I am currently using a Fitbit Inspire HR to keep track of HR and fitness metrics/numbers. In the future, I would like to have a bigger display (more like a watch) and a unit that is stronger and less delicate. Any suggestions? I appreciate your insight. 🙂
What sort of activities do you engage in? For instance do you need something with a GPS to track outdoors activities?
Also is there a price range you'd like to stay within, or other features that would be nice to have?
Price range would be on the lower end. Maybe $150 max, but not a hard limit. I do not need the GPS, I mostly use it for daily hikes/walks/birdwatching and elliptical trainer. I like to keep track of HR, resting HR and the distanced travel. My biggest dislike is the small display on the Fitbit.
Hi @Joe ,
I'm a big fan of Garmin products. I currently have a Vivoactive HR which has since been discontinued. I've had it for several years and it still holds a charge well ( a week or more without GPS activated), and it's held up to some very heavy use, approaching abuse in some cases. Hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, lawn work, mild bouldering...
A quick browse of Garmin found this one, that seems to check most of your boxes. It's a little higher than your target price, but well worth it in my opinion.
There may be another that is better suited to your needs, but I am confident in recommending Garmin.
I'm also a fan of Garmin. My watch is an Instinct. This is a rugged watch, perhaps more so than you need. It also has a large time display that's customizable. While this watch has more features than you've asked for, the incremental cost is quite low. If you're interesting in exploring new smartphone features then this may be worth considering.
For me a very important feature is the two week battery life (in non-GPS usage.) It's disruptive enough to recharge a smartphone every day or two, let alone also a smartwatch.
The initial Instinct model is or will soon be discontinued. REI no longer carries it, only the more expensive Solar model. Amazon and Best Buy have the original Instinct on sale now for $190 (vs. $300 regular price and $400 for the Solar.) It's a real bargain if this watch fits your needs.
Hi Joe--I'm also a Garmin user with an embarrassing amount of Garmin items. 😉
One cool thing about the Vivoactive and other Garmin watches is that most have a custom watch face feature, so you can choose which specific metrics like HR values, target HR zones, etc., you want to see first and often the point scale you want to see them. Garmin does this for their advanced cyclocomputer displays and such, too.
The only drawback I find is that the Garmin setups are not always intuitive, so when I upgrade to a new watch (I'm using a Garmin Fenix 6 right now), I usually stick to the default screens until I recognize the features, then play with the metrics displays after I feel like I have stuff figured out and know what I want. In the past I would sometimes set up my Garmin displays based on my previous watch features and overlook cool display options that I initially didn't understand.
On YouTube there is a guy named DCRainmaker who puts together comprehensive reviews of fitness products. Sometimes Garmin's user resources include links to Ray's videos, website and comparison charts for explanations on benefits, capabilities, and how-tos. He does a great job of breaking technical things down and explaining the advantages or applications for features, which I sometimes require to fully understand components. I tend to check out Ray's content whenever I'm looking at gear upgrades, too.
I hope this helps.