How much is a fitness tracker?
A basic fitness tracker can put you back as little as £50, but the better entry-level options start around the £100 mark. If you can extend your budget a little further to £150-£200, more premium features will be available such as GPS tracking and heart rate monitors. Any device above this price bracket would be aimed at professional level athletes who required more detailed stats.
Fitness tracker brands
The 3 key players in terms of fitness watches are Fitbit, Apple and Garmin. Each tracker is best suited to different purposes depending on what you will be primarily using the device for. Each of these main brands have several trackers and models which vary in price from £50 to £500+.
Microsoft, Moov Now and Jawbone also have a range of fitness tracking devices that are worth browsing.
Which features should your fitness tracker include?
When purchasing this device it is important to consider it’s features carefully to ensure all your required goals can be monitored. Here we have listed the top 7 features of a smartwatch or fitness tracker to consider and which brand of devices is most suited to each goal.
Recent advances in technology mean that this is a fairly common feature on most trackers nowadays. This important measure can help you accurately monitor how many calories you’re burning per day and is particularly useful during workouts.
Trackers that include this feature: Many Fitbit devices including the Charge HR, Garmin Vivosmart and the Apple Watch.
A limited number of devices have inbuilt sensors which detect when you begin exercising. This feature can often pick up the exact sport you’re participating in. Anything from cycling to playing tennis can be detected. Then this activity will be logged automatically meaning you don’t have to worry about remembering to record your activity.
Trackers that include this feature: Fitbit are particularly great at automatically recognising activity and have a range of devices to choose from.
Integrating the device with your smartphone.
Some devices offer further functionalities when they’re integrated with your phone. Typically offering options such as text or call notifications on your tracker itself, or even controlling your music. The device with the highest level of integration with your phone is easily an Apple Watch. This device aims to be an extension of your phone with the added benefits of health tracking.
Trackers that include this feature: Apple Watch. Also, the Fitbit Blaze has a larger screen so allows texts and calls to be directly received and responded too. Microsoft Band 2.
Many devices track your step count, but fewer can actually track how far you have walked or ran. This also allows for more detailed statistics particularly if you’re a runner, as pace and distance travelled are figures that can be provided. Cyclists can also hugely benefit from this feature.
Trackers that include this feature: Several Fitbits as well as the Apple Watch have this feature built in, the Garmin Vivoactive HR has GPS tracking capabilities also.
Waterproof or water resistance.
When researching fitness tracker functionalities, you will quickly realise that many devices are not waterproof. This is far from ideal if your primary sport is swimming. With some devices there are options to ‘log’ a swim after the event, however, if you need a device that is able to track your swim directly there are a few to look out for. Such tailored devices are able to track lengths and pace with ease.
Trackers that include this feature: Garmin Swim is tailor made for swimmers but also includes many other advanced features. Some lines of Fitbit are waterproof as well.
Whilst each device can track fitness activities as a minimum, some will go the extra mile and provide feedback on each workout to help you exercise more effectively. This ‘feedback’ often comes in the form of overall execution.
Trackers that include this feature: Moov Now not only provides feedback on your workout but also delivers it in real time as you exercise.
Reminders to move.
A simple and overlooked feature is ‘reminder you to move’ notifications when you have been stationary for too long. This notification can come to the tracker directly or it can sometimes be delivered to your smartphone. This is a particularly useful feature for those of us with office jobs, as not only are you reminded to move but you are simultaneously reminded to rest your eyes.
Trackers that include this feature: Many Fitbit and Garmin devices offer this feature as an option, Apple Watches do also.