Exercise watches and bands: how to choose a fitness tracker 67



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You might have seen your friends and family wearing a little device around their wrist (not a watch) and you’re probably wondering what it is and what’s the point. There’s plenty of these fitness trackers around and they do just that: track your movements and fitness activity. Some can sense when you’re asleep, act as a pedometer and even wake you up, while others can do that and more! Technology is changing so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be taking advantage of it for your health.

These devices are able to track your fitness through complex sensors that send the information to the corresponding tracker’s smart phone app or website via wireless or plugging in. You can see how many steps you’ve taken, how much deep and light sleep you’ve had and what your heart rate is!

We have had a look at the most popular fitness trackers on the market and given you the rundown…


1. Fitbit Flex

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The Fitbit Flex is one of the more attractive and popular models on the market thanks to its stylish design and features. Simply sync with your phone or computer and off you go!

Price: $125+


  • Steps taken, calories burnt, hours slept, distance travelled, active minutes, quality of sleep


  • Slim and stylish
  • Wakes you silently in the morning
  • Comfortable and colourful design (lots of colours to choose from)
  • Wirelessly syncs to devices


  • Not enough support for Android devices
  • Uninformative display
  • Not enough foods in meal tracker


2. Fitbit Zip

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If you don’t like to wear a wristband or you want a cheaper option, this could be it. If you’re not fazed about a sleep tracker, then it could be your new fitness pal.

Price: $70+


  • Steps taken, calories burnt, distance travelled


  • Water resistant
  • Good for those who don’t like a wristband
  • Low cost
  • Wirelessly syncs with devices


  • Can’t measure sleep
  • No rechargeable battery
  • Only compatible with Samsung Galaxys and iPhones
  • Easier to misplace


3. Jawbone UP24

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One of the first fitness trackers, the Jawbone UP is a favourite for fitness newbies and fanatics. You’ll like the look and its compatibility, as well as the easy-to-use smart phone app.

Price: $160+


  • Always connected (24/7)
  • Track your weight, map your bike rides, access extensive food libraries


  • Wireless Bluetooth syncing (puts your fitness stats onto the UP app straight away when connected)
  • Stylish and light
  • Compatible with Apple and Android
  • Great smart phone app


  • No website for your stats
  • 2.5mm stereo jack for charging


4. Garmin Vivofit

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From the creators of your GPS comes this cool fitness tracker, the Vivofit.

Price: $128


  • Tracks calories, sleep, heart rate
  • Goal tracking
  • Clock face


  • Year-long battery life – yup, that’s right!
  • Inactivity meter that tells you when you need to move
  • Display is always on


  • No backlight
  • Plain design


5. Samsung Galaxy Gear 2

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You might have the Galaxy phone, so why not get the watch/fitness tracker too? This device has a lot of extras and is almost a smart phone in itself.

Price: $249+


  • Fitness monitor
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Pedometer
  • Music on the go


  • Improved design
  • Heart rate monitors
  • Heaps of extras including camera
  • Water resistant


  • Only compatible with Samsung Galaxy phones
  • Clunky size if only used for fitness tracking


6. LG Lifeband

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LG is best known for its electronics, albeit TVs and not wristbands. This new tracker gives other fitness bands a run for their money.

Price: $125+


  • Tracks calories burnt, daily calorie target, total steps, distance (km)
  • Progress bar
  • Incoming call notification


  • Built-in vibrations to motivate you
  • Apple and Android phone support
  • Works with heart monitors and other fitness apps


  • Quite heavy
  • Low battery life


7. Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch is slated for release in 2015 but is hoping to be the watch to end all watches. It’s a smart phone in a wrist band, as well as a fully functional fitness tracker.

Price: TBA


  • So many different features
  • Comes in different sizes and colours
  • Customisation


  • Expensive
  • Only compatible with Apple products

Would you try a fitness tracker? What feature would you benefit from the most? Tell us below!

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

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