Smartwatches can still be seen as a new generation of devices that, like smartphones, have moved from traditional wearable devices, which could have been mechanical or battery-powered. Some were waterproof that was made for this century to be more reliable and suitable. While we don’t want to deny the usefulness of all the built-in technologies (fitness tracker, heart rate monitor, IoT integration, smartphone pairing, and more), some shortcomings still affect all smart wearable devices. Battery life has years of life (or indefinitely for mechanical watches) up to days and even hours. But we have to accept that as there is no solution for this yet.
In 2021, smartwatches need no introduction to anyone what they are for: the toughest smartwatches that can survive in a harsher environment and all the penalties that sports and outdoor activities carry. So without further ado, let’s see what the best rugged smartwatches are and the top picks on the market right now.
When it comes to having the best rugged smartwatch, Garmin Instinct is a clear choice. Designed for the toughest situations, this watch is built to the US military standard 810G, offering shock, heat, and water resistance up to 100m. No matter what situation you are in, this watch will be a reliable companion for you. The housing is particularly robust and consists of a fiber-reinforced polymer that can withstand considerable loads.
The screen is durable too. The scratch-resistant and chemically reinforced display has a high contrast display that is easy to read in sunlight. Not only is this watch powerful, but it also offers fourteen days of battery life in smartwatch mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, and 40 hours in power-saving mode. Since you probably won’t need 16 straight hours of GPS, you can expect this watch to last more than a week using the available modes.
GShock Move Rugged Smartwatch
If you prefer the rugged look of a traditional outdoor watch, this Casio GShock should be on your list of favorites. This selection gives us military smartwatch vibrations with real-time data tracking for heart rate, distance, and pace. In addition, to easily track your heart rate, you can set a target heart rate and rely on the digital display to see a graphical display of your heart rate zone, heart rate graph, and maximum and minimum heart rates. The Casio G-Shock can also serve as an exercise device that allows you to track time, altitude, calories burned, the effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and more.
Another cool feature is the 200-meter water resistance, one of the highest we found in our research for this buying guide. You also get GPS routing support to improve fitness metrics. While this watch is a fitness fanatic’s dream, it is somewhat limited in terms of smart functionality. Although it is a Bluetooth watch that can be connected to both iPhone and Android devices, this watch does not have a touch screen. You must rely on the buttons on the bezel to navigate and make selections.
While it supports solar charging, you get less than a day of battery life if you use the exercise features regularly. For training purposes, compare it to the best fitness smartwatch that comes with a wide range of features like sleep and fitness tracking, heart monitoring, blood oxygen levels, and ECG sensors.
Garmin Fenix 5X Plus
Garmin and the Fenix 5X Plus are both outstanding at making rugged smartwatches. It’s constructed of stainless steel and has a scratch-resistant screen. When it comes to power, this device can last up to twenty days in smartwatch mode, but that takes around 13 hours if you have GPS and music playing continuously. It’s easy to charge and ready to go in no time!
If you want this watch to help you keep track of your health and fitness, you won’t be disappointed. You can monitor your heart rate, find out how many calories you’ve burned, and get a current stress score so you know how much you can keep going. You can also track your fitness with a pre-installed fitness tracker and use the running performance app that will keep you informed of how much you are working out and how much energy you are using.
In a Nutshell
In addition to the typical features of a high-performance smartwatch, you should also take the time to see what else each device has to offer. Most brands have their combination of features designed to impress you, but you must first decide what to look for in a watch to know what to trust.
Ultimately, when you buy a rugged smartwatch, you have a good idea of what is about to happen, how long a battery will need, and what you’re looking to accomplish with it. Take a look at the devices we recommend, then buy the one that meets as many of your criteria as possible so that once it arrives, you can go out with it on your wrist.