At last, there’s an Android-compatible smartwatch to properly rival the Series 5 Apple Watch. It comes from Tag Heuer, which cheekily overtook Apple four years ago with the world’s first always-on high-end smartwatch display.
That Cupertino was counterpunched so cleverly by a Swiss mechanical watchmaker must have been irritating. It didn’t, however, take Apple long to catch up. Nevertheless, while the latest Apple Watch 5 is undoubtedly the best wrist-worn computer, an incredible portable personal assistant, I find it hard to think of it as a watch. With its plethora of health-tracking features, it’s more like an unusually pretty medical device.
Tag’s newest, third-generation offering, on the other hand, absolutely is a watch. It looks and feels like the real deal and, with a 45mm case, comes in any colour you like so long as it’s stainless steel or black titanium. Precision sports features are its USP. It is powered by Google software, and custom-built apps provide sports tracking using the watch’s GPS, accelerometer and heart-rate sensors to make it your macho companion for running, cycling, walking and golf, with maps of more than 39,000 courses worldwide. Other specially tailored sports apps are promised down the line.
The metrics it collects run from distance, duration, pace and speed to calories burned. The controls are not just wishy-washy on-screen touches and swipes, but big, precise mechanical buttons – proper chronograph pushers at the two o’clock and four o’clock positions – plus a highly ergonomic rubberised crown.
If that’s not enough to persuade you that the Tag Heuer could suit your lifestyle better than an Apple Watch, I should mention that the Tag also has Google Assistant aboard – which, as a voice-controlled helpmate, continues to leave Siri in its slipstream.