Hybrid smart watches for women are popping up everywhere at the moment – so much so that even the most tech-unsavvy members of the YOU team started to wonder if they needed one in their lives.
Incredibly clever, well designed and much more attractive than the fitness bands of yesteryear, the new generation of smart watches are integrating themselves into every part of our daily routines, from our sleep to the number of flights of stairs we take each day.
We tested out seven of the best on the market to see how easy they were to set up, and find out what all the fuss is about…
Reviewed by: Hannah Hughes, Contributing Fashion Editor
Easy to set up? Easy peasy, charge, download the app, fill in some basic info and go.
Best functions? The battery lasts up to 25 days. I loved the subtle dial on the front that told me my daily steps percentage.
Is it stylish? Yes, very sleek and doesn’t look techy.
Sleep tracker? Yes, but it made me a little too obsessed with my sleep patterns so I decided not to wear at night. There is a vibrating alarm which I found a more pleasant way to wake up than my phone alarm.
Fitness tracker? Automatically tracks walking, running & swimming. For other sports like yoga or tennis you can easily add into the app manually.
Any other useful functions? You can connect up with other apps such as My Fitness Pal. It’s also possible to receive a vibration notification for emails, texts, calls.
Waterproof? Up to 50m.
Anything else to add? Didn’t think I needed this in my life but I love knowing how many steps I have done each day. The dial gives me a boost to walk home instead of getting the bus.
Reviewed by: Laura Smith, Fashion Intern
Easy to set up? Very straight with simple instructions in the box. Once you’ve downloaded the app you’re good to go.
Best functions? Being able to expand the text/email notifications from my phone and being able to read full message, rather than just see the preview and having to find your phone to get the rest of the information.
Is it stylish? If you love a statement watch this one is for you. The diamante and white strap make it clean, sleek and modern.
Fitness tracker? The watch had a step tracker with notifications telling you how many steps you have left to do to reach the targets you could set yourself.
Sleep tracker? I couldn’t find that feature on the watch and there were no obvious instructions on how to set it up.
Waterproof? Splash resistant.
Reviewed by: Alex Ridley, Deputy Picture Editor
Easy to set up? Yes download the app which is simple and informative.
Best functions? No charging required.
Is it stylish? Yes – doesn’t look like a fitness watch. Leather strap and comes with a changeable silicon strap in a different colour.
Fitness tracker? The watch tracks sleep, steps, calories and distance. The app also allows you to compare steps, distance, calories and sleep by hour, day, week, month and year.
Sleep tracker? Is brilliant – very accurate and easy to see on the well designed app. Measures how deeply you sleep and sleep efficiency percentage and average length of sleep.
Any other useful functions? Sets the date and time automatically through the app, night light, alarm and count down feature.
Waterproof? Resistant up to 50m.
Anything else to add? Not heavy. Comfortable to wear and sleep in.
Reviewed by: Stephanie Sofokleous, Fashion Assistant
Easy to set up? Very easy with the Android Wear app.
Is it stylish? Sleek looking, but a bit too chunky for me. Not the kind of watch that would work with every outfit.
Fitness tracker? Yes the watch tracks directly into fitness apps I already had set up like n00m or My Fitness Pal. It was great not having to take my phone everywhere to get a true recording, and knowing that the watch was probably more reliable.
Sleep tracker? Yes, however as there is no dedicated Movado app this appeared in my Samsung health app.
Any other useful functions? Gutted I didn’t get to put the Google Translate to the test, as I can imagine it would make travelling abroad a lot easier.
Waterproof? 30 metres
Anything else to add? Very heavy and runs out of battery quite quickly, had to charge every night. I felt that the price tag reflected the watch’s style rather than the technology of this watch.
Easy to set up? Very easy. After charging I downloaded the Fitbit app to my smartphone and synced via Bluetooth – I was actually surprised by how quick it was to get going.
Is it stylish? Depends on what you’re after! I opted for an unobtrusive black option but this also comes in grey, pink and a special edition rose gold.
Fitness tracker? As well as the all-important step tracker, which buzzes when you’ve reached 10,000 steps and nudges you throughout the day to make sure you keep moving, the Fitbit also tracks your daily amounts of exercise (ideally five of seven days), your active minutes (at least 30 minutes) and distance covered throughout the day.
Sleep tracker? Once I got used to the level of detail it offered (I had no idea I was awake for around an hour a night, for example), I enjoyed both examining the in-depth data and reading the Fitbit’s own interpretations of my sleep, and I definitely found that it positively altered the way I approached my bedtime, even going to bed earlier to make sure I would get my eight hours in.
Other useful functions? Guesstimating the daily amount of calories burned based on your movement and age, weight, gender, height and weight, as well as heart rate. I found monitoring my heart rate (the HR stands for heart rate!) to be an unexpected bonus.
Waterproof/resistant? Rain, sweat and splash proof, but won’t withstand being in a shower or swimming pool.
Anything else to add? The green LED lights were tricky at night – I did find they’d occasionally wake me up –and it’s also worth knowing that you can alter your notifications if you don’t want to be urged to get up and move after a period of inactivity.
Reviewed by: Lucy Coghlan, Bookings Editor
Easy to set up? Idiot proof thank goodness, just download the app and pair with your watch. Perhaps it says more about me but I had to watch two YouTube videos to work out how to change the mesh strap length.
Best functions? I didn’t miss a single WhatsApp as the notifications popped up and I could open the message on the watch face.
Is it stylish? I loved the rose gold strap and the dial design itself was super minimal and sleek. However there is a plastic outer edging to the screen which took away from the clean lines a little too much for my liking.
Fitness tracker? The watch automatically tracks your steps and you can set yourself daily targets which is really motivating. However, there wasn’t a heart rate tracker which I feel would have been a helpful addition for gym bunnies.
Sleep tracker? No
Any other useful functions? You get about 24 hours out of each charge, I found I got a little less but I was using it a lot and it charges from a magnetic charging station so no plugs but does mean you’d have to remember to take it if you went away.
Anything else to add? Every function can be personalised so it takes a couple of days for it seamlessly factor into your day-to-day life.
Reviewed by: Eleanor Jones, Digital Editor
Easy to set up? I found the instructions a bit confusing – but I’m not sure if this was due to the instructions themselves, or my lack of tech-saviness! Once initially set up, the on-screen menu (which sits within the analogue clock face) is easy to access and understand, although it can be difficult to see outdoors.
Sleep tracker? Yes
Fitness tracker? Yes – including a step tracker, floor tracker (number of flights of stairs) and heart rate tracker.
Any other useful functions? It vibrates when you get calls, texts and emails, and you can control music from your phone, which is handy, particularly when exercising.
Is it stylish? Yes – it looks a lot more like an accessory than standard fitness tracker. It comes in a few different colour ways, so there’s something to suit all tastes.
Waterproof? Water resistant – so it’s okay to leave on in the shower or for a quick swim.
Anything else to add? Battery life is very good (they say up to 5 days). I wasn’t so keen on the silicone straps – but these could easily be replaced!