Why are people so immersed at the thought of buying fitness trackers these days? If you are one of them, how sure are you that what you like to buy contains what you need during a fitness activity?
A fitness tracker belongs to a genre of devices used to monitor and track fitness-related metrics like the distance you have walked or run, quality of sleep and (yes) your heartbeat; as well as your calorie consumption. Fitness trackers are built to include various requirements. You may want to use one to see how you have run, the number of steps you have taken or monitor your heartbeat while undergoing a fitness activity.
Each of these products has benefits of its own. However, not all of them have all it takes to be considered as the total fitness tracker. That is why it is important to know where you want to use the gadget for and how many features you require while performing an activity.
How To Find The Best Fitness Tracker
How to choose the best fitness tracking gadget
Most trackers are worn on the wrist while there are some that can be clipped on to your fitness outfit. Some, comfortable, and some are not. There are people who put design on top of everything but sometimes—looks can deceive. After a few days or weeks of using the gadget, regret happens. It should always be quality over design to be sure the tracker lasts for a longer time. Taking a look at the material and its entire construction gives you a hint of a unit’s longevity.
Some models that have LED display while others are screen-less. For the basic-loving individuals who do not like to be disturbed while they are out on their daily run, a screen-less proves to be the best tool that can monitor their performance. Nevertheless, some activity buffs just don’t like to miss out on anything at all that is why they choose LED-type units. Whether it is work or social media that they care about aside from fitness—they prefer the ones that have screens.
Data accommodation can hinder certain functions of a tracker. Some units advertise that they have this and that but in reality, they fail when it comes to using the app simultaneously. If you are savvy at looking at manuals, then, you may find yourself one that fits a variety of usage.
Heart tracking while on the move is one of the top requirements for several users. Those who highly favor types like this may be keen in knowing how their bodies react to a particular physical activity, or have certain medical issues. It does not stand alone, though—it goes with other features that you would like to have too like waterproof models or something that can be used in and out of water.
Versatility can also be seen in units installed with different apps like note-taking and GPS among others.
Warranty and price
Price is another aspect you have to consider and the warranty that goes with a single unit. These two are essential when finally deciding to buy. Features may be vital for your usage but can you afford to disregard the consequences after purchasing an expensive product that never mentioned about any warranty at all? You may well choose a unit that has a 30-day money back guarantee. Trackers are not big appliances so you must understand that a lifetime warranty is an impossible add-on.
After having had contemplated on this guide, it is now time for a short review of some of the leading trackers in the market today.
Best Fitness Tracker For Running 2016
- BodyMedia Link is a body monitoring armband which has an error rate of 9.3%. It can track fitness activity and calorie burn. It has Bluetooth capability that works well with BodyMedia iPhone and android apps which lets you see real-time data. You can also use it to work with Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal, and Sparkpeople among others. This unit looks more like a regular wristwatch and uses 1 Lithium ion battery. This is considered by many as a very comfortable tracker by many.
- Misfit Shine 2 is worn on your wrist or clipped on your clothes. It tracks calories, distance, steps taken and other activities like monitoring quality or length of sleep. This unit is 50 meters waterproof and capable of entering each activity by triple-tapping on the screen. It provides notifications, vibration alerts and fitted with 12 tri-colored LEDs. This minimalist and modular-designed unit is made of aircraft-grade aluminum that makes up for a durable gadget. Battery is replaceable and can last up to 6 months. Downside: Heart monitoring capacity.
- The Jawbone UP3 comes as the most stylish among tracking gadgets even though it does not feature a screen. This bracelet-looking gadget has a wireless sync feature and is also the most advanced due to its tri-axis accelerometer and sensors. Who wouldn’t want to own this unit that is capable of monitoring heart rate through its skin and ambient temperature sensors, not forgetting its bioimpedance sensors? It allows personalized guidance from its app—Smart Coach while Smart Alarm (another app) wakes once you reach your optimal sleep cycle.
- FitBit Charge HR seems to be most precise among wrist-worn devices. It is capable of measuring sleep metrics automatically while tracking your steps. You can use it up to 7 days for just a single charge and it is comfortable to use. The unit has a silent alarm, a caller ID, and a visual display that is small but receives a feedback as you go along; not to mention its integrated sensors. Its website and app make it easy for you to collect data. However, it is not waterproof.
- Garmin Vivosmart HR has a curved OLED display ideal for users who want a screened fitness tracking device. It tells you about floors climbed, intensity minutes and tracks activity and heart rate. This gadget is capable of sending smart notifications from your mobile device and allows you to call, send texts play music and games. Vivosmart HR has a black classy design that can double up as an accessory to your outfit or wardrobe if ever you wish to wear it for longer durations.
- Basis Peak contains 5 advanced sensors that work to monitor heart rate, perspiration, motion and skin temperature. Activity tracking is enabled by its BodyIQ technology that detects running, walking, sleeping and waking times, as well as bike rides. It uses an advanced sleep analysis app to capture REM, interruptions, toss and turns and sleep quality. It has a durable, sleek design that is lightweight and comfortable. Plus factors: Screen has Gorilla Glass 3TM for additional protection and straps are customized by soft silicone material.
- The Microsoft Band 2 fits wrists measuring 6.3” – 7.5”. It may look awful to some but it can perform various functions like continuous monitoring of heart rate, tracking of burned calories and measuring sleep quality. It is compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone which allows you to view the calendar, receive and send emails, texts and calls, and most of all, it has an MP3 player. This unit is perfect to use when biking, golfing and running. It has a 1-year limited warranty.
- Moov Smart Multi-Purpose Fitness Coach 7 Tracker actively monitors your fitness activities, tendencies; provides advice on how to enhance workout while it tracks your progress and suggests fitness goals. It is powered by a 9-axis motion sensor and coaching is done in real-time. Its modular design allows you to wear it on your wrist or your ankle for precise data measurements. It runs using 1 Lithium battery and comes with a 1 year limited warranty. However, heart rate monitoring is not one of its features.
Fitness trackers, like many other gadgets may come overly advertised by manufacturing companies and may perform below standards. It is therefore imperative to learn about what each of them are made of so you can easily determine which among these gadgets deserves your hard-earned money.