12 best fitness trackers and watches, tested by RW Lab

The best fitness watches and trackers for runners in the UK 2023

<h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>How do I pick the right fitness tracker?</strong> </h3><p>Here are some key specs to consider when deciding which fitness tracker or smartwatch to go for.</p><p><strong>Fitness stats</strong>: If youre looking to buy a new fitness tracker, chances are you love a stat or two. Nowadays, youd expect all models to record your steps, distance covered and heart rate as standard. But some also provide a more in-depth insight into your workout by monitoring factors such as your blood-oxygen saturation levels and <a href=”https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/training/a761676/rws-training-pace-calculator/” target=”_blank”>VO2 max</a>. Others, such as the <a href=”https://www.whoop.com/en-gb/membership/strap/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Whoop Strap 4.0</a>, present information as scores to provide a series of easy-to-understand, tangible metrics.</p><p><strong>Sleep tracking</strong>: All trackers on our list offer this as a function, though each brand tends to go about it a bit differently. Some will just tell you how long youve been asleep for, while others will track the amount of heavy, light and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep youre getting. A few will even use this data to provide helpful tips for improving your snoozing.</p><p><strong>Battery life</strong>: Many fitness trackers will last at least seven days on a single charge, while some can manage three weeks or more. Smartwatches, such as the <a href=”https://www.johnlewis.com/apple-watch-series-8-gps-41mm-regular/midnight/p6345563?s_ppc=2dx92700070984466779_mixed_technology_BAU&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImdSy4MzF_wIVDMDtCh0m7wJmEAQYASABEgJ7a_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Apple Watch Series 8</a> and the <a href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/Google-Pixel-Watch-smartwatch-Champagne/dp/B0BDZFD26C/ref=asc_df_B0BDZFD26C/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=633532409722&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11677638080161776197&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045627&hvtargid=pla-1882662659715&psc=1″ target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Google Pixel</a>, tend to have a shorter battery life. Many models also have a quick charging feature, which is perfect if you need a last-minute bit of juice to track a lunchtime run.</p><p><strong>Waterproofing</strong>: If you like to mix up your training by hitting the pool a few times each month, keep an eye out for a tracker thats water resistant or swim proof. Some will only be able to give general data for your swim session, while others will automatically detect which stroke youre doing and the number of lengths youve completed. </p><p><strong>GPS:</strong> As a runner, chances are youll want a tracker or watch with <a href=”https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/gear/tech/a30513694/best-running-watches/” target=”_blank”>GPS functionality.</a> While some devices come with a built-in GPS chip, cheaper models often rely on an accelerometer, which can quickly become inaccurate. Having a GPS chip improves location accuracy, elevation and distance so you can map your route more accurately, but this isnt so important if youre using the watch for the gym. </p><h2 class=”body-h2″><strong>How we test</strong> </h2><p>Our <a href=”https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/gear/a40597767/runners-world-lab/” target=”_blank”><em>RW</em> Lab</a> experts tested over 50 market-leading fitness trackers and smartwatches to find the models that will help you upgrade your health and fitness regime.</p><p>They put each watch through a series of different workouts, from strength training to running, before rating them on design, ease of use, comfort and, crucially, overall performance.</p><p>Our winners (proudly displaying the esteemed <em>RW</em> Expert Tested logo) provided insightful in- and post-workout stats and recovery recommendations, were accurate when tracking steps and distance and didnt run out of juice too quickly. There were also comfortable to wear and looked good on our wrists.</p><p>The fitness-tech aficionados that they are, our editors have also put forward their favourite, which impressed during use.</p><h2 class=”body-h2″><strong>12 best fitness watches and trackers for runners </strong>in 2023 </h2>” />

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