Must-Have Smartwatches for Fitness Enthusiasts

A smartwatch can provide fitness and workout planning features that can help you improve your performance. It can also connect to your smartphone, allowing you to use communication capabilities right from your wrist.

Garmin still has the broadest and strongest sport-specific ecosystem, with an app and web portal that displays all the important metrics. Its newest watch has improved GPS tracking for better accuracy.

Fitbit Surge

Fitbit’s Surge is its first serious foray into sports watch territory. It’s designed for people who want dedicated heart rate tracking during performance-based workouts and GPS-mapped running routes without relying on their smartphones. It can also monitor other fitness activities, though it’s not as thorough as dedicated sports tracking models like Garmin’s Fenix series.

The Fitbit Surge has a 3.5-inch touchscreen display with customizable icons for various settings and features. It can receive call and text notifications, showing the sender and a snippet of the message on a secondary display. It has a USB port and is compatible with most computers and smartphones, making it easy to sync. The Surge has a battery life of up to a week, though it will still need to be charged at least once every two days.

It uses an optical heart rate sensor to continuously track your resting heart rate throughout the day. It can also measure your pace, distance, calories burned, and floors climbed during a workout. It also has 24/7 activity tracking that will log your steps and other movements throughout the day. The Surge can help you reach your daily fitness goals with reminders and alerts.

For runners, the GPS functionality is very good. It shows your location on a map during a run, while displaying real-time data in the center of the screen (distance, elapsed time, and one of three metrics displayed on-screen). Once you finish your workout, a summary of all of these stats plus your average pace, elevation gain, and calories burned appears.

The biggest downside of the Fitbit Surge is that it isn’t water-resistant, meaning you can’t wear it in the shower or when swimming. It can also be a bit bulky to wear for everyday use. It’s not as svelte as the more compact Charge HR, which is a much better choice for everyday wear and can slip easily under a long sleeve.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a fitness-focused GPS smartwatch with an always-on touchscreen display. It's not quite as smart as the best Apple Watch and Android Wear devices but it does a great job of bridging the gap between fitness-focused devices and full-fledged smartwatches. It offers a ton of exercise profiles (including running, hiking, cycling, swimming, and yoga), has GPS with maps and routes for basic waypoint navigation, and connects to ANT+ sensors including footpads and cadence/speed sensors. The device also has a built-in compass and is equipped with a heart rate sensor as well as an altimeter.

The Vivoactive 3 has a bright and easy-to-read color screen and a comfortable silicone band. The device is water resistant and has a battery life that lasts about a week with normal use. It has a USB port for charging and can load credit cards to make contactless payments. The device also has a microphone for hands-free phone calls and can store music internally.

For workouts, the vivoactive 3 shows your activity stats during the session and provides details afterward. It tracks your heart rate continuously, displays a graph of your history, and color-codes your heart rate zone while you're exercising. It also supports structured workouts, which you can create in the Garmin app and sync with your watch so it tracks and alerts you to the start and end of intervals.

Some of the things that set this Garmin device apart from more advanced devices include rep counting and stress monitoring, which aren't available on Fitbit's Ionic or Apple's Series 3 models. The vivoactive 3 also has a built-in compass for easy waypoint navigation and can save up to 500 songs. Check out the Appliances & Electronics Coupons for potential discounts and savings when considering Garmin devices and other tech products.

Samsung Gear S4

The Samsung Gear S4 is an excellent option for Android smartphone users who want to get the most out of their fitness and health tracking. Samsung’s latest wearable is a significant upgrade from its predecessor and features the new Bixby digital assistant along with a range of customizable options for watch faces, or complications, that display more information like steps, weather, and battery percentage. The device also has improved fall detection that can alert up to four people when it detects a drop.

The device runs a hybrid version of Wear OS that Samsung has layered with its own One UI and it comes with a host of impressive fitness features. It can track over 80 different types of activities and features GPS, a baro-altimeter, and sleep tracking. It also has a 3-in-1 BioActive Sensor that monitors heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and body composition analysis. The only drawbacks to this device are that it is only compatible with Galaxy smartphones (it won’t work with iPhones) and its battery life can be a bit of a drag when running or doing other intense exercise.

The Samsung Gear S4 is the best fitness smartwatch to buy right now, but if you’re not a Galaxy smartphone owner there are plenty of other choices. For example, Fitbit’s new Sense 10 has even better battery life and it offers a full suite of fitness features that include advanced heart rate monitoring. It is a great alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and is well worth checking out. It is available now with preorders starting on Aug. 27. It will ship out on Sept. 10. Samsung is also releasing an updated version of its flagship device, the Galaxy Note 9, that should offer even better performance and design.

LG G Watch R

Despite being beaten to the circular Android Wear throne by Motorola's Moto 360, LG's G Watch R is still a formidable contender and one of the most desirable smartwatches you can buy right now. It's a beautifully designed piece of kit that looks like a proper watch and is surprisingly stylish for a tech product that'll be on your wrist all day.

A big reason for this is the 1.3-inch, full-circle P-OLED display that's eye-catching. Unlike the Moto 360's slightly odd "chin" at the bottom of its screen, LG's version is truly circular so it's easy to tell time or orientate apps at a glance. It's also a lot sharper than the 360, with 320x320 resolution and text that's perfectly legible. Colors are vibrant with a slight hint of oversaturation and blacks are nice and deep, as you'd expect from OLED.

The rest of the device is just as impressive, with a sturdy metal build and real leather strap. It's also water resistant, with an IP67 rating that lets you chuck it in one meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can wear it while showering, washing your hands, or even swimming. It's not quite as comfortable as the Moto 360, but the calfskin leather strap is much more supple and feels nice on your wrist.

Another great feature is the fact that it doesn't come with any LG-specific software, which means you can enjoy a clean, untampered experience from Google's OS. This should make it easier for app developers to create watch apps as well. LG has opted for charging pins instead of wireless, presumably to make room for the bigger battery, but this isn't an issue as you can simply plug it into its magnetic dock with a satisfying clunk.

Sony Smartwatch 3

The Sony Smartwatch 3 is a very considered entry from the tech giant, which took the time to perfect its take on Android Wear before releasing it. It is aimed towards fitness fans and demonstrates that it has learned the lessons from its previous two numerical efforts, with a built-in GPS and accompanying app to track and monitor your progress. It also has several extras to make your life easier, like an integrated microphone and speaker for making phone calls and the ability to store music for playback without a smartphone, thanks to its 4GB of eMMC flash storage.

However, there are a couple of things that keep it from being a complete winner. The first is its design, which looks more like a fitness band than the other, circular devices on this list and doesn’t have the same level of style and luxury as competitors. The second problem is its screen, which isn’t very good and has poor colors and viewing angles. Thankfully, the latter issue is easy to fix, with Sony already committed to launching alternative watch straps (neon orange anyone?), but the former will need some work if it wants to catch up with its more fashionable rivals.

Overall, the SmartWatch 3 is a great device and one of the best fitness-oriented smartwatches on the market. It has almost all of the standard Android Wear features and a few that are sure to become more useful as Google’s platform continues to evolve. It is a little expensive, but it delivers a lot of functionality and is a very good option for fitness enthusiasts. It just doesn’t have the visual appeal to stand out in a crowd of other smartwatches, which is why we have ranked it in fifth place. Check out AT&T Coupons for potential discounts and savings when considering smartwatches and other tech devices.


Smartwatches have become an essential tool for fitness enthusiasts. They not only track your workouts but also monitor your daily activity levels and sleep patterns. The must-have smartwatches for fitness enthusiasts include the Fitbit Surge, Samsung Gear S4, Sony Smartwatch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and the LG G Watch R. Each of these watches offers unique features and capabilities that can help you take your fitness to the next level. With the right smartwatch, you can stay motivated, track your progress, and achieve your fitness goals.