Here is our digital running watch review, in which we look at 5 of the best activity monitors for field event training. Read on to find our which activity tracking device might be best for you.
The Fitbit Charge 4 is impressive, it being a full-blown smartphone, but many runners will see it as a luxury too far, due to the comparably high price. The Fitbit Inspire 2 looks like the new affordable fitness tracker to beat (see the Inspire 2 section below). But if you are in need of a device that's cheaper, the recently discounted Fitbit Charge 3 is also worthy of your attention. Following the Charge 4’s release in Autumn 2020, the Fitbit Charge 3 has seen a huge price drop and can now be picked up for less than the Fitbit Inspire HR’s original asking price.
I won’t make a detailed feature comparison here, but as far as the Fitbit line-up goes there are only two devices with built-in GPS, the new Charge 4, and the old and ugly (discontinued) Ionic. The Inspire HR, Versa Lite, Versa, and Versa 2 all offer GPS tracking but via your phone.
For $50 less, the Fitbit Inspire HR is nearly as good as the Fitbit Charge 3. And if you want to ditch the heart-rate monitoring and swim proofing, the original inspire is even more affordable. Both the inspire hr and inspire are a great value and provide what you're looking for in a next-gen fitness tracker.
The Honor band 5 arrived in the UK last September and it boasts a lot of impressive features with the ability to tell you your heart rate and a battery life of up to 14 days. But before you order you might have a few questions about the Honor Band 5.
As, in the world of fitness bands, there are many big players beyond the two (Honor and Fitbit) which we have already mentioned, we will now run through our list of 5. Honor and Fitbit are two of the most notable, though companies such as Xiaomi, Garmin, and Samsung have tried to steal a slice of the pie as well, as reviewed below.
Digital Running Watch Review – Fitbit Charge 4
For better or worse, Fitbit launched a new fitness tracker in the middle of a global pandemic, with high hopes that it'll still prove useful to people who want to stay active, even when locked inside their homes. The Fitbit Charge 4 doesn't deviate from the general design formula that made the previous generations so successful, but it does feature some overdue updates to the internals.
Is the higher price of the new Fitbit Charge 4 worth it? We believe it is as we sit here and write this digital running watch review. There’s a big debate on the internet about if it’s just another Charge 3 with a higher price, or why they are not in the same price range as other brands such as Xiaomi.
If you've read my previous activity tracker reviews here, you'd know that I'm still trying to find one that suits my needs, especially when it comes to swimming tracking. I've had the Fitbit One and Blaze, Pebble, Amiigo, Misfit Shine and Flash, Garmin Vivo active, not to count a few Android wear watches.
You can use the Fitbit Charge 4 with the Fitbit app to follow your cycle, record symptoms and more. Get to know your body better with the Fitbit charge 4. This sports watch helps you reach peak performance and ultimate health. The premium features include built-in GPS, active zone minutes, heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, water resistance to 50 meters, and seven-day battery life.
My first wearable products were bands, the Microsoft band and Jawbone up trackers, but over the past few years, I've moved on to using watches. Bands are generally designed for daily activity tracking while watches tend to be more powerful. If you're not ready for a full-on smartwatch or you'd simply prefer something compact and lightweight, the Fitbit Charge 4 is the way to go.
The Fitbit charge line has produced some of our favourite fitness trackers on the market since the original model’s debut in 2014. Now in its fourth generation, as we write this digital running watch review, Fitbit builds on what we like about the charge family with the addition of GPS to map your exercise route without a phone, Spotify support, more sleep tools, and a motivating new metric called active zone minutes.
Got this after my charge 2 died and wow is it an upgrade! I really love it so far! Fair warning though on some things I didn’t realize: you need Spotify premium to use any of the Spotify features at all which was kind of a bummer we found out before this digital running watch review was written.
The Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Tracker costs between £99.00 and £116 – price correct at the time of writing this digital running watch review. It's an advanced fitness tracker with GPS, swim tracking and up to a 7-day battery.
Fitness tracking is what Fitbit does best – so it's no surprise that's where Inspire 2's key features lie. The sensors making that happen haven't changed from the last inspire models.
The Misfit Shine fit band is worth looking at if you are interested in an activity monitor. Shine is more conservative in counted steps when compared to Fitbit although both fall in the same range. More importantly, the convenience of not having to recharge, the ability to use it swimming, or attaching it to your sock makes it intriguing and unique. Scroll down to read more about the Misfit Shine.
Once it was down to the battery life, for the purpose of any digital running watch review, I knew the Shine would “shine” above the rest. After having one of the first Fitbit models and reading my share of reviews of more recent models, it sounds like they have been able to get the rechargeable battery to last between five and ten days.
Awake or asleep, the Charge 4 Health and Fitness Tracker from Fitbit is designed to provide you with all-day health and fitness tracking. Featuring built-in GPS, the Charge 4 lets you see your pace and distance when exercising outside, along with a map of your workout.
Fitbit Inspire 2
If you're new to the world of fitness tracking, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is worth considering. For just under $100, it keeps track of your calories, heart rate, miles, steps, and workouts each day, and your sleep stages, breathing, and heart rate variability at night.
With the inspire 2, Fitbit is promising the biggest battery life it's ever offered on one of its wearables. It claims you can get 10 days, which is five more days than the inspire hr and three more days than the Charge 4.
The Fitbit Inspire 2's fitness feature set covers the basics very well – steps, calories burned, active zone minutes, distance travelled, heart rate, sleep tracking, swim tracking, guided relaxation breathing, the ability to auto-detect workouts with reasonable accuracy, and notifications.
Swipe down from the top of the main display on the Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR and you'll find any new notifications.
If you've read any of our most recent Garmin digital running watch reviews then you'll know we're big fans of the company's approach to activity tracking. It's not just about what you can track, but how the tracking data is used to keep you motivated to stay active.
The fitness tracker you’ve never heard of might be the sleeker, smoother one for you. You might think all the cool kids are wearing Fitbit fitness trackers, the Jawbone Up or the Nike Fuel band.
Our initial round of tests, for this digital running watch review, rated and ranked the fitness and workout tracking abilities of the Inspire 2. We scored each product on the accuracy of the step tracker, its cycling and workout tracking abilities, and the different community and social functions of each product, as well as the accuracy of the stairs, climbed tracker if there is one.
We already know that Huawei's sub-brand Honor focuses on style and affordability and their latest fitness tracker is a testament to that. Honor has delivered a wearable that proves that you can a decent fitness tracker even if you’re on a budget.
Taking a mobile phone with you during exercise will make you feel inconvenient and bulky, and if you don't have a cell phone, you will lose the sense of achievement after exercise because you can't record your movement track.
Inspire 2 multiplies your motivation, says Fitbit. With up to 10 days of battery on your wrist and a whole free year of Fitbit premium for new premium users, you have the guidance and accountability you need to reach your goals.
Fitbit is probably the first name in fitness trackers, and its entry-level inspire model is now on its second iteration. Whereas the original Fitbit Inspire was split into standard and heart rate monitoring versions, the Fitbit Inspire 2 allows everyone can now keep an eye on their ticker, along with all the standard activity tracking features you’d expect.
The original Inspire cost £69 or us$69. The Inspire 2 costs the same as the old Inspire HR at £89 in the UK, us$99, €99, and $179. So at the time of writing this digital running watch review, the entry point price for Fitbits just got a little higher.
The Fitbit Inspire HR didn’t really need an update. Fitbit’s affordable tracker has been near the top of our best cheap fitness trackers list since it was announced in early 2018. However, Xiaomi's mi Band line has been making good progress over the years, offering better hardware, longer battery life, and more health sensors at a far cheaper price point.
The Fitbit Versa 2 and the Fitbit Inspire 2 are two of the best Fitbit products. When choosing between the two, it boils down to budget, the features you prioritize, and how you plan to utilize your wearable. The Versa 2 is a smartwatch, so you're going to get additional features like Amazon Alexa built-in, the ability to store, stream, and play music, find my phone app, and hundreds of customizable clock faces and apps that you won't get with the Inspire 2.
The Fitbit Charge 4 undoubtedly offers more, but consider whether these neat features warrant the extra cost, even if the charge also happens to be the better looker in this instance too. At £89/us$89/€89, the inspire hr is nearly a third cheaper than the charge 4 (starting at £129.
The Honor band 5 is currently available for just £25. 38 ( us$30. 99 ). This makes it one of the most affordable fitness trackers on the market, undercutting its main rival in the Xiaomi Mi Band 4. Fitbit’s cheapest comparable device, the Inspire HR, is more than three times the price we found when writing this digital running watch review.
When it comes to fitness trackers, there are very few consistent big names that we think of. Fitbit is probably the most well-known and respected, while others like Garmin and Samsung trail a little bit behind. Smartphone companies want a slice of the pie as well, as both Honor and Xiaomi have their own fitness bands as well.
Make healthy a habit with Fitbit Inspire 2 and a free 1-year Fitbit premium trial. This easy-to-use fitness tracker packs 24/7 heart rate, active zone minutes, activity and sleep tracking, up to 10 days of battery and more. It is also paired with step-by-step fitness and nutrition programs, personalised insights, and sleep tools from premium, you have all you need for a healthier you. That includes a free 1-year Fitbit premium trial for new premium users with personalized guidance, insights and motivation to help you reach your goals. (Free trial may only be activated with device activation.) Made for multi-day tracking, the Inspire 2 delivers up to 10 days of battery life, monitoring you from morning to night.
HONOR Band 5
Honor Band 5 is one of the latest fitness trackers designed to enhance everyday health without too much distraction. Normally, when when you mention fitness trackers, you wouldn’t instantly think of budget smartphone brand Honor. This is obviously the fifth iteration of the fitness strap and it’s no doubt the best so far.
The cheap fitness tracker market is a competitive one, with devices from the likes of Honor, Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei scrapping for a place on your wrist (and meanwhile all aspiring to join Fitbit as household names for fitness tracking). The Honor Band 5 is one of the latest offerings from Huawei's burgeoning sub-brand to hit the market.
Smartphones from Honor, a subsidiary of the Chinese tech giant Huawei, are known for being low-priced yet impressive devices. The company's wearables, including the Honor band 5, meet the same standard. At £30 (approximately $40), the Band 5 undercuts more costly competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy Fit and the Fitbit inspire HR, each of which clocks in at about $100, but still offers a wide-ranging array of features that will tempt those seeking a fitness tracker on an ultra-low budget.
There are few changes from the Honor Band 4. Honor has priced its latest wearable at just £29. 99/$34. 99, to undercut the competition and dominate the scene with an affordable – and competent – fitness tracker. The company hasn’t carried out a major overhaul of specs and design, but there are already plenty of features onboard, including spo2 tracking, a gorgeous AMOLED display and a detailed sleep tracking programme.
If you’re familiar with the Honor Band 4, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Honor Band 5 is just a rehash with a different logo – and it definitely is. The two have virtually identical designs, support the same bands and our Honor band 5 even shipped with band 4 firmware when we first unboxed it.
The Huawei Honor Band 5 looks like the past generation. The tracker is equipped with a 0. 95-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 240 x 120 pixels ( 282 PPI ), covered with tempered 2. 5d glass. However, the manufacturer does offer a wide variety of dials to personalize the look of the bracelet.
The Honor band 5 (hereinafter referred to as “band”) is a high-end smart bracelet with 50m water resistance, colour screen, full-touchable and a home button control. Integrating smart features such as heart rate monitoring, fitness monitoring, sleep monitoring and message reminder, it is the best partner of a smartphone that helps users know their fitness and health status.
When deciding between the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and the Honor Band 5, there are only a few differences that could affect your choice. They aren't too far apart when it comes to the price range, so you'll be getting a good deal either way. Huawei Honor Band 5 features include a 0. 95-inch AMOLED colour display, the Honor Band 5 comes with a 0.95-inch AMOLED colour display with 282 PPI and 2. 5d glass on top. A blood oxygen level sensor can measure your blood spo2 levels, indicating the level of oxygen in your blood.
The Honor band 5 is a good companion for use on the go. It also probably offers the best combination of hardware and software of any fitness tracker we have tested so far. Despite this, it does not always do what it is supposed to do.
Huawei Honor band 5 User Guide is worth a read for all owners. It explains how to cure several issues such as how to pair your Honor Band 5 with your smartphone. How to charge your Honor Band? How to change the dial theme of Honor band 5? There is a specific user guide for you on their website.
The Honor band 5 smart wristband, features 0. 95-inch AMOLED full-colour touchscreen, multiple sports modes, 50 meters waterproof and swim stroke detector, and eight customised watch faces, the latest Huawei Truseen 3. 0 heart rate technology provides more accurate, 24-hour real-time continuous heart rate monitoring. Trusleep technology automatically records light, deep and rem sleep and precisely identifies six common sleep disorders and offers more than 200 customised suggestions to improve sleep quality. The Honor Band 5, like its predecessor, the Honor Band 4, is a rather solid and inexpensive fitness tracker from Huawei. The wearable has a display unit and a silicone wristband.
Garmin Rubber Forerunner 35
The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a premium fitness tracker which has been around for almost 4 years now. It includes GPS and heart monitoring features not found in lesser-priced models. MSRP $199.99 $99.00 at Amazon.
The Forerunner 35 is rated 5ATM, so it's waterproof. You can swim with it, but it can't track sessions like the TomTom Spark 3, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT ($247.99 at Amazon), or some other waterproof fitness trackers. The Fitbit Charge 2 lacks waterproofing, though it's resistant to rain, splashes, and sweat.
Battery life is estimated to last nine days in watch mode, or 13 hours with GPS activated. Fitness Tracking and Performance Equipped with an accelerometer, GPS, and heart rate monitor, you can track calories, distance, duration, and steps with the Forerunner 35. During activities, it offers distance, pace, and time data on one screen, as well as real-time heart rate, heart rate zone, and calories on another.
If you want GPS to track your bike rides and runs, the Forerunner 35 is an excellent choice for the price. If you don't care about a GPS, take a look at the Fitbit Charge 2. It can still capture running routes and calculate lap splits, leveraging the GPS feature of your smartphone.
Misfit Shine 2
Before we go into reviewing its design and features, let’s see the current price of misfit shine. You can see that misfit shine is quite reasonable compared to other competitors. Within this price range, you may aim for Fitbit Charge HR ($80) or Garmin Vivosmart HR ($100) or spend $50 more to own the Fitbit Charge 2 ($130).
It has a stylish, light and unusual design, but no screen. The strap doesn't feel very secure.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Shine 2 is it doesn’t have a traditional display. We’re used to minimal screen in fitness trackers, such as the Fitbit Charge HR, which had a tiny display, but this literally has no display at all.
One caveat with the shine is that several users — myself included — have lost the device because it fell out of the wrist strap. Losing the device is a risk with any tracker but the Shine seems especially prone to slipping out of the wrist band.
Any Fitbit Charge 4 vs Misfit Shine 2 comparison needs to be on the basis of the features of, syncing, battery, activity tracking, reviews and ratings and Charge 4 have much more with full phone specifications.
The first misfit shine was a metal disc that lasted months on a replaceable battery, was waterproof for showering and swimming as well as had a cool space-pebble-meets-jewelry design. Its little led lights shimmered and blinked to show activity progress, even blinking out the time if you could decipher it.
I wore the misfit shine for a week, to test how well it performs within the exploding marketplace of fitness trackers, these are devices that record and document users' steps, calories and sleep. The shine stands out from other trackers because it can be worn in the water, and has long battery life.
The misfit shine 2 retails for £79. 99, a highly competitive and largely reasonable price, given all that it does. Compared to the Fitbit Charge, Shine 2 is definitely affordable.
Fitbit Zip, Fitbit on and misfit shine 2 are a few other commonly recommended clip-on fitness trackers today. But these devices are disconnected and come with limited features compared with modern cheap clip-on fitness trackers. On top of that, these outdated devices will cost you more money than the clip-on fitness trackers that I mentioned here.
The quantified-self trend has never been more apparent than with fitness tracking devices. But while there is an increasing number of these gadgets on the market, they naturally all look fairly sporty. Enter the Misfit Shine. This sleek and sexy quarter-sized tracker looks equally at home in the gym or on a night out on the town.
More than just fancy pedometers, a whole new class of mobile devices are flooding the market, designed to make us more aware of our own physical activity. And in this emerging market jam-packed with competitors like Nike, Garmin, and Fitbit, the Misfit Shine is easily the prettiest.
The shine activity tracker and sleep monitor are fabulous! I love that it is so customized to me and what I am doing awake or asleep so that I can be more aware of my daily habits and places I can improve.
While immediately eye-catching, the Misfit's sleek, minimalistic design and superior waterproofing weren't quite enough to offset its lacklustre performance in our highest weighted metrics. The Shine 2 had a below-average score in fitness impact, and barely above average score in health impact, leading to an overall score of 59 out of 100, solidly keeping it out of the award-winning category.
In a nutshell, the Misfit Shine is a beautifully designed product, with an equally beautiful app. Unfortunately, the robustness of the data still needs work, and I’m hopeful the team at misfit will continue to work on adding more options to the app, including native export abilities.
While there are a plethora of fitness and activity trackers available, like the Fitbit and the Fuelband and the Striiv, each and every one of those has a serious problem. They’re just not very stylish. Misfit wearables’ Shine activity tracker wants to save you from both a sedentary lifestyle and fashion faux pas at the same time!
Misfit already set the bar high for activity tracker design with its Shine, now it's taking that further for the Shine 2. The Shine 2 tracks steps, calories, distance, sleep and can tag activities including swimming, tennis, football and more.
Yes, Misfit is lacking a heart rate monitoring tracker (it revealed to us recently that it would release new devices at CES) but the Shine is still one of the best bands out there.
Digital Running Watch Review Conclusion
In the quest for the quantified self, there's no shortage of gadgets and gizmos that help you keep tabs on your every waking, and even sleeping. There are many more we could have included in this digital running watch review. So what makes the Misfit Shine ($119. 95 direct) different? For one, the company isn't kidding when it proclaims the shine as “the world's most elegant physical activity monitor.
The misfit shine is arguably the best looking fitness tracker out there. It looks more like a tiny UFO than a fitness tracker, and that’s a good thing for something you are going to wear day in and day out.
The best fitness trackers marry form and function. If you're going to own a device that's meant to be worn daily, it needs to fit comfortably, look good, and do its job of keeping track of how much exercise and sleep you get.
The Misfit App is an easy-to-use fitness and sleep-tracking app that drives Misfit’s suite of design-forward fitness trackers and smartwatches, including Misfit Vapor, Command, Path, Phase, Ray, Shine 2, Flash, and Shine. Beautiful and durable, all Misfit devices are swim-proof and the fitness trackers never require charging (batteries can last up to 12 months depending on the device).
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