Anyone who thinks they can just toss chlorine in their pool and walk away… will come back to a green, nasty or otherwise unusable pool — and need to spend a fair amount of money on chemicals to make the water clear (and/or safe!).
Of all the methods out there, Pool Test Strips offer the quickest and easiest testing solutions. Some people doubt the accuracy of test strips, sure, but test strips have come a LONG way in recent years.
Looking for a pool test kit w/ a bit more… chemistry to it? No problem. ‘Old School’ wet chemistry test kits that use liquids still exist. The most basic ones use OTO (for total chlorine testing) and a chemical called phenol red for pH testing.
More advanced liquid pool testing kits will use both those chemicals, maybe, and others to test for chlorine (free & total), bromine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, etc. The more pool water parameters you test for, the easier a time you will have keeping your pool water clean, clear and safe!
If you catch a pool water problem early on you have an opportunity to correct it BEFORE it gets out of hand, your water turns green (or black!), and you wind up spending money on extra chlorine, extra algaecides, and possibly other things.