Growing demand for high-end technology solutions and increasing health awareness are driving the demand for fitness watches
by S BIRRUNTHA
TECHNOLOGY has taken over the health devices industry and fitness watches or fitness trackers today allow the wearer to track his or her general well-being.
According to research house Market Research Future (MRF), the global fitness watch market is highly competitive with the presence of several large vendors.
The market segment is expected to be worth US$15.9 billion (RM66 billion) by the end of 2023 with a 13% compound annual growth rate during the forecast period of 2017 to 2023.
Some of the key players in this market include Apple Inc, Fitbit Inc, Samsung, Nike Inc, Adidas AG, Casio Computer Co Ltd, Garmin Ltd, Xiaomi Corp and Nokia Corp among others. MRF noted that growing demand for high-end technology solutions and increasing health awareness are driving the demand for fitness watches.
“Factors such as user-friendly devices and rising popularity towards smart gadgets are expected to boost the fitness watch market over the forecast period,” it stated.
Looking for a fitness tracker may leave people feeling puzzled as each may come with different features, hence it is important to get the right one based on one’s need.
Fitness watches are designed to monitor people’s activity, as well as their overall health. Most of the devices in the market can track calories, workouts, heart rate, sleep patterns and stress.
According to tech website Digital Trends, each fitness tracker band generally consists of eight different sensors, which are working simultaneously to deliver the most accurate information to users.
The eight sensors include accelerometers, global positioning system (GPS), optical heart-rate monitors, galvanic skin response sensors, thermometers, ambient light sensors, ultraviolet sensors and bioimpedance sensors.
People who exercise daily or those who are looking to start adding some more activities to their routine will find a fitness watch the perfect gadget.
Therefore, it is very important to think about the utility of the fitness tracker before purchasing one.
For instance, outdoor runners, joggers and cyclists will get more use out of a device with built-in GPS connectivity.
Users who are looking to measure the basics wellbeing such as steps and burned calories might not need to splurge on an advanced model.
As a guide, The Malaysian Reserve has compiled a few models that are highly recommended by users on e-commerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee.
Huawei Band 5
This is an ultimate fitness band that boasts an AMOLED touch display, stylish clock features, 24/7 heart rate monitor, multiple fitness modes and a sleep monitor.
It is equipped with up to 14 days of battery life, has a touch display that shows colour-coded text and call icons for quick and easy communication.
The Huawei Band 5 is water- resistant and swim-proof, so users can wear it in the shower or the pool. For swimming activity, it records the speed, distance and calories, as well as the score.
Another distinct feature of Huawei Band 5 is the SpO2 Monitor which tracks oxygen saturation levels in the bloodstream, so users can assess how their body is adapting during workouts or at high altitudes.
It also has a Huawei phone finder function which locates it instantly. Users can preview messages and reminders or take selfies and group photos conveniently by simply raising their wrists. The Huawei Band 5 retails for RM110 on Lazada and Shopee, as well as on its official website.
Samsung Galaxy Fit E
The Samsung Galaxy Fit features a compact and simplified display, so users can view all their essential fitness information clearly whenever they need it with just a flick of the wrist.
The watch has 13 days of battery life and a swim-proof design with military-level durability standards.
Users can easily track their activity status and receive notifications without losing connection with their smartphone.
With the Auto Workout Tracking feature, the device automatically detects three activities, which are walking, running and dynamic workout.
The Auto Sleep Tracking feature analyses users sleeping patterns throughout three stages by detecting the movement of their body as they sleep. It also sends the user’s heart rate to their phone when they begin an activity through the Samsung Health app, so they can easily check and monitor their status.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit E is available on Lazada or Samsung Malaysia’s official website at a price of RM139.
Xiaomi Smart Band 4
Designed with a full-colour AMOLED touch display, this fitness watch is compatible with all Xiaomi phones and users can view calls, texts and app notifications.
It is equipped with a strong battery life; a single charge lasts up to 20 days. It can monitor daily heart rate, swimming activity as well as sleeping habits.
For those who love water sports, please note that it is 5 ATM water- resistant up to 50m. This watch suits swimmers who would like to track their performance as it recognises five different swim styles and records 12 data sets, including swimming pace and stroke count. The Mi Fit App installed is able to store health data and assist with body shaping and fat reduction.
It has a Wristband Alarm feature, where it wakes the user with a light and gentle vibration.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 4 supports multi-language options and operates with a system requirement of Android 4.4, IOS 9 and above. The Xiaomi Smart Band 4 retails at Lazada for RM149.
Fitbit Charge 3
The Fitbit range of fitness watches is considered the most advanced health tracker in the market. Last week, Google Inc bought the fitness wearable company for US$2.1 billion.
Like all other devices, the Fitbit watch is designed with a daily heart monitor, sleep tracker, swim-proof and smartphone notifications.
With a seven-day battery life, the device is durable and lightweight with a large, back-lit display that automatically adjusts to lighting conditions.
It is equipped with a female health tracking feature that is able to track menstrual cycles and record symptoms, estimate ovulation and fertility windows.
The Fitbit Charge 3 also includes the Fitbit Pay feature which enables users to add their cards to the Fitbit app, then use the feature to make easy, secure payments on-the-go.
Available in two colours, black and graphite aluminium, the Fitbit Charge 3 retails for a price of RM575 on Lazada.
Garmin Forerunner 235
The Garmin ForeRunner 235 is one of the best fitness running watches that boast a precise GPS, heart rate monitor and a pedometer. It has a built-in accelerometer that captures distance and pace data when you’re running on an indoor track or treadmill.
Its connected features include live tracking, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, audio prompts, smart notifications and social media sharing.
The Garmin Forerunner 235 has a nine-day battery life and 200 hours of memory data.
The 1.23-inch LCD screen provides a clear display with sensors on the bottom of the watch to monitor the heart rate.
In terms of design, it has a circular display and the watch includes a physical button on its side, with a silicone strap.
According to users, the watch may not look so good for casual attire, but it looks amazing to be worn during fitness and gym routine, as it looks more like a sports watch.
The watch is available on Lazada for RM840.