Best Wrist Heart Rate Monitor Watch
UPDATE 18 April 2017 – Inclusion of Fitbit Alta HR
Without question in order to stay healthy, strapping on a wearable fitness tracker is a great way to keep you motivated. And if you are looking to ramp up your fitness, then you need to keep tabs of your heart rate. Often the best wrist heart rate monitor watch which is normally at the belly side of the watch and protrudes out like a hump utilizes new optical sensors that keeps track of your heart rate 24/7 and more importantly, the devices are easy to use.
A fitness heart rate monitor like the Fitbit Charge 2 takes advantage of optical heart rate sensors which emit bright LEDs through the skin and then measure the amount of light that bounces back. And since blood absorbs light, the variations in light that the optical sensors pick up can be used to calculate the pulse rate.
To put it simply, it measures the flow of blood. For certain, after consistent long term use of the fitness tracker you’ll see your resting heart rate decline as you get fitter. This is a great motivational incentive. The wristband heart rate monitor can be carefully strapped on like a watch to get an accurate reading, about two finger width from the wrist bone. Wearing the fitness tracker in the right spot is essential to getting an accurate reading.
Another great thing about the new fitness watch with heart rate monitor, it is more comfortable than a chest strap monitor, it provides continuous heart-rate readings and you can apply it on any kind of workout. With these kind of heart rate monitoring, you will have real-time data on your workout’s efficiency. Most models measure average heart rate, as well as indicating the high, low and target heart rate reached during a workout.
Our extensive review on the best fitness watches have led us to five (5) of the best wrist heart rate monitor without chest strap.
Best Wrist Heart Rate Monitor Watch Reviews – Top 5
Fitbit Charge 2
Overall, the Fitbit Charge 2 is the best wrist heart rate monitor for general well-being. The new upgrade does what a Fitbit Charge HR has to offer, but features a bigger OLED screen, sleeker design, VO2 Max, and guided breathing session to help you de-stress.
Like most heart rate fitness band it does not have the most elegant design, but the wrist-style fitness watch with heart rate monitor is slim, comfortable and straps like a watch, and best of all packs a punch.
It combines continuous heart rate tracking, basic caller id notification, sleep tracking, VO2 Max and fitness into an affordable, slim fitness band with around 5 day battery life and as well doubles as a watch.
A neat feature is the SmartTrack, it has the capability to automatically recognize the kind of activities when working out (walk, run, outdoor bike, ellipitcal, sport and aerobic) and sync your workout data to the Fitbit app.
And on the Fitbit app it is simple to use, easy to navigate, takes a few minutes to understand and every bit of data is on a single page.
Furthermore, because Fitbit Charge 2 has a brand that most people know and trust, you can socially interact via the app and workout with friends and family members.
Do note that – the Fitbit Charge HR is still a great fitness watch, and if you are in the market for one, you can get it here.
Fitbit Blaze is another fitness tracker with heart rate that doubles as a watch with a 5 day battery life. In fact, the Blaze is like the Fitbit Charge 2 but comes in a different form and has a better design – it has an OLED color touchscreen (1.25-inch 16 colour display) with side buttons, basic guided workouts and it offers more smart notifications from text messaging, incoming caller id and calendar reminders.
Similar to what Vivosmart has to offer, the Fitbit Blaze is somewhere between fitness tracker and a smartwatch with interchangeable bands… which uses a little of both but still staying true to fitness. Plus with the 2017 update, there’s a guide breathing function to help you de-stress and relax, an insight to your sleep cycle or quality of sleep, VO2 Max (level of your cardio fitness) and inclusion of 3rd party smart alerts!
Like the Charge 2 it has activity tracking from counting steps, stairs climbed, calories burned, active time, heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking.
And with it’s SmartTrack technology it can automatically detect the various exercises on it’s database, and it can act as a running watch. Although it has GPS capabilities, you must bring along your smartphone to make the GPS work effectively – which is kind of silly. Again like the other Fitbit line of fitness trackers, it is not waterproof.
But as it is Fitbit Blaze major attempt at making an everyday smart watch but with a focus on fitness, and it has done a decent job. So if you are not into the idea of a owning a full blown smartwatch, Fitbit Blaze might just offer the right balance.
Another reason why Fitbit occupies 2 of our Top 4 top heart rate monitors watch-list.
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is part fitness band with heart rate monitor and part smartwatch with around 5 day battery life. And with the recent addition of a GPS feature in the Garmin fitness watch, the HR+ takes out the best fitness watch award!
It does every bit of fitness tracking like the Fitbit Charge HR from all day heart rate tracking, step counting, sleep tracking, sports tracking and so on, except that it is shower and swim friendly, has a dedicated mode for running and the smartwatch aspect offers fantastic smart notifications from text messages, emails, calendar events and social media alerts.
But personally the design of the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is not great looking and it is chunky. As well, the connect app needs improvement.
But if you are in the market for a waterproof fitness tracker with GPS tracking that half doubles as a smartwatch, then this maybe for you. Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is most suitable for people who wants to track activities and Perfect for runners who wants to track their runs without a smartphone.
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Like the Garmin Vivosmart HR+, it is another Garmin fitness tracker with heart rate monitor, in built GPS and doubles as a smart watch but with only around 2 to 3 day battery life. It offers wrist-based heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, tracks everything from running to cycling, swimming, skiing to golf, and has a built-in GPS to map your workout. For swimmers, this is one of the best waterproof fitness tracker and one that can provide nice swim metrics.
And for fitness buffs, the Garmin Vivoactive HR is one heal of a multi sport fitness watch which again can spew out performance metrics like your running speed, distance ran and so on. Plus like any Garmin Fitness Tracker, the smart alerts is simply one of the best outside on Android and Ios platform. You will get text, caller id, social media alerts and so on.
The Garmin Vivoactive HR is a high end fitness watch and it is bigger than the Vivosmart HR+, but it is packed full of features not found in other activity trackers, and sports geek will find this quite precious. It is the most expensive of the five fitness trackers with heart rate monitor.
Fitbit Alta HR
Ok, the third of the Fitbit watches listed here, the Fitbit Alta HR is a slim watch that comes with wrist heart rate sensor (recording at five second intervals) providing average resting heart beat and zones, activity tracking, 24/7 sleep tracking that provides an insight to quality of your shut eye, smart notifications and fitness alert to get moving should you miss your hourly 250 steps!
The Fitbit Alta HR is one the best selling fitness watches, and the slim design with interchangeable bands will suit the tastes of most women who wants a bit of style and fitness tracking. Overall, The Alta HR will suit individuals who wants a fitness wearable with general health in mind.