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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Best Smartwatches and Fitness Wearables of 2021

Fitness wearables have gained popularity in 2021, since nearly every manufacturer rushed to launch products with blood oxygen tracking abilities, a highly sought-after feature during the pandemic. If your New Year’s resolution is to get fit in 2022, a fitness tracker or a smartwatch would be a great companion. We have reviewed multiple fitness trackers and smartwatches over the year, and here’s a list of what we feel are the best wearables of 2021.

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

We’ve got a tie for the top spot this year, as both the Apple Watch Series 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 truly deserve to be named the best smartwatches to buy. Unsurprisingly, your choice of smartwatch will depend on the operating system of your smartphone, since 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 pack in larger displays. Powering the Series 7 is the Apple S7 SiP, and it also gets support for fast charging, although this doesn’t currently work in India. Apart from the different materials used for the casing and the multiple colour options, you also have a choice between GPS-only and cellular-enabled models. The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at Rs. 41,900 in India.

Apple Watch Series 7 was accurate in almost every test we carried out. It managed step, distance, and heart rate tracking extremely well, though sleep tracking was its Achilies’ heel. The watch is also capable of SpO2 tracking and can record an ECG.


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 watches are well designed and are 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. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 prices start at Rs. 23,999.

Just like the Apple Watch Series 7, the Galaxy Watch 4 was accurate in most of our tests, tracking steps, distance, and even sleep correctly. It also supports SpO2 measurement and can calculate body composition. Internationally, the Galaxy Watch 4 can also record an ECG, but this feature isn’t available in India yet either. The Galaxy Watch 4 will pair with any Android smartphone easily but offers a more cohesive experience if you use 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 this list last year and now, the Mi Watch Revolve Active has made it. The Mi Watch Revolve Active has a fibre-reinforced polyamide case that houses a large 1.39-inch AMOLED display. This watch weighs just 35g, which makes it comfortable when worn. Xiaomi has added SpO2 tracking on the Mi Watch Revolve Active. The Mi Watch Revolve Active is priced at Rs. 9,999.

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


Realme Watch 2 Pro

The Realme Watch 2 Pro has a big 1.75-inch display, in-built GPS, and the ability to track SpO2 levels. It can pair with iPhones as well as Android smartphones and offers multiple customisation options. The Realme Watch 2 Pro has a sharp screen, and it is light and comfortable to wear as well. Realme has priced the Realme Watch 2 Pro at Rs. 4,999 in India.

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


Best Fitness Band of 2021: Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6

Xiaomi’s Mi Bands have been bagging spots on our best wearable lists almost every year, and the Mi Smart Band 6 is the latest one. This budget-friendly fitness wearable is accurate at tracking multiple parameters and can also track SpO2 levels. The Mi Smart Band 6 will appeal to those who don’t want a bulky smartwatch on their wrist, but wish to track their fitness. The Mi Smart Band 6 is priced at Rs. 3,499 in India.

The Mi Smart Band 6 is small and light, and can be worn to bed as well. It also tracks sleep accurately. Steps, distance, and heart rate tracking are fairly accurate on the Mi Smart Band 6. Xiaomi has also made charging the Mi Smart Band 6 easier with a magnetic charger. Battery life is one area in which it could do better. For the asking price of Rs 3,499, the Mi Smart Band 6 is a no-nonsense fitness tracker and definitely one of the best to launch this year.


Aditya Shenoy reviews smartphones, wearables, headphones and speakers for Gadgets 360, out of 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 mail him at [email protected], so please send in your leads and tips.

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