Best Fitness Watches of 2017

LISTING ORDER >> The best & most popular fitness bands / activity trackers are listed first. All the fitness watches listed here provide the essential functionality to help keep you fit. Used properly they can promote a healthy / active lifestyle. Those with a heart rate monitor can provide feedback on the quality & intensity of your training. Most feature wrist based HR monitoring while others rely on the more traditional chest strap sensor (more accurate). The Mio Slice is the world's first fitness tracker to incorporate PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) a 24/7 activity tracker based on heart rate as well as movement.

Chest Strap or Strapless

The majority of new fitness trackers come with heart rate sensors fitted on the back of the watch - sometimes known as strapless heart rate monitors. These high power LED sensors read the pulse directly from the wrist. All the watches featured here provide a level of heart rate accuracy that has satisfied CardioCritic's high testing standards.

Smartphone Alternatives

It is possible to train with JUST a heart rate monitor belt and a suitable fitness APP running on your smartphone. If you generally train with your phone please consider the Polar H10 or BlueLeza Bluetooth heart rate sensors.

CardioCritic 5 Star Awards

In October 2017 Garmin released a new fitness tracker, one that all others will be judged on in 2018. The Garmin Vivosport gets our Best on Test award with built-in GPS and wrist based heart rate. The Best In Class is the Garmin Vivosmart 3. We have awarded our Highly Recommended to the Polar A370. The Best Value fitness tracker is the Letscom ID101HR

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Fitness Trackers reviewed by CardioCritic

  • Polar A370

    NEW - 2017 - NEW

    TOP 4 Fitness Tracker

    The Polar A360 was Polar's first fitness tracker with wrist based heart rate - no chest strap required. The Polar A370 takes the A360 and makes it even better. CardioCritic have given the Polar A370 a 5 Star Review. Steps, calories burnt, distance walked, smartphone notification, 24/7 heart rate and more. If you are in the market for a stylish, feature packed fitness tracker the A370 could be for you  ....

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  • Garmin Vivosmart 3

    NEW - 2017 - NEW

    TOP 4 Fitness Tracker

    If you've read the CardioCritic review of the Vivosmart HR it is clear we loved that fitness tracker, more probably than the GPS equipped Vivosmart HR+. So, what could Garmin add to the new Vivosmart 3 to make it better? They have changed the display technology to something that works better in bright daylight, it's been slimmed down, lost some weight and they've added WORKOUT feature for rep counting in the gym ....

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  • Garmin Vivosport

    NEW - 2017 - NEW

    The BEST on TEST

    If you want your fitness tracker to include a built-in GPS & wrist based heart rate monitoring the Garmin Vivosport should be at the top of your shopping list. We liked the Vivosmart HR+ plus but it had a couple of minor issues. The Garmin Vivosport addresses all those criticisms and comes packed with new features like VO2 max, Stress Tests, HR broadcast and much more. It's also an excellent watch for runners with auto-laps, personal records, pace alerts and heart rate zone control ...

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  • Garmin Vivoactive 3

    NEW - Oct 2017

    TOP 3 ALL SPORTS

    CardioCritic loved the functionality of the original Vivoactive and then the added convenience of wrist based heart rate found on the Vivoactive HR. Garmin have improved the Vivoactive 3 by radically changing it's style in to a cleaner ROUND case and adding some great new fitness features like 24/7 Stress Testing. The Vivoactive 3 is for anyone who takes their training seriously looking for a small to mid-sized smart & stylish GPS sports watch with off the wrist heart rate. Over 15 sports supported including running, cycling, yoga, pool swimming and SUP ...

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  • Mio Slice with PAI

    World First with PAI

    The world's first activity tracker to feature PAI. The Mio Slice utilises a Personal Activity Intelligence score as a measure of heart rate intensity throughout the day. Mio haven't realeased a new product since the Mio Fuse in 2014, the Mio Slice was worth waiting for. It illustrates Mio's innovative approach to fitness tracking  ...

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  • Fitbit Charge 2

    TOP 4 Fitness Tracker

    We all know how popular the original Fitbit Charges were, so it was going to take some major changes to get customers to invest in the Fitbit Charge 2. Those changes have taken the Charge to another level putting it among the very best fitness bands. The large, clear VERTICAL display is brilliant, coupled with off the wrist heart rate & smartphone GPS sharing, we have something to compete with the Vivosmart HR ....

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  • Garmin Vivofit 3

    TOP 4 Fitness Tracker

    This Vivofit 3 and the Vivofit Jr all come with a coincell battery installed that will last a minimum of 1 year. It's very simple to change either yourself or at a local jeweller. The Vivofit 3 fitness band is a no nonsense essential features activity tracker that will count steps, calories and distance, plus, it monitors your sleep duration and quality ...

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  • Garmin Vivosmart HR

    REPLACED by - Vivosmart 3

    One of the best activity trackers / fitness bands on the market. Built-in off the wrist heart rate monitoring is what does it for us. The Vivosmart HR has optical HR sensor (using Garmin Elevate) to get accurate heart rate without the need for a chest strap. It also features a barometric pressure sensor to measure the number of stairs climbed per day ....

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  • Fitbit Alta HR

    The Fitbit Alta has already established itself as a hugely popular fitness tracker. The Alta HR takes the same discrete and stylish fitness band and adds Fitbit's Pure Pulse wrist based heart rate sensors. Adding heart rate monitoring to the Alta HR provides exercise intensity feedback and more accurate sleep monitoring. The Alta HR tracks heart rate throughout the day providing a more detailed anaylsis of daily activity ...

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  • Fitbit Ionic

    NEW - 2017 - NEW

    With all the best features of the popular Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Surge plus a host of new features the Fitbit Ionic is a true fitness focused smartwatch. With access to the Fitbit App Gallery, built-in GPS and wrist based heart rate the Ionic is certain to be a HUGE success. The list of fitness features is endless including Cardio Fitness Level and new Swim tracking. If you've been considering the Apple Watch then the Fitbit Ionic could be the better alternative for sports focused customers ....

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  • Polar M600

    Android Wear

    The Polar M600 smartwatch utilises Android Wear operating system to give access to dozens of proven and popular Apps. The M600 is compatible with both Android phones and iOs devices like iPad and iPhone. The M600 builds on all the best features of the A360 activity tracker (built-in Heart Rate sensor) and the Polar M400 with it's highly accurate internal GPS. High spec, wearable technology from Polar ....

     

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  • Garmin Vivoactive HR

    Replaced by > Vivoactive 3

    TOP 3 ALL SPORTS

    The Vivoactive HR was replaced in Sept 2017 by the new Vivoactive 3. However, it is still a highly recommended & great value for money all round GPS sports watch with wrist based heart rate. Garmin's intelligent smartwatch with an emphasis on fitness. Key features are a built-in GPS & heart rate sensor (no need for chest strap). Smartphone notifications and alerts from compatible iOs and Android devices. If you like smartphone technology, partake in one or more sports and you also want to increase your daily activity then the Vivoactive HR could be for you ....

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  • Fitbit Flex 2

    How do Fitbit make the World's Most Popular fitness tracker better? That was Fitbit's difficult design brief when they set about to replace the Flex with the Fitbit Flex 2. The Fitbit Flex was the best selling activity band in 2013/14. Will the Flex 2 be as successful? Yes. Fitbit have made it swim-proof & modular. You can house the brains in an attractive metal bracelet, necklace or designer wristband ....

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  • TomTom Touch

    BODY FAT Analysis

    TomTom have raised their game with the innovative TomTom Touch. The Touch is the first wrist worn activity tracker that incorporates both heart rate and body fat analysis. Using BIA (electrical signals sent around the body) the TomTom Touch measure body composition (% of Fat) and muscle mass density ...

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  • Letscom ID101HR Fit Band

    LESS than £30

    An affordable, accurate and easy to use alternative to Fitbit, Garmin and other similar more expensive Fitness Trackers. The Letscom ID101HR features all the essential features of more expensive alternatives including wrist based heart rate, daily step tracking with calories burnt and distance travelled. At this price it's excellent value for money ...

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  • Fitbit Alta

    This version of Fitbit activity tracker has a larger display that runs lengthwise down the band, making it easier to read. The Alta's clever display technology actually works in both directions giving you more information at a glance. The Fitbit Alta is for the user looking to improve their general health, fitness and well-being by adding frequent movement to their day and aiming for weekly activity goals ....

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  • Polar A360

    REPLACED by - Polar A370

    The Polar A360 was Polar's first OFF THE WRIST optically sensing heart rate monitor, no chest strap required. Just like a majority of other brands, Polar now have fitness watches that gives accurate heart rate WITHOUT a chest strap. Steps counter, calories burnt and distance walked. Smartphone notification and the support of a good app. ....

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  • Polar A300

    The Polar A300 fitness tracker helps to keep you looking and feeling great. The attractive A300 is everything a 24/7 activity tracker / fitness monitor needs to be. It is comfortable, light and available in six juicy colors. The best feature of this heart rate monitor is the easy to understand Zone Pointer that clearly shows when you're BURNING FAT or IMPROVING FITNESS ....

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  • Fitbit Blaze

    The Fitbit Blaze was designed as a "smart fitness watch, Fitbit's smartest, most stylish, most motivating fitness tracker yet". It's well suited for general fitness, runners (happy to use their phone's GPS), gym users and anyone else wishing to get fit and stay active. With built-in heart rate sensors and Fitbit's FitStar Application the Blaze with keep you active throughout the day  ....

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  • Garmin Vivofit Jr

    Designed for Kids

    When I first heard about a fitness band for kids I thought  ... yeah yeah, big company want to get kids in to a BRAND when they're just out of nappies... but, I have made a U turn on that cynical view and can highly recommend the Vivofit Jr to anyone who wants to motivate their child to being more active ....

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  • Fitbit Surge

    REPLACED by - Fitbit Ionic

    The FitBit Surge is everything we look for in a well designed fitness band. It's got everything that 95% of people need without any unnecessary clutter. This FitBit, like the Charge HR and Blaze, takes heart rate directly from the wrist, no need for a chest strap. The Surge also features a built in GPS so it's great for running or biking when you don't want to take your phone ....

     

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  • Garmin Vivosmart HR +

    If you're a runner looking for a competent fitness band with steps, distance, calories and floors climbed with the addition of built-in heart rate (off the wrist, no belt required), smartphone notifications & alerts plus an accurate GPS, then the Vivosmart HR+ could be just what you're looking for ...

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  • Garmin Vivomove

    The Garmin Vivomove is in a class of it's own. If you prefer a traditional analogue watch with real hands (not a digitalised watch face) and also want to benefit from having a 24/7 activity tracker on your wrist then this may be for you. The Vivomove features discrete MOVE BAR and ACTIVITY TARGET indicators on either side of the hands ...

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  • Polar Loop 2

    The Polar Loop 2 builds on the success of the original Polar Loop by adding SMART NOTIFICATIONS from both iOs and Android phones. This stylish activity tracker / fitness band  also features a handy vibrate feature when it's time to move and time to wake up. Internal accelerometers track your every move - on the path to achieving your daily goal ....

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  • Fitbit Charge HR

    REPLACED by - Fitbit Charge 2

    The Fitbit Charge HR is still available. For those looking for a competent fitness band with heart rate taken directly off the wrist, it's still good value for money. It also features Bluetooth upload of training data and daily activity to the Fitbit app on your smartphone. However, if you want a bigger and brighter display we'd recommend the new Fitbit Charge 2 ....

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  • Mio Fuse

    A well made and functional activity tracker. With the Mio Fuse you get 24/7 activity monitoring with heart rate when you want it without the need for a chest strap. Steps, Distance, Daily Goals, Heart Rate Zone Training and interface with most new Android and iOs Phones and Tablets. Can also broadcast HR to ANT+ and Bluetooth devices ...

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  • Polar Loop

    REPLACED by Loop2

    The Polar Loop is smart and very easy to use. The Loop will measure your activity during the day: from the very first choices in the morning to monitoring the quality of sleep at night, and counting the total number of steps and burned calories in between ...

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  • Fitbit Charge

    REPLACED by - Fitbit Charge 2

    If you are not too bothered about heart rate and just want a discrete, honest activity tracker then grab a bargain with a Fitbit. The Fitbit Charge was a groundbreaking product when it was released in 2014. Personally we'd recommend recommend the Fitbit Charge 2 if you can budget for the extra few pounds the additional heart rate monitor is well worth the expense

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  • Garmin Vivosmart

    >> REPLACED by Vivosmart HR

    Garmin Vívosmart is a lightweight fitness tracker / activity band with battery life of up to seven days. Simply swipe through the displays to review time / date, steps, distance, calories, step countdown to your personalised step goal, move bar (activity monitor) and even get alerted to an incoming text message (if connected to a Smartphone) ....

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  • Garmin Vivofit 2

    >> REPLACED by Vivofit 3

    A discrete personal activity monitor that can be worn all day and every day. The Garmin Vívofit 2 follows your activity progress 24/7. It can stay activated for more than 12 months on the same battery. Activate sleep mode and the vívofit will monitor the quality of your sleep, rest and recovery. The Vivofit 2 looks a bit old and dated now, we'd recommend the Vivofit 3 ....

    Reviewed by CardioCritic

  • Garmin Vivoactive

    >> REPLACED by Vivoactive HR

    The Garmin Vívoactive combines Garmin fitness technology, such as built-in GPS, long battery life and a sunlight-readable display, in an ultra-thin smartwatch that lets users stay connected and achieve more. It's very hard to summarise what this smartwatch can do as it really does so much. Golfers will love it.. with over 38,000 courses to download .. however, also consider the Vivoactive HR with wrist based heart rate ....

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  • Suunto M2

    The Suunto M2 comes with the COMFORT style chest strap. The M2 is the watch for easy monitoring of training heart rate and calories burnt. Fairly old now (released approx 2012) but still a great fitness watch for people who want a traditional chest strap heart rate monitor to keep an eye on training intensity and calories burnt ....

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