Best fitness smartwatch: Top watches for tracking activity and sports

A watch not necessarily will be weighing on your wrist for the sake of always knowing what time it is. A smartwatch actually is the ultimate smartphone accessory, it can echo important notifications, run native apps and games, and with the recent 4G smartwatch additions, it can even bring the smartphone craze straight to your wrist.

Essentially, smartwatches are advanced activity trackers with touchscreen displays and cellphone features that tell the time and are worn into a wrist. And, if you need a practical and lightweight gadget to keep a track on your routine activities or fitness, a smartwatch might be the best option of choice. As all watches have their own pre-loaded apps that monitor health (merely estimating heartbeats) they help to show how your body is reacting to physical exercises.

A smartwatch can supervise a large variety of activities and sports, from resting and sleeping to running, hiking, swimming, diving, and even snowboarding or golfing. Here we’ll be cracking down a labeled list of best sports smartwatches your money can buy.

Best for iPhone: Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4 hands on review

Apple might just have managed to develop the best health watch to date. The fourth generation of Apple Watch focuses primarily on health and better understand the unique each individual’s body responds to physical exercise. The latest generation of iPhone smartwatch upgrades over its predecessors by adopting a second electrical heart sensor along the improved and standard optical heart monitor sensor that can be spotted on top-end flagship smartwatches.

The implementation of two heart rate sensors on the Apple Watch 4 allows the device to maintain a constant track on the heartbeat rhythm. In the case of irregular rhythms, a condition known as arrhythmia, the watch will alert you of these irregularities that could be signs of a serious heart condition to take action and see a doctor. Another smart function that can save lives and that comes with every new Apple Watch is the fall detection feature. The smartwatch flagship of Apple uses the accelerometer and gyroscope to detect dangerous falls and automatically starts an emergency call. Your friends are also notified and your location is delivered to them as well.

The new Apple sports watch specializes in motivating and detecting almost every kind of physical activity. From yoga to running marathons to swimming – it tracks activity over time, displays health conditions, and motivates to take the athlete inside of us all into the bright light. It comes pre-loaded with several third-party apps that will remind you to exercise and keep up with healthy routines.

Apple Watch Series 4 brings significant upgrades over the Apple Watch 3 and continues its 4G and Nike+ editions. It has double the memory, 16GB of built-in storage capacity to host two times more songs and app installs. The processor and other sensors are also two times faster and more accurate than the ones packed by the previous generation of the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3 smart watch

If your smartphone of choice happens to be an iPhone, no other watch can interact as good with it as the Apple Watch Series 3. Note that Apple Watch 3 does not connect to other mobile phones but iPhone, so, if you’re not planning to retire your Android, getting yourself an Apple Watch might not be the wisest decision you’ve made.

The Apple Watch 3 is a standalone smartwatch with its pre-installed GPS and altimeter. The watch also records your heart beats, it monitors and gives a summary at the end for various indoor and outdoor activities. Apple Watch Series 3 is one of the best smartwatches for swimming and diving, it resists water pressure and remains waterproof for up to 50 meters of water.

The watch comes with a workout app and along with its sensors, it tracks speed, distance, and route for outdoor activities. The featured altimeter records elevation, this helps hikers and bikers get a better measurement of their sport. It also has auto-sets for laps of all sports while always charting your progress, routes, and location on a map. All this, while you’re listening to your favorite songs from your Apple Music playlists through your favorite Bluetooth earbuds for motivation and enjoyment.

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Best for Android: Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch hands on review

Excluding Apple watches, almost every other option will be compatible with Android devices. However, few are those that can go head to head with the Samsung Galaxy Watch in the race for becoming the top Android watch.

The Galaxy Watch inherits the beautiful design from the previous Gear S3 watch and it doesn’t really appear to have undergone through drastic design adjustments. It is flashy, smart, and retains a classic outlook.

Samsung’s round smartwatch is an outstanding all-around sport tracking wearable. It now includes water sports due to the certification of 5ATM water resistance. The watch houses GPS, a heart rate monitor, and even cellular capabilities. Activity reports are generated on the watch face and as well as the Samsung Health app on either an iPhone or any Android mobile.

The functional rotating crown makes for an elegant method of switching amongst different sports to start tracking. Rotating the crown will trigger the device to show the names of the sport on the screen from where you can select the right one for the wearable to start storing records.

Samsung added some tiny upgrades over the Gear S3. For instance, the new Galaxy Watch is sealed from the water and it can go for several days with a single charge. But, it is still limited to only 4GB of storage capacity and doesn’t add significant improvements over the previous generation. Specifically when you take a look at how drastically better Apple’s flagship is versus its previous editions. Finally, if you don’t want to pay a hefty price for a top-quality smartwatch, Samsung offers a low-cost smartwatch edition of this smart-wear, the Galaxy Watch Active.

Best for multisports: Huawei Watch 2 Sport

Huawei Watch 2 Sport

If you have an Android smartphone and need a decent smart wristwatch to track activities and sports in general, there are few options that are on the same page with Sport edition of Huawei Watch 2.

With the Huawei Watch 2 Sport, you will not only be having a record of your daily activities and sports but also receive workout coaching for various sports, real-time GPS guidance and mapping, and continues heart rate monitoring. It is one of those gadgets you want to have with you when going for a walk or when cycling. The 4G edition of this watch grants to it standalone capabilities and it can undertake crucial tasks that your phone usually covers. There’s an IP68 certification for the timepiece, it means that will continue to work even when wet.

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Best for running: Garmin Fenix 5

Garmin Fenix 5 smartwatch for running

Garmin comes with a set of smartwatches for running, and Garmin Fenix 5 is one of the best on its collection and one of the best running watchers overall. The Fenix 5 watch by Garmin has advanced performance monitoring features that go beyond recording speed, distance, and an estimate on calorie burn. Stuff you won’t be finding on any random wristwatch.

This watch registers the amount of time you spend on the ground during each step when running, measures your symmetry by monitoring the balance between your left and right foot-ground contact time, counts how many steps you take with both feet per minute while running, the distance you travel with each left and right step, documents the amount of bounce your each step receives, and records bounce in your stride that’s shown in percentage. It also has professional aid to your runs by giving you tools normally handed to professional athletes with its downloadable Running Power app. The later is an outstanding guidance and power calculation tool for cyclists, it takes into account multiple athletic factors to provide an accurate exercise load calculation.

Although features for running make this watch stand out in the crowd, it has quite impressive features and supports regarding sports in general. It is waterproof and suitable not only for use in wet conditions but also for swimming and diving. It has GPS and Glonass sensors for additional geo-mapping accuracies and it can connect with both Android and iOS phones.

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Best for cycling: Suunto 9

Suunto 9 Watch

Suunto has its own collection of impressive hi-end activity gadgets and smartwatches. One of the best watches for cycling you can find around is the brand new Suunto 9 watch. The watch is built for durability and function, it is waterproof and specializes to track all types of sports. Suunto’s wrist gadget is highly fashionable and is an excellent women’s smartwatch choice too.

Cyclists that choose to make the Suunto 9 the activity tracking and guiding watch of their choice can see the cycling speed in real time, offers interval guidance that displays power, speed, and heart rate and for advanced and more accurate reporting it can sync data from bike POD and bike power meters.

Suunto 9 is a top-end smartwatch with its own equipment of GPS navigation and charts reports for over than 80 different sports. You can take this watch to the mountains to ski, to the hills to hike, on the road to run and underwater when diving. A solid premium smartwatch to help make your adventures more enjoyable.

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 Best for hiking: TomTom Adventurer

TomTom Adventurer smartwatch

TomTom Adventurer is a smartwatch built to suit best to explorers and hikers. This watch has a built-in GPS and barometer for real-time location and it helps hikers to not get lost when exploring new territories by automatically recording trails and allowing every new trail to be stored on the watch. It charts trails and provides information about distance and always shows live location and direction.

Although hiking features are what make this watch stand out, it makes a good gadget for outdoor activities in general. It can track a large variety of outdoor sports besides hiking, such as skiing, cycling, and swimming. It also guides with workouts and has 50 different workout modes, helps you discover how fit you really are for physical activities, tracks your heart rate, and although may not have the most rugged outlook, it is quite rough. TomTom Adventurer watch will remain waterproof for up to a depth of 40 meters of water, this is a watch you can wear when swimming or diving without worrying of having it broken.

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Best rugged for outdoor: Casio WSD F-20

Casio WSD F20 smartwatch

Casio WSD F20 is a next-level of a rugged smartwatch, its durability features meet the United States military requirements. This rugged outdoors smartwatch can withstand extreme temperatures, water pressure, shock, and scratch. A perfect guidance device to have on the wrist for lovers of extreme sports.

This Pro Trek durable smartwatch has a built-in GPS that detects location by gathering data from US GPS, Russian Glonass, and Japanese “MICHIBIKI” QZSS satellites. Your current location is shown on full-color maps with the support of offline map usage. It supports data syncing with both Android and iOS and doesn’t discriminate between sports and activities, you can take it to the sea and you can take it to the mountain.

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Best for swimming: Garmin Quatix 5

Grmin Quatix 5 Sapphire smartwatch for swimming

Garmin Quatix 5 is a smartwatch specifically designed water sports. The watch is not great just for swimming but it’s an efficient gadget to have when boating, kayaking or fishing. The watch is compatible and connects to Garmin-manufactured chartplotters and other devices to offer autopilot control, remote waypoint marking, data streaming, and assists with sail racing.

Garmin Quatix 5 Sapphire watch has an embedded GPS sensor of its own and a heart rate monitoring sensor. It connects to StereoActive products, automatically uploads your activities on Garmin Connect fitness community, and has an outstanding battery life, up to two weeks in smartwatch mode.

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Best for snow sports: Suunto Ambit3 Peak

Suunto Ambit3 Peak smartwatch

If you’re going to climb up to the summit, you’ll need a reliable companion that you can trust. Such a thing is the Suunto Ambit3, a smartwatch specifically designed to provide the best assistance and navigation guidance at high altitudes.

The watch helps climbers, skiers, snowboarders and mountaineer adventurers deal with weather unpredictability and navigation. The support of topographic mapping gives you in-depth detail about the relief of the surrounding area. The Suunto Ambite watch also uses a barometer to show weather changes and storm alerts. It tells elevation, sunrise and sunset and remaining daylight hours. You can as well view routes in a map, view insights of your activities and heart rate and use the watch to monitor any sport or physical activity you want. It’s also waterproof and dust resistant.

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Best for diving: Garmin Descent MK1

Garmin Descent MK1 smartwatch for diving and water sports

There are quite a few smartwatches that you can take underwater. But all of them are not even comparable to the do-it-all dive beast by Garmin, the Descent MK1 smartwatch. Whilst might be an expensive wearable device priced at above a grand, but if you are into diving, no other marine watch option can stand on its way.

This dive computer smartwatch is made to assist in divers that dive with or without a tank. It can guide and provide diving monitoring for diving in saltwater and freshwater, scuba diving and deep diving. Once submerged, the watch makes use of the Bühlmann ZHL-16c algorithm to tell if you’re staying conform to dive limits. It offers GPS navigation and color mapping, including Topo maps for you to easily mark dive entries and exit points, supports six different gas mixes to monitor your safety and alerts you when you reach critical points. There’s a wrist-based heart rate monitor and the ability to share and review up to 200 last dives with Garmin Connect.

The watch stands at the top of its competition. It has a remarkable battery life that will last whole day in GPS and smartwatch mode, and it’s one of the best (if not the best) multisport smartwatches your money can buy. Its features are not limited only to water activities, quite the contrary.

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Best for golfing: Garmin Approach S60

Garmin Approach S60 smartwatch for golfing

Golf is one of the world’s hardest sports to learn and it takes quite of time practicing before you’re able to enjoy a game. Everyone that’s getting into golf will appreciate having an assistant and professionals will also not step aside from having detailed reports about their every shot and play. Smartwatches are well known for their guidance on sports and one of the best gadgets you can get to learn golf is the Garmin Approach S60 smartwatch.

The Approach S60 packs a mind-boggling of over than 40,000 different golf courses that will help you learn how to get good at golf. The watch also tracks your shots and gives you details about distance to anywhere you touch on the map and also estimates the distance to your target before each shot. With this watch having your back, learning golf will not be a frustrating experience. Besides, you can also use the watch for tracking any kind of sport and measure your heart rate at any time.

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