Review of the best according to the editorial board. About selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
NFC technology in mobile devices is primarily interesting for the possibility of using them as a contactless payment card. However, the person would not be himself if he did not strive to simplify everything – the phone with NFC for payment needs to be taken out, and the thought that the phone could be lost or stolen is unpleasant (even taking into account that the payment cannot be made blocked). But there is a gadget that is always with you and securely fastened on your hand – it is not surprising that NFC technology has appeared in smart watches.
However, not all so simple. In order for smart watches to be used specifically for contactless payments, in addition to physical support for NFC, the application of the corresponding service must also be launched on them – and this is primarily Google Pay for Android – devices and Apple Pay for Apple gadgets. If Apple is clear, then there is confusion in the Android – watch industry: not all watches provide the ability to work with Google Pay, offering their own payment systems instead. Not all of them are now workable in Russia, like, for example, MiPay, promoted Xiaomi.
- Rating of the best smartwatches with NFC
- Apple Watch Series 5 GPS 44mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band
- Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Sapphire
- Apple Watch Series 4 GPS 44mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band
- Samsung Galaxy Watch (46 mm)
- Apple Watch Series 3 42mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band
- Garmin Vivo active 3
- Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
- FOSSIL Gen 4 Sport Smartwatch 41mm
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
- Amazfit GTS
Rating of the best smartwatches with NFC
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||price|
|Rating of the best smartwatches with NFC||1||Apple Watch Series 5 GPS 44mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band||RUB 34,990|
|2||Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Sapphire||RUB 63 690|
|3||Apple Watch Series 4 GPS 44mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band||RUB 26,090|
|4||Samsung Galaxy Watch (46 mm)||RUB 23,990|
|5||Apple Watch Series 3 42mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band||RUB 17,990|
|6||Garmin Vivo active 3||RUB 21,109|
|7||Samsung Gear S3 Frontier||RUB 21,990|
|8||FOSSIL Gen 4 Sport Smartwatch 41mm||RUB 17,990|
|9||Samsung Galaxy Watch Active||RUB 14,737|
|10||Amazfit GTS||RUB 8 490|
The review is based on the analysis of technical characteristics at https://rankquality.com/smartwatch/.
Apple Watch Series 5 GPS 44mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band
The first feature of the 5 series smartwatches that immediately catches your eye is that its display (made with Retina technology) never turns off. There are over a hundred dial options for every taste. The screen area itself has increased by 30% in comparison with the still popular watches of the third series, the screen resolution has also increased – readability has improved.
Two sensors are responsible for monitoring the physical condition for fitness applications: optical and electrical (which is not available in the third generation watch). The smart watch is able to automatically alert you when your heart rate is too high or low. The built-in accelerometer, among other things, is able to automatically issue an emergency alert, fixing the owner's fall, which could threaten his health.
The watch supports work simultaneously with GPS and GLONASS, guaranteeing a quick cold start of the satellite geolocation system. There is also a barometric altimeter and for the first time in the line Apple Watch – a hardware compass that can show the direction even when the owner is out of the coverage area of satellites or does not move (by satellites, the direction can be calculated only in motion, by changing coordinates).
The robust body is made of aluminum, just like the previous series. The manufacturer guarantees tightness when diving to a depth of 50 meters. Another plus – the amount of built-in memory is doubled in comparison with the Apple Watch 4 (from 16 to 32 GB), and with the 'three' – four times. This is useful, for example, when using a smart watch in conjunction with wireless headphones as a media player.
The built-in battery lasts up to 18 hours of operation – this figure was maintained, despite the always-on screen, at the same level as in previous models.
- Payment system working in Russia without any problems;
- Large amount of memory.
- Hard binding to services Apple, as in other equipment of this company.
Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Sapphire
Compared to smartwatches from Apple 'Garmin', made of stainless steel with sapphire crystal, looks much more conservative – in the style of ordinary men's wristwatches. But it also costs almost twice as much, which cannot be ignored.
Contactless payment is supported only through the proprietary Garmin Pay system, which, with MasterCard and Visa cards, is supported, if not by all, then by most banks in Russia. Therefore, when using the watch for payments, this should not be a problem.
The strong point of the watch is its ability to work on a single charge: in the 'Office' mode with minimal power consumption, according to measurements in the reviews (and not the manufacturer's statement) – up to 400 hours, with the GPS always on – up to 32 hours. This is one of the highest in the smartwatch market, and when combined with mapping support, Garmin's smartwatch is one of the best options not only for gyms, but also for hiking. For comparison, the previous model, the Garmin 5X, could only work up to 288 hours at minimum power consumption, and up to 20 hours with GPS.
To save energy when recording tracks of long journeys, a dedicated UltraTrac mode is provided. It reduces the frequency of activations of the GPS-module, in the pauses between which the construction of the track is carried out mathematically, based on data from the accelerometer. Tracks are written accurately, without 'torn' sections.
A useful feature for mountain hikers is that the watch has a built-in blood oxygen saturation sensor. It also supports work with external wireless sensors: chest heart rate monitor, bicycle devices, and so on.
The watch, unlike the Garmin 5X, also supports the European Galileo satellite system, while previously only GPS and GLONASS were available.
- Long work on one charge;
- Durability and reliability;
- Accuracy of building tracks;
- Support for cartography.
- High price.
Apple Watch Series 4 GPS 44mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band
Compared to the fifth series Apple Watch, the fourth outwardly differs little, which is not surprising: the 'five' actually became the modernization of the 'four'. Apple Watch 4 has the same Retina display but auto-off instead of always running. Alas, this does not give an increase in autonomy – the dual-core S4 processor used here is less economical than the top-end S5 at the moment.
The watch supports work with GPS and GLONASS, but due to the lack of a hardware compass, determining the cardinal points is possible only with confident reception of the satellite signal and in motion. It should be borne in mind that the price level for smart watches Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 5 is comparable, so we believe that it would be more justified to buy a more modern model, which is more functional and has twice the built-in memory.
- Good support for payments Apple Pay in Russia;
- Water resistant for dives up to 50 m;
- High-quality and informative display.
- Less functionality at prices comparable to Apple Watch 5.
Samsung Galaxy Watch (46 mm)
Smart watches from Samsung diligently mimic ordinary mechanical watches, but at the same time they have serious functionality. Geolocation via GPS and GLONASS is supported, Bluetooth version 4.2 is supported, including for working as a headset and transferring music to wireless headphones. However, it should be borne in mind that the amount of internal memory in a smart watch is only 4 GB, of which only 1.5 GB is available to the user – and this is not enough by the standards of media players.
The built-in battery provides good autonomy – up to 23 hours when using GPS, up to 16 – when listening to music via Bluetooth, up to 168 – with minimal use. This is more than the Apple Watch, however, compared to the reference smartwatches from Garmin, it is already noticeably less. If you activate the constant activity of the screen, the autonomy decreases even more.
A heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope are available for use in fitness apps. This is the minimum set that allows a smart watch to be considered functional, that is, it can fully perform its task.
The operating system used in the watch is Tizen, Samsung's own development. For this reason, work with Google Pay is not available; the company offers to use its own payment system Samsung Pay. To use it, you need a connected smartphone with the same payment system, that is, to work with contactless payments, Samsung strictly ties the buyer to its products
The body is water-resistant up to 5 bar, which corresponds to submersion to depths of 50 meters. Compliance with the military standard MIL-STD-810G, which stipulates the requirements for dust and moisture protection, is also declared.
The reliability of the watch is average – we found a lot of reviews with complaints about refusals or incorrect operation of sensors, this should be taken into account when buying.
- Good dust and moisture protection;
- Decent autonomy;
- Rich library of applications available.
- Small amount of memory;
- Contactless payments will require a Samsung phone to be paired with the watch.
Apple Watch Series 3 42mm Aluminum Case with Sport Band
Apple Watch of the third series in comparison with newer watches from Apple look already outdated. They have a smaller screen (both diagonally and in physical resolution), therefore the readability of information is worse, the case itself is thicker and more massive. But at the same time, the starting price is half as low – if for Apple Watch 5 in the company store Apple they ask from 32,990 rubles, then for watches of the third series – from 15,990 rubles.
Taking into account this difference, one can forgive less functionality: so, in particular, in Apple Watch 3 there is no function of automatic notification of emergency services in case of a dangerous fall. The heart rate sensor is only electrical, no additional optical. The control wheel has no tactile response. The S3 processor in comparison with the current top-end S5 is almost twice 'slower' in measurements Apple. The range of accelerations measured by the accelerometer is half as much (16g versus 32g), the built-in memory is four times less (8 gigabytes versus 32).
Nevertheless, Apple Watch 3 is fully functional in the modern sense of a smartwatch, and within its budget it continues to be an interesting purchase in terms of the combination of qualities.
- Retina display;
- Support Apple Pay;
- Rugged waterproof housing (up to 50 m).
- Less battery life compared to Garmin or Samsung.
Garmin Vivo active 3
This smartwatch model is more suitable for a city dweller who rarely travels outside the city, rather than a tourist: the battery life with active GPS is only 13 hours maximum. But it was these smartwatches that became the first in the Garmin line to receive the possibility of contactless payment via NFC using the Garmin Pay service.
The sports functionality of the watch is rich: more than a dozen profiles are built in, including, for example, 'bike', 'snowboard' and even 'golf'. The pulse sensor is optical, with good accuracy. The display may seem rustic, but according to the owners, it has no problems with readability in any light. The touchscreen has a good reaction speed and, which is important, it works adequately with wet hands. Water resistance is almost standard, up to 50 meters.
- Rugged water resistant body;
- Good screen readability;
- An abundance of sports modes.
- No cartography support;
- The battery life is shorter than the competition.
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
This model was introduced 4 years ago as an upgrade of the Classic series smartwatch. The smartwatch acquired a more durable case, as well as support for eSIM, which. However, in Russia it is not relevant now. The degree of dust and moisture protection meets the generally used IP68 standard, as well as the military MIL-810G. It is worth noting that the IP68 class guarantees water resistance when diving to a depth of more than 1 meter for up to half an hour, but without specifying the maximum depth, while it is now the standard indicated on most smartwatches.
Charge your watch wirelessly from a convenient docking station. Autonomy on a full charge – up to 4 days in standby mode, which is less than modern competitors for the same price: the age of the model is already becoming noticeable in this.
- Hull strength;
- Not a bad selection of apps in the Galaxy Apps store.
- Not the highest autonomy by modern standards;
- Work with payments only when connected to a phone that supports Samsung Pay.
FOSSIL Gen 4 Sport Smartwatch 41mm
Fossil's smartwatch runs on Google's Wear OS, so there won't be any problems with contactless payments: Google Pay is fully supported and works as expected.
Only GPS is available from satellite geolocation networks, GLONASS is not supported. The device is capable of independently recording tracks without the obligatory connection to a smartphone, which allows to increase autonomy, which is already small – the manufacturer does not give exact numbers, indicating that the battery will last 'for 1-2 days'. This is not so much by modern standards. According to the owners, the charge is really enough for a day with average use, without frequent use of GPS and recording tracks.
Water resistance is 3 bars, that is, up to 30 meters immersion, which is also less than many current smartwatches with their nominal 50 meters of immersion.
- Nice design;
- Durable aluminum body
- Google Pay support.
- Low autonomy;
- Not the highest moisture resistance.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
Support for satellite systems is implemented to the maximum here: in addition to the now standard GPS and GLONASS, the Galaxy Watch Active is also 'seen' by the Chinese satellites Beidou and the European Galileo. With active geolocation, the watch will work up to 15 hours – this is not the greatest indicator, but at least they surpass Fossil Gen 4 (about 2 days with standard use).
Since the smartwatch uses the operating system Tizen, there is no support for Google Pay, and, like other smartwatches from the Korean company, you have to keep a phone with a configured Samsung Pay payment system in your pocket.
The screen is small (diagonal – 1.1 inches), but well-readable and with a high-quality orleophobic coating. The watch does not have a bezel, so nothing interferes with the finger when operating. Moisture protection is standard by modern standards, up to 50 meters.
Like the Samsung Galaxy Watch without the 'Active' prefix, this watch can be used as a media player paired with wireless headphones, but with the same limitation – no more than 1.5 GB of internal memory is available to the user. In addition, there is no support for the aptX protocol for high-quality audio transmission over Bluetooth.
- High-quality screen with an oleophobic coating;
- Convenient operating system shell;
- Normal moisture resistance.
- Low autonomy of work;
- Using Samsung Pay instead of Google Pay.
Budget smartwatches from Xiaomi have a large and easily readable screen (1.65 inches, 348×442), which will attract those who, due to vision problems, seem to be too small 320×320 screens used on many smartwatches. Both the screen itself in terms of resolution and the design style of the watch itself are very similar to those that can be seen in Apple Watch 5 – a mimicry for more expensive brands, which is customary for Chinese manufacturers.
With constant GPS operation, the autonomy is up to 25 hours, in this regard, the Chinese smart watches are at the proper level and even outperform the twice more expensive watches from Samsung and Fossil. However, the gadget is not charged from a wireless docking station, but through physical contacts, that is, it must fit on the docking station in a strictly defined way, and it will not work to recharge the watch from any available wireless charging in the office or at a party.
The set of sensors is standard: accelerometer, magnetic sensor, barometric sensor, heart rate sensor. This allows you to fully use fitness applications, the accuracy of counting the heart rate and steps is normal, the dive detection when swimming works adequately.
The main disadvantage of the watch is that there is no NFC in the official 'European' version at all, and the 'Chinese' version does not work with Russian banks. Therefore, we cannot recommend these watches as a means of payments now.
- Large and bright display;
- Excellent autonomy;
- Affordable price.
- Charging is not wireless, only from a proprietary docking station;
- No NFC in the official European version of the watch.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.