Fitness Watches: Comparing the 5 Top Contenders

Fitness Watches: Comparing the Top Contenders

It’s pretty much impossible to work out without a fitness watch these days. If you can’t count your heart rate, calorie burn, and distance, then you might as well just veg out on the couch.

I’m kidding, but I am serious about how helpful a good fitness watch is. Before you choose one though, you need to decide what you want it for. Do you want one to simply track your runs? Do you want one to wear all day to help track your overall healthy lifestyle? When you’re spending a lot of money on a fitness watch (because let’s be real, they ain’t cheap), it’s crucial to know exactly what you do and don’t want. Otherwise, you might just be wasting money.

The Apple Watch does it all. It terms of health, an Apple Watch (both the original and the Sport) can track your steps, heart rate, how well you sleep, and how far you run/walk/cycle.

The Apple Watch shows a whole slew of apps — everything from your emails to random apps like Mint can be accessed. It also accesses your music, so you can use it to change songs no matter what you’re doing.

The FitBit Charge HR is lightweight, comes in six different color, and tracks a data during all types of workouts — your daily steps, calorie burn, and heart rate. All FitBit watches connect to the FitBit smartphone app, and that’s where you can access all of the information that’s been collected throughout the day. The Fitbit is also significantly cheaper than the Apple Watch. However, it’s just a fitness watch—so capabilities beyond that only include the time, phone call notifications, and the ability to set alarms.

If you’re heavy into sports, then the Garmin Vivoactive HR is right for you. It literally tracks every kind of exercise you could want. Most fitness watches only track your heart rate and steps/distance but don’t consider the type of exercise you’re doing. In addition, the Garmin Vivoactive HR will alert you when you need to move. In addition, it notifies you of phone calls and texts, locates your phone when lost, and controls the music on your phone. Oh—and it’s waterproof with a battery that will last for eight days with normal, daily tracking.

Polar is known for selling top-notch sport watches. The Polar A360 is the very first to use wrist-based heart rate monitoring instead of Polar’s standard chest strap. It’s waterproof and tracks your activity 24/7 activity. In addition to tracking your exercise, the Polar A360 gives you feedback on how your training is improving your health and fitness and allows you to connect to the Polar Flow app and Polar Club. Polar Club is Polar’s way of connecting users from across the globe in group classes. You join a training group, follow along, and check your heart rate against others in the group.

      Microsoft Band 2

The Microsoft Band is much like the Apple Watch, but with the look of a FitBit. It syncs to your phone to show messages, and app notifications, controls your music, and tracks sleep and daily activity. Since it’s GPS-enabled, it can accurately follow your distance and elevation in hikes and runs, which can make all of the difference when you’re training. And if you have Windows 10, it connects to Cortana so it can help you send texts and set alerts. Microsoft Band 2’s battery will last about 48 hours with normal use, but GPS use will run it down faster.

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