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The best Black Friday deals on smartwatches and fitness trackers

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It’s a good time to get a jump start on Christmas presents for the athletes and fitness buffs in your life.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 text-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Picking a smartwatch or fitness tracker can be daunting. There are dozens of factors to consider, such as style, durability, connectivity options, battery life, and the types of metrics tracked. Plus, there are enough models to make your head spin. With all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, it can be hard to know what’s worth it and what isn’t.

No worries. I’ve picked out the best deals so you don’t have to. They’re separated into three categories: smartwatches, multisport watches (for your hardcore athletes), and fitness trackers.

  • The 41mm Apple Watch Series 8with GPS is $349, which is $50 off its normal price, at Amazon, Walmart, and Target. It lacks cellular capability, but it’s still the best overall smartwatch for iOS users. Compared to last year’s model, it adds crash detection and two temperature sensors for advanced cycle tracking. If you want the larger 45mm version, that’s also 11 percent off for $379.99.
  • If you want cellular, the 41mm Series 8 with LTE is $449, also $50 off its regular price, at Amazon, Walmart, and Target. The larger 45mm LTE version is discounted to $479.

The latest smartwatch from Apple features watchOS 9 along with crash detection and temperature sensors that enable menstrual cycle tracking — something you won’t find on any other model.

  • The 40mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 with GPS is down to about $229 at Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 5 with LTE is 22 percent off for $259. This is the better pick if you want casual fitness tracking and prefer a slimmer profile watch. It has an improved sapphire crystal display for durability and a new temperature sensor. We just wish it had a physical rotating bezel.
  • But if you love the rotating bezel, the 42mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic with Bluetooth is $149 — that’s $200 off! There isn’t much difference between the Watch 4 lineup and the vanilla Watch 5, so this is practically a steal.

The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic features a nice physical rotating bezel and more third-party support by way of Google’s Wear OS 3. But keep in mind that it’s paired best with a Samsung-made phone.

  • The Google Pixel Watch is about $299 ($50 off) at Amazon and Target for the Wi-Fi-only version. This watch has a gorgeous circular display, as well as native Fitbit integration. It also comes with three months of YouTube Music and six months of Fitbit Premium. The Pixel Watch is a first-gen device, however, so keep in mind that Google is still working out some kinks.
  • The Fossil Gen 6 is $229, which is $70 off, at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. While we weren’t initially impressed with the watch, it’s gotten several updates since launching last year. Those updates added Alexa compatibility, new wellness features, and, of course, the upgrade to Wear OS 3. Unlike the other Android smartwatches on this list, it’s also compatible with iOS.

  • The new Apple Watch Ultra is $739 ($60 off) at Amazon and Best Buy. The 49mm watch has everything the Series 8 does, along with a titanium case, cellular, multiband GPS, an emergency siren, the Action Button, and the ability to double as a dive computer. It’s also the first Apple Watch with multiday battery life. This is the one to get for athletes and anyone who likes the best of the best — so long as they don’t mind the big 49mm case.

The Watch Ultra is the most rugged and capable Apple Watch available. It has a thicker, bigger build than the Series 8, precise GPS tracking, and sensors that can measure metrics for diving. It only comes in one size and configuration, and it supports both GPS and LTE.

  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro with GPS is $399 ($50 off) at Amazon. It offers the best battery of any Samsung Wear OS 3 watch, and the raised lip makes the touch bezel much easier to use. It also has turn-by-turn route navigation for cyclists and hikers. At 45mm, it wears small for a fitness-oriented smartwatch. The cellular Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is 14 percent off at $429.
  • The 47mm Garmin Fenix 7 is $599.99, which is 15 percent off, on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. While pricey, this is Garmin’s current flagship GPS watch, and it’s got all the bells and whistles an outdoors fitness buff could ask for. Each Garmin smartwatch model has several iterations, and they’re on sale, too. The smaller 42mm Fenix 7S is the same price as the Fenix 7 at each site. We also reviewed and liked the Garmin Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar, which is about $100 off at $799.99 on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. This version supports solar charging for extra-long battery life and has a sapphire crystal display for durability.

The Garmin Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar is the smallest of the Fenix 7 lineup, but it combines durability with long battery life and solar charging. 

  • The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is also on sale for $390.78, which is 35 percent off the list price. Best Buy has the smaller Fenix 6S Pro for $349.99, while Amazon’s got it for $339.47. If the Fenix 7 is too much for your tastes but you’d still like excellent GPS, battery life, and pace guidance, this is a good compromise.
  • The Garmin Epix 2 is $100 off at Best Buy for $899.99. This is for athletes who want an OLED screen on their multisport watch and weeklong battery life. It’s also got multiband GPS for accuracy and physical buttons galore.
  • The Polar Pacer Pro is $246.95 (18 percent off) at Amazon. It’s a no-nonsense running GPS watch but gets you access to some of Polar’s more advanced training features for a much better price.

  • The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini is a mere $89.99 (25 percent off) on Amazon and Best Buy. Amazfit may not be a household name, but they pack a ton of features you normally find at a much higher price point. That includes stress tracking, SpO2 monitoring, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and an additional offline digital assistant. It also uses the more holistic PAI method for gauging your health. We reviewed the Amazfit GTR 4, which is the circular version and shares many of the same features.
  • The Fitbit Inspire 3 is $30 off, making it $69.95 on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. It’s got an upgraded OLED display and 10 days of battery life. It’s also the most affordable way to get excellent sleep tracking on Fitbit’s platform. While Fitbit’s latest smartwatches were a bit of a miss, the Inspire 3 is exactly what you’d want from a basic tracker but in a more modern package.

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is an excellent basic fitness band that delivers notifications and tracks your activity on a bright OLED screen. It’s got 10 days of battery life and can also be worn in a clip.

  • The Fitbit Charge 5 is $99.95 (33 percent off) at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. If you want a fitness band with more oomph than the Inspire 3, the Charge 5 is a great choice. It’s got built-in GPS, EKG compatibility, a bright OLED screen, NFC payments, and long battery life.
  • The Withings ScanWatch is $239.96 (20 percent off) on Amazon and $239.99 on Best Buy. While it’s a hybrid smartwatch, it functions more like a fitness tracker — albeit one with a more elevated sense of style. You get an analog look, EKG capability, and blood oxygen monitoring. It also has 30 days of battery life.

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