Shopping for a fitness smartwatch? We suss out the latest models that best suit your workout personality, whether you’re a runner or gym goer.
There are fitness trackers with smartwatch functions, and there are smartwatches with fitness features. Deciding which one(s) to commit your dollar to can be tough. Those who are new to workouts might not be ready to shell out $300 for their first wearable, while others dedicated to sports like running would appreciate a watch that helps improve their performance. Since no two watches are the same, we’ve highlighted their key features and differences to bring you one step closer to finding your dream watch.
For workout newbies: Fitbit Inspire HR, $158
Compared to the rest on the list, this wallet-friendly pick is ideal for those just starting out on their fitness journey. It covers everything you could possibly need for basic activity tracking – steps, heart rate, calories burned – to motivate you to go from unhealthy to fit. To see if your workouts have been paying off, check out your Cardio Fitness Score in the app, which estimates your VO2 max based on your resting heart rate. The higher your score, the fitter you are.
For regular runners: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, $529
A running watch is one of the best investments any runner can make. The newest member of Garmin’s popular Forerunner series doesn’t disappoint with its accuracy in distance, route and pace tracking. This button-only watch means it will work well even with sweaty fingers (no frantic swiping or tapping), and you can leave your clunky phone at home while monitoring your route and listening to your Spotify playlist, thanks to its GPS tracking and music streaming features. More importantly, it offers the most comprehensive running metrics that go beyond cadence and stride length. It even tells you if the intensity of your runs have been enough to improve endurance. If not, downloadable training plans are available to help you meet your running goals.
For gym goers: Apple Watch Series 4, $599
This all-rounded smartwatch is a handy companion for the gym, whether you prefer training solo or in group class settings. Besides supporting a vast number of workouts from yoga to HIIT, it can be easily paired with compatible gym equipment such as treadmills and indoor bikes. Another convenient feature is its automatic workout detection that recognises movement and reminds you to start and end the workout so you won’t miss tracking a sweat sesh – it happens, we know.
For wellness warriors: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, $368
Despite being smaller and sleeker than the previous Samsung Galaxy Watch, this minimalist smartwatch packs a punch in the health and wellness department. Not only does it keep your stress levels in check by prompting breathing exercises when your heart rate peaks, but it also boasts blood pressure monitoring right from your wrist. All you need to do is download My BP Lab, a research app jointly developed by Samsung and the University of California, San Francisco.
For outdoor lovers: Garmin Instinct GPS, $499
When it comes to withstanding extreme conditions, the bulk of fitness trackers might not cut it, save for this rugged and durable timepiece. Built to military standards, this shockproof, waterproof and thermal-resistant fitness watch comes with fully-vented silicone bands to ensure all-day comfort. In GPS mode, it offers a generous 14 hours of battery to last a day’s hike. Plus, it comes loaded with advanced navigation features, such as a 3-axis compass and multiple global navigation satellite systems – perfect for your mountain biking or trail running adventures.
For fashionistas: Fossil Sport Smartwatch, $429
Fit for any occasion and great for 24/7 wear, this lightweight and super sleek smartwatch will take you from yoga class to brunch dates in style. If stat-heavy trackers confuse you, you’ll appreciate how this watch simplifies your fitness data into easy-to-understand Move Minutes and Heart Points. Move Minutes track your time spent being physically active, while Heart Points are earned by completing moderate to intense activities such as jogging, swimming or HIIT. With 28 colourful interchangeable straps available, you won’t have a problem matching one to your activewear for that #workoutootd.