Where do you begin in your search for the best health tracking smartwatches? Well, it all depends on what you want! There are three main things to factor in before finding the best smart health monitoring watch for you:
Do you like square, or rounded watch faces? How about physical buttons or fully touch screen? Maybe you’d prefer something bigger or perhaps something subtle that’s barely noticable? Do you want a minimal health band or a full-size, fully-featured health tracker?
What metrics are you interested in? Heart/Cardio rate? Sleep monitoring? Blood pressure? Blood oxygen? Temperature? Perhaps you need multiple sports modes. If you menstruate, there are watches that will monitor your cycle for you.
If you’re very outdoorsy, consider if you need GPS and offline maps. Maybe music storage and control are important to you.
Are you looking for bells and whistles? If so, what smart features are important? Notifications for calls, messages and social media? How about being able to make and take calls on the go, from your wrist? Do you have smart home assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant? Maybe you have Hue lighting. All these things can be controlled via your smartwatch, if that’s what you want it to do.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that price doesn’t have to govern your choice thanks to the plethora of brands and options available. For example, you can even get an Apple Watch on a budget. Or, you can go for a lesser known brand that offers an abundance of features.
So, once you have an idea of what you want, then comes the time to start shopping! Let’s take a look at some of the best health smartwatches available today.
1. Apple Watch Series 6 (best for health tracking)
Two admissions. First, this is probably the top of the line and a top choice for for Apple users, but as there are around one billion Apple users using 1.4 billion Apple devices. Second, the Series 6 is a new upgrade with few additional features, but it would be remiss not to review the latest and greatest version.
The New Apple Watch Series 6 is a wonderful health watch. It offers an accurate heart rate monitor with an additional ECG feature that further monitors heart health and an accurate GPS system. The screen has an always-on feature so you’ll never miss any information.
You can wear the Apple Watch Series 6 while swimming (waterproof up to 50m) and it’ll recognize when you’re doing activities like HIIT, running or cycling, even yoga – whatever you do during the day to fill up those rings! It has 32GB of memory built-in, which you can use for your workout music or podcasts and there are some cool features like a noise meter and menstrual cycle tracking.
It has a sleek and instantly-recognisable design and comes in two new sizes to Apple Watches, 40mm and 44mm. You can compare it to other Apple models here.
- Always-on screen, never miss information
- Lots of memory
- Comfortable design
- The always-on feature drains the battery
- Always-on could be a pain at night
- Arguably not different enough from the Apple Watch 5
There are a lot of health tracking watches out there, catering for all fitness levels – from casual gym-goers keeping an eye on calories to serious athletes who need accurate analytics. There’s something for everyone and here we bring you our pick of the best health tracking smartwatches.
2. Fitbit Sense
The Fitbit Sense is among the best fitness trackers on the market right now, and it builds on the Versa line’s popularity with numerous innovative new features. Its goal is to empower you to take control of your health by assisting you in understanding your mind and body and making improvements to ensure your mental and physical well-being — and it succeeds.
It has an ECG sensor, like many of the top smartwatches and fitness trackers, to identify indications of atrial fibrillation, but it’s the stress monitoring feature that truly stands out. It’s something that everybody can gain from and use every day – not just in a medical emergency. Although many of the tools for managing stress (such as guided meditation and mindfulness lectures) are only available to Fitbit Premium users, the Sense comes with a 6-month free trial, so you can get a lot of use out of them even if you don’t decide to continue your membership.
The Sense’s fitness monitoring capabilities are also amazing, especially if you’re interested in training with heart rate zones. There are a variety of activity monitoring choices, and once you’ve completed your workout, the watch and Fitbit app will offer you with a set of exercise-specific metrics.
The ECG functionality was not accessible at the time of release but was enabled through a firmware upgrade in October 2020. Support for Google Assistant is expected later this year.
- A true, top brand, health-focused watch
- Affordable Apple Watch alternative
- Introduction of mental wellbeing features
- Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
- Many aspects require Fitbit Premium
3. Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit is the brand that immediately comes to mind when thinking about the best health tracking smartwatches. With over 10 versions offering you the ability to monitor your body and health, it’s no wonder. The Versa 3, specifically, is a brilliant halfway house between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker.
Smartwatch features include notifications for texts and calls and various compatible notifications (like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook, including Messenger). You can now use it for Fitbit Pay, which is handy. There are a lot of useful apps you can sync to your Versa 3, including Uber, Google Maps, news and your local weather.
On the health side, it’ll track things like steps, distance, floors climbed and calories burned and provide data on sleep patterns and workout analysis. Women can monitor their menstrual cycles and trends and it will keep an eye on your heart rate round the clock. It’s got a built in GPS so it can track your location while exercising. There are 15 work out types to choose from between running, weights, swimming, yoga and others, so it can accurately measure your activity. When you’re done or need a moment to relax, there’s a guided breathing exercise that you can activate from the watch face. It’s waterproof, too!
- Easily customised
- Great customer service
- GPS Built in
- Alexa Built in
- Hard to change the band
- Tricky to change the band
- Tendency to break
4. Garmin Vivosmart 4
Garmin is known for making serious fitness tracking devices that are incredibly popular. The Garmin Vivosmart 4 doesn’t disappoint; it does all the jobs you’d expect from a fitness tracker; steps, floors climbed, calories burned, heart rate, sleep and workouts as well as monitoring all-day stress. It can withstand water up to 50m.
However, where this tracker shines is its health-tracking features. It goes beyond standard sleep monitoring, offering advanced REM analysis. It can tell you blood oxygen saturation levels overnight if used with the Pulse Ox wrist sensor. The Vivosmart 4 offers a breathing timer that pairs nicely with the all-day stress monitoring function. Finally, there’s a ‘body battery’ function that enables you to maximise your activities based on your energy levels.
A couple of frustrations; firstly, a lack of GPS. Secondly, you can’t customise it with a replacement band. There’s no way of replying to notifications if you’re an Apple user, but Android users can enjoy this feature. If you’re more concerned with fitness data over the smartwatch features, then this is a great choice.
- Lightweight design
- In-depth health and fitness analysis
- “Body Battery” monitors energy levels
- Compatible with both Android and iOS
- Doesn’t have GPS
- Can’t replace the band
- The screen can be tricky to navigate
5. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
It’s only fair to include the Apple Watch’s biggest rival on the list, what with Android boasting 2.5 billion users worldwide. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is one of the best health smartwatches out there.
Samsung isn’t making it easy for Apple with this smartwatch. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is not only a beautiful device but it has some great health and fitness tracking features. It offers the same always-on feature, but it’s optional. The sleep tracking accuracy rivals Fitbit, and it has advanced work out tracking capabilities thanks to an ECG sensor. It’ll tell you post-workout data like time elapsed, distance, total step count and calories burned. It also has a running coach with seven programs, designed to improve endurance or speed up your time.
Samsung delivers this device in three colours, Pink Gold, Cloud Silver and Aqua Black. For a little extra money, you can purchase a stainless steel model that comes in gold, silver and black with a leather strap. But the best thing is that even if you’re an iOS user, you can still use this watch.
- Work-out tracking is automatic
- Beautiful design with many colours and materials to choose from
- Isn’t locked down to just Android
- More cost-effective than the Apple Watch
- Sleep tracking function isn’t perfect
- Third-party app quality is poor
6. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
This is the latest in the Xiaomi line, which is expanding rapidly! The Mi Smart Band 6 is a budget tracker, but it’s packed with a load of features you more commonly find on much more expensive devices. Including blood oxygen sats, all-day stress monitoring, and a pulse oximeter.
It has a bold and bright display that’s highly responsive, if a little small in size.
You won’t find on-board GPS but you can link it to your phone (so, unfortunately, you can’t leave it at home).
- Subtle design
- Packed with features
- No contactless payments
- No on-board GPS
7. Honor Band 6
The Honor Band 6 is a low-cost fitness tracker with a large screen and basic smartwatch features from Honor. With a SpO2 console and stress reduction facilities, it offers more than a bare-bones experience for those looking to improve their health.
- Packed with features
- Accuracy is questionable, but expected for a budget tracker
8. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is for anyone looking for a serious sports watch.
The quick spec is that it’s a 47mm by 14.7mm watch with interchangeable bands. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass and it has a water-resistance rating of 10ATM.
The Fenix 6 Pro comes with GPS and map navigation apps built-in for when you’re out and about on adventures. With a monster batter life, it’ll stay with you for weeks or even months.
You’re able to track your hike, run or even a round of golf and much more thanks to a wide variety of sport modes. Looking at alternatives, it’s in competition with the Polar Grit X and Suunto 9.
9. NDUR Smart Watch
The new NDUR smartwatch is a fully-featured health tracking watch. It measures your heart rate 24/7 and also features the ability to measure your blood pressure. The blood pressure algorithm is relatively new and most other health tracking watches are yet to introduce this feature. Even though it is not intended to replace a medically certified blood pressure monitor, it could still be helpful for a lot of people.
On top of it being a good health tracking watch, it is also an excellent fitness tracker for many sports activities and could help you maintain a balanced, healthy life.
- Great looking, functional health watch
- A cheaper alternative compared to top brands
- Good interface
- Focus on endurance and staying active
- US support and 6 month replacement warranty
- Relatively new
- Functionality not as robust as the top brands
10. Yamay Health Smartwatch
Yamay is making great headway into this niche with its flagship blood pressure tracking watch that offers an array of features for health and fitness tracking. It’s a great watch and a very popular choice as well for health-tracking fanatics who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a top brand.
The Yamay blood pressure smartwatch provides 24/7 tracking for your heart rate, SPO2, sleep and sports activities. It also monitors your stress levels and fives you suggestions when to relax or breath. When paired with your phone it will show you all you notifications. For women, it’s got all the female related tracking features currently available. Indeed it’s a smartwatch that focuses on health tracking.
- Popular health smartwatch
- Blood pressure tracking
- App compatibility
- None at this price range.
The best health smartwatches – Summary
This is a review of the best health tracking smartwatches available as we know them. There is a bounty of smartwatches for fitness and health monitors out there to choose from, so you have to do your research. Some people look for single task wristband health monitors but our recommendation (unless your need is very specific) is to get a health watch that does just that and more. To avoid being bogged down by choice, start with a list of features and functions you want from the watch and start from there. The best health tracking watch will be the one that ticks those boxes.
Last Updated on June 3, 2021