Confused? Some Pointers – I’ll Keep It Brief
Here’s a quick overview to cover where some of the newer, innovative fitness products fit for different kinds of people.
Many people probably don’t appreciate the difference between a fitness watch, a sports watch and a smartwatch let alone how various straps and rings fit into those categories. Fair enough, almost everyone (except me) has a life outside of their gadgets. I’ll briefly explain where Oura, Whoop, Apple, Biostrap, Fitbit and Garmin sit.
Whoop Strap v3
Whoop is targetted at athletes and wannabe athletes.
Whoop measures activity and rest to give an estimate of readiness+recovery, and that information feeds into recommendations and insights on future activities like how much sleep you need.
Key Point: It has s sports-grade optical heart rate sensor.
Buy one: $30/month Use code THE5KRUNNER10, on the WHOOP site to get a 10% discount. EU use THE5KRUNNER10EU
Oura Ring v2
Oura targets health and fitness conscious people who are interested in their readiness state and sleep efficiencies
Like Whoop, Oura measures activity and rest to give an estimate of readiness/recovery, and that information feeds into recommendations and insights on future activities like how much sleep you need.
Key Point: The app produces detailed sleep insights but the optical heart rate sensor is not designed to be sports grade.
Buy one from $299 here
Biostrap targets biohackers who are perhaps, in a nice way, obsessed with understanding some of the machinations of their body’s inner workings
Biostrap delivers an impressive amount of information on you and your body activities, including sleep stages. Furthermore, it makes more use of additional external sensors.
Key Point: For a casual health freak, Biostrap might give information overload and be somewhat lacking in TELLING YOU what to do next.
Buy one $180: Biostrap.com 15% discount with code “the5krunner”
The Apple Watch attempts to target very many market segments linked to activity. However it’s standout feature is its technological ‘smartness’. Along with its impressive array of apps, it presents a very, very clever set of solutions. Although, at least it appears to.
The Apple Watch 4/5 is an impressive technical platform upon which a vast array of sports, health, fitness and athletic apps can endeavour to turn you into a ‘better you’.
Key Point: The Apple Watch 4/5 does have sports-grade, onboard sensors. Demanding athletes would bemoan the interface, sleep functions and battery-life…but that’s about it.
The Garmin Vivoactive/Venu-cum-Forerunner
Garmin starts out targetting the athletically-minded and then work their way carefully to cover smarts, health and fitness.
Whilst Apple fails to properly deliver true sporting functionality, Garmin’s products do fulfil ‘sport’ in buckets. Garmin’s Forerunner and Fenix products are generally superior products for wannabe athletes to any other product listed here. The Vivoactive/Venu product is the one that’s getting prettier, smarter and trying to compete with the Apple Watch for the smart, health & fitness crowd.
Key point: Garmin’s sports products are designed to be interacted with by athletes for the required time durations ie they typically have a decent battery. They often lack ‘prettiness’, although the Vivoactive/Venu is starting to address that
Fitbit Ionic / Versa 2
Fitbit generally targets a similar space to that targetted by the Apple Watch, except that Apple got to that space first and generally did it better.
Fitbit does have a rather nice health, fitness and SOCIAL platform and, in my opinion, it doesn’t have enough apps to deliver a rich experience on the wrist, although you will strike it lucky with one or two health and fitness apps.
Key Point: A new Fitbit typically seems to appeal to those who own an older Fitbit. So you’re safe to buy one.