It’s a well-known fact that if you sports without tracking it, you don’t really sports at all.
Deciding to strap on a watch that’ll track your every move ought to be a no-brainer, then. That is, until you have to choose which of the veritable barrage of time-tellers best fits your wrist.
From off-road running buddies to multifunctional motivators, the world of sports watches is truly a jungle for the uninitiated.
Thankfully, we’ve run, jumped and swum our way through the field of fancy exercise friends so that you don’t have to.
Whether you’re a trail runner or a gym-goer, read on to find out just which sports watch is the one for you.
BEST FOR...SWIMPROVERS (APPLE WATCH S2)
Like a gruelling 1-0 win against an inferior minnow, Apple’s first smartwatch effort left fitness fans happy, but not blown away. Not so with its second attempt: the Apple Watch Series 2 is a seriously smart piece of kit – especially if you’re a swimmer.
Why? Because now it’s waterproof. More to the point, the Watch S2 happens to offer dedicated swim-tracking, with GPS-logging for open water crawls and accelerometer-measured strokes and lengths indoors. It’s astoundingly accurate.
Doing away with the chest-straps necessitated by many a watery wearable, Apple’s Series 2 Watch also retains the on-board heart rate tech that made the first iteration such a doozy. Pair all of that with the easy interface of Apple’s Workout app and you’re onto a truly wearable swimming winner.
BEST FOR...BEGINNER TRACKERS (FITBIT BLAZE)
Like the Hoover for your heart rate, Fitbit has become synonymous with fitness wearables – and the Blaze is its best effort yet. Pairing automatic activity tracking with straightforward data delivery, the Blaze is a boon for laid-back trackers.
Sure, the styling might be a little edgy for some, but there’s no denying how easy this everyday companion is to use: the Blaze does away with needless notifications in favour of one-tap monitoring, a vibrant display and a neon-on-black OS that’s a delight to swipe.
There’s no built-in GPS (though it can talk to satellites via your phone), but the offer of specific tracking for several exercises – which can be chosen through the partner app – together with reliable heart rate readings and five-day battery life, is hard to argue with.