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Help Trying to choose a smartwatch as a gift

My friend has always been a BIG fan of Pebble (discontinued in 2016) and was devastated when it got discontinued. If it matters, he owns a self-rooted Android phone bcos he likes to customise the tech he needs. He’s a software developer and has always been interested in tech (building stuff and breaking things to see how they work)

He’s not a fan of most smart watches because they are fitness-centric, and he does not want to see those apps at all (no surprise since he values customising). It’s important that the smartwatch has NFC for contactless payments.

I am a smartwatch-novice so any suggestions (with details) are much appreciated, thank you!
I'm also a Samsung galaxy watch guy. I'm on my second one now. Both have worked flawlessly and have amazing battery life. If I were to purchase another smartwatch, it would definitely be a Samsung. With that said, I have no idea if Samsung watches are better than another brand. I have only had experience with Samsung watches.
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The one thing that amazed me with the LTE Pixel watch was, we were in the back of the grocery store and my wife got a phone call that she answered on her watch. She didn't bring her phone. The LTE in the watch was strong enough to answer a phone call in the rear of a grocery store.
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i love using my samsung watch to pay for my groceries just to see the faces from folks in line and the cashier go WTF did you just do.....is priceless!!!!!!
Oh that’s one of the top features I’m looking for! I’m currently looking at the Samsung galaxy watch4 - do you by any chance have any insight into how it is?
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