Wearables are the next big thing. Fitness trackers are the top category in this field and have made huge advances in the last few years. In fact, there are so many fitness tracker models currently available choosing the best one can be difficult. The right activity tracker is based on your individual needs; whether it’s step counting, sleep tracking or constant heart rate tracking, there’s something for everyone.
There are a number of different models offered by Fitbit. We are drawn to the Fitbit Charge HR mainly because it has the capability to do so much. This tracker continuously monitors your heart rate, allowing for more accurate tracking of activity, caloric burn and sleep patterns. Additionally, this tracker contains an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen that provides a visual of the time, your daily stats, and acts at a caller ID when synched with your smartphone. Speaking of your smartphone, the Fitbit app is extremely user friendly and offers some great features. The band itself comes in three different sizes, closes like a watch (which prevents the tracker from falling off), and is offered in a number of different colors. We recommend the black band, as it will not stand out while wearing business attire. The negatives of this tracker are that it is on the larger side and it is also one of the more expensive ones at $149
There are two Jawbone models that are worth considering, in our opinion, the UP2 and the UP3. The UP2 is a comfortable tracker and covers all the basics, including activity tagging, sleep monitoring and smart alarm. It also is a bit more stylish and is relatively affordable at $99. The band again comes in multiple colors and offers a classic flat strap option or a lightweight thin strap. Again, we recommend black along with the classic strap (tends to stay put better).
UP2’s big brother, the UP3, not only covers the basic activity tracker requirements, but it also takes sleep tracking to a whole new level. If monitoring your zzz’s is your main priority, this is the tracker for you. This device monitors your heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature and galvanic skin response and then provides your REM, light and deep sleep stats. It retails for $179.99 and comes in six colors.
If you’re not sure that you are ready to jump in full heartedly into the fitness tracker world, we recommend the Misfit Flash. It’s only $24.99 and tracks sleep, steps, and is completely waterproof. It’s a great option for a basic starter tracker.
One final tracker to consider is the Garmin Vivosmart. This tracker is a bit of a smartwatch/activity tracker hybrid, with its main selling feature being notifications. It tracks steps, sleep, heart rate monitoring and vibrates while displaying an overview of what’s happening on the OLED screen. This tracker is the most expensive, though at $169.99.
If style is your biggest concern, then we recommend skipping the tracker devices and going straight for the smartwatch. The Mondaine MotionX and the Withings Activité are solid, yet sleek options and offer all the functions (and then some) of a fitness tracker. While these will be much more costly than a tracker, they will always look sharp with your suite.
I’ve been using a Jawbone UP for about 18 months now, first an UP24 then an UP2. The software is great for both devices, and the wearability of the UP24 was decent, but I’ve struggled with the UP2. The clasp frequently slips off and I’ve almost lost it several times. The UP3 appears to have the same kind of clasp. Just a warning to anyone considering the Jawbone device. I have complained and had it replaced twice. My next device will likely be the Garmin, or possibly the Microsoft Band 2.
Thanks for the input, Steven! Let us know what you think of the Garmin or Microsoft Band 2!
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