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.
While our list includes the 10 best smart HRM bracelets under $150, we would like to draw your attention to the first 3 in particular. For most people, a combination of accuracy and convenience is vitally important. That is why we consider the Fitbit Charge 2 (review|price) to be best of the bunch. Of course, not everyone may care for the larger, bulkier size, in which case we recommend the Fitbit Alta HR (review|price) for women. The Garmin (review|price) offers perhaps the best all-around experience combining some of the more advanced features with a reliable tracking system. Of course, you will have to keep reading to find out the full story on these three HRM bracelets and more.
Smart HRM Bracelet – Quick Overview
|Fitbit Charge 2||versatile, extremely accurate, OLED display, GPS tracking, 200+ apps|
|Fitbit Alta HR||for ladies, accurate, OLED display, slim customizable bands, 200+ apps|
|Garmin vívosmart||for sports, accurate, LCD touchscreen display, own solid app|
|Scosche RHYTHM||for professionals, extremely accurate, a lot of apps, 8 hours of use|
|Moov Now||for swimmers, solid waterproofing, 3D 9-axis sensor, 8 workout modes|
|Garmin vívofit 3||1-year battery life, audio alerts, auto activity detection|
|Runme||OLED display, GPS tracking, various app compatibility, 10 sport modes|
|Letsfit||OLED display, GPS tracking, 14 training modes, a lot of alerts|
|Lintelek||budget-friendly, OLED display, GPS tracking, 14 training modes|
|TwobeFit||budget-friendly, GPS tracking, 14 training modes|
If you are looking for a smart HRM bracelet that offers a wider range of top-tier features than pretty much everyone else on the market, Fitbit is the place to go. As one of the first makers of consumer fitness bracelets, there are few features that come out which Fitbit does not add to one or more of their products. Granted, if you want the best, you will certainly have to pay for it. However, that is not much of an issue for those seeking a product that can satisfy the vast majority of their needs.
Of course, Fitbit makes its name on convenience as much as it does effectiveness, and the Charge 2 is no stranger in that respect either. First, this smart HRM bracelet provides a solid OLED display that works as a touchscreen. Though, this product is noted for feeling a bit flimsier than some of the others that we reviewed. This smart HRM bracelet is definitely not made for an obstacle course, but it can actually handle a wide variety of environments exceptionally well.
That is because this the Charge 2 has some of the best ratings for temperature and elevation that we have seen. In terms of temperature, the Charge 2 will function perfectly when it is as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit to as hot as 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Though, there is a good chance that you may not necessarily get the full use out of this smart HRM bracelet altitude function because it works up to 30,000 feet in the air. There are few mountains that get that tall and even fewer that are not freezing at that height.
Why We Recommend the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate
If you simply took a look at the spec sheet, it would not surprise us if you confused this Fitbit model for some of their other models. This is in a large part because the Fitbit Alta HR is another in the brand’s high-end fitness bracelet lineup. The good news with this is that you can expect the Alta HR to provide a wealth of features that are not always as common on even many of the other top-tier smart HRM bracelet brands. The downside to this is that the Alta HR is one of the most expensive smart HRM bracelets that we reviewed.
Still, this smart HRM bracelet sets itself apart from some of the other Fitbit options in some aesthetically unique ways. For one, the wristband of this smart HRM bracelet is significantly slimmer than many of the others on our list. However, the wristband has a few other features that shift it towards the fashion-friendly mindset too. For instance, you can quickly and easily switch out the included wristband with a wide range of options –
including many that are distinctly intended to make a fashion statement.
You will not have to worry about missing out on any important calls or messages either. This smart HRM bracelet syncs with your phone and will deliver alerts when you receive a call, text, and for important calendar dates too. This can take the form of a visual cue on the crystal clear OLED display or can be conveyed through a subtle vibration. In fact, the only legitimate complaint about this smart HRM bracelet is that it is not as accurate as some of the best – but still more accurate than most.
Why We Recommend the Fitbit Alta HR
3. 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
4. Scosche RHYTHM: Best Professional Smart HRM Bracelet
Like some of the other brands on our list, those familiar with Scosche might find it a bit odd to be entering the smart HRM bracelet market. This is because Scosche has made far more of a name for itself in the audio industry – specifically automotive audio products. That said, this has not stopped Scosche from producing one of the absolute best smart HRM bracelets for professional training that we found.
For one, the Scosche is the only smart HRM bracelet we saw which can comfortably and securely be strapped to your upper arm, rather than at your wrist. While it might seem a bit precarious of a location for a smart HRM bracelet, it is noted for not slipping at all. This is likely because the entirety of this product was designed to be IP67 waterproof. This means that not only does it resist sweat, but you can even take it in the pool with you too.
In terms of tracking, the Scosche might actually be the best product we saw. For one, it features an incredibly accurate heart rate monitor. Still, that is not the most impressive part about its tracking features. While it does not feature the breadth of compatibility that some Fitbit models offer, it does still function perfectly with a majority of the most popular fitness bracelet apps on either Android or iOS markets. However, it is the ANT+ integration and the ability to track your progress on multiple monitors through a Smart Bluetooth channel that is the most impressive. This means that you get 100’ of range – the farthest on our list by far –
with multiple coaches and trainers able to access your training information in real time.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
What is the best smart HRM bracelet?
As we can see, the smart HRM bracelet market has a wide range of prices and qualities. What makes a smart HRM bracelet the best for one person will inevitably fall short for another. The casual exerciser is likely not to need as robust or accurate a product as a someone dedicated to their fitness. Likewise, the person who is simply looking to maintain an extremely healthy lifestyle is unlikely to require the precision and advanced tracking features that someone training for professional endurance might.
In this vein, our recommendations are more geared towards those who demand more from their smart HRM bracelet. For instance, the individual who is serious about their health training but is not actually looking to compete in any kind of marathon or triathlon would likely be fine with the Fitbit Charge 2. This smart HRM bracelet will provide an amazing level of accuracy, but many of its functions are relatively basic – most notably the absence of any kind of specific exercise modes.
Of course, not every model of Fitbit will suit each person’s needs. For instance, women are likely to not appreciate the larger, bulkier profile of the Fitbit Charge 2 but still want the kind of dependability that Fitbit is known for. In this regard, the Alta HR is a solid alternative and even offers the ability to customize the wristband and display. If you are willing to eschew the heart monitor, it can even be worn as a locket. Even better, it comes with all the features of the Charge 2 except GPS.
For a more advanced individual who may want to compete, the Garmin comes within a hair of the Fitbit’s accuracy but provides a wealth of tools absent from the Fitbit. Whether you look at the impressive display, the heart rate monitor, or the laundry list of information available through the app, the Garmin’s touchscreen provides all the information you could need to tailor your workout and training regimen to reach your peak performance.