(Inga Hendrickson)

The Best Wearable Tech of 2018

Inga Hendrickson

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Devices that do the thinking, analyzing, and recovery for you.

(Courtesy Kuaifit)

KuaiFit Earphones ($160)

Possibly the smartest stand-alone earphones we’ve ever used, the KuaiFit packs in a workout coach for running, cycling, and gym training without requiring you to pair it with your phone. It also monitors heart rate, speed, cadence, laps completed, and calories burned, and it can even pair with a cycling sensor to deliver more granular bike data.

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(Courtesy Garmin)

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Watch ($450)

Garmin finally made a running watch that plays music, beaming tunes to wireless headphones via Bluetooth. You can store up to 500 songs (cool) and sync playlists from iHeartRadio and other streaming sites for offline playback (cooler). The 645 also has Garmin’s advanced running metrics, a built-in heart-rate monitor, and GPS.

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(Courtesy Spire)

Spire Health Tags ($49)

Don’t like the look of a wearable computer? These little monitors stick to the inside of your clothes and are meant to stay hidden. (Yes, they’re machine washable.) They pair with your phone and track activity, sleep, and heart rate, and keep an eye on breathing patterns and stress levels, making them perhaps the smartest things you’ll ever put in your underwear.

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(Courtesy Powerdot)

Powerdot Muscle Stimulator ($250)

If you’ve ever had to do physical therapy, you might be familiar with neuromuscular electrical stimulation, in which sticky electrodes gently zap muscles to aid recovery. The Powerdot is the travel version. This compact, FDA-approved device pairs with your smartphone to deliver calibrated therapies that help speed recovery and boost performance.

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(Courtesy Misfit)

Misfit Vapor Watch ($200)

Long known for its well-designed activity trackers, Misfit doesn’t disappoint with its first touch-screen smartwatch. Powered by Android Wear 2.0 (it works with iOS, too), the Vapor features GPS, 4GB of music storage, 50-meter water resistance, and, of course, activity tracking. Google Assistant is built in, so you can keep your phone in your pocket.

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Corrections: (10/02/2023) A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Watch could sync with Spotify. We regret the error. From Summer 2018 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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