It’s easy to understand why smart watches are becoming more and more popular: It offers a convenient way to check your smartphone without having to reach into your pocket.
Smartwatches offer more than just timekeeping; they can monitor a variety of health metrics like heart rate and activity, ECG readings, blood oxygen levels, stress levels and sleep quality. With some models now offering fall detection features too, finding the most precise smartwatch possible has never been more important.
1. Withings Scanwatch
If you’re a fitness tracker but don’t want to invest in an extensive withings smartwatch with plenty of features, the Withings Scanwatch could be your ideal solution. Not only is it straightforward and user-friendly, but its health tracking abilities are among the most precise available today.
One of the great features of this watch is not just about steps and workouts – you can also use it to monitor blood oxygen levels! Apple Watch, Fitbit and Samsung don’t provide this capability, so this watch truly stands out in the market.
Setting up and connecting to your smartphone has never been simpler, thanks to the Withings Health Mate app. Rather than simply giving you data, this app explains its meaning and makes it simple to track trends over time.
You can customize the display to show day, week or month views as well as quarterly and yearly results. Most screens are easily toggled to show different times of day and you may even personalize it by highlighting your favourite metrics or goals in the top bar.
Similarly, the Scanwatch offers plenty of health tracking capabilities and can sync to other apps on your phone to assist with tracking progress. It has an electrocardiogram (ECG) and oxygen saturation sensor – both approved by the FDA – both of which have been included for added safety.
The Scanwatch monitors your breathing while you sleep and detects when and how often you stop breathing, which is essential for sleep apnea detection. It has three modes – always-on, auto and always-off – to accommodate different users’ preferences.
The Scanwatch offers plenty of health and wellness features, such as a heart rate monitor and VO2 max tracker. It can also be connected to apps like Samsung Health or Google Fit for added convenience.
Another great advantage of the Scanwatch is its impressive battery life: up to 30 days between charges – something the Apple Watch cannot match. That means you won’t have to worry about recharging your device every few days, which can be an inconvenience for those who need to track their sleep patterns.
2. Garmin Vivoactive 2
The Garmin Vivoactive 2 is the pinnacle of accuracy when it comes to smart watches. Packed with fitness tracking capabilities and offering an expansive selection of sport modes, this device truly delivers on its promise.
It can be used for running, cycling, golfing, swimming and many indoor activities as well. Plus it monitors your heart rate when exercising and measures distance covered when walking or running.
Garmin watches record an enormous amount of data and then present it in clear overviews in their Connect app. Furthermore, they have an innovative method for summing up this info: “body battery”, which calculates how much energy you’ll likely have at any given time based on activity level, sleep pattern and stress level.
Tracking your health with this smartwatch is a great idea when you don’t have much time to sit down and monitor stats manually. Plus, its display is one of the most accurate available on any smartwatch, too.
It comes with several workout apps and you have the option to create your own if desired. It can be utilized for various activities like cycling, running, swimming, weight training and golfing.
Garmin devices boast an intuitive app menu with plenty of customisation options for your watch, such as widgets, watch faces and third-party apps. Plus, the watch can even be worn as a Bluetooth headset – perfect for music or calls while also showing notifications from the phone.
The only drawback here is the absence of a voice assistant, though you can reply directly to texts from your watch. Nonetheless, you still get plenty of useful smartwatch features and the battery lasts quite well.
With Garmin Pay, you can make contactless payments. However, be sure to confirm if your bank supports this feature as not all UK banks do. Unfortunately, there are few UK banks that do, making it less convenient than it could be.
The Venu 2 is a great option for Apple’s budget-minded smartwatch models, offering all of Garmin’s lifestyle features in an unassuming square design that rivals the SE and Series 3. While its screen may not be quite as eye-catching as an OLED display, it still looks decent enough.
3. Garmin Vivosport
Garmin Vivosport is a fitness activity tracker packed with features designed to keep you on top of your health. It uses advanced heart rate monitoring technology to estimate VO2 max and “fitness age,” two indicators of physical fitness that can improve with regular exercise.
It uses HRV (heart rate variability) to calculate stress levels and offer advice on managing them. Furthermore, the device tracks your sleep pattern and reports on rest quality, making it a useful asset for those with an interest in their overall wellbeing.
The Garmin Vivosport is a GPS smart watch integrated into an adjustable fitness band that has all the essentials for tracking lifestyle and fitness activities. It’s light and comfortable to wear, featuring features like steps taken, calories burned, distance travelled, floors climbed and more for users to keep track of.
Vivosport may lack some of the more advanced features found in higher-end Garmin running watches, but it still makes an ideal starting point for anyone wanting to explore sports and active lifestyles. Its main selling point is its small size and unobtrusive design.
In addition to its built-in GPS, the Vivosport has a barometric altimeter, optical heart rate monitor and ANT+ connectivity for broadcasting heart rate data to other devices. This means it can track basic quantified life metrics like steps taken, calories burned, floors climbed and distance traveled as well as recording cardio and strength training indoors.
Another feature that sets the Vivosport apart from other Garmin trackers is its dynamically updating step goals. If you consistently reach your daily target, the Vivosport will gradually increase it for added motivation and less arbitrary counting. It’s an innovative addition to step counting metrics that makes calorie burn more meaningful and enjoyable. It makes the number less arbitrary and more rewarding overall.
It’s worth highlighting that the Vivosport boasts one of the longest battery lives among all GPS trackers we’ve tested – up to five hours on a single charge – an impressive feat for a fitness tracker.
4. Garmin Vivofit
Garmin’s entry-level activity tracker is a reliable, though unspectacular device that does the basics well. Built to last one year on two CR1632 coin-cell batteries, it provides an accurate reading of steps taken, distance covered and calories burned (plus intensity minutes).
Vivofit does more than just track your daily activity. It also periodically syncs with the company’s Connect app so you can view your progress over time.
The main display displays your daily totals and goals in clear view of most lights, although its horizontal layout may require you to turn your wrist more often than with a traditional digital watch.
Easy to use, thanks to a single button that cycles through various display screens based on how long you hold it down. You can cycle between time, steps and other modes; or press and hold for sync, sleep tracking or pairing with your phone.
A second button on the side of the band controls ANT+ connection for a chest-worn heart rate monitor, which you can purchase separately. While not necessary, using one can provide more accurate readings if desired.
Vivofit also lets you set timers and alarms from the app, while its weather widget provides up-to-date conditions at a glance. Vivofit has some helpful features like a countdown timer in case of misplacement of your phone and simultaneous setting of an alarm and timer with two smartphones in one room.
Finally, if you’re searching for an affordable fitness tracker that won’t break the bank, Vivofit is your best bet. It’s comfortable, has an impressive battery life and is user-friendly.
The vivofit 4 lacks GPS, so it cannot provide precise distance or pace measurements; however, its auto-detection of workouts works reasonably well. It records steps, distance and calories burned accurately while allowing you to configure a threshold for tracking intensity minutes – the amount of time spent working out.