Consumer Reports: Smartwatch for a healthy new year

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — It’s been called the COVID-19, not referring to the virus but the weight gain during the pandemic. If that’s happened to you, you’re not alone. A recently nationally representative Consumer Reports survey found that nearly a third of Americans have packed on some pounds over the past several months.

If it’s time for you to get into shape, CR recommends the best smartwatches and fitness trackers that can help.

The Apple Watch has long dominated CR’s ratings, in part because it’s easy to pair with the iPhone and has a very accurate heart-rate monitor.

The new Apple Watch Series 6 Steel Case (GPS & Cellular) is no different, but it’s on the pricey side at $750 (Canada $990). For a less expensive option, consider the Apple Watch SE (GPS) for $280 (Canada $370), which is near the top of CR’s ratings.

Are you an Android person? The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 (GPS) for $400 (Canada $500) is a great option, but it’s also expensive.

If you don’t need all those smart features, then a fitness tracker might be a good option to keep track of your step count and heart rate. CR’s top-rated fitness tracker is the Garmin Forerunner 235 for $170 (Canada $250).

Another option high in the ratings is the Fitbit Charge 3 for $100 (Canada $130), which CR’s tests found was easy to use with both iPhone and Android.

No matter which brand or type of wearable tech you choose, Consumer Reports has some important advice. A smartwatch or fitness tracker is a lot like a gym membership: It’s only helpful if you actually use it.

Just in time for the new year, Apple has launched its new fitness streaming subscription, Apple Fitness Plus. The service is designed for people with an Apple Watch and offers guided workouts on demand that can be streamed across Apple devices.

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