The best smartwatches and fitness wearables of 2021

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Fitness wearables have grown in popularity in 2021 as almost every manufacturer rushed to launch products with blood oxygen tracking capabilities, a feature very much in demand during the pandemic. If your New Years resolution is to get fit in 2022, a fitness tracker or smartwatch would make a great companion. We’ve reviewed several fitness trackers and smartwatches over the year, and here is a list of what we think are the best wearables of 2021.

Best Smartwatch 2021: Apple Watch Series 7, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

We are tied for the top spot this year as both the Apple Watch Series 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 truly deserve to be recognized as the best smartwatches to buy. Unsurprisingly, your smartwatch choice will depend on your smartphone’s operating system, as the Apple Watch only works with an iPhone, while the Galaxy Watch 4 can only pair with an Android smartphone.

Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch Series 7 is an incremental upgrade over the Apple Watch Series 6, which won the same title last year. This year’s Apple Watch models have grown in size and have larger displays. The Series 7 is powered by the Apple S7 SiP, and fast charging is also supported, although this doesn’t currently work in India. Apart from the different materials for the housing and the diverse color options, you also have the choice between pure GPS and cell phone-compatible models. The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at Rs. 41,900 in India.

The Apple Watch Series 7 was accurate in almost every test we ran. It did very well with step, distance, and heart rate tracking, though sleep tracking was the Achilie’s heel. The watch is also able to track SpO2 and record an EKG.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung and Google worked together on the Galaxy Watch 4 series to revive Wear OS, and it has paid off. There are two similar models, the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. These clocks are well designed and powered by the Exynos W920 SoC. In terms of build quality, the Galaxy Watch 4 is made of aluminum while the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic uses stainless steel. Prices for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 start at Rs. 23,999.

Just like the Apple Watch Series 7, the Galaxy Watch 4 was accurate for most of our tests, correctly tracking steps, distance, and even sleep. It also supports SpO2 measurement and can calculate body composition. The Galaxy Watch 4 can also record an EKG internationally, but this function is not yet available in India either. The Galaxy Watch 4 pairs easily with any Android smartphone, but it offers a more consistent experience when using a Samsung smartphone.

Best Feature Watch of 2021: Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve Active, Realme Watch 2 Pro

Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve Active

The Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve was on that list last year and now the Mi Watch Revolve Active has made it. The Mi Watch Revolve Active has a fiber-reinforced polyamide housing that houses a large 1.39-inch AMOLED display. This watch weighs only 35g, which makes it comfortable to wear. Xiaomi added SpO2 tracking on the Mi Watch Revolve Active. The Mi Watch Revolve Active costs Rs. 9,999.

The Mi Watch Revolve Active was good at tracking steps and distance. It also manages heart rate, SpO2, and sleep tracking very well. Xiaomi has even implemented the voice assistant Alexa on this watch, which means it can do a lot more than simple fitness bands.

Realme Watch 2 Pro

The Realme Watch 2 Pro has a large 1.75-inch display, integrated GPS and the ability to track the SpO2 value. It can be paired with both iPhones and Android smartphones and offers several customization options. The Realme Watch 2 Pro has a sharp screen, is light and comfortable to wear. Realme has the Realme Watch 2 Pro at Rs. 4,999 in India.

The Realme Watch 2 Pro can track distances correctly, and the built-in GPS comes in handy when you’re exercising outdoors. It also offers good battery life and the SpO2 tracking was accurate. If you’re looking for a watch-shaped fitness tracker with SpO2 tracking, the Realme Watch 2 Pro will tick all the boxes.

Best fitness band 2021: Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6

Xiaomi’s Mi Bands have garnered spots on our top wearable lists almost every year, and the Mi Smart Band 6 is the newest. This budget-friendly fitness wearable closely tracks multiple parameters and can also track SpO2. The Mi Smart Band 6 will appeal to all those who don’t want to have a bulky smartwatch on their wrist, but want to track their fitness. The Mi Smart Band 6 costs Rs. 3,499 in India.

The Mi Smart Band 6 is small and light and can also be carried in bed. It also closely tracks sleep. Steps, distance and heart rate measurement are pretty accurate on the Mi Smart Band 6. Xiaomi has also made it easier to charge the Mi Smart Band 6 with a magnetic charger. Battery life is one area that could do better. For the price of Rs 3,499, the Mi Smart Band 6 is a no-frills fitness tracker and is definitely one of the best to hit the market this year.

Aditya Shenoy tests smartphones, wearables, headphones and speakers for Gadgets 360 in Mumbai. Aditya is a reviewer for Gadgets 360 and has written extensively about smartphones, software updates, and upcoming devices. Aditya is available on Twitter at @adishenoy, and you can email him at adityashenoy@ndtv.com. So please send your hints and tips. More

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