May 17, 2016
Fitness trackers to help you count your steps, monitor your heart rate and even track your sleep, no matter where you are.
If boosting your activity level in the new year seems like too much hard work, wearing a fitness tracker might help to motivate you. Simply wear one of these wristbands all day to monitor your steps – the idea being that walking 10,000 steps daily is enough to be reasonably active. While every fitness band offers basic step counting, an app to view stats and wireless connection to your smartphone, there’s a big disparity in the additional features that are available in each model. Extra functions include sleep tracking, built-in heart-rate monitoring and water resistance.
Fitbit Charge HR
There’s little to fault in this top-of-the-range fitness band. The combination of built-in optical heart-rate monitor (tracking resting and continuous rates), integrated OLED screen for displaying stats and the multi-platform Fitbit app make it an excellent aid. Whether you’re taking daily walks or monitoring intense workout sessions, this device can track your progress.
Garmin Vivofit 2
Garmin’s entry-level fitness tracker offers great value for money. While it lacks frills such as a heart-rate monitor and caller ID, it redeems itself with a one-year battery life and an always-on backlit display. The Vívofit 2 is one of the few fitness bands you can take swimming and while it won’t automatically track your laps, you can enter them manually through the Garmin Connect app.
Huawei TalkBand B2
The TalkBand B2 combines a Bluetooth headset and wristband fitness tracker into one device. It’s a promising concept, especially when you use the headset in one ear to listen to music while you’re exercising. But you will have to make some sacrifices. Its Huawei Wear app is bare bones and the screen can be difficult to see in daylight.
Unlike the thick, utilitarian bands of most fitness trackers, the UP3 is a thing of beauty, especially in the latest colours. Jawbone has made it thinner by using skin-tissue-sensing “bioimpedance” technology but it doesn’t measure continuous heart rate (resting and passive only) so it can’t track cardio training zones like the Fitbit does. There’s no built-in screen, either – leaving you reliant on its excellent Up app.