This Will Help You Find The Smart Watch You’ll Love (And Actually Use)


Which smart watch is for you? We’ve rounded up all the latest launches (and their features) so you can compare for yourself.

fitness smart watch, woman running and getting her performance analyzedphoto credit: shutterstock

 

Smart watch game-changers

If your body is what you eat, then your fitness is what you wear. And to get fitter, faster, stronger, leaner, or whatever your physical goals may be, fitness trackers can help you strategically get there. But the next wave of fitness technology is the smart watch. But the market seems saturated with watches with big promises. So how do you choose the one that is right for you?

Check out our picks. We list the features and app capabilities, as well as the info you need, like how long between charges, and more. Check off the features that matter to you most to find the smart watch that is best suited for you and your fitness goals.

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photo credit: geoffrey ross

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS)

$429 at apple.ca

Generation:
This is the third generation, with a 70 per cent faster dual-core processor and new wireless chip.

Battery life:
The built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to 18 hours.

Fitness features:
• Intelligent Activity: This smart watch tracks indoor and outdoor activities, including swimming and HIIT workouts, as well as daily movement goals, as well as sleep, nutrition, health management and more. The Workout app gives custom workouts and auto-sets for pool swims. GymKit connects the smart watch to cardio equipment for more activity data. This smart watch also offers intelligent coaching features, water resistance for 50 meters and a new barometric altimeter that measures relative elevation. It’s fitting for those who are getting into shape and the elite athlete.
• Mindfulness: It also comes pre-loaded with the Breathe App, so you can practice mindfulness anytime.

Lifestyle features:
• Siri: This interactive feature works exactly like it does with your phone on the smart watch, connecting you instantly to other apps or information online.
• Apple Pay: You can pay with a scan of the watch face.
Music streaming: Not only do you have access to the music you store on your phone, you can also live stream it. (We love the workout music lists.)
• Apple Watch Series 3 + Cellular: This smart watch acts as an extension of your phone with call and texting capabilities. (It’s a different model than the one shown above and sells for $519 at apple.ca.)

App functions:
You can pretty much download any apps you have on your iPhone onto your smart watch. But it also comes pre-loaded with apps, including the Breathe app as discussed above. Another good one: The Heart Rate app. It tracks heart rate during rest, workouts, recovery, walking and Breathe sessions. You can also set it to send notifications for when your heart rate is elevated above a specific threshold while inactive.

Style offerings:
You can buy other straps (like the strap shown above), as well as change the face of the smart watch in your settings.

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photo credit: epson

Epson ProSense 307

$249.99 at amazon.ca

Generation:
First generation.

Battery life:
You have up to 20 hours with GPS between charges.

Fitness features:
• RouteSense GPS: This built-in GPS tracks your route, distance, pace and more.
• Multi-sport tracker apps: Data can be collected for running, cycling, swimming and indoor workouts.
• CardioSense HR: This wrist-based heart rate monitor tracks heart rate.
• Advanced training features: You can add your VO2max estimate, recovery time and training effect metrics, along with interval training, workout alerts and waypoint navigation.
• Sport Modes: Collect data for different types of fitness, including walking, treadmill work, triathlon training, indoor biking and outdoor running.

Lifestyle features:
• Smart notifications: Receive app alerts on your smart watch.
• Music control: Adjust your playlist
• Epson View App: The smart watch syncs with your phone to automatically upload your data to the Epson View App on your phone. This will help customize the data according to your goals and settings, including workout screens

App functions:
No external apps to download onto the smart watch at this time. But the smart watch comes with apps to track running, swimming, cycling and daily activities, which will sync with the Epson phone app for analysis and goal tracking.

Style offerings:
It is available with a black, blue or white band.

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fitness smart watch, Fitbit Ionicphoto credit: fitbit

Fitbit Ionic

$399.95 at fitbit.com

Generation:
First generation.

Battery life:
You get five or more days and up to 10 hours when using GPS, between charges. Of course, that all depends on how much you use it with apps, too.

Fitness features:
• Dynamic Personal Coach: On-screen workouts that adapt based on your feedback
• Music: Store and play 300-plus songs. Available in 2018, Deezer is a personal streaming music service for Ionic users anywhere.
• GPS: Real-time pace and distance on display during outdoor runs and rides.
• PurePulse Heart Rate: Continuous, automatic heart rate tracking and real-time heart rate zones.
• Water-resistant and swim data tracker: Can be worn in the pool or rain. It tracks laps, duration and calories burned during swim workouts.
• All-day activity tracker: It counts your steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and hourly activity.
• Sleep data: Automatically tracks time spent in light, deep and R.E.M. sleep and gives personalized insights.
• Multi-sport & SmartTrack: Use workout modes for real-time stats on screen or automatically track exercise with SmartTrack.

Lifestyle features:
• Makes payments: Use the Ionic’s chip to access credit cards to pay on-the-go. Also, with Fitbit Pay you can choose which credit or debit card you want to pay with, right from your wrist. (The list of partnering banks is evolving. Check out fitbit.com, to see if your bank can be accessbile from this smart watch.)
• Wireless syncing: Automatically sync stats to more than 200 leading iOS, Android and Windows devices.

App functions:
The downloadable apps library is growing. Here are a few of our favourites: The New York Times, Uber, Yelp, Tennis, Think Fast and more.

Style offerings:
You can personalize your smart watch by choosing from more than 100 digital clock faces (including a Mood Log face to track your mood). You can also choose different bezels (smoke grey, silver grey and burnt orange), as well as buy other straps.

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fitness smart watch Michael Kors Sofiephoto credit: michael kors

Michael Kors Access Sofie

$465 at michaelkors.ca

Generation:
Second generation, with functionality from Android Wear 2.0

Battery life:
You have 24 hours between charges, depending on usage.

Fitness features:
Activity tracking with built-in fitness tracking through Google Fit, you can view calories burned, steps and distance traveled, so you can see your progress with track runs, bike rides and strength training (e.g., pull-ups and push-ups).

Lifestyle features:
• Google Assistant: Create reminders (calendar notifications like birthdays or workouts), browse the internet (find out about weather, get directions and more), talk to third-party products like Nest or simply have a question answered.
• Notifications: Your smart watch will tell you when you have incomings calls, texts and other smartphone alerts.

App functions:
You can download apps and watch faces from the The Google Play Store. It also works with the Android Wear App on an Android smartphone. It is also compatible with iPhones using your phone’s browser. You can also use the Google Play Music App to stream music when your smart watch is connected to your phone or WiFi.

Style offerings:
You can customize your display face and set two faces for day and night modes. You can also use My Social to link to your Instagram or Facebook account and set a personal post photo as a watch face. You also have access to download up to 27 million different watch faces through third party watch face apps. You also have the option of interchangeable straps made of silicone, leather and embossed lizard and python and mesh metal.

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fitness smart watch polar m200photo credit: polar

Polar M200

$189.99 at polar.com

Generation:
First generation.

Battery life:
You have up to six days (with 24/7 activity tracking plus one hour per day of of training with GPS and optical heart rate, without smart notifications)

Fitness features:
• Advanced GPS: The built-in GPS keeps track of pace, distance and altitude.
• Polar Optical Heart Rate Sensor: Track heart rate data.
• Running: Train for a running event. You can choose from four different goals – 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon – to get a training plan that fits your fitness level and goals.
• Training benefit: Delivers motivating feedback immediately after training describing the effect of the session.

Lifestyle features:
Smart Notifications: Get notifications from your phone directly on the screen of your smart watch.

App functions:
No external apps, but it does sync with your phone so you can analyze your data with the Polar Flow app.

Style offerings:
You have five choices for wristbands: Black, white, yellow, blue or red.

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fitness smart watch Samsung Gear Sport bluephoto credit: samsung

Samsung Gear Sport

$399.99 at samsung.com

Generation:
First generation.

Battery life:
The 300 mAh battery lasts three to four days on a single charge.

Fitness features:
The Gear Sport is loaded with trackers and sensors, including an Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor and Heart Rate Sensor, tracking calories burned, steps, pace, and more. It also offers tips and insights based on your data. The smart watch is compatible with 50 fitness programs that are viewed from your phone. It is also water resistant for up to 50 metres, so it can track your swim data (with the  Speedo On app). It also detects when you are inactive to remind you to stretch or move.

Lifestyle features:
You can get notifications from your phone for emails, messages, calls, weather, as well as adjust the controls for your music player, settings, calendar reminders, news briefing, the Find My Phone app and more. Also noteworthy, this smart watch is also compatible with other Samsung products, from headphones, smartphone, television and other smart appliances.

App functions:
The smart watch does not enable app downloads, but you can access compatible apps on your phone by touching the face of the watch or turning the bezel. It is compatible with Under Armour Record, MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun, Endomondo and more.

Style offerings:
This smart watch comes in blue and black. But the faces and straps are interchangeable.

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fitness smart watch Swatch PetroZero2photo credit: swatch

Swatch Unisex PetroZero2

$170 at swatch.ca

Generation:
Second generation. Just launched for winter 2017 as part of Swatch’s Color Studio collection.

Battery life:
The battery should last a year to a year and a half, and it is covered under a two-year warranty and battery replacement is free.

Fitness features:
This water-resistant smart watch has a step tracker (which claps an applause when you achieve your step goal), as well as a calories-burned counter.

Lifestyle features:
The black LCD is a fully functional touch-screen. And this smart watch uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone to sync data.

App functions:
No external apps available to download. But it does sync via Bluetooth to download your fitness data, including personal stats of calories burned, activity level, etc. You can also use the digital coach in the app. You also well as link to the Touch online community.

Style offerings:
This smart watch is available in blue and black.

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fitness smart watch Timex IQ Movelisa hannam

Timex IQ+ Move

$260 at timex.ca

Generation:
Second generation, after the Metropolitan+.

Battery life:
The battery should last for approximately one year. No need to charge.

Fitness features:
The outer ring tracks steps or distance. The sub-dial shows how close (by per cent) you are to your daily goal. It also tracks calories burned and sleep data.

Lifestyle features:
This fitness smart watch is an analog watch with a modern twist. It syncs with your phone throughout the day to update the time, so you don’t have to set it.

App functions:
You can’t download apps on it, but it does sync with the Timex Connected App on your iPhone or Android phone for detailed activity tracking (like said above). View activity over time including steps, distance, calories burned and sleep data.

Style offerings:
You can customize your smart watch with a low-lead brass case, with genuine leather or silicone straps.

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fitness smart watch WellBe 1.5photo credit: WellBe

WellBe 1.5

$199 at wellbe.com

Generation:
1.5. The first model was released in January 2017, and this one was released in October 2017.

Battery life:
You have between 24 and 76 hours between charges, depending on the Bluetooth connections per day.

Fitness features:
This wearable measures your stress and gives you alerts, helping you become more aware of your triggers and when you need to meditate, slow down, drink water, listen to calming music, do focused breathing and more.

Lifestyle features:
No external apps, but you can use the app on your phone as a companion to this smart for wellbeing and mindfulness. It has five main features, including Check (stress levels according to heart rate), Stat (the data), Learn (analysis of your stress), Relax (calming techniques) and Prevent (recognizing your triggers) to lead a more calming lifestyle.

Style offerings:
You have your choice of three bands: white or black leather, or natural cork.

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