Best Fitness Watch Without Smartphone

By | May 31, 2022

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More singularly focused than smartwatches, dedicated fitness trackers are wearable devices that can help yous move more, sleep better, and improve your overall health. Here’south what yous demand to know to pick the right ane for you, as well as the all-time fitness trackers nosotros’ve tested.

There’s never been a better selection of fettle trackers, but with pick comes confusion. Which tracker has the features that are correct for you and the activities you do? Hither are some tips and recommendations for choosing the best tracker for your needs.

How to Get Started Tracking Your Fitness

If y’all want to requite fettle tracking a try (but without a clothing), offset by using a mobile app that counts your steps. This method requires little to no investment and could be of interest if you lot’re a beginner. Our acme recommendation for people just getting started with exercise is Map My Fitness. Information technology has hundreds of activities you lot can track, from vacuuming to rock climbing.

If you run or bicycle, we recommend tracking your runs or rides with an app before going whole-hog and splurging on a tracker. Why? With some trackers, you however demand to carry your phone to become accurate pacing, altitude, and mapping, so you’ll want to know before you make a buy if you’re OK with carrying your phone, or if y’all’d prefer a tracker with built-in GPS so you don’t have to. A few apps we recommend are Runkeeper (for running), Cyclemeter (for bicycling), and Strava (for both running and cycling).

How Much Should You Spend on a Fitness Tracker?

Fitness trackers can range from $25 to $400 or more than. Some less expensive trackers lack a display, so you can’t run into how many steps y’all’ve taken unless you lot look at your smartphone.

More expensive trackers usually include built-in optical centre rate monitors and GPS, and often, these features are tailored toward athletes and exercise enthusiasts. Don’t get suckered into buying an expensive tracker if your primary activity is walking. If you walk and don’t practise much else, there are slap-up options in the $25 to $99 range. If you work out a lot and want ample fitness-tracking options, we recommend spending at least $99, equally that’s the cost point where yous’ll start to meet the features that are useful to very active users.

With virtually fitness trackers, you pay one lump sum for the device, and so get all or most of its accompanying software features for free. The Whoop Strap has a different pricing model. Whoop offers its basic black wristband for free with the purchase of a membership, which gives you access to its app. Whoop justifies its ongoing membership fees through regular app updates, offering timely features similar COVID-xix tracking.

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Amazon has taken a similar arroyo with its Halo View wristband. The company charges $79.99 for the tracker itself, and $3.99 per month (after a one-year trial) to use well-nigh of its features.

Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Accuse 5 (Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)

Cull Your Tracker Manner

I important question to ask yourself before choosing a fitness tracker is the type of form factor you want. Most these days are worn on the wrist, though you tin get clip-ons, and fitness-tracking rings. Bracelets and watches are hard to lose. Clip-ons can fall off or go thrown into the wash.

That said, bracelets and watches can make it the way when typing on a computer or sleeping, for instance. If you’re bothered past having something on your wrist, you’re probably amend off with a clip-on, although this style isn’t nearly every bit popular as it used to be. If you’re interested in this pick, Fitbit sells a clip(Opens in a new window)
for the affordable Inspire 2.

The Oura Ring, meanwhile, brings health tracking to your fingers. The Oura’southward ability to track workouts is pretty basic compared with a wrist-worn model, but it offers comprehensive sleep tracking and is more comfortable to wear to bed than a scout or wristband, making it an intriguing alternative.

There are also trackers for children, like the Fitbit Ace ii. And don’t forget almost Fido. That’south right, there are even trackers out there specifically for pets.

The Best Fitness Trackers for Monitoring Your Eye Rate

Training intelligently means using heart rate information to guide your workouts. Sometimes y’all might desire to keep your eye rate relatively depression to fire fatty or pace yourself for a longer workout, whereas other times y’all want to push it college for different health benefits, like building stamina.

Garmin Lily

Garmin Lily (Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)

Chest straps are slightly more accurate than wrist-based wearables, because they’re worn closer to the centre and measure out its activity directly. In comparison, the optical centre rate sensors found in wrist-based fitness trackers summate your heart rate by shining light into your skin and measuring blood flow. So for the most precise heart rate readings, consider a dedicated chest strap. Moreover, not all smart dwelling gym machines play nice with fitness trackers, but most back up chest straps like the excellent Polar H10.

The main benefit of a wrist-based heart rate tracker is that you can comfortably habiliment information technology all day long. They’re more convenient than chest straps, and give you a picture of your heart rate 24/7.

Meanwhile, if y’all’re simply interested in knowing your resting heart rate, y’all don’t necessarily need a centre charge per unit-tracking device to find it. Many smartphone apps permit you have your centre rate in about 15 seconds using your phone’s camera.

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For more, meet the all-time heart rate monitors.

The Best Fettle Trackers for Sleep

Many fitness trackers record your sleep. When they do, they generally watch for move using a three-axis accelerometer to a more sensitive degree than they do during the solar day. Almost devices offer graphs in their companion app showing the elapsing of your low-cal, deep, and REM slumber. Some also track your overnight respiration (the number of breaths you take per minute), a feature Apple tree added to its wearables every bit part of watchOS 8. The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 can even track your snoring.

Sleep data from Polar Ignite 2

Sleep data from the Polar Ignite 2

There are also dedicated slumber trackers out there that attach to your mattress, but nosotros haven’t found them to offer an appreciable reward over wrist-based trackers. And wearable trackers can do a lot more than simply track your residue. But if you don’t similar the thought of wearing something on your wrist to bed and demand a new mattress, you can always bound for the Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed. The 2nd-generation Nest Hub is some other option; it uses a motion sensor to track your sleep and respiration.

The Best Sport-Specific Fitness Trackers

Swimmers volition want a waterproof tracker, but keep in mind that non all h2o-safe trackers actually track swimming. Runners will probably want a watch that shows time, distance, footstep, and lap time, at the very least. If you want expert accuracy for those metrics without having to carry a smartphone, you need a runner’s watch with congenital-in GPS—see our picks for the best fitness trackers for running.

Image of the Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4 (Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)

Also consider the display. If you want to see your stats at all times, or just apply your tracker as a wristwatch, look for one with an always-on display. How you control the tracker is also of import. If you like to run in the common cold while wearing gloves, you may want to steer clear of devices that merely accept touch-enabled displays.

Cyclists take even more considerations. There’s a difference between tracking how many miles you pedal and calories you lot burn versus monitoring your power and cadency. If all yous want is the former, you tin can find a few fitness trackers that support bicycling as an activity. More than serious cyclists volition want a device that tin pair with additional bike equipment, like a cadency sensor, and should wait at devices from sport-specific companies, like Garmin and Polar.

The Fitness App Experience

A fitness tracker’south app matters. Whether on your phone or on the spider web, the app is admittedly vital because it is where y’all brand sense of the information the tracker collects. Fitbit has 1 of the best apps and websites we’ve tested. It lets you record all kinds of information, such as your weight, menstrual cycles, calories and water consumed, and stress level.

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Image of Fitbit data

Fitbit app

If you desire total body analysis, await for a system that incorporates a smart bath scale. The Fitbit Aria 2 sends your weight straight to your account, so yous tin’t crook the system by entering a lower number. The QardioBase 2 is some other top smart scale, peculiarly for pregnant women.

Fitness Trackers vs. Smartwatches

About fitness trackers have some smartwatch functionality, and about smartwatches take fettle features, too. The Fitbit Versa 3 comes close to blending both worlds, but at the moment it however lags far behind the Apple tree Picket in terms of third-political party app support.

Image of the Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series vii (Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)

The Apple Watch Series 7 and the Samsung Milky way Watch4 identify more than of an emphasis on health and fitness tracking than any other smartwatches nosotros’ve seen. They tin can calculate your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) level, take an electrocardiogram (ECG), automatically observe workouts, and track your sleep. The Apple Watch SE lacks an always-on display and a couple of avant-garde health sensors from the Series seven, but otherwise delivers the same winning app, fettle, and safety features for $120 less.

For a detailed comparison of all the available Apple tree Watches, see our story on which Apple tree Sentry you should buy. And for additional recommendations in this category, encounter our listing of the all-time smartwatches.

Other Options

With so many skillful fitness trackers on the marketplace and promising ones on the horizon, it’southward hard to contain them all in just one list. We’ve limited our picks here to trackers that accept scored iv stars or higher, but there are lots of other very good options out there that might exist right for you. We update this article ofttimes, and then make sure to check dorsum for our latest recommendations. And for the very latest reviews, encounter our fettle tracker product guide.

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Best Fitness Watch Without Smartphone