2020 may have gotten off to a dodgy start, but there’s no reason not to treat yourself to a new smartwatch. We’ve dug into what you can look forward to in 2020.
We can’t ignore the Apple Series 6. Will it be all we hope it will? Maybe the new Samsung Galaxy Watch will land this year to compete.
Other releases have been confirmed from the likes of luxury brands Montblanc and Tag Heuer. Budget-friendly devices from Amazfit and Xiaomi are also keen to launch new devices, too.
New smartwatches due for 2020
It’s official that the Oppo Watch is coming. This is the brand’s first smartwatch attempt. The actual global release date has been delayed, understandably. For now, at least, you can only get it in China.
The rumour mill was mostly accurate. The watch has a rounded 326 pixel AMOLED display. It comes in either 1.6 or 1.9 inches (41mm and 46mm respectively). It offers 50m water-resistance and there’s room for a SIM card, offering LTE connectivity.
From a distance, you’d think it was an Apple Watch. The design is uncanny. The similarities don’t stop at the aesthetics. It also has a heart rate sensor and offers ECG data.
It’ll cost around $288. Not cheap, but not bad considering.
Amazfit Bip S
We’re big fans of this budget fitness tracker brand. The Bip S is an addition to the budget smartwatch world. It’s simple-looking. Another copy cat of the Apple Watch. Unlike the above, that’s where similarities end. Which is about what you’d expect for around $70.
It’s a total bargain. You’ll find a level of 5M water-resistance, which is nice. It’s adopted the PAI health score. It’s got a great battery life of 40 days. It has built-in GPS and heart rate sensor.
Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000
Casio shocked us all with the announcement of this GPS sports watch. It has an advanced heart rate sensor and smartwatch functions. It’ll be priced around $399 in the States and £379 in the UK respectively. You’ll find it on the market mid-May having fallen victim to a Coronavirus delay.
The H1000 offers 200m water-resistance. This is better than most smartwatches you’ll find (note, we do mean smartwatch – there are sports watches with better resistance). Essentially, you get 50m of safe water depth. It’ll also last for 14 hours in GPS mode.
It’ll tell you a rough VO2 max by analysing your heart rate and GPS data. The same company that supplies Garmin’s metrics, Firstbeat, have helped develop the H1000. This means advanced information like training effectiveness, recovery and race predictions based on previous performance.
Timex Ironman R300 GPS
Timex came along and released the R300 GPS this year. It’s perfect for triathletes and, best of all, it doesn’t cost the earth.
The upshot is that it has an impressive 30m water-resistance, accurate GPS tracking and a reliable heart rate monitor.
The best experience comes with use of the app, which creates a useful ecosystem.
You’ll find it for around $120.
This is a sexy hybrid. It offers ECG reading and will pick up on medical conditions like heart arrhythmia or sleep apnea.
The screen is small but will deliver important information like heart rate, steps taken, calories burned, ECG readings and your notifications.
The options are either 38mm or 42mm and either version carries a 30 day battery life.
The fitness tracking on this device is decent. It monitors your heart rate round the clock. Has 30 sports modes and step counting. It doesn’t offer GPS but it will pair with your smartphone and do the job that way.
You’ll get a sleepscore in your app, too.
It’ll come in 42mm and 38mm, which will be $299 and $249 respectively.
What about the rumours?
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple Watches have successfully been updated and released every year since conception in 2015. So it’s likely we’ll see the Series 6 in September.
The smartwatch rumour mill has certainly been very busy.
Features we might expect are a native sleep tracking ability as well as blood oxygen levels.
Hopefully we can see an improved battery life, which is the main gripe currently. Apple Watch users haven’t seen a need for sleep tracking as that’s when they’ve likely taken it off to charge overnight.
One particularly interesting rumour is that the Apple Series 6 might be able to predict panic attacks. It’ll be much like how it currently warns of an irregular heart rate.
TouchID is anticipated to be incorporated into the crown or even the screen itself.
A left-field rumour is the addition of a kids mode. Here the watch becomes safe for children to use. Bespoke activity tracking and goals that are simplified so younger users can understand.
A dedicated kids Apple Watch could be in production. This is off the back of patents submitted by Apple for a new plastic and ceramic device.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3
Samsung has been dragging its heels with regard to a new Galaxy Watch Active. The 3 might be the next device to be released.
There have been some rumours that a new model might be on the way, known at the moment as SMR840.
Samsung leaks information like a rusty pipe, though. Just because we see some information online doesn’t mean a new release is imminent. The experts are predicting the latter half of the year; particularly considering supply chain delays that a lot of brands are experiencing at the moment.
Things we do know include a stainless steel case that will come in three colours. There is talk of 8GB on board storage which is twice that of its predecessor.
That’s about it for now. Keep an ear to the ground around Christmas time.
Fossil Gen 6
Just as Apple and Samsung are committed to consistently launching improved smartwatches, Fossil is right there alongside them. The Fossil Gen 5 was released in the summer of 2019 and there are rumours of the Fossil Gen 6.
What will it be like?
It has a built-in speaker capable of taking calls, more built-in storage, a faster processor and a sleeker, sportier design.
The biggest tell is the apps that came preloaded on the Gen 5. Fossil has shown serious interest in fitness tracking via their heart monitoring functions.
It’s possible we’ll see bigger, better fitness features. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this in a slimmer model.
There is no confirmed date. It’s all speculation at the moment, so watch this space.