Knowledge is power when it comes to enhancing your athletic performance. For the rest of us, a sports watch is the next best thing to having a staff of coaches and performance specialists recording and evaluating our every action.
And you may be shocked at how powerful these little wrist-worn wonders are. They have access to technology that even top athletes could only dream of a few decades ago, and they can monitor almost every major sport. They may offer in-depth analysis of your technique, heart rate, and training impact, and some can even teach you on the fly, in addition to basic information like training time and distance covered.
Here’s our selection for the best sports watches for monitoring a range of activities, along with a buyer’s for sports watches for men guide to assist you in making the best decision.
Quick buyer’s guide for sports watches for men
You must first choose the athletic activity you wish to monitor since this will define the key characteristics you need. GPS monitoring is essential for runners and cyclists, but waterproofing is more important for swimmers. Triathletes need a multi-sport mode to smoothly transition between their many disciplines, while gym-goers may wish to track different types of indoor workouts such as weight training and HIIT. Whatever kind of athlete you are, your ideal watch is almost likely out there — all you have to do now is find it.
What else should I be on the lookout for?
Check out the watch’s companion app to see how user-friendly it is and if it will sync your activity data with third-party applications like Strava. You may also want to search for a tracker that has a built-in music player, so you can leave your phone at home and still listen to music while exercising.
Keep in mind that not all vital data can be monitored from the wrist. Cycling and triathletes, for example, may wish to track their pedalling cadence and power; to do so, you’ll need a watch that can connect with additional monitoring devices linked to your body or bike via Bluetooth or ANT+.
Finally, make sure you have enough battery life, particularly if you intend to use GPS. Some gadgets need daily charging, but the majority will last you a few days of training, and the best will keep you hooked in for a week or two.
Should I consider a smartwatch instead?
Many all-purpose “smartwatches” come with fitness monitoring capabilities. Some of them even have a better fitness tracking feature than specialised sports wearables. As well as sports monitoring, there are many options from which to choose if you want an app on your watch that gives detailed alerts for SMS, email, WhatsApp, and a number of other apps. Although they cost more than “dumb” gadgets, given that they are meant to be worn all the time, you may have to charge them more often than a watch you just wear while exercising.
How much should I spend?
It would cost approximately $50-100 for a basic sports tracker that does not have fancy features such as location monitoring. For a high-quality GPS watch, expect to spend at least $100 or more, and if you have $150 to $300 to spare, you’ll find a wide range of options. Triathletes and runners, in particular, will find excellent options in the $300 to $600 range. Sporty smartwatches, on the other hand, cost between $250 and $350.
Now let’s look at 10 of the most popular Sports Watches for Men in 2023…
Garmin Fenix 7
Garmin’s current Fenix 7 sportswatches come in nine different variants.
To compete in a cycle race, half-marathon, Ironman or CrossFit competition you can use the Garmin Fenix 7. For example, Fenix 7 presume that you are aware of the importance of training and rest. Also included are methods for assessing present fitness levels, setting realistic goals, and engaging in the necessary training to reach those objectives.
From early 2022, Garmin will be selling its Fenix 7 series on its own website and other shops. Each variation’s price should fall somewhere between $700 and $1,000. It’s a huge leap forward over the prior version..
There are three sizes available for the Fenix 7 to meet your specific requirements (42mm, 47mm, 51mm) (regular, solar, or sapphire solar).
A watch that weighs 50g gains 73g in weight because to the addition of silicone bands. The Solar Fenix 6 weighs one gramme less than the Fenix 6. Battery life and display quality were both improved, while weight was reduced at the same time.
The Fenix 7 is water-resistant to a depth of 100 metres, so you may wear it when swimming in a pool or the ocean with ease.
Smartwatches can survive up to five days, whereas GPS devices can last for five weeks.
A temperature sensor, altimeter, and oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensor are also included.
A multi-band GPS and relevant maps are included in the Fenix 7. Using it for routine navigation eliminates the need to remove your smartphone from your pocket. The Fenix 7 can suggest nearby shops and cafés based on your current location.
When you’re done exercising, you may return to your starting point thanks to the Garmin TracBack feature.
With its advanced features, Garmin can be used by anyone who wants to take their training to the next level. There is still the option of using a body battery for this reason. It’s a good way to keep track of how much you’ve trained and how much energy you have left.
Predicting how long a 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon will take based on your current fitness level is made possible by using the race predictor tool.
To get the best results, this watch shows you how much training you’ve done in the last seven days and recommends how much intensity you should maintain.
If you’re a dedicated outdoor athlete looking for a smartwatch with some useful functions, the Garmin Fenix 7 is a wonderful option. Regardless of the weather, you can count on this big, long-lasting sportswatch to keep you interested as you clock up the miles. When you come back home, you can dig into the information more deeply.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the first time Samsung has embraced Wear OS software in a long time.
On paper, the Watch 5 is perfect for anybody seeking for a high-end smartwatch that can monitor workouts.
Compared to previous Samsung watches, the Galaxy Watch 5 doesn’t offer as much compatibility as its predecessors. The device can’t work with an iPhone or most Android phones, but certain functions, such as reading blood pressure and ECGs, will require a Samsung smartphone.
There will likely be many disappointed users since Samsung’s prior smartwatches were among the most compatible. Despite its limitations, the Watch 5 is still a great smartwatch for those with non-Samsung Android phones.
The fitness elements are largely the same as before, but you also have access to a body composition calculator that offers you an estimate of your body fat percentage. We discovered that the Galaxy Watch 5’s GPS, heart rate tracking, and other fitness functions are well-thought-out.
Battery life isn’t an issue for the Galaxy Watch 5, but it isn’t the longest-lasting smartwatch in history. A moderately-intense use may result in two days of battery life, and if you don’t work out or use functions like GPS, it may last longer.
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Apple Watch Series 8 (and SE)
Even though they appear almost identical, the watches differ in many ways – sensors, straps, and functions are all different. And, of course, the Apple Watch 8 is more expensive and newer, as the SE came out in 2020 alongside the Apple Watch 7.
Apple watches are a popular choice among iPhone users looking for wristwatches that have fantastic app support and excellent fitness credentials. These features are similar on both the Apple Watch 6 and the Apple Watch SE.
The latter simply lacks the always-on display and advanced ECG and blood oxygen readings offered by the former. Though Apple’s Fitness Plus, heart rate monitoring, and GPS tracking are all supported by both devices.
In general, Apple has increased the size of the Watch apps and made some of the language in the apps stronger and brighter, allowing them to expand to the new boundaries of the display. Although the visuals on the Series 7 don’t appear to be noticeably larger when compared side by side with those on the Series 6, it’s enough to make a difference.
While jogging or walking, you may find yourself needing to swiftly tap the screen. When it comes to tapping precision, previous Apple Watches have been a little harsh. In order for the buttons to respond, you must consciously press them. Even yet, the touch screen of the Series 7 appears to be more user-friendly. Many of the interface’s buttons have been enlarged to make it easier to press them.
Garmin Forerunner 255 Music
As far as sports watches are concerned, runners have more choices than any other athlete. Every price range offers excellent choices, from cheap Garmin models such as the Forerunner 45 to premium versions such as the Fenix 6 Pro.
With the Forerunner 255 Music for around $300, you get all the essential functions plus a couple more.
In addition, the watch lets you stream music (a version without music is also available) and can be linked to your Spotify Premium account to be able to sync your playlists wirelessly. In addition to specific workouts, you can train for a 5K, 10K, or half marathon with the 245 Music through settings in the Garmin Coach app you can connect to the watch.
Coros Pace 2
There are an incredible number of features packed into the tiny, light Pace 2, including all of the basics runners and triathletes need. A GPS battery life of 30 hours, continuous heart rate monitoring, and built-in GPS are all included.
Besides having triathlon and open-water swimming modes, it gives a lot of information about your workouts that other watches in its class do not provide. Your fitness and ability to handle that load can also be assessed as well as tips on how to recover after exercise and race times.
One can overlook the absence of breadcrumb navigation considering the Pace 2’s low price since the list of features goes on and on. If serious athletes are looking for value for their money, then the Pace 2 is without a doubt the winner.
Garmin Forerunner 955/LTE
Timepieces like the Forerunner 955 (and 955 LTE) are excellent all-rounders. Using it, you can monitor a wide variety of activities, perform in-depth training and recovery analyses, and take advantage of features such as music playback and onboard maps to navigate while out and about.
As a result of the small, lightweight design and the open-water swimming and multisport sport mode, it is ideal for bikers and triathletes. The latter may be tailored to incorporate the sports you’ll be doing on that particular day, whether it’s a complete triathlon, a swim, a run, or a block training session that includes cycling and running.
Even more importantly, you can connect your 955 to the watch via either ANT+ or Bluetooth, depending on which sensor you choose to use.
Garmin Instinct 2
The Garmin Instinct 2’s sturdy construction and utilitarian design set it apart from other running watches in its price range. Like the original Garmin Instinct, it’s no-nonsense and well constructed, but it’s enjoyable rather than austere.
The original Instinct was one of our favourite running watches because of its durability and long battery life, but the Instinct 2 is built to withstand the rigours of extreme sports and can withstand more than a few bumps and bruises. Though if battery life is important to you, you can also go for a solar version in both the older and newer models.
In addition to a more vibrant colour pallet (think poppy red and electric lime), the watch also has the ability to download custom applications and faces so that you can truly personalise it. It’s loud in a self-aware way, yet it’s not obnoxious.
However, despite its price, the Instinct 2 remains a good option for younger people who don’t want to spend more than $500 on a watch like the Fenix 7 or Forerunner 945.
Overall, all models of the watch are quite durable, and those that use photovoltaic power glass from Garmin can’t be beaten for battery life. Even if you don’t get enough sun exposure to keep the watch operating indefinitely because of your lifestyle, it can easily last weeks rather than days between charges.
The Instinct 2’s monochrome memory-in-pixel (MIP) display is a sensible choice, but it has one important shortcoming, and that is navigation. Despite the fact that the Instinct 2 can detect your location and guide you back to the starting point, the maps on the screen are fairly simple. There are no road signs, landmarks, or other information to help you find your path – only a line and an arrow to guide you.
Nonetheless, the Instinct 2’s GPS accuracy is superb, and in our pre-measured 5km test, it was within a few metres. An added benefit of the new smaller 40mm casing option is that it’s more practical and pleasant to wear at night, allowing for full 24-hour health tracking.
Garmin Epix 2
Garmin has finally published an update for its 2015 Epix smartwatch. It’s been seven years since it was initially made available. Instead of the transflective screen, the new Epix 2 has a 1.3-inch always-on OLED display.
Contrary to popular belief, there are significant changes between the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin Epix Gen 2. When it comes to choosing one of these high-end sports watches, it might be difficult to choose which one is best for your needs.
When a Fenix 7 Pro and a Venu 2 were combined, the result would be the Epix 2. Fenix versions come in a wide range of sizes and features, including solar charging and extra-tough sapphire crystal instead of glass on the face. There’s also water-resistance of 100 metres.
Small wrists, a lengthy battery life, or an interest in outdoor rock climbing may necessitate the purchase of a Fenix watch.
One key benefit that the Epix enjoys over the Fenix timepieces is that the Epix is more affordable. An AMOLED display with great brightness and quality that is always on makes charts, maps, and graphics come to life. In comparison to the Fenix 7’s memory-in-pixel (MiP) displays, the Epix’s display is substantially more vibrant, but the battery life is significantly reduced.
A typical battery life in smartwatch mode is 16 days (though, note, only 6 days if using the always-on feature). 42 hours of GPS time (again, less with always-on, around 30). Using the battery conservation option, you can get up to an additional 21 days of use. To put it another way, there are a variety of ways to use a watch, and the ultimate answer depends on what you’re doing and how long.
HR Withings Steel
The overly athletic style isn’t for everyone. The Withings Steel HR is a fantastic choice if you want to keep your fitness features hidden since it appears like a regular watch. However, behind the plain exterior is all the technology you’ll need to monitor your daily activities and keep track of basic fitness data.
The Withings Steel HR monitors your walks, runs, swims, and sleep automatically and provides modest feedback on your progress through the sub-dial and tiny OLED display. There’s no GPS tracking or detailed exercise data, but it’s a great option if you want a stylish watch with fitness monitoring.
Huawei GT 2e
A smartwatch and a fitness tracker hybrid, Huawei GT 2e offers a combination of both. Although it isn’t a true smartwatch because it doesn’t run Wear OS and therefore doesn’t have an app store, it does have a big, brilliant AMOLED display and the ability to play music (for Android users only). Unlike other Android smartwatches, Huawei’s GT 2e has a longer battery life since it does not use Google’s software, lasting about a week even when monitoring outdoor activity on a regular basis.
This device’s sporting capabilities are exceptional, with 100 exercise options, and, thanks to Firstbeat technology, it provides runners with excellent insights into their training load and fitness in general. Pre-programmed running routines are also available that have been designed to train you for a wide range of races, from a 5K to a marathon.
You can monitor your blood oxygen levels with the SpO2 sensor included in the GT 2e. It also records daily activity, has a good sleep tracking system, and is on par with Fitbit and Polar for being one of the best watches around.
Suunto is one of the best companies that cater to your tracking requirements. With Suunto watches, you can take on the great outdoors with tough, durable, and multisport-capable watches. The premium Suunto 9 takes this to new heights.
A key feature of the watch will catch the attention of runners of all abilities – the battery life it offers will last even up to the longest endurance trials. During the toughest excursions, it can handle itself well.
When it comes to running watches, battery life will be on everyone’s wish list. And the Suunto does not disappoint. The Finnish firm claims to have solved the common issue of dwindling battery life. The Suunto 9 offers 120 hours of sport monitoring and sensor-assisted GPS tracking that is as precise as many complete GPS watches.
Aside from the impressive battery life, the device offers a myriad of other features, including sleep tracking and performance tracking in 80 different sport modes, including running, trail running, cycling, mountain biking, swimming in both open and enclosed water, triathlon, and obstacle racing. We could go on and on.
This technology has ben through tough drop, freeze, humidity, and immersion tests. Other features include an optical heart rate monitor, barometer, GPS, interval training, and training load recommendations.
Polar Vantage V2
One of the best multi-sport choices on the market was Polar’s Vantage V. The lightweight and attractive watch was introduced in 2018 and was capable of tracking a wide range of activities as well as providing a variety of training load and recovery information to help you plan your workouts.
With the Vantage V2, the original’s recognisable shape remains while many important features of multi-sport performance have been improved. Second-generation sports watch made of aluminium weighs 14 g less than its predecessor, has a higher degree of waterproofing than its predecessor, and can manage music from your phone.
With few smart features and a somewhat sluggish touchscreen interface, the Vantage V2 is clearly more focused on sporting performance than smartwatch imitation. But it’s a beautiful multi-sport watch with a lot of useful features makes it one of the best on the market these days.
These are our 10 top choices for the most popular sports watches for men in 2023. We’re sure you’ll find one to suit your needs, budget and taste!
Last Updated on January 13, 2023
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