It has always been the aim of fitness tracker developers to have a product that was not only functional but also stylish. Developers know that if they are going to design a piece of wearable technology, then it has to be something people will be willing to wear. With that being said, there really isn’t a horrible looking fitness tracker or smartwatch on the market–but there are some that are more stylish than others.
The challenge of selecting a smartwatch or tracker from the very long list of viable options is to narrow down what your personal style is, what kind of features you are looking for, and what kind of situations you will be wearing it in.
Though a sporty fitness tracker isn’t the only option on the market now, as it once was, sporty watches are still a very popular choice since many people still want them to track their health and athletic performance. They still are the most appropriate and comfortable options to wear while working out. Here are the things to look for in a fitness tracker that you want to take to the gym and wear throughout the day.
Comfort is one of the most important things you will need to consider when buying a fitness tracker primarily for gauging your physicality. Most athletic people who have a fitness tracker want to keep an eye on their activity throughout the entire day, not just their time in the gym, so it is important to have a tracker that is so comfortable, you can almost forget that it is even there.
If you are buying a tracker online, as many people do, it can be difficult to determine how comfortable it is. So some things to look for in comfort is the kind of band that it has and if you can change the band out. Many trackers have several band options available to you from the actual designer, and there are even more that you can find online at specialty shops like Etsy. If you are someone who is sporty, you might want to look for a band that is moisture wicking and fits snugly to your wrist. A flexible band that isn’t too stiff is a comfortable band.
Another thing to consider when you are looking for comfort, is the weight and shape of the fitness tracker’s face. If the face is too bulky, you could find yourself banging it unintentionally against weights or other objects throughout the day. Too much weight on your wrist may not seem like a big deal initially, but it might not give you the ease of movement that you’re looking for in a fitness tracker.
There are a lot of hybrid watches out there that look sleek and fashionable, but if you are looking for an athletic style smartwatch or fitness tracker, you will likely get the features that you want from a full smartwatch or fitness tracker. If your style is athletic, then you have a lot of great options for watches that are at the peak of the fitness tracking game.
Some great features to look for in a sporty fitness tracker are sleep tracking, calorie counting, step counting, distance tracker, heart rate monitor, and in many cases, specialized workout categories.
If you are an active person, odds are, you will want a fitness tracker that won’t hold you back. Technology is an amazing tool, but in the past it has been a bit fragile. Now, designers are working harder than ever before to create products that will withstand treacherous weather conditions, collisions, and falls.
Even if you aren’t quite the outdoorsy type, you might benefit from having a rugged and durable design in a fitness tracker. Who hasn’t been caught in the rain and worried if their smartwatch could handle it? Who hasn’t dropped their fitness tracker from a precarious height and cringed? Here are the things you will want to look for in a rugged fitness tracker.
Durability is the most important feature when you are taking your fitness tracker on the go with you. How can you tell if your fitness tracker is durable?
Many times most durable fitness trackers and smartwatches on the market, will highlight and advertise their durability, so they are pretty easy to find. If any fitness tracker you are looking for says that it is military grade, then you are looking at one of the most durable trackers out there. Typically this means that it is waterproof and fall proof. It will have a protective casing to keep the watch face intact in case of collisions. The downside for a durable fitness tracker of course is the bulkiness. This can add to the masculinity of the product but comfort could take a hit.
When you think of rugged, you might think of someone who is unhindered in the outdoors. This person will want to be as comfortable as possible tracking his fitness progress outside of a typical gym. One of the most handy features that a fitness tracker can have for someone working out outside is a GPS.
Though GPS can be spotty at times, depending on location, weather, and connectivity, it is useful for more reasons than just measuring how far you’ve run. GPS is also useful if you were to forget or lose your smartwatch or fitness tracker. It is invaluable if you are running a race and have family and friends wanting to cheer you on at certain checkpoints. You will be able to track where the fitness tracker is from another device, which is great, especially if you are ever concerned about safety. GPS is a great tool for anyone wanting to workout outside.
Stylish fitness trackers for men with GPS capability
If you are really into high fashion, then odds are that you are going to be most interested in a designer smartwatch. Luckily, throughout the past decade several high end designers have paired with developers to create hybrid watches that are on the cusp of technology as well as the cusp of fashion.
Though you might be a bit more hesitant to take your designer hybrid to the gym, there is no reason to have the price tag hold you back. These smartwatches are designed to be durable as well as good looking and many of them are even water resistant and have GPS. So whether you are headed to the gym or you’re dressing up in your best suit, your smartwatch can go where you go, and track your activity the whole time.
Simplicity is everything lately. Minimalism is a movement that has infiltrated how you decorate your home, how you shop, and how you dress–down to your accessories. Where accessories would typically not have a place in the minimalism movement, smartwatches are the exception to the rule. Yes, it is technically jewelry, but it is fully functional, and gives you an ulterior purpose with the aesthetic. Here are the things to look for in a minimalist smartwatch.
If you are a minimalist at heart and in the way that you dress, the odds are you won’t be looking for a watch with a busy display. Minimalist smartwatches do exist and they look very stylish and modern. The watch face in a minimalist watch will typically have little or no numbers. Where many classic analog watches have dials upon dials upon dials, a minimalist display will usually have only one main watch face and perhaps an extra dial at most. It will have clean lines and be easy to read at a glance.
One of the main purposes behind minimalism is to value what you have. So a smartwatch for a minimalist would have to prove it’s value by offering a lot in a little package. If paying with your watch is something you value because you don’t like being encumbered by your wallet, this might be a function that you look for in a minimalist watch. If you want to be able to play music and take calls without having your phone nearby, this might be a function to look for. Or you might be in the minimalist camp that prefers to unplug from an online presence as much as possible. In that case, you might want to get a smartwatch or fitness tracker with the basics and no Bluetooth capabilities.
Here is a list of some of the most minimalist looking smartwatches on the market:
A lot of people find that the classic look of an analog watch is among one of the most stylish designs. It used to be that fitness trackers and smartwatches looked very similar with an athletic design. Now, you can buy hybrids that will allow you to have the classic look of an analog watch with all the features of a smartwatch. Hybrids are not exactly the same as a smartwatch, however, there are some things that you won’t get in a hybrid that you would in a smartwatch.
Smartwatches have as many fitness features packed into a small device as possible. You can be fairly certain that you will be able to find an app to fit your needs and that you will have sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and calorie counting.
In a hybrid, you might have all of these features as well, but how they are displayed is very different. Many hybrids will have a classic watch face that you might be able to track one or two fitness items, but if you want to see most of your data, you will need to look it up in a bigger synced device like your phone or tablet. This can be helpful if you don’t want to get overly obsessive with your stats, but it isn’t very convenient to be checking on your progress in real time during a workout.
Hybrids also typically run on a normal watch battery, which can be a good thing so that you don’t have to recharge it regularly, but it does mean that you will need to replace it a time or two a year.
So if an analog watch is more your style but you want a something that will work as a fitness tracker at the same time, here is a list of hybrids that you can look stylish in:
Typically men’s watches are distinguished from women’s watches by the size of the watch face and the band. Most of the time these watches will be much larger and at times more bulky. However, not all men want to have an oversized display, even though it is handy to have a large display to scroll through.
If you prefer to have a more discreet fitness tracker that doesn’t get in your way, then there are several thin options available to you. Not all of these fitness trackers have a watch display, or any display at all, but they do offer all the tracking that you could want and you can easily access the information from another device.
Here are some of the best smaller options of fitness trackers:
Though the wrist worn style of fitness tracker is by far the most popular, there are other options. There are ankle worn trackers and chest trackers, though these are typically not worn for style and usually not for all day use.
Women have quite a few alternative options for fitness tracker jewelry that can be worn as pendants; you can read more about them here. However, there is really just one stylish alternative option for men and that is a fitness tracker ring like the Motiv Ring. Like a hybrid watch, it doesn’t allow you to have a screen to scroll through and view your progress in real time, but it is a good option for someone who is looking for a sleek fitness tracker that won’t get in the way of your day to day activities.
However, there are a few clip on options that aren’t necessarily stylish, but they do add another option to the mix if you’d rather not have a wrist worn option.
Here are a few alternatives to the typical smartwatch fitness tracker:
Again, fitness clothing may not be really considered “stylish” per se, but it’s becoming a more popular option for people who are interested in tracking their activity level solely during their workout. And for a workout outfit, it’s not bad. Here are a couple different options for fitness tracking clothing:
These smart clothing options are only compatible with a small number of fitness trackers, but it does enhance the accuracy of the device.
Still Not Satisfied?
Even if your personal style doesn’t quite fit into a box and you want different looks for different occasions, you can get a fitness tracker that comes with changeable bands. Many fitness tracker companies will offer a variety of colors and materials for their bands, but you can find even more options at almost any online boutique or physical store. You can do your research and get the absolute best fit for a fitness tracker on the market for yourself, and then take your time to select a variety of bands that fit your personal style.
There really are so many options available to you, that the problem won’t be finding something to fit your style; it will be narrowing down your options.
You know you want a fitness tracker but you’re not sure if you want to break the bank to find out it’s not for you. It’s true that there are several fitness trackers on the market at the high end there are plenty more that give a good combination
What’s the best budget fitness tracker out there in 2020? We are going to take a look at some of choices currently on the market and give you as much as we can about the good and bad to help you make the right choice for your budget.
When compiling this guide we had to make the decision about what is a budget fitness tracker. We decided that it was anything that fell below the $100 mark. This allows us to include a whole range of options from across the fitness tracker market including both the better and lesser known brands.
As ever with battery life it is so much dependent on the settings. However, if you choose them carefully you should be able to get somewhere in the region of 18-30 days from the Amazfit Bip before having to find your charge
The Fitibit Inspire HR is the best overall budget fitness tracker. Whilst more expensive than some of the others the combination of swimming capable, 24/7 sleep tricking and the Fitbit community offers the best functions to value ratio.
Small, plain and minimalist. Ideal if you’re looking for a fitness tracker that doesn’t stand out.
When looking at budget fitness trackers you are looking to get the best combination of features to price you can get to meet your fitness goals.
Naturally, compromises have to be made so you might end up in the situation where it’s great for swimming but doesn’t track steps or it has a built in GPS but no alarm. However, there is enough variety that you should find something that meets your requirements.
Long battery life
Built in GPS
Stylish and good looking
Sleep tracking not the best
Instructions are limited
Number of exercises you can track is limited
No facility to reply from texts directly from the watch
The Amazfit Bip is a smart watch with the ability to keep track of your exercises such as running and walking. The device’s on board GPS allows you to track your run which you can sync to your smart phone to see your route. The watch itself is IP68 certified so fine with a bit of a splash but not suitable for the pool. You also get heart and sleep tracking amongst others and the slightly more esoteric Air Quality Index to tell you how clean your local air quality is
Fitbit Inspire HR
Can be used for swimming
No tracking of floors climbed
Charging cable can be hard to use
As you would expect from a Fitbit device the Fitbit Inspire HR has got all bases covered for fitness tracking. Waterproof so you can wear it in the pool it also has sleep and heart rate tracking, silent alarms and smart phone notifications. Automatic exercise recognition when coupled with the Fitbit app will allow you to do analysis of your sleep and exercise patterns and potentially use it to interface with other fitness apps you may use.
Garmin Vivosmart 3
Garmin Connect APP
Can be used for a swim
Can be paired with ANT+ sensors
Showing its age
Cannot change the strap
Not the most durable
It’s fair to say that the Garmin Vivosmart 3 has been around for a while now. Some more recent trackers might have more bells and whistles but it is still a very capable fitness tracker. With its slimline design, ability to be taken for a swim, music control , smart phone notifications and the ability to pair up to other sensors it the Vivosmart 3 has a lot to commend it. It can even count the number of reps you performed as part of a weightlifting routine
Garmin Vivofit 4
1 year battery life
Don’t need to charge it
The Vivofit benefits from a 1 year battery life so you won’t need to charge it every night. A good solid choice for a simple waterproof fitness tracker and the toe to toe challenge might be worth a go if you buy one for yourself and one for your child.
Honor Band 5
Syncs with Huawei fit
Easy to set up
Stylish and good looking
Not many watch face choices
The Honor Band is actually a Huawei band which means it synchs effortlessly with Huawei Fit. A straightforward tracker where smartphone notifications are signified with vibrations. It has approximately 4-7 days of battery life, a good display and heart rate monitoring.
Huawei Band 3 Pro
Smart wake up alarm
Built in GPS
Swimproof with swimming features
Touch screen could be more responsive
Instructions are limited
Number of exercises you can track is limited
No facility to reply from texts directly from the watch
The Huawei Band 3 Pro is a great combination of fitness tracking features and price. The lightweight device Offers the ability to track multiple activities including Outdoor run, Indoor Run, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycle, Indoor Cycle, Pool Swim, Open water and Free training. Water resistant to 50 metres it has an onboard GPS and 6 axis motion sensors which can help track your swims and calculate a SWOLF score. You can even remote control the camera on Huawei mobile phones
Letscom Fitness Tracker
Easy to use
Doesn’t track daily calories burnt
Can be difficult to charge
The LetsComm Fitness Tracker is an ideal budget fitness tracker for a health conscious beginner or possibly even children. Basically, people who are new to the world of fitness tracking.
Although it has battery life of around 4-5 days the functionality is also very basic – it doesn’t track daily total calories burnt for example and the majority of the configuration has to be undertaken in the app.
Good for swimming
6 month battery life
Syncing data can take time
No step tracking
No heart rate monitoring
The Moov Now is slightly unusual amongst fitness trackers in that it doesn’t have a screen and all your interactions are within the companion app. The lack of screen does give it a bit of an unwieldy look so it’s not the best choice if you want style. However, the upside is it uses a watch battery and the lack of screen means you get around 6 months of use before you need to change it.
It differs from other fitness trackers in that its real focus is not steps taken but active minutes. This is also coupled with more detailed analysis of your activity and even real time coaching. Using it for running with a pair of bluetooth headphones will allow you to get audio feedback from a coach offering feedback on better running styles and how to improve. Similar tracking is available for swimming and you can also wear it around your ankle for cycling.
Wahoo TICKR FIT
More comfortable than a chest strap
Long battery life
Can link to other devices
Arm band can wear out quickly
Instructions are limited
Similar to the Moov Now the Wahoo TICKR Fit is not a fitness tracker in the strictest sense. We have included it here because it can be used to assist in tracking your fitness.
The TICKR fit is actually a heart rate monitor which is worn on your arm and not across your chest. It would be useful to measure calorie burn in exercises where your heart rate can be elevated but you don’t really take steps such as Peloton, yoga, weightlifting or using the elliptical trainer.
Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Easy to use
Comfortable & lightweight
Long battery life
Cumbersome menu system
Not the best looking
Companion app needs other apps to get most from device
Charging the device is a bit fiddly
Xiaomi Band 4 is an inexpensive basic fitness tracker which comes with a color screen and long battery life. There is no automatic exercise detection so you have to manually choose that you are starting and finishing an exercise. It will do the basics but in both the tracker and app you will be able to spot the differences between it and a slightly more expensive version such as a Fitbit.
It can be argued that most fitness trackers users are very health conscious. Some are training for a race, some are professional athletes, and some just have fitness goals that they are working towards. However, there is an increasing amount of fitness tracker wearers who are tracking their physical state because of a medical condition that they have.
It can be argued that most fitness trackers users are very health conscious. Some are training for a race, some are professional athletes, and some have fitness goals that they are working towards. Yet, there is an increasing amount of fitness tracker wearers who are tracking their physical state because of a medical condition that they have. There may be no medical condition as scary as a heart condition, which is why many are asking, “Can you wear a fitness tracker with a pacemaker?” The answer is yes. There is little to no risk of wearing a fitness tracker with a pacemaker. But, it is understandable that some people may question this; read on to find out why.
Devices With Little to No Threat
There are some devices that have made a small impact on the accuracy of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Here is a list of some of the devices like fitness trackers that make people wonder if fitness trackers are safe.
Cell phones are not a huge problem with pacemakers or ICDs, but the frequencies emitted from the antenna have been known to cause them to be less reliable if positioned too close to the pacemaker. According to the American Heart Association, you can still use cell phones with a pacemaker, providing you try to use them on the ear furthest away from your pacemaker.
Since many fitness trackers are smart watches and have a cell phone component with them, many people wonder if they will cause the same issue. Even though there haven’t been any reported problems with smartwatches concerning pacemakers and ICD accuracy, it is always best to exercise caution and keep your fitness tracker at least 6 inches away from your pacemaker as often as possible. If you happen to lay your hand on your chest when sleeping, you may want to consider removing your fitness tracker before bed.
Fitness trackers often will use Bluetooth to communicate with your mobile device or computer. The American Heart Association states that these “headsets don’t appear to interfere with ICDs or pacemakers.”
Although MP3 players do not pose a threat to a pacemaker or ICD, the American Heart Association says that “Most MP3 headphones contain a magnetic material that can interfere with ICDs and pacemakers. Both earbud and clip-on headphones can cause interference.” So while your fitness tracker may not cause any problems, if you are using them in conjunction with headphones, be wary of where you place your headphones. You should never put them near your chest and try to keep them at least 6 inches away from your device.
Computers and Other Electronic Devices
Most consumer products, at least in the United States, have undertaken rigorous testing to make sure that it is the safest product that it can be. And according to the American Heart Association, “In general, consumer appliances and electronics don’t affect the performance of ICDs and pacemakers. On rare occasions, some of these devices may inhibit pacemakers by a single beat. But the pacemaker’s regular signals are quickly restored.”
So what does affect a pacemaker, and why would a fitness tracker not make the list of dangerous incompatible technology? The reason why pacemakers and ICD’s react poorly when they are near certain pieces of equipment are based on the frequency that the technology runs on, the transmitting power, and antennae if there are any.
How Pacemakers Work
To understand how any piece of technology could affect your pacemaker or ICD, you have to first understand how it works. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), pacemakers are controlled by electrodes that measure your heart beats and function. If it senses that your heart is at an unhealthy range for your condition, then it will send electricity to your heart to help it pulse.
So a pacemaker is constantly “listening” for electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs). EMFs are everywhere at different frequencies and different strengths, so a pacemaker has to be discerning. The Earth’s electromagnetic field is constantly producing EMFs, so they are quite literally inescapable. Though, many frequencies are so low that they aren’t read by a pacemaker and many EMFs produced by appliances and technology are transmitted at a far enough distance from your pacemaker that it doesn’t affect a pacemaker.
Someone who has a pacemaker can be in the same room with several appliances and pieces of technology that emit electromagnetic frequencies and be just fine. Even a distance as small as 6 to 12 inches can be far enough away that it doesn’t affect the device. In fact, there are some pacemakers that have a ceramic coating that will protect the device even more from foreign EMTs that might affect the function of the device.
So though pacemakers are constantly measuring electromagnetic frequencies, they are also fairly advanced and can tell the difference in most cases between the pulses from the heart and the frequencies from the surroundings.
How Fitness Trackers Work
Like most technological devices, fitness trackers do produce EMFs but they are at a very low frequency. Cell phones, which also have a low frequency have a much higher frequency than fitness trackers and are deemed safe to use as long as it is positioned at least six inches away from the pacemaker.
Most people assume that fitness trackers measure your heart rate using electricity similar to the leads that produce electricity for an EKG, however this is not how most trackers measure heart rates. Fitness trackers instead use an LED light to illuminate the capillaries under the skin and detect how fast the heart is beating based on how much like is reflected back to the sensors. This method is called photoplethysmography, and it does not affect pacemakers.
The Apple Watch
Most of the fitness trackers on the market are harmless or pose little risk to the accuracy and functions of your pacemaker or ICD, but not all. The Apple Watch states clearly in its manual that the “Apple Watch contains components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. Apple Watch, some of the bands, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock contain magnets. These electromagnetic fields and magnets may interfere with medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.”
So, someone who has an Apple watch and a pacemaker or ICD should exercise more caution with this product. Apple does not go into all the functions that use the electromagnetic fields, however, the series 4 watch user manual did not have quite the same wording and didn’t mention radio or electromagnetic fields, just that some components contained magnets. So perhaps the EKG feature in the newer series of Apple Watches does pose a bit more of a risk than the older series prior to the EKG function.
Someone with a pacemaker should absolutely not use the EKG function in the Apple Watch unless cleared with a doctor.
Consult A Doctor
It is difficult to be 100 percent sure of the safety of a product, especially when there are new fitness trackers on the market all the time. The technology in both pacemakers and in fitness trackers are constantly changing and improving and how they work together may change in the future.
The best course of action would be to contact your cardiologist about your particular fitness tracker you are considering buying. This does get a little tricky as your cardiologist may not stay up with the latest technology, however, he or she should be able to figure out if the fitness tracker is safe or not based on other similar products.
If you are ever unsure of a product, start with your cardiologist. If you are still unsure after given the all clear, then exercise caution and keep your device at least 6 inches away from your chest at all times. Fitness trackers can be an amazing tool to keep an eye on your health, especially if you have a heart condition.
Signs of Pacemaker Failure
In rare circumstances, your pacemaker may start to fail. This could be due to EMF interference, low battery life, or pulling on leads. If you do have a pacemaker and you are worried that it might begin to fail, then be on the lookout for these symptoms:
Shortness of Breath
Overly Slow or Fast Heart Rate
Twitching Muscles in Chest or Abdomen
If you have any of those symptoms and you already have a pacemaker, you may want to consult your physician. Your doctor will be able to test your pacemaker and will know if it may be in the time window for a new battery. Of course, if you feel any of these symptoms to the point where you are concerned about your immediate health, then call 911 or have a friend take you to the emergency room.
According to the American Heart Association, there are 3 million people worldwide with a pacemaker and 600,000 pacemakers are placed yearly. These people have more cause to track their health than the average person, so it is important that fitness trackers are safe for this demographic.
Though your fitness tracker should never replace your medical consultations with a physician, it can be helpful to make sure that you are exercising in a safe range and help you keep an eye on your heart’s performance.
Most fitness trackers are known to track the basics such as steps taken, calories burnt and heart rate. Recently, I’ve started to get more into lifting weights whilst at the gym. People don’t realise it’s a great way to add an extra dimension to your workout. It’s not all about bulking up it can also help with losing weight and boosting your metabolism.
Keen to track my new found weight training workout I looked at my fitness tracker and noticed it had a weight option. Turns out that this simply allowed me to set a goal where I could simply track time or calories. I was after something a little more advanced where I could track my reps and weights lifted which got me thinking is there a fitness tracker that is suitable for weightlifting.
We’ve taken a look at fitness trackers that are currently on the market to see which is the best when you are doing functional training, crossfit or weight lifting.
There are really 2 different routes to take when looking at the features you need to look for in a fitness tracker for weightlifting.
1. Tracking the weightlifting exercises
If you’re fed up of carrying around your pen an paper you will want to look for trackers that come with at least some of the following features:
automatic counting of number of reps
tracking of weight lifted
ability to create custom routines
ability to learn exercises
2. Tracking your heart rate and calories burnt
Alernatively, you might not be interested in tracking information about the weights specifically but more how much of an impact your weight training had on your overall session. For this you would look for some of the following features:-
Real-time Heart Rate Monitoring and calorie tracking
Ability to pair with a chest strap heart rate monitor
Compatibility with weight training apps on the tracker itself
Fitness tracker manufacturers have found the tracking of weightlifting a hard nut to crack. There have been a few attempts at trying to automatically track weights with devices such as the Atlas Wearables WristBand, Push Armband and GymWatch but the reviews are mixed about their ability to do it accurately.
It seems at the moment that the ability to accurately and consistently identify a rep is not quite there.
Advances in machine learning and big data helping the trackers identify the exercises from a large data set probably mean we are not too far away. Atlas are in the process of developing a new tracker the Atlas Multi Trainer which is the next iteration in this direction.
Aside from reps another potentially useful metric to track during your weights session is heart rate.
Most modern day fitness trackers use wrist based optical heart rate monitors. The nature of the exercises you do during a weights session it is all too easy for the watch to move around your wrist and lose the heart rate tracking – which somewhat negates its effectiveness.
In this case, you are best pairing your ANT+ compatible fitness tracker such as a Garmin Vivosmart 3 with a chest strap heart rate monitor which will give you both a reliable heart rate source and more accurate reading of calories burnt during your workout.
Weightlifting specific fitness trackers that attach to the barbell
In the area of strength and conditioning there has also been a lot of research into velocity based training. Indeed, some fitness tracker manufacturers have created fitness trackers that attach directly to the barbell such as the Bar Sensei (video below) and Gymaware
Fitness trackers that track weightlifting
Garmin Vivosmart 3
In the area of normal fitness trackers we think that the Garmin Vivosmart 3 is the best out there currently. As in the video below it has the ability to track reps on the watch, however as previously mentioned this can be hit or miss.
Fitness trackers with weightlifting apps
Samsung Galaxy / WearOS watches and GymRun
GymRun is predominantly a mobile phone app which allows you to track your weightlifting workouts.
Companion Version requires you to have a constant bluetooth connection to your smartphone.
Standalone Version doesn’t need your phone during the workout and allows you to sync your data from / to your watch before and after your workout. This version does come at a price. It is around $14 to buy the optional extra feature package.
With GymRun you will be able to create your own routine and input the weight and reps you are going for. This will then transfer to your phone with a rest timer to help you recover appropriately between sets.
Once you start your workout you can enter the number or reps and weight completed directly on your watch with a summary of your workout shown after you finish.
Best fitness tracker for weightlifting
We tried to be as exhaustive as possible in putting this together but if you know of one that is great at tracking your weights sessions drop us a line and we will look to include it.
small size measuring 5.5 – 7.1 inches (140 mm – 18 mm) in circumference
large size measuring between 7.1 – 8.7 inches in circumference
the charging cradle
instruction manuals and other documentation
Fitbit Versa 2 Design
Continuing with the familiar and simple design that makes it look like an Apple watch the Versa 2 has some subtle and incremental design differences when compared to its predecessor.
Whilst, it won’t win any awards for innovation the design is practical, fits comfortably on your wrist and gets the job done.
The main watch unit is square in shape with curves in each of the 4 corners with the display centred within.
On the left hand side one single physical button can be assigned to a short cut with the majority of functionality accessed via the device’s touch screen.
The straps are made from the typical silicone material. They look like they would suit both large and small wrists. Indeed, the large band has 11 holes and the small one 12 holes which should give most people options. If you don’t like the ones that come out of the box there are lots of alternative designs available on Amazon.
As well as the standard black the Versa 2 also comes in a number of other color schemes included Copper Rose, Mist Grey and colors that are exclusively available via Fitbit.com.
Versa 2 has the capability to set up to 8 silent vibrating alarms directly within the tracker. You can customize both the level of vibration between normal or strong and the alarms themselves which can either be every day or for specifically selected days.
I’ve found that the normal settings wake me up easily and I usually set alarms at different times for the working week and non working days.
A notable new feature is also Smart Wake. The purpose of Smart Wake is to wake you up at the best point in your sleep cycle in the 30 minutes before your alarm is due to go off.
So for example, if you set your alarm for 6am and you enable the Smart Wake feature the vibrating alarm will start at any point between 530am and 6am.
To get the best out of this feature you need to ensure that your Fitbit has been regularly tracking your sleep. On a personal level, I tend to rise early naturally so when it start waking me another 30 minutes before I’ve found it strange. However, I think for other people it will be a really useful feature
Battery life & charging
The Versa 2 has a number of features that can significantly impact battery life such as always on display and music integration. If you don’t bother with these too much for typical usage the battery life is around 5 days,
Long battery life is definitely one of the Versa 2’s most appealing features.
Charging is simple too. Using the USB charger provided in the box simply pinch the sides of the cradle and line the pins on the back of the tracking device within the pins in the charger.
I’ve charged it from the mains, my computer and a portable battery pack and it typically takes around 2 hours to get to 100% charge.
Design wise the cable goes into the bottom of the charging cradle which means that counter intuitively you will need to rest the cradle on its side.
The display is a touch screen Color AMOLED which presents deeper colours to the eye.
If you don’t like the factory provided watch faces you can change to custom watch faces within the Fitbit app. So for example, if you are a healthcare professional you might want to download a face that displays a seconds hand.
With the latest update to Fitbit OS this functionality has been slightly enhanced. You can download 5 custom faces to the tracker which can then be switched using the Clocks app.
A quick settings page is accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen gives easy access to screen based configuration options
Always on Display (On or Off)
if On you will not need to press a button of flick your wrist to see the time. Does have an affect on the battery life
Brightness (Normal, Max, Dim)
Screen Wake (Auto(Motion), Manual(Button) –
in Auto mode the screen stays lit for around 10 seconds
If you want to track your run or bike ride you will need to take your phone along and use the connected GPS functionality.
Workout options like Bike and Run have a setting where you can turn On or Off Connected GPS. If it is on, the Versa 2 will try to connect to the GPS on your phone.
As soon as the connection is established the display will give you information such as pace and distance. After your run or ride is complete you can then view a map of your route by viewing that particular activity in the Fitbit app.
Heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking
Fitbit’s sleep tracking has a very good reputation, Whilst the majority of the insight is available within the app you are able to view the key indicators through the Today screen on the device itself.
As well as your previous night’s sleep, time in each stage and average sleep for the week you can view your Sleep Score. Fitbit say sleep score uses the data from your device and gives an indicator of your overall sleep quality.
Whilst we are on the subject of sleep the Fitbit Versa 2 now has a Sleep Mode. This can either be turned on manually or via a schedule which is configured on the watch
When it’s on the following will happen:-
notifications won’t cause watch to vibrate or screen to come on
screen’s brightness is set to dim
always on display clock face is turned off
turning your wrist won’t cause the watch to turn on
a sleep mode icon will appear at the top of the screen when viewing your stats
The Versa 2 has a 24/7 heart rate tracking functionality which samples at either 1 second or 5 second intervals dependent on what activity you’re doing.
Two interesting stats the Versa 2 offers from a heart rate perspective are:
During an activity where your heart rate is relative to hear rate zones recommended by the American Heart Association.
A cardio score that compares you to your peer group
The Fitbit Versa 2 like a lot of fitness trackers that play music has the ability to either store music on the device, stream it from a subscription service or control music apps playing on your mobile phone.
If you’re looking to go out for a run without your phone you will need to download the music to your Versa 2 using the Fitbit app on your computer and connect a set of bluetooth headphones so that you can hear your music. It’s a fiddly process but it does work.
Alternatively, you can pair your Versa via Bluetooth and control the playback by using the Music icon which appears if you swipe down from the top of the screen. You can play, pause, rewind and fast forward this way. So a great way to control apps like Google Music and Podcast Addict.
Finally, the Versa 2 comes with a Spotify app which allows you to remote control Spotify on your phone or computer.
Spotify app only works if you have a Spotify premium subscription
Smartphone notifications is a feature that allows your Fitbit Versa 2 to alert you on screen and by vibrating when there is any activity in the apps you have configured in the Fitbit App.
If you receive a call the number or name will display on the screen and you will be able to either accept or reject it. It is important to note that you won’t be able to take to call on the Versa 2 itself and you will still need to speak on the phone itself.
Within the Fitibt app, you can also choose which apps send you notifications and these will appear as snippets on the screen. So you might to receive e-mails, WhatsApp messages and notifications from your banking app
For Android phones it is also possible to reply to messages using the quick reply functionality. The type of quick reply can also be customised for each app from which you receive notifications.
Unfortunately, sometimes on my Android phone the connectivity can disappear which is one of the most frustrating aspects of the Versa 2
Alexa integration is a new feature offered by the Versa 2. To make it work you won’t need to have any existing Alexa devices or subscriptions but you will need to have an Amazon account and your phone nearby as it uses your phone to connect to the cloud.
Also, bear in mind that you will not have access to the same level of functionality as the Echo devices and the afore mentioned connectivity issues can cause problems.
As opposed to the Echo devices the Versa 2’s Alexa isn’t listening all the time. It needs to be activated by pressing the app in the watch or if you have set up the short by pressing left button on the device. The screen will then indicate that Alexa is ready for your query.
You can ask it questions like
whats the weather like in New York?
Set a reminder to go for a walk at 1145
Because the Versa 2 does not have a speaker the answers to your questions you will not hear a voice all responses are displayed on the screen
minimal set of smart watch features like smartphone notifications
You shouldn’t buy it if you are looking for more advanced features such as ECG, fall detection, the ability to make calls from your device. Those features belong to smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy watch