Best Fitness Watch 2023 – From fitness trackers that track your sleep to smartwatches designed specifically for runners or cyclists, today’s best fitness trackers and smartwatches don’t just tell the time. Some measure your blood oxygen levels, determine recovery times and create exercise plans, as well as help you track activity and lose weight. Some can detect if you’ve fallen and automatically alert your emergency contacts.
UK consumers have bought a record 19.2 million health tracking devices by July 2021, more than double the previous year, according to Deloitte’s Digital Consumer Trends report. But choosing the right one can be difficult.
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Fitness trackers are designed to be worn all day, every day, and track everything from climbing stairs or exercising at home to running a multi-stage ultra-marathon. Some even allow you to view and reply to emails, texts and social posts. Some track your sleep – how long you spend in light, deep and REM sleep.
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“There are so many options on the market right now at different price points,” says Nick Anderson of Running Coaching Specialists with Us. “A lot of people are fit in different sports now. There’s something for everyone.”
A three-axis accelerometer measures most of your movement through sensors – measuring the acceleration, frequency, duration, intensity and patterns of your movement. Other wearables use an optical heart rate monitor: tiny LEDs illuminate your capillaries, and the refraction of the changing light can be used to calculate your heart rate.
“Fitness trackers can measure the distance you walk or even cycle through the watch’s built-in GPS,” Anderson added. “The system works by measuring the time it takes to receive a signal from a satellite. It pings your location frequently, then measures the distance between each ping. GPS trackers can also be used for navigation and offshore work. “If a fitness watch offers an outdoor swimming option, the GPS signal will be stimulated to track the device accurately.”
Ask yourself: Do you want something with GPS to track your running and cycling? Are you fashion conscious? (Women’s fitness watches now come in many colors and materials.) Do you really need all the features of a top-of-the-line model? This helps narrow down the search.
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“A GPS device is more expensive because of the technology required to provide accurate information. They provide more information and valuable metrics. If you’re serious about your results and improvement, it’s worth the price,” Anderson advises.
Some trackers also measure your sleep (both qualitative and quantitative), stress levels, heart rhythm disturbances, blood oxygen levels, and menstrual health, but it’s important to remember that these are just guidelines. “These are trends that are useful,” he says. “You can’t get 100 percent accuracy in this area without a full EKG, but trends are useful in looking for slight gains and improvements in your performance.”
Other features you should check out? “Some fitness trackers come with smart notifications for your phone apps and can control the music in your headphones,” he says. Top-of-the-line watches include almost all tap payments, a Bluetooth microphone for taking calls, water resistance up to 50m, and extended battery life.
Over the past year, I’ve worn dozens of GPS-enabled watches, fitness trackers, and smartwatches around the clock. To evaluate their accuracy, fit and comfort, I trained for about 300 hours in my running shoes and rode about 4,000 km on my bike. I also compared their battery life, saw how easy it was to set them up and access data through my phone, and asked athletes and coaches for independent reviews.
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We like: All the advanced health monitoring and fitness tracking features you’ve come to expect from Garmin, but with the beautiful look and feel of the Apple Watch.
Of all the wearables I’ve tested, this is the one I keep coming back to. With a full AMOLED touchscreen, it’s a great smartwatch with great sports tracking, stress tracking, sleep monitoring and battery life. At 40mm, the 2S is a smaller version of the Venu 2 GPS smartwatch (£299.99), but it’s lighter, cleaner and easier to read.
There are more than 25 preloaded sports you can track, including running (treadmill or outdoor), cycling, swimming, golf, yoga, pilates and paddleboarding. The 2S line comes preloaded with cardio, strength, yoga, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts—it’s essentially a personal trainer on your wrist.
Even the cheapest fitness trackers have step counts, calorie burn estimates, and reminders to get up and go, so do advanced features like stress tracking, menstrual cycle and pregnancy tracking, and Garmin’s Body Battery Energy Monitoring. That sets the Venu 2S apart.
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Every morning, the sleep monitoring feature tells you how much time you spend in each stage of sleep, such as REM, and gives you a score for your sleep quality.
As a runner, I love how fast and accurate it is to find a GPS signal. Accurate GPS is important for runners because you don’t want to log unnecessary miles or, worse, run short. It can automatically upload data to third-party apps like Strava and TrainingPeaks (where I live), which is useful if you want to share your workouts with a trainer.
If you’re specifically looking for a running tracker, I’d recommend something like the Garmin Forerunner 245 (£199.99), which is cheaper than the Venu 2S. However, if you’re interested in something that offers exercise tracking along with comprehensive health and fitness features, go for the Venu 2S.
Cool features: 10-day battery life, animated on-screen workouts, stress tracking, women’s health monitoring, sleep and body battery monitoring, water resistance up to 50 meters
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We like: The large Retina display (50 percent larger than previous Apple Watches) means it’s easy to navigate
As a longtime iPhone user, I’ve never tried an Apple Watch before, which is surprising — but they’re expensive, and friends who use Apple watches tell me GPS is all over the place. But there are many more reasons to love the 7 Series.
There’s a redesigned display with 20 percent more screen real estate than the first 6 Series (and 50 percent more than the 3 Series). It’s sleeker and now has a nice break edge that completes the UI. The always-on display means you don’t have to swipe your wrist or double-tap the screen every time you want to use it. But what impressed me the most was the full keyboard that lets you reply to emails and texts on the go.
Series 7 can also detect if you’ve had a sudden fall and automatically call emergency services and your designated emergency contacts if you don’t go after it. This is really impressive technology.
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One of the biggest complaints about Apple watches is battery life. The Series 7 charges faster than previous models (eight minutes gives you eight hours of sleep tracking), but it’s still short in my opinion. I don’t like charging my watch every day.
If you are an avid runner or cyclist, there are great smartwatches on the market. But if you’re an avid iPhone user and don’t care too much about daily charging, having everything connected is definitely a bonus.
Amazing features: up to 18 hours of battery life, large, always-on display, up to 50 meters of crack, dust and water resistance, full-screen keyboard for on-screen text and email, blood oxygen measurement, EKG, fall detection all Exercises, fast charging.
The Versa 3 is one of the newest Fitbit smartwatches and comes in five colors with different leather, sport and woven bands to change up your look. While the touchscreen can seem a bit slow to respond at times, I like how the smooth strip adheres to it, so there’s no flickering and the AMOLED screen looks clear and bright.
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It took me more than half an hour to download the Fitbit app, charge the watch, and connect it to my phone, but once I got everything set up, I understood why Fitbit is often praised. – The app is easy to navigate and one of the most useful apps, guided breathing exercises, women’s health symptoms, diary stress management scores and SpO2 – the level of oxygen in your blood – monitoring.
The Versa 3 offers even longer battery life than the Apple Watch—six days, or more, depending on how you use it: GPS use drains power faster.
In terms of accuracy, it is a little behind the Garmin running watch, and unfortunately, it was very easy to accidentally delete the tracked activities. It can only sync workouts with third-party apps that use GPS. So if you want to record
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