2017’s best smartwatches and fitness bands
Here are the top smartwatches and fitness bands from 2017 that you can buy
Contrary to the general notion, the wearable market is growing. According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker for Q3 2017, a total of 26.3 million wearables were shipped between July and September, at a growth rate of 7.3%. The report also points out that the demand for smartwatches which can run apps is more than smartbands that do not run apps and are primarily used for fitness purpose.
We take a look at the top wearables from 2017 and what each brings to the table.
Samsung Gear Sport
Successor to the Gear S3, Samsung Gear Sport is a sporty looking smartwatch that weighs just 50g. It comes in two colours—black and blue—and offers watch faces that would match the changeable straps that are available for it. It runs Samsung’s Tizen OS and offers a 1.2-inch circular AMOLED display protected against scrapes by Gorilla Glass 3. The smartwatch is ideal for swimmers as it is water-resistant up to 50 metres and can track swimming sessions to provide details on stroke type lap time and calories burned. It comes with a heart rate sensor and can also provide call and message notifications when connected to an Android smartphone or Apple iPhone.
Apple Watch 3
Apple’s Watch Series 3 looks a lot like its predecessors which makes it compatible with older straps and bands. It comes in 38mm and 42mm size with a 1.6-inch screen OLED screen in the smaller variant. It supports 3D touch and runs on Watch OS 4 which is smarter than the Tizen OS, offers a stacks card interface and can run more apps and games. The watch 3 runs on Apple’s new S3 processor, which is up to 70% faster than the Watch Series 2’s S2 processor. It has built-in GPS, heart rate sensor and a barometric altimeter which can track running uphill or elevation changes with greater accuracy.
$299 (approximately Rs19,000)
Known for fitness bands, Ionic expands Fitbit’s portfolio of smartwatches which includes only Blaze, as of now. The watch is 38.6mm wide and is set inside a metal case which is water resistant up to a depth of 50 metres and can track swims. What separates it from Blaze is the new Fitbit OS, which offers apps from third-party developers on the lines of Android Wear and Apple Watch. Ionic works with both Android smartphones and Apple iPhones and comes with Fitbit Pay, a payment app on the lines of Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. It offers an upgraded heart rate sensor which can tracks heart rates more accurately and has a tri-wave sensor which can monitor oxygen levels in your blood.
Xiaomi Mi Band HRX
Xiaomi Mi Band 2 HRX is a re-launched version of Mi band 2 without the heart rate sensor. Yet, it cannot be overlooked as it is one of the most reliable fitness band at this price point. It comes with 0.42-inch screen which shows time, steps, calories burned and distance covered. The bands are interchangeable and can withstand rain, water splashes and sweat. When connected to an Android smartphone, it can show call and text notification as well. Battery backup is impressive as it lasts about a week on one charge.
Goqii HR Tracker
An upgraded version of the first generation Goqii fitness band, the Goqii 2.0 comes with a built-in heart rate sensor, making it the only wearable with a screen and heart rate sensor. One of the advantages of a Goqii 2.0 is the ecosystem of health plans, which includes tie-up with doctors, hospitals, health experts, diagnostic centres and medical insurance companies. Users will have to subscribe for them separately and pay a monthly fee. The fitness band will work even without the plan and track steps, sleep and heart rate. Users can access them on the smart band’s LED screen.