In the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) report, wearable shipments are up 10.3%, mostly due to increased smartwatch purchases (up 60%, while basic wearables dropped 1%). With companies like Apple® continuing to expand the capabilities of smartwatches, it’s easy to understand their popularity. Soon we may not need a phone anymore, replacing it with only a smartwatch.
If that much tech on your wrist sounds a bit intimidating, there are simpler options that still provide a lot of helpful health information. Simply knowing how many steps you normally take can help you on your health journey. More details, such as heart rate and sleep monitoring, can assist in your fitness goals as well as your recovery.
The marketplace for wearable devices continues to grow, making it difficult to know which device is the right one for you. When making your decision, it’s often easiest to determine the features you want most. Below is a comparison of some of the most popular devices and features.
Moov™ Now – For those new to wearables, this is a terrific entry point. Or for those who simply want to track and improve their fitness, Moov Now is one of the best on the market. It allows you to track your steps and sleep every day. The great thing about this seemingly simple device is that is comes with coaching to guide your exercise, correcting form and tracking personal bests to keep you motivated and injury-free. Keep in mind, this model does not track heart rate.
Fitbit® Alta HR – Within its slim and sleek design, the Alta HR provides a lot of information. As a step-up from basic wearables, it tracks heart rate and sleep in addition to steps. Other features that make it a more than a simple wristband are call, text, and calendar alerts, as well as an alert to remind you to move throughout your day. With a 7-day battery life, it will likely need to be charged once a week.
Garmin Vivosmart® 3 – Staying in the simple wristband category, Vivosmart 3 continues to build on the expected features of a wearable. It provides the basic steps, calories, and sleep, as well as call, text, and event alerts. Features that set it apart include heart rate, VO2 max, and stress tracking, as well as a breathing timer to help with stress. Additionally, it is water resistant and safe for swimming. Expect to charge your Vivosmart every 4-5 days.
Samsung™ Gear Fit2 Pro – Gear Fit2 Pro might look like a simple wrist band, but it allows you to leave your phone behind and still listen to music with Spotify® or track your location with built-in GPS. Other advanced features include continuous heart rate monitoring and the ability to load a variety of apps, such as MyFitnessPal. Not only can you receive call, text, and app alerts, you can also respond right from your wrist. In addition to these features, your steps and distance will also be tracked. It is water resistant and the battery lasts approximately three days.
Nokia Steel HR – As stylish as this watch is, you may not even notice its smart features. It will keep you fashionable and healthy as it tracks steps, distance, calories, heart rate, and sleep, as well as delivering call, text, event alerts, and alarms. It is water resistant, so no need to remove it when your workout goes from the treadmill to the pool. It also contains an impressive 25-day battery.
Fossil® Gen 3 Q Venture – As a watchmaker, Fossil is less focused on fitness. The Q Venture is a stylish smartwatch connecting to your Apple® or Android™ device to send you call, text, and email alerts, control your music, and take you places with Google Maps™. In addition, it discreetly tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep. Some features that make it unique are keeping track of multiple time zones and an LED flashlight. With only a 1-day battery life, you will probably need to charge it daily.
Garmin Vivoactive® 3 – This GPS smartwatch offers a multitude of health and lifestyle features to keep you motivated while maintaining a stylish design. Vivoactive® features a 7-day battery, allowing you to track your steps, calories, sleep, heart rate, VO2 max, and stress seamlessly. With several preloaded apps, you can jump right in to a variety of exercises including yoga, running, or swimming. Syncing with your phone, it alerts you to incoming calls, texts, and other notifications. Its contactless payment system lets you quickly pay on the go.
Fitbit® Iconic – The Iconic includes all the features you love from Fitbit® and its accompanying app, as well as GPS, stored music, and personal coaching. Iconic also features contactless payment and notifications for calls, texts, and your favorite apps. You will want to charge it daily as it only has a 1-day battery life.
Samsung™ Gear S3 – Syncing with your phone, Gear S3 keeps you connected to all your friends answering calls and responding to texts without lifting your phone. Additionally, you can access your favorite apps and keep up-to-date with a simple glance at your wrist. Samsung Pay lets you pay for purchases on the go. If that wasn’t enough, this sleek watch will also keep track of your location, steps, heart rate, and sleep.
Apple Watch® Series 3 – Leave your phone behind without disconnecting! The latest Apple Watch® lets you make calls, send texts, stream music, and more without requiring your phone to be nearby. Built in GPS can let you know how far you go, as well as how to get back. Don’t forget: it can also track your steps, calories, sleep, workouts, and swims, all while monitoring your heart rate. With all these features, it just might be the smartest watch in the current market.
With all these choices, you're sure to find a wearable that works for you.
What about you? Have you found one that out-performs others or was more than you expected?