Bright Side
Bright Side

The 8 Best Sports Watches of 2022

It turns out that smart wearables really do motivate us and help us get healthier. People who use trackers are way more active than those who don’t: on average, they take 2,000 more steps every day. A fantasy of science fiction back in the day, modern sporting watches can replace tons of other functions — from heart monitors and sleep trackers to GPS navigators and voice assistance while fitting your wrist.

The toughest task is to choose the one you need, and this is where we come in with our list of the best watches for sports. We’ve also prepared a bonus for those who have kids and want to make sure they’re safe. Read till the end!

Before we dive into the analysis, ask yourself several questions:

  • Why do I need a watch?
    If you’re into running or cycling, then GPS tracking is a must for you. If you’re a swimmer, don’t forget that your sports watch must be waterproof. If you’re in multi-sport mode, you’ll need to switch between different disciplines seamlessly, both indoor and outdoor. And if you stick to the gym, you might want to monitor different forms of indoor activities. There are also tons of other additional features you may be interested in (for example, sleep or oxygen tracking).
  • How long should the battery life of my sports watch be?
    Some devices need to be charged daily, while others will get through a few days or even weeks without requiring to be plugged in.
  • What phone do I have?
    Some sports watches may refuse to connect to specific operating systems. That’s why it’s better to confirm that it will work with your smartphone.
  • Will I wear it every day?
    You can use your sports watch during workouts only, but having it constantly on your wrist will allow you to take full advantage of its onboard sensors and tech instead of simply keeping tabs on your pulse at the gym. So, if you work in an office with a strict dress code, it could be tricky.

1. Feature-packed: this watch can satisfy the most demanding customer. Apart from its “standard” features, like activity and health tracking, it has voice control, space to store your favorite music, and the ability to compete with your friends in different challenges.

4.7 stars out of 5
80% positive reviews

Features:

  • All-day tracking: Track your sports activities, steps, distance, calories burnt, active minutes, and weight and reach your fitness goals. Plus, log food, set new goals, and follow your progress via the app. You can also use an “Always-on” display mode to see real-time exercise stats — even if your hands are full.
  • Challenges: Stay inspired while connecting and competing with others. Earn achievements and badges for your wins.
  • Health tracking: You can use a heart rate monitor 24/7 to better track calorie burn, optimize your effort during workouts, and see your resting heart rate trends and cardio fitness level in the app. Check the quality of each sleep by measuring heart rate, time asleep, time awake, time in deep and REM sleep, and restlessness. Plus, track periods, record symptoms, and estimate ovulation and fertility windows.
  • Voice assistance: Use built-in Amazon Alexa to get quick news, info, and weather, and set bedtime reminders and alarms just by speaking to your smartwatch.
  • Communication: Get notifications for calls, texts, calendar events, and apps. If you have Android, you can also send quick replies right from your wrist when your phone is nearby.
  • Waterproof: Yes (up to 50 m)
  • Stores & plays music: Yes

Battery life: 4+ days
Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 12.2 or higher & Android OS 7.0 or higher

Cons to consider:

  • This watch doesn’t have its own built-in GPS. However, it can connect to your smartphone to use its GPS.
  • You won’t be able to customize the “Always-on” display.
  • They support Spotify, but you won’t be able to download tracks right on your smartwatch. You can only play them there. You will need your phone to download music.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • Better than I expected!

Really easy to set up and use. Having two different-sized straps to choose from was great, too. Tracks my sleep really well and explains each stage of my sleep, which is great. You can change the background on the watch with loads of templates to choose from. I cannot recommend this product enough! It’s amazing. @Mum

  • Good watches to motivate yourself to be more active!

I wasn’t sure if I should get this watch, but my friend recommended it was good. I bought it and not disappointed! It works very well. Easy to use and makes me want to be more active! Very recommended. @Sarida Beardsmore

Buy this sports watch on Amazon HERE

2. Best-in-class battery life: This watch is a great option for those who always forget to take a charger when going on a long trip (or who simply hate having cords everywhere). But that’s not its only advantage — its fitness tracking accuracy and value are also great.

4.7 stars out of 5
80% positive reviews


Features:

  • All-day tracking: Track your fitness progress like step count or calories burned all day. Supports 7 outdoor and 8 indoor sports modes. Multiple professional training courses from entry to advanced level are preinstalled on the watch, providing users with professional and effective guidance.
  • GPS: Supports GPS & GLONASS satellite positioning systems for accurate and faster positioning.
  • Health tracking: Monitors your heart work in real-time. It’s coupled with an intelligent AI algorithm to monitor your heart rate. Scientifically tracks and diagnoses 6 common types of sleep issues. Supports all-day stress monitoring.
  • Communication: Get notifications for SMS messages, emails, calendar events, and other social media apps. Thanks to the Bluetooth calling feature, you can make or receive calls when your hands are busy.
  • Water-resistant: Yes (up to 50 m)
  • Music sync: Yes

Battery life: Up to 2 weeks
Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 9.0 or later & Android OS 4.4 or later

Cons to consider:

  • The main con is that there is no third-party app support, so you’ll have fewer options for expanding your watch’s functionality.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • Review from a watch enthusiast — best value-for-money watch I’ve bought in a long time.

I’ve been something of a watch enthusiast for over 20 years. This is the first smartwatch I’ve owned.
In my case, I was primarily interested in a watch that could be used for swimming (i.e., it had to be fully waterproof — which a lot of smartwatches aren’t), to monitor my heart rate, and, of course, serve as an actual watch that could tell the time! I wanted something with GPS, lightweight, with more than a few days’ battery life, and that charged quickly. A decent UI and responsive app were also high on my list, as this seems to be a hit-and-miss when it comes to smartwatches.
I can safely say this Huawei watch ticks all of these boxes and goes above and beyond in every single category. Upon opening the box, the first thing I noticed was the build quality. The AMOLED display is comparable to the quality of the Retina Display on my iPhone. The strap is excellent quality too — it’s flexible yet tough and extremely comfy. There are numerous holes in the strap, which means it would fit anyone’s wrist. The strap itself is actually more of a red color, as opposed to the orange advertised. Personally, I think the red/black combination looks great and was actually considering replacing the orange advertised strap with a red one, so for me personally, this was a bonus as I got what I wanted with the item.
The watch battery came charged to 75%, and the battery life is outstanding. I’ve only charged this once in the week I’ve owned it, and the charging was rapid — it went from around 50% to 100% in under half an hour. Quite incredible. The Huawei phone app (I’m using it on an iPhone 12) is pretty good. Easy to set up, and what I really liked is how many different watch faces you can find. There’s literally a face for every type of activity/sport, as well as a number of “dress watch” faces. I can’t imagine anybody would struggle to find a watch face they liked. It seems simple to update the watch software via the app. Notifications on the phone produce a subtle vibration; looking at the watch face will activate it and show you the notification, e.g., a WhatsApp message or call. You can configure how many seconds the watch face stays active before going to sleep. This is a nice feature, although be aware that the longer the duration, the more battery it uses. There are 2 buttons on the right-hand side, and these can be used to go through the options menu or start recording an activity, e.g., swimming/running/treadmill session, etc. All options are clear, and the UI is simple and intuitive.
In summary, this is an incredibly well-built watch. It offers high build quality, a decent app, rapid charging, excellent battery life, loads of watch faces, and is lightweight. Looks-wise, it looks like a professional watch, comparable to Tissot’s £800 T-Touch model but with more smartwatch features (admittedly, the Tissot and Tag Heuer models are intended to be watches first, smartwatches second, whereas this Huawei is a dedicated smartwatch and doesn’t pretend to be anything but that).
Can I fault it in any way? The only thing I came across is that the step counter doesn’t seem to record the same number as either my iPhone or when manually testing it (e.g., walking 15 steps and seeing the number reported wasn’t 15). Personally, I don’t use this feature of the watch as I bought it for the previously stated reasons, so it’s not too big of an issue, and I’m not sure if it would calibrate eventually.
Overall, it’s really hard to knock this, and given the price, I can’t see any real competition. I don’t think you can go wrong with this, and would say it’s an absolute steal. @Amazon Customer

  • Looks great on the arm

This watch looks really good on the arm. The size that I’ve got is 46 mm. It’s just perfect for a medium-sized arm. Doesn’t look like a plastic smartwatch, as many others are. This can also be easily replaced with the standard normal watch as it looks very elegant at the same time. It does not look like a smartwatch, instead just looks like a very nice, classy metal watch. Using the Huawei app, you can download many different watch faces and customize the watch in many different ways. Overall, a great purchase. Very happy with it. The battery life is amazing on one charge. I can easily do 2 weeks, and at the same time, the display is very bright as well. @Javed Su

Buy this sports watch on Amazon HERE

3. Most budget-friendly: This watch is a simple yet solid option that will provide you with all the most popular functions — from activity to health tracking.

4.4 stars out of 5
68% positive reviews


Features:

  • Activity tracking: There are 8 sports modes for you to choose from. They’re walking, running, hiking, cycling, swimming, basketball, elliptical, and yoga, and keep track of the steps taken and calories burnt.
  • Heart tracking: You can use it 24/7 to monitor your heart.
  • Female tracking: There is a unique reminder function for the menstrual cycle and pregnancy readiness.
  • Sleep tracking: Monitor the quality of your sleep.
  • Sedentary reminder: Keep track of the lack of movement to create a healthier lifestyle.
  • Communication: Get notifications for calls, texts, meetings, and apps. Note that you won’t be able to answer calls and messages.
  • Waterproof: IP68 level means that it can be used when you wash your hands or shower (cold water). It also protects against immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth for up to 30 minutes. Don’t use the watch in baths, saunas, hot springs, deep dives, or in any other environments with corrosive liquid and hot steam, as this will lead to product failure.
  • Music: You can control music directly from your smartwatch.

Battery life: 8–10 days
Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 9.0 & Android OS 5.0 or higher

Cons to consider:

  • This watch doesn’t have its own built-in GPS.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • This is better than the Samsung watch.

These watches have been so good. They have the Find My Phone app, My Music app, and I can read all messages as well. Fantastic purchase and value for the money. @Niessa Morton

  • Brilliant watch

Love the watch. I bought this because I was looking at more expensive brands, and a family member bought this brand and was really happy with it. Can’t fault it for the price.
Everything works great, comfortable. I have really small wrists, and although it’s big, it doesn’t feel bulky; really lightweight.
The app is super easy to use, and the battery life lasts for ages.
Make sure you allow push notifications on the app and change settings on your phone to receive messages and notifications. Basic weather forecast and step count seem a little off, but not massively. Does heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen. Got no way of knowing if these are also accurate, but they seem pretty good.
I also REALLY like that you have so many options for the dial, and you can even add your own photo to the main screen, as shown in the picture. For the price, it’s far better than I expected! @Alexandra

Buy this sports watch on Amazon HERE

4. Most rugged: This watch is made for those who aren’t afraid of challenges and prefer active pastimes. It can withstand the toughest environments and guide through the most difficult paths.

4.6 stars out of 5
80% positive reviews

Features:

  • Activity tracking: Train with preloaded activity profiles such as running, biking, swimming, hiking, and more.
  • Heart tracking: Enhanced optical heart rate technology gauges the intensity of your fitness activities.
  • GPS: Supports GPS, GLONASS, & Galileo, which will allow you to create tracks in more challenging environments (than GPS alone). The built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter will help you keep your bearings. Plus, you can use the track back feature to navigate the same route back to your starting point. With the Garmin Explore website and app, you can plan your trips in advance.
  • Stress tracking: Heart rate variability is used to calculate your stress level score, so you can see if you’re having a calm, balanced or stressful day.
  • Communication: Receive emails, texts, and alerts right on your watch when paired with a compatible smartphone. You can even respond to texts if you have an Android phone.
  • Water-resistant: Yes (up to 100 m). It’s also shockproof and heat-resistant.
  • Music: You can control music directly from your smartwatch.

Battery life:

  • Up to 14 days in smartwatch mode
  • Up to 16 hours in GPS mode
  • Up to 40 hours in UltraTrac battery-saver mode

Compatibility: Compatible with iOS & Android OS

Cons to consider:

  • Lacks full mapping features.
  • The screen isn’t in color.
  • Non-touchscreen watch, it’s controlled by buttons.
  • Not compatible with the Garmin IQ app store, so you won’t be able to add extra apps, data fields, or watch faces and, overall, expand your watch’s functionality.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • Great budget-friendly watch

I’ve had this for about 6 months now, and good god, has it been through its paces with me. It’s been through mud, sand, you name it. I even accidentally got paint splatter on it while painting a garden fence, which in time, I managed to scrape off with my nail. It’s waterproof, and I can wear and wash it in the shower. The battery lasts for weeks, depending on how you use it, and at the moment, I haven’t charged it in a week, and it’s on half power. If you are in need of a budget-friendly tough watch, then this is the one for you. The app is pretty easy to use, too, and I’ve found it useful for logging my activities throughout the day. The one downfall is that it doesn’t automatically track your workouts; you need to start it on the watch in advance, but it’s great for hikes since it tracks you via GPS and can give you the weather and your GPS location in real-time. @Wynter Elliott

  • An excellent all-rounder for any outdoors person

This is a great-looking watch with outstanding functionality. Its interface is bare-bones, but personally, I prefer that. It does what it does incredibly well and without any faff.
Highly recommended! @University Student

Buy this sports watch on Amazon HERE

5. Best bang for the buck: This watch has all the features you may need and comes at a reasonable price.

4.1 stars out of 5
59% positive reviews

Features:

  • All-day tracking: Has multi-sports modes like walking, running, cycling, skipping, badminton, basketball, and more, which makes your training more data-based. And it can track your daily activity data like steps, calories, distance, and active minutes.
  • Health tracking: It not only supports 24-hour heart rate monitoring, but also blood pressure and blood oxygen. Plus, it has an automatic sleep-monitoring function. Wear the watch when you fall asleep, and it’ll automatically track your deep, light, and awake time to help you develop better sleep habits.
  • Communication: You will never miss any important information as you can directly view the messages, calls, emails, and app notifications forwarded to your mobile phone through the watch.
  • Waterproof: IP67 level means that it can be used when you wash your hands or shower (cold water). It also protects against immersion in water up to 1 m in depth for up to 30 minutes. Don’t use the watch in baths, saunas, hot springs, deep dives, or in any other environments with corrosive liquid and hot steam, as this will lead to product failure.
  • Music: You can control music directly from your smartwatch.

Battery life: Up to 10 days
Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 9.0/Android OS 4.4 or higher, and Bluetooth 4.0 or higher

Cons to consider:

  • This watch doesn’t have its own built-in GPS.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • Fab watch, easy to use, and looks lovely!

I purchased this purely based on its reviews, and I have to say I was not disappointed. I was slightly unsure if this would suit me, as the watch face appears quite big. I can honestly say it looks lovely on. It’s a really nice everyday accessory. I initially charged it for about an hour to 2 hours when it arrived. I’ve now had it on for 5 days, and only one bar of charge has gone down. I thought I’d be charging it every other day, if I’m honest! I’m not very technical, but it was extremely straightforward to set up. Downloaded the app as instructed. You add your details (weight, height, etc.), and it calculates a daily goal for you. Very easy to navigate, just like a touch screen mobile or tablet. For the price, I am over the moon with my purchase. I loved it so much that I recommended it to several friends. @dana jones

  • Very impressed

Beautiful watch, comfortable to wear, and has a clear screen. Easy to navigate and set up and pair with your phone. Like how you can use your own pictures on your screen.
Only downside is that it doesn’t always register your sleep during the night until you restart your phone, but it registers your steps during the night with no issues. @Lorraine Grant

Buy this sports watch on Amazon HERE

6. Most versatile: This watch will easily fit into your lifestyle, whether you’re throwing weights around in the gym or sitting at the office.

4.6 stars out of 5
75% positive reviews

Features:

  • Activity tracking: Comes preloaded with more than 15 sports modes, so finding a fun way to stay active is easy. Hit the golf course, go for a bike ride, take a yoga class, or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. You can download pre-set workouts or create custom ones. Also, keep track of steps taken & calories burnt. When you head outside, built-in GPS lets you track the details of your chosen activity with no phone connection required.
  • Challenges: Stay inspired while connecting and competing with others via an app.
  • Health tracking: Includes fitness monitoring, such as VO2 max and fitness age estimate, plus all-day stress tracking and relaxation-based breathing timer. It’ll make you aware when physical or emotional sources cause your stress level to rise, so you can find a way to relieve the pressure.
  • Communication: Receive texts when paired with a compatible smartphone. You can even respond to them if you have an Android phone.
  • Water-resistant: Yes (up to 50 m)
  • Music: You can control music directly from your smartwatch.

Battery life:

  • Up to 7 days in smartwatch mode
  • 13 hours in GPS mode

Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 9.0 or higher, Android OS & Bluetooth

Cons to consider:

  • You won’t be able to choose which apps get alerts.
  • Does not show on-screen workouts.
  • Does not support offline music for running or biking in places without a wireless connection.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • Best smart watch I have owned

I absolutely love my Garmin watch. I can read it without my glasses too, as it has a nice big screen. I’ve previously had an Apple watch and then a Fitbit Versa. I prefer this by far, and at a very reasonable price too. The white strap hasn’t gotten stained and dirty as the Apple and Fitbit did. It is a good-quality build, and the battery lasts a few days. My partner has the same, but for men, and when we track them together, the distance is exact. I use it to measure bike rides and dog walks. And will use it for skiing and swimming when we can.
You can have all notifications come to it. The Garmin app for Android is brilliant too. Very helpful and free advice, unlike Fitbit, wanting you to pay for premium. @Alybongo

  • Very impressed

Great product. Super lightweight, doesn’t feel like you’re wearing it. The strap doesn’t make my wrist feel hot or itchy. Battery life is good, and I’ve been using the GPS daily. @ClaireT

Buy this sports watch on Amazon HERE

7. Best for those who value great customer service: This watch will make you happy not only with the features it can offer you, but also with the “Customer First” philosophy the seller pays attention to. No question will be left unnoticed.

4.3 stars out of 5
61% positive reviews

Features:

  • Activity tracking: Has 9 built-in sports modes & all-day tracking activity: monitor steps, distance, and calories and motivate yourself to achieve your training goals.
  • Health tracking: Monitors your heart rate throughout the entire day, even while you are swimming, and provides you with a comprehensive analysis of your sleep so that you have a better understanding of your physical condition.
  • Communication: Get real-time notifications of incoming calls, texts, and apps and ensure that you never miss any important messages when you aren’t able to access your smartphone.
  • Water-resistant: Yes (up to 50 m). Note that it’s not suitable for diving, swimming in the sea, or sauna.
  • Music: You can control music directly from your smartwatch.

Battery life: Up to 10 days
Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 9.0/Android OS 6.0 or higher, and Bluetooth 4.2 or higher

Cons to consider:

  • This watch doesn’t have its own built-in GPS. However, it can connect to your smartphone to use its GPS.
  • If you work nights and want to track your daytime sleep, this watch will be useless. It only tracks one sleep session between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m., plus it doesn’t track both periods of sleep if you wake up and get a drink but then go back to sleep again.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • Great watch

Great watch for the price. Easy to set up. Comes with a QR code. Scan that with your phone, and it’ll take you to the app. Download it, and you’re away. I love the look of it. Just what I was after. @Doris

  • Outstanding!!!

I paid £25.99 and had I paid double, it would have been worth every penny. Good build quality. 13-day battery life. Crystal clear display. Easy setup.
Only criticism is the charging cable. It’s not a great design and can be fiddly to get a positive connection. @janine vickery

Buy this sports watch on Amazon HERE

8. Most elegant: This watch will not only give you information about your activity level and health condition, but will jazz up your look. It doesn’t look like an ordinary sports watch, that’s why you can easily match it with any outfit.

4.3 stars out of 5
66% positive reviews

Features:

  • Activity tracking: Automatically counts steps, calories, and distance. Tracks 30+ sports and maps your session with distance, elevation, and pace via connected GPS.
  • Health tracking: Enjoy heart rate tracking all day and night long, plus continuous tracking during your workouts. Monitor your sleep and wake up to a sleep score based on an analysis of light and deep sleep cycles, interruptions, depth, and regularity.
  • Communication: Customize call, text, event, and app notifications from your smartphone right on the watch screen.
  • Water-resistant: Yes (up to 50 m). It’ll accompany you to the pool and shower and survive a downpour.

Battery life: Up to 25 days
Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 8.0 or higher/Android 6.0 or higher

Cons to consider:

  • This watch doesn’t have its own built-in GPS.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • Smart-looking activity tracker/watch

If you require some smartwatch and activity-tracking features but would prefer a traditional look, the Withings Steel HR is an excellent option. The Withings Healthmate app is comprehensive and makes it easy to track your workouts. The alerts feature syncs well with my iPhone but is sometimes difficult to see outdoors, and it is also quite a small display. Steps and GPS mapping seem to be reasonably accurate, and the battery lasts for 2-3 weeks, depending on usage. I also purchased a Withings digital scale that syncs to the same app as the watch. Brilliant! @boslon

  • BEST WATCH EVER!!

This watch is absolutely incredible. I love everything about it, from the fitness tracker to the notification features. It gives very accurate and useful info. It pairs easily with my iPhone, no problem, and the setup was super easy. Vibrates when my phone rings or when I get a message and displays my contact. Design is simple, elegant & stylish. Strap is comfortable and easy to clean. Very pleased with my purchase and totally recommend this watch! @Magali T.

Buy this sports watch on Amazon HERE

Bonus — Best for kids: The watch is perfect for younger kids. Its attractive design and features will surely keep your kiddo engaged for a while, providing you with “me” time. PLUS, the built-in SOS signal will help you stop worrying about your little one’s safety so much.

4 stars out of 5
55% positive reviews

Features:

  • SOS call: When kids encounter difficulties, they can press the power button twice to call their parents. If you miss the call, you’ll receive an SOS SMS reminder.
  • Music player: You can download the music your kiddo likes.
  • 16 games: This kids’ game watch is equipped with 16 games that can be used to develop children’s brains and train mathematical thinking and hand-eye coordination. It can also stimulate children’s rich creativity and imagination.
  • Camera: Take photos with the camera to capture precious moments.
  • Calculator: Useful tool helps kids to calculate and improve learning efficiency.
  • Alarm clock: Supports 3 alarm clocks to help children form an excellent time management awareness.
  • Silent mode: Kids can set the silent mode to avoid being disturbed.

Cons to consider:

  • If you need to use the watch call function, make sure that your area is covered with a 2G network, as it is the only network the watch supports. You’ll need to buy a 2G SIM card and activate it with a voice plan. However, if you aren’t going to use the call function, you don’t need to buy the SIM card, as other functions will work without it.
  • No GPS tracking
  • The watch can’t sync with all phones.
  • The watch doesn’t have any storage space.

Happy buyers’ reviews:

  • Fantastic kids’ watch

I bought this kids’ game smartwatch for my daughter. I was very surprised when I got the watch as it comes with so many options. It even comes with a 1 GB microSD card included. It has an alarm clock, and my daughter can play games as well. And what I really liked about it as well is the touch screen and two-way call, which is very useful for keeping in touch with my daughter wherever she is. It comes with a nice camera, and my daughter was very happy with it. The battery lasts long. I only had to charge it twice in almost a week, considering it was used a lot. All the functions are very easy to use. Brilliant watch. @Abdou

  • Quality + it works well

My daughter really does like this watch. She really enjoys going through it to see how it works, and she likes that she can phone me from it. @Abdur-Razzaq

Buy this kid watch on Amazon HERE

Do you prefer to wear usual watches or sports watches? If the latter, what features are the most important for you?

Bright Side gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Preview photo credit Zoe / Amazon, Warwick A. / Amazon
Bright Side/Shopping/The 8 Best Sports Watches of 2022
Share This Article
You may like these articles