Wearable Tech – Top 5 Fitness Trackers for the New Year
There’s a good chance that many of us will come away from the festive season having eaten a few too many roast potatoes, turkey sandwiches and sweet treats and it all leads to us feeling a bit more negative about our waistlines. Over time these calories build up and we find it very hard to stick to that healthy regime we had adopted prior to the Christmas season. All of this leads to costly gym memberships in the New Year and healthy resolutions we all find very difficult to stick to. That’s where the fitness tracker comes in!
These wonderfully innovative pieces of wearable tech are more than capable of letting you keep an eye on your calorie count, your heart rate and the number of steps you’ve taken throughout the day. They’re a great way of inspiring people to go out for a jog or even just walk to the shops instead of making the unprofitable drive.
There are new fitness trackers coming out all the time with the majority of them designed to fit comfortably around your wrist, although it can be difficult identifying a good quality fitness tracker to get hold of once the Christmas comes to an end. Therefore, we’ve put together a list of the top five fitness trackers that balance quality manufacturing with efficiency and overall value for money.
Samsung Gear Fit
The Gear Fit is the result many trials and research carried out by Samsung, with the major technology company releasing a plethora of smart watches over the last few years. The Gear Fit is designed to offer you a clear and detailed display screen, so it actually looks more like a bulkier band when equipped to your wrist. However, it’s got many of the appealing features Samsung smart watches have had, including the stunning AMOLED display.
The Gear Fit tracks your movements quite well, focusing on your acceleration and using a gyroscope to detect any changes in movement. One of its biggest flaws though is its inability to provide consistent heart rate data, with the sensor tending to be a little fussy at times. It’s probably not the perfect product for the fitness guru looking to reluctantly welcome technology into their regime, but it possesses all the technological features you’d want if you’re after something inspired by a successful range of smart watches.
Microsoft Smart Band
Probably the most in-depth fitness tracker available on the market; the Smart Band is the first piece of wearable tech we’ve seen from Microsoft and it has really lived up to the company’s reputation. There are a staggering 10 biometric sensors built in including a 3-axis accelerometer, an optical heart rate sensor, GPS, gyroscope, skin temperature sensor, capacitive sensor, UV sensor, a microphone and more. It seems Microsoft really have gone all out with this nifty piece of tech.
The design is flawless, while the integration you get with Cortana on any Windows Phone with 8.1 or higher is excellent if you’re keen to store information related to your health and fitness. It gets better, as both iOS and Android users can pair their devices to the fitness tracker as well. With all these features, it’ll cost you slightly more than your average tracker but it’s highly recommended if you have the funds available.
Nike FuelBand SE
This is the oldest fitness tracker in our top five yet it remains one of the best. The Nike FuelBand SE has proven to be one of the most effective fitness trackers around; while it also possesses the attractive, stylish features you’d want from anything you’re going to be wearing quite often. It’s designed to be discreet and offers a simplistic matrix LED display so that you can easily find out whether or not you’ve reached your fitness goals after a day’s jogging.
The FuelBand SE also features a FuelPoint target mode, whereby you look to achieve fuel points through regular exercise and by achieving your goals. When the day comes to an end you can see how you performed with regards to your FuelPoint count as well as the amount of calories you’ve burned and the steps you’ve taken. One of the coolest features of all is the fact that you can set your FuelBand SE to monitor activities such as yoga and even bowling!
Fitbit have a history of creating wearable technology specifically aimed at the health and fitness sector, so with the Surge you’re getting the biggest and most popular wearable they’ve ever made. While it is larger than most of its predecessors, the Surge offers a very helpful GPS feature and heart rate monitor alongside a clear display so tracking is hardly an issue.
The display has even allowed for some smart watch features including a caller ID and SMS messages. It’s ultimately an enhanced and improved version of the Fitbit Flex and some of the older Fitbit wearable’s, so a good choice if you’re not looking for something with tremendous amounts of built-in tech features.
All the fitness trackers mentioned so far have had something unique but have certainly fallen short if you’re looking for something simple, affordable and highly effective. The Jawbone Up24 is simply the best fitness tracker on this list, despite not featuring a display and offering very little in the way of smart watch technology. Instead, the Up24 is weightless, beautifully designed, comfortable and efficient.
With no display, the Up24 connects instead to a smartphone application to provide you with all the data that has been collected. The app itself is stunning and the biometric data you’re looking for is neatly provided through the use of vivid line charts and bar graphs. You can set all kinds of personal challenges with the Up24, including getting up earlier in the morning and improving your diet. This means you can monitor your overall health instead of just your daily exercise routines; a huge plus as far as we’re concerned.
Wearable technology is growing in popularity all the time and we’re pretty confident that, once the last box of chocolates has been consumed, you’ll be ready to invest in one of these essential fitness trackers.
Post by Mike James Content Editor at www.tmb.co.uk