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Fitness bands to smartwatches: Wearables you need to step up your workout

Fitness tracker, smartwatch or hybrid lifestyle watch? Your activity level should decide your buy. A selection of recommendations from each category

Veer Arjun Singh Erick Massey & Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 

Fitness, health, sports shoes, gym
Photo: Shutterstock

Amazfit Bip Lite (Rs 3,999)

This Amazfit Bip Lite is an Apple Watch doppelgänger. The similarities, however, begin and end at looks. In terms of display, features and user interface, the watch has nothing on the masterpiece from Apple. But the Amazfit has an incomparable 45-day battery life.

Amazfit BIP Lite

Who it’s for: If you are reluctant to move more than absolutely necessary, have spare real estate on your wrist most days and would prefer a smartwatch that is lightweight and comfortable, start here. The Bip Lite has a 1.28-inch rectangular dial and an animated touchscreen display with a negligible brightness that stays on 24/7. The watch weighs a meagre 32 gm.

What it does: In addition to time, calendar, alarm and reminders, the watch can count your steps and constantly monitor your heart rate. This also helps the watch estimate the calories you burn in a day or during a particular workout — it has five workout modes (cycling, weight training etc) that you have to manually select before starting your exercise. Just don’t go swimming with it; 30 metre water-resistance is barely enough for a shower.

The Bip Lite is a lasting fitness tracker in the body of a nondescript watch. With not a single fancy screw, it’s what the salesmen call “cheap and best”.

Veer Arjun Singh


Inspire HR (Rs 8,999)

Fitbit Inspire HR

This one is a step above a basic fitness tracker. And the ecosystem that you join with this purchase makes the money well-spent. The watch looks trendy in black, white, grey and lilac despite its thick bezels and a 0.72-inch black-and-white OLED display.

Who it’s for: An active person or amateur athlete who would like to get stats on cardio and weight training, along with an estimate of calories burned during each activity.

What it does: It tells time with a flick of the wrist, counts your steps, measures and monitors your heart rate and relays your phone notifications. It has a dynamic fitness tracker that automatically and accurately predicts your workout based on your movement. It logs the time spent on a workout, divides the time into “cardio”, “fat burn” and “peak” heart rate zones and counts the calories burned. It’s 5ATM, or 50 metres waterproof, so you can jump -- but not dive -- into the pool with it. The stats are collated in a easy-to-use app, which has a neat interface. The workout tips that the app throws at you are useful and seemingly based on good research. Don’t replace your timepiece and wear this premium fitness tracker on the other wrist. The battery should last you a minimum of five days.

Veer Arjun Singh


Casio G Shock GA2000 (Rs 8,995)

Casio G-shock GA2000

Casio G Shocks are known to be rugged. The GA2000 is a military-style, digital-cum-analog watch that can handle water, dust, shakes, bumps and even falls. It has 29 time zones and a battery life of three years.

Who it’s for: It’s not a typical smartwatch that tells you step counts and calories, but a lifestyle watch for casualwear. Its carbon core guard makes it almost shatterproof, while keeping it lightweight at 64 gm. It’s good for those who have jobs or hobbies that expose them to the outdoors, but not athletes who need a log of their performance metrics.

What it does: The watch has alarms, a countdown timer, a stopwatch and world time. At 20 ATM, or 200 metres water resistance, it is good for swimming, diving, snorkelling and other water sports. GA2000 is also the first G-shock with changeable bands. If you need a watch that can withstand very rough use and harsh weather, the G-Shock GA2000 series is the most good-looking in its price range.

Erick Massey

ALSO READ: Casio G-shock GA2000 review


Galaxy Watch Active (Rs 19,990)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

This one is a fine example of a wearable that is ideal for varied situations. It’s a fitness tracker as well as an everyday watch that goes well with casualwear.

Who it’s for: Its sturdy build and water- and dust-resistant design makes it suitable for people who do a lot outdoors — running, trekking, swimming, etc. It’s waterproof up to 5ATM, or 50 metres, which is good enough for a swim in a pool.

What it does: You can run or work out while listening to music stored on the watch. Your heart rate is monitored 24/7, which also lends insights into your sleep. The watch keeps track of your daily activities and keeps you motivated to move more and sit less. It also has dedicated motion sensors to automatically track seven types of activity, such as running and weight training. This lets you focus on the job without having to manually select the appropriate mode before beginning an exercise. You can also send short and quick response to text and WhatsApp messages through the watch. The battery should last you two full days. Consider this watch for its sporty design, dynamic fitness tracking, customisable watch faces and, importantly, its in-built storage for music.

Khalid Anzar

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review


Garmin Forerunner 245 Music (Rs 34,990)

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

This one is waterproof and dust-resistant and weighs just 38 gm. The display has a resolution of 240x240 pixels and is legible even in direct sunlight.

Who it’s for: This WiFi- and GPS-enabled sports smartwatch is for athletes who take their data seriously and prefer buttons over touchscreen. Casual runners looking to clock more miles can also benefit from its tracking metrics.

What it does: The Forerunner 245 has a slew of performance-monitoring features, along with widgets for heart rate, step count, workouts types, notifications, music, maps, and a few more. You can sync the watch with your phone and upload up to 500 songs on it. A cue to finally leave your phone behind while running. Use the GPS to track your runs and also the built-in compass. Both are very accurate. The watch can measure your energy and oxygen levels and calculate your stress levels using that date. It also monitors your sleep and divides the data in stages of light, deep and REM sleep. The Forerunner 245 Music also offers insights on training and recovery, and keeps a tab on how heat and altitude can impact your performance. It evaluates exercise history to show if you are undertraining or overdoing it. The battery lasts for about five days. The only thing missing here is a barometric altimeter to measure height.

Erick Massey

ALSO READ: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review

First Published: Sat, August 03 2019. 10:00 IST
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