The world of wearable technology has grown from niche to normal in the past few years. Every second person is tracking their activity on a Fitbit, paying for coffee with a swipe of their smart watch and checking their health stats with the flick of a wrist. Ready to join them? We’ve rounded up a selection of the best smart watches so you can figure out the right watch for you. "The features to look for really depend on the user's lifestyle," says Geeks2U’s Head of Technology, Anthony Hill, on what to think about when choosing a smart watch. "The key things to keep in mind are compatibility with your current smartphone and battery life."
The Workout Warrior
Whether your workout is a gym-based sweat-session or an outdoor run, swim and ride, Apple Watch Series 3 makes an excellent companion. From its sweat-proof band to its swim-proof aluminium casing, it’s good to go wherever you are. You can sync your Apple Music playlists, so you have music to move to when you’re on the go. It also measures workouts, tracks your daily activity, has GPS and a barometric altimeter (so you know how far you’ve gone and how high you’ve climbed), plus it monitors your heart rate while you’re doing all that. It’ll go longer than you can, too: expect up to 18 hours from a single charge.
The Aspiring Athlete
With a variety of workouts available on your own wrist, it’s going to be tricky to shirk your daily workout. Think of the Fitbit Versa 2 smart watch as your own personal trainer, albeit one that you can afford 24/7 rather than once a week. It allows you to select exercises and goals to reach, then tracks your progress until you get there. It’s a functional, iOS- and Android-compatible smart watch with built-in Amazon Alexa and Fitbit Pay, so you can leave your wallet at home. There are loads of handy apps you can use, including Spotify, and its six-day battery life blows the competition out of the water. (Oh, and it’s swim proof, too!).
The Wellness Enthusiast
Adding some pretty cool features onto the Series 5, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the ultimate wellness tracker, life organiser and personal assistant. This device times your handwashing, reads your blood-oxygen levels (it does this by shining infrared LEDs onto the blood vessels in your wrist and measuring the light reflected back) and can take an ECG (an electrocardiogram, which checks for heart conditions) any time. It can play anything that motivates you to move – music, audiobooks and podcasts – and it’ll even remind you while you’re working to get up throughout the day. Its ‘always on’ Retina display means you can see your stats at a glance, and it glows 2.5 times brighter when you’re outside. The Series 6 looks out for you, too: it can detect if you’ve taken a hard fall and call emergency services. It packs all these features into a very small, sleek package with 18 hours of battery life that can recharge completely in 90 minutes.
If you’re after a fitness tracker with extras, look no further than the stylish Fitbit Sense. In addition to Fitbit’s regular activity-tracking, sleep- and heart rate- monitoring abilities, Sense adds a few that could prove indispensable to a busy exec. The watch helps streamline your technology: it has smart notifications and alerts so you can keep abreast of goings-on while you’re working out; the option of Alexa Built-in or Google Assistant, so you can control your smart appliances; and voice-to-text replies for Android users so you can quickly contact people whether you’re on a run or out and about. Plus – the ultimate function for an executive – an EDA sensor detects electrodermal activity, monitoring your body’s stress levels, so you’ll know when to take a breather and slow down.
With its round face and leather strap, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 doesn’t look like a smart watch – but smart it is. While you’re shepherding children to school and frantically logging into Zoom, your watch will take other things off your hands, such as organising your workout (it comes preloaded with more than 120 of them), keeping you up to date with messages (it even helps answer with smart replies), and predicting periods and fertile windows with the aid of the Women’s Health app. You can even control PowerPoint presentations straight from your watch.
If you love the look of a traditional watch, but you want the benefits of a smart watch, this is the one. Light, smart and very useful, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 has a touch bezel and an elegant design that means you’ll want to wear it all the time, whether you’re working out or at a fancy dinner. You can even customise the watch face to match your outfit with the Galaxy Wearable app. It has automatic exercise tracking and sleep monitoring, and it allows you to listen to Spotify playlists without being tethered to your phone.
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The Outdoorsy Type
The Garmin Instinct is built to withstand the elements. It’s designed with heat, shock and water resistance, so it’s the perfect companion for rock climbers, white-water rafters and mountain bikers. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, the watch measures activity, heart rate, distance covered, sleep quality and steps. It has GPS tracking and it’s preloaded with activity profiles for hiking, running, swimming and more. All this tech is encased in a hardy fibre-reinforced polymer case with a scratch-resistant high-contrast display that’s visible even in the glare of harsh sunlight.
The Switched-on Kid
For when you’re not quite ready for your kid to have a phone – but you do really want to keep track of them – Moochies is a mobile-phone-in-a-watch that kids will love wearing. It has a pedometer, camera, GPS tracking, class mode (so it won’t disturb their studies) as well as phone and video calling and messaging. Parents can keep tabs on kids via the MyMoochies app on their own phone.
The Busy New Mum
Attention new mums – or others who find they’re caring for others more than themselves – a smart watch can help. The Garmin Venu 2 monitors energy levels, respiration, hydration, stress, sleep, menstrual cycles and more, so you can get an overview of your general health and wellbeing. Preloaded workouts including cardio, yoga, Pilates and strength training mean there’s one for whatever intensity you’re in the mood for, while Garmin Pay ensures you’ll be able to have that much-needed flat white even though you accidentally left your wallet at home. Remember: look after yourself, too!
The Fashion-Forward Fitness Fan
Fitbit, the original fitness tracker, has released its most stylish iteration yet in the form of the Fitbit Luxe. It comes with the classic band in a choice of four colours but there’s a load of optional ones to choose from as well including: a leather double-wrap in orange, black and earthy grey croc; a sleek stainless steel mesh band; and a link bracelet in stainless steel or soft gold. Luxe has all the modern health-conscious features you need: guided breathing sessions, 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, 20 different exercise modes and stress management tools. The five-day battery life means you rarely have to take it off.