Fitness trackers have become a whiz at collecting data on daily activities like walking and sleeping but when it comes to specific sports or picking up heart rate, some have gone the distance and pulled ahead of the game. Here are six that have blown competitors out of the water.
01-BEST FOR RUNNING
TOMTOM SPARKCARDIO + MUSIC
Easy to use and navigate even in mid-run, this features a host of training options like racing against a previous run or running within heart rate zones. It helps that the in-built heart rate monitor is highly accurate even for a wrist-based optical sensor, since chest straps are known to be the yardstick. The device plays MP3s via wireless headphones, which is a boon for those who want to run unencumbered.
02-BEST FOR TRACKING HEART RATE
The sleek band sits well under the sleeve of a suit, and is discreet enough to be worn at all times – which is important if you want to collect comprehensive data on daily activity. It measures both resting and passive heart rates, so the impact of factors like stress and alcohol or caffeine can be monitored over time, and improvements can be made by adjusting elements like diet or exercise.
03-BEST FOR GYM WORKOUTS
With a built-in heart rate monitor and dedicated options for treadmill, elliptical, weights and open workout, this all-rounder works well to automatically recognise and track exercise. Outdoor running and cycling stats like distance and pace can also be collected when used with a smartphone’s GPS. Built-in fitness app Fitstar suggests workouts like 10 Min Abs and provides on-screen instructions, so you can steal a moment to work the core even when you can’t leave the office.
04-BEST FOR PERSONAL TRAINING
More than a daily activity tracker, this is a real-time audio coach on the wrist. The Moov Now tracks metrics for five activities – running, cycling, swimming, bodyweight exercises and boxing – but it’s with running and cycling where its voice coaching features are maximised. Select a training plan to begin performance monitoring and, based on the metrics recorded, it will offer tips to improve form. It also detects fatigue and encourages you to keep moving. In addition, a built-in 7 Minute+ Workout programme function counts reps and is designed to push you to unlock new levels of fitness every day.
05-BEST FOR GOLFING
GARMIN APPROACH S6
Serious golfers will relish this slim, lightweight GPS watch dedicated to improving one’s game. Three matrixes provide data for fine-tuning the swing, while a touchscreen display and full-colour maps of more than 40,000 golf courses around the world help to direct and line up a shot.
06-BEST FOR SWIMMING
This robust multi-sport GPS watch is targeted at triathletes and packed with a host of features geared towards improving performance. Whereas most trackers are just splash-proof, the V800 supports both pool and open-water swimming, and is waterproof up to 30m. While in use, the gadget collects metrics such as swim distance, pace, stroke rate for freestyle and route. Heart rate can be tracked under water with the purchase of an additional sensor.