Summer 2021: Summary of the Best Smartwatches & Fitness Trackers You Can Buy Now

By : ilikephone / On : 26/03/2022

The Gizmodo editorial department, which has reviewed various wearable technologies such as smart watches, fitness trackers, Bluetooth rings and wristbands for sleep logs, has carefully selected wearables recommended for both Apple and Android groups.

Summer 2021 Smartwatch Forecast: It's a time of great change for Android smartphones. At this year's Google I / O, Google and Samsung announced that they are working on a new platform that integrates their respective smartphone platforms, Tizen OS and Wear OS. So if you're an Android user, it's best not to buy a new device until Samsung unveiled its next-generation smartphone sometime in August. Don't forget to announce the 6th generation model of Fossil. From late summer to early fall, Fitbit's new flagship model is expected to come out, and September is the time when Apple Watch Series 7 (tentative) is expected to come out. The best time to find a bargain is at the end of summer, shortly after a new product launch.

Universal smartwatch division

Target group: People who are looking for a super-excellent smartphone without worrying about the price.

Best: Apple Watch Series 6 (47,080 yen to 175,780 yen)

The Series 6 is a very gradual update, so it might be a bit trivial to list the Apple Watch as the best at this point. A new SpO2 sensor can measure blood oxygen levels, with an always-on altimeter, improved battery life (though not a few days), a brighter, always-on display, and an S6 system-in-chip. As for watchOS 7, I like the new features designed to be useful in Korona-ka, such as bike routes and wash timers, but the long-awaited native sleep tracking-like features are neither good nor bad. And now with the Family Sharing setting, it's now possible to set up an Apple Watch for children and the elderly who don't have an iPhone if they wish. The Series 6 barely regained the title in the universal smartwatch category, but it was a tougher battle than usual.

Second: If you're an Apple user, consider the Apple Watch SE. The same motion sensor as the Series 6 such as the always-on altimeter is equipped with the same chip as the Series 5, and the price starts from 32,780 yen, which is more reasonable than the Series 6. You'll give up on advanced healthcare features such as a constantly lit display, an ECG app, and blood oxygen monitoring, but young and healthy children may want to prioritize savings. If you don't want to give up on advanced healthcare features but don't like the price of the Series 6, you can also look for the reduced Series 5 while it's in stock.

So far, the story is limited to iOS users. If you are an Android user, especially if you have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, please consider Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (market price: about 47,000 yen or more). It has a sophisticated design and is definitely the best Android smartphone you can buy at the moment. Also consider Fitbit Sense (34,990 yen). It's one of the most versatile watches you can buy right now for those who don't care much about LTE communication and don't have a Samsung smartphone.

Fitness smartwatch division

Target audience: People who are determined to reach their goal of 10,000 steps every day, starting with a gulp of protein in the morning. Anyone who wants a wearable with enough battery life for an active lifestyle, even if it's a bit clunky.

Best: Suunto 7 (64,900 yen)

The Suunto 7 is a smartwatch that is large in size and expensive. Therefore, it is also a comprehensive and powerful machine for fitness. A highly accurate fitness tracker with built-in offline map download and 70 sports tracking. With a heatmap feature, it's easy to see where other Suunto users prefer to run, hike or cycle. It also includes advanced smartwatch features such as NFC payments and access to all apps in the Google Play store (not possible with the closed ecosystem of Garmin and Polar). In addition, it is 50mm wide and quite light for a big body, and it is surprisingly not awkward.

Second: If you're into fitness and want a watch that's ready for you, Garmin and Polar are always the go-to options. Both report detailed metrics, and both companies have a small community but fans are loyal.

I like Polar Ignite (¥ 30,580) and Unite (¥ 21,780), both for "casual" athletes who are interested in seeing the impact of recovery on performance. In the case of Garmin, the top model is the Fenix ​​6 series, but the company's first touch screen watch Venu (54,780 yen) is also worth a look. If you're looking for a low budget, the Timex Ironman GPS R300 ($ 129 = about 14,200 yen) is a monster-class battery-powered, highly accurate and affordable option.

Smartwatch division for Android

Target audience: People who have an Android smartphone and want a smartwatch that can be used intuitively with the smartphone.

Best: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (Market price: Approximately 47,000 yen ~)

You've finally done it, Samsung! This is the comprehensive smartwatch for Android that we have been waiting for. Equipped with an ECG app that can measure blood oxygen concentration like Apple Watch Series 6 and has been approved by the FDA. Sleep tracking is pretty solid, and new healthcare tracking features such as the VO2 Max app and advanced running indicators have been added. It looks similar to Apple's Fitness + service, but you can also cast your workout videos to Samsung TV and view your metrics on-screen. What's more, this is a beautiful round smartwatch with an intuitive rotating bezel. In addition, we have improved the poor accuracy that has been a problem with Samsung smartphones so far. One caveat is that Samsung smartphones can take full advantage of the Galaxy Watch 3. Unfortunately, some features, including ECG, are not carried over to non-Samsung Android devices.

Update: Samsung and Google have announced that they are developing a new platform for smartphones based on Wear OS. Tizen OS devices like the Galaxy Watch 3 come with three years of support from product launch, but it seems better to see what the next-generation Android smartwatch looks like before making any decisions. Samsung will announce a new smartphone at an event in August.


Second: Again, Fitbit Sense is an excellent and cheap option for non-Samsung Android smartphone users. Not only is the FDA-approved ECG platform agnostic, but there are also communities that are happy with the type of motivation to compete with friends. What's more, it's the only smartphone on the market today with meaningful stress management and the best sleep tracking. The only thing missing is the LTE communication function.

But if you want a Wear OS watch, the cheaper Fossil Generation 5E (¥ 31,900) has some feature updates that were needed. If you're a Verizon user in the US, you have the option of Fossil Gen 5 LTE ($ 349 = about 37,300 yen). I thought that Skagen Falster 3 (38,500 yen) should also have a fashionable appearance. Why not consider Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 (35,999 yen)? It's the only model with Qualcomm Snapdragon's Wear 4100 processor, and other Wear OS watches with 4100 processors will be waiting for a while.

Hybrid smartwatch division

Target audience: People who like fashion and are looking for a smartwatch that suits fashion. A person who values ​​classical design and basic functionality over advanced functionality.

Best: Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR (30,800 yen)

Skagen Jorn is a minimalist Cousin from Scandinavia in Fossil Hybrid HR. It also has a beautiful e-ink display and two weeks of battery life, but it's in a more classic enclosure, if you ask us. Fossil, the owner of Skagen, has added several software updates to the app, including GPS maps, real-time weather forecasts, friends challenge features and automatic active tracking. NFC is not supported and menu operations are difficult, but Jorn is probably the best product for a simple and stylish smartwatch.

Runner-up: If the Skagen Jorn design isn't what you like, what about the Fossil Hybrid HR (¥ 21,950- ¥ 31,900)? The Garmin Vivomove Style is a bit pricey at 39,600 yen, but it's a sophisticated watch. Equipped with a heart rate monitor, NFC payment and a hidden organic EL display on a battery that lasts for 5 days. It looks like an analog clock, but when you tap it, you'll see a smart display. Vivomove Style is recommended for those who exercise. Garmin's platform is one of the best in the field. Furthermore, although it is not a hybrid tracker, the Timex Metropolitan R ($ 179 = about 19,800 yen) is equipped with a GPS function at a reasonable price of under 20,000 yen, and it looks good when worn.

If you want a more fitness tracker element, why not try Fitbit Luxe (17,991 yen)? The color touch screen has a smart feel, but the form factor is lighter and more compact. What's more, you'll also have access to Fitbit's comprehensive platform.

Tracker division that is not a watch

Target audience: People who hate watches but want a device to track their exercise and activity.

Best: Oura Ring (Aura ring, $ 299 = about 32,800 yen ~)

This ring became a hot topic again because it was used by many medical researchers in research on whether it could be used for early detection of the new corona. That said, it's basically a sleep tracker. Get a detailed analysis of sleep quality and “preparation” (basically a score of recovery). It doesn't track activity like other wearables. The focus here is on daily calorie expenditure and the number of minutes spent on low, medium and high intensity training. Ideal for macro and comprehensive viewing of your activity. The app also has the option to record a meditation session.

Runner-up: Whoop is also an interesting recovery and activity tracker. The metrics are accurate and take some time to understand, but once you understand them, they come in handy. Strictly speaking, it is the default to wear it on your wrist, but you can also choose accessories that you can wear on your wrist. The hardware itself is free, but it costs $ 30 a month to subscribe.

Cheap Fitness Tracker Division

Target audience: People who want a basic fitness tracker but don't want to hit big ones.

Best: Amazfit Bip S (12,300 yen)

It looks more like a smartwatch than a fitness tracker, but it can't stand this extraordinary price. Equipped with highly accurate GPS and heart rate measurement, the companion app is also neat. It's about half the price of the Fitbit Charge 4 (in the US), but it also comes with a built-in GPS. Transformed into a custom watch face, the 15-day battery life (40 days if you tweak the power usage settings) is really amazing. A bargain reminiscent of the old Pebble watch.

Second run: If you're looking for a more fitness tracker-like shape, the Fitbit Charge 4 (¥ 19,990) is a good choice because it has GPS, but the Fitbit inspire 2 (¥ 21,470) is a good choice. It also has a built-in battery that lasts for 10 days. If you're looking for something more stylish and you're not an outdoor activity enthusiast, consider Fitbit Luxe. Garmin Vivosmart 4 (18,130 yen) is in the same price range as Charge 4 and Luxe. The display is unstable and a little stressful to use when exercising, and since the strap is a non-replaceable type, you have to go out with the color you chose at the time of purchase, but in addition to stress tracking and long-lasting battery life, Charge 4 It has almost the same functions as.

How has this summary changed? The changes over the past two years are as follows.

Spring 2019: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is added to the runner-up in the universal smartwatch category. Add Polar Vantage M to the best of the fitness smartwatch category and move Fitbit Ionic to runner-up. Replaced the Best Cheap Fitness Tracker category from Fitbit Alta HR to Fitbit Inspire HR.

Fall 2019: Replaced the best Apple Watch Series 4 in the universal smartwatch category with Series 5, followed by Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active with Galaxy Watch Active 2. The runner-up in the smartwatch category for Android has changed from Fitbit Versa to Fitbit Versa 2. The best in the hybrid smartwatch category is from Garmin Vivomove HR to Fossil Hybrid HR, and the runner-up in the category is from Misfit Path to Garmin Vivomove Style.

Spring 2020: Replacing the best in the fitness smartwatch category from Polar Vantage M to Suunto 7, Polar Vantage M moves to the runner-up in the category along with the Ignite, Garmin Venu, Fenix ​​6 series and Timex Ironman GPS R300. The best smartwatch category for Android has been replaced by Skagen Falster 3 from Fossil Sport, with Fossil Gen 5 being the runner-up in the category. The best in the cheap fitness tracker category went from the Fitbit Inspire HR to the Fitbit Charge 4, removing the Fitbit Charge 3 from the runner-up in the category.

Fall 2020: Replaced the best of the universal smart watch category from Apple Watch Series 5 to Series 6, followed by Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Galaxy Watch to Apple Watch SE, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Fitbit Sense. The runner-up in the fitness smartwatch category was replaced by the same Unite from Polar Vantage M. The best smartwatch category for Android has changed from Skagen Falster 3 to Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, and Skagen Falster 3 has moved to the runner-up in the category along with Falster Gen 5E, Fitbit Sense and Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3. Added Timex Metropolitan R to the runner-up in the hybrid smartwatch category. Changed the non-wrist-worn tracker vest from Motiv Ring to Oura Ring and added Whoop to the runner-up in the same category. The best in the cheap fitness tracker category has been replaced from the Fitbit Charge 4 to the Amazfit Bip S, and the Fitbit Charge 4 has moved to the runner-up with the Fitbit Inspire 2.

Summer 2021: Added update for migration from Tizen OS to Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, the best smartwatch category for Android. Fitbit Luxe has been added to the runner-up in the Hybrid Smartwatch category and the Cheap Fitness Tracker category.

Source: Garmin (1, 2), Mobvoi,