As part of the smartwatch family, these small wearable tech devices are one of the best accessories out there to monitor daily activity or specific trainings used by high performance athletes or people just wanting to keep a close watch to their physical exercise and overall health.
Although looking similar at first, smartwatches (like an Apple Watch) are technically different from fitness trackers. Other than having a fancy touch screen that tells the time, smartwatches can offer additional features to facilitate the interaction to your cellphone or computer, for example precise GPS trackers, camera remotes, reading notifications, weather, stocks, mail and news. They also function as a basic workout monitor and activity tracker, but not as detailed as a fitness tracker. The latter are dedicated health and physical activity monitors that you can use to track specific exercises and see your performance in detail. Since these are built with sport use in mind, they tend to be more sturdily built and waterproof, but might have fewer design options and be less customizable than regular smartwatches.
There are numerous brands that have designed trackers for specific types of users. Below are three options that could be the best fit for you, considering how much you want to spend on the device and how you want to use it:
- If you’re looking for your very first smartwatch and don’t want to spend much, the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is one of the cheapest options available, starting at $28. It has very slim design, rechargeable battery that lasts 20 days, an activity tracker and built-in heart monitor. However, it has a not so friendly interface and lacks GPS connectivity.
- In the $40 range, there’s futuristic looking Moov Now, that has an incredible 6-month battery life, very accurate fitness tracking due to its 9-axis accelerometer and other types of movement tracking like jogging impacts, swimming strokes and individual exercise repetitions. It does not have a display, GPS or an integrated heart monitor, however.
- The Garmin Vivosport is one of the best options for those looking for built-in GPS connectivity. Costing around $108, this device has also a 7-day battery life (with GPS on), a very precise heart monitor and excellent trackers for jogging and cycling training. It’s not the best device for swimming activities despite being waterproof, as it’s not so accurate in water.
- This one is a hybrid smartwatch, fitness tracker and stylish looking wristwatch. Starting at $180, this is one of the most expensive trackers out there, and it comes in the 36mm and 40mm size options, with some color options and strap choices for an additional cost. It features an analog clock face, a small digital fitness monitor screen and a small analog-looking percentage tracker for your daily steps goal. Its single-button interface can be difficult to use and some users reported issues to the battery life.
Please note the examples above were suggested for general use and may not be the best options to some sports, so if your goal is to monitor a specific activity in your sport, these brands may have different options for you. Some smartwatches or hybrid watches may also feature an advanced tracking capacity, so you can maybe take those in consideration if you also enjoy phone interaction or just want to look stylish.