Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Best Fitness Trackers and Watches for Everyone

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Unlike last year’s Galaxy Watch5, this year’s Watch6 Classic brings back the fabulous, clicky, rotating bezel (7/10, WIRED Recommends). It’s fun and tactile and not a feature that you’ll find on many other smartwatches and fitness trackers. Other than that, it doesn’t look or feel too terribly different from the Watch5, which is a good thing. The Watch6 Classic comes in a 43- or 47-mm case, and the standard Watch6, which doesn’t have the mechanical rotating bezel, is available in 40- and 44-mm cases.

The Watch6 runs Wear OS, which means you have access to Google Maps and Google Assistant, and it also has access to Samsung’s fairly robust health features. In addition to the usual suite of SpO2 measurements, auto-workout detection, and sleep tracking, it now has FDA-cleared irregular heart rate notifications and blood pressure monitoring (the latter is not available in the US nor cleared by the FDA). Some features are also restricted to users who pair the watch with Samsung phones, rather than other Android phones, like the ECG. If you prioritize design, you might want to stick with a Pixel Watch; if you don’t have a Samsung phone, you might want to stick to a Garmin. All that said, It’s a fairly capable watch with a fun party trick.

★ Alternative: Stick to a Garmin, you say? Garmin’s entry in this category is the Venu 3 ($460), which has a stainless steel bezel, Corning Gorilla Glass for the lens, and two amazing weeks for battery life. It has Garmin’s multi-band satellite capabilities for workout tracking, along with Garmin’s killer proprietary health software, which now includes a new sleep coach with nap detection, along with Morning Report and Body Battery. However, it is pricey, does not have temperature sensing, and the onboard mic and speakers sound pretty terrible.

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