Fitness on A Wrist – Best Activity Tracker Of 2015

The next big trend and practical force of technological prowess is here. Called simply an Activity Tracker, this simple band on your wrist will make you look forward to walks and other exercises that help promote heart health and overall wellness.

Your fitness related metrics are monitored constantly by activity trackers including calorie consumption, sleep quality, distance run or walked, and in some instances even heartbeat. Whether it uses a wire or performs wirelessly, these wrist wonders can be synced to your computer or smartphone to enable long-term data tracking. You can also rely on free apps to help out. Also, do take a look at our list (see below) of the best activity trackers of 2015.

Activity trackers have long been in circulation, primarily for military purposes. The commercial versions are here and people are flocking to them like hummingbirds to nectar-packed flowers. It is so easy to forget exercise and even if one begins a routine it gets challenging in the modern world to stay on top of things.

These marvellous devices do away with this problem and give you a chance to stay in shape using the help of such elegant technology. And yes, they even show the time.

Activity Tracker Review

A

Different Activity Tracker Types & Uses

From smartwatch style notifications to heart-rate monitoring trackers like Fitbit Charge HR, you have a vast range of activity trackers to choose from and they are all stylish, capable of suiting your wardrobe at any time day or night.

  • Heart Rate Tracker – Continuous heart rate monitoring feels like having a specialist on your wrist, and that’s what brands like Fitbit Charge get you. You do indeed have an assortment of diverse trackers to choose from with the core aim being that you monitor your heart rate to help improve health. Several exercise regimens need you to perform activities that push your heart rate up(cardio) or down (yoga). With activity trackers that come designed to display heart metrics, you can never go wrong when it comes to performing your routines right.
  • Sleep Monitoring Tracker – Sleep is as crucial for health as diet and exercise. From timer setting options to smart alarms you can and will sleep and wake up at the right times. Gone are the days when you used to throw the alarm clock out the window. Trackers like these make sleep time ideal, convenient, and less noisy.
  • Cardio Tracker – Running and walking fall under this category where trackers like the Fitbit Surge help you perform that daily run around the neighborhood or walk around the block. Also used for cycling, these activity trackers have proven to be quite versatile.
  • Multisports Tracker – From reliable notifications to an unmatched look, these types of trackers come packing everything an athlete will need to keep track of their sports activities down to the smallest detail. Some of them even have GPS to finetune their performance as they help you hone yours.
  • Swimming Tracker – Only some brands like the Garmin Swim are waterproof and therefore ideal for swimming while others say they are but offer more terrestrial benefits or can only manage showers (no immersion). From swim distance covered to number of strokes based on type (freestyle, back, butterfly, breast, etc.) these fitness trackers are much better than most watches that come designed to help swimmers.
  • Bling & Style Tracker – Purely to make a fashion statement, activity trackers of this type like the Swarovski Shine and Withings Activité Pop are splendid accessories that are by no means weak when it comes to their core tracking purpose.

B

Best Activity Tracker of 2015 – Product Reviews

Below we cover all the top brands in this category. Which one is the best depends entirely on you, because the best activity tracker of 2015 will always be the one that you can personally put to use.

Known for its prowess at continuous heart rate monitoring, it also suits any wardrobe, meaning you can do it for work and even after without worrying about it being a distraction.

  • The textured rubber design adds to its look and ease of cleaning.
  • The screen matches the band’s color, which includes tangerine, blue, and plum.
  • The screen is a monochrome OLED display, meaning crisp and clear data.
  • Information displayed includes: flights of stairs climbed, current time, distance traveled, total daily steps taken, calorie intake, and of course heart rate.
  • The clasp, buckle, and rubber strap are fairly familiar watch-like additions.
  • You will most certainly need to clean the band as it accrues sweat and grime, which could then lead to mild skin irritation. It is otherwise quite comfortable to wear, even to bed.
  • Sleep mode automatically starts based on your movements and heart rate, enhancing the intuitive appeal of this model.
  • You can activate its ‘stopwatch mode’ by pressing a button on the left; great for varied exercise routines.
  • A smartwatch-lite feature is also available in the form of Caller ID, which displays the caller’s name when they ring the smartphone you have synced with the fitness tracker.
  • It comes with 1ATM water-resistance; good only for showers, not submerging in tubs or pools.
  • Unlike the Fitbit Surge, this model does not have GPS capability.
  • While it does not display distance or pace for running or jogging, it does show heart rate, duration, and calories burned.
  • It tracks all the above-mentioned metrics, including your sleep patterns, rendering the Fitbit Charge HR one of the top activity trackers on the market.

One of the most prominent features on this model is its Bluetooth syncing. From near-constant smartphone updates with the device synced to it, the Jawbone has several other keynote additions that make it an upgrade from its predecessors.

  • The 3.0 version of the Up software ensures real-time tracking and goal-oriented targeting.
  • It tracks sleep, movement, calories, and more, providing all-round options for your wellness.
  • Stylish… That’s yet another feature gracing this slim, curvy, and sensuous activity tracker.
  • Overlapping metal tips and a clasp means easy adjustments that can snugly fit around any sized wrist.
  • A 2.5mm headphone jack enables charging with the rubber USB adapter (also included).
  • Pressing and holding a small metal button at the other end of this tracker lets it know when to start tracking your sleep patterns. Indication: a small moon icon flashes beside the button.
  • Owing to its high comfort levels, some automatic features are manual with this fitness tracker. This includes: pulse trackers and built-in skin thermometers, which need to be manually triggered.
  • It is water resistant, you can shower with it, and a little sweat will do it no harm. Swimming and immersion in tubs, though, is not recommended.
  • The band vibrates and flashes a sun icon five times to let you know when the battery is getting low.
  • The display is understandably small, which means you will need to resort to the highly informative Jawbone app to check out all data.
  • This app has several diverse features, from interactive options to detailed activity pattern charts. The Lifeline is one of its original additions.
  • Bluetooth syncing makes it possible for wireless connections between the band and your smartphone, which conveniently also contains the Jawbone app.

Touted to be one of the best activity trackers for sports tracking, it comes prepared to cover workouts, cycling, running, etc. It is more a smartwatch than a fitness tracker judging by all its features.

  • The strap is rubberized and comes in these colors: tangerine, black, blue.
  • Its girth and display do look rather old fashioned but in the quaint sense of the word.
  • The touchscreen monochrome 1.25-inch LCD is strictly practical and uses greyish blue color variations to differentiate between menus and the homescreen.
  • You can view the live view mode of your daily stats and the function screen with a single button click, located on the band’s left.
  • The two right-side buttons are used for selection inputs.
  • The Fitbit Surge has a superbly user friendly interface.
  • Touchscreen responsiveness is keen even in the rain.
  • You can bank on the LCD screen’s backlight in dim conditions.
  • You can set automatic or manual use of the backlight feature on the tracker itself just as easily as you can toggle Blutooth on/off, notifications on/off, heart rate monitoring power options, and so on.
  • It tracks: calories burned, elevation, stairs climbed, total minutes active, and distance traveled. It can accomplish this thanks to a digital compass and 3-axis gyroscope.
  • All these stats are synced to the Fitbit app as well as displayed on the band’s screen.
  • Being touch oriented, you can swipe left on the band’s screen to see daily totals.
  • It automatically monitors sleep tracking and comes with a silent vibration-based alarm.
  • It keeps a record of days of detailed motion data.
  • Heart rate data is stored at 1-second intervals during exercise tracking and 5-second intervals at other times; your heart rate is monitored 24-7.
  • A built in optical heart rate sensor serves as guide during workouts and runs; detailed bpm (beats per minute) training is therefore possible.
  • Blood volume changes accompanying your heartbeats are indicated by the LED lights on the band’s back, courtesy Fitbit’s PurePulse technology. Coupled with algorithms, this function gets you more precise calorie burn figures.
  • Add GPS connectivity that allows the Surge to perform tracking without the need for a smartphone and satellite lock options for more precise distance and other data, and the Fitbit Surge is more competitive than most fitness trackers on the market.

With all notifications being displayed right on your wrist and several sports tracking features and options linked to GPS connectivity, the Garmin Vivoactive does not use accelerometers but satellite-locked statistics to track walking, running, swimming, and cycling; among others.

  • Garmin has an impressive data-store of 38,000 golf courses, meaning this tracker brings golfing tracking to your everyday activities including yardage to the front, centre and back of the green.
  • It functions like both a fitness tracker and smartwatch. Not only does it track sleep patterns but also daily total steps taken.
  • The Vivoactive even prompts you to get up and move if you are sedentary for too long.
  • Jawbone and Fitbit brands have more detailed analyses but for those who like to keep these details simple, this Garmin model is perfect.
  • The notifications are superb. Once paired with your smartphone all notifications come to your band not the phone, enhancing convenience like only few other activity trackers can; these alerts include WhatsApp messages, tweets, texts, calls, and Uber alerts.
  • All notifications disappear in 10 seconds so the band does not get to be a burden to the senses. Swipe right (the LCD touchscreen is low-res 205 x 148; not as great as it could have been) to reach the notifications menu where all these alerts are stored.
  • With 5ATM water resistance you can swim to 50m depths with this outstanding tracker.
  • The design is slim and aesthetic.
  • A button on the left turns the backlight on for five seconds, but this is not intense enough to illuminate the display in dim conditions.
  • The Garmin Connect smartphone app is your mobile control base for all things to do with the Vivoactive.

From an optical heart rate reader to its ability to capture several different kinds of metrics, this is quite a powerful sports activity tracker.

  • It has a beautifully textured black rubber strap.
  • It comes designed with a LCD screen (1.25-inch monochrome; Gorilla Glass 3 protective layer) and backlight (swipe up along the right-hand bezel).
  • This is one of the more durable trackers and can withstand damage to a good extent.
  • 5ATM water resistance means it remains waterproof and functional for 50m.
  • Number of steps taken, calories burned, and heart rate are three of many stats measured and displayed by the Basis Peak. It even tracks your skin temperature and galvanic skin response (aka sweat).
  • To monitor your heart rate better you can pair it with the RunKeeper app.
  • It is capable of recording each activity burst individually; ideal for both walking and running. You also get precise heart rate reading live on your wrist when you go jogging.
  • Pace and distance are not recorded because GPS is absent. However, you have the freedom to input heart rate data into a GPS tracking smartphone app, veritably creating two data sets (one for the Peak and another for use in your phone).
  • It does not continuously record your runs, meaning if you happen to stop to, say, cross the road or for whatever other reason the run-record is turned off. You end up with bursts of activity and not the more useful full-run data
  • Where gym fitness is concerned, though, the Peak logs weight-lifting, Zumba routines, spinning, and aerobics, more than compensating for laxities elsewhere.
  • One of its most outstanding features is battery lifespan. You get a whole week’s worth of it even with continuous heart rate monitoring.

The Swiss-made analogue watch packs a hidden sensor tech and a Sapphire glass dome (unscratchable). It is a traditional looking watch with matching face and secondary dial, adding to the look.

  • It comes ready to display blood pressure readings.
  • The brown calf-leather straps are highly aesthetic; you get other straps with the box.
  • It uses an accelerometer to keep track of your steps.
  • It does not use GPS but relies on the accelerometer to track calories burned, elevation climbed, and distance covered.
  • Activity bursts are also recorded and the watch intuitively knows whether you were swimming, walking, or running.
  • It is waterproof upto 50m (5ATM).
  • You can set daily targets or goals on your smartphone via the app for the Withings and sync with the secondary dial on the watch to help you meet those goals.
  • It auto-tracks your sleeping patterns.
  • Double-tap the watch face to see when your alarm is set to go off.
  • The Withings Activité is designed to keep a simple tab on your life activities and is not really designed for high-end for gym or sports tracking usage.

Elegant, simple, and functions with a minimalist interface, the Misfit Shine is as convenient as it is user friendly.

  • 6-month replaceable batteries do away with the need to keep charging this tracker.
  • A halo of little lights on the main interface shows you how much activity you have been performing all day.
  • It even tells time.
  • The way it records calories burned is quite special: calories pertaining to physical activities (swimming, walking, running, etc.) and basal metabolic rate (BMR) required to keep the body healthy.
  • Tracking options include: soccer, running, cycling, basketball, swimming, gym, jogging, walking, and more; this renders the Shine one of the simplest most multivarious trackers out there.
  • A three-dimensional accelerometry system records duration and intensity for calorie-burning activities
  • The anodized aluminium imparts durability.
  • It is waterproof and can be used while awimming.

C

What To Look Out For When Buying Activity Trackers

This section is pretty straightforward. Here are the factors you need to use to help you shop smarter and find the best activity tracker of 2015 for your health needs.

* Tracking Options – What exactly does it track and do those metrics pertain to your everyday activities? Swimmers need to seek out waterproof stats and the depth the tracker can handle. Some trackers have separate categories for stair climbing while others focus prominently on gym or sleep patterns. Pinpoint your main health foci and you will shortlist the types of activity trackers needed.

* Circumstances – Where will you be wearing the tracker? If it is going to be present at the workplace and also needs to come with you to a party or on regular trips, each of which determine different attire, knowing this step can help you stay formal or otherwise without the need to take the tracker off.

* Comfort – Does it irritate your skin? Does it stay skewed at an odd position or does not have adjustments to help it sit firmly on your wrist? Comfort also branches out to how often you need to keep the fitness tracker charged. Does it have too many options or too less? Is either one of those modes a convenience for you? Are you more comfortable using batteries or USB chargers?

* Storing & Syncing – How an activity tracker stores and syncs your data can change your entire attitude towards it. Syncing also includes Bluetooth or GPS connectivity, not to mention the iOS or Android apps you can use to keep abreast of activity records.

D

Conclusion

How you can access your metrics and data to your activity tracker’s compatibility, comfort, and needed features… Being spoiled for choices is not a good place to be when it comes to these devices. Use all the information provided here to gain a clear understanding of how trackers function, what types are available, and how to shop smart when looking to buy.

Once you have pinpointed your selection, the real work then begins as you bond with your new fitness tracker and use all that it has to offer to promote your personal wellbeing, health, and fitness.

Activity Tracker Review