It seems like everyone is wearing an activity tracker these days, but this is more than just typical fad. Activity tracking has major benefits. It allows you to set goals and keep yourself accountable. Whether you want to lose weight, lower your body fat percentage, train to run a marathon, or just be healthy, you can design a fitness regimen to suit your own needs. You can also see yourself getting closer to your goals on paper (or rather, on a smartphone screen) and in real life. The best activity trackers help you set attainable goals and see your progress towards them in an understandable, fun, and interesting way.
Important Tracking Considerations
- There is no one best activity tracker to suit all needs. Your decision should be based on what you want to track, what kind of fitness regimen you have, and how much you want to spend.
- There are plenty of cheap, off-brand models available, and some of them have customer satisfaction comparable to some of the top rated activity trackers that are better known. If your activity tracking needs are not very extensive or complicated, then one of these might work for you. You might also pick up a less expensive activity tracker if you aren’t sure activity tracking is something you really want to commit to. You can give it a try before investing in a more expensive device.
- Consider what exactly you want to track. A lot of different factors go into “activity” not just how many steps you take each day. Many of the best activity trackers can measure sleep, steps climbed, heart rate, and even swimming laps.
- Are you a runner? The best activity trackers for running feature GPS and accurate distance measuring. If you do a lot of swimming, you may want to choose one of the best activity trackers that is waterproof and can measure swimming laps and or strokes.
- The best activity trackers are usually accompanied by the manufacturer’s smartphone app. Activity tracking isn’t worth much without a great user interface. When choosing the best activity trackers, look for and app interface that is easy to use and allows you to set and track goals.
Top 10 Best Activity Trackers Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Activity Trackers
The Fitbit One has stood the test of time and has proven itself to be one of the best all around activity trackers out there. This small, ultraportable and ultra versatile device tracks sleep, steps, distance, calories, and stairs. It is small enough to slip into your pocket, but can also be clipped onto clothing or worn in a necklace-style carry case. Charging is relatively fast and each charge should last you about two weeks.
The Fitbit One easily syncs with your Bluetooth enabled phone, laptop, or tablet. The app that goes along with it has a great user interface which is easy and fun to use. It allows you to visualize your activity and health patterns. You can keep track of the duration and quality of your sleep by letting the Fitbit know when you start trying to fall asleep. It tracks your movement throughout the night, allowing you to see when you are restless and when you are sleeping deeply. There is even a silent alarm.
There are a couple of features you won’t find in the Fitbit One. It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor and it isn’t waterproof. That means that you can track your exercise by inputting the type and duration of the activity, but you won’t be able to see how your heart rate changes during your workout. You also won’t be able to take this for a swim. However, if you aren’t a swimmer and are more concerned with tracking your activity than tracking your heart rate, then this may be a good choice for you.
If you are a serious athlete or are just looking for more in-depth activity tracking than that offered by the Fitbit One, the Blaze could be one of the best activity trackers for you. Here’s what you’ll get that the One doesn’t offer: heart rate monitoring, GPS, sport modes, automatic sleep tracking, music control, and SmartTrack. SmartTrack is a feature that automatically recognizes and tracks different types of exercises without the need to tell the device what you are doing. You can also control the music output from your iPhone or other compatible device right from the Blaze’s high-resolution color touchscreen.
Like the One, the Blaze is not waterproof. The other downside is the price point. If you don’t need the kind of comprehensive activity tracking offered by the Blaze, there are plenty of basic and mid-level options that give you very good performance and usability. However, if you’re willing to spend the money, the Blaze offers great all-around activity tracking in an attractive, functional package with a good user interface.
The Garmin Vivoactive is a smartwatch that tracks a wide range of physical activities with accurate tracking and GPS. The Vivoactive’s tracking repertoire is extensive. It measures your baseline activity level to assign daily goals and an attainable step target. It even adjusts your goals automatically and incrementally if you continue to meet your targets.
In addition to tracking your activity, the Vivoactive connects you to a lot of your normal smartphone features, including caller ID, text messages, and social media notifications. The battery life is very good if you are just using activity tracking, but decreases significantly when using GPS. One advantage over the Fitbit Blaze is the fact that the Vivoactive is waterproof. Overall, both the Blaze and the Vivoactive have a wide range of excellent tracking capabilities, as well as additional features. If you are deciding between these two, the choice mostly comes down to whether you prefer one app over the other and whether you want to be able to track your swims.
The Bellabeat LEAF stands out from its competitors because it turns activity tracking into a fashion statement. It is a piece of jewelry that can be clipped onto clothing, or worn on a necklace or bracelet and is considered wearable tech. The LEAF could surely win a lot of beauty contests, but can it win any functionality contests? In many ways, it is competitive with other trackers in the functionality department. It has very good battery life, and it gives activity reminders. It also tracks steps, activities, and sleep.
The LEAF can handle a little sweat, but it is definitely not waterproof. You most certainly cannot swim with this on, and it also does not track your heart rate. However, it does offer good, fairly accurate activity tracking in an attractive package. In general, this is not a device that will appeal to men. The leaf is marketed to women and even includes a monthly period tracker. This is definitely one of the best activity trackers for women, and generally doesn’t compromise on function.
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