Memorial Day has seemingly arrived early as we’ve spotted several smartwatches selling on the cheap at Amazon and Best Buy. The Apple Watch Series 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, are on sale today for no more than $179. You better act now because these deals certainly won’t last long.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a comfortable and beautiful smartwatch that offers everything you’d need ever need in a wearable at a very attractive price. It’s got top-notch fitness tracking, a gorgeous display, a pleasingly simple and sporty design, and a comfortable and lightweight build. But unlike the Samsung Galaxy Watch and its successor the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, it doesn’t come with a rotating bezel and its capabilities become woefully limited if paired with a non-Samsung phone. Still, this wearable gets so many things right that we won’t hesitate to recommend it. Right now, the 40mm version of the Galaxy Watch Active is on sale at Best Buy for the incredibly low price of $150 — $50 off its normal retail price of $200.
This smartwatch is free of visual distractions and looks uncomplicated, and we like it for that. It’s sportier looking than the Samsung Galaxy Watch and much more compact. But unlike Samsung’s flagship wearable, it’s kind of annoying that this one lacks a rotating bezel. The feature made navigation so much easier and faster and we miss hearing its satisfying clicking sound. Nevertheless, its omission made for a cheaper sticker price, which is a good thing. You’ll be swiping and tapping the Galaxy Watch Active just like any other Wear OS.
The 1.1-inch OLED screen is a bit small and therefore harder to navigate but it’s undeniably stunning and close to perfect. Colors are well saturated, blacks are so deep that the screen blends in with the bezel around it, and text is sharp thanks to a 360 x 360 resolution. You woun’t have any difficulty viewing it outside even under direct sunlight.
This watch is powered by a dual-core Samsung Exynos 9110 processor with 750MB of RAM and we’re very happy at how responsive and snappy it is. However, it’s worth mentioning that Samsung’s Tizen operating system is more optimized for, well, Samsung phones. On other Android phones, you’ll need to download various plugins to ensure a smooth experience. On iOS, in fact, you’ll find that some features won’t work at all, like responding to messages, Samsung Pay, and SOS alerts. If you have Spotify, you’re in luck as the app is available and lets you download music for offline playback. Manually transferring MP3 files, however, feels like you’re back in the Stone Age. It’s quite tedious so don’t bother.
Finally, fitness tracking is up to the usual Samsung standard. You’ve got the usual heart rate monitor, distance traveled, step count, and sleep tracking, as well as less prominent capabilities like blood pressure monitoring and torso twists recommendations (you get this if you’ve been sedentary for a while). All data get stored in the Samsung Health app which is nicely feature-packed if a tad cluttered.
If you want a Samsung smartwatch but don’t want to spend too much money, this is for you. Get the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active at Best Buy today for just $150.
Garmin’s fitness trackers have almost always been what we call BBWs — big burly watches (like the Fenix 5). That is not the case with the Vivoactive 3. The brand dropped its usual tendency to go big in favor of something much smaller, more refined, but still capable of delivering the goods.
This understated smartwatch is 1.75 inches in diameter, less than half an inch thick, and weighs 43 grams. It’s nicely slim and lightweight and is comfortable to use, and almost seems like you’re not wearing it. It has a water-resistance rating of 5 ATMS, which means you can take it with you diving in waters up to 50 meters in depth. Its 1.2-inch LCD touchscreen is bright and colorful, protected by a Gorilla Glass 3 lens and a polymer case, and surrounded by a stainless-steel bezel.
Fitness has always been where Garmin shines, and the Vivoactive 3 is no exception. This watch has a built-in GPS and heart rate sensor, both even more accurate now thanks to years and years of development and refinement. Aside from these, it also comes with a barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, and thermometer.
This watch can track an array of exercise metrics, including step count, stairs climbed, calories burned, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and sleep time and quality. There’s also a stress meter which measures your heart rate to determine if you’re stressed out. If you are, it suggests a breathing exercise to help you relax. It can also track numerous sports and outdoor activities like walking, running, swimming, cycling, snowboarding, and more.
If connected to your smartphone through Garmin’s Connect Mobile app, this watch receives smart notifications with a vibration alert. Unfortunately, the vibrations are very weak (the weakest we’ve ever encountered actually), so chances are you might miss an important call or text message. Even when set at “high,” you cannot count on this watch to successfully notify you of something.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a well-rounded multisport watch that excels in fitness tracking. Give it a go if you can forgive its feeble vibration alerts. Get it at Amazon for just $161 instead of the usual $280 – a huge $119 off. And if you pay via the Amazon Rewards Visa Card and get approval, enjoy an additional $50 off instantly, which brings the price down even lower to $111.
Syncing the Apple Watch Series 3 to your iPhone via Bluetooth allows you to receive real-time notifications and music playback control. You can get notified of calls, text messages, and social media alerts even if your phone is tucked away in your bag. This smartwatch doesn’t have a built-in eSim card, though, so you cannot make phone calls on your wrist. For that, you need to spend a few extra bucks and get the cellular version.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is a very reliable fitness tracker. It boasts a gamut of health-centric sensors, including a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, and gyroscope. With this watch you can track a multitude of activities, including walking, running, swimming, and cycling. When you’ve been sitting for too long, this watch will remind you to get off your feet and take a brief walk. It also helps you relieve pent-up stress through the Breathe mindfulness feature. All health stats and metrics are aggregated in the Activity app.
This smartwatch comes with a strap band called a “Sports Loop.” It has a simple hook-and-eye system that’s guaranteed to fit all wrist sizes. The band is replaceable if you wish to get other styles, colors, and even materials. The watch face is also fully customizable, with a variety of designs to suit your personality.
Even though it’s not the latest or the most feature-packed Apple Watch, the Series 3 is still great value for your money. It is currently on sale at Amazon for just $179 instead of $199. What’s more, you can get $50 off instantly upon approval for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, reducing the price even further to $129,
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