Construction work is as mentally demanding as it is physically demanding. It’s a job that requires that the work be done right the first time. Failure to attend to the tiniest detail can mean lost hours, repeated work, and tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost. For the individual construction worker, it means completing challenging work efficiently, on time, and with little to no margin of error.
Over the years, the tools of the construction professional have been increasingly more powerful and refined. From the ergonomics of the framer’s hammer to the rarefied accuracy of the modern plumb and level, technological improvements are ubiquitous.
But for the individual construction worker, the modern smartwatch may have improved more than any other piece of personal equipment. Beyond a mere chronometer, today’s smartwatch brings communications, positioning data, and more to the modern construction professional.
Here, we will discuss today’s top 6 best smartwatches for construction workers.
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The 6 Best Smartwatches for Professional Construction Works
A construction worker’s smartwatch is altogether a different beast compared to the executive’s or the nurse’s smartwatch.
It should be massively rugged. It should have a chunky external interface that can be worked through thick leather gloves by labor-beaten fingers. The contraction worker’s smartwatch should be waterproof, feature-rich, accurate, and comfortable. And it should suit the wearer’s budget.
Here, we will organize our rankings into Budget, Mid-Range, and Premium smartwatches.
Here are our top picks.
Top Budget Construction Smartwatches
6. Amazfit T-Rex
This budget smartwatch is tough, looks the part, and offers a few useful fitness metrics. The interface can be a bit glitchy in real-world use, and the fitness metrics don’t offer much in the way of analysis. Its best quality is probably its long battery life of up to 40 hours.
The Amazfit T-Rex is one of few smartwatches in the bottom end of the price range that come with a GPS.
5. Garmin Vivoactive 3
More streamlined than most watches on this list, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is still rugged and looks the part. The GPS and heart monitor are high quality, and it tracks a number of different activities that may be useful on a construction site.
Possibly the biggest downside is the fact that you can’t select which apps send notifications and which don’t. It doesn’t let iOS users respond to texts and the basic model does not support music playback.
The two models range in price by about $140, and the premium version is easier to recommend.
4. Suunto Core All Black
Jumping up in price from the above watches, the Suunto Core is probably the most feature-rich smartwatch at the budget end of the spectrum. It has a strong waterproof rating and is one of the most accurate altimeters you’ll find in a smartwatch of any quality, short of high-end Garmin products.
This is more of an outdoorsman’s watch as its main features are the altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and compass. But it certainly has a place on many construction sites.
It’s available on Suunto.com for just over $200.
The Top Mid-Range Construction Smartwatch
3. Garmin Fenix 3
This offering from Garmin is as rugged and tough-looking as it is streamlined and simple. Its setup procedure is unusually easy to complete and Garmin put a lot of thought into its overall configuration.
Its metrics and tracking are easy to use and accurate, and it is as durable as the finest Garmin products.
On the downside, it needs to be strapped to the user’s chest to track biometrics properly. The screen is fairly basic, and its sleep tracking capabilities leave something to be desired.
The price has recently been reduced, making it an excellent value on Amazon. But don’t expect the discount to last.
Top Premium Construction Smartwatches
2. Suunto 9 Peak
On the outside, the Suunto 9 Peak is as sleek and utilitarian as smartwatches come. Admittedly, it is designed for high-intensity outdoors adventuring, but it has plenty of useful overlap for construction.
The bezel and strap just exude quality and functionality. It offers a host of different sports modes and the watch face screens are surprisingly handsome.
On the downside, the GUI and apps can be a bit slow to respond. The black bezel around the screen takes up a lot of space, and the Suunto app is a bit overactive.
Listed between $484 and $699 at various retailers, you can get more functionality for the price from another smartwatch. However, the construction quality is so solid, that it might stand up to even intentional abuse.
1. Garmin Tactix Delta
The Garmin Tactix Delta feels as cool as spy toys made you feel as a child, and it actually does a lot of amazing things. It offers solar charging (that works), topographical maps (that work), ABC sensors, and a number of safety features.
The amount of features it has is enormous, and it still has a relatively long battery life. It somehow fits a heck of a lot of quality functions into a surprisingly slim package.
The biggest shock is the price. As the single most expensive smartwatch we’ve reviewed lately, buying it may be tough to justify. It has so many features that few people would ever use them all. So the question is, can you even get all of the value you pay for?
If you do pull the trigger on this watch, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are the owner of an outstanding Garmin product. After that, your mission if you choose to accept it, is to use all of its high-quality functions.
On most construction sites, the two features that can deliver the most value are standalone communications and GPS. These allow workers to communicate easily, save time, and get work done more accurately and efficiently.
It is for this reason that the Garmin Tactix Delta is our top pick for most workers on most sites. However, the right watch for you might be any of the ones discussed here. At the end of the day, only you know how you do your job, and only you can choose the right watch for your needs.