Best all-rounder: Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2), from £789.99

This model is great for viewing stats on the fly, offering the same feature set as the brand’s Fenix 7 Pro model but with an easy-to-navigate AMOLED display. The one downside is a shorter battery life (around five days with regular use), but the GPS signal locks on almost instantly and there’s integrated detailed mapping for exploring new routes. The watch also has a very accurate heart-rate sensor. From £789.99;

Best affordable running watch: Coros Pace 3 

Coros Pace 3, £219

A good choice for runners and sports-specific users, this design is armed with all the essentials, minus superfluous extras that keep price, weight and bulk to a minimum. Weighing just 39g including the strap, it sits comfortably on the wrist, and has two buttons for navigation with simple menu scrolling. The watch is equipped with an effectual dual-frequency GPS (reliable even in built-up areas) with a fantastic battery life of up to 38 hours in GPS mode. There’s also a very accurate heart-rate monitor. From £219;

Best for aspiring athletes: WHOOP

The WHOOP Strap 4.0 in white and gold

The WHOOP Strap 4.0 in white and gold

The watch comes free with a subscription to the WHOOP app

The tracker comes free with a subscription to the WHOOP app

Forget step-counting, GPS or smartwatch features, this device tracks strain (aka workouts) via its heart-rate monitor and balances this against sleep and recovery (largely based on heart-rate variability) to indicate training readiness. It’s a good option for serious athletes with a busy weekly training schedule, helping to determine whether they should be working out more or less. Opt for the HydroKnit band if you sweat a lot during workouts, as it’s less absorbent than the standard band. £229 for a 12-month membership;

Best all-round lifestyle tracker: Fitbit Charge 6

Fitbit Charge 6, £139.99

An impressive tracker for the price, which comes with multiple features: including integrated GPS, heart-rate monitor, oxygen saturation and ECG. Combined with a slick Fitbit mobile app, it’s a good choice for users who are more focused on lifestyle metrics such as steps, sleep and calories exerted. It can also broadcast heart rate via Bluetooth – which is useful if you use the Peloton, NordicTrack or similar fitness apps. Switch the “always on” display off, and this watch will give you around a week of wear, even with fairly regular use of all its features. £139.99;

Best for health tracking: Withings ScanWatch Nova

Withings ScanWatch Nova, £599.95

With dive watch-style aesthetics – from a ceramic and stainless steel rotating bezel and oyster metal bracelet to luminous physical hands and anti-reflection sapphire glass – this is a slicker alternative to the black digital displays and silicone straps of most trackers. It’s also loaded with sensors, including a medically certified ECG sensor, body temperature and blood oxygen sensor. It lacks an inbuilt GPS, but has step-counting with a 30-day battery life. €599.95; 

Best affordable AMOLED running watch: Garmin Forerunner 165

Garmin Forerunner 165, £249.99

This is the most affordable model in the brand’s stable with an AMOLED screen, but it benefits from nearly all of the brand’s running metrics – making it a great option for runners on a budget. The five-button navigation and responsive touchscreen make for easy menu use. Wellness is well covered, with features such as sleep tracking, steps and oxygen saturation. It has a decent battery life (19 hours with GPS), and although the single-frequency GPS takes a few seconds longer to latch onto satellites than top-spec models, it is a worthy sacrifice for the price. £249.99;

Best optical heart rate monitor: Polar Verity Sense

Polar Verity Sense, £86.50

Heart rate is the single most important measure when it comes to workout intensity, so if you are on a budget and this is all you need, this monitor will do the job well. The comfortable arm optical heart-rate sensor – which is charged via USB with a 30-hour battery life – is fantastic, and the internal memory stores data to download and analyse later. £86.50;

Best-value outdoors all-rounder: Suunto Race 

Suunto Race, £389

Sturdily built to withstand everyday wear – despite sitting very comfortably on the wrist with a supple silicone strap – this 1.4in AMOLED touchscreen has detailed offline maps and navigation functionality along with a minimum 40-hour battery life, even when set to maximum GPS accuracy, and up to 120 hours in Tour Mode. It lacks broadcast heart-rate mode, so won’t pair with cardio gym equipment, and is best for outdoor users. The improved menu scrolling is far better than previous models by the brand, and is easy to navigate. £389;

Best fitness smartwatch: Apple Watch Ultra 2

Apple Watch Ultra 2, £799

With a titanium case (now made from 95 per cent recycled titanium), orange action button and rotating crown, this watch has a fresher style than most activity trackers. In addition to normal watch functions, it is armed with all the fitness- and health-tracking features one would expect, including integrated GPS, ECG, auto-diving feature. It’s also smart: open the “workout app” on a running track and it automatically knows you’re at a track and will ask what lane you’ll be running in. Plus it has benefits for the less athletic, including fall and crash detection (a godsend for the accident-prone or elderly, which I can personally vouch for!). It also stacks up well for GPS accuracy even in high-rise urban environments. The downside is the limited battery life – realistically no more than three days in low power mode with regular use. £799;

Best ring: Oura Ring

Oura Ring, from $299

The most discreet of all trackers, this ring has 15 sensors – including heart rate, steps, skin temperature and SpO2 – which provide an overall assessment of readiness, sleep and activity. The headline stat shows calories burnt, which means it’s not ideal for serious athletes – I would only use it alongside a GPS watch. But for those who want to leave their wrist digital-watch free while monitoring metrics, it fits the bill. From $299;

Best rugged model: G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000-9ER

G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000-9ER, £449

This watch competes on its huge battery life (fortified with integrated solar charging in the screen, it provides weeks of use even with its “always on” screen) and near-indestructible build. It features GPS and an integrated heart-rate monitor, but has more basic sleep tracking and steps, which means it will appeal more to the casual fitness user who is looking for a tough, durable workhorse. £449;

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