With all of the fitness trackers and smartwatches available, it can be really hard to pick just one. Some are fitness watches that just track your all day activity, while others are smart watches that also track your heart rate, report your steps, distance, and calories burned, and send your text notifications straight to your wrist.
Take smartwatches for women for example: with fitness trackers and smartwatches available from Polar, TomTom, and Fitbit, how do you choose the perfect device for you? It can be overwhelming, but over the past few weeks I’ve tested one fitness tracker and two smartwatches for women, and I’m going to compare them right here to help you make your choice.
Testing the Polar A360
I started my testing with the Polar A360; a fitness tracker that tracks all of your activity 24/7. It’s user-friendly, easy to wear, and in my opinion, one of the best smartwatches for women that I’ve tried.
Colour touchscreen fitness tracker
The Polar A360 is a small, lightweight, fitness tracker that you wear on your wrist. It has a colour TFT capacitive touchscreen that’s very responsive, and you can easily scroll through the menu with a touch of your fingertip. It’s shape and size reminds me of the Fitbit.
Fitness tracking with the Polar A360
A fitness tracker is supposed to help you get up off the couch and meet your fitness goals and the Polar A360 definitely delivers in that regard. It will track your steps, calculate the distance you’ve traveled, and measure both speed and distance. If you want to see how fast you’re going or how far you’ve gone, it’s as easy as touching the screen and scrolling through, and there’s over 100 different fitness profiles you can tap to track including cycling, swimming, walking, and running. It’s waterproof too, so you don’t have to take it off to shower or when you’re in the water.
The Polar A360 also tracks your heart rate, and this is a feature that will have you hooked from the first time you try it. Keeping your heart in the optimal zone for exercise means you can burn those calories more quickly, and it’s really easy to track your heart rate when all you have to do is tap a screen.
Polar A360 connects via Bluetooth
You can keep an eye on your fitness history right on your wrist, and you can also connect to the Polar app on your computer or smartphone. You can also connect to your phone via Bluetooth to receive alerts and notifications.
The battery on the Polar A360 can last up to two weeks, but I used it 24/7 for several days and I did notice the battery was draining over that period. By the end of Day 4 I plugged it in for a recharge.
Why I think the Polar A360 is one of the best smartwatches for women
It’s easy to wear, easy to charge, and I like how petite it feels on my wrist while still giving me that wide screen and touchscreen experience. I slept with it on to track my sleep and it didn’t bother me at all.
But by far the most motivating feature on the Polar A360 is the vibration that tells you that you’ve been sitting too long. I was happy to take a break from the computer when it vibrated, and I know without that I would have sat still for a lot longer.
Testing the Polar M200
For my second test I strapped on the Polar M200, a smartwatch that also tracks all of your activity and includes a built-in GPS.
Larger watch face and easy controls
There’s no learning curve when you put the Polar M200 on for the first time. It has a large watch face and push button controls, so although there’s no touch screen or colour screen on this Polar smartwatch, it’s easy to navigate your way through the watch by pushing the buttons on the side. It only took me a minute or two to realize how it worked and I was off.
Just like the Polar A360, the Polar M200 works 24/7 to track your steps, distance, calories, and sleep. It also has a built-in GPS so you can keep track of your pace, distance, and altitude climbed, and has so many different fitness profiles to choose from your every activity will be covered.
The Polar M200 also tracks your heart rate, and because the watch face is larger and the band fit my wrist more snugly, I felt as though it kept a highly accurate record of my heart rate.
Smart notifications so you can stay in the loop
When you’re exercising and your phone buzzes, the last thing you want is to pull it out and answer. With the Polar M200 they’ve built those notifications right into the smartwatch, so you can just glance down mid-stride, check your notification, and keep going. It connects via Bluetooth so you’re always in touch.
What I liked about the Polar M200
The M200 is a highly accurate fitness watch, but my favourite part was the heart rate monitor. It was extremely easy to access and very handy to see how hard my heart was working during activity.
The only place I wouldn’t wear it is when I sleep. Compared to the Polar A360, I found it was a bit too large to comfortably sleep with, and when I put my arm under my head while sleeping, it definitely feels bulkier than the A360.
Testing the TomTom Spark 3
My third smartwatch test was the TomTom Spark 3. This is a different style of smartwatch with many of the same features the Polar A360 and Polar M200 has, but it also has a few extra features that would be of interest if you’re an avid runner or someone who works out frequently.
Multi-sport mode and GPS route exploration
Not everyone is a runner, and not every runner is into other sports, but no matter how you love to exercise, the TomTom Spark 3 will track it.
The controls on the watch are below the watch face, and it’s a multi-directional pad that lets you navigate forward and backward through the menus. It has a larger learning curve than the Polar women’s smartwatches, but it’s easy to use once you pick up how it works.
Like the two Polar watches, the TomTom Spark 3 will track you 24/7 and has Multisport modes so you can run, bike, swim, or hike and your TomTom will track you. It tracks your heart rate and it also provides you with smart notifications so you can keep track of your texts right on your wrist.
Unlike the Polar watches, the TomTom Spark 3 has something called Route Exploration. It lets you use the watches internal GPS to track your route and find new routes.
Built-in music storage and ear buds included
What makes the TomTom Spark 3 stand apart from other women’s smartwatches is the built-in storage for your music. The smartwatch includes a set of ear buds that work with the watch and will play your favourite music once you’ve loaded a playlist. The watch itself can hold up to 500 songs, so there’s no shortage of music you can listen to while working out.
What I liked about the TomTom Spark 3
Having a smartwatch that includes earbuds is really handy when you don’t want to bring your phone along for a run. I’ve always struggled with my phone while running, but I had to have it because it held my music. With the TomTom Spark 3, you don’t have to worry about getting your phone wet or dropping it during exercise because everything you need, including a personal fitness coach, is built right into your watch.
The personal fitness coach is called “Audio performance feedback”, and it’s another great reason to love the TomTom Spark 3. It gives you feedback while you’re working out, so you can tweak your run or routine as needed.
Comparing the Fitbit Alta HR
Although I didn’t test the Fitbit Alta HR myself, it’s definitely a contender if you’re looking for a smartwatch that’s similar to the Polar A360, M200, and TomTom Spark 3.
OLED tap screen and PurePulse Heart Rate
Fitbit is a popular fitness tracker brand for a good reason: they produce reliable fitness trackers that are sleek, easy to wear, and track you 24/7. The Fitbit Alta HR has a OLED tap screen so you can just tap it to scroll through the menus, and it automatically monitors your heart rate too.
With the Fitbit Alta HR you get something called SmartTrack, and it’s a feature you’ll love. Instead of scrolling through the watch’s menus to find the activity you’re about to do, SmartTrack will automatically recognize that activity and track it. It make tracking your favourite exercise really easy.
The FitBit Alta HR is wireless and connects to your phone via Bluetooth, it’s waterproof so you don’t have to worry about it getting wet, and it has advanced sleep tracking. That advanced tracking will let you know how much light, deep, and REM sleep you’re getting.
What I like about the FitBit Alta HR
When you strap on a Fitbit you are instantly welcomed into the Fitbit community. Having that community behind you when you’re trying to meet a fitness goal can be really helpful, and I’ve enjoyed being part of the Fitbit community for a few years.
The Fitbit Alta HR also connects you to other apps, so if you use apps like LoseIt to track your food, the Fitbit Alta HR will send your data to that app. I also like how the Fitbit keeps you on your toes by sending you ‘get moving’ notifications.
I hope comparing these four smartwatches for women helps you in your search for the perfect fitness device for you. You can find these smartwatches I’ve compared and many others that may suit you on Best Buy right now.