January brings with it the end of the holiday season, the promise of a new year, and an influx of resolutions to work out and get rid of that holiday weight. Whether it’s going to the gym, running, or just working out at your home, we all want to improve ourselves. And, because we’re human, we also want to keep track of everything as we go. This is where the fitness watch comes in. Being able to track everything from heartrate to steps and all things in between is important.
But there are so many fitness watches and step counters on the market today, even Apple is getting involved. How do you decide which one is right for you? It would most likely involve weeks of research and testing. Lucky for you, we’ve done most of that work for you. What follows is a list of the 7 best fitness watches for the money. Read up on these smart devices and see which one fits your routine.
Apple Watch Series 3
The third-generation of Apple’s smartwatches brings you cellular connectivity to your wrist, so no more bringing your phone to the gym. The watch is waterproof up to 50 meters, just like its predecessor. It has built-in GPS, an ultra-precise heart-rate sensor, and it allows you to listen to music and text from the watch. It also comes standard with a built-in camera and retails starting at $329.
Suunto Spartan Ultra
Able to track 80 activities, the Spartan Ultra is waterproof up to 300 feet, has a GPS and a barometric altitude meter, and has a heart rate chest monitor so you can keep track of calories burned and your recovery time. The Spartan Ultra also has a color touch screen, and a digital compass. Battery life is 18 hours in training mode and 140 hours in power saving mode. Retail starts at $600.
Known for its trackers, Fitbit took it up a notch and added all-day tracking into this one. The GPS lets you map out routes, the heart sensor tracks calories and workout intensity, and the watch automatically knows when you start working out so there is no need to push a button. You can also store over 300 songs, uses Pandora stations, and is compatible with Bluetooth headphones to keep you motivated as you work out. Retail starts at $299.
Timex Ironman GPS
This offering from Timex offers you a wide display and an interval timer to help with speed. The large touchscreen display helps you check split times for races. It also gives you hydration and nutrition alerts. The Ironman has a battery life up to 12 hours. Designed to be simple, Timex had the beginner runner in mind when they made this watch. It’s lightweight and the menus are easy to understand. For the price there aren’t many reasons not to try it out. Retail starts at $90.
Garmin Forerunner 35
This GPS-enabled watch keeps track of distance and pace, but it also watches heart rate through a built-in sensor instead of the usual strap that you normally see. The device keeps track of your daily activity, whether you’re working out or not. You can connect it via Bluetooth to a smartphone and start receiving texts, calls, emails, and other notifications. It also comes with the ability to use Garmin Connect, a free service, that when activated gives you access to the fitness history of your watch and others you know. Retail starts at $170.
Huawei Fit Smartwatch
This smart fitness watch has a built-in heartrate monitor a display that is always on. It’s also fully waterproof, so you can wear it when you’re swimming laps. The battery life is equally as impressive, lasting 6 days! It’s also compatible with both iOS and Android devices, giving you notifications and showing messages from your favorite apps. It has a gentle vibration alarm that wakes you without disturbing others and gives you a reminder when you’ve sat too long and need to get moving. Retail starts at $80.
Polar A370 Fitness Tracker
The Polar A370 combines a solid host of features, including tracking your continuous heartrate and uploading data to any smartphone. It comes with a color touchscreen, keeps track of a host of fitness data including speed, distance, and route; it can notify you of incoming calls, messages, social media, and comes in a very understated design. Water resistant up to 30 meters. Retail starts at $178.
Training for a race or just trying to be more active, a fitness watch can be a great way to keep track of steps, heartrate, map routes, and even get smartphone alerts. Some of the more recognizable brands can get pricey, but there are still solid choices out there for an affordable price.
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