The Vantage M is a running watch…for, ahem, runners. The only downside of the Vantage M is the lack of audible alerts, although can just about here the vibration alert instead. You would have thought that this might cover many sports watches but in fact, you would be wrong. You might assume that more expensive watches are more accurate; again you would be wrong. Optical heart rate is mostly inaccurate, much of the time.
Just like its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 5 comes in a choice of 40mm and 44mm case sizes. The big new feature for the Series 5 is the always-on display.
You no longer have to raise your wrist to bring the screen to life. The Apple Watch Series 5 runs WatchOS 6 which brings a variety of new apps, a dedicated app store to help you find them, and some new, fully customizable watch faces to take advantage of that always-on display.
The case is swim-proof, and the prebuilt workout plans include cycling, swimming, yoga, hiking, and more. All this combines to make the Apple Watch a comprehensive, easy-to-use, and highly accessible fitness tracker, with plenty of motivational alerts to keep you going.
A new S5 processor powers the Series 5 watch for super-smooth performance and greater efficiency than the S4. Opt for the cellular version and you can leave your iPhone at home and make on-the-wrist calls, check email, or chat with Siri.
You will have to pay extra through your carrier to have 4G LTE for calls and data, but a sensible array of apps means the Apple Watch really can work as an iPhone replacement, if only for a short time. The quoted 18 hours of use is about right, although it can be stretched out for a few more hours with limited use, plus there is a power-saving mode that turns everything off except the time.
It is also quite expensive, especially if you opt for a more durable case material and cellular support. The advice we gave for the Series 3 still stands. We recommend one of the Sport Loop straps, and do think the space grey model looks best. There are plenty of great third-party straps available, too.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in two sizes, with a 40mm or 44mm case and a 1.
It has 4GB of internal storage space for music, supports Spotify music playlists, and can connect to Bluetooth headphones so you can work out without your phone.
On the downside, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is not as focused or user-friendly as the Apple Watch Series 5, but it is quite a bit cheaper. Why we picked the Misfit Vapor X The Misfit Vapor X has a Snapdragon Wear inside, which is essential because it offers a better battery life and improved performance over older chips.
There are five different color options to choose from, some of which come with matching bands. The two additional buttons can be customized to trigger whatever you like.
The 1. The Misfit Vapor X can be paired with an Android phone or an iPhone, though you will miss out on some features if you pair with an iPhone.
There are plenty of sensors to enable tracking and other features; it has GPS on board, an altimeter, a gyroscope, NFC, a small microphone, and a heart rate sensor. If you want to add, you can dip into the Play Store for apps. Unfortunately, Wear OS can still be frustrating at times and we were unimpressed with the strap quality of some of the options, but overall this is a very easy smartwatch to live with.
Our current pick of this growing range comes from Kate Spade, a brand that understands what makes a desirable tech product for women. The smartwatch has been engineered using the latest technology, so the profile is neat and slim, and therefore less intrusive than older smartwatches.
The screen measures 1. There are several different strap options, which emphasize the scallop design, and variations on the gold body color available. The Scallop stands out due to several cool software features, with a favorite being a way to customize the watch face according to the colors of your outfit, which is called into action using the button beneath the crown.
It is also water resistant and can track your swimming, as well as your other workout sessions. Why did we pick the Ticwatch E2, instead of a hybrid watch? The price changes depending on the type of strap you select, while the features remain the same. Why we picked the Garmin Forerunner Fitness bands will track your exercise sessions and a whole lot more, but the designs are often best for the gym and not everyday wear.
If you want smartwatch looks without sacrificing the right fitness tracking features, the Garmin Forerunner is the watch for you. It looks like a watch, not a fitness band, yet still has all the necessary sensors and hardware to keep up with an active lifestyle.
At 47mm, it is quite large but weighs a manageable 50 grams. Information is displayed on the 1. The Garmin Forerunner will also track your sleep, monitor your stress, and accurately track runs via GPS.
Battery life is stellar — it can go up to two weeks between charges.
One last feature that makes training more fun is the space for up to 1, music tracks and Bluetooth support to enable you to pair headphones. There has to be a catch here somewhere, right? Why we picked the Coros Apex There was a time when smartwatches lacked water resistance, but that time has well and truly gone, as more and more smartwatches can cope with the wet stuff.
We recommend the Coros Apex for swimmers. It comes in a 42mm size with a 1. The screens are bright and sharp enough to give you the latest data on your training session.
The design is clean and modern, with a single button and a digital crown. While the activities may be limited there are plenty of metrics on show, enabling you to check your pace, distance, heart rate, elevation, and more in real-time by switching between the five data screens.
You can pick pool size when going for a swim and get distance alerts and the physical button makes it easy to use in the pool. The Coros Apex can also track sleep and connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth LE, where you can dig a little deeper into your data.
Perhaps the crowning glory of the Coros Apex is the near monthlong battery life. In terms of cons, it has a fairly limited feature set and offers no web-based analysis.
But, ultimately, you will struggle to find a better swim tracking watch. Why we picked the Withings Steel HR Sport Smartwatches tend to look like pieces of technology, mostly because of the touchscreen, but what if you want a smartwatch that looks more like a traditional watch?
You want a hybrid smartwatch, which does away with the touchscreen but still includes smartphone connectivity for notifications and fitness tracking. The choice in this category is growing and evolving, and you can spend very little or an awful lot, depending on your preferences and the size of your wallet.
We think the Withings Steel HR Sport strikes a nice balance between style and substance with a classic analog watch face, and a 40mm, matte black, stainless steel casing with a single side button. It comes with a choice of silicone or leather bands or can be paired with any third-party 20mm band you like.
It measures heart rate, step count, calories burned, and more. It will prod you about your fitness goals and also tracks your sleep, giving you a report on the quality. Up to 25 days of battery life rounds out a great value package.
The only doubts we have are about the performance analysis and the tiny display. If you are willing to spend a lot more for a Swiss timepiece and import, then the Alpina AlpinerX deserves your consideration.