August 9, 2023
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Smartwatches have become an essential accessory, whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or simply looking to improve your health. With features like heart-rate monitors and GPS trackers, they cater to runners and cyclists alike. And when it comes to prioritizing fitness, designers create fitness-focused smartwatches differently.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is the top choice for most individuals, provided they own an iPhone. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the go-to option for many Android users.
Notably, the world of smartwatches offers various options beyond these two models. So, before purchasing, explore this comprehensive guide of the best and worst smartwatches to find the one that best suits your fitness lifestyle.
Instead of devoting countless hours to comparing the numerous features of endless smartwatches for fitness available on the market, it’s more practical to focus on the following three key considerations:
Take notice of the significance of finding a fitness smartwatch you enjoy wearing. Regardless of its impressive sleep detection or calorie measurement capabilities, if you’re unhappy with its appearance or find it uncomfortable, you will have an unpleasant experience. Consider investing a bit more in a stylish and subtle fitness watch.
Seamless syncing is crucial for the optimal functionality of fitness smartwatches. It’s convenient to put on your smartwatch and effortlessly check your stats whenever you wish, rather than engaging in a laborious and time-consuming syncing ritual.
Remember that different watches have varying syncing processes, ranging from manual syncing sessions that take up to 10 minutes to quick 20-second manual updates or seamless cloud-based tracking. The general rule of thumb is to avoid purchasing any smartwatch whose Ease of Syncing score is lower than 3.
Before finalizing your purchase, carefully assess whether the chosen fitness smartwatch is compatible with your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
While some smartphone models have exclusive compatibility with specific products, others are solely designed for syncing with desktop computers, making universal compatibility unavailable for all products.
The Series 8 is the best option for iPhone users, allowing them to comfortably wear it around the clock with the appropriate band. The watch gives you access to various health monitoring benefits, including heart rate and blood oxygen measurements and fall and crash detection.
Additionally, the Apple Watch Series 8 diligently tracks your workouts and movement. Its touch sensitivity is highly responsive, and notifications appear on a colorful, vibrant, and sharp screen. With two case sizes available, it caters to all wrist sizes.
Changing bands is a breeze, thanks to the wide variety of options, and the battery lasts for approximately two days under normal usage. Furthermore, you can opt for an LTE connection, enabling independent functionality without relying on your phone. The watchOS 9 software ensures reliability, and the Series 8 will continue to receive updates for many years.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 has several notable enhancements, including a larger battery, durable design, faster charging, and improved health tracking, compared to its predecessor.
Despite being slightly heavy, the watch offers remarkable comfort, almost vanishing on the wrist and suiting smaller wrists exceptionally well. It features an intuitive button, a swipe interface, vibrant colors, and an ambient light sensor that adjusts brightness automatically, ensuring clear visibility even under direct sunlight.
Its health-tracking capabilities include automatic workout detection, step tracking, manual workout tracking, continuous heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, an ECG app, SpO2 tracking, and a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis sensor that offers insights into body fat, body water, skeletal muscle, and more.
It stands alongside the Apple Watch regarding functionality, software, and design, making it the ideal smartwatch choice for Android phone users.
Garmin has steadily progressed towards creating a genuine smartwatch, and the Venu 2 Plus represents a significant leap forward.
While this watch may lack the same versatility level as dedicated smartwatch competitors and offers a limited selection of third-party apps in the Garmin IQ store, its strength lies in its comprehensive fitness features.
Runners have long favored Garmin watches for their precise GPS tracking and extensive range of statistics. The latest Venu 2 Plus excels in passive health features.
For instance, the Body Battery feature provides insights into your energy levels for workouts, the Fitness Age feature provides an instant evaluation of your progress, and animated exercises offer guidance in various workouts, including yoga, strength training, Pilates, and cardio. So, consider it if you are searching for smart watches for yoga or cardio.
If you’re looking for an affordable fitness smartwatch, the Amazfit GTR 3 is the perfect choice. This watch offers exceptional value for its price.
In addition to standard features like GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope, it comes equipped with the advanced BioTracker 3.0 optical sensor, which analyzes various health metrics, including heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and stress levels.
With a wide range of 150 exercises tracked (including eight automatically detected), the watch provides valuable insights such as training load, recovery time, and VO2 Max, assisting you in planning your workouts effectively.
The OnePlus Watch is one of the worst smartwatches for fitness. While it appears promising on paper, it fails to meet the criteria that define a truly “smart” fitness smartwatch. Regarding the top-tier smartwatches available, this watch does not make the cut.
Furthermore, it disappoints in most fitness sectors, falling short of expectations. Its basic innovative features offer no significant advantage over a budget fitness tracker that costs a fraction of the price. The OnePlus Health app also requires substantial improvements and offers an inconsistent user experience.
The WYZE Watch is ideal for individuals heavily invested in other products from the brand, seeking the convenience of controlling them directly from their wrist.
However, this watch excels in smart home control, notification delivery, and heart rate monitoring. Regrettably, common fitness smartwatch functionalities, such as tracking various workouts, are noticeably absent.
The Moto 360 resides in the luxurious end of the smartwatch market, offering an appealing design and a comprehensive range of features supported by the Play Store.
It particularly shines in its ability to showcase notifications efficiently and provides various fitness functions to inspire and encourage an active lifestyle. Nonetheless, its subpar battery life is a letdown, and you may encounter occasional frustrating connectivity issues.
Regarding fitness smartwatches, the choice often boils down to prioritizing the ultimate fitness tracking experience or the finest features. While numerous devices offer a blend of capabilities, it’s crucial to determine whether your focus lies on fitness or smart functionality before making a purchase.
Furthermore, take a moment to jot down your specific requirements for a fitness watch and identify the metrics you wish to monitor. Whether you seek a watch to aid in marathon training or one tailored for hiking adventures, there’s a fitness watch available that aligns with your preferences.
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