It's funny how opinions change over time like from considering myself stuck with Android using the Mate 20 Pro (when I was unable to upgrade to an iPhone 11 Pro) to embracing it and then buying the Samsung.
I don't miss an iPhone per se, maybe just some of the software design aesthetics compared to Android's Material design language.
What I do miss, however, is the Apple Watch or, at least, wearing a competent smartwatch. Again, this required a change of opinion as I had fallen out of love with it whilst ill and needed a shift in approach before I got to grips with it once more, including changing the watch face. As soon as the Watch was part of my daily routine again I found it became almost indispensable, it was just a shame it was a Series 0 (the original model) so stopped receiving Watch OS updates and was getting a bit slow. These issues helped me rationlise giving it up 2½ years ago, plus the fact that it was borrowed from work - not that there was an issue with me continuing to use it.
In the interim I've tried some cheaper bands and watches running their own proprietary operating systems but they were too limited, too unwieldy or clunky.
After getting the Samsung phone I began considering my options including whether a Galaxy Watch might be a good option considering the tight tie-in with the Galaxy phone. Samsung's offering does look like a viable solution but, for my own purposes, the limitations on specific third party apps (read Google) meant that it was a non-starter.
I had heard mixed noises about Wear OS devices including complaints about performance and battery life. The latter appears to be primarily down to Qualcomm's chipsets and the former a combination of this and manufacturers providing inadequate specs. There's not much you can do about the chipset apart from ensuring you choose a watch using the latest (sadly some manufacturers are still refusing to include this on new watches) but upping the amount of RAM onboard and providing additional battery mode customisations seem to be making a difference.
Being an older model I was used to charging the Apple Watch each day so doing this doesn't bother me although I may arrange a charging routine that allows me to use it overnight for sleep monitoring.
The Fossil Group, which includes brands like Skagen and Misfit, seems to be leading the way here so that's where I started looking.
Initially, I was looking at the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle as its traditional, sleek looks appealed to me. All reviews seemed to be very favourable except one that mentioned a slight lip/gap between the screen and surrounding bezel which can become a dust trap - videos of this didn't look good. Off-putting.
With the Fossil Group being an umbrella for other smartwatch brands, and the internals of the Gen 5 acting as a base for other models, I knew I had other options.
I've been trying to reduce my impulsiveness (with varying degrees of success) so, after some research and deliberation, I've chosen the Skagen Falster 3 - essentially the same as the Gen 5 insides but housed in an even sleeker, more minimal case. Very stylish.
I'm not that concerned with fitness monitoring beyond steps and heart rate, and will be using it more for notifications, Google Assistant, Maps and Google Pay. I will also be looking for apps like meditation timers so that I can manage this directly from the watch.
It should arrive some time in the next 3-5 days (hopefully nearer the startof that window) and I cant wait to get started with it.