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2016 Holiday Gear Guide: Tech

This season’s latest watches are greater than ever, with more features, greater interconnectivity and easier functionality.


The original fitness heart rate monitoring company ups its game with an affordable watch offering GPS, optical wrist heart rate, activity and sleep quality tracking. In addition to run essentials and a six-hour GPS and HR battery life, it also includes phone notification and inactivity vibration alerts as well as access to Polar Flow’s training data, plans and Smart Coaching features.


The new run-focused Forerunner 35 has a fresh, stylish small-wrist-friendly design and comes in fun colors. It features Elevate 24/7 wrist heart rate monitoring, a solid intervals mode and a full suite of phone connectivity features with vibration alerts. The new, high-resolution, high-contrast display with big, bold digits is the most readable we’ve seen this year.

$549–$599 (with chest HR sensor),

The tri-focused Spartan Sport features Suunto’s new and very intuitive color touch screen, backed up by 3 well-placed buttons. Multiple data fields are easily visible in workout mode. Perfectly suitable for serious après run wear, its colorways complement the selection of beautiful, crisp, analog and digital watch faces.

$369 38mm, $399 42mm,

The second edition Apple Watch goes phone free, if you choose, with on-board GPS, full waterproofing, a sophisticated swim mode and a 2X brighter screen to go along with the original’s wrist HR monitoring, phone-free music player, Siri control and thousands of watch apps. The Nike+ edition Volt yellow and black Sport Band (watch and band also available in other exclusive Nike colors) cleverly coordinates with the large font, high contrast Nike+Run Club app’s data display and custom Nike+ watch faces—enhancing readability in bright sunlight.


The Adventurer is TomTom’s first mountain-focused multisport watch. It is thinner, smaller and lighter than most mountain-focused watches. Along with GPS, wrist heart rate sensing, and phone-free music player it includes a barometric altimeter for vertical accuracy, a compass, route following navigation and back-to-start capabilities. Skiing and snowboarding ready, it will detect when you get on a lift, count runs, tab total descent, maximum speed and the gradient. It even has a SUP workout mode.


The SF-110 includes GPS, 10 hour battery life, Bluetooth synching to its app, basic activity monitoring, 50-meter water resistance, auto pause, pace target alerts, heart rate strap pairing and more in a small, rugged package at a great price.


The No. 1 selling tracker’s screen gets four times bigger in this new model. Its modular design offers many ways to personalize your style and look. Comfortable, light and with a very comprehensive yet simple app, it will never leave your wrist. Under the hood, the Charge connects to your phone to track runs with GPS, with run stats on its screen, albeit, currently, without a pause or auto-pause. New cardio and fitness features include a VO2 max estimate, resting heart rate trends, automatic all-day activity/sleep tracking and PurePulse heart rate sensing, SmartTrack multisport detection as well as guided, HR based Relax breathing sessions.


This tiny band blends 24/7 wrist heart rate monitoring, activity and sleep tracking, phone notifications with a very capable, phone-free GPS run mode. It has an eight-hour GPS run mode and five-day all-day wear with 24/7 heart rate monitoring.


This sophisticated form and biomechanics system captures and displays or calls out a wealth of user-selectable data, including power, from its two small sensor pods (chest and foot). The app (required to use the pods) features reasonably attainable, live, in-run audio coaching during optional technical focus runs based on its analysis of key areas for improvement, followed up by after-run exercises based on the Coach’s Report. The pods can be shared in the family on separate accounts.

$59 Smart Bottle, $79 Scale,

The Smart Bottle is a beautiful, insulated stainless steel bottle with a phone-app-connected sensor cap that measures what you drink and helps you stay hydrated. The app also keeps track of actual activity (linking to several platforms or the Styr Tracker) as well as your body’s water content if measured by the scale. The app adjusts your hydration goals and notifies you via the cap screen of where you stand, taking into consideration past activities and future pre-planned activities as well as humidity and temperature. It will detect when you have been on a plane flight, and, through geo-fencing, remind you to log workouts and hydrate when you have been at one of 55,000 health and fitness clubs. A carefully designed electrolyte mix is available, making the suggestions even more accurate.


This small pod clips to the back of your shorts. Focused on the core, hips and pelvis, Lumo will learn your run form and then give you clever, real-time actionable audio tips to achieve specific metrics improvement goals for each run. It can also be configured for distance or time-based audio feedback, or run standalone for later synching. After the run it will suggest targeted exercises, complete with video demonstrations, based on your results.


Stryd is a tiny pod that clips to your laces. An array of sensors and algorithms determine your running power from multiple metrics. It displays your Form Power by taking out the effects of pace and incline to get at the portion of exertion influenced by form, your muscles and tendons. Five free training plans and a selection of plyometric exercises are included.