Now a days, almost any watch you buy is also a fitness tracker in some way. Today we dive into 4 of our favorite fitness trackers of 2023.
Apple Watch series 8
4.5 out of 5
A wide range of fitness, health, and safety tools are built into the Apple Watch Series 8, along with a variety of third-party apps (such as Runkeeper, Strava, and Nike Run Club).
The new watchOS 9 software includes a new Multisport tracking option for triathletes, heart rate zone data, and support for Custom Workouts, plus real-time power, stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation data when tracking a run.
Its Activity, Exercise, and Stand rings can motivate you to get moving, while its Fitness+ workout streaming service ($9.99 per month or $79.99 per year after a three-month trial) offers a variety of studio-style classes with excellent music and instruction for home or gym use. It tracks your activity, blood oxygen saturation, body temperature deviations, fertility windows, menstrual cycle, overnight respiration, sleep, and more on the health front.
If it detects an irregular heartbeat, a high or low heart rate, or loud sounds that can damage your hearing, the Series 8 can alert you. Aside from Emergency SOS and international emergency calling, it also automatically calls for help if it detects a hard fall. The Series 8's automatic handwashing timer keeps you honest when you scrub up as well.
Who is it for?
If you use Android, the Apple Watch Series 8 won't be an option since it requires an iPhone 8 or later running iOS 16 or higher in order to operate.
Runners, swimmers, and cyclists will find it particularly helpful. Running power measurements on the wrist allow you to see how hard you are working, WR50 ratings make it safe for shallow water activities like swimming in the ocean or pool, and automatic bike ride detection ensures you don't lose credit.
While outdoor adventurers, endurance athletes, and ocean enthusiasts with deep pockets will be attracted to the $799 Apple Watch Ultra, which features a rugged design and longer battery life. Water sports and recreational diving are suitable for the Ultra, which has a water-resistance rating of WR100.
Fitbit Charge 5
4.5 out of 5
We tested the Fitbit Charge 5 and found it to be the best fitness tracker for the money.
AMOLED color touch screen and metal case build on the excellent predecessors of this generation. A number of advanced health-monitoring features are also included, including an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor that tracks your body's responses to stress, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) app that checks for signs of irregular heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation (AFib).
The Fitbit Charge 5 has loads of features to help you stay on top of your fitness. It includes 20 sport profiles; out of which, six can be added to the watch at a given instance. It has an integrated GPS, so you don't have to take your phone while running outdoors. Moreover, its 24/7 heart rate monitor can track your beats all day long. The SmartTrack feature automatically records activities like running and walking and it also comes with the Active Zone Minutes that aim to help you reach the AHA's recommended 150 minutes of activity per week. With the Fitbit app, you get detailed post-workout information including intensity maps highlighting your pace and heart rate along the way. Additionally, for safety reasons, it gives alerts when your heart rate is abnormally low or high.
In addition to tracking your sleep duration and quality, the device also tracks your sleep stages (light, deep, and REM) when you wear it to bed at night. In addition to respiration, heart rate variability (HRV, an indicator of stress), skin temperature variation (how hot or cold you were compared to your baseline), and SpO2, it also tracks some more advanced overnight metrics.
Who's it for?
Fitbit Charge 5 is the best standalone fitness tracker for most people because it has top-notch fitness, sleep, and stress tracking features, an attractive design, and a reasonable price. Getting up earlier, working out, and practicing mindfulness are all benefits of it.
The Charge 5 works with both iPhone and Android devices, boasting impressive features such as a water-resistance up to 164 feet and an incredible battery life of up to one whole week on one charge - all contained within its sleek color touch screen design. It also offers a range of activity tracking shortcuts, suited for any fitness enthusiast; these activities include biking, bootcamp, circuit training, elliptical, golfing, hiking, interval workouts, kickboxing, martial arts, outdoor workouts, Pilates, running and spinning - plus even stairclimbing and swimming! Lastly you can also track tennis, treadmill walking, weightlifting and generic workout sessions as well as yoga.
It does not support Spotify, however. If you're new to fitness or do not plan to track outdoor runs, bike rides, or hikes, consider a less expensive wearable that does not have a built-in GPS. If you need music streaming controls on your wrist, look elsewhere.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
4.5 out of 5
Featuring a GPS-enabled fitness tracker and smartwatch hybrid, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 stands out due to its stylish design, excellent visibility in bright sunlight, and long battery life. Featuring a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 cover and an always-on display option, the stainless steel bezel is surrounded by a color touch screen. A textured silicone strap makes it comfortable to wear and is compatible with standard quick-release bands (Opens in a new window).
It includes over 20 preloaded sports apps, guided workouts with form animations, and personalized training plans. It is capable of monitoring advanced metrics like respiration and SpO2, and can even monitor your heart rate underwater.
Vivoactive 4 has a battery life of about eight days, a significant advantage over the Apple Watch Series 8 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, both of which require daily charging. In addition to its fitness focus, the Vivoactive 4 supports a number of useful lifestyle features, including downloadable apps, 500 songs of onboard music storage, Bluetooth headphones, and contactless payments.
Who's it for?
Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a high-end fitness tracker and smartwatch hybrid that combines form and function.
Vivoactive 4 is a top choice for trail runners and hikers, thanks to its sunlight-visible, transflective display and built-in GPS. In addition to its 5ATM water resistance and underwater optical heart rate monitoring abilities, the display makes it an ideal choice for swimmers.
This is an excellent wearable for any fitness-focused, yet style-conscious iOS or Android user. And, now that it has been on the market for over two years, it is often on sale.
Polar Grit X
4 out of 5
The Polar Grit X stands out for its rugged build and useful outdoor-specific features. With continuous heart rate tracking, overnight recovery measurements, and workout recommendations, this multisport GPS watch has everything you'd expect—including important extras for outdoor athletes, such as refueling tips for long training sessions and events, route planning tools, and uphill and downhill stats.
The Grit X is tested to 328 feet underwater, with US military-grade durability to stand up to tough conditions such as extreme temperatures and humidity. Its power-saving functions enable it to operate up to four days straight with GPS, or 40 hours with GPS running. The wristwatch sports a 1.2-inch color touch screen for optimal viewing of metrics, plus five physical buttons for easy navigation; however, its bulked-up design may be too large for some users.
Who's it for?
The Polar Grit X is best for adventurers who prefer to train off the beaten path. This is a niche product for serious outdoor athletes, but if you're a fan, you can really benefit from it. The Polar Grit X is an excellent choice for serious downhill skiers, hikers, mountain bikers, swimmers, and trail runners.
In light of its price, in-depth metrics, and outdoor features, the Grit X isn't ideal for casual runners or workout enthusiasts. It is possible to track your exercise activity and monitor your health with more affordable wearables, like the Charge 5, which comes with GPS, heart rate monitoring, and NFC payment options.