A smart HRM bracelet is essentially the next evolution in fitness trackers. While fitness trackers may have really taken off beginning in the mid-2000s with the introduction of the first Fitbit, their popularity has led to growing market where a wide variety manufacturers look to cash in on this useful product. That said, the 2010s have seen HRM bracelets become ever more connected to the smart devices virtually everyone owns. Ultimately, this means that modern HRM bracelets often offer functionality that the earlier models could only dream of.
Why should you buy smart HRM bracelet
Even if you are not a fitness guru, HRM bracelets can provide plenty of useful information that you can then use to adjust your lifestyle habits. For instance, many of the better models of HRM bracelet have sleep tracking functions, with the most advanced tracking your sleep cycles and more. Of course, it can be helpful to have a device which also encourages you to get up and exercise more as many of the current models do. Regardless, HRM bracelets offer a multitude of tools to help you live a healthier life.
What to consider when buying smart HRM bracelet
With all of the new features constantly being added to HRM bracelets as their interactivity with devices expands, it can sometimes be easy to forget their actual purpose: activity tracking. As such, when looking for a smart HRM bracelet, easily the most important factor to consider is the accuracy of its tracking information. This is especially relevant for the bracelet form as this type of activity tracker uses a variety of tool like accelerometers, axes, and optical heart monitors to record the information.
1. Garmin vívosmart: Best Sports Watch Smart HRM Bracelet Under $100
Garmin may seem like an odd company to be headlining our list – specially when other brands are more notable and have been around for a lot longer, but the Vívosmart does such a great job of blending features and accuracy that it is hard not to be impressed with this smart HRM bracelet. Whether you simply want a convenient companion to help you stay motivated or a legitimate powerhouse to push you to the limit, the Garmin Vívosmart has you covered.
First, this is by far one of the most accurate smart HRM bracelets that we saw. This is easily the most important factor to consider whether you are simply casually working out or training for a marathon. Inaccurate results will not provide you with meaningful information to then tailor your workout. That said, the biking function for the Vívosmart is not the best, but all of the others are exceptionally accurate. The only consistent issue is that there is no automatic tracking function, so you must manually set the Vívosmart to track or monitor every time.
Beyond the accuracy of the Vívosmart, it also comes with a wide range of other features which are extremely convenient. For one, this smart HRM bracelet features an LCD display that will remain bright even in direct sunlight. On top of the clarity of the display, this is also one of the more convenient smart HRM bracelets to navigate due to its touchscreen controls.
Why we recommend Garmin Vívosmart to you
While Garmin may be more well-known in the navigation department, it still manages to provide an exceptional fitness tracking bracelet that offers both a wide range of functional and convenient features. It may seem a bit odd that the company which made GPS a must-have feature for so many devices chose to omit it on its fitness tracker, but the combination of great accuracy that is difficult to match combined with a robust app and solid display, this is one of the better fitness trackers for use on the go.
2. Moov Now: Best Swimming Smart HRM Bracelet
Moov Now is a relative newcomer to the fitness tracking market. Founded in 2014 by three professionals with successful ties across Silicon Valley, it was designed to provide a convenient experience that few others could offer. That said, this is definitely a smart HRM bracelet focused on capturing the casual market as opposed to the enthusiast or competitor markets of our other top-performing products reviewed.
The vocal coaching functions of the Moov Now are ideal for someone who is just starting out or trying to maintain a fairly consistent workout schedule. This function coordinates your real-time action with a pre-set workout level to offer tips on how to best reach your fitness goals. However, you are definitely somewhat limited in those goals, as the coach is not intended to push you to your limit but rather keep you within an “optimal zone.”
Regardless, easily the best feature about the Moov Now has to be the robust swim tracking functions and design that are unparalleled at this price point. Aside from the fact that it is waterproof, though only up to 3 meters in depth – the disk tracks a wide range of swimming features. Using its 3D, 9-axis sensor, this smart HRM bracelet can not only tell you how long your swimming stroke is or how many laps you have done, but it can even recognize what type of swimming stroke you are using and when you make a turn at the wall.
Why we recommend Moov Now to you
While the app can be a pain and the required syncing might turn some people off, there simply is no other smart HRM bracelet out there that we saw which can even come close to competing when it comes to tracking swimming workouts. Aside from the standard workout info, this HRM bracelet can track your stroke rate, stroke distance, number of laps and much more. While some of the tracking functions outside of swimming are not the best, they are not poor either. That said, for swimming training, this is by far the best HRM bracelet around.
3. Huawei Band 2 Pro All-in-One Activity Tracker: Best Sleep Smart HRM Bracelet
Huawei is a fast-rising company that specializes in manufacturing smart devices and electronics intended to sync up with smart devices. They accomplish this meteoric rise by providing products which can legitimately compete with the top-tier brands at far lower costs. That said, in the smart HRM bracelet market, Huawei is more on par with those brands than providing a better value. Still, that is not a terrible place to be in.
Easily one of the best qualities of this smart HRM bracelet is its syncing function. In terms of direct syncing, the Huawei cannot be beaten as the only product on our list that connects to your smart devices via a Bluetooth 4.2 protocol. This means that not only will the Band 2 Pro stay connected for up to 30’, it will be able to do so through obstacles and walls. Of course, you can always connect this smart HRM bracelet through the app.
Though, that can actually lead to more issues than a direct connection. This is because the app is not the best that we saw. While it is still worlds better than the budget options we reviewed, the fact that Huawei is a native Chinese company means that some of the features may be limited. In fact, some people are not even able to download the app at all depending on their market. Beyond that, the tracking is a bit hit or miss. For some functions, like pedometers and other activity tracking, this works fine, but for the heart rate monitor, the tracking leaves a bit to be desired.
4. Garmin vivofit 3 Activity Tracker: Best Battery Smart HRM Bracelet
Garmin may have made of the better smart HRM bracelets on the market, but this model is definitely geared more for the user who simply wants to put their smart HRM bracelet on and more or less forget about it. That said, this is at least the top-tier of the Garmin Vívofit lineup. However, you will definitely have to accept a bit of limitation when it comes to extended features.
In terms of the good, the Vívofit 3 maintains the high level of accuracy that you would come to expect from a Garmin product. Being as this is arguably the most important factor, you may be able to forgive some of the Vívofit 3’s shortcomings. Potentially just as exciting as the accuracy of this smart HRM bracelet is the fact that the battery lasts a full year. While you cannot recharge this smart HRM bracelet and will have to replace the battery once it fails, not having to constantly remember to charge it may be worth the $5 per year battery cost.
While the accuracy and long battery life are nice, there are still some serious limitations in terms of its breadth. For instance, the actual training regimens available are the least that we saw. Another glaring omission that is a first is the absence of notifications for texts or calls. Considering robust training functions and notification alerts are all but ubiquitous for this market, their absence is potentially deal-breaking for some people.
5. Runme Fitness Tracker: Best All-Around Value Smart HRM Bracelet
Runme begins the budget portion of the list which carries with it some distinct limitations which might not make it a great choice for everyone. For instance, if you are a serious fitness enthusiast and especially if you are training for any kind of competitive fitness activity, like a marathon, the Runme is not nearly accurate for your needs. That said, it is a bit more accurate than most of the other budget smart HRM bracelets we saw.
The Runme does offer a fair number of features that do make it attractive. The OLED display is clear and a decent size for a smart HRM bracelet. This bracelet will provide text and call notifications and comes with 10 different sports modes. A surprising addition to a budget smart HRM bracelet is the inclusion of GPS tracking for distance and routes.
6. Letsfit Fitness Tracker HR: Best Training Smart HRM Bracelet
Letsfit is close to the least expensive smart HRM bracelet that we saw, though it is not quite the cheapest. Still, it is impressive specifically in that it offers more training modes than virtually every other product we reviewed. While some of the other smart HRM bracelets can meet the 14 training modes, none of them can do so while also offering the custom training features the Letsfit does.
The fact that this smart HRM bracelet allows you custom tailor your workout through their app is actually fairly impressive. Even many of the big name smart HRM bracelet brands do not offer this function. Beyond that, the Letsfit also provides more alerts than most of the other products in this price range extending well-beyond simple texts and calls and including social media alerts as well.
7. Lintelek Fitness Tracker Watch: Quickest Charging Smart HRM Bracelet
In the budget realm of smart HRM bracelets, you ultimately have to pick your poison. Virtually all of them have consistency and accuracy issues when it comes to tracking, though some of them are able to hone in on a metric or two and provide a reasonably good function. Still, when you venture into the world of budget smart HRM bracelets, you should have a good idea of what is your main desire.
If you opt for the Lintelek, you should definitely be someone who does not have much time to spare. This is because the Lintelek is by far the quickest charging smart HRM bracelet that we found. In fact, this smart HRM bracelet charges anywhere from 50 percent to twice as quickly as its next closest competitor and blows some of the other smart HRM bracelet charging times out of the water. Taking only a single hour to get to a full charge, you should have no issue getting a good work out even if you only charge it for a few dozen minutes.
8. TwobeFit Fitness Tracker: Best Budget Smart HRM Bracelet
Sometimes you simply want a product that is the least expensive in its market. Whether this is because the product is not inherently that important for your day-to-day activities or you simply do not have the excess cash to invest in something more expensive, the point remains that there exists a demand for the most budget-friendly product in any market.
For the smart HRM bracelet, that product is the TwobeFit. The good thing about this is that the TwobeFit is not appreciably worse than any of the other budget-minded products that we reviewed. The bad part about this is that the TwobeFit is not appreciably better and suffers many of the same issues as other budget-level smart HRM bracelets. The most notable instance of this is that the heart rate monitor is not accurate at the extremes.
9. Huawei Band 2: Best GPS Smart HRM Bracelet
Huawei makes another appearance on our list with a product fairly similar but ultimately a step-down. That said, it does still provide a solid performance for a wide variety of situations but also carries with it some of the limitations that this brand’s smart HRM bracelets are known for. Most notable in that list of limitations is accuracy. While the Huawei is not as inaccurate as a budget smart HRM bracelet, it definitely still lags far enough beyond the top-tier brands to be noteworthy for the wrong reasons.
That said, this model also provides an excellent wireless syncing function using the Bluetooth 4.2 protocol that provides a stronger signal which can penetrate further through obstacles than any of the budget options. Though, the app issues that are common with Huawei smart HRM bracelets shows up here with a vengeance as this bracelet requires an immediate firmware update to recognize the required app.