Fitness watches perfect for heart rate monitoring

First published: 02-06-2017

If you're serious about fitness, then a watch with a heart rate monitor can work wonders for tracking progress and stamina, and can encourage you to go that extra mile - or take a much-needed break. However, it's important to understand the features and capabilities of the various models offered, and pick one that suits your individual needs.

The technology available to monitor heart rate in today's watches is impressive to say the least. You can choose from models that have a built-in wrist based monitor and watches that come with a separate chest strap for a more accurate reading. But which one do you need?

This guide is designed to help you pick out a heart rate monitor fitness watch that's perfect for you and your individual sporting needs.

Huawei Unisex W1 Bluetooth Watch

This handsome timepiece from Huawei is perfect for those that require a feature-packed fitness watch, but want something that looks good. Not only does is have a heart rate monitor and an app to help track progress, but comes with 42 interchangeable faces, giving it a chameleon like quality.

Huawei-Unisex-W1-1 watch Huawei-Unisex-W1-2 watch

The sleek black leather strap can also be changed to a stainless steel braided band, which is included in the set. Add Bluetooth technology and the ability to pair with your preferred smartphone, and you have a watch that's as useful as it is stylish.

Garmin Men's Forerunner 920XT GPS Bluetooth

If you take your running seriously, and precision is everything, then the Forerunner 920XT from Garmin could be the heart rate monitor watch for you. It's compatible with Garmin's HRM-Run, a heart rate monitor which can be strapped to your chest and synced to your watch while you train, giving you a much more precise heart rate reading than the average fitness watch.

Forerunner-920XT watch

Loaded with features, the running dynamics measured include cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation (how much you bounce when you run), and it will even recommend your recovery time based on heart rate and performance. Add to this a whole host of additional benefits that you can unlock using the Garmin app, and you have one seriously powerful piece of kit.

Suunto Unisex Spartan Ultra White Bluetooth

This futuristic timepiece from Suunto not only looks good on your wrist, but comes with a separate heart rate monitor and chest strap, and features a nifty colour touch-screen. Water-resistant to up to 100m, it also boasts a 26h battery life (when set to training mode) and a built-in compass and barometer to keep you on track.

Suunto-Unisex-Spartan watch

Sign up to Suunto Movescount and you can interact with the brand's large online community, and discover new routes using heatmaps and the built-in GPS.

Garmin Unisex Vivosmart HR Bluetooth Watch

Choosing a feature packed fitness watch with a built-in heart rate monitor doesn't have to break the bank - this slimline activity tracker from Garmin packs some of the power of if its chunkier, more expensive rivals.

Garmin-Unisex-Vivosmart-HR watch

Using 'Elevate' technology, the watch measures heart rate from the wrist 24/7, and the battery can survive up to five days. Displaying steps, distance, calories and activity intensity, you can also control music and even locate your missing smartphone, all from the simple-to-use touchscreen.

Epson Unisex Runsense GPS Watch

This impressive watch from Epson won't let you down, even if you journey out far into the wilderness. Featuring a 'Smart Stride Sensor' which measures stride length and pitch, it becomes accustomed to your individual technique and can accurately track your distance and pace even when you have no GPS signal.

Epson-Unisex-Runsense-GPS watch

And, even while utilising its built-in state-of-the-art heart rate monitor and GPS, you can enjoy a couple of runs a day with its 20-hour battery life.

Polar Unisex V800 Bluetooth Watch

If you're serious about walking or running, and like to have a wealth of data at your fingertips, then the Polar Unisex V800 could be the answer. Featuring a chest-strap heart rate monitor which can give accurate readings even in water, this watch packs a punch with its powerful GPS and user- friendly interface.

Polar V800 watch

Data can be easily transferred to a smartphone, tablet or PC and displayed in a host of graphs and charts, giving the user an accurate snapshot of their performance and overall progress. On top of that, the GPS itself stores user satellite locations, which then allows a swifter connection on second use.

So, as you can see, whether you happen to be a budding Olympian, a weekend rambler or a casual jogger with a keen eye on performance, there's a watch that can monitor your heart rate to keep you motivated - and at a price point that matches your exercise intensity and frequency.


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