Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Keeping track of time, knowing our personal bests and keeping track of our steps is becoming easier and easier, especially for those who are into physical activity. Sports watches are the perfect companion for many, not only during physical activity, but also as a casual accessory in our daily routine.

There are many styles and models to choose from, so everyone will be able to find one that perfectly suits their needs. Without further ado, let’s talk now about everything you need to know to buy the best sports watch of all, the most current and innovative models that the market has to offer and the types that you can find during your search. Stay tuned!




The Best Sport Watch: Our Picks

Buying Guide

A sports watch brings a load of usefulness to your daily life that you may not have known you needed. Keeping up to date with your achievements and health will help you live a long and fulfilling life. Now we explain in more depth all about these items.

Sports watches help you keep track of your exercise pace and your body’s reaction to it. (Photo: Varin Rattanaburi / 123rf)

What is a sports watch and what are its advantages?

We know that watches are instruments specially designed to measure the passage of time and indicate it in hours, minutes and seconds. But when we talk about sports watches, it is not only because they will have a more casual look, but also because they include useful features in our physical activities, such as stopwatches and pedometers.

But that’s not all; most sports watches will include other functionalities that will not only help you keep important information about your achievements, but will also allow you to stay informed about your health and how your body reacts to your daily routine. Let us tell you more about their benefits:

Advantages
  • Various models
  • Measure health data
  • Measure sports data
  • Configurable according to activity
  • Sleep monitor
  • Alarm and stopwatch
  • Smart options can be linked to your mobile phone
Disadvantages
  • Some smart models run out of battery quickly
  • Can be complicated to set up

Traditional or smart sports watches – what should you look out for?

When choosing sports watches, you can find traditional versions (analogue or digital) or smart models. Here are the basic differences you will find when owning each of them.

Traditional. Traditional sports watches are known as analogue or digital, however there are hybrid versions of traditional watches that have also enabled a connection with smartphones. Although in this case, communications are less and they can report simple notifications and alarms.

Depending on your model, the battery can last between 6 months and 4 years, so you can get extended continuous use. They can be made of silicone, but also of more elegant materials such as metal or plastic. Even hybrid models often leave out the health measurement and sports settings functions.

Smart. Sports watches or smart bracelets are notable for their wide range of functionalities related to sports and health activities, including heart rate monitors, step counts, sleep monitors and much more. Some models will also allow you to perform actions on your mobile phone from your watch.

The weak point in this case is its battery, which although you will avoid changing it, you will need to charge it from time to time. A fully charged battery can last from 1 to 5 days, usually. The most common material in this case is silicone, due to its flexibility and comfort of use while you are on the move.

Traditional Smart
Battery life 6 months to 4 years 1 to 5 days
Connection with phones Sometimes Yes
Health and sport functions No Yes
Most common materials Silicone, plastic, metal Silicone

How much does a sports watch cost?

Sports watches tend to be relatively similar in cost to simple casual watches. If you’re looking for the most basic smartwatch wristwatch options, you can find some really affordable ones starting at $130 MXN.

However, if you’re looking for durable models, from more reputable brands or with more specific features, prices can range from MXN 250 to MXN 700. Other more distinguished options, with more functionalities and more resistant materials may be more than 900 MXN and 1,000 MXN.

Where to buy a sports watch?

Sports watches can be found quickly and easily, especially in technology shops such as BestBuy and Elektra; sporting goods stores such as Polar and Garmin; and in other varied establishments such as El Palacio del Hierro, Walmart and Claroshop.

However, if you prefer to check models, features, prices and reviews from other buyers before purchasing your product, you can confidently visit sites such as Amazon, Mercado Libre and the online platforms of the retailers mentioned above.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different sports watch models

We have already talked extensively about the benefits of getting a smartwatch, but we have not delved into the features you should take into account before choosing the best model. Here we summarise the 4 most important ones.

  • Compatibility
  • Features
  • Water resistance
  • Appearance

Compatibility

If we have a traditional sports watch model (without mobile connection), the only compatibility we should take into account is that it is to our liking, but if we have a hybrid or smart version, things change a bit. It is important to take into account that the device is compatible with our mobile phone.

You can find this out by checking that the current operating system of your smartphone is accepted by your sports watch. If it does, you will be able to use its functions without any problems. If not, it is better to opt for a watch with better software coverage or a traditional model.

Functions

If we divide the main functionalities of a sports watch into 2 (leaving aside the de facto ones like telling the time), we can have the functions related to the health area and the functions dedicated to sports specifications. Each of them will help you in different fields.

Health. The health functions are ideal for people who need to keep a constant record of certain body factors, such as heart rate and blood pressure (hypertensive or hypotensive people), sleep monitor (people with anxiety, insomnia or stress), among others.

It will also be useful to know how our body reacts to certain pressure or certain activity different from the usual routine. These functions are widely used by athletes and anyone else who wants to know these aspects of their condition.

Sport. The sports functions are very varied, and the most common are the pedometer (step counter), GPS (to calculate distance and routes taken), calorie burned counter and more. This will be excellent for people who want to lose or maintain weight, keep track of their activity or improve their physical fitness.

However, there are other more specific ones that will also include some models, such as cycling mode, climbing mode, jogging mode, basketball mode, among others that will provide detailed information according to the activity being performed, which is ideal for specific athletes in these areas.

Water resistance

Although many watches claim to be water resistant, it does not mean that all of them can be submerged for hours without damage. In fact, they can be classified into 5 types according to the pressure they withstand (ATM) and you should take this into account according to the use you intend to make of your sports watch.

1 ATM or less. Watches that can withstand a pressure of 1 ATM are not suitable for activities with a lot of water flow. In fact, they will barely withstand some everyday splashes, such as drops from washing your hands or wiping off sweat.

3 to 5 ATM. These sports watches are waterproof in that they can withstand short moments in contact with water, such as if you take an unexpected dip or stand in the rain for a couple of minutes. Choose it if you don’t plan to engage in activities in constant contact with water.

10 ATM. This is where we start counting submersible watches, as they can withstand more intense contact with water, such as you would have with simple swimming, surfing, snorkelling or scuba diving. You can go for it if you do any of these or similar sports.

20 to 30 ATM. Here we start to see more demanding versions. These watches allow to be submerged for a longer period of time and depth. They can withstand longer swimming sessions and at competition level, also time-limited diving.

100 ATM. Having a model with these features allows you to practice deep diving without worrying about the condition of your watch. These models can be significantly more expensive and difficult to obtain, so there is no need to buy one unless you really need that dive capability.

Hybrid sports watches will look like a traditional watch but will be able to connect to your smartphone to monitor basic functions. (Photo: namair / Pixabay.com)

Appearance

The appearance of your watch will determine when you can use it most successfully and consistently, as well as how comfortable you feel wearing it. When it comes to sports watches, there are 2 models that you will see frequently.

Watch type. This model consists of a metal or plastic dial or square with a firm screen (protected by glass or similar material). The separation between this part of the device and its strap is noticeable, so it covers a larger space on the wrist.

Depending on its model and design, it can easily be used for events away from sporting activities, such as formal celebrations, thanks to its elegant and sober finish. Use it if you intend to wear it more frequently and at different types of events.

Bracelet type. The appearance of these models is less sophisticated and they are not usually used during more formal events, as they have a 100% sporty and informal design and, in some cases, with very bright colours.

At the same time, they tend to be more comfortable due to their light weight and practical material (silicone, usually) that will allow you to perform your physical activities without even feeling it. It will cover less space on your wrist, so it is also preferred by very thin people. Use it if you want to wear it consistently in sporting environments.

(Featured image photo: ArturLuczka / Pixabay.com)

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