Monitor Health And Notifications With The Best Smartwatches And Fitness Trackers

Smartwatches, wearable tech, electronic confusion everywhere. One thing that’s for sure is that they are here to stay.

Maybe your are a die hard early adopter who cannot function daily without your digital assistant on your wrist, on the other hand (no pun intended) you may simply feel that smartwatches and fitness trackers are pointless technology that cost a fortune without any real purpose. “I have a mobile phone so why would I need a watch to tell me the same thing” is a common argument against them.

Whichever side you may be on, the truth is that once you actually use either device for a period of time, many will agree that you will begin to ask yourself the following questions…

How have I survived without this thing for so long? – and why didn’t I get one earlier?

smartwatch and fitness tracker reviews

Why Do I Need A Smartwatch / Fitness Tracker?

The beauty of being able to check who’s calling you or to read one of a million notification you may receive in a day without having to pull out your phone constantly is a priceless experience and in some scenarios essential.

Think about having the ability to monitor your heart rate continuously for 24 hours, or evaluate your sleeping patterns and REM sleep. This data can help to pre diagnose an underlying health condition that you may not have been aware of.

These are just a few the many positive aspects of owning a smartwatch / fitness tracker, we will go into more useful features and functionality throughout this article.

For now here is our selection of some of the best smartwatches and fitness trackers for all budgets you can buy today, in no particular order.

Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch

Garmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensors and More, Black with Slate Hardware

£329.99
£209.00
16 new from £209.00
3 used from £188.00
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • AMOLED Display.
  • Up-to 5 days Battery Life.
  • Animated On Screen Workouts.
  • Body Battery Energy Monitoring.
  • Garmin Pay.
  • IQ App Store.
  • Garmin Coach.
  • Offline Music Support.

CONS:
  • Generic Design.
  • Poor Battery Life In GPS Mode With Music.

Enjoy an amazing range of all-day health monitoring features with the Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch. Keep track of your stress, sleep, estimated heart rate, energy levels, respiration, menstrual cycle and more on its beautiful AMOLED Display.

Ready to get fit? well you can follow the easy to use animated on-screen Strength, Cardio, Yoga and Pilates workouts right on the screen of the Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch.

With 20 GPS and indoor sports apps preloaded on the watch, you can customise the Garmin Venu even more by downloading watch faces, apps and widgets for free from the Connect IQ Store.

For the keen runners out there, the Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch is your personal running coach that will provide personalised training plans and guidance, helping you to train for your net 10K run or marathon.

The option to create your own custom workouts is also an available option which is perfect for other sports other than running, so great for multi-sports, swimmers, cyclists etc.

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Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4 Advanced Fitness Tracker with GPS, Swim Tracking & Up To 7 Day Battery, Black

£129.99
£114.00
15 new from £114.00
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • Up-to 7 Days Battery Life.
  • Works with iPhone and Android.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • 24/7 Heart Rate Monitoring.
  • Great Fitness Community.
  • Spotify Music Control.
  • Fitbit Pay.
  • Light, Deep & REM Sleep Tracking.

CONS:
  • Premium Subscription Required For Best Features.
  • Low Visibility In Sunlight.

You will find that Fitbit’s fitness trackers always have the following traits, they are comfortable to wear under any conditions, have sleek and attractive design and are affordable for most people. The Fitbit Charge 4 is no exception.

It is a great alternative to a fully blown smartwatch as it has call and text notifications, plus calendar and smartphone app alerts so your not missing out.

Where the Fitbit Charge 4 shines is in its fitness monitoring and user community.

From the Fitbit app not only can you monitor your activity, sleep and health data, you have access to guided workout programs and a great community where you can join in social challenges, helping to motivate you to push towards your fitness goals.

Track over 20 different fitness activities with Active Zone Minutes that uses your heart rate to determine the intensity of each activity to reach your weekly goal, while recording and notifying you of your fat burning, cardio and peek zones.

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Michael Kors Gen 5 Lexington Connected Smartwatch

Michael Kors Smart Watch MKT5077

£329.00
£283.99
2 new from £283.99
2 used from £143.04
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • Wear OS – Works with iPhone and Android.
  • Download Third Party Apps.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • Google Assistant.
  • Premium Build & Look.
  • Built-in Speaker.

CONS:
  • Battery Life.
  • Not Great For Sports.
  • Replacement Charging Cable Hard To Find.

A lot of smart watches are geared towards sports so they generally have a certain style to them. The Michael Kors Gen 5 Lexington on the other hand is a premium watch with classic looks. Suitable for any occasion this watch will look stunning with any outfit, smart or casual.

As the Michael Kors Gen 5 Lexington uses Wear OS making it compatible with both Apple and Android phones, so you will have instant notifications from all of your favourite apps with the ability to respond to them from the watch itself.

The built in speaker is great for notification alerts, making and receiving Bluetooth enabled calls when you cant get to your phone, when driving for example and listening to Google Assistant responses which you can activate with the built in mic.

A whopping 8GB of onboard storage gives you more than enough space to play your favourite music directly from the watch, whilst the usual onboard fitness tracking features such as real time heart rate, sleep duration and quality tracking etc are here to.

With the Michael Kors Gen 5 Lexington being powered by Ware OS, you can even purchase your shopping with your watch while your out and about with Google Pay payment technology.

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Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 - 1.56'' AMOLED Touch Screen, SPO2, Sleep Breathing Tracking, 5ATM Water Resistant, 14 Days Battery Life, 30 Sports Mode, Fitness, Steps, Sleep, Heart Rate Monitor [Official UK]

£39.99
£31.99
31 new from £31.98
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • 1.56” AMOLED Touch Screen.
  • Up-to 14 Day Battery Life.
  • 5ATM Water Resistance.
  • PPG biosensors.
  • Blood Oxygen Saturation SPO2 Tracking.
  • Female Health Tracking.
  • 24/7 Heart Rate Monitoring.
  • Sleep Breathing Quality Tracking.

CONS:
  • Strap a little awkward.
  • No on-board GPS.

A fitness tracker for under £40, it cant be any good… can it? Well the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 will definitely answer your question with a resounding yes!

As this is the 6th version of the band from Xiaomi, they have listened to customer demands and have had the time to deliver an impressive wallet/purse friendly device with a bucket-load of features.

To start, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 acts as a personal trainer with 30 different fitness modes for you to chose from. For you swimmers out there it even has automatic stroke recognition with 5 different swimming style settings for more accurate tracking.

Sleep breathing and sleep cycle tracking is here, monitoring the quality of both your breathing and how well you sleep at night, whilst blood oxygen saturation levels can also be measured in order to stay on top of your respiration health.

Smart 24-hour heart rate monitoring is included with vibrating heart rate alerts that will notify you when your heart rate is too high so you can get it under control.

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 also features female health tracking that will record ovulation phases and menstrual cycles, notifying you with useful reminders beforehand.

As the main unit is removable from the band, you are able to get replacement straps quite cheaply in so many colour options you could have a different one every day of the week if you wanted to.

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Amazfit Bip U Pro

Amazfit Bip U Pro Smart Watch Fitness Watch with Heart Rate, Sleep, Stress, SpO2 Monitor, Sports watch with 60+ Sports Modes, 5 ATM Waterproof, GPS, Alexa Built-in, Black

£59.00
2 new from £59.00
3 used from £50.00
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • Lightweight approx 31g.
  • 5 ATM Waterproof.
  • 60 Sports Modes.
  • Alexa Built-in.
  • GPS and GLONASS positioning.
  • Blood-oxygen Level Monitoring.
  • 24/7 Heart Rate Monitoring.
  • Sleep Quality & Stress Level Monitoring.
  • 9-day Battery Life.

CONS:
  • Sync with 3rd party fitness apps limited.
  • Not Premium Looking.

Don’t let the price of the Amazfit Bip U Pro fool you into thinking that its a limited dumb watch, in fact it hosts a multitude of features that even many of the big boy smart watches cannot manage.

First it has Alexa voice assistant built in so you use the usual smart commands such as “turn on the living room lights”, set alarms and timers, “what’s the weather like today?” etc. all from your wrist.

An impressive list of health and fitness options are available on the watch including measuring your blood-oxygen saturation, continuous 24-hour heart rate monitoring with elevated heart rate warnings, sleep and stress monitoring, menstrual and ovulation tracking and more.

Using all of this health information is the watches PAI Health Assessment System which will give you an overview evaluation of your wellbeing with the data it collects.

For the sport lovers, the Amazfit Bip U Pro has 60+ exercise modes for you to record your achievements, and is 5 ATM Water-resistant which is great news for you swimmers and water sports enthusiast.

To top it off an impressive 9-days battery life with typical usage can be achieved, 5 days with heavy usage.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 40 mm - Black (UK Version)

£147.99
8 new from £138.00
25 used from £67.31
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • Automatic workout recognition.
  • Real-time wellness guidance.
  • Wirelessly charging and power share.
  • Up to 4GB Music storage.

CONS:
  • No rotating bezel (was a must have on earlier models).
  • Tizen not Androidwear.

Made from thin and lightweight Aluminium, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active comes in a range of colours including rose gold and silver, with easy interchangeable straps to suit you mood and look.

With real-time wellness guidance the Galaxy Watch will give you breathing exercises, help you to reduce stress and track your sleep helping you to maintain healthy lifestyle habits.

Receive all of your notifications and messages on the Galaxy Watch and enjoy phone free music as the watch can hold up to 4GB of music onboard. It even has a built in speaker so you can listen without earphones.

When it comes to working out and every day activities, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active has automatic activity recognition and multi sport tracking so there’s no worry about forgetting to start the watch to record your movements.

Wireless charging and power share also make it to the watch which is a really cool addition allowing you the charge the watch battery with your Samsung Galaxy phone and vice versa.

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Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular

Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular, 44mm Silver Aluminium Case with White Sport Band - Regular

£349.00
£323.28
4 used from £294.16
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • GPS + Cellular.
  • Retina OLED display.
  • App store on the watch.
  • Built in compass.
  • Emergency SOS and fall detection.
  • Menstrual cycle tracking.
  • Apple pay.

CONS:
  • 18 hour battery life.
  • No ECG App.
  • Heart rate monitor is not continuous.
  • iOS only, no Android phones.

Featuring GPS + Cellular features, the Apple Watch SE allows you to call, message and get directions all from the watch without the need of your phone. With a large Retina OLED display, easily view your incoming notifications at a glance.

Easily monitor your daily activities on the watch itself and when your ready to work out it will measure and track activities such a swimming, cycling, walking and running. Here you can customise your metrics for the perfect display on the move.

As the Apple Watch SE includes cellular connectivity you can seamlessly stream music from Apple Music while your out and about, this is perfect lets say for example when your on a run and don’t want to be lumbered with your phone.

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Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band

Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • Always on display.
  • App store on the watch.
  • Built in compass.
  • Emergency SOS and fall detection.
  • Menstrual cycle tracking.
  • Apple pay.

CONS:
  • 18 hour battery life.
  • No sleep tracking.
  • Heart rate monitor is not continuous.
  • iOS only, no Android phones.

The newest series 5 Apple Watch features a beautiful always on retina display (AOD) so you can quickly glance at the time when needed, its digital crown now with haptic feedback provides a more tactile and immersive experience as you scroll through content on the watch.

Featuring electrical and optical heart sensors you can keep an eye on your heart rate and heart rhythm within the ECG app.

With advanced workout metrics and activity trends, onboard GPS and a swim proof 50 meter water resistant body, the apple watch series 5 is a great exercise and workout companion.

You can also opt for the more expensive cellular model which allows you to make calls, send text messages and stream music all from the watch without the need of a phone.

Available in aluminium, stainless steel, titanium or ceramic finishes and various colour options you’ll be sure to find the perfect watch to suit your style and mood.

Other versions available:
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular)
Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular)
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS)

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HUAWEI Watch GT 2

HUAWEI Watch GT 2 (46 mm) Smart Watch, 1.39 Inch AMOLED Display with 3D Glass Screen, 2 Weeks Battery Life, GPS, 15 Sport Modes, 3D Glass Screen, Bluetooth Calling Smartwatch, Matte Black

£139.99
£95.02
14 new from £95.00
16 used from £83.99
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • Upto 2 weeks battery life.
  • Bluetooth calling.
  • TruSleep TM 2.0 sleep tracking.
  • Real-time continuous heart rate monitoring.
  • All-day stress monitoring
  • Fitness level (VO2 max)

CONS:
  • Limited amount of watch faces
  • Can’t respond to notifications.
  • Cannot install additional apps.
  • No NFC payment options.

The Huawei GT 2 sports watch is a dark horse among smartwatches. Thanks to its low power consumption Kirin A1 processor the GT 2 can deliver high performance with a very impressive, up to 2 week battery life depending on what options and functions you use on the watch.

With its large 1.39-inch AMOLED display and outstanding features such as all day activity tracking, TruSleep TM 2.0 sleep tracking, real-time continuous heart rate monitoring, voice guidance during your workouts and all-day stress monitoring, the GT 2 is clearly geared towards the health conscious.

Where Huawei has kept things simple is by only allowing the watch to use its pre-installed apps. This approach may be a bit of a concern for those of you that love to install and try out different apps, don’t let this put you off though because taking this approach has helped to keep the Huawei GT 2 very fluid and responsive. To be honest most if not all of the functionality and apps you would need on a watch of this type is here.

Using both GPS and GLONASS to provide accurate satellite positioning, onboard music storage for upto 500 songs and Bluetooth connectivity letting you pair a set of wireless earphones to the Huawei GT 2, all of which gives you the freedom to get up and go for that walk or run without the need to be tethered to a mobile phone.

Other versions available:
HUAWEI Watch GT
HUAWEI Watch GT 2 (42 mm) Smart Watch
HUAWEI WATCH GT 2e Smartwatch

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Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch

Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with Alexa built-in, Sleep Score & Music, Stone/Mist Grey

£199.99
£132.15
10 new from £132.15
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of 26th September 2021 5:57 am
PROS:
  • Amazon Alexa Built-in.
  • 24/7 heart rate tracking.
  • 6+ Day Battery Life.
  • On-Screen Workouts.
  • Fitbit Pay.
  • Apps.

CONS:
  • No onboard GPS.
  • No integration with other fitness apps.
  • Limited always-on display.
  • Fitbit OS is still questionable.

Small and light, some will say the Fitbit Versa 2 is more fitness tracker than smartwatch. This claim will be justified depending on your needs.

All of the standard smartwatch features that we expect are here, smartphone notifications including calls, text messages and calendar reminders with push notifications from your selected apps all appearing on its beautiful 1.4 inch AMOLED screen.

One of the Versa 2’s killer features is that it has Amazon Alexa built in, perfect for you smart home enthusiasts. Before you get too excited this is a watered down version not like what you’ll find on the Amazon Echo’s. There’s no hotword activation, you cant send texts or play music etc… what you can do is control your smart home devices, get quick news briefs, ask simple questions or check the weather with results from the web and check your daily stats all from your wist.

Health and fitness wise, the Fitbit Versa 2 is a watch to be reckoned with. It includes over 15 exercise modes with live real time workout stats and on screen guided workouts coaching you along the way.

Continuous heart rate monitoring with trends and heart rate zones in conjunction with all-day activity tracking, calories burned, active minutes, hourly activity summaries, sleep tracking with various sleep stages, personalised cardio fitness scores, guided breathing sessions and time spent stationary all aid in helping you keep and maintain a well informed and healthy lifestyle.

Other versions available:
Fitbit Versa Health & Fitness Smartwatch
Fitbit Versa Lite
Fitbit Ionic Health & Fitness Smartwatch (GPS)

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Also Noteworthy – For Your Consideration:

The following Smartwatches And Fitness Trackers are also worth a mention due to various criteria that make them stand out such as functionality and price.

Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker – £71.00
Amazfit GTR 2e Health & Fitness Smartwatch – £115.00
HUAWEI WATCH GT 2 Pro – £215.00
Amazfit Bip S Lite Smart Watch – £34.89
HUAWEI Band 4 Pro – £42.99
Fossil Men Gen 5 – £169.00
HUAWEI WATCH FIT Smartwatch – £76.40

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How to choose the best smartwatch / fitness tracker for your needs.

Choosing the right smartwatch or fitness tracker for yourself will be determined by a number of personal requirements and factors which you may not have thought of on your quest for the perfect wrist partner.

Are you health conscious? how does guided workouts with the ability to record and monitor your fitness levels, count steps and monitor you heart rate all from your wrist sound.

Maybe your a keen runner and need GPS tacking and onboard storage for your favourite MP3 music so you can connect a pair of Bluetooth earphones and hit the road without your phone.

Forgot your purse or wallet on a day out, how does the idea of paying for groceries and services with the swipe of a wrist sound to you.

Battery life is another key factor in your choice of smartwatch, are you OK with charging you watch daily along with your smartphone, or are you the put it on and forget it type needing something that will last about a week between charges.

Some watches will only work on iPhone such as the Apple Watch series, while others will operate happily on either iOS and Android.

Most Android Wear OS smartwatches do have limited functionality when connected to an iPhone when it comes to responding to emails, messages and calls thanks to Apple’s closed operating system, so this is something you should take into consideration before you make a purchase.

Price also comes into play when making a decision, the cheapest Apple watch you can currently buy will set you back about £199 for a series 3 model and up to £500 for the latest Apple watch series 5.

Android users in this aspect are spoilt for choice with much cheaper options available starting from around £50 all be it they may not be loaded with with the latest GPS modules or onboard storage for music etc… but for simple call and message notifications you cant go wrong.

Another factor that should be considered is comfort, lets be honest most people who wear a watch just want to put it on and forget about it, until they need to tell the time…

Many smartwatches out there are quite bulky due to their inner workings and in-built technology making them uncomfortable and unsightly for those of us with smaller wrist – fear not as we have not been neglected.

Thankfully many manufacturers out there have taken this into consideration by providing multiple size options of the same watch, this is usually in millimetres (42mm or 44mm for example) with the smaller number usually meaning the watch has a smaller face, great for those of us who hate bulkiness.

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