General Health Friday October 30, 2015

Which Fitness Tracker Is Best?

If you're a fitness fan who wants to start monitoring your performance, either through personal choice or peer pressure, you need some information. But! If you are not a techie person where do you start?

Here, that's where, with this non-techie guide to fitness trackers!

Best For Running

Fitbit Surge

The Fitbit Surge has accurate run tracking with built-in GPS. It monitors your heart beat, can monitor yoga, cycling or hiking, and because no one wants to carry their phone on a run it also displays calls and text.

Cons

With all the tech and hype around the Fitbit Surge you'd expect to be able to check Facebook and is it just me or does it look like an 80s Casio watch?

Best For Swimming

Moov Now

Lots of us swim, and a fitness tracker may not do well when submerged - unless you have the Moov Now of course. This device is worn on your wrist or leg once paired with your smartphone. When you're not swimming it monitors sleeping and step rates.

Cons

The information is pretty basic and you still need to have your smartphone around to pair it with.

Best For Reliability

Garmin Vivoactive

A multisport tracker with a recognisable name! It has GPS, a step counter, phone notifications and the reliability you'd expect from Garmin. Plus you can delve into the Garmin Connect community online and compare your times (or not).

Cons

It doesn't look great and the sleep tracking is not that good, but if you want a reliable name this is for you.

Best For Posing

Withings Activité

This tracker looks stylish; I expect James Bond would go for this one. It has all the step counting, distance checking and sleep-monitoring you need. It comes with a pool strap too and an eight month battery so you don't need worry about charging - woo!

Cons

It's blinking expensive and doesn't pair with Android.

Best For Sleep Monitoring

Jawbone UP3

Weird name aside, if you want to monitor your sleep this is one of the best. It can also measure your steps and heart rate. Despite looking like a bracelet, the UP3 can measure REM, light and deep sleep statistics, which is a lot more than some others on offer.

Cons

There's no display so you need to use its app.

Best For Price

Xiaomi Mi Band

The one you've been looking for, admit it! This tracker is £15. But is it any use?

It's better than you'd think. There's a 30-day battery and it tracks your steps, calories and distance moved. It's a step-up from a pedometer and a good choice before you buy the more expensive Garmin or Jawbone.

Cons

The app is limited and it can sometimes overestimate your activity, but at that price you can't really complain.

Best Overall Tracker

Fitbit Charge HR

Not the best tracker of all, but the one that manages to address most fitness goals rather than focusing on one of the above. Step forward the Fitbit Charge HR, which is sleek and well designed. It monitors heartbeat continuously, tracks all exercises and is comfortable to wear.

Cons

It doesn't have GPS, which you need if you're a serious cyclist or runner, and it isn't waterproof.


So there you have my non-techie guide to activity trackers. It's not at all scientific, but at least it'll point you in the right direction.

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