T3 Awards 2017 together with Three: Best fitness wearable

Strap them on and get sweaty: it's 2017's best watches, bands and er, headbands for fit freaks

The T3 Awards together with Three is all about being bigger and better in 2017, with extra categories galore. 

Also, ironically, designed to make you better and (in terms of musculature at any rate) bigger in 2017 are these fitness wearables.

We'd be lying if we said the sector has come on in leaps and bounds this year, but slow and steady and incremental wins the race, as the old saying has it.

Fitbit Charge 2

Probably the best fitness band to date, the Charge 2 is a genuinely impressive mix of great build quality, attractive and unobtrusive design (for a fitness band, anyway) and some genuinely useful data collecting gizmos.

The all-day heart monitoring gives an interesting overview of how your resting heart rate may change (or not) over time, and the sensor used is also robust enough for fairly heavy gym workouts and runs.

The Fitbit app remains the best there is for slightly more casual workout and step-counting champs. 

Garmin Forerunner 935

This year also saw the apotheosis, to date, of the running watch with the triathlon-friendly, premium experience that was Garmin's latest Forerunner.

Particularly in conjunction with Garmin's smart, motion-sensing heart-rate straps, the 935 captures a dazzling array of running metrics, from VO2 Max to Lactate threshold to recovery time. It doesn't just help you track your running; it can genuinely improve it. 

It's also a stalwart performer on your bike, in the water and at the gym. Oh, and it counts steps, in case you're still bothered about that whilst training for an Iron Man. State of the art.

Moov HR

Taking the already excellent Moov movement-sensing, voice-coaching system, the HR – as you've probably guessed – added accurate heart-rate tracking. Uniquely, as far as we know, this was via a headband rather than wrist wearable or chest strap.

For those in search of zone-based cardio workouts, the result is as technologically excellent as it is stylistically challenging. As well as Moov's own coaching app, you can also use it as a standalone pulse monitor with numerous other wearables and apps.

Nokia Steel HR

Withings is dead, long live Nokia. Yes, that is rather confusing, but the first really significant fruits of Nokia's move into health will be this wearable, formerly known as the Withings Activité Steel HR.

Nokia already makes the most attractive step counter you can get, in the form of the original Steel. The Steel HR adds all-day and activity-based pulse tracking, shown on a tastefully implemented digital screen embedded in the analogue watch face.

Repeatedly delayed, the promise of the early review samples we saw should now be delivered on by Autumn this year. 

Polar A370

Garmin's Vivosmart 3 had a stab at something similar but Polar's A370 was the fitness tracker that made the best job of adding extra feedback about wellness and fitness to what appeared, on the face of it, to be a basic step counter.

As well as the usual sleepin' and steps stuff, the A370 is actually a quite powerful workout tracker, with good pulse monitoring, well implemented zonal training, and post-exercise feedback on how well you've done.

TomTom Spark 3 Cardio

Removing the need to carry anything else on your run apart from a pair of wireless headphones, the TomTom Spark 3 is a GPS running watch with possibly the best wrist HR in the business and an MP3 player built in.

It's accurate, cheap for a running watch, and outdoorsmen will appreciate the additional mapping feature, which allow you to return to the start of your run or hike.

How are the winners chosen?

Most of the winners - including this category - are decided by the T3.com and T3 magazine teams, aided by a panel of expert judges from the tech biz.

Our Awards for the people who have shaped tech this year and throughout its history, are awarded by the T3.com and T3 magazine teams.

On the following key categories YOU get to vote:  Gadget Of The Year, Brand Of The Year, Retailer Of The Year and Phone of the Year. 

Vote for those categories in the T3 Awards 2017 together with Three

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."