What is the best sports Watch 2020?Over the years, two uses have emerged from connected smart sport watches. The first is to act as a relay for smartphone notifications. The second is to monitor for smart health, in particular that of sports activities. Thanks to their numerous sensors, connected watches are ideal for athletes who seek to visualize their daily performance in real time.
Several manufacturers quickly launched into the breach, taking advantage of the initial boom created by the launch of the first smartwatches. Garmin and Polar are probably the best known of sports enthusiasts of new technologies. But the market is never at rest as evidenced by the big hitting of Fitbit or more recently from the Chinese Amazfit, subsidiary of the giant Xiaomi. It is to help you see more clearly that we have designed this comparison of the best sport connected watches. You will also find tips on how to choose your future smartwatch.
What you will learn
- Fitbit Ionic, the beginners coach
- Garmin Venu, complete and elegant
- Amazfit Verge, the most affordable
- Polar Ignite, the smartest sport watch
- Polar M430, everything for cardio
- Suunto 5, for all athletes
+ Coaching functions
+ Large screen
+ Light despite its size
– IPS screen only
– Disappointing Fitbit OS
The American brand Fitbit has always been interested in athletes, especially offering activity trackers. In 2017, the company nevertheless attempted a foray into the smartwatch market with the Fitbit Ionic. A watch that still divides as much today but which is nevertheless worth a look.
A design that divides
It’s undeniable, the look of the Fitbit Ionic leaves something to be desired. Rectangular in shape, the connected watch is far from attractive … The aluminum case is however very well designed, weighing only 46 grams. The rectangular format above all has the advantage of offering a beautiful display surface. The touch screen is indeed no less than 1.46 ”, a real giant! If it only uses IPS technology, it does an excellent job with beautiful colors. It remains perfectly readable in broad daylight.
Coaching above all
If the American connected watch only supports 7 sports, it brings a new dimension with a very effective coaching program. Although it is paid, the Fitbit Coach service is an undeniable asset of this watch. It allows you to view videos to train regularly. The large screen, coupled with Bluetooth headphones for audio, offers a simple way to get into sport. We will also appreciate the particularly effective sleep monitoring of the Ionic. Everything is served by a very well-made application.
A perfectible OS
Probably the most disappointing point about the Fitbit Ionic is its proprietary OS. It will have taken many updates for it to become a tad pleasant everyday. But it still lags behind. We thus see regular connection problems. In addition, the application store is relatively poor. The good news is that the tocante continues to be closely followed by its manufacturer despite his age.
Our opinion on the Fitbit Ionic
Full of promises when it comes out, the Fitbit Ionic disappoints a little. Despite everything, it remains one of the best sport connected watches for beginners thanks to its very well-designed coaching programs.
Best price of Fitbit Ionic
+ AMOLED screen
+ Advanced health monitoring
+ Top design
– No triathlon follow-up
– A little light autonomy in GPS mode
Garmin’s latest creation is off the beaten track of the American brand. Behind its chic connected watch design, the Venu indeed hides a real sports coach. A real gem of technology tailor-made for people who want to monitor their health closely.
Chic design for everyday life
It must be admitted, sport connected watches are rarely the most elegant. The Garmin Venu could however be a game changer in this sector. Its ribbed buckle gives it a unique look enhanced by a magnificent 1.2 ”AMOLED screen. Its definition of 390 x 390 px gives it excellent readability in all circumstances. And with only 47 grams on the counter, the beautiful knows how to be discreet on the wrist. In short, Garmin achieves a great achievement here by brilliantly renewing the design of its watches.
A relatively complete sport
If we could fear that Garmin abandoned the sporty side of his Venu in favor of the look, it is nothing. The multisports smartwatch is capable of tracking no less than 20 activities, including swimming thanks to its 5 ATM water resistance. The GPS and heart rate sensor are of course integrated. The touch screen can display animations during certain exercises. The VO2Max score calculation is of course part of the game. In the end, we will just regret the lack of follow-up to the triathlon. For that, it will rather be oriented towards the Forerunner range of the manufacturer.
5 days of autonomy
Thanks to its proprietary OS, the Garmin Venu has an autonomy of up to 5 days in light use. By using GPS continuously plus music playback, the manufacturer announces about 6 hours of life. What closely follow a good workout without risking to run out of battery.
Our opinion on the Garmin Venu
The latest creation from Garmin dares to have a more modern design while retaining the sports follow-up that has made the brand successful. It is also very versatile thanks to the payment on the wrist and its memory for storing music.
Best price of Garmin Venu
+ Attractive price
+ AMOLED screen
+ Rather complete for its price
– Plastic case
– Not waterproof
Amazfit is a brand launched by the giant Xiaomi. In just a few months, Asian watches were able to conquer a very competitive market. The winning formula: attractive prices for very complete sports smartwatches.
A rather poor design
Faced with Polar Ignite and other Garmin Venu, the Amazfit Verge sports watch is far from being the most elegant. Its plastic case seems a bit “cheap” compared to the metallic materials used by competitors. But this concession makes it possible to divide the price by two, which is not negligible! The watch also houses a very nice 1.3 ”AMOLED screen with a definition of 360 x 360 px. The whole weighs in the end only 46 grams.
Sporty but not swimming
With its Amazfit Verge, Xiaomi is primarily aimed at athletes who like to stay on earth. The watch is unable to follow swimming since it is only certified IP68. Impossible to immerse it for a long time underwater so … This is not really a problem since the Chinese tocante knows how to manage no less than 12 other sports thanks to her GPS and her heart rate sensor. The VO2Max calculation is also part of it. It’s complete enough to start on a good foundation, even if this smartwatch goes less far than its more expensive competitors.
Android under the hood
Xiaomi’s tocante is very versatile. And for good reason: it embeds a modified version of Google’s Android system. It is not WearOS, but the connected functions remain complete. You can use the built-in microphone and speaker to answer phone calls. It is also possible to store music on the internal memory. In addition, more than a dozen dials are available. Most hackers can even install .apk files to add applications.
Our opinion on the Amazfit Verge
With its autonomy of 5 days, its beautiful screen and its rather complete functions, the Amazfit Verge is an excellent choice for athletes on a low budget. Too bad its design is poor enough and especially that it is not waterproof to follow the swimming sessions.
Best price of Amazfit Verge
+ Elegant and light design
+ Adaptive training
+ Monitoring of many sports
– IPS screen only
– Limited connected functions
Facing the Garmin Venu, Polar draws its Ignite smartwatch. This discreetly designed model is aimed above all at fitness enthusiasts with very well-designed coaching functions.
Elegance and discretion above all
At first glance, it is difficult to see that the Polar Ignite is a connected watch dedicated to athletes. It leaves the raw formwork look of its counterparts completely aside to offer us a very neat design. Weighing only 35 grams, the tocante opts for a rounded case equipped with a single button. The touch screen is unfortunately not AMOLED and is content with a definition of 240 x 204 px. However, it remains very pleasing to the eye thanks to IPS technology.
If we particularly appreciate the Polar Ignite, it is for its smart management of training. Depending on your level, the smartwatch will offer you various training plans and the choice of your exercises in order to reach the desired goal. This system, called FitSpark, is probably the smartest offered on a connected watch. Coupled with the Polar Flow platform, it allows regular training and rather relevant readings. Of course, the watch has a GPS and a heart rate sensor to do its job. It is also waterproof up to 30 m.
Lightweight connected functions
As smart as it is for fitness by following no less than 19 different sports, the Polar Ignite looks gray when it comes to functioning as a more classic connected watch. Forget the NFC chip for contactless payments. It is also impossible to take your music to the internal memory. The watch displays notifications, but it doesn’t go any further. The autonomy is given for 5 days in normal use and 17h in GPS mode, which is frankly not bad!
Our opinion on the Polar Ignite
Very discreet, the Polar Ignite knows how to be particularly intelligent in the programming of training. Too bad the connected functions are too small and the screen is not AMOLED.
Best price of Polar Ignite
+ Highly accurate heart sensor
+ Screen always on
+ Calculation of the original VO2Max
– Non-touch screen
– Limited connected functions
Polar is once again at the forefront of our comparison of the best sport connected watches. The Finnish manufacturer offers us with its M430 one of the most precise smartwatches in terms of the heart rate sensor.
The design of discord
Like the Fitbit Ionic, the Polar M430 risks dividing the crowds with its rectangular design of massive appearance. Weighing 51 grams, the knockout is in the high middle. But it is above all its 128 x 128 px monochrome LCD screen that is most off-putting at first. Non-tactile, this display is relatively pixelated. Navigation in the interface is therefore done via the five physical buttons on the sides of the box.
An accurate heart sensor like never before
Unattractive visually, the Polar M430 catches up on its heart rate sensor. With no less than six LEDs, this is one of the most precise on the market today. The watch is therefore ideal for runners who can follow the slightest change in their cardio. GPS is not forgotten, as is the waterproofing which allows immersion up to 30 meters. Small original point: this watch calculates the VO2Max score by being at rest unlike its competitors who calculate it only after an intensive running session. Sleep tracking is also part of the game, which makes this smartwatch rather complete.
Great autonomy but limited connected functions
The Polar M430 is on average with five days of autonomy in classic mode and 8 hours in GPS mode. The latter is also adjustable with readings of your choice every second, 30 seconds or 60 seconds. If the health monitoring is more than correct, the connected functions unfortunately remain behind. It is impossible to respond to notifications from the smartphone or even to transfer music to the watch.
Our opinion on the Polar M430
If there was one sport watch to remember for cardio tracking, it would be the Polar M430. Not very aesthetic, it is however ideal for runners.
Best price of Polar M430
+ Intelligent battery management
+ 80 sports profiles
+ Adaptive training
– Non-touch screen
– Limited connected functions
Suunto is another name well known to athletes. Very close to Garmin in its approach, the Finnish manufacturer recently launched the Suunto 5, a multisport connected watch targeting the mid-range. And the least we can say is that it provides!
Pretty but without touch screen
If we were to describe the Suunto 5, we could qualify it as a mixture between the Casio ProTrek Smart and the Garmin Venu. Available in several colors, the sport smartwatch weighs no less than 66 grams, making it feel good once on the wrist. But it is especially the absence of a touch screen that risks putting off the most geeky: all navigation is done with the five buttons arranged around the perimeter of the case. Fortunately, the Suunto 5’s interface is relatively intuitive.
80 sports profiles (!)
No need to spend more than € 500 to have a very complete sports connected watch. Indeed, the Suunto 5 offers no less than 80 different profiles! We also note that the triathlon is integrated, the watch particularly well managing the continuous monitoring of several different activities. GPS and cardio are of course in the game. The Suunto 5 can thus track your physical activities with the VO2Max score as well as the quality of your sleep. Like the Polar Ignite, the training schedule is intelligent. So it’s super full!
Suunto’s connected watch seems impossible to stop. A single charge can last one to two weeks depending on the activities and up to 40 hours in GPS mode. The watch even learns from your habits to warn you if it needs to be recharged before your next outing. Amazing!
Our opinion on Suunto 5
The Finnish watch is ideal for athletes, at least those ready to get rid of the touch screen. If the connected functions go to the hatch, the sport side is really at the top. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this is the perfect connected watch to accompany your physical exercise sessions.
Best price of Suunto 5