Which? Best Buy fitness watches and activity trackers
Looking to buy a fitness watch or activity tracker? Nobody goes to the lengths we do to put watches and trackers through their paces. You can be sure that a Best Buy fitness watch or activity tracker will be accurate, comfortable and a breeze to use. As opposed to our Don't Buys where experts reveal the worst fitness watches and activity trackers on sale.
What makes a Best Buy fitness watch or activity tracker?
Our lab testing has uncovered devices that are inaccurate, and ones where the manufacturer claims it has features that it doesn't. For instance, many fitness watches are falsely said to have built-in altimeters to measure the altitude but, in fact, the watch calculates your ascent and descent using data from GPS and maps, rather than a traditional altimeter instrument.
We’ve discovered fitness watches and activity trackers that will clock up steps even when you're just moving your arms. So, while you may think you're hitting your step targets and improving your fitness, you're not. We've also found trackers that overstate how many calories you've burned, which could inadvertently lead to you overeating.
- We've reviewed fitness watches and activity trackers for every budget – our cheapest Best Buy activity tracker can be picked up for under £50, while Best Buy fitness watches start at less than £150.
- Our reviews cover models from all the main watch and tracker brands, including Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, Misfit, Polar and TomTom,
- We focus on what’s important: our testers assess every watch and tracker for accuracy, comfort, ease of use and the features on offer.
- Our experts cut through the jargon and hype of new technology to unearth the genuinely useful features of every fitness watch and activity tracker. They’ll put sensors and apps to the test to make sure every feature works as advertised.
How we test the best fitness watches and activity trackers
We put the top fitness watches and activity trackers through a series of tough lab tests and have found some great Best Buy models. But we’ve also found some that are inaccurate and simply not up to the task. We were surprised to see one watch understate heart rate by 23% during our cycling tests. Our goal is to help you pick a fitness watch or activity tracker that's accurate, as well as comfortable and a breeze to use.
- Accuracy: our testers run, walk and undertake everyday tasks while we measure how the device tracks steps, distance, calories and heart rate. Test participants walk on a calibrated treadmill at 4.8km/h for 10 minutes and run at 9-10km/h for 10 minutes so we can check how well the watch tracks steps taken and distance. You can be sure your Best Buy won’t miss a single step or heartbeat.
- Advanced sports tracking: we take to the pool and go for a 5km outdoor run to test the accuracy of the swim tracking metrics, such as distance, and the GPS tracking.
- Calorie counting: our testers don a face mask linked to a gas-analysis system to log calorie burn as accurately as possible while walking and running. We then compare this with the watch or tracker count.
- Ease of use: our testers spend weeks getting stuck into using the watch or tracker and the accompanying app, so you can be sure they’ll find any niggles when using it.
- Comfort: a fitness watch or activity tracker could be super-accurate, but if it rubs your skin, digs into your arm or is just plain heavy and ugly, you’re not going to wear it. We get a range of users to assess each device for comfort.
Fitness watch and activity tracker reviews you can trust
Models from the biggest fitness watch and activity tracker brands on the market are tested in the Which? test lab – including Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, Polar, TomTom and Samsung. Even the most well-known names occasionally drop the ball.
Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don’t take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.
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