Top 5 Apple Watches for Workout Tracking in 2024, Tried and Reviewed
5 Top Apple Watches for Tracking Your Workouts in 2024, Tested
smartwatch, but there’s plenty of other reasons why you’ll see it peeking out from shirts and jacket sleeves on your morning commute.
The best Apple Watches are also pretty great at tracking your exercise and, in a lot of ways, they do it better than many other dedicated sports watches. They’re excellent at tracking runs, swims and workouts – and for everything else, there’s usually an app for that.
For a long time there was just one Apple Watch you could pick from, but over the past few years that’s changed. There’s now more models, new editions, different sizes, and while they all run on the same watchOS software, they don’t necessarily all serve up the same fitness tracking experience.
If you’re sold on an Apple Watch to join you for your indoor and outdoor workouts, we break down the key things to look for when buying one, plus the best for tracking your fitness in 2024.
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Before we get into the best Apple watches for tracking your fitness in 2024, here’s a few things to consider when buying one.
As you probably already know, the Apple Watch is only compatible with iPhones. What you may not be aware of is that you also need an iPhone that’s able to run and update to the required software needed to pair each watch to your device.
The newer watches, like the Ultra 2, for example, are only compatible with iPhone models that are capable of running the very latest version of Apple’s iOS software – iOS 17.
So, before spending big on a new watch, make sure your iPhone is both capable of updating to the latest software and has enough storage left on the device to do so.
All Apple Watches run the same software in order to deliver a familiar and consistent tracking experience. Where they differ is with the sensors and the components they pack.
For instance, if you care about heart rate tracking, you’ll want to grab an Apple Watch with the latest generation heart rate monitor. You might also want to think about case sizing too, because fit is as important as the sensor technology when it comes to getting the most reliable results.
If you care about the very best accuracy when tracking exercise outside, then pay attention to the GPS sensor. The Apple Watch Ultra, for example, has the latest generation dual-band GPS technology and will appeal to those who might be planning to tackle events with a Watch and therefore need the best available accuracy support.
Charging and Battery Life
Bottom line: no Apple Watch models are equipped to last for weeks or months away from a charger.
The arrival of the Apple Watch Ultra has seen an improvement in battery numbers for the first time – so if you want the Apple smartwatch with the best battery life, it’s the Ultra you want.
Each Apple iteration does pack in new components that help to make it run more efficiently and while Apple will state the typical battery life you should enjoy, it may perform better or worse depending on the features that you use the most.
The newer models are the best equipped to last a long marathon, but in general you will need to keep a close eye on the battery status screen compared to other smartwatches.
You Don’t Have to Go for the Latest Watch
Don’t rule out looking at older Apple Watches. You could feasibly go back a few generations, because while the hardware may have changed or been tweaked, they’ll often still be compatible with Apple’s watchOS software updates, which unlocks software features that are introduced on newer models.
If you want to hold on to your Apple Watch for a while, you probably don’t want to go more than one generation back. Apple does a good job of making sure its software updates can roll back to older watches, but the required power and components may prevent older versions from getting the new updates if you decide to go for something much older.