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Top 8 Fitness Watches for an Active 2021

Get Active with these Top 8 Fitness Watches
Nasreen Rasool
Nasreen Rasool Updated: 05 February 2021
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Staying in shape and staying active are the best ways to maintain a healthy body and mind, no matter what your age might be. A smartwatch can be a great motivator and help you keep track of your progress by monitoring your calories, number of steps, heart rate and even stress levels.

If you are considering investing in a fitness watch or planning an upgrade from your last one, we have compiled this useful guide to buying the best fitness watch in 2021. Compare the different brands, with their features, costs and setbacks to help you make an informed decision.

How we chose our top picks

We compared 26 leading brands and 128 different products with 50 reviews or more on Amazon, Productreview.com.au as well as other leading retailers to help you choose the fitness watch.

Discover more about our methodology.

Our top fitness watches for 2021:

POLAR Ignite – Advanced Waterproof Fitness Watch — Best for monitoring heart rate.

Pros

  • Advanced heart rate monitor.
  • Integrated GPS.
  • Heart rate sensor works underwater.

Cons

  • Poor visibility in the sun.
  • GPS is not very accurate.

Price (RRP): $288.56

POLAR Ignite Advanced Waterproof Fitness Watch
Source: Amazon

The Polar Ignite offers one of the most advanced heart rate sensor technologies and offers high accuracy in tracking heart rates, even underwater. It offers everything a health enthusiast would look for in a fitness watch, including GPS, sleep tracker and also offers on-demand workouts.

Specs

  • Weight: 35g
  • Style: Unisex
  • Material: Nylon
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

Customer Reviews

Customers said this watch is light and comfortable to wear and performs all the promised functions. Some said the GPS was not very accurate, and there were complaints of poor visibility in the sunlight.

Garmin Forerunner 935 GPS Heart Rate Watch — Best for outdoor exercise

Pros

  • Built-in GPS.
  • Cycling feature allows you to pair your watch with bike lights for added safety.
  • Group Track feature allows you to keep track of your training buddies.
  • Compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones.

Cons

  • Limited to 2 per customer.
  • Watch shape may interfere with wrist movement.

Price (RRP): $415.00

Garmin Forerunner 935
Source: Kogan

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is an excellent choice for people passionate about outdoor exercise and group training. The Group Tracker feature helps you keep track of your training buddies, and there are built-in activities for swimming, cycling, running and golf. Track your activity, sleep and heart rate, and stay connected with Bluetooth and WiFi.

Specs

  • 63MB memory
  • Weight: 49g
  • Display: 240×240 pixels
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, WiFi

Customer Reviews

Customers were pleased with this watch. They said it was easy to use, had good connectivity, looked great and had good battery life. One person said it was slightly oversized for a woman’s wrist.

Apple Watch Series 6 — Most customisable.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly, made from recycled alloy and braided band is made from recycled yarn interwoven with silicone threads.
  • Stretchable design with no clasps or buckles.
  • You can opt for Apple benefits for an added cost, such as GPS + Cellular, which allows you to receive calls and texts with just your watch, or Apple Care+ for technical support.

Cons

  • Expensive, starting at $699.00.
  • Only compatible with Apple operating systems.
  • Requires iPhone 6 or later, does not work with older iPhones.

Price (RRP): $749.00

Apple Watch Series 6
Source: Vodafone.com.au

With the Apple Watch Series 6, you get to choose your style, by selecting your case and band, allowing you to have a customised product for your style. It can track your fitness and sleep patterns but note that Apple Fitness + requires a subscription.

Specs

  • Water-resistant up to 50m.
  • Materials: Stainless steel and silicone.
  • Battery life of up to 18 hours.

Customer Reviews

Customers were happy with the watch’s functionality, but some said the cellular feature did not work very well. Others said it was too expensive.

Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Watch — Best for convenience

Pros

  • Spotify control.
  • Built-in Alexa for voice control.
  • Comes in three different colours.

Cons

  • Always-on display uses up the battery.
  • Notifications are available only when your phone is nearby.
  • Some features are only available with Fitbit Premium at an extra cost.

Price (RRP): $245.99

Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Watch
Source: Amazon

The Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness watch is one of the best for all-round convenience, as it has built-in Alexa for voice control. This allows you to check the weather and set reminders. Be aware that a third party account and app may be required. The Always-On display adds to convenient viewing while you work out or go about your day. You can also pay quickly with Fitbit Pay.

Specs

  • Bluetooth
  • Display: 1200×800
  • Water-resistant up to 50m
  • Two-year manufacturer warranty
  • 4.54g
  • Unisex

Customer Reviews

Customers were generally happy with the wearability of the watch and the battery life. However, one person said it burnt their skin. Some said the step counter was not accurate, and others were disappointed that there was no GPS. Many expressed disappointment that certain features only worked with Fitbit Premium at an extra cost.

Fitbit Charge 4 Advanced Fitness Tracker — Most affordable

Pros

  • Built-in GPS.
  • Spotify music control.
  • Water-resistant up to 50m.

Cons

  • Battery life is shortened with GPS usage.
  • The feature for sending text messages is only available for Android.

Price (RRP): $249.95

Fitbit Charge 4 Advanced Fitness Tracker
Source: Amazon

The Fitbit Charge 4 is an upgrade from the Charge 3 and comes with popular features such as water resistance and sleep tracking. The new version also boasts built-in GPS, a significant plus for outdoor running or hiking, as you can leave your phone at home and work out completely hands-free. It also has a workout intensity map and Spotify control for maximum convenience while you exercise. All these features are available with this phone for just $199.39, one of the best prices on the market for fitness tracker watches.

Specs

  • The battery lasts up to 7 days, and up to 5 hours with GPS.
  • Unisex
  • 30g
  • Display: 800×400

Customer Reviews

Customers say this watch is useful as a fitness tracker, but many were disappointed with the GPS, saying it was inaccurate.

HUAWEI Watch GT 2 — Best for working professionals

Pros

  • Sleek look for everyday use.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Long battery life.
  • Extra strap.

Cons

  • Does not support Strava.
  • Expensive at $298.99

Price (RRP): $298.99

HUAWEI Watch GT 2
Source: Amazon

The Huawei Watch G2 has many benefits, one of them being 2-week battery life. It’s an excellent option for people who want something that can pass as a regular watch during working hours and as a fitness tracker while working out with its classy look. The watch is water-resistant, has GPS and Bluetooth, allowing you to make calls while on the go, and has enough power to last through all this.

Specs

  • Storage capacity: 4GB
  • Screen resolution: 454×454
  • Weight: 300g
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth & GPS
  • Unisex

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews for this watch were very positive, with most people saying it was good value for money. They were very impressed with the battery life, sleep and stress tracker, and general watch functionality. One person mentioned that the bright white charging stand was an eyesore.

Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch — Best value for money

Pros

  • The battery can last up to a month.
  • Can serve as a fitness tracker or as a formal watch.
  • The face is not oversized and slips neatly under the cuff.
  • Automatically synchronises with the Health Mate app, where you can view trends, and unlock rewards.

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than other fitness watches.
  • No 3rd party app integration such as WhatsApp or email.

Price (RRP): $260.02

Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch
Source: Amazon

The Withing Nokia is an all-round value for money purchase, as it has all the features of a regular watch with the added perks of being a smartwatch as well. You can track your steps, calories, run/walk/swim, your heart rate, and sleep duration. It also has connected GPS, meaning that it must be connected to your phone via Bluetooth to work.

Specs

  • Weight: 50g.
  • Unisex.
  • Watch face is crafted with stainless steel, the band is made of silicone.
  • Water-resistant up to 50m.
  • Bluetooth.

Customer Reviews

Customers were generally pleased with the battery life of this watch. They said it was easy to set up and use and looked great as well. One person said it was slightly tricky to read the time on the watch.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 — Best for cellular connectivity

Pros

  • Tracks heart rate, stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Always-on display.

Cons

  • Extra bands are not included, you can get them at an added cost.
  • No silicone sleeve.

Price (RRP): $297.99

Galaxy Watch Active 2
Source: Dick Smiths

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 tracks your activity, stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure and gives you health and hygiene reminders. While most fitness watches need to be near your phone for connectivity, this watch has cellular connectivity worked into the package, so you can receive mobile notifications and stay connected without your phone.

Specs

  • Stainless steel or aluminium
  • Display: 360×360
  • Bluetooth
  • Memory: 4GB

Customer Reviews

There have been numerous complaints of overheating from customers who bought this watch. One customer said they were disappointed that it did not have Samsung Pay.

Key things to consider for when buying a smart fit watch:

Comparing the top fitness watches for 2021

ProductCost (RRP)Integrated GPSFeatures
Polar Ignite Advanced Waterproof Fitness Watch$288.56Yes
  • Advanced heart rate monitor.
  • Integrated GPS.
  • Waterproof.
Garmin Forerunner 935$415.00Yes
  • Group tracker.
  • GPS.
  • Bluetooth, WiFi.
Apple Watch Series 6 $749.00Needs cellular connection.
  • Cellular.
  • Water-resistant up to 50m.
  • Apple Care+.
  • Eco Friendly.
Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Watch$245.99No
  • Alexa.
  • Always-on display.
  • Fitbit Pay.
  • Bluetooth.
Fitbit Charge 4 Advanced Fitness Tracker$249.95Yes
  • Spotify control.
  • Water-resistant up to 50m.
  • GPS.
HUAWEI Watch GT 2$298.99Yes
  • GPS.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Extra strap.
Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch$260.02Needs cellular connection
  • Water-resistant.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Long battery life.
  • Health mate app.
Galaxy Watch Active 2$297.99Needs cellular connection
  • Checks blood pressure.
  • Hygiene reminders.

Source: Amazon, Kogan, Vodafone.com.au, Dick Smiths (January 2021)

Our methodology

26 brands examined

128 products compared

8 products chosen

Brands Compared

To select the best smartwatches, we considered the following brands:

We then carefully read hundreds of online reviews given by customers who have bought and tried these products. We looked at the features of each bottle to see how they performed.

We then chose the top 8 fitness watches in terms of quality, effectiveness, and price based on our research.

Please take note: We have not compared all products on the market, and we may receive compensation when you click links on our site or purchase products or services from partners. However, we value our editorial independence, and all reviews and comparisons are based on an unbiased analysis of our research. 

Conclusion

A step counter watch or smartwatch can be a good investment for people trying to be more health-conscious while managing a busy life. This guide should provide some insight into making the best decisions for your needs and budget.

For a basic fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4 Advanced Fitness Tracker is a good option. If you are more serious about sports and outdoor training, the Garmin Forerunner 935 is suitable but more expensive. If you need to juggle between high profile office meetings and an after-hours exercise routine, the HUAWEI GT 2 has the ideal look and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • Are fitness trackers that connect with Bluetooth the best?

    They may not always be the best, but it is a great convenience to have Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use Bluetooth calling and connect to your mobile device.
  • Which is the best fitness tracker watch for runners?

    The Garmin Forerunner 935 is best fitness watch for runners, as it has accurate navigation using Garmin and other features that monitor your stride length and help you keep track of your running mates.
  • Should you link your fitness tracker watch with your phone?

    You don’t have to link your smart fitness watch to your phone if you only require fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring. Linking the device with your phone will allow added benefits, such as GPS, or receiving notifications for texts, call and emails.
  • Where do you buy fitness tracker watches?

    They can be bought on Amazon or Apple, Rebel Sport, Samsung.com.au or Apple.com.au.
  • Do smarter fitness trackers check your blood pressure?

    The Galaxy Active 2 checks your blood pressure. However, it may not provide you with the most accurate reading so you may want to consider seeing a health professional if you’re concerned.

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