A collection of reviews about today’s most popular wearable fitness trackers.
It is no secret that tech wearables and fitness trackers are here to stay. One in five Americans owns a wearable device and one in ten wears one daily. And this is not only limited to Americans. According to research, in 2015 twenty-five million fitness trackers were expected to sell worldwide.
More specifically, fitness trackers provide individuals unique data that pertains to their movement, sleeping patterns, and dietary habits and informs them by providing health metrics from their built-in analytics, which can be documented and observed through the wearable’s app.
With the fitness tracker industry expected to double its current value of $2 billion by 2019 and the overwhelming amount of options of trackers on the market, how do you know which tracker will best suit you and your lifestyle? As a guide, we have handpicked a list of popular fitness trackers, placed them in categories, and defined their features to help you decide which tracker is right for you.
Best Overall Lifestyle Tracker
Fitbit Charge HR
The Fitbit Charge HR is your classic, all-encompassing fitness tracker. While this tracker is best known for its accuracy with monitoring heat rate, it also tracks sleep patterns, counts steps and calories, has an alarm clock and stopwatch, and allows you to stay connected through its small screen (which displays calls from your smartphone). An added feature is its “get moving vibration” where the device will vibrate if you are sedentary for too long. This tracker is perfect for everyday ware, from the office to the gym. For the features and accuracy that you receive, this would be the biggest bang for your buck.
Microsoft Band 2
The Microsoft Band 2 is part smartwatch, running watch, and fitness tracker. It is complete with guided workouts and includes a great display screen for notifications such as texts, email, and calls. The only downfall is that reviewers have said there are some issues with the overall design of the device and its comfort, ranking this option lower for sleeping and everyday use.
Most Simplistic Design
Jawbone UP 2
The Jawbone UP 2 may not have all the bells and whistles like some of the other trackers on the market, but its appeal comes from its sleek and simplistic design. This tracker supplies you with your basic tracking features such as step counting, sleep monitoring, and a smart alarm to keep you motivated. It also comes in several fun, easy-to-wear colors.
Best for Running
Garmin Forerunner 630
Garmin Forerunner 630 is an advanced running watch with a color touchscreen, smartphone notifications, heart rate tracking, and advanced running dynamics. When paired with a Garmin-specific heart rate run the monitor, runners can go further in tapping into their running data. According to Garmin, the ground contact time balance and stride length metrics allow you check in on your running symmetry and stride to observe your overall running form. This allows runners to better understand their current running condition and how they can improve. Additional metrics showrunners their VO2 max estimate and race time predictions for several different distances – providing a solid target for your next race.
Other features include stress score, performance condition, and lactate threshold; audio prompts, music controls, smart notifications, and social media sharing; download data fields, watch faces, widgets, and applications from Connect IQ™. The only downfall to this tracker is its large watch face and steep price. But as a dedicated athlete, can you really put a price on performance improvement?
Best for Encouraging Improvement
Moov Now is an effective tracker for just about anyone: beginners to seasoned runners, swimmers, and even fitness enthusiasts. The band sinks with an app that provides updates about your performance, literally telling you when to increase your speed and intensity or when to slow down and rest. The only catch is that because this tracker does not have a screen on it, you would have to bring your smartphone with you in order to use its encouragement feature.
Mondaine Helvetica Smart
Mondaine Helvetica Smart is style, quality, and fitness tracker all built into one. The watch was designed and made in Switzerland, which is a testament to its quality. The Mondaine has a large face with block numbers and comes with an option of leather straps. This watch is designed for style but still holds fitness close to its heart. Within the face of the watch, towards the bottom, there is a small dial that shows you an at-a-glance look at your fitness progress compared to your daily goal. Reviewers have stated that when sampling this watch, compared to others, it stayed on their wrists the longest, with the fitness tracking being the most accurate. Additional features of this watch include sleep monitoring, alarms, and distance and calorie tracking.
All of your trackings can be observed in Mondaine’s MotionX app, a platform from Silicon Valley-based company, Fullpower. MotionX has also powered similar trustworthy devices such as Jawbone and Nike wearables. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive watch out of all of the trackers we have reviewed, and it doesn’t yet include smart device notifications.
Most Budget Friendly
The Misfit Flash provides the same type of technology as many of its rivals but outshines them due to its price. This device tracks steps, sleep and works great in the water. It comes in a variety of fun colors and has a long battery life. The biggest benefit is that this tracker is highly affordable without compromising its quality.
Jawbone UP Move
If you are simply interested in tracking your steps, sleep, and basic activity without the hassle of wearing a tracker around your wrist, then Jawbone’s UP Move is the perfect clip-on tracker for you. You can clip this light device to your shoelaces or apparel, and with a quick tap of a button, you will be in tracking mode. Later on, if you decide you would like to wear this tracker, Jawbone does provide you with the option to purchase wrist straps for just $15 each.
When considering a fitness tracker, remember to keep these four things in mind: features, style, budget, and health/fitness goals. As we have shown, there are many, fitness tracker options (and this list only scratches a small portion of the surface), it is just a matter of determining which device best suits you and your lifestyle.