February 17

February series – Bootcamp reviews smart watches


Most of us have a smart phone and an ever-increasing number of us are investing in smart watches, meaning that we can track our daily activity, calories, step count and even assess how well we sleep.

But the world of smart watches can be confusing – which is why we’ve asked our lovely Bootcampers to review the models out there. Please note – we’ve not covered every single watch on the market but it’s a start!

Read on to see which watch is the best fit for you…

Fitbit Inspire HR: 

The pros are that this watch is cheap, which means it’s a better option than taking your phone to Bootcamp. It includes a heart rate monitor and it is totally waterproof so can be used while swimming. 

However it doesn’t have GPS, so you can’t track your runs. It also has a basic interface so you can’t control apps like Spotify and the app isn’t great – our Bootcampers said they prefer the My Fitness Pal app to Fitbit’s own. 

The overall verdict from Adam S – “It’s the best value for money and the best starter watch but to be honest, apart from the heart rate monitor, there’s not really anything you can do on it that you can’t already do on your phone.” 

Fitbit Ionic:

This watch has an amazing display showing stats during activities you’re recording, including thorough stats for sleep and heart rate and a wide range of integrations, such as Strava and smart scales. It’s comfortable and very durable, plus it has a social platform, so you can compare and communicate with friends and Bootcampers. This one isn’t expensive compared to similar Garmin watches. However the battery life isn’t ideal – you need 25% plus battery for a 1hr workout or a 5-7k run and annoyingly it doesn’t autosave activities when the battery dies. It’s a bit clunky too.

Bellabeat leaf (a women’s watch that looks like a bracelet but it’s a tracker): 

This watch is disguised as jewellery so it goes with everything, but it gives you your stats too. Helpfully it tracks your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, stress, sleep and all kinds of exercise along with steps too. This bracelet tells you your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and what you burn while resting, as well as precisely what you burn in exercise. It has a great app, which even tells you how deep your sleep is and provides weekly averages on sleep, steps and exercise.

The downsides are that it’s supposed to be waterproof but it does get mouldy, so best replaced every two years and it’s quite pricey. It doesn’t tell time or give you heart rate and it won’t tell you the length of runs. This one is only for the girls as there’s not a male version unfortunately.

Apple Watch (reviews based on gen 1 so might be out of date by now):

This watch is very intuitive to use and syncs easily with My Fitness Pal and other apps via Apple Health, making it easy to see data on workouts. It shows a ring design for activity, steps and exercise, which makes it easy to see how active you are over time. However it gets very slippery in the rain and you can’t use the screen. This generation doesn’t have GPS, so you can’t track runs and it’s quite expensive given how frequently they bring out new models!

Garmin Forerunner 230:

This watch has an easy user interface and a good app for analysing activity – you can even track multiple activities. It shows you an accurate real time pace and is quick to connect to GPS.

However, not all Garmin watches have built in heart rate monitor as standard, so if this is important to you, you’ll need to check. It’s not the smallest design, although other Garmin models are smaller and probably more suitable for small wrists.

Garmin Vivomove HR watch:

This is subtle so no one knows it’s an activity watch – you can wear it all the time without it looking like you have an exercise black unit on your arm. It’s super easy to see stats, start workouts and do daily life things like change music and set alarms. The battery lasts about 6 days which is really good.

But – you can only calculate walking or running activities so you can’t monitor swimming or exercise/boot camps, instead you have to do this manually. Weirdly when you run it calculates that you’ve gone further than when using MapMyRun and if you wear it constantly it can give you a rash.

Ultimately though, the choice is up to you – whatever your needs from a Smart watch, I’m sure there’s a model out there to suit you!
Once you’ve chosen your watch, why not join us at our health and wellness seminar on 28th February?

Click the link below to book your free place now:


Best Wishes
Bootcamp SE16



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