For athletes, the Series 8 watch also comes in a waterproof body that you can take for a dip in the pool or the ocean. Plus, it’ll last you a full work day (around 18 hours), but be prepared to throw it on the charger at night. PJ Shirdan, a founding coach at FightCamp and NASM-certified trainer, says he typically recommends the Apple Watch to people “for its diversity and pretty accurate ECG heart rate tracking,” too. It currently offers a range of fitness modes that you can sync with the Apple Fitness app—like tai chi, yoga, running, swimming, and dance.
The Best Fitness Watch for Samsung Users: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Don’t forget your friendly Android user. Now in its sixth iteration, the Galaxy Watch offers the largest screen yet with a thinner bezel. Speaking of the bezel, it’s how you’ll control the entire watch, which is actually much more seamless and easier to use than Apple’s crown control. The Watch 6’s processor is also faster than ever, so apps open faster and run much more smoother than previous models. Like the latest suite of Apple Watches, this model has fall detection, so it can contact emergency services in case you’re ever in a dire situation, but on the fitness front, this is like having a personal trainer right on your wrist. The Watch 6 can be attuned to track over 90 specific workouts, while monitoring your various heart rates so that you can better achieve your goals, whether you’re hoping to go farther or faster. And with its sleep tracking abilities, the Watch 6 will help you get a better night’s sleep to further help you achieve your fitness targets.
5 More Fitness Watches We Like
When Apple released its Watch Ultra in 2022, the brand marketed it as its wearable for the most intense athletes. This watch feels like it was built for the person who likes to go on adventures off the radar, except they still want to be on the radar in case anything bad happens. The Watch Ultra has super-precise GPS locating, while a nifty Backtrack feature will ensure you don’t get lost, even if you do cross the sign on the trail that says: “Do not enter.”
The biggest addition to the Apple Watch Ultra is the Action button, a feature that’ll be carried over to the iPhone 15. You can customize this button to function however you please, and for those scary situations, you can employ an emergency siren that is loud enough to be heard from as far as 600 feet away.
Just want to dip your toes into the world of Apple Watches? The SE line of watches brings you the barebones essentials of the Apple Watch without all the bells and whistles, netting you a significant price reduction compared to the Series 8 or Watch Ultra. The SE runs on the same operating system as the Series 8, so don’t feel like you’re get skimped just by not getting the more advanced product, but the SE does lack some fancier health-tracking measurements, including things like skin temperature and blood oxygen saturation readings. On one hand, you can see the Watch SE as operating like a remote for your iPhone, while being packed with your usual run-of-the-mill fitness tracking.
G-Shock isn’t known for being a fitness watch brand, but its 2023 release of the Move series finds that these super-rugged watches are actually incredibly apt at handling your toughest workouts. It features the standard health-tracking capabilities—it has a step tracker, interval timers, and estimated calories burned per measurement—as well as some readouts for things like sleep and blood oxygen levels. We mainly see this as a go-to pick for someone who wants a fitness watch without buying one of those super-techy options that make them look like they’re about 20 seconds from breaking into a stride.
Skip a daily coffee for like 10 days, and you can get yourself a fitness watch. The AmazFit Band 7 is a super-cheap option that actually performs fairly well. If you want just a simple overview of your health and how you’re doing, then this is a great way to get a good luck at your daily heart rate, sleep quality, and blood oxygen. It wears a lot like the Fitbit Charge 5, but we’d still prefer that model just for overall ease of use and functionality.
The only fitness watch to win a 2023 GQ Fitness Award was the new-to-this-year Garmin Forerunner 265. Yes, Garmin makes a damn good fitness watch, and there are way too many Forerunners to keep track of, but the 265 is great if not for this one reason: It, and the fancier 965, are the only Garmin watches with bright, always-on AMOLED faces. Our tester uses his almost exclusively for running, but this watch is also up for almost any other workout imaginable, whether you’re an avid skier or seeking a Chris Hemsworth-level HIIT workout.
Editor’s Note: Apple recently announced its latest generation of Apple Watches, which are available for purchase starting September 22. The lineup includes the Series 9, the Ultra 2, and a new-and-improved SE. We’ll be testing out the new watches to see how they stack up against previous Apple Watch models and will update this post in the near future.