Are you a high-performance athlete or do you want to finally get your behind off the couch? Or do you fit somewhere in between?
No matter what your personal fitness level is, modern technology can help you achieve your goals. By picking one of the best fitness tracker devices on the market you can vastly improve your training. And that will get you to your goals a lot faster. But figuring out which product will best suit you can take endless hours of research.
Here’s the best part though:
To help you through the maze and confusion of marketing material we have put together this guide. Many weeks of research have gone into this. And you will get all our fitness tracker recommendations completely for free.
You will only be presented with products that truly can be called the best fitness trackers on the market. No matter which one you eventually choose on the below list, it will help you get to your goals.
What Are Fitness Trackers?
Essentially these are wristbands or watches that keep track of your daily activity. By sensing movements in the device, they can do anything from counting the steps you take to keeping track of your heart rate throughout the day.
They are great to use as a workout tracker, where it will make certain measurements to tell how many calories you are burning. The simplest devices will just tell you things about the steps you take throughout the day. They can also tell the difference between times when you are walking and when you might be running.
But the more sophisticated watches that you can find these days will do quite a bit more. They will track your sleeping patterns to indicate if you are getting enough or too much rest time.
And for some real advanced features:
Some of these devices will also track your heart rate. This is extremely helpful if you want to target very specific heart rate zones during your training.
The best thing about these devices is that both the high-performance athlete and couch potato can benefit from using one. If you are starting out then you don’t have to spend much. For about $50 you’ll be literally up and running.
More on different models and pricing to come.
Can You Benefit From An Activity Tracker?
No matter what your background is, the answer to this question is Yes! Let’s take a look at the two extremes.
The Couch Potato
If you have neglected exercise and have put on a few pounds that you’d like to get rid of then now is always the best time. But you need to understand where exactly you are starting.
By investing in one of the simpler devices below, you can get some great insights into your daily routine. One of the most important data points is the number of steps you take. Is that number too low? How much do you need to improve it? Can simple lifestyle changes make you walk more?
If you know you need to do more walking then it’s best to measure it. That way you can say for sure that you are taking steps in the right direction.
The Fitness Enthusiast
Even a simple wrist band tracker will work well. But if you’re into keeping fit and exercising, then investing in one of the latest fitness watches might give you some bigger advantages. These high-tech trackers will track a lot more data and can even recommend changes to your fitness plan.
It’s like having a personal fitness instructor following you everywhere you go. Measure your heart rate when you need it. And if it is too high or too low you’ll know that you need to adjust your training. And this can help you if you are into weight training, running or rowing.
The Top 5 Best Activity Tracker Options
We spent a lot of time putting together a fitness tracker comparison. You have the advantage now of being able to see the top 5 results of that analysis. No matter what you want to get out of your activity tracker, there I something in this list that will suit you.
1) Fitbit Activity Tracker Flex 2
This Fitbit activity tracker is probably the best device to get for basic functionality. But even then, you get a lot of features. It will track your steps and running distances. And it will also estimate your calories burned.
If you like going swimming then you don’t have to worry that it will get wet, as it is fully waterproof. The built in SmartTrack feature can tell when you have started certain exercises. And all the data will be sent to the Fitbit app so that you can see your progress over time. Set your daily goals and check the app to make sure you beat them on a regular basis.
2) Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Tracker Watch
This Fitbit activity tracker is aimed at the more serious fitness fan. It looks like a watch, but costs nowhere near as much as an Apple iWatch. It looks cool and is very stylish, so even if you wear formal clothes during the day, this will not look out of place.
It will also measure and display your heart rate and notify you when you are in the right zone. It doesn’t matter what sport you are into, this is one of those fitness watches that will keep track of the right fitness data. You can run, cycle or cross train, and you’ll have the data to see how well you did.
When your smartphone is on you as well then you can take advantage of GPS data that will tell you things like exact distances you have gone. It will also tell your pace at different times in your workout. Overall this is the best activity tracker with the most features.
3) Fitness Tracker HR
This is the cheapest device you can get with a heart monitor built in. But if you need to do serious heart rate training then you might still want to invest in a chest strap (more on that below). This fitnesstracker is a great entry level device.
It has a few built-in presets for different sports including running, cycling, spinning and even yoga. It can link up to your phone and you can set different notification sounds and vibrations for incoming texts and calls.
It is fully compatible with both Android and iOS, so the most popular devices are covered. It will even gather GPS data from your phone and collect info about the exact distance and speed you were at.
4) FELIS Bluetooth 4.0 Activity Tracker
The 4th recommendation in our fitness tracker reviews is this device by Felis. It is available in one design and two different colors. And because of its fashionable design, it will go well with any outfit.
It will measure your wrist heart rate which can work well enough to get you into the right zone. It will keep track of your activity for pretty much all types of exercises. But the data is not specifically tailored to different types of exercise.
The battery will last quite a few days and only takes a short time to fully charge over USB. Best thing to do is to plug it into your computer when you are idle anyway. And finally, it is fully compatible with the latest iPhone and Android systems available.
5) Polar M400 GPS Smart Sports Watch
The Polar M400 is a fully featured fitness tracker watch and does a lot more than the average fitness wristband. With built in GPS it will keep track of your route, speed and distance. This is very handy if you don’t like bringing your phone with you.
It is fully compatible with Polar’s heart rate monitor straps and that will give you some advanced training ability. You’ll know exactly what zone you are in with very precise measures.
It is also available in many different colors so that you can pick one that goes best with work and private life.
Bonus Recommendation: Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor
The above fitness tracker watch by Polar does require a heart monitor chest strap. For the best results and most accurate measures you should consider investing in the H7 strap. It will turn your activity watch into a personal trainer that pushes you to get the most out of every work out sessions.
5 Most Important Features
There are so many fitness band products out there. And they all focus on different features. Marketing materials can actually add to the confusion and make it more difficult to come to a decision.
To come up with the product recommendations on this page we focused on a couple of things. Rather than let the marketing stuff confuse you, you can focus on how to make a decision that is right for you.
To get a full set of data about your health and fitness you’ll want to wear it all the time. That means it has to be comfortable even when you are asleep. You don’t want something where the strap becomes uncomfortable when you are running. Or one that hurts your wrist when you are asleep. It should really be practically unnoticeable.
You might have a Samsung Android phone at the moment. But what if you decide to change to an iPhone? Will you need to buy a different fitnesstracker again? That would be very inconvenient. Some of the cheaper options you find will be a bit limited in compatibility. To make sure you can easily switch connections to other phones and tablets you should go for one that connects to many different apps.
Because you’ll be wearing it a lot you do want to consider the style you go for. If you plan to wear it all day, then you might want something a little bit subtle that will go with a business suit. A bright yellow wrist tracker will not be so suitable for those situations. Many devices come in different colors and designs. Try and pick one that makes it more flexible to wear with anything.
This feature will drive up the price a bit. But if you are really into boosting your training plans then you need this feature. Essentially it will measure your heart rate and tell you when you are at your optimum performance. Different heart rate zones will trigger different reactions in your body. This really helps to give you the most advanced insights into how well your exercise plan is working.
If this is your first fitness tracking gadget then it might be best to pick something that is at the lower price range. If it isn’t suitable for you then you won’t waste a lot of money. But if you want to start tracking a lot of data right from the start then try to invest in a device that won’t fall short.
What Sports Are They Suitable For?
All of the above fitness tracker reviews will suit the majority of sports and exercises. If you are into swimming or triathlons then you will need to make sure you pick a waterproof fitness tracker. Not all of them are suitable for swimming. Be careful to not mistake splash proof for suitable under water.
These days you will rarely see fitness enthusiasts who don’t wear a fitness band of some sort. If you want to understand more about your activity and where you can make improvements, then don’t hesitate. Just pick one of the above, and see for yourself.
Fitness Tracker With Heart Rate Monitor
Many fitness wristband devices will measure your heart rate at your wrist. While that is better than no heart data, it can be very inaccurate. The better solution is to invest in an activity watch that can be connected to a heart rate strap that goes around your chest.
These devices are extremely sensitive. And they won’t give you any false or intermittent data. If you are heading towards heart rate based exercise planning then try and do it right from the start.
What Apps Should You Use?
There are a lot of fitness tracker app downloads available. The majority of them are free with some paid in app purchases. For the most part you will be fine just working with the free options. Once you have your workout tracker chosen and set up then it might make sense to try out a few different apps.
Our top two recommendations above are made by Fitbit. There is a fitness tracker app available with the same name. And the reason why this would be the top option for those devices is that all features are free. There is no need to upgrade and pay for advanced options.
The best fitness tracker for your personal needs will depend on how much you exercise and how much data you need. If you are just getting off the couch, then try using a wristband first. It will give you all the data you need to improve your activity levels.
And you can always upgrade at a later date. The first two product recommendations above will best suit those needs, and you simply can’t go wrong with a Fitbit device. They are very easy to use and will not let you down.
The app that goes with it is also free for all features. So, you can start tracking all your daily activity and see it on your phone. You’ll even see info about your sleeping patterns to tell you if you are getting enough sleep.