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Fitness trackers have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for ways to improve their health and fitness.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
But what many people don’t know is that fitness trackers have a long and fascinating history.
The first fitness tracker was created in the early 1970s by a company called primitive fitness. The device was designed to be worn on the wrist and was intended to help people track their fitness progress. However, the device was bulky and uncomfortable to wear, and it was quickly replaced by more compact and stylish devices.
In the early 2000s, fitness trackers began to gain popularity as more and more people became interested in fitness and health.
The first mass-produced fitness tracker was the Fitbit, which was released in 2009. Since then, fitness trackers have become increasingly sophisticated, with features such as heart rate monitors, GPS tracking, and sleep tracking. Thanks to their ever-growing popularity, fitness trackers are here to stay.
There are a lot of fitness trackers on the market, but which one is the best? Here are the top 5 fitness trackers, based on features, durability, and price.
Stylish and comfortable with a nice screen – the Garmin Vivosport comes a close second.
The best fitness tracker thanks to onboard GPS and very keen pricing to keep it competitive.
Lightweight, comfortable and very well made with an amazing battery life.
There’s no doubt about it, the best fitness tracker for a reasonable price at the moment is the Fitbit Charge 4.
It has on-board GPS (unlike its predecessor) and you can easily leave the phone at home and track your runs on it.
It also supports contactless payments, so you can leave your wallet at home too.
Quick Fact: The Fitbit Charge 4 uses an Active Zone Minutes tracking system which charts all your activity which is more energetic than a brisk walk – it’s perfect for cardio training.
1. The on-board GPS makes this a steal at this price point
2. We also like the fact that is has full Spotify controls, we like to use earbuds while running
3. The form factor is slim, neat and effective
1. The clasp isn’t very well made and can be cumbersome
2. Battery life is more like 4 days than the advertised 7
3. Some users have complained that they found the set up complicated
This is for the more casual athlete. The Garmin Vivosport is a bright, cheerful model which provides a lot of Garmin’s functionality in a light attractive band-style tracker.
It has built in GPS and we found it a very easy tracker to set up and get started with.
It’s waterproof and has a decent battery too.
Quick Fact: This tracker can be used in conjunction both with the Strava App and the MyFitnessPal app which is very useful if you want to drill down into the data.
1. Really vibrant, attractive design which just feels fun
2. Waterproofing is excellent
3. Works with a range of apps
1. Seems to miss the occasional rep
2. Can be slow to find a satellite at times – GPS needs coverage to work properly
3. Sleep tracking doesn’t seem to be very accurate
There’s one good reason to buy an Amazfit A1608B Bip and that’s its incredible 30-day battery life.
Well, that’s the advertised life and we found that while it wasn’t quite 30 days in our tests, it was very close.
It’s very well made and it’s a very light tracker at just 1.1 ounces – so, if you’re looking to keep the weight off your wrist, that’s another great reason to buy it.
Quick Fact: The Amazfit has many smartwatch capabilities too and when you’re not working out – you can receive emails, texts, etc. on it too.
1. Fantastic battery life even with the display always on
2. Screen is very clear and easy to read even at a distance
3. Very lightweight ideal for use with a home gym
1. Customer support seems to be an issue for some customers
2. Standard app doesn’t support Strava
3. Sleep tracking isn’t perfect
Some of us just don’t want to wear a watch like device and that’s where the Oura ring comes in.
It’s worth noting that there aren’t many fitness tracking rings now that Motiv has been withdrawn from sale.
However, the Oura doesn’t short cut things and the sensors are very good quality and their algorithm is great at working out information and providing it in a way that’s usable.
Quick Fact: You do NOT get raw data from an Oura Ring it provides data based on a two-week baseline and deviations from it. This helps you better measure progress.
1.Cuts down on anxiety with a focus on gradual progress
2. Really well made and looks fantastic
3. Temperature sensor is excellent
1. Doesn’t provide as much data as a band
2. Doesn’t provide as many functions as a band
3. It’s quite expensive
It’s hard not to mention Apple in these things but we have to stress, we can only recommend the Apple Watch Series 6 if you’re already entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, otherwise, there are better buys to be had.
Of course, it has full iPhone interoperability features and an excellent GPS tracker.
It still can’t compete with the best chest strap heart rate monitors, though.
Quick Fact: This is the only watch in our trial that can measure your blood oxygen saturation point which can be important in times of Covid.
1. Very well featured and more powerful than most fitness bands
2. Elegant, good looks as you’d expect from Apple
3. Works best with an iPhone
1. Very expensive comparably to other fitness trackers
2. Not a good buy if you don’t use an iPhone
3. Can be hard to get hold of, it’s a popular model