How do I choose a fitness tracker? 7 things to consider

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Deciding on what fitness tracker to purchase may be a deal of work as there are many different brands in the market today. What design should I go for? What model is perfect for me? These and more are some questions you may have to answer before choosing a fitness tracker. 

Not to worry, this article will outline everything you need to know about how to choose a fitness tracker, what features to look out for, and what models are best for you. Let’s dive in.

Things to look out for before purchasing a fitness tracker

1. Compatibility

This is the most crucial factor to consider before buying any tracking device; you do not want to purchase a product only to get home to discover that it isn’t compatible with your phone, hence can’t serve its purpose.

This is because many fitness trackers are phone or device-specific. The Apple Watch Series, for example, is only compatible with iPhone models, so it would be useless to purchase this device if you do not own an iOS device. 

On the other hand, Tizen is compatible with all Android smartphones and iPhones 5 and above. So ensure you read about the compatibility before buying any fitness tracker. 

2. Purpose – what do you want to track?

Many fitness trackers are known to perform more specialized functions than others. While some are best at monitoring steps and distance covered, some do better as heart rate monitors and sleep trackers. 

The Garmin Forerunner 45S, for example, is a top choice for runners even though it has other wearable fitness technology features. It has an optimized GPS technology that finely tracks your pace, interval, and distance.

But, if you perform cycling activities, you may consider brands like Polar’s Vantage V and Garmin fēnix 5S Plus; these trackers are ranked high in the list of best cycling tracking devices. 

Be sure to select a tracker that can capture data for the specific sport or training you do most. However, they must monitor basic fitness activities like calories burned and heart rate monitoring.

3. Design and ergonomics

Style 

While most trackers are worn around the wrist, some fit on your clothes or sit in your pocket. This is an essential factor to consider before choosing a fitness tracker, as you do not want to suffer any form of discomfort while on your fitness journey.

Examples of clip-on fitness trackers are Bellabeat Leaf Urban and Fitbit Inspire 2.

Screen

It is advisable to choose trackers with a built-in screen. This will help you keep tabs on your activity goals and ensure more comfort during use. They may, however, cost more.

Fitness trackers that do not come with screens will require you to download the data collected for the day to your phone or computer before reading it. 

4. Autonomy

Battery life is a vital factor to consider if you do not want to charge your smartband all the time. While some are rechargeable via a USB cable and can function up to 4 to 5 days after a full charge, others come with a watch battery lasting about six months. 

Opt for trackers that guarantee up to 8 months of autonomy. This way, you do not have to worry about charging and taking them with you on long vacations. Withings Activity Steel ranks high when it comes to tracker autonomy. Other good models to consider are Samsung Galaxy Fit2 and Garmin Vivofit 4.

Choose fitness trackers that enhance your comfort.

5. Smart notifications

More and more activity trackers utilize the Bluetooth connection with your smartphone to display notifications of incoming calls, texts, or social applications like Facebook or WhatsApp. The vibration alerts you, and it will display messages on the screen.

If you like to stay connected, this additional functionality will be a criterion to consider. A top model is the Withings Steel HR

6. Waterproof 

Though this is not a vital requirement, it could be helpful if you love water exercises and want to get reports on your swim sessions. 

With a fitness tracker on you, while swimming, it will track lengths in the pool and also record duration and calorie burn. Top tracker models will detect the strokes and provide data on your technique, offering more for obsessed swimmers. 

To measure the resistance of an activity tracker to water, check the IP rating. The higher it is, the more water-resistant the bracelet. Therefore, some smartbands will only be resistant to rainwater (iPX3), while others can be immersed beyond one meter for 30 minutes (IPX8).

Some top waterproof trackers available on Amazon are Coros Apex and Fitbit Ace 2 for kids.

7. Cost

Fitness trackers can range from $20 to $350 or more depending on the brand and type.

If your budget is about $10 – $20, you may opt for bands like Y & L Fitness Tracker and Overfly Fitness Tracker.

However, if you’re looking for more advanced settings like multi-sport tracking, sleep stage monitor, GPS support, voice assistant, and Alexa, you may need to spend a little more.

There is always a fitness tracker to match your budget.

Other features to look out for

Though negligible, you may also want to consider any of these features before deciding which model to purchase. 

  • On-screen workouts and coaching
  • Email, text, or social media notifications
  • GPS
  • Automatic syncing
  • Colour touchscreen
  • Route suggestions

Other recommended fitness trackers to buy

  • Fitbit charge 4
  • Fitbit inspire 2
  • Xiaomi Band 5 Smart
  • Huawei Band 6 Black
  • Fitbit Versa 3
  • Polar Grit X
  • Wyze Band
  • Garmin Lily 
  • Polar Ignite 2
  • Fitbit Luxe 
  • Amazfit Bip 
  • Huawei Band 3 Pro
  • Honour Band 5

Conclusion

Now you know what to look out for when purchasing fitness trackers. Go for models that best appeal to you and step up your physical fitness