Guidemaster: Fitness trackers to consider before buying a smartwatch

Guidemaster: Fitness trackers to consider before buying a smartwatch

Enlarge / A different band can change the entire look of the Inspire HR. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Update: Our Fitness Tracker Guidemaster was originally published in January 2018, but we’ve been testing new devices to prepare for the beaches and pools of summer 2019. Our recommendations now include some of the best and newest devices available in 2019.

The smartwatch hasn’t swallowed up the fitness tracker yet. While many consumers are intrigued by the Apple Watch, Android Wear devices, and the like, old-school fitness trackers can still be useful and available for the right price. The main goal of these devices remains simply tracking activity: from daily movement to intense exercise to steps, heart rate, and sleep. Most of today’s fitness trackers haven’t changed much aesthetically, either. They’re still, by and large, wristbands.

Most modern fitness trackers are meant to be worn all day long. And many now have basic

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Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: New features, better price, few sacrifices

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: New features, better price, few sacrifices

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Runners have a lot to be excited about when it comes to Garmin’s revamped family of Forerunner smartwatches. Now starting at $199, the Forerunner family contains six devices that should serve all levels of runner—from novice to expert. The $299 Forerunner 245 and 245 Music sit right in the middle of the lineup, taking design elements from the friendlier Vivoactive series and capabilities from the higher-end Forerunner devices and mashing them up to make a mid-range device that will likely appeal to many athletes. Its price and feature set also prep the Forerunner 245 Music to compete with the Apple Watch and Fitbit’s Ionic.

But even if Garmin somewhat simplified the Forerunner family in its latest update, picking the best device for your needs and budget still takes a bit of deciphering. By nature of it sitting in the middle, the Forerunner 245 duo begs

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Garmin revamps entire Forerunner family, new smartwatches start at $199

Garmin revamps entire Forerunner family, new smartwatches start at $199

Garmin has been slowly updating its smartwatches and fitness trackers over the past few years, and 2019 appears to be the year of the Forerunner. Today, Garmin announced three new types of Forerunner smartwatches—the Forerunner 45 and 45S, the Forerunner 245 and 245 Music, and the Forerunner 945—that will replace all but one of its existing Forerunner lineup. The remaining device is the $449 Forerunner 645 Music, which came out about one year ago and was the first of Garmin’s wearables to have onboard music storage.

The new devices that make up the new lineup have slightly new designs and many new features. However, Garmin’s naming system doesn’t really help differentiate one smartwatch from another, so we’ll break down the devices here. The most affordable of the bunch are the Forerunner 45 and 45S, both of which start at

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