Rugged. What’s the first thought that comes to mind?
Some would say something like rocky or uneven when it comes to ground or roads. When it comes to clothing or accessories, it means strong, durable, and the ability to withstand roughhousing.
If you think that is precisely the kind of watch that you need, then welcome, friends. We’re here to tell you that rugged smartwatches are available, and they can withstand even the roughest conditions.
If you’ve been hesitant to purchase a smartwatch because you’re a swimmer or mountain biker, let that hesitation go, people. The research is here, and we’ll go through some of the best-rugged smartwatches your money can buy. Grab your favorite beverage and read on.
Are Smartwatches worth it?
We’re glad you asked. A smartwatch can be a huge time saver. Get it?
The watch tells time and is a time saver. It’s probably better if we stop explaining the jokes. So back to smartwatches saving time. Let’s be honest. We are all swamped these days. Whether it’s work or kids or pets, or just life in general, it’s hard to keep it all in check. A smartwatch gives you all you need right on your wrist.
Need access to your daily calendar to see what’s in store? All you need to do is check your watch.
Want to view that email you just received or just note that you received one without pulling out your phone? Done and done.
Want to use your contactless payment quickly and securely?
Put your wrist right up to the credit card machine, pay quickly and go.
Ready for your workout? Hit “start workout,” and you are off running or swimming or biking, and your watch is tracking all of your stats. Yes, we mentioned swimming because most smartwatches have some level of water resistance. One of the best features is having emergency calling right at your fingertips or wrist as well.
The benefits of smartwatches are remarkable and extensive. Now, did we answer your question?
Things to Note about Rugged Smartwatches
Like always, there are several vital elements to look for when purchasing a rugged smartwatch. Good thing we made you a list.
Design and Case
Of course, you want the design case to look super cool, but you also need rugged. That means the case should be made out of something durable and water-resistant.
Chances are, even if you aren’t a swimmer, you will be sweating with the smartwatch on, and you don’t want it to be damaged by water. Research the case thoroughly and make sure the material is up to rugged standard.
Always ensure that your smartwatch is compatible with your smartphone otherwise, they won’t work together.
For example, the Apple Watch will only work with the Apple iPhone. While some smartwatches function for both Android and iOS, make sure you do your research before purchasing. There is nothing worse than buying something that high in price and not being able to use it.
Have you ever been in a fitness competition with your friends and desperately trying to get more steps in than them? That means that a Fitbit or smartwatch cannot come off your arm, or it won’t track all of your steps.
There is nothing worse than getting that low battery icon in the middle of one of those competitions. Are we right? When trying to buy a smartwatch, make sure you check out the battery life. The better the battery, the more you can use it and wear it.
Like anything you wear, your smartwatch needs to have a comfortable fit, or you won’t wear it. Many smartwatches come with different kinds of bands and other materials. Look for a material that will be comfortable for you and is adjustable.
Most smartwatches need a snug fit, especially if you are using them for fitness reasons.
If you thought battery life was necessary, the display could literally make or break your smartwatch. Ensure that it has a touchscreen if that is important to you.
Some might look like they are but don’t have touchscreen ability. Also, some smartwatches come with LED or OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens. While an OLED screen tends to have better colors and a brighter screen, its lifespan is not as long as a LED.
Decide what matters most to you and check out the technology behind the display.
While Apple’s watchOS and Google’s Wear OS are the most popular operating systems, they aren’t the only available ones. Sometimes if you step outside the box a little, you find a fantastic choice that suits you perfectly. Don’t be afraid to do that!
Best Rugged Smartwatch
You know the requirements to look for so now it’s time to see a few products we love. Get that notepad and pen and take some notes.
If you like the feel of your regular watch, the Casio WSD-F30 has the same kind of look, except it’s a rugged smartwatch. The case is made of resin, so it’s durable against hits and scratches.
While you don’t want to dive or snorkel with this watch, it does have 50-meter water resistance, so you can swim in it. It runs on the Google Wear OS operating system and features a touchscreen for easy accessibility. Plus, the OLED screen means you can see everything with extreme clarity.
While some reviews claim the battery life isn’t great, a battery-saving mode feature will extend the battery life. The blue and black design is pretty sleek-looking if we do say so ourselves.
- 50-meter water resistance means you can swim in it no problem
- Made with a resin material, the case is highly durable
- Unfortunately, the strap is made of plastic which isn’t very durable
The TicWatch Pro is a rugged smartwatch that looks good and wears well when it comes to durability. Priced at $259.99 on Amazon (yay, free shipping), this rugged smartwatch has fast responses and holds over 1 GB worth of RAM.
Hold onto your hats, folks because this smartwatch can get up to 30 days of battery life in one charge when in Essential Mode. Say what? When you are in Smart Mode, get two days of battery life with the TicWatch Pro. That is some epic battery life right there. That feature is incredible because it has a sleep tracking capability—no need to charge it overnight since it has such a high-quality battery.
The operating system is Wear OS that works for both Android and iOS smartphones. The case is made with polyamide and glass fiber, two durable substances. The wrist strap is made of leather which is a nice touch.
- Includes a heart rate monitor that constantly tracks your heart
- Features a built-in music player
- Some reviews suggest that the layered display is confusing and hard to navigate
This rugged smartwatch takes sleekness to a new level. The Misfit Vapor 2 looks fantastic and it’s made of silicone and stainless steel, so you know it is built to last. Using the Google Wear OS, this smartwatch pairs with both Android and iOS devices. It has a heart rate monitor, GPS, music player, and more.
The reviews on Amazon praise it for its durability and Bluetooth compatibility. Its battery life lasts all day with only needing to be charged overnight. For a watch that hits all of the cool factors, this one is it.
- Bluetooth technology is above average
- This smartwatch comes with it’s own GPS functionality
- There is only one design – like it or not
It’s Garmin, ya’ll, so you know the GPS will be off the chain, and we can certify that it is. It has a built-in compass and supports Galileo and GLONASS, two other satellite systems. If you get lost with this watch, there is no hope for you.
Just kidding! With a LED screen and a protective layer to enable you to see the screen in the direct sunlight, the Garmin Fenix 6 thought of everything when it comes to a rugged smartwatch.
Not only does it have a heart rate monitor, but it also features a pulse ox to measure your oxygen saturation in your bloodstream. Something like that is vital in these times of COVID. One of the modes lets you go without a charge for 48 days!! That’s incredible. Even if you are in GPS mode, the battery will last for 36 hours. That is some insane battery life.
While the price is on the higher side at $499.99, we think it’s well worth it for this top-notch rugged smartwatch.
- The watch comes equipped with the Garmin GPS
- Features include multiple sensors from heart rate monitors to pulse ox to altitude acclimation when hiking.
- Small screen is less than ideal
Polar watches are known for their fitness tracking capabilities and this rugged smartwatch is no different. Track your workouts, heart rate, calories, steps, and sleep all with your Polar M600.
It has 10-meter water resistance, so swim away with this rugged smartwatch and track your laps while you do. Made with durable gorilla glass to prevent scratching and changeable silicone wristbands, the Polar M600 is built to last. It comes with GPS, Bluetooth, and 4GB of internal storage.
If you’re an athlete or into exercise, this one is high on our recommendation list. Using the operating system Wear OS, it pairs with both Android and iOS smartphones. The battery life with Android is two days and one day with iOS.
Get this durable smartwatch for $269.95 on Amazon. Go check out the display screen. It’s huge!
- Every inch of this smartwatch is made with durable materials, from the screen to the case to the band.
- It’s got style for days – the design is one of the best
- The interchangeable bands only come in white or black
Avoid this Smartwatch
It’s not often that we tell you to avoid a certain product, but in this case, we will.
The IdeaPro Rugged Outdoor Watch is one that you need to stay away from for several reasons. It claims to be durable, but reviews suggest that it is equivalent to a “toy.”
While it claims to be waterproof, it is only good to 10 meters, where most other rugged smartwatches have many further depths of water resistance.
It only comes with one strap which isn’t fun. Also, there is no operating system associated with this smartwatch so the chances of pairing it to your smartphone and apps are slim to none.
It’s only $55.99, which is way too low for a rugged smartwatch and speaks volumes about why you must avoid this product.
Ready for your Rugged Smartwatch?
Any of these smartwatches would be an excellent choice for you.
Remember, you don’t have to break the bank with your smartwatch.
Just check out our best budget smartwatches and cross-reference those with some on our list above. You are bound to find an excellent choice between the two lists.
If we had to choose an absolute favorite, it would either be the Garmin Fenix 6 due to its long-lasting reviews and excellent GPS functionality or the Casio WSD-F30 due to its multitude of features and durability.
It’s essential to keep in mind that not all smartwatches can answer phone calls. If that is a must-have for you, make sure to read up on the smartwatch to ensure that is an included feature. You could start talking to your wrist like those Secret Service guys. Now that is super cool!