Hard Hat Smartwatch (product review)

Smartwatches today are what mobile phones were in the 90’s – an item that can perceivably run your life for you. But like phones, hard working folk need a watch that can take a beating on the job site, or in the gym. Enter Aussie company Hard Hat.

These guys have developed a smartwatch that they tell us you can hit with a hammer, drown in a river; damn you could probably run over it with a car – and it’ll still work. As you might expect, we wanted to see if all the hype was true, so we’re putting one to the test. 

Let’s start with what’s in the box – well, there’s a watch obviously, which you can have in a choice of two colour schemes. The face has a nice gun metal grey finish around the screen, with a black casing behind that. That’s paired with anodized black or orange surrounds.

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A standard rubber strap with quick release pins is fitted. You’ll also find a charging cable with a built-in magnetic connection, a user manual and a screen protector. The first thing we did was attempt to install the latter before taking it anywhere.

It’s a little more difficult than you might expect, although that was very likely user error. As a first-time installer of a screen protector, this writer struggled to achieve a zero-air bubble fit. Our recommendation is taking it to a local phone shop to get it done.

Hard Hat Smartwatch
Hard Hat Smartwatch at the gym

The actual watch screen is reinforced anyway and can take quite a beating so don’t stress too hard, either way. We loved that the screen protector was included at no extra cost though as it’s a nice touch.

Once charged, you’ll need to setup the “Da Fit” app (available on Google Play and Apple Store) to pair the watch to your phone. It’s a pretty quick process, and once it’s loaded, you’ll find a simple user interface with many health features available at a glance.

The Hard Hat smartwatch has the ability to monitor blood pressure, blood oxygen, heart rate, stress, sleep, steps and calories, and for the ladies even includes a menstrual cycle monitor. You can also keep track of your body weight and BMI via manual inputs in the app.

You can also setup push notifications to the watch, change the look of the face and display, and even customise it with personal imagery. There’s also a bunch of classes and courses within the app to help you with sleep, training and unwinding a heavy stress load.

The watch itself is very easy to use, with a highly responsive touchscreen, a favourites menu, and a raft of default functions to help with daily work activities, like timers, a calculator and weather monitoring.

app screenshots
App screens for the Hard Hat Smartwatch

The activity function has an option for any kind of workout and does a good job of showing what you would prefer to see for different styles of fitness training. You can accept phone calls and talk to your phone’s voice assistant when fully connected as well.

Our test run started with a few days away camping and hiking through the Australian outback. We were pleased to see after numerous dives into some very epic waterfalls, a few hikes in the rain and a quick dip at a beach, the watch held up to all water tests.

Rated with an IP68 certification for water and dust, the Hard Hat didn’t bat a virtual eyelid while we were cleaning and maintaining our ute and roof top tent (post trip). It got plenty of knocks and bumps in the engine bay and cleaned up easily when we were done.

Returning to the work routine, the watch saw time in the office, and at the gym every afternoon. Here is probably where it got the hardest workout, doing muscle ups, handstand push-ups, and crashing into barbells and weight plates at a CrossFit gym.

It stood the durability test well, barely any worse for wear, and in much better shape than more expensive competitors worn by some of our workout buddies. Durability aside, we also wanted to put the battery through its paces to see how it stacked up.

watch box
Packaged up… the 2024 Hard Hat Smartwatch

We switched the heart rate monitor to its shortest daily setting (every five minutes), and cranked the brightness up to 11 (Spinal Tap style). The fact we got seven days out of a single charge is truly impressive.

Friends with products from the big two (Apple and Samsung), reported less battery life in similar scenarios. It’s worth noting the Hard Hat Smartwatch also comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, as well as a 6-month warranty.

It’s hard to fault, and trust us we tried. There are accessories, including multiple bands, and the price isn’t ugly either (at $299.95). The only real issue is that it has its own operating system, which means limited apps, and there’s no GPS to track runs or whatever.

If neither of those things phase you though, then it’s difficult to go past the Hard Hat Smartwatch. As an added bonus, at the time of writing, the watch was on special for $129.95. Check out their website for more information.

Pros – price; durability; simple functionality; battery life.

Cons – limited app integration; lacks GPS abilities.

Our test product was provided by Hard Hat Watches. Exhaust Notes Australia was not paid for this review.

Dylan Swan
Dylan Swan
IT specialist who loves all things adventure and anything with wheels. Someone who loves a challenge and saying yes to new opportunities.

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