The Best Fitness Trackers by Reviews.com

I had the pleasure of coming across a wonderful review of “The Best Fitness Tracker”. As someone who is always in the gym and working out, tracking my workouts is super important to me. The days of wearing your phone on your bicep to listen to music and “track” a workout are a thing of the past. Even the days of future past to use your phone to track your sets seem archaic at this point. Its 2017 get with the technology.

If you are like me, you want a new fitness tracker but you don’t really have the time to figure out which watch does what. And truthfully the thought of taking the time to figure it out and play trial and error with trackers gives me a headache. There are just too many. That is why I was beyond grateful to receive this article from the wonderful team over at Reviews.com. They did all the hard work for me and made it an easy choice for a new fitness tracker.

Reviews.com tested 87 of the most relevant fitness tracker and broke it down into three main categories, best fitness tracker under $100, best heart rate monitoring fitness tracker and best heart rate monitoring and GPS fitness tracker. Within these three categories the winners are:

 

 Best Fitness Tracker Under $100 – Garmin Vivofit 3

Best Heart Rate Monitoring Fitness Tracker – Fitbit Charge 2

Best Heart Rate Monitoring and GPS Fitness Tracker – Garmin Vivosmart HR+

The Break Down

Within each of these categories every watch does something different and is a little more advance then the others, but they all do basic tracking. No matter the category or the price point, each fitness tracker will do general tracking of your daily activity, track the number of steps and distance traveled, and give you a calories burned daily. They all have some type of fitness app that goes along with the tracker so you can track and mange it from your phone.

In their testing, Reviews.com did admit that no matter the fitness tracker they all had some margin of error.  With that, they focused more on consistency then accuracy. This makes sense being as how you want a tracker that is consistent in its error over one that is just messing up for the fun of it. When you are training for something specific or tracking your workout for a specific reason, you want your results to be as accurate as possible from day to day so that you can get a good overall scope of your progress.

FitBit App

The fitness trackers that were tested had some things in common. They focused on trackers that had wireless syncing, activity notification, water resistance, year warranties, and a unisex design. When you’re looking for a fitness tracker, these are the areas that are most important and in many cases basic requirements. Using these five commonalities they then were able to come up with ten contenders and narrowed it down from there.

They put each fitness tracker through a series of test, three rounds on each test, and were able to determine the best of the bunch. Their testing included step counting, calories burned, false positives (in counting steps), heart rate monitoring, usability, quality of the app, and intuition of the tracker. Through these test, the team was able to determine the accuracy/consistency of each tracker. As mentioned, each tracker had some general margin of error. Whether it was an error in the number of steps or an exaggerated number of beats per minute, using the rounds of testing allowed the team to determine consistency using a standard deviation (I just love it when the get all math genius on me).

In each category there were specifics that needed to be taken into consideration. Each of the trackers tested had to be able to do some basic things in order to even make the cut. Now granted we all want something that has all the bells and whistles, but what good is it if it doesn’t actually do what we need or even worse we can’t work it. It would similar to me giving my Grandfather the latest smart phone and he barely cares to make phone calls. That’s the perfect recipe to getting weird text messages and pictures of up his nose LOL. Not only have I annoyed him with all the functions of the smart phone (because all he wants to know is how to make a call) but I have wasted my money because he doesn’t care about the features (we all know the price is in the features).

Garmin App

For a basic fitness tracker, Reviews.com made sure that it could give an approximate number of steps taken throughout the day and be able to calculate the distance traveled. These fitness trackers would be ideal for anyone that wanted to log workouts like walking or running and would run the pocket under $100.

For a fitness tracker with a heart monitoring feature, they made sure it would of course do everything that a basic fitness tracker would do but with the added feature of a sensor that can monitor a person’s heart rate during a workout or resting times. People who are interested in logging calories burned during the day as well as their workouts would be interested in a tracker like this.

Lastly, for fitness trackers with a heart monitoring and GPS feature, they looked at trackers that could do all the above as well as give a satellite position of your whereabouts anywhere on the globe. This would be a fitness tracker that be used by cyclist or any one doing long distances outside like trail runners. It has a couple of more features as well and is bit more on the pricey side.

The Winners

After all the tests are done and the data complied there was a winner or winners in this case. The various test described early were done and each of the categories had a best tracker and top pick. After assessing each tracker for its accuracy in steps, distance, calories burned, and heart rate monitoring, keeping in mind that each tracker was off by a bit in various areas, here are the results:

VivoFit 3

 

Best Fitness Tracker Under $100 – Garmin Vivofit 3 

Offers the most features of the fitness trackers under $100. Its sleek design gives it a low profile when you’re wearing it. Granted it does have a small display screen but it is comfortable to wear and customizable with band options. The testers did like that it has an intuitive interface, user friendly app, and as a plus it was compatible with MyFitnessPal (the popular nutrition tracking website/app). It also offers a range of movement racking through the MoveIG algorithm. All these wonderful features made it a top hitter and the top pick in its category.

 

 

 

 

Charge 2

 

Best Heart Rate Monitoring Fitness Tracker – Fitbit Charge 2 

A top choice amongst the reviewers because it comes with a built in heart rate monitor. It does offer all the features of the basic fitness tracker and is similar in looks to the Vivofit 3. It also tracks calories with the Fitbit app, which also tracks the heart rate. The price doesn’t change that much from the Garmin, at $50 more, but it you are interested in your cardiovascular health it would be worth the investment. The ease of the app and the app community that it offers are an added bonus.

 

 

 

 

VivoSmart HR+

 

Best Heart Rate Monitoring and GPS Fitness Tracker – Garmin Vivosmart HR+

If you are into long distance training or are interested in recording your every movement this is the fitness tracker for you. Of course, it offers all the features of the fitness trackers above but it boast a waterproof feature that is something to think about if you’re a swimmer. The GPS tracking allows you to measure the distance and elevation that you travel throughout the day. So if you are running through the desert or biking on your local trail, this can pin point where you are in the world with ease.

 

 

After reading this in depth article, which you can check out for yourself at http://www.reviews.com/fitness-tracker/#testing, it was so much easier to figure out which fitness tracker was for me. The article is easy to read and loaded with information. Not only do they give you the deets on the top picks in each category but they also give the goods on fitness trackers that are second best.

The team at Reviews.com makes it a simple to choice to find the right fitness tracker for you not only at price point, but functionality and features. After reading everything, I was able to determine that the Fitbit Charge 2 is the one for me. I will be adding this little beauty to my birthday list (my birthday is this month if anyone wants to send a gift). The Fitbit Charge 2 gives me everything that I need in a fitness tracker with a user friendly app. This will be at the top of the birthday list.

photo credit reviews.com
Laura CurryComment