Want to track your fitness? If your answer to this question is a yes, then we’ve got some good news for you. Tracking your fitness and daily physical activity level has never been easier than it currently is. The number, variety and availability of fitness tracking watches and devices keep growing daily. The buzz surrounding fitness trackers is very so for a myriad of good reasons.
Fitness tracking watches are basically high-tech watches that measure our daily motions and activity with the help of sophisticated integrated sensors. The sophisticated sensors help to collect in-depth data and convert them into an easy-to-understand metric such as heart rate, step count, distance covered, calories burned and sleep quality. The more advanced fitness watches come with a Global Positioning System (GPS), with some high-end ones going as far as estimating your VO2 max.
Fitness tracking devices do have some cons, but keeping a keen eye on daily physical activity is a great way of enhancing health and overall well-being. The pros of fitness trackers do outweigh the cons!
Whether you are on the market for your first fitness tracking watch, or considering upgrading your current fitness tracker, the fitness watches mentioned in this blogpost should hopefully give you a fair idea of what is at your disposal.
You should hopefully be able to find a fitness watch that suits your budget, lifestyle and help you realise your long awaited fitness goals!!
- Comes with outdoor sensors. These include GPS and GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) satellite positioning, and a 3-axis compass with gyroscope.
- Stay connected with smart notifications and automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online sports community.
- Pre-loaded activity profiles are ideal for a wide range of sporting activities.
- Enables you to keep an eye on the progress of your fitness with key fitness metrics and stats.
- Rechargeable. Gives you up to 14 hours battery life in GPS mode and up to 9 days battery life in smartwatch mode depending on how you use it.
- Design optimised to perfectly fit those with narrower wrists. Size – 42 x 42 x 15 mm.
- Weight: 67g.
- Bezel material – Stainless steel.
- Water rating – 10 ATM
- Enables you to make a real difference in your training progress with performance metrics that allows you to effectively measure training progress. The features that promote such measure of progress include wrist-based heart rate, basic navigation functions and built-in activity profiles. This watch’s Elevate wrist heart rate technology gives you a 24/7 heart rate monitoring.
- Comes with in-depth metrics that enables you to measure running distance, running cadence, stride length, ground contact time, calories burned and actual stress level based on heart rate variability.
- Easy to use and easy to switch between different sporting functions. Besides the running functions, this watch comes with special features that support cycling, swimming, skiing, golfing, paddle sports and rowing. A great watch for the multi-sport athlete.
- Design looks sleek, light and display offers great readability. High-resolution, full-colour Garmin Chrome Display gives great display at any time. Its stylish design means you can comfortably wear this watch anywhere.
- Very compatible with Strava. This helps you to run a personal challenge and compete against others on Strava Live Segments.
- Works with iOS, Android and desktop computers!
- This watch’s price is not as friendly as other fitness tracking watches on the market. Of course a lot of the lower priced fitness tracking watches out there might not come packed with some advanced features this watch offers. The higher price suggests you have to be committed to it to get one for yourself. Your commitment to this watch should hopefully pay off with time.
- Not easy to understand how to make use of its numerous features and functions. As a first time user, you’ll need to spend some time studying the manual and exploring this watch’s features. The menu and buttons are not as intuitive as rival fitness tracking watches.
- Unlike other fitness tracking watches, this watch does not have a music playing feature. You can control music on your phone with the watch, but you can’t load up music onto the watch itself.
- Outdoor sensors include GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, compass, and accelerometer.
- Stay connected with smart notifications. Allows you to receive texts, emails and other alerts on your watch.
- Comes with up to 500 songs music storage space.
- Comes with a wide range of pre-loaded sporting activity profiles.
- Provides a wide range of fitness metrics and stats including HR monitoring, daily step counting, calories burned and distance covered just to mention a few.
- Battery life – Lasts up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, up to 24 hrs in GPS mode without music and up to 6 hrs in GPS mode with music.
- Watch size – 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm.
- Bezel material – Fiber-reinforced polymer.
- Strap material – Silicone.
- Water rating – 5 ATM.
- Weight – 38.5 g
- This watch makes fitness tracking look cool and easy. The wrist-based heart rate monitor alerts you when your heart rate gets either too high or too low throughout the day. You are also able to keep an eye on how hard or ‘relaxed’ you are working during your daily activities.
- Has all your ‘standard’ fitness tracking metrics and some! In addition to measuring distance covered, running pace, workout intensity, calories burned, heart rate monitoring, for a runner, you also have the luxury of measuring running metrics such as stride length, cadence, balance and ground contact time.
- This watch takes fitness tracking a step further from your basic fitness tracking watches by, with the help of the wrist-based Pulse OX Sensor, estimating your blood oxygen saturation. This helps to gauge how your body absorbs oxygen. It also estimates your VO2 max, which is a great indicator of your cardiorespiratory fitness.
- The built-in sports apps and activity profiles feature is always a plus with fitness tracking watches. Activity profiles range from running, swimming, indoor rowing, stair-stepper, elliptical training, strength training and yoga.
- Enables you to track your body’s energy levels so you can find the best times of the day for workout sessions.
- You have the added luxury of having music right on your wrist. You are able upload music (up to 500 songs) directly onto the watch and also able to sync your playlists from select music streaming services. This a plus, especially for those long boring runs. Another plus is that this watch syncs quicker than a lot of its rivals due to the WiFi capability.
- Another cool feature of this watch is the added ability to track your menstrual cycle by logging period cycle details on the watch.
- Stay connected with the online fitness community by having the luxury of uploading your activities to both the Garmin Connect app and Strava.
- Compatible with both iOS and Android.
- Yes you get notifications and alerts on your watch, but responding to texts and rejecting phone calls with texts only works with Android.
- This watch comes with a live event sharing function. This function allows friends and family to follow your training activities and races in real time. It also allows you to send messages to friends and family, providing real time updates during an event. Unfortunately, this function works with Android only.
- Certain running dynamics and metrics such as vertical oscillation, ground contact time, stride length and balance require the use of third party accessories.
- Certain swimming features like stroke type detection and drill logging works in pool swim only.
- Outdoors sensors include, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System), BDS (BeiDou Navigation Satelllite System) and a compass.
- Smart notifications.
- Comes with over 80 pre-loaded sporting activity modes.
- Activity tracking include step counts, heart rate monitoring, calories burned, sleep duration, stress status, running pace, distance covered, running power and a VO2 max estimate.
- Comes with intelligent battery modes. Each battery modes gives a different battery usage duration.
- Battery life – 14 days in time mode, 7 days on 24/7 tracking and smart notifications, training mode with GPS gives 25 hrs to 120 hrs battery life.
- Watch size – 50 x 50 x 16.5 mm.
- Bezel material – Stainless steel.
- Strap material – Silicone.
- Water rating: 10 ATM
- Weight: 72 g
- The number of pre-loaded sports modes on this watch can only be matched by very few fitness tracking watches out there. With over 80 pre-loaded sports modes, you should hopefully not get stuck on the same activity profiles day in and day out. These sports modes can even be narrowed down to specific training such as interval training and long distance training.
- Intelligent battery modes allows flexibility in selecting a battery mode that allows a battery duration that suits your chosen sporting activity on a day-to-day basis. Intelligent battery modes – Performance, Endurance, Ultra and Custom.
- With the flexibility the intelligent battery modes bring, you are able to get an estimate of how much battery life you have left on your current mode. You are able to switch to another mode while working out in order to prolong the battery life.
- Apart from fitness tracking metrics such as heart rate monitoring, calories burned, distance covered, speed and a VO2 max estimation, this watch is also able to measure your running power, thanks to its Stryd sensor.
- This watch is able to measure swimming performance metrics in both pool swimming and openwater swimming.
- Helps you to stay connected to online fitness communities such as Strava, Endomondo and TrainingPeaks.
- Works with both iOS and Android.
- This watch does indeed track your sleep, but it unfortunately lacks enough detail to be truly useful. Some rival fitness tracking watches give a lot more detail. With this watch, you just get the total sleep time and awake time. Its rivals go as further as giving you details of time spent in light sleep, deep sleep or REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
- Some users of this watch have expressed concerns when it comes to the accuracy of heart rate readings. Heart rate readings can sometimes be locked on cadence. Running cadence and heart rate are 2 different fitness metrics.
- Use of both software of this watch can be very frustrating. The drawn-out transition from Suunto’s old app, the Movescount app, to the new one, Suunto app, has been a pain for a lot of users of this watch.
- Unlike the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music above, this watch unfortunately has no music playing capability….Despite its hefty price tag.
- This watch doesn’t come cheap. It is slightly over-priced, but if you are a die-hard runner, you wouldn’t mind investing some hard-earned cash into this watch.
The above mentioned fitness tracking watches are definitely not the only ones on the market, there are a lot more out there. Are there any specific ones you’ll recommend? Please leave suggestions, comments and questions in the comments section below!