If you're not impressed with the current crop of fitness trackers and want something that can also tell the time but not alert you to every pesky notification on your phone, fitness watches might be the answer, says Abhik Sen.
Timex Ironman Run x20
If you like to keep things simple, it can’t get simpler than this lightweight watch.
A basic GPS watch which displays the distance travelled, time, speed, laps and calories burnt, it does get messy trying to find each bit of information.
But first, one has to lock on to the GPS signal. Therein lies this watch’s biggest weakness: I could never get a lock indoors or within my gated community.
Even outdoors, it took long for a lock, draining the battery. Used for one-hour runs, I could use the watch for five days on one charge.
The screen isn’t the brightest and the watch has limited memory - and can’t be synced with any app. But it’s good for beginners and luddites.
Price: Rs 11,995
TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio
If you love bulky watches, this one’s for you (though this could prove tiring on a long run).
TomTom has bundled everything and the kitchen sink with its top-of-the-line watch - an accurate heartbeat monitor, GPS that locks in fast, activity modes such as swimming and cycling (and the option of fixing the watch to a bicycle) along with running.
But it doesn’t track sleep. I loved the accuracy of the readings and the rugged build.
I could get over a week’s usage from a single charge, using the watch for 90 minutes of exercise.
Serious runners would love this watch. It can’t be worn anywhere else owing to its heft.
Price: Rs 23,499
Garmin Forerunner 225
Despite being packed to the gills, the watch is light and comfortable to wear; but its chunky.
Like its smart bands, this watch reminds you to move if you’ve been stationary for some time.
The watch has two modes, standby when it displays the time and steps on the always-on circular dial; and an activity mode, when it measures distance, calories burnt, laps and heartbeat.
GPS lock-in is fast and the heartbeat monitor is quite accurate (and automatically switches off to conserve battery, which lasted more than a week with 30 minutes of running daily); the watch syncs with a phone but doesn’t display notifications.
This watch is suited for running and little else.
Price: Rs 26,499
If there’s one fitness watch which doesn’t look like one, this is it.
With a classy and sleek square touchscreen dial, black strap and a black metallic case, subtlety seems its middle name.
While not a smartwatch, it can display notifications, provided one’s smartphone supports Bluetooth 4.
This watch does the usual stuff: steps taken, distance covered, calories burnt, heartbeat, steps climbed and of course, the time.
I used this as my primary watch - the daily steps goal urged me on to walk, while the steps climbed reading encouraged me to avoid escalators and elevators (climbing down steps doesn’t count).
The readings were fairly accurate and switching off the heartbeat monitor, I was able to get a week’s use from one charge.
Price: Rs 19,990