Here’s where to go for the best prices on models from Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin
By Alan St. John
If you’re looking for the proverbial gift that keeps on giving all year round, consider a smartwatch or fitness tracker.
Today’s models are great at collecting basic exercise information like heart rate and step count. And trackers are increasingly adding features like sleep tracking, stress monitoring, and even EKG monitoring that make them useful outside of the gym.
Smartwatches take things a step further by letting you take phone calls and reply to emails, Dick Tracy-style, and providing more functionality with additional apps. Apple and Samsung have new models, which can mean good deals on outgoing models that still work great.
While there will be more deals in the weeks leading up to Black Friday 2022, there are still some great deals available right now. Looking for deals on other appliances, home and kitchen products and more? We’ll also be keeping track of all the best early Black Friday deals in these categories, so be sure to bookmark our deals hub and check back often.
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Apple Watch Series 7 GPS (45mm)
The Apple Watch Series 7 looks almost identical to the new Series 8, making it a very attractive purchase. The 7, which was introduced last year, has most of the important features of the 8s, including a blood oxygen sensor and an ECG function designed to detect abnormal heart rhythms. The Series 7 lacks temperature sensors to predict ovulation retrospectively and G-force sensors that can detect a car crash, although it can still detect a fall while walking, running or cycling. The Series 7 features some great case colors, notably Dark British Racing Green and Navy Blue, which aren’t available with the Series.8. In our testing, the Series 7 actually scored slightly higher than the Series 8 in terms of step count and heart rate accuracy, though the differences are so small that you probably won’t notice them in real-world use.
Why it’s a good deal: At more than $100 less than the completely identical new Apple Watch Series 8, last year’s Series 7s is a great buy.
Apple Watch SE (40mm) GPS
Apple introduced an updated version of its high-value Watch SE in September, sparking a series of solid deals on the first-generation Watch SE. The first-generation SE uses a less powerful processor than the new model, but it packs most of the features that make the SE one of our top-rated smartwatches. The main difference between the previous generation SE and the Apple Watch Series 8 is that it lacks a blood oxygen sensor that helps increase the accuracy of sleep tracking, as well as a temperature sensor that can provide retroactive ovulation estimates. The previous-generation SE also lacks a high-speed g-force sensor that can sense if you’ve been in a car crash, a feature found in the latest SE, which starts at $249. But on your wrist, the first-gen SE is almost identical to the new SE or even the Series 8.
Why it’s a great deal: Breaking the $200 price barrier, the first-generation Watch SE has many important features and is an affordable entry into the Apple Watch world.
Fitbit Versa 3
If you’re looking for an all-around smartwatch under $200, the Fitbit Versa 3 might be a good option. It has built-in GPS that lets you run or ride without taking your smartphone with you, plus a blood oxygen sensor that enhances its sleep-tracking capabilities. It also has a microphone and speaker that allow you to take calls via a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. Our testers found the Versa 3 to be a solid performer for step counting and heart rate tracking, and easy to pair with a smartphone.
Why it’s a good deal: This model has been on sale since Prime Day, but just dropped an extra $10 or so.
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 (44mm)
The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 has a bright 1.3-inch AMOLED display that can display a variety of interesting watch faces. The model has a microphone and speaker for making phone calls. It offers a solid array of health and fitness options, including a blood oxygen sensor, ECG monitoring (which can detect heart rhythm irregularities), and even a sensor that claims to measure body fat. It works best if you have a Samsung Android phone because this gives you access to all Samsung Health features.
Why it’s a good deal: This is the standard selling price and we haven’t seen it go much lower.
The lightweight and stylish Fitbit Luxe looks more like a piece of jewelry than a regular fitness tracker, and it does a good job of basic functions. The device earns high marks for both ease of use and step counting, and includes the stress-tracking features found in the more expensive Sense smartwatch. However, it’s not as good as other models when it comes to heart rate tracking. And the small screen can be difficult to read, especially for people who have trouble seeing up close.
Why it’s a good deal: That’s a great deal on a slim, discreet fitness tracker.
Fitbit Inspire 2
The Fitbit Inspire 2 fitness tracker has been on sale since mid-April, but the price keeps dropping. It’s now just $7 more than the lowest we’ve seen all year. It gets top marks from our testers for step count and heart rate accuracy, and earns a spot among the best fitness trackers for its ease of use, pairing, and low-light readability. The Inspire 2 also has a very generous claimed battery life of 10 days (we didn’t test this feature) and built-in GPS, a feature not found in many other fitness trackers.
Why it’s a good deal: It’s now the lowest we’ve seen all year.
Garmin Forerunner 35
Although technically a fitness tracker, this model offers a watch-like feel. You get a 1.3-inch monochrome display that shows your step count and heart rate. The Forerunner 35 has built-in GPS and a claimed battery life of nine days, and we found in our tests that it lived up to its 164-foot water resistance claim. CR testers give the fitness tracker top marks for heart rate tracking and step count accuracy, as well as ease of use.
Why it’s a good deal: While we’ve seen this drop to around $100 before, it’s still a solid deal for a reliable tracker.
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