Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Which Fitness Tracking Watch Should I Buy? The Best Smart Watch - Apple, Garmin Or Fitbit Watch Review

sweaty Betty blue yoga set
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Hello hello! I have received an influx of messages recently asking me about my fitness watch and I feel as if now is the perfect time to write up my review of the three *most asked about* fitness watches. In my opinion, that would be the Apple Watch, a Garmin watch or a Fitbit. I feel in a good position to write about these as myself and my family use fitness watches every single day so we can hopefully draw up a comparison for you if you are thinking of getting one. I personally own a Garmin and wear it every single day right now (I am testing it against my FitBit!), a FitBit and an Apple Watch! My parents and brother swear by their Fitbits and wear them every single day (they have done for YEARS) and my boyfriend pinched my Apple Watch off me and uses that every day so between us, we have trialled and tested them all! I hope this will help you if you are looking for a fitness tracking watch or a smart watch.

P.S I've also got you covered with the best sports bras to buy and the best trainers for all budgets and all activities!

Don't miss: 

Garmin vivomove watch

Do I need a fitness or smart watch? I think the first question is, do you need one? Or do you just fancy one? It's completely up to you, for me, it took me quite some time to get into it as I'm one of those people that loses jewellery/watches or forgets to put them back on after tanning/swimming/applying moisturiser, you name it. Once I finally got into the rhythm though, I'm hooked. I love tracking my steps, I love pushing my heart rate up, I love monitoring my workouts, for me one of the most amazing things is checking my sleep pattern too. I really am a data driven, stats kinda person (even though I hate maths) so having a little thing on my watch doing it for me? It's fascinating. 

It's so much more than just a running tracker or a calorie counter - it's what you want it to be. I would say if you obsess about things it could be quite challenging to have a smart watch, the idea of seeing your calories etc could be quite triggering so please bear that in mind. I was chatting to a friend of mine recently who absolutely swears by her Garmin watch (she's an avid runner, walker, boxer - you name it) and it was actually her who told me to start trialling my Garmin one so I could compare it to my Fitbit. I knew if she swore by it, then it must be good as she's massively into her fitness, runs marathons and could beat anyone down a ski slope ha. She told me she uses hers to track her runs, her walks, even her ski trips but she deliberately turns the calories part off (you get an app with it and can adjust what you see on your widget which is very smart) as she finds it quite triggering, so just a heads up, they're fantastic tools just don't get too addicted to looking at the stats. I listened to a podcast that said unless you were in a lab study, nothing is ever going to be 100% accurate so always take things like calorie burn with a pinch of salt (expect that it's going to over egg it) and look for the trends rather than it being an exact science.

Benefits of a fitness watch 

They all do so many different things but here are what I see as the best benefits of mine!

Sleep - Monitoring my sleep and then it popping up on an app the next day to tell me how much light/deep sleep I got is so helpful for me and makes me want to try and focus on getting more sleep.

Steps - I've always loved tracking my steps, I personally find the health app on iPhone better for tracking steps as my watch can sometimes track more steps than I am actually doing but it's nice to have it on one place in my app.

Calories - As I said, for some people this may be a little much but you can adapt most of the watches to suit you. I like to compare my home workouts to my gym workouts for example but I remind myself not to get obsessed with hitting a certain number. Most of them show calories, eg, calories your body burns just by being alive, and active calories from movement or exercise which is cool.

Heart rate - Someone in my family has a chronic illness and it's super helpful for him to check his heart rate.

Payment - Many of them you can make card payments on too for shopping which is handy if you forget your card or don't want to take it out with you.

Reminders - I love that they'll pop up and remind me to stretch, move or even breathe! It's like a nice little friend on my wrist haha.

Challenges - You can set it up so that you have challenges to hit each week, eg, 10k steps per day or a certain amount of workouts. This keeps me on track, it's also great so I don't overtrain either as I can look at a calendar of all my days and workouts.

Badges - Some give you badges when you have achieved certain things e.g. walked 100.000 life time steps and all sorts of interesting points, I love a little badge or reward and find it weirdly motivating haha!

Social aspect - You can attach your friends to them so you can basically see what each other is doing to spur eachother on! I was doing this with my friend from Canada, on our Apple watches we'd send each other inspo and I LOVED it. 

Garmin vivomove watch
Garmin watch USAUK / and also online hereGym leggings

Garmin Vivomove Watch Review - I have the Garmin Vivomove it was gifted to me as part of an Ad campaign at the start of the year (this is in no way sponsored). I got it out of the box, charged it up and it was a really easy set up, you have to download an app and you basically run everything to do with the watch, via the app - so you can check your sleep on there, check your total daily calories etc. Pros of the watch: it looks so good, I love that it looks like a watch but when you tap it, that's when the touch screen comes out, so on a day to day basis it just looks like a normal watch and I know a lot of people LOVE that this looks like a normal watch (plus I am a sucker for rose gold). It's definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing ones I've seen and people always ask about it, so if you're after a traditional looking watch that doubles up as a smartwatch, you'll love this. You have to activate it when you are doing a walk or a workout, so it knows to time it and monitor it. I scroll across, tap the little aerobic person on the screen and then double tap to start my workout, at the end, I save it and it goes into my app, tracking my workout. I love that when I'm going on a walk, I can click the little walk animation and select to use GPS and then at the end of my walk, it gives me a full map and route of my walk on the app! My friend used hers for skiing and regularly uses hers for running and absolutely loves it for those activities too. On the arm, it's super comfortable and flexible and the charge lasts really well. After a full day skiing, using GPS, it would need charging but I have found for day to day use, I have only had to charge it every 4 days which is really good, apparently it's just the GPS that uses the charge up. You can select a number of activities, whether it's weight lifting, yoga, cycling, running or walking (I usually select the aerobic one as at the moment most of my workouts are HIIT workouts). Apparently the more you wear it, the better it gets at properly reading calories etc, to begin with I was so confused as to why it was saying I'd burnt barely any, but it's because I hadn't tapped to start my workout. It has the option to receive text messages, your calendar, events and notifications to it but I turned that off as I hate my watch constantly going off and notifying me! It does regularly tell you to 'take a break' 'go for a stretch' or 'move' which I find quite nice. It also has a tap and pay function and you can use contactless Garmin pay, I haven't set this up yet as I'm old school but it's a good function to have. You can track everything on this, including your menstrual cycle, stress level and energy level too which I love. So, to conclude, I have found this watch wonderful for running, HIIT and walking, yes it's a bit annoying having to click to time and you've got to double tap quite hard but Matt has to do the same with his watch! I love the look of it, it goes with my outfits and looks pretty and it even tracks menstrual cycle, sleep and stress which I love.

UK shop the Garmin Vivomove watch here and my exact one here (it comes in more colours!) and USAThis one is a more affordable, lower version of mine.

This one and here too is the most expensive, top of the range Garmin watch, it's bulkier but apparently it's incredible.
Shop Garmin watches below: 

Shop Fitbitonline here and here

Fitbit review Fitbit's have got a lot more attractive in recent years, I have an old school Fitbit and it's stood the test of time, we are talking years. It's the original smart watch and the best way to track and monitor your goals, your heart rate and your sleep, you can see how active you've been throughout the day too. The FitBit is a really simple piece of kit to use. You take it out of the box, charge it up, download an app, set up an account and it’s ready to use. When out and about you can check live information on your FitBit such as heart rate, calories burnt, number of steps walked etc or you can look at your phone and check a whole lot more information on the app. I love the FitBit to check my sleep patterns - it tells me how much light sleep, deep sleep and REM I have achieved each night. I also love the fact that I can tap the monitor and set it up to measure different type of exercises such as a run or being on a treadmill or doing a workout. Once you have completed your exercise session you can then check how you did i.e. how much time you spent in fat burn mode, cardio mode or peak, what your average heart rate was and how many calories you burned. You don’t have to set it up specifically to measure these though as it has an auto measurement function for many activities so it is monitoring you automatically most of the time. The data you receive on a FitBit is endless - each of the screens has a more detailed screen behind it giving you data over days, weeks or the months that you have been using it so you really can begin to build up a fitness picture. The heart rate monitor is very accurate in our experience. My Mum was in the middle of some onerous renovation work on our family home and didn’t feel too good. At the end of the day she checked out her average heart rate and resting heart rate for that day against other days and it became apparent that it was very high in comparison. Over the next week she has a really bad virus and for the entire time she felt unwell her resting heart rate was showing on her FitBit as significantly higher than normal. As soon as she started feeling better, it came down so this is a really helpful piece of kit for seeing signs that things are not right. The FitBit is also great fun when it tells you to get up and move at certain points in the day and it also awards some great badges when you reach certain milestones. If you really want to go in to detail you can record how much you eat and drink each day and set targets against these and many more things. I'd say Fitbits are super affordable now and actually look like Apple watches too.
You can shop Fitbit online here and here and below. 


sweaty Betty gym kit

Apple Watch - Finally, an Apple Watch, I'd argue the cooler of all the fitness watches out there but some would argue they're not solely for fitness tracking, whereas brands like Fitbit and Garmin are. I'd argue that Apple have so much money, they can make the creme de la creme of anything haha. An Apple product and links up with everything Apple which is a bonus, if you're like me and have an iPhone and an Apple Mac. I'd argue Apple watches are the coolest looking if you want something that actually looks like a smart watch, over an analogue watch, they have a nice touch screen display, and according to them, they do the best fitness watches in the world?! Matt says his over eggs calories but I think they all do. He loves the fact that you can link it to every app on your iPhone, including getting all notifications through from emails, social media, texts and you can respond and reply to texts if you've got cellular or on wifi. Just like the Garmin, you set it up through an app which was super easy to do and I love that you can adjust the straps and change it. The Apple Watch is incredibly flexible in terms of the way it looks and the apps you have on there, I use Nike running for my runs and obviously this also works alongside it, as it's an app on my iPhone. You can save £200 by buying the Series 3 Apple Watch over the Series 5, so what is the comparison/difference? The Series 5 is more advanced and the display is a lot bigger, plus it has an electrical heart sensor allowing users to measure their own ECG - insane but depends if you need that functionality. It also has an 'always on display' and a built in compass. Matt and I find the Series 3 is fine for what we need, as we just use it for tracking walks, steps and calories - Matt also loves it for tracking his sleep. Matt loves using his for Apple Pay too and the general connectivity to the iPhone.  The Series 3 Apple Watch starts from only £199 too, so very competitively priced.

Conclusion: which fitness watch is the best?

Hopefully you found my little reviews of each watch useful, to conclude, I am going to play devils advocate and I think it really depends what you're after, let's be honest, they all compete with each other so you cannot go wrong with any of them. Garmin watches are known around the world for being exceptional for tracking, mine is just utterly beautiful to look at (and comes in different colours too), I LOVE the GPS function, it's so cool seeing a map and I like being able to track my sleep and time my workouts. It was annoying to get used to but now I get the functionality I'm flying with it. Fitbit's look really cool now if you're after a smart looking watch that isn't an Apple Watch, they're the heroes and the originals so anything high tech is going to be in here, the functionality is endless. I feel like I'll always have a soft spot for them and I know my family swear by theirs and have had the same ones without any issues for YEARS. Apple, well, I'm an Apple brand lover for my iPhone (although one day I want to make the switch to Huawei!) and think it's just SUPER simple to set up, less niggly than the others and if you're already an Apple user, it works seamlessly with everything else you own, also the options for changing the strap and sorting out literally everything from the face of the watch to the endless apps on it, is pretty good! The Series 3 Apple Watch totally works for us, but I'm sure if you wanna go more expensive, the Series 5 will be epic. I truly don't think you can go wrong with any of the above, they all have very similar functionality, some may be a little clunkier than others to set up, some look a little more analogue and some look super modern but it depends what you're after - functionality wise? Obviously the more expensive, the better so you'd be wanting to get the Series 5 or the Garmin Fenix if you wanted to be top of the game but honestly? The affordable ones are totally great too! 

Shop Apple watches below.



Shop more watches below and fitness items.



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Lots of love, Em x
 
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