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Question: Heart rate monitor Watch 3 vs 0

Hi Everyone

I'm contemplating getting a Watch 3 (to be exact Apple Watch Series 3 Aluminium Case Sport 38mm (including Nike+ Aluminium Case Sport 38mm through the Discovery Vitality program. See https://www.discovery.co.za/vitality/apple-watch). Since they offer the one option and you essentially get it for free if you exercise enough (I do), this is the one.

Problem is I've had a AW before (A1554, 42mm original) and stopped using it for exercise (and eventually altogether) because of primarily 3 problems:

  1. The heart rate monitor kept losing my heart rate during sessions. E.g. I would be running and my heart rate would be around 140-150 and suddenly the watch says my heart rate is 80. It eventually wakes up again, but not before 2-3 minutes, and this would happen 2-3 times in a typical 30 minute run. This is very frustrating because (1) it essentially makes the HR data useless and (2) it often meant losing out on points on the Discovery program linked to above, which then suddenly makes the watch considerably more expensive.
  2. Much less frequently, the heart rate monitor would show ridiculously high heart rates, e.g. 220, when I'm coasting at 140-150 (I know these readings were BS because I've never had anything like it prior using a Polar with a chest strap or since using a Fitbit Surge).
  3. Battery - Particularly on very long runs (like a marathon), the watch would not last all the way through. This was never a problem for a casual 30 minute run, but it's annoying when you've been slogging it out for 4 hours and your watch dies in the final stretch.

I've had point 1 above on the Fitbit Surge as well to some extent, but it happens much less frequently and it's not nearly as severe (it would show a HR of 140 as 120, rather than 80 (or 83 seems to be a popular choice) that the AW shows and in most sessions this doesn't happen at all. I think it's worse when my skin is particularly dry (we have very dry winters), but on the Fitbit it's a minor annoyance and when I pick it up there are workarounds that seem to help, but on the Watch 0 it essentially made it unusable.

What I want to know is how the Watch 3 compares to the original with respect to these issues. Has anyone else had experience in this, is it significantly improved? If not, I would rather just buy a new Fitbit.


Apple Watch Series 3

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Question: Heart rate monitor Watch 3 vs 0