Fitness trackers have exploded in popularity over the past few years. Brands are fighting to create the ultimate activity tracker, and they’re packing them with tons of new features. There are so many options to choose from that it’s hard to know where to start. What it really boils down to is what’s best for you as an athlete or someone who wants to adopt healthier habits. Use this guide to determine which fitness tracker is right for you.
Apple Watch Series 4
Best for: enthusiasts who require the best of the best.
As with all things Apple, the Apple Watch takes fitness trackers to the next level. The Series 4 offers a built-in heart sensor, a pacing feature for runners, personalized fitness coaching and the ability to compete with your friends and family. It’s water-resistant so you can push yourself in the elements without worrying about damaging your investment. This is the top-end option for true enthusiasts, and one of the best fitness trackers around.
Best for: wallet-conscious people seeking form and function from their tracker.
Fitbit’s Versa is an attractive smartwatch that’s packed with features. It has a battery life of more than four days (depending on conditions), and you can choose from more than 15 exercise modes, which makes it a great choice for a variety of athletes. Many of Fitbit’s fitness trackers are built for utility, but the Versa is a true smartwatch that can compete with the Apple Watch at a fraction of the price.
Best for: athletes on the go who require in-depth tracking.
Garmin’s Vivosmart is the ideal blend of form and function. It’s slim and subtle, but Garmin didn’t skimp on the design. Track your sleep and even your blood oxygen saturation if that’s your thing. You also get stress tracking, a relaxation breathing timer, wrist-based heart-rate tracking and notifications delivered to the device from your smartphone. With an impressive battery life of seven days, you can spend more time staying active and less time charging your device.
Best for: enthusiasts seeking a tried-and-true brand.
Polar is a staple in the world of activity tracking, and it’s widely known for its heart-rate monitors that wrap around your chest. The A360 eliminates the need for chest monitors because it uses LEDs to track your pulse from your wrist. It’s nowhere near the level of sophistication of an Apple Watch, but it’ll get the job done. It tracks heart rate, calories burned, sleep quality and activity levels during the course of your day.
Best for: strength athletes and CrossFit fanatics.
The Wristband 2 from Atlas is one of the few tracking devices that’s designed to measure strength training and CrossFit-style workouts. The device can sense what exercises you’re performing and even starts to learn how you move for more effective tracking. Enter set and rep goals and the Wristband 2 will handle the rest.
Best for: kids 8 and up who are learning healthy habits.
Rounding out our list is the Fitbit Ace. This no-frills fitness tracker is built for kids as way to introduce healthy habits at a young age. It tracks only steps, total activity minutes and sleep, but those metrics are more than enough for first-time trackers. The simple design is also durable, so it can withstand the rigors of playtime.
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