In this post, I’m going to reveal the best fitness watches for women in 2019.
But before I reveal these remarkably good looking activity trackers, there are 6 key features that you need to mindful of, when making your decision.
1) Design: If you’re going to wear your watch all day long and even when you’re sleeping, it needs to be good looking. For most women, this is a non-negotiable requirement. This is why we have only included beautiful activity trackers in this round-up.
2) 24/7 Activity Tracking: This is another non-negotiable requirement. The ability to track your activities 24 hours a day is an absolute must.
3) Sleep Tracking: The simple reality is that getting the right amount of sleep is super important. In fact, Matthew Walker, the author of ‘Why we sleep’ suggests that the amount of time you spend sleeping is one the primary indicators of life expectancy… yikes.
Fortunately, all the activity trackers in this roundup have sleep tracking technology built-in, except for Apple Watch 4.
4) GPS Tracking: When it comes to GPS Tracking, there are two types of activity trackers.
- Activity Trackers with built-in GPS
- Activity Trackers that use your phone’s GPS
For runners and cyclists, fitness watches with built-in GPS are definitely more convenient, because you can leave your phone behind whenever you exercise.
However, some of the best looking and most affordable activity trackers (like the Fitbit Charge 3 for instance), rely on your phone’s GPS to track outdoor running, cycling and hiking. This is something you need to keep in mind when choosing a fitness watch.
This stat is clearly stated at the end of each product overview.
5) Smart Notifications: To qualify as a modern day fitness tracker, your watch needs to have smart notifications. This allows you to read messages from your phone, without having to take it out of your purse or pocket.
This particular feature is surprisingly convenient, especially for messages that don’t require a quick response. I think we can all agree that looking at your phone a bit less during the day is probably a good thing.
6) Wrist-Based HRM: This is the last non-negotiable requirement. In the year 2019, there is simply no point in buying a fitness watch that doesn’t have an optical heart rate monitor. You will be glad to know that every watch in this round-up comes with a wrist-based HRM.
Suunto 3 Fitness Smartwatch
I don’t often use the word gorgeous, but in the case of the Suunto 3, I don’t really have a choice. This fitness watch is sleek, sexy and sophisticated. It actually reminds me of my wife 😘
Design: Beautiful. This is by far the best looking activity tracker that Suunto have ever made.
24/7 Activity Tracking: The Suunto 3 doesn’t just track your activities all day long, it also builds adaptive training guides that match up with your activity levels.
GPS Tracking: The Suunto 3 relies on your phone’s GPS to track running, cycling and hiking. This isn’t the end of the world, but it is one the key weaknesses of this watch.
Sleep Tracking: You are in good hands here. The Suunto 3 provides a summary of how long you slept, and how well your sleep is supporting your recovery.
Heart Rate Monitor: The Suunto 3 includes an optical heart rate monitor. This provides heart rate readings 24/7, together with personal heart rate zones and your V02 max estimate.
Smart Notifications: You bet your bottom dollar. Once the Suuno app is paired with your Smartphone, you can receive smart notifications on the Suunto 3.
Fitbit Versa Premium - Rose Gold
Design: If anyone ever asks you which is the best looking Fitbit, you have to recommend the Fitbit Versa Premium Rose Gold Edition. Like the Suunto 3, it’s also very good looking, especially if you prefer a more rectangular watch face.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that the high res touchscreen has a brilliant display, which makes interacting with the watch seamless and pleasant.
Wrist-Based HRM: The Rose Gold Versa Premium is built with an optical heart rate monitor. It’s one of the reasons it qualifies for this list.
24/7 Activity Tracking: Fitbit basically started the 10 000 step revolution, and the Versa simply builds on that solid framework.
This is mainly because the Fitbit app is extremely good at keeping people motivated. It’s a bit like having a friendly personal trainer permanently attached to your wrist. Now drop and give me 20
Sleep Tracking: Fitbit have always been good with sleep tracking technology, and the Versa excels in this regard. It will help you understand how much time you spend in deep sleep and REM sleep, and provide other personal insights that can help you sleep better in the long run.
Smart Notifications: Once you have installed the Fitbit app, you can start receiving Smart notifications on the Fitbit Versa.
Again, the high-res touch screen comes in handy here. It makes reading the notifications that much easier to read and potentially dismiss if it’s not an important message.
Connected GPS: The only slight drawback of the Fitbit Versa is that it relies on your phone’s GPS to track running, cycling and other endurance exercises.
Garmin Vivomove HR
Design: The Vivomove HR is arguably the best looking fitness watch that Garmin has ever made.
Admittedly it looks very similar to the Suunto 3 Fitness, but for all intents and purposes that’s a good thing. If I had to summarize the design in one word, ‘STUNNING’ would be my first choice.
Wrist-Based HRM: The Vivomove also has a built in optical heart rate monitor. This uses Garmin’s elevate HRM technology, which is standard in all of their new activity trackers.
24/7 Activity Tracking: Although Garmin has traditionally focused on runners, cyclists and triathletes, the Vivomove gives you everything you need from a fitness tracking perspective.
This means steps, calories, workouts and activity insights are all packaged into the Garmin connect app, which can be viewed on your phone or your laptop.
Sleep Tracking: Of course the Vivomove HR also includes sleep tracking technology. Specifically, it tracks how much sleep your’e getting, and how much time you spend in each stage of sleep. This watch also uses your heart rate data (while sleeping), to differentiate between light, deep and REM sleep.
Ultimately, if you follow the guidance from this watch, you can potentially improve your sleeping patterns and start accumulating all the amazing benefits of better sleep hygiene.
Smart Notifications: Once the Garmin connect app is setup on your phone, you will unlock smart notifactions on the Vivomove HR. This means automatic data uploads to the Garmin connect app, receiving all phone notifications, and the ability to control music directly from the watch (music playing on your phone that is).
Connected GPS: This is the only major chink in the Vivomove’s Armour. To activate GPS tracking during runs and cycles, you will need to sync with your phone’s GPS in order to do so.
This is pretty simple to do. The main drawback is that you have to carry your phone using a running pouch or running belt. It’s not the end of the world but it’s definitely worth mentioning.
Apple Watch Series 4
Design: As far as screen size and picture quality goes, it doesn’t come better than the Apple Watch Series 4. With the mega display, Apple have basically built this product to operate more like a phone than a typical activity tracker. The touchscreen is literally world-class, and the colors are deep and beautiful. If you’re a tech geek at heart, this is probably the watch for you.
Wrist-based HRM: Optical heart rate monitors have become a standard feature with the Apple Watch. But what you might not know is that the heart rate monitor has been getting better with each iteration of the Apple Watch. You just need to take a look at the reviews on Amazon to verify that this is the case.
24/7 Activity Tracking: Apple have taken an holistic approach to fitness tracking, which basically means that the Apple watch acts more like a health monitor. For instance, you will receive notifications when your heart rate dips or spikes abnormally.
Of course it also gives you standard activity tracking metrics such as steps, calories, and using the app gives you access to challenges, competitions and personalized coaching. Basically, Apple have you covered from an activity tracking perspective.
Sleep Tracking: I was actually shocked to learn that the Apple Watch doesn’t offer sleep tracking. This is mainly because the battery life isn’t long enough to allow for sleep tracking. These are the biggest weaknesses of the Apple Watch (ie no sleep tracking and a relatively short battery life).
Smart Notifications: We touched on this earlier, but it’s worth repeating. The Apple Watch is definitely best ‘Smart’ watch in this round up. It basically has all the tech of a Smartphone, packaged into a nifty little unit that fits on your wrist. You can’t go wrong with the Apple watch if this is important to you.
GPS Tracking: Finally. A good looking activity tracker that actually has built in GPS technology. Not only that, the Series 4 version of the Apple watch also has cellular capabilities, which means you can make calls and send messages directly from the watch.
From a fitness perspective, the built-in GPS makes running, cycling and hiking a thousand times more convenient. Your phone can stay safely stowed at home or in your car, while you take care of business on your run.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music
Last but not least, we come to the most well-rounded fitness watch in this article, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music.
Design: Garmin have done a great job with the design of the Vivoactive 3. The classic round watch face is elegant, and the black/rose gold color variant is particularly attractive.
Wrist-Based HRM: Like the Garmin Vivomove HR, the Vivoactive 3 also includes an optical heart rate monitor. There are no big surprises here. Garmin’s elevate wrist-based heart rate tracking is pretty much stock standard with all their new watches.
24/7 Activity Tracking: From an activity tracking perspective, the Vivoactive 3 Music is by far the most accomplished fitness watch in this roundup. You can track the following sports and activities with the Vivoactive 3:
- Running (Indoor + Outdoor)
- Cycling (Indoor + Outdoor)
- Swimming (Pool swimming only)
- Skiing and snowboarding
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding
- Rowing (Indoor + Outdoor)
- Strength training
- Cardio Training
- Elliptical Training
- Stair Stepping
- Floor Climbing
Smart Notifications: Once you are connected to the Garmin app, you can enable Smart Notifications on the Vivoactive 3. It might not rival the Apple watch in terms of screen quality and screen size, but it still does a perfectly good job in this respect.
GPS Tracking: The Vivoactive 3 Music actually has 3 types of satellite tracking built-in, namely GPS, GLONASS & GALILEO. This means you should get excellent tracking during runs, cycles and hikes, wherever you are on the planet!