Do you often feel the need to track your workout sessions and the amount of exercise you get each day? It is important to track your progress, no matter if you’re just starting out serious exercise, or you’re a professional athlete. So, why not take a look and choose from the best workout watches out there!
Fitness trackers or workout watches can help you keep track of the number of steps you take each day, the amount of calories burned and monitor other activities. Some models can also help you in monitoring your heart rate as well as your sleep pattern. Not only do these watches help you in meeting your exercise goal for each day, they also let you access your calls, messages, social media as well as a huge myriad of other apps.
Today, we have a guide that will help you with your shopping needs. Plus, we are going to talk about the best workout watches in the market. We will review all their features and list their pros and cons, so you know which model you want to buy. Let’s take a look!
Our Top Picks
|Product||Weight||Battery life||Defining feature||Price|
|Apple 42 mm Smartwatch||1.1 ounces||Up to 18 hours||Using Siri||Check price on Amazon|
|Polar A370 Fitness Tracker||1.1 ounces||Has to be charged daily||GPS present||Check price on Amazon|
|Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch||2.88 ounces||20 hours in training, up to 6 weeks in watch mode||UltraTrac mode||Check price on Amazon|
|Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch||2.24 ounces||Up to three days||Built-in speaker||Check price on Amazon|
|LG Watch Sport||3.15 ounces||1-2 days||IP68 certified||Check price on Amazon|
|Suunto Spartan Sport GPS Watch||2.56 ounces||Up to 12 hours in training mode||Accurate GPS||Check price on Amazon|
|Polar M200 GPS Running Watch||5.1 ounces||A few hours if actively training. 1-2 days for normal use||Tracks 24/7||Check price on Amazon|
|Fitbit Alta HR Wristband||0.8 ounces||2-7 days||Slim design||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider Before Buying
Before you set out to buy your perfect workout watch, you need to consider a few things. When you are equipped with the right knowledge, you can easily choose a watch which will suit all your needs. So, let’s see what’s important to have in mind when choosing the perfect fit for you.
It is important to consider what kind of exercise you will be performing, and which parameters do you need measured. For example, if you simply want to measure the number of steps you take as you go about your day, you can choose a simple watch which only portrays steps and calories burned. However, if, for example, you also need to analyze the number of stair steps you take each day, choose a watch which has an altimeter as well.
If swimming is your exercise of preference, go for a watch which specifies that it can track your swimming activities. These days, advanced watches let you track a large number of activities including running, walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, climbing etc. Some of them even guide you through your workout sessions.
A lot of fitness watches will show your heart rate as well, though this is not a feature in all watches. Sleep analysis is also possible, with advanced models even differentiating between light and deep sleep.
You are always better off with a waterproof watch, as this way you do not have to take it off while showering or if you start to sweat. If you plan on going swimming or diving, choose a model which is completely waterproof.
When choosing a watch pay attention to the water resistance rating. It is measured by Atm (atmospheres) and it can also be converted to feet/meters.
If the water resistance is 3 Atm that is equal to 30 meters – this watch won’t be damaged if you sweat or get caught by rain. However, for swimming, you need a watch with at least 10 Atm water resistance rating.
If you are using a workout watch, you will need to look at it quite often. Most such watches are synced to smartphones so you can access your smartphone data and apps on the watch too. This is why it is absolutely necessary that you choose a screen style and display which appeals to you.
A lot of watches let you customize which data you want to display on the home screen of your watch. You can keep it clean or add multiple icons for apps. While tracking your activity, go for a display which displays the numbers clearly and in an easy to understand manner. After all, you do not want to spend all your exercise time squinting at your watch.
A watch which is too small will be difficult to read, while a too large one can feel clunky and uncomfortable. You need to have a balance and choose a watch which sits on your wrist in a comfortable manner. Exercise watches are mostly lightweight, so you will not be distracted by their weight while you work out.
Also don’t forget to pay attention to the band. Make sure it fits nice and is comfortable to wear, and check the quality of the material. Remember, it should be able to endure a lot of wear and torture.
Choose a workout watch which has a good app linked to it. The app lets you record all your data and then analyze it. You can use it to see how much exercise you got each day, whether or not you met your goals, how can you improve your workout sessions etc.
You can also share your data and compete with your friends to see who gets the most activity. Different apps offer various features, so always check out the related app before purchasing an exercise watch.
Best Products on Today’s Market
There are tons of workout watches in the market, with a huge array of different features. Let’s talk about the best of these watches, so you can choose one you like
Apple 42 mm Smartwatch
Weight: 1.12 ounces
Battery: Up to 18 hours
Specific features: 1.5-inch display; activity level showed in the form of circles; can display all apps of iPhone; receive messages, Siri
Best use: Tracking your standing time, movement and calories burned
The Apple 42 mm Smartwatch is one of the best exercise watches in the market, coming in a rose gold anodized aluminum chassis and a stone fluoroelastomer Sport band. When you start your day, in the Activity app you have to set your goal in terms of standing time, moving time and number of calories burned. Then, as you do each activity, each ring will start to fill and will complete once you have met your goal for the day.
The watch lets you view your heart rate as well, so you know how well you are responding to the exercise. You can access Siri on this watch and hence can easily pull up workout videos as well as advice from the internet.
You can customize the display and choose which apps you want to keep on your home display. The screen is large enough to let you see all the data easily. You can access your phone calls, messages, notifications etc. easily.
- Easy to use with a clear display
- Accurate measurements
- Easy set up
- App is very helpful
- Has to be charged daily
- Cannot record sleep, vertical distance and does not have an altimeter
Related: If you prefer to be safe than sorry, protect this expensive gadget with the Apple Watch Case 42 mm Bumper Protector. It is clear and will cover everything but your screen, so it doesn’t come in the way of the watch usability.
Polar A370 Fitness Tracker
Weight: 1.1 oz.
Battery life: 4 days
Specific features: GPS present; measures heart rate; touch screen; receives notifications from smartphone
Best use: Measuring distance traveled, counting steps and heart rate
The Polar A370 Fitness Tracker lets you measure your heart rate 24/7. You can also track your number of steps and calories burned. The watch can be connected to your smartphone and you can hence transfer all your working out and exercise data on your phone. This way, you can analyze this data and see how you can improve your exercising.
It offers continuous wrist-based heart rate, with Polar Sleep Plus sleep tracking and 24/7 activity tracking. Another plus point is that this device provides guidance and feedback which will help you in achieving your goals. You can also plan your workouts ahead of time and set proper goals for each day.
This waterproof watch is quite accurate in calculating your heart rate as well as exercise level. You have to connect it to your phone to access the GPS, though. You also have to install the app to get the full features of this watch.
- Accurate heart rate monitoring
- Provides guidance and feedback
- Heart rate monitoring may be difficult on dark skinned people
- No user manual provided, so functions can be difficult to figure out
Related: Protect your watch from dirt and scratches and make sure it is secure while running, dancing or working out with the high-quality silicone TUSITA Wristband with Screen Protector for Polar A360 / A370.
Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch
Weight: 2.88 ounces
Battery life: Rechargeable battery; up to 20 hours in training/GPS mode, 50 hours in UltraTrac mode, and 6 weeks in watch mode
Specific features: Stainless steel EXO antenna; GPS; 1.2 inch display; altimeter and barometer present; sapphire lens
Best use: Cycling, running, swimming
Garmin Fenix 3 is one of the more sophisticated and complex exercise watches in the market. It has a lot of advanced features which let you track all sorts of activities and then analyze them, so you can get the best out of your workout session and improve with each passing day.
The presence of an altimeter means that you can record your height, which makes it easy to count the number of stair steps you climb. A barometer can sense weather changes by detecting small time changes in pressure. The GPS lets you record your distance while you are running or cycling. The EXO antenna helps in pinpointing position and thus is a better option than relying on GPS only.
This watch offers an amazing display, which is very clear and quite stylish. It is a little large, though, and may not look good on small wrists. The watch is pretty durable and will not get damaged or scratched easily.
- Can be used to monitor all sorts of activities
- Separate heart rate monitor provided which can be synced to the watch
- Good battery life
- Band is not made of very good material
- Large display may be uncomfortable for small wristed people
Related: Touch-screens aren’t the most durable materials out there, as we’ve all came to learn from experience. Protect your watch screen with the Garmin Fenix 3 Screen Protector from IQ Shield LIQuidSkin. These protectors are crafted to be highly sensitive, self-healing, and non-yellowing.
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch
Weight: 2.24 ounces
Battery life: Up to 3 days
Specific features: Compatible with Android 4.4 and above and iOS; with 1.5 GB RAM; Built-in speaker; 4 GB ROM; water resistant
Best use: Recording, walking, running, heart rate
The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch is best used with Samsung Galaxy mobiles, although you can use it with any smartphone with iOS or Android 4.4 or above. It is pretty easy to set up this mobile and the instructions are very clear and simple.
Presence of a speaker on the watch means that you can easily hear when you get a call on your smartphone which you have synced with your watch. You can talk comfortably and hear the other person’s voice without having to bring the watch to your ears.
As an exercise watch, this one is quite accurate. The speedometer lets you see how fast you are traveling, so you can use it to assess your speed while you are cycling, running etc. You can also accurately calculate your heart rate, number of calories burned and distance traveled.
The screen is pretty durable and is also water resistant. The strap is not extremely comfortable, though, and you may want to change it. All in all, this is a great watch which offers many amazing features.
- Speaker is quite loud
- Altimeter, HR monitor, GPS and speedometer are all very accurate
- Stylish, bright display
- Great app
- Strap is not very comfortable
- You may need to charge it daily if you use it extensively
Related: You can replace the strap with the Replacement Strap for Samsung Gear S3 Frontier that comes with a lifetime warranty, adjustable size, and is made of top quality stainless steel.
LG Watch Sport
Weight: 3.15 ounces
Battery life: 1-2 days, depending on use
Specific features: Compatible with Android 2.0 and above; GSM unlocked; resolution 480 x 480; 2G, 3G enabled; IP68 Certified
Best use: Tracking steps, calories burned, running
If you want a smartwatch which acts as a sports watch and is compatible with Android, LG Watch Sport is a very good option. It has a 1.38-inch Full Circle P-OLED display, allowing you to get a clear view even in bright conditions.
The watch comes equipped with 4G LTE bands. It also has IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.
Perhaps the best thing is that this watch is compatible with even relatively older versions of Android. The glass is pretty durable and does not scratch easily. This watch is great for day-to-day wear, so you can easily record all your activities all day long. It looks pretty stylish as well, and the buttons are easy to use.
The battery life could have been better, in this price range. Although it is listed as 2-3 days, the truth is with any usage slightly more than ordinary, you may have to charge the battery daily. On the bright side, it is charged wirelessly on its convenient charging cradle, making the dread of charging it every day less… dreadful!
- Compatible with earlier versions of Android
- Not too large
- Accurate measurements
- Battery life is not very good
- Band is not very high quality
- Measures only a few variables
Related: As mentioned earlier, extra protection on the screen never hurt anybody. It’s usually the other way around – those who have it, are thankful, for the opportunity to keep their watch for longer. For this model, we can recommend the Supershieldz LG Watch Sport Glass Screen Protector, rated 9H for hardness anti-scratch, anti-fingerprint, bubble free. It doesn’t interfere with the touch display sensitivity and the clarity of the display.
Suunto Spartan Sport GPS Watch
Weight: 2.56 ounces
Battery life: Up to 12 hours in training mode
Specific features: Measures space, distance, speed, altitude, calories and heart rate; for heart rate monitoring; good visibility; clear display, durable; accurate GPS
Best use: Tracking steps, swimming, cycling, running and other sports
The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is among the best ones in the market, as it is packed with features which can help you enhance your exercise routines, measure your heart rate and distance traveled along with speed. All the measurements are quite accurate. You can even track your pace while swimming.
The watch is waterproof up to 100 meters, which means that you can use it for swimming as well as diving. The lightweight watch is pretty comfortable and you can wear it all day long without feeling any irritation or chafing on the wrist.
If you want to use the watch for a longer time without having to charge it, you can turn GPS off. While actively training, the watch will last up to 12 hours. You can sync it with your smartphone and download the app, which will help you crunch the data and analyze how well your exercise session is going.
- Very accurate measurements
- Can track all sorts of sports and exercise sessions
- Waterproof up to a 100 meters
- You need a heart rate band for detecting heart rate while swimming
- No sleep monitoring
Related: With this product we recommend getting the TUSITA Charging Cable for Suunto Spartan Sport. It comes with a voltage regulator and can be used on PC, Mac, Laptop or Notebook.
Polar M200 GPS Running Watch
Weight: 5.1 ounces
Battery life: A few hours in case of active training; 1-2 days in normal mode
Specific features: Continuous heart rate monitoring; tracks activity and sleep 24/7; waterproof, inactivity alert; changeable wristbands; detects sleep duration and quality
Best use: Tracking running and jogging
The Polar M200 GPS Running Watch is an excellent watch for sports training, particularly running. There is a special Running Program, which lets you choose your running goals along with the date when you need to complete that distance. The program will assess this data and compare it with your running routine. It will then create a running program for you which will help you meet your goals. In this way, this program works very well to motivate you to exercise.
It features an Optical Heart Rate that gives continuous, accurate heart rate measuring from the wrist, without a chest strap. It is tracking your activity and sleep 24/7, and it has integrated GPS. It is also waterproof and the bands are changeable to fit everyone’s preferred style.
The inactivity alert also helps to motivate you and get you moving. Once you have completed a training session, it will be reviewed and you can see how effective you were, and how you need to improve. You will also get guidance about increasing your exercise routine to meet the current global recommendations for each day.
- Tracks a lot of activities and lets you create sports profiles
- Built-in GPS which does not require you to connect to a smartphone to work
- Helpful app
- Provides a lot of motivation and guided exercise routines as well as advice
- Small battery life
Related: Play with colors, with the Feskio POLAR M200 Band Wrist Replacement Straps. They come in 6 different colors, are easy to snap in and out, easy to install and remove. The straps are made of high-class silicone material, making it very comfortable and lightweight to wear, and in the same time offering waterproofness.
Fitbit Alta HR Wristband
Weight: 0.8 ounces
Battery life: 2-7 days, depending on activity
Specific features: Heart rate measurement; automatically tracks sleep time and pattern; detects and records exercise automatically; slim design
Best use: Tracking steps, calories and distance
No list of excellent sports watches would be complete without Fitbit Alta HR Wristband. Fitbit has made itself a huge name in exercise tracker industry, and for very rightful reasons. This watch is very sleek, which makes it comfortable to wear and looks very chic and stylish. The interchangeable bands do not irritate the skin and you can wear the watch 24 hours a day.
The watch automatically detects when you start performing any activity and records accordingly. It can also detect when you are sleep, and will start recording a sleep pattern. You can see your heart rate being displayed continuously, so you will see how it varies while you exercise.
This watch is mainly meant for activity like walking, running etc. but will not guide you about your workout sessions, other than counting the number of calories you have burnt. As a step counter and HR monitor, this device is right about perfect. However, if you want something which has greatly advanced features like analyzing your swimming pace or guiding you about your weight lifting regime, this is not the watch for you.
- Accurate HR counter, pedometer and calories count
- Slim, sleek and comfortable design
- No altimeter present
- Display might be difficult to read in direct sunlight
Related: IQ Shield are also offering the Fitbit Alta HR Screen Protector for the best protection of your screen and long-term use. We highly recommend pairing the watch with this screen protector.
We have come to the end of our detailed review about sports watches. These days, such watches are specialized affairs which can be linked to smartphones and can even receive calls, message alerts and notifications. You can use these watches to track you activity, heart rate, sleep cycle and even get feedback about how much exercise you are getting.
Sports watches can help in motivating you to become more active and to set goals for yourself. All of the above mentioned devices are very good at what they do, and can help you in getting better exercise. We hope that the list helped you in deciding which product will be best for you.
Do you own an exercise watch that you want us to know about? Let us know in the comments section!