Best activity trackers and fitness watches
Top 5 best fitness watches and activity trackers with heart-rate monitors
By Hannah Walsh
Article 4 of 6
We review the latest and greatest fitness watches and activity trackers with built-in heart-rate monitors from all the top brands
A built-in heart-rate monitor is a useful feature and, if accurate, can help you track your active heart-rate zone and measure improvements in training. We’ve tested fitness watches and activity trackers with built-in heart-rate monitors from brands including Fitbit, Garmin, Polar and Samsung, among others.
The Best Buy fitness watches and activity trackers in the table below not only do a great job of accurately tracking your heart rate and other activities, but are comfortable to wear and a breeze to use, too.
Poor performers in our tests struggle to accurately track heart rate, including one device that understated it by nearly 60%.
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Best fitness watches and acitivity trackers with heart-rate monitors
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of June 2018.
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How do we test heart-rate tracking accuracy?
Our test participants go through a series of tasks while wearing a ‘telemetry monitor’ chest strap, which measures the electrical signals from their heart. They walk on a calibrated treadmill at 4.8km/hour for 10min and run at 9-10km/hour for 10 min and go through a routine of daily tasks, including loading and unloading a dishwasher, carrying the shopping and sitting reading a magazine.
We compare the heart-rate readings from the telemetry monitor with the fitness watch or activity tracker, which allows us to calculate how accurate the device is. We know consistency is just as important as accuracy, particularly when using changes in heart rate to monitor improvements in fitness over time. So we repeat our walking test to see if the trackers consistently overstate, understate or hit the accuracy mark.