PER­FOR­MANCE

Which watch is re­ally go­ing to help you beat your times and feel fit­ter?

T3 India - - Gps Sports Watches -

The Ionic breaks your nights down into deep, light and REM sleep

With its ex­ten­sive pedi­gree in nav­i­ga­tional de­vices, Garmin should be pretty good at track­ing… and it is. The 645 pro­vides bench­mark accuracy for GPS track­ing of runs and cy­cles, and crunches a lot of data based on your car­dio­vas­cu­lar ef­forts. It can sug­gest re­cov­ery times, es­ti­mate your VO2 Max, tell you how op­ti­mal your train­ing load is and much more.

For ac­tiv­ity track­ing – the en­try-level stuff Garmin has been be­hind on pre­vi­ously – it also ex­cels. Use­fully, the 645 counts and sets tar­gets for your ‘in­ten­sity min­utes’ – the amount of time spent do­ing some­thing more ex­ert­ing than walk­ing to the shops. And it’s at­trac­tive enough that you hap­pily wear it all day, from the of­fice to the (juice) bar.

The Ionic’s HR mon­i­tor can be a bit odd. It seems ac­cu­rate dur­ing in­tense ac­tiv­ity, but er­ratic at lower lev­els of ex­er­tion. For gen­eral track­ing and rest­ing/ av­er­age heart-rate and work­outs in the higher car­dio/ thresh­old/in­tense zones, the watch is good. It’s just the area in be­tween where things go a bit zany. A fur­ther fail­ing of the Ionic is that al­though it shows your heart rate when you work out, it doesn’t show what zone you’re in, so you have to re­mem­ber where each one be­gins or ends.

For op­ti­mal train­ing, you need rest and re­cov­ery, and the Ionic mon­i­tors not just your hours of sleep but also the qual­ity, ac­cord­ing to your heart rate ac­tiv­ity and move­ments. It then breaks your night down into deep, light and REM sleep, which is pretty ad­vanced.

Like Garmin, the Ap­ple Watch en­cour­ages you to meet a min­i­mum num­ber of min­utes of ex­er­cise each day (which could be vig­or­ous walk­ing or a work­out). In the Work­outs app, you get con­tin­u­ous heart-rate mon­i­tor­ing once you’ve told it you’re start­ing an ac­tiv­ity, though the wrist-based mon­i­tor­ing seemed less ac­cu­rate than the Garmin. Frus­trat­ingly, it took 2-3 min­utes to de­tect a HR strap pre-work­out for more ac­cu­rate track­ing, which eats into your ac­tiv­ity time. The GPS was also slower than the other watches.

AP­PLE WATCH

GARMIN MU­SIC 645

FIT­BIT ICONIC

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