A complete fitness tracker needs to have both a heart rate monitor and GPS tracker. These 10 multi-sports fitness tracker tick all the boxes and are highly rated on the internet.
If you are in the market for a fitness tracker, you would not want anything less than one with a heart rate sensor and GPS tracker built-in. Basic trackers comes in the shape of wrist bands, do not have built-in heart rate monitors or GPS trackers, some do not even have a display. They have sensors to track your steps and sleep, that’s just about it. What you need is a combination of fitness tracker, running watch and smartwatch.
Why Fitness Tracker
But before we dive into our line-up, let’s take a step back to talk about the benefits of a fitness tracker. Besides being able to monitor your workouts, heart rate, runs and keep you posted with notifications from your smartphone, it does motivate you to set and keep up with your daily goals, track your progress, connect with others in the health community, share your achievements that ultimately leads to a healthier and better you. You can say its like a personal coach on your wrist.
Why Choose Fitness Trackers with Heart Rate Monitor and GPS Tracker
Without a heart rate monitor, fitness trackers cannot accurately measure the calories burned or how you push your body during workouts. They merely rely on the movement and steps as well as your age, gender, height and weight which you put into the settings on the companion app to calculate an estimate of the calorie count. Now, with a heart rate sensor, the tracker has better insight to your workouts and is a able to build a more accurate result calorific burn from your sessions.
Now if you are a runner, cyclist or swimmer, you would want a GPS tracker too. Without a GPS tracker, there is not real way to accurately measure your pace against real distance on a map. It goes beyond the basic step counter and offers information like your pace and distance backed by readings from the heart rate sensor. This gives a more detailed observation of the way you run, cycle or swim. You merely need to set your activity mode and off you go. Some advanced trackers can even sense what you do automatically.
So after having presented our case for choosing a fitness tracker with heart rate monitor and GPS tracker, now to pick a right tracker for you. Here is an overview of the trackers in our line-up. While some of the more popular models do not come with GPS tracker, they have what is known as Connected GPS that takes advantage of the GPS on your mobile device combining both data from the tracker and app.
- Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate – HR
- Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch – HR
- Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS – HR, GPS
- Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS – HR, GPS
- Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS – HR, GPS
- Garmin Forerunner 630 GPS – HR, GPS
- Garmin Vivosmart HR+ – HR, GPS
- TomTom Runner 3 GPS – HR, GPS
- TomTom Spark 3 Cardio HR GPS – HR, GPS
- Fitbit Surge – HR, GPS
Let’s dive right in for a closer look.
Slightly wider than your basic sports band and yet offers so much more, the Fitbit Charge 2 with Heart Rate Monitor is a huge step up from the pedometer. The tracker has a minimalist design and comes with an OLED display. The on-board heart rate sensor continuously and automatically track your heart rate to get a better picture of your calorie count. Using the PurePulse app, you can also set different workout zones; fat burn, cardio or peak to push your body to the right level during your workout. Without a GPS tracker means the battery lasts a little longer and you have the option of using it in Connected GPS mode if you take it running or jogging using the GPS on your phone. You will then get real-time stats such as pace and distance for your route but will need to carry your phone with you.
- Display: OLED
- Tracks: sleep monitor with silent wake alarm, personalised Cardio Fitness Score, use connected GPS during run mode for real time stats like pace and distance, track all day activities like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. Guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate for moments of calm. Reminder to move.
- Alerts: Call, Text, Calendar
- Battery: up to 5 days
- Colours: Black, Blue, Plum, Special Edition Gunmetal, Special Edition Lavender Rose Gold, Teal with interchangeable bands
- App: Sync with Fitbit app.
- Sizes: Small (5.5-inch to 6.7-inch) or Large (6.7-inch to 8.1-inch)
Blaze is a much more grown up fitness tracker for those who wants more from their fitness tracker. If the screens on fitness bands are too small for you, then consider Blaze as it comes with a big colour screen. The smart fitness watch is also water resistant but not swim or shower proof. It will withstand sweat, rain or splash. Like the Fitbit Charge 2, it comes with PurePulse for continuous and automatic heart rate reading from your wrist. Again, due to the absence of a GPS tracker, you will need to use it in Connected GPS mode if you wish to take it out for on your run, jog or cycle. You are then able to map your routes and see your run states like pace, distance and duration.
What we like about the Blaze is the FitStar workout. Taking advantage of the big display, it serves up step by step instructions and coaching right from your wrist. There is also SmartTrack that authomatically recognises and record the exercies that you do. With Multi-Sport, choose from a variety of different sport modes like running, biking and cardio for better real-time stats. Finally, with the Fitbit app, you get to set your Workout Goals and check your progress summaries on the watch.
- Display: Colour Screen
- Tracks: Auto sleep tracking with silent alarms, all-day activity tracking including steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes, and get credit for your workouts with Smart Track automatic exercise recognition, reminders to move, multi-faceted clock faces.
- Alerts: Call, Text, Calendar as well as Music Control
- Battery: up to 5 days
- Colours: Black Strap with Silver Case, Blue Strap with Silver Case, Pink Strap with Gold Case, Gun Metal, Plum Strap with Silver Case and Interchangeable accessories.
- App: Sync with Fitbit app.
- Sizes: Small (5.5-inch to 6.7-inch) or Large (6.7-inch to 8.1-inch)
Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS – HR, GPS
Our first in the line-up of fitness tracker with both heart rate sensor and GPS tracker, the Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS has an even bigger display to serve up even more information with tactile buttons for easy navigation. The hear rate sensor tracks your heart rate continuously using Elevate Heart Rate Technology which uses the heart rate data to provide calories burned and quantifies the intensity of your workout. With the onboard GPS tracker, you can leave your phone at home and take the watch on your run, cycling, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, golfing, rowing and paddle boarding. The watch is waterproof with 5ATM rating with the ability to withstand pressure to the depth of 50 meters.
- Display: Colour screen
- Tracks: keep track of steps and floors climbed as well as monitor sleep. It also tracks different activities such as run (with GPS and acceletometer), bike (with GPS, time, distance, speed and calories), golf (download 1 of 40,000 course maps worldwide) or simply track intensity. The on board memory is used to save waypoints, favourites and locations.
- Alerts: Smart Notification (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone). Music Cotrol, Find my Phone and Watch Functions (time, date, calendar and alarm)
- Battery: up to 8 days in smart watch mode with 24/7 heart rate monitoring, 13 hours in GPS mode.
- Colours: Black
- App: Connect IQ online store for more apps, Free custom clock faces
- Sizes: Regular 5.39″ to 7.68″ (137 to 195 mm) or Extra Large
GPS smartwatch with built-in sports apps and wrist-based heart rate.
Here are some of the information that you get straight from the display.
Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS – HR, GPS
The Forerunner 35 has a GPS tracker and heart rate monitor built-in. Using Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology, it monitors your heart rate all day and night. The GPS tracks how far, how fast and where you run. You get your standard connected features with smart notifications (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone), automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking and music controls. The case is slim and lightweight do it does not get in the way of your daily run, training and racing while big enough with clear and easy to read display. Designed for runners, the heart rate monitor and GPS tracks your distance, pace, intervals and more. And, yes it also offers watch function for time, date and alarm. Like other Garmin watches, the Forerunner 35 GPS is waterproof with 5ATM rating, ability to withstand pressure equivalent to a depth of 50 meters.
Here are the colour options and information you get from the display.
- Display: OLED screen
- Tracks: All-day activity tracking1 counts steps, calories and intensity minutes and reminds you when to move. Monitors heart rate. GPS tracks route. Features training tools like intervals, audio prompts and a dedicated run/walk activity. Preloaded sports profiles for running, indoor running, cycling and cardio. It also watches out for periods of inactivity and gives you vibration alerts when it’s time to move.
- Alerts: Smart Notification (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone), music control, vibration alert.
- Battery: up to 9 days in watch mode, up to 13 hours in training mode
- Colours: Black case with different colour straps (black, limelight, frost blue and white).
- App: Uploads to Garmin Connect, free online fitness community to join challenges, receive insights and share progress
- Sizes: 35.5 x 40.7 x 13.3 mm
Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS – HR, GPS
With heart rate sensor and GPS, the Forerunner 235 tracks distance, pace, time, heart rate and more. When connected, you can upload to Garmin Connect the free online fitness community, get smart notification, live tracking, audio prompts and social media sharing. It is also first in our list with a conventional round watch face profile. While it does not have a touch screen, most runners prefer it that way with physical hard buttons. The strap is breathable, lightweight and available in different striking colours.
With Elevate™ heart rate technology² measures heart rate at the wrist 24/7, giving you the option to run without a strap. Its colorful gauge identifies your heart rate zone and beats per minute in real time. Download advanced workouts and training plans to the watch from Garmin Connect and set your own goals. The watch is waterproof with 5ATM rating, ability to withstand pressure equivalent to a depth of 50 meters.
Here are the colour options and information screens on the colour display.
- Display: Colour screen 215 x 180 pixels round
- Tracks: All-day activity tracking counts daily steps, distance, calories and sleep
- Alerts: Smart Notification (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone), music control, vibration alert. Find my phone. Watch functions (time, date and alarm)
- Colours: Black and Gray Silicone Watch, Frost Blue Silicone Watch, Marsala Silicone Watch.
- App: Download data fields, watch faces, widgets and applications from Connect IQ™. Uploads to Garmin Connect, free online fitness community to join challenges, receive insights and share progress.
- Sizes: 1.77″ x 1.77″ x 0.46″ (45.0 x 45.0 x 11.7 mm)
Garmin Forerunner 630 GPS – HR, GPS
Moving on to a higher model but not as high as the flagship Garmin Fenix series, the Garmin Forerunner 630 is an advanced GPS running watch with colour touchscreen display second only to the highest Forerunner 735XT in the series. The touchscreen GPS running watch has a high resolution color display. Advanced running dynamics include ground contact time balance, stride length and vertical ratio. It also features stress score, performance condition and lactate threshold.
Connected features include automatic uploads to Garmin Connect™, live tracking, audio prompts, music controls, smart notifications and social media sharing. You can download data fields, watch faces, widgets and applications from Connect IQ™ for free. The battery last for up to 4 weeks as a watch and activity tracker with notifications or up to 16 hours with training. The watch is also waterproof with water rating of 5ATM. The onboard memory is big enough to hold 200 hours of activity date.
Check out the activity screens on the display.
Garmin Vivosmart HR+ – HR, GPS
The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ continues with the success formula on the Vivosmart HR with added GPS tracker. The smart activity band comes not only with wrist-based heart rate monitor but GPS sensor included all in an affordable and durable design. GPS tracks distance and pace while mapping out your run or walk. The band is also swim friendly and comfortable for all day wearing. The display is also a touchscreen and is visible even in sunlight. The battery last for up to 5 days as a watch and activity tracker with 24/7 heart rate monitoring or up to 8 hours with GPS on. As a tracker, it measures steps, distance, calories, floors climbed, activity intensity and heart rate on your wrist. It does not stop there, you also get a full suite of smart notifications such as email, call, text, social media alerts and more. The smart band automatically syncs with Garmin Connect online where you can join fitness challenges, review data and receive smart coaching.
TomTom Runner 3 GPS – HR, GPS
Even though the name suggests that the TomTom Runner 3 GPS watch is a runner’s companion, it does track all your sports including workouts, run, gym, bike, swim and treadmil. There are even dedicated modes for each of these sports; running, treadmill, cycling, indoor cycling, swimming, gym, freestyle and stopwatch. The watch serves up real time information such as time, distance, speed, pace, calories burned and more while the GPS sensor has a route exploration feature that lets you explore new areas and find your way back with the trail shown on the watch. Given that TomTom is in the satellite navigation business, you can also uplaod new routes to the watch.
Also: TomTom Runner 3 Music
App is essential when considering activity trackers, TomTom Sports App makes sure that you are covered. You can track all sports and activities in one app, with your progress insights and personal best at a glance and plenty more.
With the TomTom Runner 3, you get four different models to choose from, the standard TomTom Runner 3 with GPS, rout exploration, multisport mode and 24/7 tracking. Then there is the TomTom Runner 3 Music + Headphones, with extra storage to carry over 500 songs on the phone. Next up is the TomTom Runner 3 Cardio with a built-in heart rate monitor but without the music player. Finally, the highest model is the TomTom Runner 3 Cardio + Music with both heart rate monitor and music player built-in.
TomTom Spark 3 Cardio HR GPS – HR, GPS
Like the TomTom Spark 3 fitness watch comes in four variety, the most affordable Spark 3, the Spark 3 Music + Headphones, the Spark 3 Cardio and the highest model Spark 3 Cardio + Music. We are not so bothered about music. It simply means you do not need to carry your phone, just use the onboard storage to take over 500 tracks with you on the watch. But, if you need your tunes to keep you motivated, see below. While all Spark 3s have GPS tracker, the Spark 3 Cardio and Spark 3 Cardio + Music are the only ones with built-in heart rate monitor. The Spark 3 series also support multisport mode, route exploration and 24/7 activity tracking.
What is the difference between TomTom Spark 3 and TomTom Runner 3, apparently according to TomTom’s discussion forum, these are virtually the same hardware and software, just the name is difference for marketing purposes.
ALSO: TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music – HR, GPS
Fitbit Surge – HR, GPS
An earlier version of the Blaze, the Fitbit Surge features both PurePulse Heart Rate monitor for continuous and automatic wrist based heart rate monitor and GPS tracking for distance, pace, split times and elevation climbed as well as routes review. It serves as an all-day activity tracker monitoring things like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, hourly activity and staionary time. It also uses SmartTrack + Multi-Sport to track runs, rides and other workouts. When you are ready to rest, it monitors your sleep automatically and set a silent wake alarm. The standard notifications (call and text) and music remote are also available. The watch has an amazing battery life of up to 7 days.
BONUS: Apple Watch Nike+ HR GPS
The Apple Watch Nike+ brings the best of both a smart watch and a fitness tracker. We already know the new generation Apple Watch Series 2 received a brighter screen, heart rate sensor and GPS tracker as well as a waterproof case. Now, with the Nike+ edition, you get access to Nike+ Run Club, their online fitness community. The GPS tracker tracks your pace, distance and route with our without your iPhone, while the case is water resistant up to 50 meters. The difference between the standard Apple Watch and the Nike+ is the durable, breathable and lightweight Nike Sport Band. The Nike+ variety also has more Nike branding on the watch including special to Nike only clock faces and tracker styled informational displays. The colours available are bold, on the fluoroelastomer material used.
Like we said, the advantage of the Nike+ is in its app and the online fitness community it calls Nike+ Run Club. The app offers motivation and the online service offers motivation, expert guidance and the ability for you to track progress easily on the screen. You also get reminders triggered by your peers, the current weather and your history. With Nike+ Run Club, you can even set your run schedule so don’t miss any. With the Apple Watch Nike+, its all about running.
BONUS: Garmin Fenix 3 HR – HR GPS
Garmin Fenix 3 HR Sapphire is a flagship multi-sports athletes watch for runners, cyclists, swimmers, climbers, hikers, skiers, paddlers and more. The Garmin fenix 3 HR is gray with a black band. As with all Garmin fitness smart watch it comes with elevate wrist heart rate monitoring, which enables you to track your heart rate data without having to wear a chest strap as well as more accurately calculate your calories burned and monitor fitness intensity.
For enhanced location and distance accuracy, the fenix 3 HR is equipped with an omni-directional stainless steel EXO antenna with GPS and GLONASS reception. The fenix 3 connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth Smart, allowing it to transfer its stored data to the phone and to receive notifications, text messages, and emails while on the go. It also functions as an activity tracker, silently logging your steps and encouraging you to get moving after an extended period of inactivity. When it’s time to rest after a long day of exercise, your fenix 3 will monitor your sleep and record periods of restful sleep or movement.
ALSO: Garmin Fenix 5X – HR GPS
The latest in the Garmin Fenix range is the Fenix 5X that brings sophistication and technology under one package. It is the ultimate multisport GPS watch with full colour screen. The body of the watch is rugged with stainless steel bexel, buttons and rear case. The watch comes with built-in GPS and GLONASS capabilities for navigation. It also has a 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter built-in for exact reading of your environment. Connected features include smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online fitness community and personalization through free watch faces and apps from our Connect IQ store.