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Smart/Sports Watches

So lately I’ve been looking into picking up a new watch. Not specifically one to answer my phone or play music from, but more of a health oriented one. I’ve seen several that monitor sleep, as well as heart rate, blood oxygen levels, even ECG. Curious if anyone has any specific brands they have found that they are big fans of.

Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions!


Most are not super reliable for HR, ECG, Oxygen level. but you will see if there is a change compare to your normal.
I am a Garmin fan, the GPS and the easy to use app win over Sunnto and FitBit.

I have a Fitbit Charge 4. Really like the thing actually, it does a fairly accurate job of measuring heart rate (both resting and during exercise), counting steps, estimating VO2 max, and tracking sleep (ie: time spent in REM, deep sleep, etc). The phone app is a bit buggy, but other than that i’m happy with it

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I’ve a Fitbit charge 3 and really happy with it. I think the only real differences between the 3 and 4 is the 4 has a built in GPS whereas the 3 piggybacks off your phone’s and the 4 can do things like android and apply pay. In England at least, the 3 was nearly half the price of the 4 though.

I like that it’s small on the wrist and monitors HR and sleep which were the main things I want it for. No way for me to tell how accurate it actually is but seems to be. For example, when I’m exercising and it starts to get difficult my heart rate often increases too and my resting heart rate goes up after a few stressful days or bad sleeps.

I’ve been looking at the Fenix line … what do you recommend?

The Fenix is the ultimat sport/triatlon watch. If you want a full on GPS with maps or music you need the 5plus or the 6pro. If you tend to destroy everything the Tactix Charlie is built tougher or the Saphir glass on the Fenix line. The s line stand for slim or small.

So if you don’t need a full on hiking GPS watch (topo map on display) the Fenix 5plus or Fenix 6pro if you need the music of Fenix 5 or 6 with no music.


I think I’m still using the Charge 2. Have they fixed the design flaw with the display/charger? Mine is cracked from the charger. I reviewed new watches awhile back and was leaning away from FitBit because the cracked watch face seemed to be a regular thing.

My Charge 2 also loses my heart rate when I’m exercising and I get over 130 bpm. I’ll do the quick six second count and add a zero and I’ll be in the 160s but the watch has a dash or shows like 114.

got a charge 2 as well. confirm the HR seems off, esp when sweating. I only use it to keep track of steps. works equally well on the wrist or in pocket.

If you’re more fan of a “realistic looking watch”, the Samsung Gear S3 has pretty much everything you said (HR, sleep tracking, steps, etc etc) and is dirt cheap VS newer models. It’s still updated by samsung but may be hard to find (3-4 years old model i think). Nothing bad to say against mine, i looked for the newest model, but spending 2-3x more cash for a more refined look that do pretty much the same thing… i just can’t resonate myself to accept aha

The Whoop band seems to have some really good reviews. It’s pricey, but a lot of ppl swear by it. The analytics are quite detailed and the app keeps meticulous records and analytics with minimal effort on your part

I have some first-hand experience with two devices. The Fenix 5 and the Moov Now.

Subjectively, I’d argue that the Fenix 5 is sleek and gives you enough features to satisfy the smart watch itch. It, like every other wrist watch does not gauge HR well if you intend to use it to gauge HR during interval training. For averages over longer time it does the trick and even had HRV support which works okay.

I say okay because the device is just continuing to gather data and compares back against previous data points. So, if one was to start using it during a training camp it’d be incapable of saying “you’re super stressed right now” because there’s no data to indicate this isn’t your norm.

I’d still have and use it if I didn’t have a hard time not to obsess about its activity level measure (possible to hide but hard to forget and I’m a techie so even if I have to jump through hoops anything less than a hard block doesn’t really work for me).

The Moov is a fantastic piece of kit but it’s a bit weird. It doesn’t have a display! But the battery is amazing. It has more sensors and can coach a lot of activities, for me the best thing is that it can coach my running gait. Can be paired with a chest strap to track HR. Will keep track of sleep and activity but you have to start the app to see it.

If I had an excess of money earmarked solely for a smart watch the MARQ from Garmin has me drooling.

Not sure what the Charge 2 was like, but no issues so far with the charger for mine. It hooks onto the back and cradles the device when it charges, I can’t see how it could crack the front. I have noticed a few glitches though at the higher HR levels, once in awhile I’ll go full-out on my assault bike and it will either not pick up a heartbeat, or will show one that’s definitely too low. I’ve found that wearing it fairly tightly around the wrist, about two finger widths up from the ulnar head (bony prominence on wrist) helps prevent many of these glitches from occuring.

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The “cradle” on mine is like a modified clothes pin. It pinches the watch and based on reviews and personal experience, it can squeeze the glass part of the watch and it cracks. Mine has been cracked for 1.5+ years. It’s doing fine but I avoid submerging it in water now.

I have a Gear S3. Any particular apps for it you would recommend for training?