Top Wearable Fitness Gadgets 

Top Wearable Fitness Gadgets

We’ve selected the best wearable fitness gadgets to help you track your workouts, sleep and recovery. These devices come with features that appeal to newbies and hardcore athletes.

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is an advanced, budget-friendly band with gold-level smarts like recovery metrics and sleep tracking and a free training app geared toward runners. You can add a chest strap for improved accuracy.

1. Fitbit Blaze

In a wearable fitness gadget world flush with options yet lacking any true monopoly, Fitbit pushed itself to the top of the category in 2016 with its stylish new Blaze. The jack-of-all-trades tracker combines a colorful display, an ergonomic design and sophisticated functionality into one package. The device logs activity automatically and offers a host of built-in features. Onscreen stats include calories, active minutes and daily heart rate while a dedicated exercise screen lets you manually start outdoor running, cycling, treadmill and elliptical workouts.

Like its older Charge HR cousin the Blaze also tracks flights of stairs climbed, distance, sleep and daily activity while giving you call, text, calendar and other smart notifications. It does, however, lack GPS like the pricier Fitbit Surge. It does deliver Connected GPS through your smartphone, but this doesn’t offer the level of accuracy that some runners need. The Blaze also integrates Fitbit’s Fitstar service, which provides pre-programmed workouts for a variety of fitness activities including warm ups, 7 minute ab work outs and 10 minute cardio workouts. Lastly, the tracker comes with a range of bracelets and straps from leather to metal link to nylon that help you customize your look.

2. Garmin Vivosmart 4

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is one of the most sophisticated fitness trackers you can buy. It offers almost all the features of the Fitbit Charge 3 but lacks built-in GPS, making it a better choice if you don’t care about GPS tracking for running, biking or other outdoor activities.

The vivosmart 4 is easy to use and comes in a variety of color options. It has a small OLED touchscreen that you swipe to navigate and a button on the bottom that double-taps for a quick menu. It can detect your heart rate with its Elevate optical HR sensor and displays a move bar and vibration alerts when it’s time to start moving.

Its Body Battery energy monitor helps you get a more complete picture of your health and fitness, estimating how much energy you have at any given moment to help you decide when to exercise and when to rest.

3. Garmin Fenix 3

The Fenix 3 is a GPS sports watch with an impressive range of features. It can store hundreds of apps, widgets and data fields, making it a versatile training companion for almost any sport. Smart notifications display incoming texts, emails and other phone-related alerts on the screen even when you’re on a run.

It comes with a strap that’s sturdy without being uncomfortable and has a high-resolution 218×218 pixel colour screen which Garmin has paid particular attention to in terms of layout, colour and typography. It also offers the option to use a low-power UltraTrac mode which only pings for a GPS location every three minutes, prolonging battery life by up to 50 hours.

Using its Elevate wrist heart rate technology, the Fenix 3 tracks your heart rate during running without the need for a chest strap. When paired with HRM-run (sold separately), it can also provide advanced running metrics such as cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time, otherwise known as Running Dynamics, to help improve your form. In addition, it can estimate your VO2 Max fitness level and track your recovery advisor1. It’s also compatible with Garmin Connect IQ, which allows you to customize the look of your watch with cool widgets and colourful watch faces.

4. Garmin Vivoactive 4

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a big-screen, GPS-enabled smartwatch that lets you leave your phone at home while still tracking the full gamut of fitness activities. It’s loaded with preloaded maps and workout apps for running, walking, cycling, pool swimming, golfing and more, plus it can track elliptical or rowing, strength training, yoga and breathwork (a mindful breathing exercise) via the watch app.

The large screen makes it easy to see all the data at once when you’re exercising. The Vivoactive 4 also features a number of useful widgets like calories burned, Body Battery and floors climbed. However, it misses out on the intuitive week-to-week performance monitoring seen in a Fenix 6 or Forerunner 935.

The Vivoactive 4 includes a Pulse OX sensor that measures your blood oxygen saturation during the day and while sleeping to give you a more complete picture of your overall health. It’s a feature that might be of interest to anyone concerned about sleep apnea or who may have asthma, though we didn’t find it particularly helpful in our tests.

5. Amazfit Band 7

The Amazfit Band 7 is a budget-friendly fitness tracker that delivers a metric crapton of features at prices that leave Fitbit executives gnashing their teeth. The wearable offers a range of health-related functions, including 24H blood oxygen monitoring and stress levels, as well as an ability to assess three critical metrics with one click.

Users appreciate the comprehensive sleep data, which rivals that of some higher-end smartwatches, as well as the remarkably efficient step and heart rate tracking. However, the lack of built-in GPS means that runners and walkers will have to rely on the smartphone’s connected GPS for position data during outdoor activities.

The wearable also doesn’t have a barometer, meaning it can’t accurately count flights of stairs climbed. And while it’s packed with useful workout mode functionality, serious athletes will want a more detailed approach to training that includes training peaks, power curves, and more. Fortunately, the Amazfit Band 7 does provide some extra insights for those who take their training seriously by offering VO2 max estimates and a PAI (personal activity intelligence) score.

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