Ready to get moving with the help of a fitness band? We narrowed the field to four best options.
February 06, 2015
1 of 4Photo: Courtesy of Apple
Ideal for: The Must-Know-Everything Tech Junkie
Set for release in April, the Apple Watch is quite possibly the most talked about wearable tech device of this decade. The Activity app uses easy-to-read circles to quickly convey how well you’re doing burning calories, exercising, and standing. The last is unique to this particular watch right now and a very important health marker. Sedentary hours can lead to big health problems later, so the watch reminds you to stand often and gives you a running tally of how often you took a break from sitting. A separate Workout app lets you set goals based on the activity you’re doing, how many calories you want to burn, how long you want to exercise, and how far you want to go.
Con: It’s pricey, and it might not be the best starter fitness device for most people. Rumors suggest the device’s battery life may be a drawback, and since it’s not available yet, it may not be as advertised.
The UP24 does what every great fitness tracker does—counts steps, records activity, monitors sleep—and it does it really well. As a bonus, the device’s slim wristband is less likely to receive gadget glare from curious eyes, because it’s sleek, unassuming, and doesn’t have a flashy light-up screen. (It syncs with your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth.)
Con: You can’t read anything from the device itself. You have to check an app on your smartphone or tablet.
It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some of the more intricate devices (no perspiration sensor or thermometer), but it can count your steps, monitor your sleep, and record your heart rate during a workout, making it great for people who are just as serious about getting their 10,000 steps as they are about getting into the zone during a cardio routine. Plus, we really like the app and web dashboards, as well as its small screen, which updates time, date, steps, distance in miles, calories burned, and floors climbed.
The Vivosmart blends fitness tracker with smartphone alerts: Know how much you’ve moved and receive meeting, e-mail, and text notifications, all from your wrist. Bonus: It’s compatible with Garmin’s chest strap heart rate monitor and can connect with some of Garmin’s other fitness devices, including the bike speed sensor, for better, more detailed data.
Con: Notifications from your iPhone are an all or nothing thing—social media updates, text messages, and incoming calls all cause the Vivosmart to vibrate and light up. However, notification customization is available on Android devices. Also, you have to manually confirm your sleep hours every day.