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Best Smart Watches of 2018

Posted in Reviews (updated on 12/10/2018)

In this PB Tech Smart Watch Buying Guide, we’ll break down what we think are the Best Smart Watches of 2018 on the market and why.

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (3G) Smart Watch - The best all-rounder smart watch

This smart watch is an absolute beast – and don’t take it from us, our customers reckon this is “hands down the best smart watch I’ve owned” (thanks Sean!) and “the best smart watch in the market” (thanks Justin!). It looks and feels like a standard analogue watch, which makes it a great option for those unsure about switching to the new style of smartwatches from the traditional models of wrist watches.

Not only does the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier boast all of the best features of a smart watch (more on those later) but the built-in 3G e-SIM allows you to take your watch with you and leave your phone behind when you go out. There’s no need for a Wi-Fi connection or to tether to your phone’s network, as this smartwatch can still receive notifications, texts, emails and make calls on its own. Neat!

Now onto the features. This smartwatch is super easy to set up, and only requires one initial pairing to your smartphone to get started. Its water and dust resistant – great for outdoor activities, sports and more – and can resist the occasional drop and extreme temperatures. Like almost all smart watches, it can also track your steps, nudge you when it thinks you’ve been sitting down for too long, 

Navigating on this smart watch is easy. You simply turn the steel bezel to navigate through apps, instantly check texts and updates, and more. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is compatible with almost all of your favourite mobile phone apps and features such as Spotify, Uber, GPS, Twitter, Weather, Yelp, and even Fruit Ninja! Simply tap the touch-screen face to open up your apps and navigate through them.

The great thing about this smart watch is its ability to alert you about meetings, emails, appointments and calls – even when your phone is on silent. It’s a great smart watch for the busy working professional who often has no time to check their phone during the working day. It’s also a great alternative to the typical alarm clock, vibrating at your wrist to get your attention rather than an external phone or clock alarm.

Best of all, the Samsung Gear S3 is compatible with both Android Smartphones and Apple iPhones.


Apple Watch Series 3 - Perfect smartwatch for the Apple enthusiast

For those of you loyal to the Apple ecosystem, we’ve got you covered. The latest series of Apple Watches is the Apple Watch Series 3, which come in a range of sizes, colours and band designs. The Apple Watch seamlessly connects to your iPhone through the Apple Watch app, and also allows you to sync data from a range of Apple-exclusive apps such as Apple Pay, Health, and Wallet.

Great for gym bunnies or those just curious about how many steps a day they walk, the Apple Watch Series 3 has been designed with active lifestyles in mind. With a new built-in GPS tracker and an altimeter, the Apple Watch Series 3 tracks all your outdoor workouts by recording distance, speed, routes taken, elevation when climbing and descending hills, and auto-sets to swimming mode. That’s right, the Apple Watch Series 3 is swim-proof, able to track your stats both in the pool and in open water – perfect for New Zealand and all of its beaches! After your workout, this innovative device ejects water via. the watch speaker. The Health app customises information collected by all your health and fitness apps, so you can see the data in one snapshot and keep it for later comparison.

If you’re not in it for the health and fitness features, don’t worry – the Apple Watch Series 3 still has all the bells and whistles that a smart watch should have. Customise your watch face with the information that you want to see and add different watch faces, designs, or even your own photographs. Siri is still here - able to open up apps, read your new notifications aloud, send texts or call contacts on your iPhone hands-free. Tap and swipe to navigate through apps like you would an iPhone, and download all your favourite apps from the App Store. Connect Bluetooth wireless headphones and speakers directly to your Apple Watch if your iPhone isn’t around. You can manage all of this and more via. the Apple Watch app on your iPhone! 

Also of interest - the Apple Watch Series 4

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro - The perfect smart watch for fitness enthusiasts

Yep, it’s another sports-orientated smart watch, but hear us out! This one’s specifically tailored for personal trainers, athletes, and those that hit the gym on the regular. (You’d think so, being named the ‘Fit2 Pro’). It’s made for all of the ways that you work out - meaning it’s both sweat proof and swim-proof, it sends helpful motivational notifications, and lets you store up to 500 songs at once.

With its lightest design yet, the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro helps you go further without weighing you down at a teeny 34g. The new watchband comes in two colour combinations and is designed to blend seamlessly with work wear and active wear, while the customisable vibrant AMOLED display is still large enough for you to see and send texts without squinting. The heart rate monitor is located on the back of the watch to accurately track heart rate from your wrist pulse, and the Gear Fit2 Pro bands are comfortable and come in a range of wrist sizes. A built-in GPS gives you the ability to leave your phone at home whilst you go for a run and hosts offline Spotify support for tunes on-the-go.

Get up to 5 days’ worth of use without needing to recharge, great for the Monday – Friday working week. If you grab a select Samsung-approved dock, you can place your smart watch on the dock any which way to get a charge. Unlike its predecessor, the Fit2 is in fact compatible with both iOs and Android. This means you’ll be able to use this smart watch with almost any smartphone and tablet that supports the free Samsung Gear and Health apps – but if you’d rather not, that’s okay too! The Gear Fit2 works fine without being connected to a smart device.

Xiaomi Mi Amazfit Bip Smart Watch - Great value smartwatch for 24/7 activity tracking

The Xiaomi Mi Amazfit Bip is the newest addition to Xiaomi's portfolio of smartwatches. Bip features an astonishing 30+ days of battery life on a single charge, plus other neat features such as a reflective always-on color touch display, GPS, barometer, sleep monitoring, geomagnetic sensor, and a PPG heart rate sensor.

Amazfit Bip smartwatch is the perfect daily companion to keep you informed and active. Daily step, calorie and distance tracking are a given and motivate you to get up more often. The reflective always-on display is easily readable in bright sunlight or indoors and shows all of your phone's app notifications like calendar alerts, text messages, emails, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, LinkedIn, Snap, Slack, you name it! From the color touch screen you can choose different pre-installed apps to access local weather forecasts, alarms, timer, compass, daily status overview including heart rate and the sports tracking options.

This smart watch is also extremely light weight at a teeny 31 grams. Available at PB Tech in 3 vibrant color options, the Bip also allows you to receive emails, text messages, calls and app notifications on the watch display. You can track your runs (indoor and outdoor), cycling routes and other sports courses with detailed GPS routes and stats.

You can also check out our entire range of smart watches and accessories!

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