Wear OS for me has always been more of a variety operating system than anything. The Fossil Group alone makes a ton of great looking smartwatch styles to choose from, but there was always something missing, and it was the fitness element. Sure, the hardware was there, and the sensors as well, but I’ve always felt that Google Fit needed an extra boost of credibility. If this wasn’t just a Google project and a true fitness brand to adopted Wear OS, things would change dramatically, and the time has come.
Meet the Puma Smartwatch, what the company dubs as a seamless blend of style and sport functionality, and honestly, the partnership that I’ve been waiting for.
Special thanks to Qualcomm for sponsoring this video and also flying some of us out to Nuremberg to the Puma headquarters to learn more about the story behind this collaboration, and Puma itself.
I’m gonna start this video by just naming a few dates and some of the legends I admire: 1962 with Pele, 1982 with Diego Maradona, 2002 with Serena Williams and 2009 with Usain Bolt. Some of the best athletes in history have been associated with Puma, and a lot of it has to do with how deeply the brand gets involved.
Just to give you an idea, the partnership between Puma and the Fossil design team spun for 12 months in order to tailor this new smartwatch. The watch targets mostly runners and fitness enthusiasts, so the nylon case matched with the aluminum ring was actually cut on the sides in order to shed some of the usual weight you get in a standard watch. The 16mm silicone strap design then has the purpose of providing grip and breathability for intense workouts.
The unboxing experience is fairly standard. On the sides we have indications of the Puma Smartwatch Logo, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 logo, icons indicating messaging, workouts and heart rate, Wear OS by Google which is compatible with iOS and Android, and then other details at the bottom. Inside we have the watch front and center, and on one of the sides we have the charging puck, and then literature at the bottom. All along the experience you’ll see the same theme of Lace Up, Connect, Go.
The watch is actually very minimalistic. This variant is 44mm in diameter, with the color of the bezel and the band depending on the variant you pick, whether that be black and gray model we received, the white and Rose Gold, or my favorite which is the yellow and black. The digital crown which portrays the Puma logo, also follows suit. I can’t stress enough how cool it is to have the crown for interaction on the UI, especially while you’re training.
This is a 1.19-inch AMOLED display at 328ppi that gets plenty bright in direct sunlight, and provides deep blacks, which is rather convenient since most of the watch faces provided by Puma focus on dark elements.
Internally we have a new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a battery that’s rated for more than a day, water resistant up to 5ATM, built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, and NFC support for Google Pay.
Now, one of the things that’s great about Wear OS is that there’s no bloat. The experience is just as similar as using other smartwatches. Swipe from the top to get your controls, from the bottom to get notifications, from the left to get your Google Feed, and from the right to get your tiles, which you can define.
Other elements that make this watch stand apart are definitely the watch faces, which Puma has tailored to motivate you to stay fit during the day. The Puma scorecard to keep you up to speed with your progress, Bounce for choosing your sport activities quicker, Reach which fills up as you reach your goals and also their app called PUMATRAC. On the watch you can use it to track your runs with the built sensors, whether that’s outdoor or indoor, and you can also use the app on the phone to track other workouts. The services are fully integrated with Google Fit, so in case you want certain workouts to be on Google’s services and others on Puma, the cool part is that everything syncs together.
We’ll report back soon on a full review to tell you more about how my experience went with the fitness services. Honestly I have to admit I like the flexibility you have in choosing from Puma services, or Google’s, or others that support Wear OS as well. Best of all, there’s full Spotify support, which is a huge plus for me.
So yes, this is the Puma Smartwatch. In my opinion the watch Wear OS needed to prove that it could take fitness seriously. Retail begins today for a crazy $275. I know, I thought it would be more expensive.
Not sure if you noticed but I’ve been on sort of a fitness streak again, after years of excuses. Already lost 15 lbs, back to running faster 5Ks, cycling and weight training, and it all started with that trip to Nuremberg and trying out my first pair of Puma running shoes. Spending time at the Puma Headquarters was definitely one of my 2019 highlights. It was really inspirational to see how the brand has evolved over years, and I’m not gonna lie, I have high hopes for this Puma smartwatch. Stay tuned for more details over the next few weeks on our full review.