Like your numbers and figures? Monitor your health and activity effortlessly with these smartwatches and fitness bands – we put 4 to the test and see how well they measure up to the demands of daily life.
A sleek fitness band that’s equipped with a colour touchscreen, a single side button and changeable wristbands. The A370 is Polar’s first unit to offer continuous heart rate tracking but one of its most unique qualities is its advanced sleep metrics. It offers an in-depth insight into your sleep quality, differentiating between ‘bed time’ and actual sleep time, along with any sleep interruptions and provides feedback on ways to achieve better sleep. Within the training function, there are various pre-set sport types such as ‘Group Exercises’ and ‘Running’ but you can customise your own exercise profiles on the app and load them into the unit.
The verdict A slim and sporty fitness tracker that’s relatively straightforward to set up and use. Best for the casual gym-goer.
The most affordable of the lot, the Actxa Spur is the training wheels’ equivalent of a fitness band. Actxa first produced the Stride as a free step counter for the Health Promotion Board and the Spur is its jazzed-up, upgraded version. It supports heart rate monitoring through six heart zones: Relax, Warm Up, Fat Burn, Cardio, Intense and Max, and shows you the duration spent in each zone in a handy coloured chart on the app. While you can’t swim with it, it’s able to withstand sweat and lasts up to 10 days in between charges.
The verdict An entry-level, easy-to-use activity tracker for basic day-to-day tracking. Best for the tech-adverse lot.
Apple Watch Series 3
The third iteration of the Apple Watch takes the best features of the Series 2 and plays them up – it straddles the line between smartwatch and phone, especially the recently launched version with both built-in GPS and cellular service. It comes with all the notifications functions you need, altimetre, 50m water resistance and allows you to talk to Siri too. Of course, you have full access to the app store which is an unbeatable quality.
The verdict An all-round smartwatch that gives you on-the-go connectivity. Best for busy folks.
Fitbit Ionic is the brand’s first foray into fitness smartwatches – it allows you to make payment with your pre-saved credit card and pops notifications of your fancy. There are a handful of apps to tap into, including Strava and the Weather app, but nothing to shout about. Its fitness tracking functions, though, are impressive – steps, distance, heart rate and quick access to workout modes are all neatly visualised in the app. There’s also a nifty built-in Relax function that reminds you to rest and meditate.
THE VERDICT A lightweight smartwatch that’s better as a fitness tracker than as a smartwatch. Best for the sporty crowd and zen-seeker.