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You may have been working out for a while but don’t see the results yet… Or your fitness motivation needs a serious boost. Whether you workout to lose weight, build muscle, or maintain your health, you need to know where you stand. Exercising without self-monitoring your progress is one of the reasons why people lose inspiration to exercise or the goals become more difficult to achieve. So, you may be wondering what is the best smartwatch or fitness tracker for your needs.
We have a list of fitness trackers and smartwatches to help you stay engaged, reach your fitness goals, and monitor your progress. Each one of them has features that help you understand your fitness and health data, stay connected, and increase motivation. Some of them are great for jogging, walking, swimming, hiking, and more.
This detailed guide will help you make a decision and become more familiar with them. Discover these recommended fitness watches:
Table of Contents
- 1 Garmin instinct
- 2 Fitbit Versa 2
- 3 Apple Watch SE
- 4 Fitbit charge 3
This outdoor GPS watch has a Solar version (check it out on Amazon). It is designed to the US military standard 810G for thermal, shock, and water-resistance to 100 meters. Instinct features ABC sensors: altimeter, barometer, and 3 axis compass for a better hiking experience. Besides, it also includes GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. These multiple Global navigation satellite systems support can track more efficiently than GPS alone since there are more satellites to help you navigate.
The case is made of fiber-reinforced polymer for more strength and durability. The watch face is scratch-resistant and is high contrast enough to read in bright sunlight.
Garmin Instinct, not only monitors your heart rate, activity, and stress levels but also features activity profiles including running, hiking, swimming, and more. Besides, it comes with smart notifications that are compatible with a smartphone. If you have an Android phone you can reply to text messages.
Besides, you can connect this outdoor watch to an inReach device for satellite communication. You can view and send messages to get weather alerts and even an SOS to the GEOS 24/7 Emergency Response Team. The inReach device is sold separately and active satellite subscriptions are required.
Garmin Explorer is a great tool to plan your trips. Moreover, you can use the TracBack feature to navigate the same route back to the starting point.
Battery life up to 14 days in Smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode, over 40 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode. This Garmin smartwatch can be used for running, hiking, swimming, and many outdoor activities.
Interested in Garmin Instinct? Learn more about this advanced outdoor watch on Amazon.
Do you prefer a GPS watch with music?
If you love to work out while you listen to your favorite songs you might consider Garmin vivoactive 4S smartwatch. It’s a small-sized smartwatch.
You can download your favorite songs including playlist from Spotify or Deezer, while you’re at a premium subscription. Also, you can use your headphones.
Vivoactive 4S features 20 sports modes, including cardio, yoga, Pilates, and strength training to add variety to your fitness plan. Also, it tracks blood oxygen saturation, body battery energy, respiration, hydration, menstrual cycle, stress, sleep, and heart rate.
Vivoactive 4S also features easy-to-follow animated workouts pre-loaded on the watch. It is really cool that you can learn how to do a particular exercise to help you prevent any injuries. Also, you can download more exercises from the Garmin Connect application.
Other great features include Garmin coach a personal running coach to help you train for your next 5K, 10K, or half- marathon.
Battery life is not as long as Garmin Instinct’s but it is decent with up to 7 on smartphone mode and up to 5 hours in GPS mode with music. The awesome display is always on which features a sunlight-readable Garmin Chroma Display technology under the Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Great news for swimmers: Garmin Instinct is swim-friendly and you can use it in the shower. According to Garmin, it is water-rated to 5ATM which means that it is “suitable for splashes, rain or snow, showering, swimming, diving into the water, and snorkeling”. However, you can not use it for scuba diving.
Discover this fitness watch with GPS and music that I found on Amazon.
How about an easy to use Garmin GPS fitness watch?
If you love Garmin smartwatches but are on a budget you may consider Forerunner 35.
This easy-to-use, slim, and lightweight GPS running watch can monitor your heart rate continuously. It also has a built-in GPS to track your running, jogging, and walking. Forerunner 35 can track your activity all day, count steps, calories, intensity, and reminds you when to move.
It tracks your distance, pace, interval, and more. Besides, it works with the Garmin Connect application to receive insights, join challenges, and share your progress.
The health data can be accessed on the watch without using your smartphone.
Fitbit Versa 2
(Even though there is an updated version (Versa 3) of this smartwatch, Versa 2 is still going strong and one of the Amazon best sellers.)
Can you imagine having Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and fitness tracking with the display always on in one watch?
You can check the weather, timer, access your smart home devices with Alexa plus you can control your Spotify application.
With the Always-On display mode, the watch face is always on so you can see your stats, time, and progress during workouts.
You can track progress and health data to increase motivation and receive guidance from the Fitbit application. It can monitor your heart rate continuously and see your resting heart rate trends, which is used to track calorie burn. Also, Versa 2 tracks steps, distance, calories, floor climbed, active minutes, sleep quality.
Also, it features the Female Health Tracking to log periods and record symptoms which helps you understand the pattern in your cycle and see your ovulation days.
This smartwatch can help you relax with the guided reading sessions using your heart rate. To help you maximize your routine, it features 15 exercise modes you can choose from. Fitbit coach workouts are included to guide you through your fitness plan. However, a subscription is required to load more exercises.
Other features include reminders to move, swim-proof, and water-resistant up to 50 m. You can use Versa 2 in the pool and the shower. And can track how long you are swimming. Battery life on a single charge is 6 days. You can make secure purchases with Fitbit pay with the Special Edition Only.
On a budget? Fitbit Versa Light Edition can be a great alternative
If you like to have a Fitbit smartwatch with essential features and a great price, Versa light Edition is what you need. It monitors your heart rate continuously, tracks your sleep quality, features smart notifications, 4-day battery life, and it is swim proof.
It features the Cardio fitness score which is a personalized piece of information to help you understand the level and give you feedback on how to improve.
Just like the Versa 2, it also Includes Female Health Tracking to track your cycle and calculate ovulation days.
It also can help you remain calm with the personalized guided breathing sessions. Interestingly, it can schedule your watch screen to stay dark while you sleep. Like Fitbit Versa 2, you can choose from 15 exercise modes.
However, it does not include floors climbed, it’s not Amazon Alexa built-in or the Always-on display mode just like Fitbit Versa 2 but it has all the features to motivate you to exercise.
Like Fitbit Versa Light Edition? Learn more about this awesome and popular smartwatch on Amazon.
Apple Watch SE
It looks like Apple Series 6 but this smartwatch is fast and features a Retina display. This Apple watch tracks your workouts with the Activity rings Move, Stand, and Exercise.
SE achieves your fitness goal with advanced workout metrics, GPS built-in, and water-resistance to 50m. Its great features can help encourage you to stay active and exercise regularly. Also, you can compete with friends in challenges.
This amazing watch includes many workout modes, including yoga, running, and cycling. Besides, it can pair with compatible gym equipment. The Always-On Altimeter allows you to see elevation changes when you are enjoying your climbing.
You can listen to the music through Apple music which requires a subscription. Also, you can use the phone to pay instantly and securely with Apple pay. A convenient function is that you can hear it tell the time and it has many watch faces to choose from.
Also, you can monitor your heart rate or heart rhythm with the ECG app which is available on Apple Watch Series 4 or later and according to Apple “this app is not intended for people under 22 years old”.
Another important heart health feature is that it will alert you if the heart rate is high or low and also irregular rhythm. This alert is available on Apple Watch Series 1 or later.
The cellular version allows you to call and text. Another great feature is Fall detection and Emergency SOS that allows you to contact the local emergency service and you can make International emergency calls. Learn more about wireless carriers and eligibility.
Learn more about this health and fitness watch on Amazon.
Too pricey? Apple Watch Series 3 is the way to go
If you like Apple watch functionalities without investing lots of money Apple watch series 3 can be a great alternative. It may not have advanced fitness metrics but it is around $200 cheaper as we speak. It can track your physical activities such as yoga, cycling, swimming, and high-intensity training.
Also, you can pair your Apple watch with some gym equipment to enhance your user experience and get more accurate information about your fitness progress. Learn more about it on this Apple Support link.
Just like the Apple Watch Series 5, it will alert you if the heart rate is either high or low if you turn on heart rate notifications. Also, it allows you to contact emergency assistance in your area.
Although it doesn’t feature the Always-On retina display, electrical heart sensor, compass, fall detection, or international emergency calls, it has similar features. While the Apple Watch Series 5 has a capacity of 32GB for GPS and cellular for GPS only, the Apple Watch Series 3 has an available capacity of 16 GB for GPS and cellular and 8 GB for GPS.
The Apple Watch Series 5 is up to times faster with a 64-bit dual-core processor while Series 3 has a dual-core processor. They both have 18 hours of battery life and have a magnetic charging cable. However, the Series 3 features a USB power adapter for GPS on the cellular version only. Explore Apple Watch Series 5 on Amazon.
Fitbit charge 3
Fitbit’s most advanced fitness watch can monitor your heart rate continuously to maximize your plan and show any health trends. Comfortable and durable, Charge 3 is made with aerospace-grade aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It also features guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate.
The display automatically adjusts to lighting conditions to make it easier to see your health data and progress. It also tracks your sleep quality and battery life up to 7-Days. Although it is a fitness tracker, it features smartphone notifications as well.
It uses a real-time heart rate zone to help you understand the intensity level. Besides, it tracks your burned calories during the day and includes exercise modes such as biking, running, swimming, yoga, and more.
Also, it automatically recognizes and records exercises like run, swim, and more. It is water-resistant to 50 meters and tracks your swimming activity. Fitbit Charge 3 can be worn in the pool or shower.
Although it doesn’t have GPS built-in you can connect it with your smartphone to see pace and distance to monitor your running or jogging. This fitness watch can be used to log menstrual periods, track symptoms, and see calculated ovulation days.
You can make easy and secure payments from your tracker with Fitbit Pay. Basically, you can add your credit or debit card on the Fitbit App settings, and voila!
Looking for a more economical Fitbit fitness watch?
Stylish and sleek, Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR can help motivate and achieve your goals at a lower price. Both track your activity and sleep quality. They are easy to use and automatically recognize your physical activity with SmartTrack.
Also, these Fitbit fitness watches have an intuitive touchscreen OLED display and can remind you to move to help you remain active. Besides, they are swim-friendly and you can use them in the shower. Also, both fitness trackers are water-resistant up to 50 meters and battery life is up to 5 days. Other features include a timer, stopwatch, and smart alerts.
So, what is the difference between Inspire and Inspire HR?
Inspire HR monitors your heart rate continuously 24/7 to give you an insight into your heart health. It also tracks sleep stages and gives tips to help sleep quality. Also, Inspire HR can track 15 exercise modes and calculate heart rate zones to maximize your fitness plan with the right intensity. It records your resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time when you wear it all day or night. Learn more about Inspire HR on Amazon.
Inspire is a more basic fitness tracker than Inspire HR which calculates a sleep score to help you understand your sleep quality. It can track sleeping but won’t track sleep stages. Although it can automatically recognize workout, it doesn’t include the exercise modes that are included in Inspire HR.
Another compromise is that it doesn’t monitor heart rate continuously, track your swimming, and screen workouts.
It lacks Pace or Distance with connected GPS, meaning you cannot track your jogging, walking, or running even from your phone.
Inspire shows the most basic health data but it is a great tracker to help beginners or first-timers start the fitness journey. If you like Fitbit but you don’t know which one to choose, try Fitbit Inspire HR or Inspire to help you make a decision or determine whether a Fitbit fitness watch is what you need. Check out this easy to use but functional fitness tracker on Amazon.
We hope you like our post “Which fitness watch is best for me? Check out our top picks!” can help you make a smart buying decision. Share it with your friends and family, and colleagues!
B.L.A is a webmaster, content creator, and blogger who loves fitness watches and working out.
After many attempts to stick to a fitness plan, she found inspiration in fitness wearables which has helped her remain active and lead a healthy lifestyle. She is committed to encouraging individuals who need help with their motivation.
When she isn’t researching fitness technology market trends and writing, you might find Brenda cooking delicious meals, connecting with nature, growing veggies, reading about technology, and enjoying life with her husband C. A.
Check out her other blog Breathe Out Panic Attack.