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|NAME||PRICE||RATING||BATTERY LIFE||WATER RESISTANCE||SIZES OFFERED|
|Apple Watch 4||<18 hours||<50 meters||40mm and 44mm|
|Fitbit Versa||4+ days||<50 meters||One size (S and L bands included)|
|Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro||3-5 days||<50 meters||Small (Wrist Size: 125-165mm) and Large (Wrist Size: 158-205mm)|
|Garmin Fenix 5||
Smartwatch Mode: <2 weeks
GPS/HR: <24 hours
UltraTrac Mode: <60 hours
|<100 meters||42mm, 47mm, 51mm|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3||
Smartwatch Mode: <7 days
GPS: <13 hours
|<50 meters||Wrist Size: 127-204mm|
|Garmin Forerunner 935||
Smartwatch Mode: <2 weeks
GPS/HR Mode: <24 hours
UltraTrac Mode: <60 hours
|<50 meters||Wrist Size: 127-204mm|
|Moov Now||<6 months||<3 meters||One Size (S and L straps included)|
|Motiv Ring||Check Site||<3 days||<20 meters||Seven sizes offered|
|Xiaomi Mi Band 3||<20 days||<50 meters||Wrist Size: 155-216mm|
|Fitbit Alta HR||<7 days||<50 meters||Small (140-170mm); Large (170-206mm); X-Large (206-236mm)|
|Fitbit Charge 3||<7 days||<50 meters||One Size (S and L bands included)|
|Garmin Vivosmart 4||<7 days||<50 meters||Small/Medium (122-188mm); Large (148-215mm)|
|Garmin Vivomove HR||
Smartwatch Mode: <5 days
Watch Mode: <3 weeks
One Size Fits Most (127-204mm)
|Bellabeat Leaf Urban||<6 months coin cell battery||IPX6 - not waterproof but can withstand powerful water jets||One Size (comes with wristband and necklace in S/M); L wristband extra $24|
|Fitbit Ace||<5 days||Showerproof and spill-proof||One Size: 118-154mm|
The amount of fitness trackers available, from brands ranging from Apple to Fitbit and small startups like Motiv and Bellabeat, is staggering. It's not enough now to just have activity tracking, sleep tracking and notifications. The basic models are now coming with 24/7 heart rate tracking, stress management and even VO2 max tracking. Most of these features far surpass what most of us need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but there's something exciting about tracking your activity and sleep over long periods of time. And while you can't go wrong with any of the feature-rich fitness trackers available, specific trackers are better at specific end uses.
When shopping for a fitness tracker, quite a few features should be taken into account given your specific goals. Read below for an outline of these key features, followed by a list of the best fitness trackers on the market.
Though it just came out recently, the Apple Watch 4 is already top of the list of most top fitness tracker reviews. The success of the first three series, paired with the updates to the 4, still make the Apple Watch 4 the best buy for a smart watch. New features include a larger screen, electrical heart rate sensor and fall detection. And though it still may fall a bit short in the fitness tracking department, the new Series 4 features automatic workout detection, more exercise options and better data for runners.
Fitbit's answer to the Apple Watch, the Versa is built for daily use both as a smart watch, and as an exercise tracker using Fitbit's well-known capabilities. Features include 4+ day battery life, 24/7 heart rate monitoring and mobile payment options. Where the Apple Watch 4 outmatches the Versa in smart watch features, the Versa definitely takes the edge when it comes to fitness tracking.
Built with true fitness tracking in mind, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro offers features like auto exercise detection, built-in GPS and UA Record by Under Armour, which allows 24/7 tracking of sleep, fitness, activity and nutrition. The Galaxy App store offers over 3,000 apps including Spotify, so there are endless ways to customize the Gear Fit 2 Pro to your needs.
This is the singular watch for those who participate in outdoors/alpine sports, distance endurance athletes and triathletes. The built-in navigation includes both GPS and GLONASS which tracks well in more challenging environments. The Maps version comes pre-loaded with TOPO US mapping and cycling routes. The HR bundle optional add-on comes with a chest strap for HR training. The overall rugged design, long battery life and navigation mean this watch thrives in remote outdoor environments.
For those who want some smart watch features like Garmin Pay and apps like Uber, but who also want extensive fitness tracking, the Vivoactive 3 is the best of both worlds. Within the fitness tracking are features like stress management, VO2 max measuring and automatic exercise tracking. The Music option adds $30, but allows for the storage of up to 500 songs on your device. GPS is also included in the Vivoactive 3.
The Garmin Forerunner 935 was built for athletes who love tracking data and want to be able to see real-time tracking to ensure they are on pace and progressing each day. With built-in GPS, heart rate monitoring and VO2 max, the Forerunner is the premium training watch that won't break the bank. Whether you're just starting to train or a seasoned triathlete, the Forerunner is built with every athlete in mind.
This lightweight, feature-packed fitness tracker offers a durable band, real-time audio coaching and the most advanced swim tracking and stroke detection possible, all for an unbeatable price. And the best part - 6 months of battery life! While swimmers will benefit most from the Moov Now, the feature-set is beneficial to anyone looking to track their fitness and wanting a coach in their ear guiding them the whole way.
If wearing a fitness tracker around your wrist isn't your thing, check out the Motiv Ring. This ring has a surprising amount of features packed into its tiny size. Aside from the standard activity tracking like steps and distance, the Motiv Ring also tracks heart rate, sleep and allows for quick charging on the go in any USB port.
For those looking for the best bang-for-your-buck fitness tracker, look no further than the Xiaomi Mi Band 3. Coming in at under $50, the Mi Band 3 has a OLED touch screen, heart rate monitoring, sleep and activity tracking and is waterproof to 50 meters. Notifications include incoming calls and text messages as well as an alarm clock feature. The Mi Band 3 is right up there with some of the intro products from Fitbit, Garmin and more.
Great battery life
Not a ton of features
Not very customizable
Not a ton of exercise options on the app
The Fitbit Alta HR packs a ton of features into a small package. At only 0.61" wide, this is the perfect fitness tracker for those who want something more subtle, but still get the important data. This is also the perfect fitness tracker for day-to-night, as there are various bands you can change out to dress the tracker up or down. With all the basics including fitness tracking, auto start for exercising, sleep tracking, notifications and heart rate monitoring, this is the perfect tracker for the working professional who wants the basics.
The Fitbit Charge 3 offers an advanced level of fitness tracking and 24/7 heart rate tracking for an all-in-one, feature-heavy fitness tracker. However, it's still a great option for smart watch wearers with its use of Fitbit Pay, notifications and a wide variety of apps. And with guided breathing sessions and coaching, there's no reason this tracker can’t help get you in the best shape of your life.
With Garmin getting more into the casual fitness tracker game, the Vivosmart 4 has a nice mix of basic and advanced features, all in a small package. Along with basic fitness and sleep tracking, auto exercise start and 24/7 heart rate tracking, the Vivosmart 4 also offers stress tracking, a breathing timer, VO2 max tracking and a body battery. The body battery takes into account all of the previously mentioned metrics and gives you a rating between 0 and 100. The lower the number, the more rest and recovery you need, while higher numbers mean you can get a strenuous workout in.
Looking for a stylish yet subtle watch that has the technical features of a smartwatch and fitness tracker? The Garmin Vivomore HR is the perfect option. The traditional watch face looks normal at first glance, but features notifications and specific metrics that you can personalize. While it doesn't feature the full offering of apps available with other devices, it makes up for in style. If you're looking for a hybrid smartwatch, this is currently the best on the market. The sport version features a silicone band and the premium version has a leather band with a stainless steel case.
For women looking for a well-designed fitness tracker that doesn't look like one, the Bellabeat Leaf Urban is a great choice. The Leaf Urban offers full sleep tracking, activity tracking, guided meditations, stress monitoring and period tracking. All of this is packed in a small, leaf shaped wood composite case with stainless steel clip, and around 17 grams in total weight.
Fitness tracking doesn’t need to be reserved for adults only. Kids have much to learn about getting the proper amount of exercise and sleep, and this is the perfect way to show them actual data. The features include activity tracking, step challenges, sleep tracking, progress, rewards and badges, notifications, activity goals and reminders to move. With the Fitbit Ace, you can be sure your child is being encouraged to get the right amount of exercise and sleep.
This is dependent on what use you are getting out of this device. While there is still a long way to go in terms of tracking data at the wrist (vs at the chest), most trackers are accurate enough for basic needs. If you are a triathlete, professional athlete or just obsessed with data and tracking, you may want to seek out one of the more accurate devices, like the Garmin Forerunner 935 or Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. But for most of us, the tracking provided in most devices will work fine. Especially as you continue to add data after each days use, the most important numbers are the changes over time as they relate to each other, versus the actual numbers themselves.
A strong factor to consider when shopping for a fitness tracker is price. If you are not an athlete, you probably don't need the $500+ tracker with built-in TOPO maps and scratch-resistant sapphire lens. You might be just fine with the $99.99 basic model, with sleep and activity tracking and stress monitoring. What's most important is identifying your goal with the fitness tracker and what is most important to measure, and use that to narrow down your search.
Poor battery life can drastically affect how often you use your new device. Some devices only last less than 24 hours, and therefore need charging each day. But if you want to track sleep and 24/7 heart rate tracking, how are you expected to charge the device without missing potentially valuable data? For this reason, finding a fitness tracker with long battery life may make the difference between using the device regularly or not at all.
Being waterproof is a valuable feature on a fitness tracker, making it wearable while swimming, during a hard sweat work out, or even in the shower. Most fitness trackers are waterproof to at least 3 meters which is fine for swimming. For those who need more depth for open ocean swimming and diving, make sure the tracker you are looking at is rated to at least 50 meters.
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