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Keep fit while keeping track of time - 7 fitness tracker watches for 2021/2022

From cheap and cheerful trackers to more sophisticated smart watches

There's a huge market and a growing demand and appetite for fitness tracker watches and it's easy to see why. It is an easy-to-use tool, taking the shape of something we're already accustomed to wearing, a wristwatch, keeping us on track with useful information about our health and fitness regime.

There are several options out there. Budget is always going to play a key role but it also depends on what you want and whether you're just looking for a no-nonsense fitness tracker, or a more complex watch with access to more data. So what I thought I'd do is put together a list of reasonably-priced fitness tracker watches available online.

Fitbit Inspire HR fitness

Fitbit makes some of the best-selling tracker watches on the market and the Inspire HR is one of their best products, especially in terms of value for money. It comes with a 5-day battery, you can charge it the same way you charge your phone, and it monitors your heart rate, your sleep activity and day exercise activity, with over 15 exercise modes. If I were to nitpick, the one thing I'd keep in mind is Fitbit says you can use this to monitor your swim activity, but then it also says that the HR is 50 mt water resistant which, in watch making terms, does not mean that you can swim as deep as 50 metres below the surface. I know this is a bit counter-intuitive but that's how watch making works. Having said that, Fitbit isn't a watch maker, they're in the business of making tech products, so it should be safe in the swimming pool.

MoreFit Smart watch

This is probably the best-looking fitness tracker watch on the list, and I know that's not supposed to be a deal breaker but let's face it, it helps. Mind you, this is also an excellent product, and reasonably priced, too. It features a 1.4-inch touchscreen display on which you can monitor useful data and information regarding your heart rate, your sleep activity and it also acts as a step counter. It is available in light blue, the one I'd personally go for, and then black or pink.

Honor Band 5

This fitness tracker watch is made by Honor, the same company that also makes smartphones. The thing I like about this watch is that it is both complex, because it does so many things, and simple, thanks to its no-nonsense design and its user-friendly 0.95-inch AMOLED colour screen. You can use it to monitor your hear rate, your sleep activity and it even features a blood oxygen monitor.

Polar Ignite

Polar is, along with brands like Casio, Garmin and Suunto, a household name when it comes to sports watches and fitness tracker watches, so it's no surprise that this watch is both more complex and a little more expensive than the rest. It has everything you expect, like heart rate and sleep activity trackers, and also something called "Nightly Recharge", a system that measures how well your body recovers from the stress of your days. Brilliant. Oh yes, and it's also available in five different colours. I'll have the yellow one.

Suunto 3

Let's face it, you can't have a list of fitness tracker watches without Suunto. That'd be like writing a list of supercars without Ferrari. The Suunto 3 is a light, thin and stylish "training companion for urban athletes". It creates 7-day plans for you based on your exercise history, and you can use it for everything. It monitors steps, calorie intake, heart rate, day and sleep activity and so and so forth. It even has GPS and you can, if you want, share your activity directly across your social media channels.

Suunto Core

The Core fitness tracker watch is Suunto's flagship product and while the Suunto 3 we mentioned earlier is a bit more casual, the Core is a more sophisticated tool for people who take their fitness very seriously. It is the perfect companion for those who love being in the mountains because, among other things, it incorporates barometric altitude measurement, altitude graphics, a compass, storm warnings, temperature warnings and even a depth gauge for snorkelling. And because the case is made from aluminium, it is both durable and light.

Garmin Vivoactive

When it comes to fitness tracker watches, Garmin is one of the best names in the business. The Vivoactive is both a smartwatch and a fitness watch, with built-in GPS, wrist-based heart rate and sport apps. You can use the touchscreen display to set up workout plans for everything from yoga to running and swimming and more. It even has an all-day stress tracking monitor.

Do you own a similar watch?

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Comments (12)

  • I have been using MiFit Bands 1, 2 and 3 for a few years now.

    Battery life was over 30 days with the 1, about 20 days with the 2 and less than a week with the 3.

    And the GPS function in the app is total crap.

    All I want is step, heart rate and sleep monitoring.

    Seems to me that there is a technology race going on and the core functions have been forgotten.

    I will point out that I am not a gym bunny, but I do multi day hikes, so battery life is very important.

      5 days ago
    • Great to hear personal impressions from somebody who uses these on a daily basis. Have you ever owned a Suunto?

        5 days ago
    • No. I had a MicroSoft one a few years back. The strap fell apart, which meant the pulse sensor was dewired, which meant the whole thing was broken.

      Since then I have just used the very cheap MiFits. Think the second one was £12, and the third one...

      Read more
        5 days ago
  • Looks nice but I don’t use those.

      8 days ago
  • I’ve owned the Suunto Vector for at least 20 years. Suunto is a preferred choice of cross fit athletes, mountain climbers and divers. Some military folks like them as well. In my case it was used for mountain climbing and training. These are rugged watches that can take a ton of abuse and continue to work flawlessly. You can get them covered in mud or fully immersed in water without ever worrying. I was more than comfortable wearing mine when dressed in coat and tie as well. One other important point, the battery life on Sunnto products are designed to extend battery life. I change my battery every 4 years or so. Highly recommend Suunto.

      5 days ago
  • Closest I have is my G-Shock GBA-800. It has a step counter, calculates the calories you burned based on your gender, weight and age and you can see maps of where you walked/ran/cycled in the accompanying app. It's way more info than i will ever need. I've learned to ride a bicycle in the 80s, without a mobile phone, smartwatch or gps tracker. I'm pretty sure I can still do it that way.

      8 days ago
  • I have a Mi band 4, it was around 40 bucks but it’s ok, there’s probably better choices

      8 days ago
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