Puma Smartwatch Review: Looks Sporty, Works Poorly
As the world’s third-largest sportswear manufacturer, Puma is a great brand, but the Puma Smartwatch is the company’s first foray into the world of smartwatches. Manufactured by the Fossil Group, the Puma Smartwatch has a standard set of specifications and runs Google’s Wear operating system.
Puma has overseen the sporty design and offers an app of its own with some more in-depth fitness features than you’ll find in typical Wear OS watches. Still, it’s also one of the slowest and buggy we’ve tested – a hefty price to pay. for physical conditioning.
Design and comfort
The Puma Smartwatch looks good. It is sleek and very light, with a striking paint job that contrasts black with bright yellow. This is a smartwatch that is hard to ignore. It is reminiscent of the Fossil Sport, but only a single crown and the flanking buttons that you usually find on Fossil smartwatches are absent.
A smooth, perfectly round, the bevelled aluminum dial is held in black plastic that extends from the lugs and has parts cut out to achieve a striking two-tone look. The crown is also yellow with the Puma logo stamped on it.
The Puma Smartwatch has a silicone band with a black latch, and you will find the Puma logo engraved on the end. Because the Puma Smartwatch is lightweight and stylish, it easily slips under your bracelet and rarely snags – something that can be a problem with an oversized watch like the Diesel On Axial.
However, the daytime yellow prevents it from mixing. The Puma smartwatch looks out of place with a button-down shirt in an office or even with a casual outfit in a bar; This is a smartwatch that wants to go to the gym or go for a run.
I was hoping the silicone strap and lightweight would result in a smartwatch that is comfortable and easy to forget you’re wearing. Still, I found the Puma Smartwatch a bit uncomfortable. The textured silicone strap is a bit stiffer than other silicone straps I have used.
On the plus side, it grips your wrist, and the oversized end of the strap ensures that it never comes loose, even during hectic workouts. Although you can easily change the band, finding an alternative that matches your body can be challenging. Four Puma-designed watch faces are offered, and they’re all a bit boring. Aside from the ubiquitous Puma logo, they don’t fit in with the rest of the design in colour or appearance.
The 1.19-inch AMOLED display looks good in the 44mm case and is sharp, bright, and readable in most lighting conditions.
The Puma Smartwatch has a distinctive look to match the brand, but it feels and looks a bit cheap and stands out in a wrong way in non-sports settings. There are less flashy white and rose gold or black and gray options available in some markets to offer a bit more stylistic versatility.
Software and performance
While Wear OS looks good, it doesn’t work well. This is a complaint I had with the Michael Kors Access Lexington 2, and it’s a complaint my colleague had with the Fossil Gen 5, but things are even worse with the Puma Smartwatch. I ran into a random freeze when using this Smartwatch, it frequently lagged when scrolling the screen, and it was constantly slow to load apps.
The Puma Smartwatch has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, but unfortunately, someone made the wrong decision to use 512MB of RAM instead of 1GB. The difference in daily use compared to the Wear OS smartwatches that I have recently tested with 1GB of RAM is pronounced. The Puma Smartwatch is frustrating to use; it is slow and needs to be restarted too frequently.
The rotating crown works well and is the best way to get precise control when swiping up or down a list. You can also install many apps from the Play Store, from shopping lists to music controls and all kinds of exercise options. While there are more options than ever, the overall level of polish and functionality isn’t awe-inspiring, and it still pales in comparison to the Apple Watch’s dedicated App Store.
The Puma Smartwatch has a microphone so that you can use the Google Assistant from your wrist, but there is no speaker, so the answers come in the form of text. There is also support for Google Pay, so you can pay from your wrist, which is sometimes helpful.
Internally, the Puma Smartwatch has 4GB of storage for music and apps. Most of Fossil’s other recent releases feature 8GB. GPS and application compatibility
As a blatantly sports device, the Puma Smartwatch has to shine in the fitness department, and I think it does. You have Google Fit built in for basic tracking, there’s also a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS, and 5 ATM water resistance that lets you swim with it.
While Google Fit is sufficient for casual athletes to record their progress each day, more severe athletes may want to try the PUMA TRAC application installed on the Puma Smartwatch. However, they will also need to install the companion application (for Android or iOS) on your smartphone. PUMA TRAC allows you to leave your phone at home and have the Puma Smartwatch track your heart rate, distance, pace, elevation, and calories burned. It’s also packed with workouts, lets you set up a fitness training schedule, and even offers training.
I found that the Puma Smartwatch worked well for general fitness tracking, but it had trouble establishing a GPS fix on a couple of occasions, and sometimes it couldn’t sync with the Google Fit app on my phone. There was no apparent reason for this. Heart rate, steps, and distance data seem pretty accurate.
Puma optimistically suggests that you will get 24 hours of battery life from your Smartwatch, but I never came close to that. It helped me get through a typical day, but only by switching to battery saver mode at night. If you are a very light user, it may take you to bedtime. If you want to track your heart rate and get many notifications or use other apps, you can expect it to run out in the early afternoon.
The charging base has a magnetic contact and stays in place. It only takes about an hour to charge, but you’ll likely leave it charging overnight anyway.
Price, availability and warranty
The Puma Smartwatch costs $ 275, and you can buy it directly from the Puma website or various retailers. It comes with a standard two-year limited warranty covering defects in material and artistry under regular use for the period beginning on the date of purchase and continuing for two years.
The Puma Smartwatch is a familiar Wear OS device from Fossil that is disappointed by the low RAM that produces even more problematic performance than its usual Wear OS device. The poor battery life doesn’t do it any favours either. It looks sporty and has a good range of fitness tracking features, but it’s way too expensive for what you get. Is there an alternative?
If you’re primarily looking for a fitness tracker watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is your best bet, and it’s almost the same price at $ 280 or $ 300, depending on the size you choose. It has better software, more comprehensive exercise tracking, and better battery life.