Welcome to T3's TAG Heuer Connected review. The luxury brand, TAG Heuer, took smartwatches to the next level when it first revealed the high-end Connected watch in 2015, and now the Swiss brand is doing it again with the third generation of the TAG Heuer Connected.
This timepiece improves on previous generations with enhanced fitness tracking, improved software, and a more refined design.
Consistently one of the brands best-selling models since it was first released, it's also certainly one of the most expensive smartwatches available to buy, but is it worth the money? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the TAG Heuer Connected.
- Here's our full list of the best smartwatches
TAG Heuer Connected review: price and availability
The TAG Heuer Connected is priced from £1,495 / $1,800. That's a similar price to the previous models.
That base price gets you a stainless steel case and sporty rubber strap. At the moment there is only one size available (45mm).
If you'd prefer your smartwatch with a matching stainless steel bracelet, the price will be £1,650 / $1,950.
And finally, the all-black Grade 2 Titanium model sits at the top of the range, priced at £1,950 / $2,350. These are marked at "Limited Quantity" on TAG Heuer's website.
As well as being available to buy on TAG Heuer's website, the Connect is available to purchase from jewellers such as Goldsmitsh and Watches of Switzerland.
If you're looking for a TAG Heuer Connected you can find the best prices in the widget below:
TAG Heuer Connected review: design and display
The first thing you'll notice about the new TAG Heuer Connected is the refined design.
The case is now completely circular, ditching the rather unsightly antenna protrusions from the Connected Modular 41. The result is a design which feels more compact and looks more like a traditional watch.
To build on this, TAG Heuer has taken inspiration from its range of mechanical Carrera chronographs with the addition of physical buttons which resemble chrono pushers. These make navigating the software much easier, and can be personalised to launch any app you choose.
Sitting in-between the two pushers is a rotating crown, which acts as a power button, as well as a way to scroll (in addition to the touchscreen) through the operating system.
The watch case also feels more solid than the previous generations. That's partly thanks to the use of stainless steel for the case, which gives the smartwatch a pleasing heft.
In terms of size, at 45mm diameter and 13.5mm thick, the watch is on the larger side (it's certainly not as compact as an Apple Watch, for example), but thanks to a relatively short lug-to-lug width, the Connected doesn't feel oversized.
The front of the watch features a flush OLED touchscreen protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It measures 1.39-inches and has a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. I found it really clear, vibrant and easy to read.
To extend the battery life, the screen alternates between active and ambient mode, but it always indicates time, meaning you can subtly glance at the time without making a show of it.
TAG Heuer offers the Connected smartwatch in Stainless Steel or Black Titanium guises. If you opt for the Stainless Steel model, you can choose between a steel or black ceramic bezel, with either a black rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet.
The lightweight Black Titanium model, which sits at the top of the range, only comes with a black rubber strap.
I reviewed a stainless steel model on a sporty black rubber strap, and found it really comfortable to wear all day long.
You can further personalise the Connected with the really intelligent interchangeable strap system. TAG is selling additional rubber straps which can be swapped in a matter of seconds using a simple clip.
All of the straps feature a secure deployment clasp.
TAG Heuer Connected review: health and fitness
There's now a greater focus on fitness and sports tracking in the Connected thanks to the watch’s built-in GPS and a heart-rate monitor.
TAG Heuer actually claims, "Every feature of the Connected watch has been purposefully selected to enhance the wearer’s experience – specifically during sports."
For a start, the watch was designed with high-intensity activities in mind, offering sapphire glass scratch protection, a lightweight case, and a rubberised strap optimised for grip, breathability and comfort.
The two pushers can be used as shortcuts to start, pause, and end workout sessions – removing the reliance on the touchscreen, which can be fiddly when exercising. The rubber-coated crown offers a second option for scrolling through the information on the display, and is ideal for a mid-workout progress check.
The case has a 5 ATM water resistance rating, which means it's suitable for low-velocity, shallow-water activities, such as swimming or running in the rain.
Inside the smartwatch is a 430 mAh battery optimised to last up to six hours of constant sports tracking using GPS, heart-rate monitoring and streaming music.
The headline addition to the new TAG Heuer Connected is the new heart-rate sensor, made of high-tech resin and integrated into the case back.
This optimizes the tracking of calories burned, while the built-in GPS measures your position during workouts and can calculate different performance metrics, and also includes a compass for direction, as well as an accelerometer and gyroscope.
The accuracy will be fine for most people tracking their workouts, sports activities and park runs, but if you're a professional, or seriously training for a marathon, then you might want a Garmin or Suunto running watch.
I was really impressed by the new, in-house designed TAG Heuer Sports application, which uses the brand's aesthetic to make the fitness tracking experience a little more luxurious.
It'll track golf, running, cycling, walking, fitness, hiking, as well as other activities, and TAG promises even more sports and activities on the way.
You can track your activities directly through the watch, with key metrics such as speed, pace, distance, heart rate and splits displayed in real-time in the Sports app and as an overview in the TAG Heuer Sports tiles.
You can then gain a more detailed insight into your performance through the new TAG Heuer mobile app, as well as synchronise the data with Apple Health, Google Fit or Strava.
Where the TAG Heuer Connected is well-suited to the enthusiast athlete, it lacks certain health or wellness features which people uninterested in working out might value.
For example, the latest Apple Watch features excessive noise detection to protect the wearer's hearing, menstrual cycle tracking, fall detection, irregular heartbeat detection, and the ability to take ECG readings, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 can measure your stress levels.
Of course, TAG Heuer could add some of these features over time with software updates, but until then, the Connect will be lagging behind slightly in this area.
TAG Heuer Connected review: performance and battery life
The TAG Heuer Connected has a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor inside, which, as the name suggests, has been developed specifically for Wear OS smartwatches.
It's designed to be more power and battery-efficient, featuring a low-power processor that runs alongside the main processor, and handles minor tasks such as step-counting and telling the time.
The claimed battery life is "all-day" with standard use, and according to TAG Heuer, that's 20 hours including a 1-hour workout. I found that to be pretty spot on, even lasting a little longer than that if you skip the 1-hour workout.
If you're really into working out then the Connected's battery will last for six hours of constant sports tracking while using GPS, heart-rate sensor, and streaming music. Sadly, I'm not fit enough to test that claim, so I'll take have to take TAG's word for it.
Charging time for the pretty rapid, refilling from 0 to 100-percent in one and a half hours.
TAG Heuer Connected review: software
Just like existing models, the new Connected is powered by Google's Wear OS. This used to be the weak link, as Google's cheap-looking software jarred with TAG Heuer's premium hardware.
Thankfully Google now allows manufacturers to customise the look of Wear OS. This goes a long way to making the experience more cohesive and premium.
You'll find custom TAG Heuer fonts, which looks great and are easy to read, and in-house developed timing apps which take inspiration from TAG's range of professional timing equipment.
TAG Heuer has also designed a new set of watch faces for the 2020 Connected. They all take inspiration from the brand’s timekeeping heritage. My favourites are the digital version of the Heuer 02 manufacture movement, and the unique algorithm-based neural network animation named Orbital.
Currently, there are just five mechanical and digital-inspired dials. Each of these faces can be personalised, but the collection feels a little sparse. TAG Heuer has hinted more faces will be released over time.
Of course, the watch also has a number of Google services baked in, to support you throughout the day.
The most useful of these is Google Assistant, which is still my favourite digital voice assistant. It uses the microphone located on the left side of the case to pick up your requests and usually provides accurate and useful information.
As you'd expect, you'll also get e-mail and message notifications, music controls, calendar appointments, weather, maps and more with a large selection of apps on the Google Play Store.
If you don't have any issues with tapping your £1,500 smartwatch to a contactless payment terminal, you can use Google Pay in shops and on public transport in counties where contactless payment is accepted.
Overall, I was really impressed with the Wear OS experience – it's greatly improved over previous versions.
TAG Heuer has also developed a mobile companion app, which allows you to personalise your watch from the comfort of your smartphone, as well as analyse your fitness data.
Again, this app feels more premium and cohesive than using Google's Wear OS smartphone app (although, Wear OS does need to be installed as well).
TAG Heuer Connected review: verdict
It's difficult not to like the new TAG Heuer Connected – it's certainly TAG's most accomplished smartwatch to date.
It's a great looking and feeling smartwatch, and is the closest a smartwatch has come to feeling like a 'proper' mechanical wristwatch.
TAG Heuer's adaptations to Wear OS are really appreciated and go a long way to make the owning experience more cohesive and premium. I especially like everything TAG Heuer has done around sports tracking, and would like to see this extended to general 'wellness' tracking as well.
There could be more watch faces available (something which I believe is being planned), and the battery life could be better, but if you're looking for a luxury Android smartwatch – this is the best option out there.