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Health & Fitness Best running watch 2020: the best sports watches for running, gym and more

17:40  01 june  2020
17:40  01 june  2020 Source:   t3.com

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The best running watches have all the metrics you need to run faster and track your heart rate, VO2 max and calories burned. First, a few words on the Apple Watch Series 5. Particularly for more casual runners (and gym users, and even cyclists and hikers), the Apple Watch Series 5 will provide

Top sports watches for triathlons, swimming, cycling and more . Best running watch 2020 . You can find the individual summaries of our picks further below, but you can also check out the video we Garmin Forerunner 245. Running , biking, swimming, gym workouts. Heart rate monitor. VO2 Max.

a close up of a person using a cell phone: best running watch © Provided by T3 best running watch

The best running watch or multisport GPS watch will be a real step up if you have only used fitness trackers before. Unlike the more basic fitness trackers, a decent running watch has a range of features such as built-in GPS, accurate heart rate sensors and a range of other metrics so you can (over)analyse your performance as you exercise – in real time!

Top running watches have the ability to track way more than just runs, some of them being capable to track activities such as cycling, swimming, rowing and loads more. You can even use them in the gym – or in your home gym – to track resistance training sessions, to varying degrees.

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The Best Affordable GPS Watches for Runners . Simple to operate and accurate in what they do measure Even if you’re opting for a more basic watch over an advanced model, there’s still a lot to consider. The most important thing to think about is what features you need, and how you plan to use it.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020 Best running watch 2020 : the best sports watches for running , gym and more | White Problem The best running watches have all the

If you're looking at ways to lose weight fast, using a running watch can also come in handy. Running watches track heart rate in real time, on your wrist, and are capable of estimating the calories you burned throughout the day, giving you a clearer picture of your energy needs.

Running watches can also teach you how to run faster by calculating VO2 max levels, cadence and heart rate zones as you run. Some of them, like the top of the range Garmin models, can also be connected to heart rate monitors so you can get even more data out of your runs.

The best sports and running watches tend to see discounts on a regular basis – there are regular cheap Fitbit deals and cheap Garmin watch deals out there, for instance. We check prices from thousands of retailers every day (well, our computers do) and that's why you'll always find all the best prices below, thanks to our Magically Updating Price Widgets.

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8 Best Running Watch 2020 ✔️⌚ The Best Sports Watches for Running , Gym and More .

What’s the best running watch with GPS for most people? Whether you’re a casual jogger or seasoned marathon racer, a decent running watch As it stands, the best overall running watch is the Garmin Forerunner 935. If you’re a serious runner looking for a no-compromise tracker, then the

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What is the best running watch?

First, a few words on the Apple Watch Series 5. Particularly for more casual runners (and gym users, and even cyclists and hikers), the Apple Watch Series 5 will provide all the fitness watch features they need, and it also does a whole range of other things that 'proper' running watches cannot do. However, you will need to charge the watch every day, and this watch is not ideal for proper training either.

Our favourite running watch at present is the Garmin Forerunner 245 because it represents a good balance between price and functionality and versatile enough for runners of all abilities as well as being powerful enough to satisfy stat-hungry semi-pros as well.

Best running watch 2020: track your heart rate, VO2 max and calories burned with the best sports watches for running, gym and more

  Best running watch 2020: track your heart rate, VO2 max and calories burned with the best sports watches for running, gym and more The best running watches have all the metrics you need to run faster and more efficiently plus graphs to analyse your workouts laterTop running watches have the ability to track way more than just runs, some of them being capable to track activities such as cycling, swimming, rowing and loads more. You can even use them in the gym – or in your home gym – to track resistance training sessions, to varying degrees.

The best Polar watch has to follow certain guidelines: it needs to be light and ergonomic as well as being innovative smartwatch with precise sensors. How to choose the best Polar watch for your needs. Best running headphones: best workout buds for gym , running and sports .

Our best Garmin GPS running watch for general users is the Forerunner 45, which impressed us with its size, comfort and the amount of data on offer – without For tracking, it will cover running , cycling, pool swimming (yes, 5ATM water resistance is here), walking and much more . If you're serious about

Garmin makes more running watches than anyone else and – in our opinion – the best of them are the finest running watches you can buy. Depending on your taste and your budget, you can opt in for the latest and greatest Garmin Forerunner model, the Garmin Forerunner 945 or you can also choose the previous generation and go with the Forerunner 935 if you are on a tighter budget.

For off-road adventures, you can choose the Suunto 9 Baro or the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, both having excellent battery management options also being more rugged, too. For the same reason, they are also a bit heavier than some of the other models on the list. Don't forget to put on your trail running shoes too.

If you have less than £200/$200 to burn, you can get a Fitbit Versa 2; this smartwatch is aimed at more casual users but can track all the key body metrics, as well as being comfortable enough to wear for sleeping with a great screen. Alternatively, the Polar Ignite is a good entry level fitness watch/fitness tracker with great functions and a decent touch screen.

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a group of people wearing costumes: (Image credit: Polar) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Polar)

How to buy the best running watch for your needs

For the record, you don't necessarily need a running watch to log indoor or outdoor activity. You can use your smartphone's GPS to track your geo-location and a heart rate monitor, like the Polar H9, to track the activity itself.

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These 10 GPS running watches can take your cardio game to the next level, whether you want to What You Want in a GPS Running Watch . Aesthetics: For runners , a GPS watch is more about For one, it delivers some of the best indoor activity tracking, which is great for anyone training at the

The best headphones for running , gym , sports and fitness. The best headphones for gym and running . Specifications. Type: Bluetooth in-ear true wireless with anchoring hooks. I don't recommend that – get a running / gym watch instead – but some people might find it useful.

However, running watches provide heart rate sensing and GPS tracking on your wrist and thanks to their screens, you can keep an eye out on all the data in real time. On some models, you can also check the map and your exact position on the watch itself as you run, without having to consult your phone

Probably the best advice when shopping for a sports watch is to buy one that's a bit more advanced than you currently need it to be. If you've literally just hauled yourself off the sofa for the first time in a decade, you might well think you'd rather not know your heart-rate, but in nine months' time, after you mastered the art of how to lose belly fat fast, you may feel very differently. Likewise, if you've been running for a while, you may be heading towards that point where you'll want to know more about your cadence or lactate threshold.

If you're only going to use your watch in the gym, you may be able to get by with just heart-rate tracking and the ability to time intervals. How about cyclists? More casual pedal pushers can make do with GPS and the ability to track time, speed and distance. But as you get more into it, you could be swayed by the ability to link to power meters and the rest of the Lycra warrior's arsenal of ANT+ and Bluetooth paraphernalia.

Using a smartwatch as a dedicated running watch is still not as satisfying as it should be. The Fitbit Ionic is an excellent fitness watch but its smartwatch credentials are limited so far by a lack of apps and an unnecessarily fiddly contactless payment system.

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Almost all of these watches sync with their respective mobile apps (Gamin Connect, Polar Flow etc.) and third party apps, like Strava as well. These let you dig deeper into the details, create and download pre-planned coaching lessons and set up goal-specific training plans to help you achieve your running and fitness goals.

Wrist heart rate tracking: what you need to know

A lot of running watches now offer heart rate tracking direct from the wrist. The technology used in the running watches is different from heart rate monitors: the former uses optical sensors which reads pulse using lasers and therefore requires the watch and the sensor to be close to the skin for accurate readings.

Here is our best advice on buying a running watch; you can read reams more about the matter online.

1. When it works, a good, wrist-mounted heart-rate tracker is sufficiently accurate for most users.

2. For daily tracking of your resting and active pulse rate, it is more than adequate.

3. For running, it is broadly speaking fine.

4. For very high-intensity exercise, anything where your muscles are highly tensed and for anyone who just sweats a lot, wrist HR is barely fit for purpose. Moisture causes the light from the tracker to refract, ruining its accuracy and in many cases, stopping it working entirely.

5. In all cases except all-day tracking, a chest strap is a more accurate option. We're not saying those are perfect, but they're more accurate in general.

The best running watches, in order

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Garmin) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Garmin)

1. Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

The best option for serious runners on a budget

Best running watch 2020: the best sports watches for running, gym and more

  Best running watch 2020: the best sports watches for running, gym and more The best running watches have all the metrics you need to run faster and track your heart rate, VO2 max and calories burnedTop running watches have the ability to track way more than just runs, some of them being capable to track activities such as cycling, swimming, rowing and loads more. You can even use them in the gym – or in your home gym – to track resistance training sessions, to varying degrees.

Weight: 38.5 grams | Case material: Fiber-reinforced polymer | Lens material: Corning Gorilla glass 3 | Water rating: up to 5 ATM | Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels | Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode

Latest gen heart rate sensor
Built-in music storage
Amazing battery life
Plastic case does not radiate an aura of quality

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is the ultimate smartphone-free GPS running watch for the price conscious runner. Other multi-sport watches, like the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro or the Polar Vantage V, might provide more metrics, but for the low price point, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a more than capable device.

The GPS+GLONASS+Galileo positioning system is quick and accurate, tracking your movement outdoors with high precision. The battery can last up to seven days in smartwatch mode and six hours in GPS mode with music, meaning that you won't have to charge it more than three times in two weeks.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music also supports Garmin Coach, an adaptive training guide that can train you up to run a certain distance (5k, 10k or half marathon) within  a certain time limit, set by you. The plan adapts to your training load and progression and adjusts it accordingly.

You can check your progress and pore over data from previous activities using the Garmin Connect app. In the app, you can also collect badges for a range of activities, a fun way to stay motivated!

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a bit on the light side, though, which is of course great if you use it for running, but you also won't get the sense that you have something substantial wrapped around your wrist.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Garmin) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Garmin)

2. Garmin Forerunner 945

Light yet versatile multisport watch with excellent sensors

Lens material: Gorilla Glass | Display size: 1.2" (30.4 mm) | Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels | Weight: 50 grams | Battery life: GPS mode with music – up to 10 hours, GPS mode without music – up to 36 hours, Smartwatch mode – up to 2 weeks

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Completely revamped hardware
Uses Garmin's new Elevate HR sensor
Garmin Pay ready
Gorilla Glass
Sony GPS chip

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is a great compromise between top-notch features and price, whilst not being a compromise at all. Many people will say 'but it looks the same as the Forerunner 935' and you know what? They are right. But whilst the Forerunner 945 has retained the look and feel of the Forerunner 935, in the inside, it has been completely revamped.

For starters, it uses Garmin's new Elevate optical heart rate sensor, which is more accurate, even under water, than the 935's sensor. The Forerunner 945 also uses a new GPS chip that manages battery life better and it is more accurate than its predecessor as well.

The Forerunner 935 didn't have any onboard music storage and wasn't Garmin Pay ready either, unlike the Forerunner 945, which is. You won't use any of these features on races, probably, but we can safely assume that you will wear the smartwatch on non-race days, too, where they might come in handy.

The Forerunner 945 also has many of Garmin's latest-gen features, including PulseOx, Live Event Sharing, accident detection and assistance, Body Battery energy monitor, Training Load Focus and many more. Some of these features are more casual than hardcore, but that's okay, if I were Garmin, I would like to make my top-tier products more appealing to everyday users too.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 comes with on-board maps as well. Granted, the 1.2" screen is not as detailed as your smartphone, but if you want to break away from the phone screen for a bit and still want to be able to navigate in the same time, the Garmin Forerunner 945 has got your back.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Polar) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Polar)

3. Polar Vantage V

Waterproof watch with long battery life for triathlon or running training

Weight: 66 grams (with wristband) | Case material: Stainless steel | Water rating: up to 50 metres | Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels | Battery life: up to 40 hours in training mode

Running power on wrist
Accurate heart rate sensor
Ideal for triathletes
Touchscreen + five buttons navigation can be confusing at first
Higher price

• Read our Polar Vantage V review

The Polar Vantage V is a peculiar flagship smartwatch. First of all, it most usually retails for less than the likes of Garmin Forerunner 945 or the Suunto 9 Baro which can be a big plus to many people out there. It also has some very unique features which might arouse some runners out there, especially the running power metric, measured on the wrist.

It also looks a bit more like a fashion watch as opposed to a multi-sport smartwatch. The strap colours you can choose from aren't black and even more black, but bright orange, vibrant blue and white. Polar doesn't want you to blend in. They want their watches to stand out and be seen.

There is a lot to love on the Polar Vantage V. It has a large touchscreen display, hidden under Gorilla Glass lens and no less than nine sensors on the back. It uses a GPS+GLONASS tracking system, which doesn't pick the signal up as fast as Garmins, for example, but it does the job just fine.

The battery will last long enough, too, it has enough juice for 40 hours of tracking, so considering average use, you will be able to go between two charges for a good week.

And of course, the Polar Vantage V has all the fitness tracking features you'll ever need, and more, like sleep stage tracking, Nightly Recharge (which shows you how your body was able to recover from stress or training), Serene (guided breathing exercise), steps and activity tracking.

Since it is a Polar watch, the Polar Vantage V focuses a lot on recovery, too, with features like Training Load Pro, which measures cardio, muscle and perceived load, all on the wrist and without any external straps or pods needed.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Coros) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Coros)

4. Coros Pace

Best running watch for price conscious runners

Weight: 48 grams | Battery life: Up to 25 hrs in GPS mode / 30 days in smartwatch mode | Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels | Water rating: Up to 50 metres

Great value for money multi-sport watch
Lightweight
Good battery life
Advanced metrics measured on the wrist
Coros app takes some time to get used to

• Buy the Coros Pace directly from Coros

Coros is getting more and more attention in fitness circles for their great value for money fitness wearables that challenge models from more established brands like Garmin, Polar and Suunto, so pretty much all the brands on this guide. The Pace is Coros' most reasonably priced model but that doesn't mean it's cheap or that it doesn't have any performance features.

The Coros Pace is a multi-sport watch that even has a triathlon mode and can measure heart rate under water. The metrics recorded include running cadence, stride length, pace, stroke rate and SWOLF. Analytics can be further scrutinised on the watch or in the free-to-use Coros App.

If you ever used running watches before, you know that a good app can make or break even the best running hardware. In 2020, apps are essential part of the running process and many runners (and cyclists and triathletes) spend countless hours poring over friends' feeds in Strava and their own metrics in various running apps.

Saying all that, the Coros App is okay at best and could use some refinement for sure. It's not terrible to use but not as intuitive as some other apps on the market. For those who aren't too keen in overanalysing their performance, the Coros App could be used to feed data into third party apps like Strava or TrainingPeaks.

In return for putting up with the app, the Coros Pace repays you great battery life – the Pace can go for roughly two weeks between two charges – the aforementioned triathlon features and the Smart Learning Stride Length feature that will measure the distance ran even without a GPS signal.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Garmin) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Garmin)

5. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Titanium (47 mm case)

Rugged, precise and absolutely overpowered

Lens material: Sapphire Crystal | Display size: 1.3" (33 mm) | Display resolution: 260 x 260 pixels | Weight: 49 grams (case only) | Battery life: up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode

Clear display
Widget user interface is brilliant
Built-in music storage + Garmin Pay
Bit on the heavy side
Expensive
No way you will use all the features

• Read our Garmin Fenix 6 Pro review

The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is a great smartwatch for anyone who loves the Great Outdoors and it is especially good for triathletes and trail runners. The Fenix 6 has a multisport mode which makes switching between sport modes as easy as pressing a button.

Garmin managed to improve on the formula that made the Fenix 5 Plus so great, further enhancing the battery life and also tweaking the user interface, which is now way easier to glance over, thanks to the new widget view.

If anything, the Fenix 6 Pro is more rugged than light, but it is far from being too heavy. The Titanium version is 11 grams lighter than the steel version, making it on par with other smartwatches on this list.

The Garmin Fenix 6 Series is not flawless, though. They not only retail for more than many of the watches on this list, but it is also very overpoweredd: it feels more like a demonstration from Garmin of what their technology is capable of than a good set of features runners might appreciate. It's doubtful, for example, that many people will want to use the Garmin Fenix 6 for points-of-interest navigation in urban areas, although the watch is capable of doing just that.

Nevertheless, if you can justify the price – and weight – of the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, you should definitely get one because it just feels great on the wrist and really represents what fitness smartwatches are capable of.

a close up of a watch: Best running watch: Suunto 9 Baro © Provided by T3 Best running watch: Suunto 9 Baro

6. Suunto 9 Baro

Best running watch for long distances and off-road

Weight: 81 grams | Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide | Water rating: up to 100 metres | Display resolution: 320 x 300 pixels | Battery life: up to 120 hours

Battery life management options
Barometer
Sapphire crystal glass
Quite bulky

The Suunto 9 Baro is pretty much identical to the Suunto 9, apart from two key factors: the Baro has a barometer – as the name suggests – and also comes with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass at the front. For these two features, you will need to pay around 20% premium, but it'll be worth it.

The Suunto 9 Baro's extra features will be appreciated most by trail runners and hikers who scale mountains and would like to keep track of the altitude gain/loss of their runs. Even better for them, the Suunto 9 Baro features a storm alarm, so you can find shelter in time, or just skip outdoor training altogether, depending on your mood.

The extra features offered by the Suunto 9 Baro don't compromise the excellent battery life, another bonus for people who not only like running in mountains, but also do it for long periods of time each time. We understand that we are talking about a niche market here, but for those, the Suunto 9 Baro is heaven sent.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Garmin) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Garmin)

7. Garmin Forerunner 645

The forerunner of the latest Forerunner generation is still competent

Weight: 42.2 grams | Case material: stainless steel | Lens material: Corning Gorilla glass 3 | Water rating: up to 5 ATM | Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels | Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode

Numerous useful running metrics
Many sport profiles
HR sensor has been updated ever since

The Garmin Forerunner 645's screen is clear and easy to read, with a button-activated light for darker conditions. The buttons are satisfying to use and it's the watch itself is very lightweight (42g), attractively thing, especially by fitness wearable standards.

The 645 incorporates GPS and wrist heart-rate tracking, which is good for monitoring your resting and all-day rates, if not necessarily ideal for when running or working out, due to the usual wrist HR issues of minor inaccuracy when working properly, and the fact it sometimes loses your pulse entirely. we'd recommend a chest strap for gym exercise or cycling, but for running the wrist system is generally fine.

Having said that, Runners could also consider adding one of Garmin's specialist HRM-Run heart-rate straps. These don't just give much better cardio tracking than the wrist-based system built into the 945, they also incorporate motion sensing that allows tracking of cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation. It's arguable how useful that is to most runners, but some will find it of almost obsessive interest. The brand also does waterproof HR straps with built-in data storage, for swimmers and triathletes.

Cyclists can also pair the Forerunner 645 with ANT+ and Bluetooth bike accessories from power meters to Garmin smart lights.

The 645 provides accurate GPS tracking of your runs and cycles, and crunches a lot of data based on your cardiovascular efforts in all forms of exercise. This means it can suggest recovery times, make a decent stab at estimating your VO2 Max, tell you how optimal your training load and lots, lots more.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Suunto) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Suunto)

8. Suunto 7

Wear OS-powered fitness smartwatch with a beautiful display

Weight: 70 grams | Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide | Lens material: Gorilla glass | Water rating: rated for 50 metres | Display resolution: 454 x 454 pixels (AMOLED) | Battery life: up to 2 days in smartwatch mode

Large screen
Downloadable maps
Wear OS smart functionality and integrations
Touchscreen
Battery life short (for a running watch)
Expensive
Laggy touchscreen
Dual app (Wear OS, Suunto App) control on phone is confusing

• Buy the Suunto 7 at John Lewis

The Suunto 7 has plenty to offer: a sharp display, plenty of smart functionality, good heart rate sensor and built-in GPS, not to mention the offline maps and the really cool heatmaps.

The controls are slightly confusing at first, the mix of touch and push button operation which – combined with the laggy Wear OS interface – can cause frustration, especially until you get used to the shortcomings of the system.

• Read our Suunto 7 review

On a scale from Garmin Forerunner 945 to Fitbit Versa 2, the Suunto 7 sits closer to the former but still gives the impression that it's the latter on steroids. One thing that pushes the Suunto 7 towards the Fitbit Versa 2 end of the scale is the battery life.

You will be lucky to go two days between two charges, which is not too bad for a Wear OS watch with a huge display, but it is not great compared to running watches like the Suunto 9 (a bit higher above this list) or even the aforementioned Garmin Venu (not on this list) which can last up to five days (it has a smaller display, mind).

The biggest issue with the Suunto 7 is its price; it might be an Apple Watch competitor, but I doubt many people would choose a Suunto over an Apple Watch. Once the price has dropped slightly (watch out for those sweet discounts here at T3!), I will be able to wholeheartedly recommend the Suunto.

a close up of a watch: Best runnig watch: Garmin Forerunner 935 © Provided by T3 Best runnig watch: Garmin Forerunner 935

9. Garmin Forerunner 935

Last-gen Garmin flagship still sails okay

Weight: 49 grams | Case material: fibre reinforced polymer | Lens material: chemically strengthened glass | Water rating: up to 5 ATM | Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels | Battery life: up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode

Endlessly versatile
Good on land, sea, gym, pool, track
Metrics galore

The Garmin Forerunner 935 might not be the most accurate and up to date Garmin flagship model sports watch any more, but it can still track many features its successors can, albeit less accurately than those. Pair it up with the Garmin HMR-Tri chest strap and the Garmin Running Pod, and you got yourself a very potent fitness tracking ecosystem, although for this price, you might as well just get the Forerunner 945.

What the Garmin Forerunner 935 still offers is a high-res display, a good case and screen, excellent battery life and a lot of metrics to pore over. If you are okay with not wearing the latest sports watch, you will be well off using the Forerunner 935.

best running watch: Fitbit Ionic © Provided by T3 best running watch: Fitbit Ionic

10. Fitbit Ionic

Best Fitbit for the gym and running

Tracks everything
Compact and comfortable
Great app
Slightly basic 'smartwatch' functions

With the ability to store more than 300 songs and to detect crunches and other gym workouts, as well as having built-in GPS and pulse tracking, this is the most complete fitness watch Fitbit has ever produced.

The Ionic's heart rate monitor is a bit peculiar. It seems very accurate once you're into more intense activity, but very inaccurate at lower levels, when exercising. The issue with this is that some people like to exercise in the more relaxed, so-called 'fat burning' zone. We're not sure they'll get anywhere with the Ionic, because it is less accurate at that kind of level. For tracking resting/average heart-rate and workouts in the higher cardio/threshold/intense zones the Ionic is good. It's just the area in between where it seems to go haywire.

Fitbit claims 4+ days of battery, although as with every watch on the market, the more you use it on a regular basis, the less time the battery will last. For a running watch that is not bad and for a smartwatch, it's great.

Being a Fitbit, the Ionic also tracks your steps, distance covered, calories burned in one day and how well you've slept. It also tracks how many flights of stairs you’ve walked up, and reminds you to move when you been sitting for too long. This feature is a bit peculiar as it also tracks your movements outdoors. So if you walk or cycle up a hill, that will be logged as climbing stairs. It's handy if you want to know how many flights of stairs a hill is equivalent to.

The Ionic also has personalised coaching workouts that guide you through specific exercises. This could one day be useful, but if you spend too much time looking at the screen of your watch, you won’t execute the drill properly.

The Ionic is water resistant up to 50 meters and will have a go at tracking lengths, distance and time. No wrist heart-rate trackers can work underwater, and the Ionic is no exception.

Finally, to train better and become stronger (or faster), you need rest and recovery. The Fitbit Ionic monitors not just your hours of sleep but also the quality, according to your heart rate activity and your night movements. It then breaks your night down into deep, light and REM sleep, which is pretty advanced.

(Image credit: Polar) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Polar)

11. Polar Ignite

Adaptive trainer with great accuracy

Weight: 35 grams | Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polymer | Lens material: N/A | Water rating: up to 30 metres | Display resolution: 240 x 204 pixels | Battery life: up to 5 days in smartwatch mode

Integrated GPS
Useful sleep and training insights
Latest gen heart rate sensor
No NFC or music storage

• Read our Polar Ignite review

The Polar Ignite is a great fitness watch geared towards runners and cyclists alike. It can also give you valuable insight on a range of other activities and even on your sleep.

Thanks to the built-in GPS, there is no need to carry around the phone with you when you go out for a run to be able to track your course. Recording an exercise is as easy as pressing the button on the side and tapping on the icon of the desired activity, doesn't take you more than two seconds.

The Ignite has a continuous heart-rate monitoring function as well. Granted, this isn't the most precise tracker, but none of the wrist-based HR trackers are precise enough to replace your GP, really.

The metrics monitored by the Polar Ignite are more than enough for most serious amateurs, people this fitness watch was designed for. Not only it gives you stats after the exercise has been finished on the watch face, once synchronised with the Polar Flow app, you can analyse your training in even more depth.

You can also track your sleeps with the Polar Ignite. The only issue is – and this is something all fitness trackers have in common – is that wearing a tracker 'snugly' is not comfortable on the long run.

For this price, though, the Polar Ignite is well the investment. Coupled up the with Polar Flow app and the adaptive recommendation system, it can help you immensely to improve your fitness levels.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Suunto) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Suunto)

12. Suunto 5

The Suunto 9 Baro's little sibling with intelligent battery modes

Good form factor
Solid construction
Over 80 different sport modes straight out of the box
Sometimes hard to read screens (small fonts)
GPS signal takes a while to be picked up

Considerably cheaper than the Suunto 9 Baro, the Suunto 5 still has many of the features of its older and bigger sibling, including the intelligent battery management system and 24/7 heart-rate tracking.

The compact form factor of this sports watch is ideal for people with smaller wrist circumference although it does mean that the screen is also smaller than the 9 Baro. This wouldn't be an issue in itself, but unfortunately the Suunto 5 sometimes wants to display the same amount of info as watches with much larger screens, which makes it rally challenging to read during running workouts, for example.

The Suunto 5 has loads of useful features, including the adaptive training guide, which – as the name suggests – adapts to your training intensity and recommends workouts based on your performance.

One feature that elevates the Suunto 9 Baro above the rest of the competition is the extremely long battery life, something the Suunto 5 inherited too. The Suunto 5 will not only has different battery saving options to choose from, it also prompts you if it needs charging and if it thinks you will run out of juice soon.

With over 80 different sport modes to choose from, you can rest assured the Suunto 5 will be able to track your chosen sport principle accurately.

  • Best tennis racquet: make a racket on the court, whichever way you spell it

The best Apple Watch apps we've used in 2020 .
Our list of the very best Apple Watch apps for fitness, sleep, travel and more.Far from it, as our selection here demonstrates.

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