With how popular smartwatches have become, it’s starting to cut into the dedicated fitness band space. Rather than having a limited-use fitness tracker and a watch, you can now have just one device that does it all. These fitness-focused smartwatches have all of the same functionality of a dedicated fitness band, but also have larger screens and operating systems to handle the daily tasks of a smartwatch. Here are the best picks available in the category.
Does it all
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung has the "smartwatch" part of the equation nailed and has seriously improved its fitness tracking to the point where it isn’t a downside of selecting a Galaxy Watch. There’s GPS for running and biking, automatic workout detection, workout guidance and tracking for all of your daily activity. It also has deep smartphone integration, with a super-useful interface and rotating bezel that’s a treat to use. Plus, the case is robust and capable of handling anything you put it through.
Tons of people have trusted Fitbit with their fitness tracking of all kinds for years, and that’s essentially what you’re getting here. The Ionic is a perfect smartwatch for someone who really wants to focus on activity tracking first, and the other "smartwatch" stuff secondarily. Though it may be a bit big and blocky, the Fitbit Ionic has a bright display, GPS tracking, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2 sensor, 50-meter waterproofing and all of the other cool stuff like NFC and 2.5GB of storage space.
The Fitbit Ionic is clearly the best overall fitness device from the company, but for something a bit more balanced, the Versa is worth considering. Fitbit learned a lot from the Ionic, and the new Versa has a much smaller and better-designed case that looks more like a regular watch than a gadget. The unfortunate downside of the smaller, better-designed case is that it doesn’t have GPS like the Ionic does. If you want to run, walk or bike and get precise tracking, the Ionic is still the pick.
When picking a device that spans the gap between two product categories, there are bound to be compromises, and a fitness-focused smartwatch is no different. But in this do-everything fitness smartwatch realm, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is the leader. Not only does it handle all of the smartwatch features you want, it also has the competition matched in terms of fitness tracking and workouts. If you’re already familiar with the Fitbit ecosystem you may actually prefer the fitness-focused Ionic or more general smartwatch-focused Versa, but know that you’re taking a larger trade-off in either case.
October 17, 2018 at 09:05AM