The best smartwatches and wearables of MWC 2023 | Digital trends
It’s that time of year again, that’s right, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) is happening right now in beautiful Barcelona, Spain. This annual show is primarily dedicated to the mobile industry, where companies showcase all the latest innovations and upcoming mobile products we should expect throughout 2023 (and beyond).
While we’ve seen plenty of cellphones announced, there are also plenty of cool wearables that also debuted during MWC 2023. We’ve rounded up the best smartwatches and wearables from MWC 2023 here.
Garmin Forerunner 265 series
The new Garmin Forerunner 265 series aims to help athletes become better, faster and more efficient for those big races and marathons. With the 265 series, you’ll get powerful performance monitoring tools with Garmin Firstbeat Analytics, including stats like VO2 max, performance conditions, training effect, and more.
There are two adaptive training plan options to make training sessions more effective. If you enter race information into the Garmin Connect calendar, you’ll get daily workout suggestions or free Garmin Coach plans, with expert coaches ready to help you train. Those who train outdoors can plan their strategy with PacePro, which offers grade-adjusted pace guidance for certain courses or distances. Garmin’s SatlQ technology and multi-band GPS also provide pinpoint accuracy in your location, even in the roughest and toughest terrain.
But the Forerunner 265 series isn’t just for marathon training and running. It’s also a great tool for tracking general well-being. You get a wrist-based pulse oximetry sensor, body battery energy monitoring, advanced sleep monitoring with sleep score, stress tracker, menstrual cycle tracker, and pregnancy tracker. . It also has smart notifications when connected to your smartphone, and you can download songs from Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music (subscriptions required) for phone-free listening. You get incident detection for added peace of mind, Garmin Pay and more.
There are two models in the Garmin Forerunner 265 series: the Forerunner 265S and the standard Forerunner 265. The Forerunner 265S comes in a 42mm size and has a battery life of 24 hours in GPS mode or 15 days in smartwatch mode. The standard Forerunner 265 is 46mm larger in size and has 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode and 13 days in smartwatch mode.
The Forerunner 265 is available now for $450.
Garmin Forerunner 965
The Garmin Forerunner 965 takes the basics of the 265 series and expands them even further, making it a smartwatch for athletes who want to look their best.
Garmins Forerunner 965 has the same basic features as the 265 series, but adds more performance metrics, built-in mapping and the ability to store even more songs right on the watch itself.
Other features include a new charge radio designed to track short-term and mid-term charge ratio, all within limits to help the user stay healthy and avoid setbacks. And to stave off burnout, real-time endurance tracking lets you manage your exertion levels. A ClimbPro feature allows the user to see real-time data on current and upcoming climbs, including grade, distance and elevation gain.
A 1.4-inch full AMOLED display on the Forerunner 965 also means you can view color built-in maps for city streets or even densely covered trails, making it even easier to stay on the course. The Forerunner 965 has a lightweight titanium bezel and comes in a 47mm case. You’ll get 31 hours of battery life in GPS mode and 23 days in smartwatch mode.
The Forerunner 965 will launch later in March and will cost $600.
Xiaomi S1 Pro Watch
Those who prefer analog aesthetics for their smartwatches should consider the new Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro. In fact, at first glance, it looks like a traditional watch. But it does so much more. As Xiaomi says, it’s a perfect combination of timeless watch design with modern smartwatch technology.
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro features a large 1.47-inch AMOLED display, rotating crown and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It is available in two colors: a silver case with a brown leather strap or a black case with a black fluorine rubber strap. There are also more than 100 watch faces, allowing this smartwatch to be adapted to each person and each situation. And it uses a universal watch pin, making it easy to change straps to best suit each scenario.
Xiaomi combines a unified UI design and optimized animations to improve the overall aesthetics and smoothness of the screens interface. It even has advanced synchronization which eliminates the lag of notifications between devices. And if you have a Xiaomi phone (like the Xiaomi 13 Pro), the Watch S1 Pro has a pop-up pairing feature, making it even easier to set up.
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro also comes with a ton of health tracking features, giving users real-time information on over 100 sports activities, including outdoor jogging, cycling, swimming, and more. You can also take 10 different types of running classes, including run/walk combos for beginners or fat-burning/endurance training, plus workouts designed to boost heart and lung health. On top of all that, the Watch S1 Pro can measure heart rate, speed, distance, and workout data like duration, intensity, routes, and calories burned. Other health tracking features include sleep monitoring, heart rate monitoring and SpO2, so you can stay updated on your daily health status.
It also has a powerful speakerphone and an AI noise cancellation algorithm that helps you have smooth and clear audio when you’re on Bluetooth phone calls. You’ll get up to 14 days of battery life with the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro. And just 10 minutes on the charger will get you about two full days of regular use. The wireless charging station will recharge the device to 100% in 85 minutes.
Huawei Watch Earbuds
Have you ever wished you could store your wireless headphones inside your smartwatch? No? Well, Huawei is doing just that with the Huawei Watch Buds.
This interesting product is a solution to a problem we may not have thought existed. Flip the smartwatch screen over and you’ll find tiny headphones inside. These headphones are not marked left or right, as they intelligently understand which ear they are placed in. The headphones are also symmetrical in shape and have no contacts, so you can just put them back inside to charge them.
When we say the headphones are small, we mean little! They are 21mm long and 10mm in diameter and weigh only 4 grams. According to Huawei, they’re around 50% smaller than most other true wireless earbuds, which isn’t easy, but they’re not lacking in features. In fact, there’s AI-powered noise cancellation, dual microphones, wear detection, wind noise cancellation, and a smart little gesture control system where it responds to taps on the earpiece or your real ear. For sound, Huawei uses a pair of planar diaphragms with quadruple magnets.
On the front of the smartwatch, the Huawei Watch Buds feature a 1.43-inch AMOLED display, which magnetically locks into place when closed over the earbuds. The hinge used has been tested to 100,000 openings, so it’s pretty tough and should last you a while. When the headphone compartment is closed, the watch has an IPX7 water resistance rating, with the headphones having an IPX4 rating. The sensors on the back of the watch can track health activity, such as steps, calories, and heart rate. This watch will pair with iOS and Android phones through Huaweis app, and all health data is tracked through the Huawei Health app.
Of course, combining these two products into one means you won’t get the best battery life. The smartwatch part will last about three days with normal use, and the earbuds last about three hours with noise cancellation active.
If you’ve ever forgotten your headphones when you go out for a run, or you just don’t have pockets to keep the headphones with you all the time, Huawei Watch Buds can solve that problem. The Huawei Watch Buds will launch on March 1 in the UK and will cost around 449 pounds (about $545).