The Best Activity Tracker with Heart Rate Monitoring
Activity trackers are now a part of everyday life with more people focusing on fitness and wanting an easy way to track progress and set goals. Not all trackers are created equal and if you are looking for one that gives the full picture of your exertion throughout the day then you are better off getting a tracker with heart rate monitoring.
There are so many fitness trackers fighting for your custom; from the likes of Polar, Garmin, Apple, Fitbit, TomTom and so on. Looking for the perfect tracker to suit your lifestyle is not an easy task which is why I think Garmin Vívosmart HR+ is the ideal all-rounder.
The Vívosmart HR+ is reasonably priced and includes high-end features to cater for most sporting activities, working out in the gym and tracking steps throughout the day. We’ve already established that to get the most out of your tracker you want to buy one with heart rate monitoring and the Vívosmart HR+ records this automatically.
Intelligent Wrist-based Heart Rate
Vivosmart HR+ is equipped with Elevate wrist heart rate technology which combines all of your activity i.e. flight of stairs climbed, step count, exertion, calories burned and groups this data with your Heart rate reading and the inbuilt GPS to determine your distance, speed and provide you with the most accurate data.
If you remain sedentary for too long the tracker will nudge you to get up and move around, the MOVE bar is a great tool to keep you active throughout the day even if it’s just getting up from the couch or your desk to stretch your legs and take a short stroll.
Garmin Make it Easy to Connect
You can receive emails, texts, calls, social media, and calendar alerts without needing to interrupt your workout to reach for your phone. Non-urgent alerts can wait for later and if you receive an urgent alert you can gauge whether it’s worth pausing your exercise to give it your attention.
Once setup, Vivosmart HR+ will seamlessly send your stats to the Garmin app via your smartphone where you can view a detailed analysis of your activity and progress. The Garmin app is free to download and it is a great tool to plan out your exercise and to keep challenging yourself to surpass your previous achievements.
You can also connect with friends and family or meet other users through the app and get involved in various challenges. The app can be linked to MyFitnessPal so that you can log your food and assess your calorie intake versus your activity output.
Garmin Vívosmart HR+ Review
I’ve tried out my fair share of fitness trackers and usually, I’ve found that most will excel in certain areas but lack in others. Performance normally centres around key areas such battery performance, heart rate accuracy, screen responsiveness and syncing data between tracker and phone.
Having used the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ for a few weeks I had very little to complain about and rates it as one of the best activity trackers currently available. Here are some of the great features that I thought would be worth mentioning:
Garmin App and Tracker
Vivosmart HR+ and the Garmin app talk to each other very well. Both are easy to navigate and highly customisable to prioritise the data that matters most to you. Simply tap the tracker’s display to access more activity stats and gauge how you’re doing.
I sync the tracker 3 times a day i.e. when I wake up to analyse sleep (it will show you your sleep stages and how long you spend in each), at lunchtime to check my performance halfway through the day and last thing at night to see how I’ve done throughout the day. The battery is remarkable- one charge will last between 6-7 days.
Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Keeps Me Motivated
Let’s be honest, it is extremely easy to remain sedentary for long periods of time without realising. I like that the tracker reminds me to get up if I’ve been inactive for longer than an hour, during the day. It will vibrate and display a Move bar on the screen. You will need to complete 200 steps or climb 5 flights of stairs to clear the MOVE bar.
You will be commended with fireworks and a continuous buzz when you achieve a fitness goal such as completing your step count for the day or climbing up a certain amount of stairs. Garmin will award you with virtual trophies for each achievement. Take the tracker with you for a long hike and it will thank you for smashing your targets and make you feel awesome.
Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Weak Points
This review wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t point out the Garmin’s weaker aspects.
Size: The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ isn’t the largest device that I’ve tested but when it’s wrapped around the wrist you do notice that it’s there, more so with smaller wrists.
Make you sure that you get the correct size band when ordering otherwise you’ll be stuck with an oversized device that slides up and down your arm. You want the band to be slightly loose for comfort but not overly loose or else the heart rate accuracy will suffer.
Sleep: The sleep stages aren’t as intuitive as Fitbit but better than most. I normally sync the data in the morning after breakfast and have found the data to be accurate but sometimes, when I sync the device again, the sleep calculation is changed to suggest that I was sleeping for a longer period of time. This can be resolved by adjusting the sleep & waking times within the app. It doesn’t happen that often.
Climbing Stairs: Are you the type of person that always chooses the stairs instead of the elevator? The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ records the flights of stairs climbed but it isn’t always perfect, occasionally it will miss out a few stairs but this just gives me the incentive to make up for the missed numbers.
Other Points of Interest
Battery Performance: The battery can last longer than stated if you switch off the GPS and constant heart rate monitoring. I’ve managed to squeeze 8 days out of battery by doing this. The tracker will warn you when the battery is running low by displaying an empty battery symbol on the time screen which will stay there for about 15 hours.
The tracker will continue to track your steps on a low battery but the empty battery symbol will stay on the screen in place of the clock.
Silent Alarm: The silent alarm will gently vibrate around the wrist to wake you up gradually instead of an annoyingly loud alarm clock. If like me, you like to stay in bed for a bit longer you can snooze the alarm for 10 minutes.
Syncing: Syncing between Vivosmart HR+ and the Garmin app is relatively straightforward but if you experience any problems with this ensure that you log into the Garmin Connect website prior to pairing the device with your phone. Make sure that your phone’s Bluetooth is switched on and in pairing mode with an active internet connection. Once connected, your data should automatically sync as long as the app is open. You can sync manually using the sync icon on the tracker or through the app.
Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Product Rating
Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is an outstanding activity tracker that is equipped with most of the fitness functionality required to keep you on track to a healthier you. GPS and heart rate monitoring aren’t usually both included on trackers but with the Vivosmart HR+ you get them as standard.
Garmin users have enjoyed the strong performance offered by the Vivosmart HR+ and the reasonable pricing which ensures that it is affordable for most budgets.
Is Garmin Vivosmart HR+ the best activity tracker with heart rate monitoring? It sure is. I compared the heart data with Polar H10 chest strap and the results were almost identical, taking into account that wrist-based monitoring is not as accurate as chest-based monitoring.
Garmin is at the forefront of GPS tracking and it’s good to know that activity data is more accurate with distance and speed added to the mix. Syncing data between tracker and app is pain-free and the battery life is phenomenal.
Are you considering buying the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ or do you already own one? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.
What is the Best Activity Fitness Tracker for the Gym?
Heading to the gym is a lot better with a fitness device strapped around your wrist. There are huge benefits to knowing your fitness progress and measuring your performance over time. For starters, it’s a great motivator and the Fitbit Charge 2 HR is one of the best trackers to help you stay on track in the gym.
Prior to the Fitbit Charge 2 HR I used its predecessor extensively and got sucked into the wonderful Fitbit ether. I’m a huge advocate of Fitbit because of their great motivational techniques to keep me engage with my fitness, so it goes without saying that the brand has changed the way that I train in the gym and my awareness of the health benefits associated to staying fit.
With the Fitbit Charge 2 HR you are constantly challenging yourself to improve from day to day and beat your previous stats, this only contributes to a healthier fitter version of yourself which only gets better with each passing day.
If you are an existing Fitbit user and are considering upgrading to the Charge 2 HR or if you are completely new to fitness tracker craze I’d urge you to stop procrastinating and get one.
There’s the hot debate whether to choose a fitness tracker over a smartwatch i.e. Apple watch or vice versa. Smartwatches can perform all the usual tasks such as step count, calories and heart rate but tend to be a bit distracting. Personally, I’d rather use my phone to respond to emails, texts and take calls rather than fiddling with this on a smartwatch. If you are looking for a tracker that focuses purely on your fitness and keeping you in shape then Fitbit Charge 2 HR is a winner.
Here’s what you get with Fitbit Charge 2 HR:
Fitbit Charge 2 HR in the Gym
Most people will use the gym for different types of workouts and try to vary their exercise with a combination of cardio, aerobic classes, swimming, weight training and maybe circuit training. The Charge 2 HR is suitable for all of the above- it tracks steps, heart rate, pace (for the treadmill), distance, calories burned, gradient and more. You can also set it up for interval training and outdoor running/cycling.
The Fitbit app is a lovely place to be. Think of it as your wellness hub where you can analyse your efforts and monitor your progression. It will also award you various badges for your achievements. I also like how it quantifies individual achievements by comparing them to a real-life situation e.g. 402 km achieved which means you’ve walked the length of the world’s first underground railway.
Long Battery Life
The biggest advantage of opting for the Fitbit Charge 2 HR over say an Apple Watch is the long battery life that lasts for an amazing 5 days. Apple Watch needs to be charged every evening which renders it useless for sleep tracking. Whereas the Fitbit only needs a 30-minute charge for 5 days of battery life. This is an improvement over the older model which last 3 days on a 30-minute charge.
The sleep tracking feature on Fitbit devices is amongst the best that I’ve used on any fitness tracker. Fitbit breaks down your sleep patterns into different stages (REM, Light sleep, Deep sleep) and provides the data through the Fitbit app in a graph that is super easy to understand.
Fitbit monitors your sleep stages by combining your movement and heart rate patterns. During sleep, the tracker will analyse changes in your heart rate i.e. your heart rate variability which changes as you enter different stages of sleep.
Fitbit Charge 2 HR Calendar Reminders
If you like to plan your days and schedule your weekly gym routine you’ll be happy to know that the Charge 2 HR will automatically sync with your calendars. The device uses Bluetooth to notify you of calendar reminders that will appear on the display.
The calendar function is a handy feature that has been a lifesaver when I’ve nearly missed a few appointments on busy days. I no longer need to rely solely on my phone as I get notifications delivered to my wrist. I like to schedule my workouts in my calendar so that I know in advance what type of training I’ll be doing in the gym and pack adequate gear for it. You can also receive and view text messages.
If you get bored of your existing band or fancy a different colour you can switch it easily. There’s plenty of colours and styles to choose from and these extend beyond Fitbit branded bands. Swapping the bands is easy but bear in mind that if you decide to buy a third-party band, not made by Fitbit, it might be more difficult to swap.
Design and Display
The Fitbit Charge 2 HR has a large display for easier viewing and to showcase all its engaging graphics that encourage you to keep active. The tracker is slimmer than the older model and doesn’t feel bulky on the wrist. The screen is LED and easy to read in direct sunlight.
One of the standout features for the Charge 2 HR is its silent alarm which gently wakes me up and, most importantly, doesn’t interrupt my partner. You can set up various alarms and reminders and customise them for different days. The alarm lightly vibrates on the wrist to gradually wake you up and is a lot better than a noisy alarm.
Fitbit Charge 2 HR is Simple To Use
Fitbit consistently designs trackers that are user-friendly and do away with complicated features that rarely get used. I like the no-nonsense focus on fitness from the moment you complete setting up the tracker. My grandmother owns a Fitbit and she gets on with the device without any issues.
Tap the display and you have access to step count, distance completed throughout the day, heart rate, calories burned and stairs climbed. You can also customise the display to prioritise the data that matters most to you.
Fitbit Charge 2 HR Extra Features
Similar to the apple watch you can engage in some breathing exercises through the assisted trainer. You can choose the length of time for each session which lasts either 2 or 5 minutes. The Fitbit tracker will display a visual representation of the rate at which to take your breaths. The aim here is to help you achieve calmness by slowing down your breathing. You can schedule your breathing sessions so that the tracker reminds you to carry them out at a time that suits you best.
Fitbit Charge 2 HR caters for all aspects of gym exercises whether you need it to track cardio, aerobic exercises, treadmill running, weight training or circuits.
The device is lightweight and features a slim profile that looks good even on small wrists.
Syncing data via the Fitbit app is automatic and seamless. This is a noticeable improvement over the older model.
The 5-day battery life is remarkable and it only takes 30 minutes of charging to last 5 days.
A great selection of watch straps in different colours and designs are available online.
Use Fitbit Charge 2 HR to get immersed into the Fitbit community where you can buddy up with other users with similar goals and get involved in different exercise challenges.
Certain users have reported that the heart rate sensor doesn’t always provide an accurate reading when sweat builds up between the sensor and wrist. I’ve not had any issues with this thus far.
The Fitbit Charge 2 HR activity tracker is a slick exercise device that feels great around the wrist. It never gets in the way at the gym and provides all the fitness stats required to stay on track.
The Fitbit Charge 2 HR is one of the best activity trackers for the gym and it has received a huge amount of positive feedback from users owing to a user-friendly experience, seamless syncing between tracker and Fitbit app and a reasonable price point.
If you’re looking to upgrade to the Fitbit Charge 2 HR or if this is your first fitness tracker then you’re lined up for a fitness treat. This is the best fitness tracker for the gym that I’ve tested, it performs better than the Fitbit Alta HR and still retains a slim attractive design.
Take it with you for intense HIIT classes, gruelling circuit training, treadmill running or any other form of exercise and it will track heart rate, pace, calories, steps and everything else in between.
Are you considering buying the Fitbit Charge 2 HR or do you already own one? Please leave your comments in the section below. I’d love to hear from you.
Best Fitbit Fitness Watch for Cycling, Running, Swimming and Interval training?
Over the years I’ve gone through my fair share of activities trackers ranging from awesome to downright dreadful. Fitbit has remained one of the front-runners at designing fitness tracker and smartwatches that are stylish, easy to use and effortless to sync activity data to the mobile app.
The Fitbit Versa excels at all of the above. It is a lightweight activity watch that tracks a range of activities and workouts including outdoor running, weight training, treadmill, cardio workouts, swimming and so on. It doesn’t come with inbuilt GPS, instead it will piggyback onto your phone’s GPS using a feature called “Connected GPS”, but the plus side of this is a long battery life lasting up to 4 days.
Heart rate monitoring
As with other fitness trackers, wrist-based heart rate tracking is not as accurate as a chest strapped monitor. Having said that I completed a series of outdoor runs and compared the Fitbit Versa data with my Polar RCX3 and the heart rate readings were almost identical. There is definitely a marked improvement over previous Fitbit trackers.
If you’ve read any of my previous Fitbit reviews you’ll already be familiar with how highly I rate Fitbit’s sleep tracking feature. It is arguably the best sleep monitoring that I’ve used. We all know that sleep is important for workout recovery and to maintain peak performance.
The Versa breaks down your sleep pattern into 4 different sleep stages i.e. Awake, REM, Light and Deep Sleep. I like that the sleep graphs are easy to understand and show you periods of broken sleep throughout the night. The Fitbit Versa measures sleep stages using a combination of your movement and heart rate patterns.
The Fitbit Versa has an impressive battery life that stretches up to 4 days even when it’s used extensively. I recently took part in a 4-week step challenge which meant that I was constantly monitoring my step count and setting myself mini challenges to walk further in addition to my normal workout routine. I thought that this extra activity would cut the Versa’s battery time by half (which would have still been acceptable) but to my surprise, the watch still stuck to its 4-day promise. Awesome!
When the battery is depleted you’ll have to place the Versa into the charging dock to charge it up. Simply press both sides of the cradle base and slide the watch in. The charging time is about 1 hour. Job done.
Living with the Fitbit Versa
When I initially received the Fitbit Versa I was pleasantly surprised how lightweight it was. My strap is plain black and it very minimalist. If you prefer something a bit more vibrant there is a selection of colours including orange, pink and gold. The watch is very comfortable around the wrist and you hardly notice that it’s there. It doesn’t interrupt with sleep and the green sensor light at the rear is very discreet.
The standard bands are made from a durable high-quality plastic that doesn’t irritate my skin. My skin is very sensitive and I’ve always found that the Fitbit bands never cause me any type of irritation.
Setting up the Fitbit Versa for first-time use is quite straightforward and hassle-free. If you don’t already have a Fitbit account the Fitbit app will walk you through the account creation process whilst simultaneously linking your new Versa to your smartphone. It will take about half an hour to set up everything i.e. configure the settings, choose your preferred apps, input your body measurements and weight and choose a suitable clock face. Apps can be repositioned directly from the watch depending on the ones you consider to be the most important.
I’ll just tell you now that they are millions of clock faces to choose from and after a while of looking through them it can be difficult to select one. It’s not a bad thing, I’d rather be inundated with choice rather than choosing from a limited selection.
I eventually chose the NEON2 clock face which displays a cool colourful stick drawing of a running man with the time and date displayed on the left and various stats on the right including my heart rate, distance, steps, calories burnt and battery life. It’s a vibrant clock face that complements what would otherwise be a dull looking black-on-black watch.
Fitbit Versa Notifications
Calls and texts come through without hassle. The Versa will vibrate when either come through. It will also display calendar notifications and reminders. You can’t respond to messages but its still handy to quickly glance at your wrist and gauge whether a message is important enough to warrant going into your phone to read it. You can also set up various alarms which vibrate on the wrist.
Fitbit Versa Apps
There are various apps to choose from including the Strava running app, Fitbit propriety apps include a personal coaching app, alarm clock, music app, weather, news, a leaderboard (to set various challenges with friends and family), timer, relaxation app and a music app that lets you wirelessly sync 300+songs onto the watch.
Sadly there is no Spotify integration and this is something I would like to see in future updates. I recently found out a quick workaround to control the music playing on your phone with the Versa, including Spotify. Hold the back button down, swipe to Music, press the three dots, then pair Versa Classic via Bluetooth, and you should be able to control music when it starts playing on the phone.
There is a Fitbit pay app that lets you use the watch to make payments but it is not as robust as Apple pay and is limited to a few banks.
Fitbit Versa for Swimming
Fitbit Versa is waterproof which has the obvious benefit that you can take it swimming. Wrist-based tracking isn’t as accurate underwater but it’s still nice to have all the other statistics such as calories burned and the distance covered doing lengths in the pool.
Fitbit Versa for Cycling
The Versa watch uses the GPS data from your phone to determine your route and provide a more accurate breakdown of the distance covered whilst cycling. You can choose what data you prefer to see whilst cycling including your heart rate reading and calories.
Fitbit Versa for Running
Similar to cycling the Fitbit watch will use your phones GPS for route and distance data and it will use your body measurements i.e. height to determine your stride and pace. You can toggle between different stats using the left button. I’ve found that the heart rate data is a lot more accurate when running than other forms of exercise.
This is a versatile fitness watch that not only tracks activities but also motivates you to stay fit and keep moving.
You can play music directly from the watch and link a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Fitbit Versa is extremely lightweight! It looks stylish and doesn’t overcrowd tiny wrists.
There are millions of watch faces to choose from!! It’s super easy to switch between faces via the Fitbit app.
The 4-day battery life is impressive and it actually lasts for 4 days.
A huge selection of watch straps are readily available online including high-quality third-party straps that are cheaper. Click here to see one of my favourites.
A highly functional fitness watch that gives access to a huge Fitbit community where you can get involved in various challenges and stay motivated to exercise.
Spotify integration is currently not available, but this is one of the biggest request from Fitbit users and should be sorted soon.
You can’t have 2 Fitbits linked to the Fitbit app at any one time. The old Fitbit device has to be removed before installing the Versa. Thankfully the app retains all your previous exercise data from your older Fitbit.
The app selection isn’t great but I’m sure this will get better over time.
Payment is via Fitbit Pay is not as robust as Apple pay.
The Versa is Fitbit’s leading device and has enjoyed a strong positive reception from its users. It is beautiful and comfortable around the wrist. This is a true competitor to the Apple watch.
Is Versa the best Fitbit fitness watch for cycling, running, swimming and interval training? It sure is. The Fitbit brand prides itself on giving its users useful fitness data that is easy to understand. My grandmother uses the Versa and she gets along with the thing just fine.
With the Versa your daily activity is covered from the moment you wake up and throughout the night whilst sleeping. The Fitbit app is beautifully designed and breaks up the data into neat sections that you can tap into for a detailed analysis. You can also log your food intake directly into the app for a fuller picture of your overall health.
Data syncing has come in leaps and bounds since the early days of the fitness tracker. Fitbit has improved data syncing to the point that you hardly notice it happening, my data is always up to date by the time I’ve tapped into the app.
Are you considering buying the Fitbit Versa or do you already own one? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.
The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a GPS running watch with wrist-based heart rate designed for runners. The elevate wrist heart rate technology makes it easier to analyse your pace and see it improve over time. The watch is equipped with smart features to set personal goals and smash through them.
In addition to run tracking the forerunner 235 is a capable activity tracker with advanced features to stay connected and it automatically syncs activity data to the Garmin app. Notifications are displayed on the watch screen without distracting you from your workouts and widgets can be customised. Download apps and additional watch faces from the Connect IQ store.
Forerunner 235 Features Elevate Wrist Heart Rate Technology
The Garmin 235 watch uses the Elevate heart rate system to record wrist-based heart rate continuously so that you don’t need to run with a chest strap HR monitor. The heart rate zones and beats per minute BPM are displayed on a colourful gauge. You can easily monitor your best heart rate zones for optimum performance.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Practicality
Forerunner 235 is very comfortable to wear throughout the day and is a lightweight device. It’s amazing to see how much technology is fitted inside the watch including GPS for navigation, audio for alerts, haptics, an accelerometer, a rechargeable battery and all of this is enclosed within a 5ATM water-resistant shell.
Forerunner uses a customised charging cable with a unique clamp design on one end and USB on the other end. The display is beautiful to look at and big enough to show the vibrancy of the colourful graphs and customisable watch faces that can be download from the Connect IQ store.
The straps are interchangeable and the colour options include black grey, frost green, marsala and an exclusive black/volt Nike strap. The straps can stretch and provide adequate ventilation to keep your wrist comfortable. Unlike other activity trackers, the Forerunner 235 watch looks great even when worn recreationally. The colourful straps give the Garmin activity tracker some character and make it look more like a stylish watch instead of a fitness tracker.
Garmin Forerunner 235 HR Recording
I’m a regular Polar device user and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to compare the Forerunner 235 HR recording against another reputable brand like Polar.
For this, I used the Polar H7 heart rate monitor and the results were comparable except for a few peaks in the HR readings for the Garmin Forerunner.
The 235 watch provides great estimates when switched to smart recording, which means that the GPS and heart rate data is recorded in 6-second intervals instead of every second. The resulting data file takes up less storage space and the recorded data is enough to meet the needs of most users.
When data tracking is switched to every second, the forerunner 235 provided great stats. The data was almost as good as the Polar H7 heart rate readings when considering that Optical heart rate sensors are not as accurate as chest strap HR monitors
Garmin Forerunner 235 Training Profiles
Garmin Forerunner 235 can be toggled between 4 different activity profiles which include:
Each of the above profiles can be customised to show specific metrics depending on the information you would like to prioritise.
A good example would be when running outdoors you might want the GPS function to be visible and accessible but for alerts to be switched off. But when running on a treadmill, you might want the GPS to be switched off and notifications turned on. The Forerunner 235 is highly customisable so that your preferences are remembered when you switch between the different activity profiles.
In addition to the activity profiles, the watch features various training features to help you improve your fitness level including:
1. Training calendar
3. My workouts
4. Finishing time
The “training calendar” and “my workouts” features let you go onto Garmin Connect web and your plan your training in advance. The Garmin 235 watch lets you set a duration, interval distance and time directly from the device. It will then calculate an estimated finish time based on the set distance and your current pace.
Whilst activity tracking, the display can be customised to show 5 screens in total and 2 of those can each be divided into 4 data fields. The screens can be customised differently for each activity profile.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Smart notifications
Smartphone notifications that are sent to the Forerunner 235 can be expanded and read directly from the watch. You can customise how you would like to be alerted of notification whether its vibration, audio or both.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Physiological stats
When you’ve been running for longer than 10 minutes the Forerunner 235 will estimate your VO2 Max (numerical measurement of your body’s ability to consume oxygen). The recover advisor will also provide you with details of the rest time you should take between intense workouts. The data is assessed for accuracy by First Beat, a Finnish company that does the same for other brands like Suunto, Sony, Samsung and so on.
The watch will also estimate a finish time for 5k runs, 10k runs, half and full marathons by measuring your performance at 10 minutes intervals.
235 All Day Activity Tracking
The forerunner is predominantly a sports watch for runners but it is also a fully-fledged fitness tracker that tracks 24/7 heart rate, sleep, steps, distance, calories burned and the minutes spent in each intensity zones. Sadly it doesn’t track incline measurements for stairs climbed as it does not have a barometer. If you remain stationary for long periods of time the Forerunner 235 will remind you to get up and move, either through a buzz or audio alert.
This is a 24/7 fitness tracker. Similar to a Fitbit it tracks distance, steps, sleep and calories burned.
All-day heart rate measurement and during fitness activity sessions.
It features GPS+Glonass for smart tracking or second-on-second tracking.
Vibration and audio are built in to aid with alarms, smart notifications, movement alerts.
Read your messages and notification on the large watch display.
It can measure your VO2 Max score (numerical measurement of your body’s ability to consume oxygen), race time predictor and it provides post-workout recovery advice.
The watch automatically records laps at 1km/1 mile intervals or the distance can be customised.
Automatic pausing for track running.
Interval training is entirely possible thanks to the interval run features.
Large display for easier control and reading of data.
Anti-glare display that can be read in direct sunlight. There’s also a backlight.
The watch is compatible with Connect IQ to download apps like Strava and watch faces.
The Forerunner reads the number of laps and time using the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone.
It displays weather and calendar events from your smartphone.
It is water resistant up to 5 ATM.
Answer phone calls directly from the forerunner 235 watch.
There’s a bit of a learning curve to get used to the navigation.
It doesn’t include virtual pacer functionality
Where Can You Buy The Garmin Forerunner 235 Activity Tracker?
The Garmin Forerunner 235 activity tracker is a comfortable and stylish device for both indoor and outdoor running.
The Forerunner 235 is one of the best activity tracker for runners and is equipped with smart features including VO2 Max score, accelerometer, GPS functionality to analyse routes and distance for beginners and serious runners.
Best Fitness Tracker For Swimming- Stay in Your Lane & Own It
Are you an avid swimmer or triathlete looking for the best way to track your training or take it to the next level? The Polar V800 waterproof sports watch is a serious piece of kit for expert athletes that want to improve fitness results.
The Polar device offers intelligent coaching that is specific to your body and training level so that you always perform at your best. You can seamlessly sync your data to the Polar Flow app to delve deeper into your stats, analyze them, and also become a part of the bustling Polar training community.
The Polar activity tracker is equipped with GPS and is waterproof to a depth of 30 meters (3 ATM). Use it to track the following:
Swimming stroke rate (SWOLF) and stroke style.
Step count, distance and speed.
Heart Rate (BPM) with the chest strap.
Total activity time and intensity levels achieved.
The number of calories burned.
Although the Polar V800 is for serious swimmers it can be used for additional sporting activities such as running and cycling, it’s the perfect accessory for triathletes. The Polar watch is nothing short of impressive and it tracks everything under the sun.
Swimming with the Polar V800
The Waterproof Polar V800 watch can track your heart underwater whilst swimming with the use of a sensor (chest strap) that can measure your pulse underwater. I would recommend buying the version that includes the Polar H7 belt to track heart rate. It is suitable for open-water and pool swimming. If open-water swimming is your thing, the watch will track your progress and distance using the built-in GPS.
During lane swimming, the V800 will observe your swimming technique and measure this using the pool length or your stroke rate. In addition to this, the watch employs a SWOLF score (sum of time and strokes per pool length) for an overall precise measurement of your strength and swimming style.
The Polar V800 can distinguish 4 different swimming strokes including Breaststroke, Backstroke, Front Crawl and Butterfly. You can customize different training profiles depending on your exercise requirements.
Polar V800 Feature Summary
V800 is one of the leading sports watches for any level of fitness training from beginner to advanced athletes that are looking to step up to the next level. Integrated GPS ensures that your distance, routes and speeds are calculated accurately.
Set up different profiles for various training activities and specific metrics depending on the sport or exercise.
The Polar V800 combines sports watch functionality with fitness tracker features. It will provide all-day activity monitoring and sync your data to the Polar Flow app.
The watch comes with the Polar H7 heart rate monitor (chest strap) for the most accurate BPM readings during exercise and whilst swimming.
Train for your upcoming triathlon with the Polar V800, it can link to running and cycling sensors via Bluetooth to give a detailed analysis of your training.
Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch Review
It’s hard to find something that the Polar V800 can’t do. This is a fitness device with a huge set of features that are best mastered using the step-by-step guides provided so you can get the most out of it. It’s important to input your details i.e. age, weight, height, etc for a more personalized experience. You can also change the different settings to view specific metrics for each sport mode e.g. your weekly mountain run could include altitude readings.
Each sport mode has a list of settings that can be recorded and paused automatically. You can choose settings such as cadence speed, average cadence speed, top cadence speed, barometric pressure, altitude sensor climb and descent. The chest strap will enable heart rate readings including your top HR, average HR and sustained training HR.
The Polar watch can be configured to deliver notifications, you can sync the fitness device with your Google calendar for reminders and to set up exercise alerts that will sync with Polar Flow. There are more apps that can be synced within Polar Flow.
The initial set up with your smartphone is quite simple. Just be sure that your phone is close enough to the watch so that data can be synced without interruptions. Some users have complained about losing sync communication between their phone and watch but this is mainly because the proximity between the two is far.
The Polar V800 is a superior sports watch in every respect, it trumps other Polar devices for reliability, advanced features, battery life and display. It is Polar’s best fitness device yet and it’s compact, comfortable and lighter than its predecessors.
Whilst swimming, I alternated my strokes after each length and the V800 picked up all the data and was able to tell me the number of lengths I did for each stroke along with my best and worst performance.
The battery life will last up to 13 hours with constant training and standard GPS & heart rate enabled.
There is a power-saving mode with low energy GPS and heart rate that stretches the battery to last up to 50 hours. The Polar V800 can last up to 30 days in time mode with daily activity monitoring.
Polar V800 Product Rating
The Polar V800 is a feature-rich fitness tracker and sports watch that will provide all the stats you could possibly need. It is the perfect swimming companion to measure your SWOLF score (sum of time and strokes per pool length) and can also be used to train for triathlons.
The device is suitable for advanced training and sporting professionals. It is a popular tracker for underwater heart rate monitoring.
Is the Polar V800 the best fitness tracker for swimming? Yes, this is an advanced device with robust functionality. If your aim is to improve your training and view accurate stats of your swimming performance, I would highly recommend V800.
There’s the added bonus of the H7 heart rate sensor that’s included for underwater BPM monitoring. The stride sensor will unleash a deeper analysis of your running and cycling stats should you wish to extend your training to those areas. Naturally, it will take some time to truly learn the watch’s capabilities and the extent to which you can train with it.
The Polar V800 is a serious piece of kit and a worthy purchase for expert fitness tracking. Are you considering buying the Polar V800 or do you already own one? Please leave your comments in the section below. I’d love to see your opinions.