Smart watch game-changers
If your body is what you eat, then your fitness is what you wear. And to get fitter, faster, stronger, leaner, or whatever your physical goals may be, fitness trackers can help you strategically get there. But the next wave of fitness technology is the smart watch. But the market seems saturated with watches with big promises. So how do you choose the one that is right for you?
Check out our picks. We list the features and app capabilities, as well as the info you need, like how long between charges, and more. Check off the features that matter to you most to find the smart watch that is best suited for you and your fitness goals.
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS)
$429 at apple.ca
This is the third generation, with a 70 per cent faster dual-core processor and new wireless chip.
The built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to 18 hours.
• Intelligent Activity: This smart watch tracks indoor and outdoor activities, including swimming and HIIT workouts, as well as daily movement goals, as well as sleep, nutrition, health management and more. The Workout app gives custom workouts and auto-sets for pool swims. GymKit connects the smart watch to cardio equipment for more activity data. This smart watch also offers intelligent coaching features, water resistance for 50 meters and a new barometric altimeter that measures relative elevation. It’s fitting for those who are getting into shape and the elite athlete.
• Mindfulness: It also comes pre-loaded with the Breathe App, so you can practice mindfulness anytime.
• Siri: This interactive feature works exactly like it does with your phone on the smart watch, connecting you instantly to other apps or information online.
• Apple Pay: You can pay with a scan of the watch face.
Music streaming: Not only do you have access to the music you store on your phone, you can also live stream it. (We love the workout music lists.)
• Apple Watch Series 3 + Cellular: This smart watch acts as an extension of your phone with call and texting capabilities. (It’s a different model than the one shown above and sells for $519 at apple.ca.)
You can pretty much download any apps you have on your iPhone onto your smart watch. But it also comes pre-loaded with apps, including the Breathe app as discussed above. Another good one: The Heart Rate app. It tracks heart rate during rest, workouts, recovery, walking and Breathe sessions. You can also set it to send notifications for when your heart rate is elevated above a specific threshold while inactive.
You can buy other straps (like the strap shown above), as well as change the face of the smart watch in your settings.
Epson ProSense 307
$249.99 at amazon.ca
You have up to 20 hours with GPS between charges.
• RouteSense GPS: This built-in GPS tracks your route, distance, pace and more.
• Multi-sport tracker apps: Data can be collected for running, cycling, swimming and indoor workouts.
• CardioSense HR: This wrist-based heart rate monitor tracks heart rate.
• Advanced training features: You can add your VO2max estimate, recovery time and training effect metrics, along with interval training, workout alerts and waypoint navigation.
• Sport Modes: Collect data for different types of fitness, including walking, treadmill work, triathlon training, indoor biking and outdoor running.
• Smart notifications: Receive app alerts on your smart watch.
• Music control: Adjust your playlist
• Epson View App: The smart watch syncs with your phone to automatically upload your data to the Epson View App on your phone. This will help customize the data according to your goals and settings, including workout screens
No external apps to download onto the smart watch at this time. But the smart watch comes with apps to track running, swimming, cycling and daily activities, which will sync with the Epson phone app for analysis and goal tracking.
It is available with a black, blue or white band.