The 3 best wearables to buy right now

In the market for a new activity tracker? Fitbit's Charge 2 and Alta HR and the Apple Watch Series 2 earn the highest ratings from a variety of review sites we checked.

fitbit charge 2 heart rate fitness

Sad to say, movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t cover tech products. So how can you figure out which wearables are the most highly rated overall?

I checked out six review websites. Factoring in my own impressions, here are the top three-rated wearables to buy right now.

Fitbit Charge 2 ($150)

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. For most people (meaning, people serious about improving their health but not serious marathoners), there’s no better wearable available.

Not every reviewer agrees with me. But Charge 2 ranks consistently among the top in most review roundups, nonetheless.

CNET: Charge 2 received an 8.2 overall score, the second highest rated wearable, just behind Alta HR.

PC Mag: Charge 2 is rated slightly below Fitbit’s Surge, at 4.5 stars. Like Surge, it earned an Editor’s Choice.

Wareable named Charge 2 its “best general fitness tracker.”

Consumer Reports gave Charge 2 an overall score of 83, its fifth highest ranking for wearables.

Reviews.com named Charge 2 the “best heart rate monitoring fitness tracker.”

Forbes didn’t include Charge 2 among its top wearables and fitness gadgets.

Fitbit Alta HR ($150)

Fitbit’s ultra-slim, stylish band with heart rate monitoring is my second-favorite Fitbit. Here’s how others ranked it:

CNET: With an 8.4 overall score, Alta HR is this site’s top pick.

PC Mag gave Alta HR a four-star rating, which is solid, but no editor’s choice award.

Wareable named Alta HR its “best for style” tracker choice.

Consumer Reports: As of this writing, the magazine hasn’t reviewed Alta HR.

Reviews.com didn’t list Alta HR among its top wearables.

Forbes named Alta HR among its best wearables of 2017.

Apple Watch Series 2 ($369)

I wear an Apple Watch Nike+ Series 2 smartwatch and a Fitbit every day because, well, I’m obsessed with both.

CNET ranks Apple Watch Series 2 as its third-best wearable, behind Fitbit Alta HR and Fitbit Charge 2.

PC Mag gave Apple Watch Nike+ four stars, no editor’s choice.

Wareable ranks smartwatches separately from fitness trackers but named Apple Watch Series 2 its best smartwatch of 2017.

Consumer Reports also ranks smartwatches separately and also gave Apple Watch Series 2 its highest category rating with an 89 score.

Reviews.com hasn’t reviewed smartwatches.

Forbes named Apple Watch Series 2 among its favorite 2017 wearables.

Apple Watch Series 2 Apple

Another way to slice the ratings

Here’s a quick summary of each review site’s top wearables.

CNET: Alta HR, Charge 2, Apple Watch Series 2, Garmin Vivomove, Garmin Forerunner 235, Huawei Watch.

PC Mag: Fitbit Surge, Charge 2, Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Misfit Flash Link (all editor’s choice winners), and Apple Watch Nike+ and Fitbit Alta HR.

Wareable fitness trackers: Garmin Vivosmart HR+ (best fitness tracker), Charge 2 (best general fitness tracker), Garmin Vivosmart 3 (best for wellness), Withings Steel HR (best for heart rate tracking), Misfit Ray (best for simplicity), Alta HR (best for style), Misfit Shine 2 (best for stroller-pushing parents), Moov Now (best for getting in shape), Xiaomi Mi Band 2 (best for a tight budget), TomTom Touch (best for losing weight), Garmin Vivoactive HR (best for multisports), Samsung Gear Fit2 (best for screen quality), and Skagen Hagen Connected (best for style).

Wareable smartwatches: Apple Watch Series 2 (best smartwatch), LG Watch Sport (best Android Wear smartwatch), Garmin Vivoactive HR (best for sporty types), Samsung Gear S3 (best for Samsung users), Polar M600 (best for runners), Withings Steel HR (best hybrid), Pebble 2 (best for budget/battery life), Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 (best money-no-object smartwatch).

Consumer Reports fitness trackers: Fitbit Surge, TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, Garmin Forerunner 35, TomTom Spark Cardio + Music, Fitbit Charge 2, Garmin Vivosmart HR, Fitbit Blaze.

Consumer Reports smartwatches: Apple Watch variations took the top five slots, followed by Samsung Gear S2 Classic.

Reviews.com: Garmin Vivofit 3 (best fitness tracker under $100), Charge 2 (best heart rate monitoring tracker), Garmin Vivosmart HR+ (best heart rate monitoring and GPS fitness tracker).

Forbes: Withings Steel HR, Alta HR, TomTom Spark 3, Wahoo Fitness Elemnt, Apple Watch Series 2.  

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