11 of the Best Fitness Watches From $16Whether you are running, hiking, skiing or swimming we've got you covered...
Choosing the best fitness watch that is more suitable to your needs can be a mind numbing experience. Let’s face it, Fitbit is not the only major player now. Today, everyone wants a nice chunk of that pie, and the differences between fitness watch trackers are more noticeable.
Often the best fitness tracker for anyone will be tailored according to individual needs from the size of the wallet to how active one’s lifestyle is. Some individuals will only need step counting and reliable sleep tracking, whilst other individuals will want the advantages of whole day heart rate monitoring of the resting heart beat plus metrics on higher intensity workouts.
Below we have compiled a nice list of the top eleven fitness watch trackers from $29 to $320 with a brief on the features to consider and choose from.
And so let’s read on and find out which fitness tracker takes out the top gong … drum roll please
Top 11 Best Fitness Watch Trackers Today!
Fitbit Charge 2 – Best General Well Being Fitness Watch
Garmin Vivosmart HR+ – Best Fitness Tracker
Garmin Forerunner 920XT – Best Fitness Tracker For Fitness Nerds/Triatheletes
Fitbit Blaze, Garmin Vivoactive HR, Polar FT7, Jawbone Up4
Best Fitness Watches With Heart Rate Monitors
Best General Well Being Watch - Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit Charge 2 is the “next gen”, the latest exciting update to the Charge HR, which simply covers the same features plus some; from step counting, stop watch mode, calories burnt, active distance, automatic sleep monitoring, continuous heart rate monitoring, breathing training for de-stressing, SmartTrack and VO2 Max. Also, Charge 2 will record your run metrics accurately using ‘Connected GPS’ and it will auto-calculate the stride length. But you will have to run with your phone as it does not have an in-built GPS feature.
Another advantage of the Charge 2 – it has a very clean, easy to use fitness tracker app which logs all the metrics of your activities. The app keeps the data simple, and it is so easy to navigate and understand. As well, the Charge 2 doubles as a watch, which can provide caller id notification as well as a useful silent vibrating alarm.
The FitBit Charge 2 is protected against rain, sweat and splashes, but not shower proof or swim proof. So do not swim with it.
Nevertheless, the tracker and the applications that come with it are simple to use and more importantly provides enough useful data without overwhelming you – a big tick. So who will this suit? If your general well-being is a priority rather than the numbers you put in at the gym, then the Charge 2 is one of the best general fitness tracker to consider… as well it has one of the best activity tracker with heart rate monitor. Great for beginners too.
Best Fitness Tracker - Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Garmin Vivosmart HR+ does what the Vivosmart HR has – a large and bright display screen (but smaller than the Vivosmart HR) which allows it to show plenty of useful information from automatic sleep detection, step counting, sleep tracking, calories burnt, distance ran or walked and highly accurate wrist styled heart-rate tracking. But now HR+ has GPS tracking – a wonderful addition!
But with the BPM metrics, its OLED screen provides fantastic smart -phone notifications, from caller ID, texts, emails, whatsapp and if you want it, the weather. This comfortable fitness band is also waterproof to 50 metres – which is useful for swimming. This is another reason why it made the list for the best wrist fitness trackers.
As well, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ has a dedicated mode for running, cardio walkouts, jog and walk. It also has a virtual pacer which tracks your pace and Move IQ which can automatically pick out the exercise you’re participating in. With the addition of the GPS feature, this is the best fitness tracker for running as it will measure your distance, pace, calories and other personal data.
Overall, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ has a balanced combination of features and price which makes it the Best Fitness Watch Tracker for both runners and someone new to fitness.
Best Fitness Tracker For Fitness Nerds/Triatheletes - Garmin Forerunner 920XT
Forerunner 920XT is one of the best fitness watch Garmin has ever created. Without question, this is a mighty all-rounder fitness watch – more than you want in a top quality wearable. This is the best fitness watch for a multi-activity user like a triathlete or a fitness freak who hops on and off between a swim, run and cycling.
Other standard tracking includes sleep monitoring, counting of steps, calories burnt off, distance traveled, showing you when you have been inactivity or idle, live tracking performance and smartwatch styled incoming notification. For keen swimmers, this fitness watch can track the stroke rate of a swim, distance and provide a SWOLF rating for your swimming efficiency. As well, it measures your VO2 max, recovery time and tracks your race times for several distances.
Another big plus, it has a two stop/start timing functions that permits you to record two individual workouts sessions for specific training targets. For running and swimming dynamics the Garmin Forerunner 920XT requires a fabric like chest-strap heart rate monitor for each activity.
For serious runners, the Forerunner 920XT displays data on running form by recording cadence, your vertical oscillation as well as ground contact intervals. All essential information to help improve your running form.
As well, this mighty all rounder of a fitness watch will notify you of any incoming smartphone notifications like call alerts, emails, text messages and more to the screen of the tracker.
The Garmin Forerunner 920XT provides serious capabilities and cherry picks the top features from it’s entire line of products and cleverly combines them into one mighty all round fitness watch! This is more than an entry level fitness tracker.
If you are a triathlete or a hardcore fitness fanatic who can afford it, buy it. The Garmin 920XT delivers on every aspect, and while it is chunky in size, you’re getting a lot of performance features and variety in this do-it-all fitness watch. For sure this is not for everyone, and casual joggers or the budget conscious.
The Garmin Forerunner 920XT is at the top of the pile when it comes to all round sports endurance fitness tracker. If you enjoy the getting into a real sweat or a triathlete enthusiast, this is the best fitness watch for it.
The Fitbit Blaze is another one of Fitbit’s top rated activity trackers and the first Fitbit device venturing into the softly into the smart watch space. The design of the activity tracker is classy, which looks more like a stylish smartwatch (with bands you can interchange) and has nice activity tracking features. It has a a color touch screen that displays basic workout guidance and push notifications from your smartphone.
Again Fitbit Blaze is very easy to use, especially for a beginner and it delivers fantastic all-around activity tracking from sleep monitoring, continuous heart rate monitoring, step counting, floors climbed, and calorie counting.
Plus it has included ‘Fitstar’ which is a 7 minute workout you follow on the Blaze from warm up, a 7 minute exercise program to 10 Minute Abdominal workout.
But for fitness watch nuts, you will disappointed by the need of needing to bring your smartphone to lend along the GPS function and intensive training heart rate monitor. And while it has smart notifications like caller id and text messages, it still need improvements and third party additions. As well it is not water resistant.
This Fitbit Blaze is Fitbit’s first venture into the smartwatch space whilst keeping focus on what it does best – fitness tracking … and it gets a lot of things right, including comfort, features and price. It will suit people who are into the look and style, and wants a little bit of both worlds, combining fitness tracking and smart style watch function.
Best Fitness Tracker For Sports Nuts - Garmin Vivoactive HR
Vivoactive HR is the 2016 update to Vivoactive, which has a slimmer and sleeker design which makes it a comfortable all day wear tracker, and has a useful sunlight-readable touchscreen. Built for multi-sport function, this is truly a sports fan fantasy sports watch – a ‘jack of all’ tracking. Garmin Vivoactive HR features a built in GPS, a barometric altimeter which tracks elevation, and it is a quality fitness watch with it’s own heart rate monitor.
For runners, you will have access to data like pace of a run, cadence, your heart rate, and a breakdown of other metrics to pace, distance and more. Unlike Vivosmart HR+, Garmin Vivoactive HR offers dedicated modes for swimming and cycling which provides a nice platter of performance metrics from pace, distance and many more. Overall, the best fitness watch for a sport fan!
Polar FT7 very light and comfortable fitness tracker that offers value and better yet, with 4 colors to choose from the Polar Ft7 will suit both men and women in every way. Best of all it is very affordable. And what you pay for it, you will get plenty from it. Although a chest strap heart rate monitor is required, the accuracy in tracking your heart rate is very reliable, and the device is able to guide you to train towards to a desired heart beat target.
So if you are a swimmer, this is a fitness tracker to consider too. But the strange thing about this fitness watch, it does not a stop watch function to time your laps! This is an odd omission from a training perspective. However, the Polar Ft7 is a very versatile fitness watch that offers heart rate zone training – perfect for an athlete or gym goer, and it is one of the lightest wrist heart rate monitor.
UP4 has made gains in the fitness tracking world. It has a simple and humble design without a screen – and it is still a great option for simplicity, even though its rivals have been adding more and more cutting-edge features … and knocking it off the top spot. But it still made it to our list of the best fitness bands with heart rate monitor.Jawbone Up4 delivers very accurate data, and some of its features are biometric feedback, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitoring, step tracking, calories burnt away and vibration alerts. The only thing to note here, it does not offer all day heart monitoring and only offers a passive resting heart rate data.
Other notable features include food tracking, mobile payment capability from UP4 device for American Express card holders at participating stores and seven day battery life. The software is pretty easy to utilize, but its data insights particularly set it apart from competition.
Jawbone Up4 is a nifty fitness tracker which offers a lot more value for money when compared to its more advanced counterpart.
Fitness Trackers With No Heart Rate Monitors
Best For Style - Fitbit Alta (Amazon Best Seller)
Fitbit Alta is the best looking wearable in it’s entire range, and the most fashionable, especially for the ladies considering both form and performance. The great thing about this fitness watch is the interchangeable bands which you can switch to suit any dress occasion. Another positive is the lightweight design which makes the wearable comfortable to wear the entire day.
Features of the Fitbit Alta include recording of steps, active distance, active time, elevation, automatic sleep tracking plus calories burnt in minutes utilizing a 3-axis accelerometer. And it provides basic smart notifications (call, sms, calendar reminders) to your wrist.
In regards to the battery juice, depending on the kind of activities it is being used for, you can expect a 5 day battery life.
The Fitbit Alta is a sleek fitness watch with interchangeable bands and offers general tracking capabilities. It sits in the mid range category between the high end fitness watches and the budget devices which will suit the casual exercise goer but not a fitness nut.
Moov Now – If you’re looking for a small, lightweight waterproof fitness tracker design you can use when swimming or simply use it for cycling, the Moov Now is for you.
The Moov Now is a small and round element which you can clip into a strap and wear around you leg, pairing it with your smartphone.
It features a 7 minute interval training workout guide that includes a digital voice guidance to count your reps and keep a check on your body-weight performance. The Real-time coaching feature provides advanced sports training plans with actionable swimming, cycling and running data that aims to guide and improve your body form and position for better results.
But what makes this unique is the “9-axis omni motion detector” which allows it to analyze and record a wide range of one’s movements in 3 Dimensional. For sure, this device can track a huge scope of motion than other well-known fitness trackers – a big advantage!
However, the Coaching requires a nearby smartphone which can be cumbersome and distracting, and the overall fitness stats aren’t as detailed as other trackers. And it does not have a heart rate monitor.
The better news is that the second generation of Moov Now has a sleep, daily step tracker and bike/run/swim tracking – very useful indeed!
That is why it is one of our top rated fitness trackers, and if you want to get in shape, Moov Now is it.
Misfit Flash is for the budget conscious but does what most fitness watches offer. It is made of plastic, but it packs the same tech as its more expensive counterpart, like the Misfit Shine, it features sleep and steps tracking, long battery life and it is a fitness watch for swimming too.
Misfit Shine 2
The Shine 2 is still faithful to its features, now with a redesigned action clip, vibration alerts and smartphone notifications. It’s circular accessory design comes with a slew of new hardware and software, which means an updated accelerometer and new 3-axis magnetometer. Its battery life kicks ass (around 6 months) compared to any other tracker displayed here.
Like the first-generation, this upgrade notifies you of your progress in relation to your goals. Tap the device screen and it will provide a status of your goals by displaying a series of LED lights around the disc.
If your priority is getting reliable data, this is another tracker you should go for. The Misfit Shine 2 has amazing accuracy.
In addition Shine 2 will notify you of incoming calls and text messages, which is a nice feature. Again it is one of our best fitness tracking device.