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Best Fitness Tracker Deals During Prime Day 2021 for Tech Lovers: Garmin, Fitbit, Apple


he Garmin vivomove luxe on a user's wrist with the screen on, showing heart rate next to the watch hands.
Enlarge / Garmin’s Vivomove series.

Corey Gaskin / Ars Technica

As we continue digging, we found some Ars-recommended fitness trackers among Prime Day’s many deals. In particular, a slew of our favorite smartwatches from Garmin and Fitbit are on sale.

All these deals are today only, so if you’re a Prime member looking for a fitness tracker or running watch, this is your moment. There are also discounts on the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 6 if pure smartwatch capability is more important to you than fitness tracking.

Our experience with Garmin watches

The Garmin Forerunner series is a top choice for runners.
Enlarge / The Garmin Forerunner series is a top choice for runners.

Corey Gaskin

Garmin’s watches took a few top spots in our recent smartwatch buying guide. We picked the Forerunner 45 as our favorite runner’s watch while the Vivo series took top honors as the most stylish. Both devices are seeing record discounts for Prime Day. We especially like some older models of the Vivomove. Today’s discounts bring the newer versions, the Vivoactive 4 and 4s, down to about the same price.

The sub-$200 Garmin Forerunner 45 is our favorite watch for casual runners, offering GPS and 24/7 heart rate for runs and tracking modes for sleep, yoga, elliptical, and cardio exercise. It’s not the watch for long-distance serious runners, but rather it’s a great inexpensive option for those who enjoy shorter runs or don’t mind bringing their phone along for music and enhanced safety features.

If smartwatch functionality and broader activity support is your thing, then the Venu Sq Music is another sub-$200 device that brings a lot of what the Forerunner 45 misses, like a blood oxygen sensor, music storage, golfing features, strength and Pilates workout modes, and touchscreen interaction. It’s a more traditional smartwatch experience with a bit more in the way of activity tracking, as well.

The Vivoactive 4 and 4s build on this with more premium metal materials, more sensors, and a round watch face. It also adds on-screen workout animations, along with more workout modes.

Last up are the high-end Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire and 6s Pro running, hiking, and multisport watches, both at $499, and the rugged Instinct Solar and Tactical watches for $249 and $179, respectively. The Fenix series is Garmin’s highest-end running watch, and it supports a plethora of advanced, proprietary metrics through Firstbeat technology and boasts compatibility with accessories (like chest-worn heart rate monitors and footworn running posture devices). Both features provide highly specific data and useful insights to improve training and recovery for serious athletes. The Fenix 6 also supports all of the same smartwatch and wide-ranging sport features, from golfing to triathlons, with two-week battery life, built-in maps, and 10 ATM water resistance.

The Instinct Solar and Tactical are a little less feature-rich, lacking the broad range of sport tracking of some of the other Garmin watches we mentioned in favor of things like night vision mode and a claimed 54 days of battery with solar power’s aid. It won’t give you the deep training analytics of a Fenix watch, but it’s still plenty capable of moderate tracking for running and activities.

The deals

Our experience with Fitbit

<a href="https://amzn.to/2SfxjEA">Fitbit's Sense watch</a> has all the sensors you could ask for in a fitness tracker and deeper health insights and guidance than you get on an Apple Watch, especially with Fitbit's Premium membership.
Enlarge / Fitbit’s Sense watch has all the sensors you could ask for in a fitness tracker and deeper health insights and guidance than you get on an Apple Watch, especially with Fitbit’s Premium membership.

Corey Gaskin / Ars Technica

Fitbit’s no stranger to advanced fitness tracking analytics either, though the company’s data is not as specified as some of Garmin’s features. Where Fitbit excels is in reliable basic fitness tracking and top-tier specs at competitive prices.

The Fitbit Sense, in particular, took the runner-up spot in our best smartwatch guide, finishing second only to the Apple Watch as our favorite all-around smartwatch. With a blood oxygen monitor, ECG, GPS, and heart rate sensor for less than $200 with this Prime Day sale, it’s a strong value.

The Sense handles notifications well from iPhone and Android devices, and it can accept calls with its built-in mic and speaker. The vibrant display and shiny metal case give it a premium look and feel to match its top-level internals. There isn’t a ton of app compatibility beyond Fitbit’s own suite of features and music controls for Spotify, but we found its sleep tracking and activity insights to be more useful, which only gets more proactive and personal with Fitbit’s optional Premium subscription plan.

Although Fitbit Premium is typically $9.99 a month, the simpler in form and much less expensive Fitbit Inspire 2 tracker comes with a year of this for free, further adding value to a nice Prime Day discount. At $57, it’s a good price for a casual fitness tracker, particularly one with Fitbit’s research, community, and resources backing it.

The Inspire 2 has a heart rate sensor, an estimated 10 days of battery, and sleep tracking, but it lacks GPS. Luckily, the Fitbit Charge 4, which does have GPS, is also on sale for $100. And that device adds NFC and blood oxygen monitoring to the mix.

The deals



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