Reviews - January 30, 2024

5 Best Apple Watches for Workout Tracking in 2024, Tested

5 Best Apple Watches for Workout Tracking in 2024, Tested

Learn more: Best Garmin Watches for All Training Types

Things to Consider When Buying an Apple Watch

Before you get into the best training, here are some things to consider when buying an Apple Watch for health tracking in 2024:


As you probably already know, Apple Watch is only compatible with iPhone. What you may not realize is that you’ll also need an iPhone to run and update the necessary software needed to pair each watch to your device.

Newer watches like the Ultra 2 are only compatible with iPhone models, for example, that can run iOS 17, the latest version of Apple’s iOS software.

So before you spend big bucks on a new watch, make sure your iPhone supports both. Update to the latest software and have enough storage left on your device to perform updates.


Both Apple Watches run the same software to provide a familiar and consistent tracking experience. The differences lie in the sensors and packaging components.

For example, if you are interested in tracking your heart rate, you might want to get an Apple Watch with the latest features. 3rd generation heart rate monitor. You may also want to consider case size, as fit is as important as sensor technology for the most reliable results.

If you’re interested in the best part – the highest accuracy when tracking your workouts outdoors – pay attention to the GPS sensor. For example, the Apple Watch Ultra features the latest generation of dual-band GPS technology and will appeal to people who plan to process events with the Watch and therefore need support for the highest accuracy.

Charging and Battery Life

Bottom line: No Apple Watch model will last for weeks or months without a charger.

The Apple Watch Ultra launch is the first to feature improved battery numbers. So, if you want an Apple smartwatch with the best battery life, it’s the Ultra.

Each Apple iteration includes new components that help extend battery life. It works more efficiently, and although Apple specifies the typical battery life you should enjoy, you may see better or worse performance depending on the features you use the most.

Our latest models are committed to lasting longer. Although it’s a long marathon, you’ll generally need to watch the battery status screen more carefully than other smartwatches.

No need to go buy the latest watch< /h3>

Also check out the older Apple Watch. Even if the hardware is changed or tweaked, it’s still often compatible with Apple’s watchOS software updates that unlock software features introduced in newer models, taking you back a few generations.

If you want to keep your Apple Watch for a while, you probably don’t want to go back more than a generation. Apple makes every effort to ensure that software updates can be rolled back to older watches, but if you decide to use a much older product, the older version may not receive new updates due to the power and components it requires.

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Best Apple Watch for fitness in the UK 2024



Best overall

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Editor's ChoiceWatch Ultra 2


Best overall

Apple Watch Ultra 2


  • agreeLarge screen for viewing statistics
  • agreeExcellent GPS performance
  • agreeBest Battery for Apple Watch


  • criminalCore tracking experience similar to the first Ultra

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the largest Apple smartwatch you can fit on your wrist, and it offers the best features Apple has to offer, especially if you spend most of your time outdoors.

The 49mm case is significantly larger than that of the Series 9, SE, and all previous Apple Watches. It also has a brighter screen and stronger water resistance than Apple’s other watches, making it ideal for recreational diving.

Apple has maintained the same dual-band GPS mode it introduced with the first Ultra, providing the best outdoor tracking accuracy you’ll find in any smartwatch or sports watch.

The third-generation optical heart rate sensor isn’t as accurate as the same sensor featured in the smaller Apple Watch, but you have the option to pair it with an external sensor to improve functionality.

The Ultra 2 is the Apple Watch to choose when you want both Apple’s best fitness tracking features and best battery life. All this is packaged into an extremely sturdy and durable design.

OSwatchOS 10Display1.9-inch OLED Always-on RetinaWaterproof100mBatteryUp to 36 hours under normal use



Apple Watch Series 9

Watch Series 9



Apple Watch Series 9

14% off now


  • agreebright display
  • agreeGood GPS and heart rate accuracy
  • agreeWorks with external heart rate and cycling sensors


  • criminalIt’s not much different from Series 8.

If the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is too expensive for you, you can buy the Series 9 instead and get a capable smartwatch and a great companion for the gym, running, swimming, and more.

Things haven’t changed much with Watch Series 8. The case and screen size options are the same, but overall screen brightness is improved compared to the 8, and storage for apps and music is doubled.

Apple has stuck with the same great 3rd generation optical heart rate monitor (with support for pairing external heart rate monitors) and retains the same great GPS sensor setup used in the 8 for those who want great accuracy for outdoor workouts.

Overall, the Series 9 is a good watch for general exercise, and it has the scope to be better suited to more niche workouts by selecting one of the many apps available in the busy App Store.

OSwatchOS 10Display1.9′ Retina LTPO OLEDWaterproof 50mBatteryUp to 18 hours under normal use


Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)

Watch SE (2nd generation)


Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)

Despite missing some of the bigger features included in the Series 9 and Ultra, the Apple Watch SE delivers the core smartwatch experience at a more affordable price.

It offers a wider range of case sizes than the Series 9, but still offers standard or compact case options. It also promises a high-quality Retina touchscreen and the same 18-hour battery life as the more expensive Series 9.

Although it lacks Apple’s latest generation optical heart rate sensor and the dual-band GPS featured on the larger Ultra, the SE offers strong accuracy for outdoor tracking despite having one fewer satellite system than the more expensive Series 9.

Compatibility is available with Apple’s Fitness+ app as well as a variety of fitness and sports apps found in the Apple App Store. It runs the latest version of watchOS, so you can benefit from the latest software.

If you’re looking for an Apple Watch that’s a versatile tracker and you don’t necessarily have to worry about the highest level of accuracy available in Apple’s range, the SE will serve you well.

OSwatchOS 10Display1.78-inch OLEDWaterproof50mBatteryUp to 18 hours under normal use

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watch ultra

As is the case with some Apple Watch generations, there isn’t much difference between the first Ultra and the newer Ultra 2, especially when it comes to using it to track your fitness.

The original Ultra features the same size titanium case as the Ultra 2. It also has an IP6X rating, dust-resistant design, water resistance up to 100 meters, and military-grade tested durability.

This is a Watch where Apple has introduced a dual-band GPS mode that significantly improves outdoor tracking for activities like running and cycling, and it’s definitely ahead of the curve.

You can also update to Apple’s latest watchOS 10 update to take full advantage of the Apple Fitness+ fitness platform and benefit from the ability to pair with external cycling sensors.

Simply put, there isn’t much you’ll miss with Ultra.

OSwatchOS 10Display1.9-inch OLEDWaterproof100mBatteryUp to 36 hours under normal useWatch Series 8

Like the Ultra, the Apple Watch Series 8 isn’t the latest version of Apple’s smartwatches, but it offers the same core tracking experience from a fitness tracking perspective.

Series 8 is also compatible with the latest versions of Apple iOS software, so you don’t miss out on features like the ability to connect to Bluetooth-enabled cycling accessories (such as cadence and power meters) or the ability to create custom plans. Follow Apple’s Fitness+ home workout platform.

Series 8 is available in the same 41mm and 45mm case sizes as Series 9, making it safe to wear for swimming (up to 50m depth). You can also add an extra level of external protection in a package with one of Apple’s vivid, colorful Retina touchscreens and IPX6X-certified dust resistance.

The core sensors remain the same here, so you can use the same built-in GPS and heart rate sensor, and you can pair an external heart rate monitor for increased accuracy. If you don’t like Apple’s own Workout app, you can also browse the Apple Watch App Store to choose from a variety of fitness and sports apps to use instead.

If you can live without the slightly brighter screen, increased storage, and Apple’s latest processing power hardware, the Series 8 is still a great smartwatch for tracking workouts like running, gym workouts, swimming, and more.

OSwatchOS 10Display1.9′ Retina LTPO OLEDWaterproof 50mBatteryUp to 18 hours under normal use

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