Only complaint I hear is the lack of audible queues for stuff like intervals. I had a 230, but upgraded because I wanted the heart rate monitor and something a little less bulky. The 235 is the same style just with the heart rate monitor. If you can get somewhere to see and try them on in person I would do that.
     
  • jhoannam

    Planner-aholic
    Joined
    May 12, 2014
    I had a garmin, bought an apple watch, used it for maybe two months for running then went back to garmin.

    Apple seems to rely on apps for more advanced workout features. I also use dopeybadger plans and use the heck out of my workout feature in Garmin. This is the Garmin website, but there is also the Garmin Connect app to do this too. You'll need to use a third party app in order to do neat things like this with an apple watch.

    As a day to day watch the Apple Watch is prettier though. I wear my Garmin 645 as my daily watch and break out the fancy regular watches when needed. My watch is out of your price range, but I hear lots of great things about the vivoactive 3. Only complaint I hear is the lack of audible queues for stuff like intervals. I had a 230, but upgraded because I wanted the heart rate monitor and something a little less bulky. The 235 is the same style just with the heart rate monitor. If you can get somewhere to see and try them on in person I would do that.
    I was watching a YouTube comparison of the 645 & Vivoactive 3, and DH happened to be around, he thinks I should just get the 645. He sees at as an investments and see my dedication to training, but I don't know if I can bring myself to spend that kind of money.
     

    PrincessMickey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2009
    Bree’s advice is spot on. I started out with an Apple Watch. I had to rely on an app to get all the interval and data stuff I wanted. The app I was using used gps data from the phone instead of the watch. It wasn’t noticeable until I started getting up into the higher distances but the further I went the more off it was.

    I ended up with a vivoactive 3. I would have liked the 645 but I didn’t have the extra funds at the time. My only complaint is it doesn’t have the audible cues. I even have the music version so you would think that one would have it. I almost traded it in when I realized it but just went ahead and kept it, one day I’ll upgrade. In the meantime, the only time I really miss not having the audible cues is when I’m bundled up and have mittens on and am using a top or jacket with the thumb holes. Those days I just treat my run as a blind run and don’t bother trying to look at the watch. I like that it doesn’t look like a gps watch and can wear it as an everyday watch and still get text alerts and such on it.
     

    Bree

    Runs on Coffee
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2009
    I was watching a YouTube comparison of the 645 & Vivoactive 3, and DH happened to be around, he thinks I should just get the 645. He sees at as an investments and see my dedication to training, but I don't know if I can bring myself to spend that kind of money.
    It is a lot of money. I went back and forth between those watches too. DC Rainmaker has a website with really good reviews on pretty much every watch out there. For me it all came down to the touch screen of the VA3. I preferred the side buttons like my old Garmins used.
     

    jhoannam

    Planner-aholic
    Joined
    May 12, 2014
    Bree’s advice is spot on. I started out with an Apple Watch. I had to rely on an app to get all the interval and data stuff I wanted. The app I was using used gps data from the phone instead of the watch. It wasn’t noticeable until I started getting up into the higher distances but the further I went the more off it was.

    I ended up with a vivoactive 3. I would have liked the 645 but I didn’t have the extra funds at the time. My only complaint is it doesn’t have the audible cues. I even have the music version so you would think that one would have it. I almost traded it in when I realized it but just went ahead and kept it, one day I’ll upgrade. In the meantime, the only time I really miss not having the audible cues is when I’m bundled up and have mittens on and am using a top or jacket with the thumb holes. Those days I just treat my run as a blind run and don’t bother trying to look at the watch. I like that it doesn’t look like a gps watch and can wear it as an everyday watch and still get text alerts and such on it.
    Does it vibrate for the cues? Or do you just have to keep looking at the watch for the cues?
     

    chuckille

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2016
    I have a 235, and an Apple Watch Series 3.
    If you will only be wearing the watch to run I would get a Garmin. While the 235 is a great running watch I think I personally like the look of the vivoactive 3 a little bit more. I think for most people either of those watches will be more than sufficient running watches. .
    Garmin 235 = Really Good Running Watch with mediocre Smart Watch Capabilities.

    If you will be wearing the watch all the time and want a smart watch with running capabilities. Then the Apple Watch 3 may make more sense.
    Apple Watch 3 = Pretty Good Smart Watch with me mediocre running capabilities
    2nd this!

    I wear a Garmin + AW as well. AW for daily wear and music/podcasts during the run...then I add the Garmin on all my runs for pace/HR/intervals (like @Bree). I have the latest AW, but when I compare the distances post-workout, Garmin is always super close to the Strava distance while AW is usually ~5% off. There have also been a handful of times when the AW would freeze up or my long sleeve shirt would swipe and click my run complete mid-run. My Garmin hasn't done that to this point.

    I would highly recommend the 645 (I have the 935 which is very similar) for its training status/VO2 max use/HR and GPS accuracy + it's a fairly new watch so Garmin will most likely keep fine-tuning the software for many more years. I have no experience with the Vivoactive 3, but I dislike touchscreens for running watches personally.
     

    GreatLakes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2015
    I was watching a YouTube comparison of the 645 & Vivoactive 3, and DH happened to be around, he thinks I should just get the 645. He sees at as an investments and see my dedication to training, but I don't know if I can bring myself to spend that kind of money.
    If you want a better running watch go with the 645, if you want a fitness watch that has many of the running features and some smart watch features go with the VA3. I have a VA3 and love it but I do wish it had more of the running dynamic capabilities of the 645. If I was going to do it all over again I would get a 935 or Fenix 5 plus but I also do multisport and that is not really possible with the VA3 and my current multisport watch, the 910XT, is getting a little long in the tooth.
     

    kbenson13

    I ran Disney, and will do it again someday...
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2017
    Does it vibrate for the cues? Or do you just have to keep looking at the watch for the cues?
    It totally vibrates and I've almost never missed a cue, especially when I'm looking for it. (I have occasionally missed the mile cues when I'm on a long run.) I used to run with my iPhone using the Nike app, which had audio cues. But I've gotten over needing them and no longer miss them at all. I think it's better to train yourself away from needing them. Better to listen to your body than listen to your watch.

    Of course, I never run where I can't read my watch face so I can always consult if I'm missing cues or want to know my pace. If you want/need to run where you have to fully cover your watch, then audio cues may be more important because they can convey pace information that a vibration on your wrist cannot.
     

    Professor_Cookie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2018
    My 2 cents. I just got a 235 since the battery was weakened on my vivoactive hr. Happy to be back in a running watch and off of the touch screen as well. The buttons are much easier to use to toggle between screens, as I found the vivoactive unresponsive in heavy sweat situations. The difference in speed of the gps locating the satellites was face melting.
     


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