The Definitive Guide to Picking the Right Fitness Tracker for You
Have you been thinking about adding a step-counting, sleep-monitoring, wellness-inducing fitness bracelet to your arm party? Numerous studies show that wearing a pedometer can help you be more active and using the corresponding app really can help you lose weight, so what are you waiting for? Here’s your guide to find one that’s right for you!
Fit Bit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband
Best For: An overall great option for anyone who wants to keep track of how many calories they burn and monitor their sleep habits.
What it Does: Measures steps, calories burned, minutes spent active (walking, running), distance traveled, and also monitors your sleep patterns. Allows you to set personal goals and log food.
Results: Your results automatically sync onto a free app with a Bluetooth-compatible device (full list here), or on any MAC or Windows-capable PC. You can share your results and compete with friends, plus receive alerts and weekly progress emails.
Battery Life: About five days.
Specs: Comes in two sizes and four color choices: black, slate blue, neon green, and hot pink. More hues, like seafoam blue and orange are available for an extra $15, or a pack of three for $30. Waterproof.
Nike + Fuelband SE
Best For: Athletes
What it Does: Designed for those who exercise regularly, this band tracks steps, calories, and distance, but also the length, intensity, and frequency of your workouts. It then compiles the data to help you understand which activities are the most beneficial for your individual goals.
Results: Syncs wirelessly with your iPhone, or check your results online. The light-up display shows how close you are to meeting your goals and alerts you when you do. Create a Leaderboard on the Nike app to compete with friends or teammates.
Specs: You can choose the accent color on this band—pink, neon yellow, orange, or rose gold ($169)—or go for all black. Three sizes, water resistant.
Battery Life: Between one and four days.
Fit Bug Orb
Best For: Those who want something discrete and affordable.
What it Does: More like a classic pedometer, the Orb can be pinned to your belt loop or bra, or popped in the included rubber bracelet if you prefer. It measures steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep patterns.
Results: Your results wirelessly sync onto a free app on your iPhone or Android, or can be checked online. The Orb sets goals for you, based on your patterns.
Specs: Three color choices: pink, white, black. One size, adjustable wristband.
Battery Life: No charging needed, instead the Orb runs on a battery ($2) that will last between four and six months.
Jawbone Up 24
Best For: Those with an older phone or computer. Why? The Jawbone can be plugged directly into your computer or phone, a great option if your device isn’t Bluetooth friendly.
What it Does: This band tracks movement and distance, calories burned, and monitors your sleep patterns. Set goals, then receive updates when you achieve them.
Results: This band syncs wirelessly with many Bluetooth-ready devices, or slip the end off and plug into your device.
Specs: Three sizes and two color options, black and orange. Water resistant.
Battery Life: About seven days.
Best For: Those more concerned about overall health—like heart health and maintaining healthy sleep habits—than losing weight.
What it Does: The most high-tech device on our list, it measures all the basics—calories burned, activity, sleep—alongside heart rate patterns, calorie expenditure by activity, body temperature (increases accuracy of calories burned), and more.
Results: Your data syncs wirelessly onto certain devices and is presented as habits instead of numbers. With that data it gives you small goals to become healthier, like waking up at the same time everyday or adding short activity breaks during the day. Accomplish one goal and you’ll unlock another.
Specs: One size, comes in black. You can purchase a white ($25) or leather strap ($50).
Battery Life: About four days.
Fit Bit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband ($99)
Nike Fuelband SE ($149)
Jawbone Up 24 ($149)
Basis B1 ($179)