Fitness trackers are excellent gifts for those who want to keep track of their health and exercise. Whether the person you shop for loves running, swimming, or lifting, a fitness tracker is sure to be a great boost to their workout and help them get a better overview of their health.
What to look for in a fitness tracker
There are a few general points to keep in mind when choosing the right fitness tracker.
- Build quality: A fitness tracker will go through a lot over the course of its life. As such, you want to make sure that the build quality is on par with snuff. Water resistance is fundamentally a tracker necessity at this point, and everyone on this list has it. They are all certified to be worn while swimming or showering so there are no problems there. You also want to make sure the tracker can withstand some bumps and drops. After all, exercise isn’t exactly a gentle activity most of the time.
- Properties: This mainly affects health and exercise tracking, which is where you’ll see many of the same features on most trackers. Sleep, heart rate, and step tracking are standard in a fitness tracker. However, some impress with more detailed versions of it and even introduce new forms of tracking that use location data or advanced monitors for things like stress levels and other forms of exercise. A few clever functions like managing music or paying with the tracker are also nice additions.
- GEOGRAPHICAL POSITIONING SYSTEM: Some trackers have built-in GPS, some don’t – it’s that simple. While most non-GPS trackers can rely on smartphones to perform this functionality, it means the user has to carry their phone around when exercising, which is not always convenient.
- Battery life: Running out of battery on a device is never fun, but the last thing anyone wants is their fitness tracker to die while exercising. Long battery life is also extremely important for sleep tracking as the tracker runs all night. Most fitness trackers, however, last a while and usually range from 7 to 10 days on a full charge.
- Ecosystem: Garmin and Fitbit are currently the two biggest players in the fitness tracker world. All but one of the picks on this list are from these two companies. Each tracker has its own features and benefits that might get you noticed, but there are some bigger things to consider before making a decision. Namely the company’s ecosystems or companion apps. Basically, you need to know that Fitbit’s (iOS / Android / Windows) app is easier to use, but it does lose some detailed tracking tools. There is a premium subscription ($ 13.49 per month / $ 106.99 per year) that offers more detailed features. On the other hand, Garmin’s app (Android / iOS) is much more robust and has a ton of data tracking and options for the user to play around with.
The Smart Tracker: Fitbit Charge 4
The Charge 4 is Fitbit’s high-end fitness tracker and is equipped with a lot of health, exercise and intelligent functions. It tracks all common health metrics like sleep, heart rate and daily calories burned, but tracking exercise makes things more interesting. You can set specific heart rate zones, track how many steps you take, how many floors you walk up / down, monitor your cardio fitness level and receive notifications to remind you to take a break while exercising or vice versa – to yourself to move when you were too stationary.
One of the bigger features of the Charge 4 is the built-in GPS. This is Fitbit’s first tracker with built-in GPS, and it’s great to see this feature available in such a stylish package. With GPS, users can track runs and the like without having to carry a phone. In addition, users can view certain GPS-related heat maps and the like.
When it comes to smart features, nothing is amazing, but they are all useful things. You can receive notifications from your phone, pay with Fitbit Pay, manage Spotify music, and install various compatible apps. Some of these functions need to be set up in the Fitbit app (iOS / Android / Windows). Here you can also summarize exercise and health data from the tracker in one easy-to-read environment. Overall, the Charge 4 is the Fitbit smart tracker for users who want smart features without a full smartwatch.
Charge 4 lasts up to 7 days, depending on use. (The internal GPS that is used for certain tracking functions consumes it quickly.) It is also available in two colors: black and rosewood.
Fitbit Charge 4
A basic tracker with a focus on fitness: Fitbit Inspire 2
The Inspire 2’s smaller screen and lower price tag mean some features are lost compared to the Charge 4, but it’s still a great fitness tracker. In terms of health, the Inspire 2 still has everything you’d expect, like sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and calorie consumption. The Inspire 2 is also equipped with the same training tracking as the Charge 4, e.g. B. Target heart rate zones, cardio fitness level monitoring and a pace / distance tracker for walking / running.
There is no internal GPS here, which means that the user will have to take their phone with them for any form of location-based tracking. For a full list of tracking features, see the Inspire 2 on the Fitbit website. You can even compare it directly to the Charge 4.
You’ll also lose some smart features in Inspire 2 like Fitbit Pay and Spotify Management, but they’re not all gone – you can still get notifications and install compatible apps. As with the Charge 4, you can summarize all the data the tracker collects with the Fitbit app (iOS / Android / Windows).
The Inspire 2 can last up to 10 days when fully charged. It is also available in three colors: black, rose and white.
Fitbit Inspire 2
The smartest basic tracker you can buy: Garmin vivosmart 4
The vivosmart 4 switches to Garmin’s side and focuses on being slim and practical. With the Pulse Ox sensor, all expected health monitoring is covered, including heart rate, sleep, stress, and even blood oxygen. Steps, calories burned, floors climbed and the intensity of your training session are recorded.
The vivosmart 4 also offers some smart features such as notifications, weather forecasts and music management. With the Garmin Connect app (Android / iOS) you can record all health data in one place and have a few other useful functions such as setting goals or fulfilling challenges.
You can expect the tracker to last around 7 days when fully charged. It’s also available in four colors: gold, rose gold, silver, and black.
Garmin vivosmart 4
A fully featured tracker: Garmin vivosport
The vivosport is quite similar to the vivosmart 4, but has an internal GPS. Therefore, it’s especially good for runners who want to keep track of their time and pace in an area without lugging around their phone. Apart from that, the vivosport offers most of the same tracking and health functions as the vivosmart, but due to the lack of a pulse ox sensor, some things are missing, such as stress levels and abnormal heart rate warnings. For a full comparison of the two trackers, please visit Garmin’s website.
The vivosport also offers a battery life of 7 days (or eight hours in GPS mode) and a full color display. You can get it in three colors: Fuchsia Focus, Slate, and Spotlight.
The budget pick: Wyze Band
If you’re looking for a low end tracker priced, the Wyze Band is an immersive experience for the money. The Wyze Band records sleep, heart rate and general activity levels throughout the day, all of which are displayed in the Wyze app (iOS / Android). In addition to these basic tracking features, the tape also offers a surprising amount of smart features.
You can customize your home screen, manage Wyze’s smart home devices, receive notifications on the tracker and even integrate Amazon Alexa. It lacks an internal GPS and the ability to use your phone’s GPS in any way, but that’s acceptable for the price. With a full battery it will last up to 10 days. It’s a great deal for those who are new to fitness trackers or just don’t feel like they need anything too fancy.