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Smart watch recommendations

KirstyBabesXKirstyBabesX Member, Premium Posts: 11 Member Member, Premium Posts: 11 Member
Hi everyone,

I had a baby 6 weeks ago and now I'm back I'd like to buy a smart watch that I can connect to myfitnesspal that's accurate without spending a fortune.
Any recommendations?

Feel free to add me, I could do with the motivation!


  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 1,598 Member Member Posts: 1,598 Member
    Personally, I'm a big fan of Garmin. I have a Vivoactive 4, but they have different models to choose from depending on what you're looking for and what you're willing to spend. And the Connect app works well and has lots of information (I'm a data geek).
  • heytimslaheytimsla Member Posts: 376 Member Member Posts: 376 Member
    Same enjoy my garmin I use the fenix 5 but everything in the house in garmin so it's hard to get out of the eco system
  • KirstyBabesXKirstyBabesX Member, Premium Posts: 11 Member Member, Premium Posts: 11 Member
    Thanks for the recommendations, I'll definitely look into Garmin
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,557 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,557 Member
    I echo Garmin. I'm still using a Vivoactive 3, which are getting cheaper all the time because they are the prior model to the 4. I can report that mine still works well for specific activity monitoring (walk, run, ride, swim, hike, etc.) in addition to general life monitoring (sleep, steps, HR, "stress," etc.). Current cost is under $150. The Vivoactive 4 (which I haven't used) is closer to $250. You need to recharge for about 45 minutes every few days.

    These watches tend to have a few-year lifespan. It makes a lot of sense to start with a cheap one and if you end of really liking it you can upgrade to a better model. At one point, my whole family got Fitbits for Christmas and they mostly ended up in bedside table drawers.
  • josette06josette06 Member, Premium Posts: 118 Member Member, Premium Posts: 118 Member
    I also like my Garmin. I have the Fenix 5, it is 2 years old already and I only charge it once every 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much activity I record. Usually just runs, hikes, and biking. I don't record just general walks but look at my steps since having the GPS constantly on can take a small toll on battery life.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,139 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,139 Member
    Do a little research, make a list of features you think you'd like (though it can be hard to predict, sometimes). Think about your budget. With that info, you can make a list of candidate devices and compare them to your features list, or post again on this thread or a new one with your features list/candidates for more detailed feedback.

    As far as generic advice, I'd suggest sticking with well-reviewed, mainstream, established brands (Garmin, Fitbit, Suunto, Polar, and there are others). Mostly, I'm suggesting avoiding very unknown cheapie brands. Some can be good, but it's a crapshoot.

    Think about what you might want your device to be compatible with, if there's anything besides MFP (check that, too, of course!). Examples might be your phone or other computer environment(s), gym or home exercise machines, 3rd party apps for any sports/exercise you're excited about, bodyweight scale, weight trend tracker, etc. I'm not saying you *need* to care about any of those, but just to consider whether you do.

    Along those lines, think about the activities you care most about, and for which the tracker uses heart rate to estimate calories. Is there much arm flexion or other emphatic arm movement involved? If so, you may need a compatible chest belt or arm band to use during those activities. (The wrist-based heart rate monitors are pretty good these days, especially for those with lighter skin tones and moderate/low arm hair, but arm flexion can be a problem. My wrist monitor works great for most things, but loses contact frequently during machine or on-water rowing and gives me silly heart rate results, therefore silly calorie estimates.)

    When you get your tracker, synch and use it for a few weeks, then check your results (weight management expectations vs. reality). The good devices will be close on all-day calories for most people, but off for a few, because it's just giving you a statistical estimate of calories, not a measurement of them. If you're statistically average, or close, it'll be plenty close enough. (It isn't always obvious why a person is non-average. I'm in that group, though my device is accurate for most users who talk about it here.)

    I have a Garmin Vivoactive 3, which has been supplanted in the market by Vivoactive 4 at this point, I believe. As an example of thought process before buying: I wanted/needed a tracker that would record workouts even when far from my phone (don't like taking the phone on the water), was compatible with chest belts, and had exercise-specific data tracking features for rowing, cycling, walking. (Didn't care about swimming, which is a whole set of separate considerations.) Appearance mattered: While I don't need a delicate jewelry-looking watch as some women prefer for 24x7 use, I did want a larger and very clear watch face (I'm old, bad eyes, used to wearing a watch for time checks vs. using phone). I didn't particularly want to look like a black ops commando, but I woulda, in order to get other features; happily the VA3 is simple looking. I wanted a sports-focused device more than a steps-focused one. Wanted GPS tracking of workouts, didn't care about route-finding (I don't get lost on rivers, while rowing 😉). And so forth.

    I didn't think I cared about phone notifications showing on my watch, but that feature came along with my choice, and I really love it. Even if I'm expecting an urgent call/test, I can tuck my phone away during social occasions or when doing chores around the house, only need to get it out if the watch tells me the important contact has come through, as long as I'm in bluetooth range.

    Anecdotally, Fitbits seem to have a little higher failure rate (as in totally breaks) earlier than Garmins.
  • bcalvanesebcalvanese Member, Premium Posts: 18 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18 Member
  • billa328billa328 Member, Premium Posts: 1 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1 Member
    As much as I too recommend Garmin, pick one that you will want to wear all the time. Also for me having the additional apps and allowing to customize it made feel more like mine.
  • cheryldumaischeryldumais Member Posts: 1,932 Member Member Posts: 1,932 Member
    I have an old Garmin Vivofit 2 and have been very happy with it. I’m sure the newer versions are good. What I like is the sleep tracking and step count that shows miles, steps etc. I am also very happy with the battery life which is a watch battery so I don’t have to charge daily. It says it’s good for a year but I usually get a lot longer than that.
  • KidzfunKidzfun Member Posts: 81 Member Member Posts: 81 Member
    I recommend Garmin. I had 4 Fitbits which all didn't last more than 2 years before I had issues with the glue of the band or the battery or problems with the hardware. I've had my Garmin since June and I found it significantly better overall.
  • coffee_n_weightscoffee_n_weights Member Posts: 84 Member Member Posts: 84 Member
    Another Garmin fan here - I also have the vivoactive 3 (3 years old). It still works perfectly. I wanted something with a GPS (didn't care about the routes either) and like the Connect app. I only have to recharge every 5 days or so, unless using the GPS frequently.
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