On the 12th of March, TAG Heuer released the third generation of their smartwatch. TAG Heuer Connected Watch is a step forward in the brand’s effort to “connect” with the latest trends and digital technologies. The new piece packs the Google Wear OS and self-developed applications in a TAG Heuer chronograph look. Here are my impressions.
Review TAG Heuer Connected Watch
TAG Heuer invited me on Friday in Munich, a day later from their New York’s launch, to a TAG Heuer event to discover the new watch. I drove 500km (way and back) just to bring you fresh and original pictures with the new Connected Watch and my own impressions.
I received for the event a watch that I could test freely. In a nice ambience, there was possible to test the watch for sports activities (fitness and running band). The brand’s proprietary golf application could not be fully tested for obvious reasons – a golf course could not be emulated at the event location.
For the first impressions, have a look at the hands-on video:
TAG Heuer look and feel
There are three steel versions and a grade 2 titanium in full matt black. The version presented in the article is packed in a stainless steel case with fixed steel bezel and a rubber strap.
The 45mm case is nicely decorated with a brushed finish and some highly polished accents. Excepting for a moment the black screen protected by a sapphire crystal, the watch feels like a genuine TAG Heuer wristwatch chronograph.
The watch has a thickness of only 13.5mm and it looks well proportioned. The short lugs permit a balanced and adequate look even on small-sized wrists.
The buttons are somewhat logical. If you come from another system or configuration, you will need a moment to adjust to the functionality of the two “chrono” pushers and rotating and pushing crown.
The pushers miss the mechanical feedback from the mechanical counterparts. The software responsiveness is good enough to overcome this and not to be an issue. Personally, I found the crown response a bit too sensitive for my taste. Probably from the feedback reflex of years of winding and setting mechanical pieces. After spending enough time, I determined that it was just a process of self-adaptation to the new style. After two hours of play, I was precise in selecting any function I desired.
The rubber strap is fitted with deployment clasp without a pin. The detail permits a very precise and fast adjustment of the strap. The fixation inspired me robustness. Note the fine details of clasp finishes.
The TAG Heuer Connected Watch sits comfortably on my wrist. I am used to wearing heavy watches and the new generation of the Connected watch felt like the equivalent of a quartz piece (in the equivalent case size and material).
Behaviour, software and the overall feel
The bright light used for photography does not justice the screen’s brightness. But in the case (picture above), I wanted to show you how the watch looks after some hours of intensive use. The fingerprints reveal the drag down settings menu, the screen centre menu touches and the 6 o’clock touches of various functions. But there are some good news against the screen’s visible fingerprints. Besides the obvious choice of cleaning the screen, the watch can be mostly driven from the crown and pushers.
The screen brightness can be adjusted manually in several steps or automatically with the ambient light. The is available an option to boost the screen in bright sun/light to preserve the screen legibility. It is also possible to darken the screen completely and to activate the screen from the pushers (preserves battery).
In the pictures above, you can notice the “always-on” display versus the standard screen. Of course, one of the watch’s faces. There are available five, highly customisable watch faces for the launch screen. TAG Heuer has a dedicated team in Paris, France, that takes care of the development and maintenance of the TAG Heuer Apps. This is visible in the watch’s responsiveness and quality of the apps.
The four o’clock pusher activates a chronographic function with a TAG Heuer classic chrono appearance. I have to admit that this was my favourite function. It looks great and behaves great. By the way, the above picture shows the chrono in the always-on standby screen.
The tow o’clock pusher activates the sports apps. These can be scrolled with the help of the crown. Please have a look at the hands-on video for a hint regarding the functionality. Here, the watch tried to lock down the GPS satellites (I was in a shielded building without GPS receiving possibilities).
The sports watch app includes custom-built sports tracking app with GPS and HR sensors. The supported sports mode are golf, running, cycling, walking, fitness and others. The TAG Heuer Connected Watch is capable of measuring distance, duration, pace/speed, heart rate and calories. The applications are very well developed.
Full integration with Android
TAG Heuer Connected Watch has an exceptional integration in the Android environment. In the presentation video, one can notice the Instagram and email notifications. In the first minutes of usage, I was surprised by the WhatsApp notifications on which I was able to answer conveniently from the on-screen keyboard. The 454×454 pixels (326 ppi) display was big enough to use the keyboard intuitively. The mobile companion was my Samsung S20 Ultra 5G.
From my understanding, under the iOS environment, the watch is capable to display all the notification but is not able to offer full support to answer all the messenger apps. Since I didn’t test under the Apple environment, I cannot know how the watch’s functionalities (focus on direct messenger apps replies) are behaving. Certain is that all the sports activities and monitoring are fully supported for the Apple devices.
Concussions, strong points and wishes
I own and use, from time to time, several smartwatches (including hybrids). I was not expecting something else, other than maybe the classic functionality of a smartwatch. But I was surprised.
I have to admit, the TAG Heuer work on the applications is easily visible. The apps are well developed and the personalization side is very capable. One needs to use, besides the Google-specific application, the TAG Heuer’s own app. That gives the user the full functionality of the TAG’s personalisation.
What I wish to see for the future will be maybe more watch faces. Don’t get me wrong, the available watch faces are exceptional and highly customisable. The watch follows the brand’s orientation for racing chronographs. It will be great to see maybe watch faces dedicated to the Aston Martin collaboration and to the Porsche. Or I have skipped them from the watch personalisation option?
The watch feels great on the wrist. At 5 atm water resistance, the watch can be certainly used as a daily companion, not only for sports activities. I have received the watch charged at approx 75-80%. I have intensively played with it for 2½ hours (full brightness, GPS activated) and I have left it with 35% battery life. That corresponds with the specs of 6 hours of sports use (using GPS, HR and music).
The TAG Heuer Connected Watch is a good looking watch with the appearance of a modern chronograph and with powerful software. I was enchanted by the look and surprised by functionality. Well done TAG Heuer! The Android environment has a poor market when it comes to luxury smart wrist devices and the new TAG Heuer is a great addition.
TAG Heuer Connected Watch Gallery
More info can be obtained on the official website: TAG Heuer. For the official press release and technical specification please have a look here: TAG Heuer introduces the new generation of its luxury Connected Watch