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.
1. Fitbit Versa 2
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 2, 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 2, 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. 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
- Hard to change the band
- Disappointingly, no GPS
- Tricky to change the band
- Tendency to break
2. 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
3. Apple Watch Series 5
Two admissions. First, this is strictly for Apple users, but as there are around one billion Apple users using 1.4 billion Apple devices, the Apple Watch Series 5 has a place on this list. Second, the Series 5 is simply an upgrade on the Series 4 and the slightly smaller Series 3, with few additional features, but it would be remiss not to review the latest version.
The Apple Watch Series 5 is a wonderful health tracker. It offers an accurate heart rate monitor with 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 5 while swimming (waterproof up to 50m) and it’ll recognise 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.
- Always-on screen, never miss information
- Lots of memory
- Comfortable design
- The always-on feature drains the battery
- Always-on is a pain at night
- Arguably not different enough from the Apple Watch 4
4. 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 tracking 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
This is just 4 of the best health tracking smartwatches available. There is a bounty of smartwatch fitness and health trackers out there to choose from, so you have to do your research. 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.
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