Best Fitbit – Fit Bit Competition & Comparisons by Ghost Fitness
Forget gym buddies! Nowadays, most exercise and sports enthusiasts have a fitness tracker that gets them moving, helps them stay motivated and monitors everything from workouts to sleep patterns and even diets.
A good tracker does pretty much everything a personal trainer would, plus a whole lot more. It highlights the areas that need work, it encourages you to keep going, it helps with exercise and diet plans and it gives you constant feedback regarding your progress. It even keeps an eye on you while you’re asleep.
It is important to remember, however, that as much as a fitness tracker can do, it is by no means a hi-tech magic wand. Simply wearing your gizmo every day won’t help you get fitter or lose weight. You need to get up and make the necessary lifestyle changes.
In the past, Fitbit was the tracker. So much so that people were referring to any fitness tracking device as a Fitbit. Today there are loads of companies making these devices, and a lot of them are giving Fitbit a run for its money.
Whether you are a newbie to the whole exercise thing or if you are into running, for example, and want to take your fitness to the next level, there is a fitness tracker that will suit your needs. You can choose a model that has very basic functions or go for one with all the bells and whistles. But first, you need to decide what it is you are after.
Our aim is to highlight the best fitness trackers that are available at the moment and make your buying decision that much easier. So, without further ado, here are our top 8 fitness tracker choices for 2018. And for fashionistas and kids, we have fitness trackers for you too!
Fitbit Charge 2
Better fitness tracking and a large display screen
Excellent battery life
Comes with advanced training features for the serious sportsperson
An A.I. coach is on hand while you work out
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
Excellent price and even better battery life
VTech Kidizoom DX Smart Watch
The Action Challenges keep children active
Our Top 7 Fitness Trackers for 2018
Even with all of the competition out there, the Charge 2 flies the Fitbit flag high. The tracker comes with interchangeable wristbands so you can wear it in the boardroom or on the playing field, and it has all the features you have come to expect from the stalwart in fitness tracking.
What made us sit up and take notice was the PurePulse technology, which measures your heart rate throughout the day and helps you make the necessary changes to reach your fitness goals. The multi-sport tracking function lets you record specific exercises including weights, running and even yoga. It also shows you real-time stats and gives you post-workout summaries.
Its readings are relatively accurate, and the sensors work well. On one of the platforms, a reader asked if you needed to shave your wrist to use the tracker. “Only if you’re a gorilla!” was the answer.
The Charge 2 works with iPhone, Android and Windows, and you can expect a battery life of around 4 days.
The Amazfit Bip not only looks the part but it also delivers. The smartwatch-like device has undoubtedly been influenced by the Apple Watch, and it has its own software.
It is packed with fitness features, including a very accurate heart rate tracker, multi-sport and sleep tracking, VO2 Max features and GPS.
The screen is easy to read indoors or outside, even in bright sunshine, and when you get tired of the watch face, you can change it with the available apps. With regards to notifications, you get text messages, emails, calendar alerts, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Slack notifications, plus a whole lot more.
The battery life on this fitness tracker is excellent, boasting a 2 ½ hour charge lasting 30 days with normal use and as much as 45 days with minimal use. The watch weighs around 32g and is comfortable to wear while you are exercising, at work or sleeping.
The Moov HR is unlike any of the other trackers on our list, and here’s why. It is the only one that doesn’t go around the wrist. Instead, it is a headband that accurately measures your heart rate during HIIT or high-intensity interval training workouts.
The HR is very accurate, has no lag and it works with Moov’s iOS and Android apps. In total, there are eight different workout options including Athletic Conditioning, Cardio Blast, HIIT Foundation, Running and Indoor Cycling. You can change the levels to suit you by choosing from settings ranging from beginner to advanced.
We especially like the circuit training routines that get your heart pumping. And there is even a coach that tells you when you’re slacking off.
While the Polar M430 is a decent tracker for most exercises, it is aimed at runners with some very impressive features. It measures speed, pace and distance as well as heart rate and calories burned. The M430 also has GPS and a sleep tracker.
This fitness tracker excels when it comes to training. With the Polar Flow app, you can programme what kind of event you are training for, like a 5K, 10K or marathon, and it gives you a training plan. You can also include how many weeks you have to prepare.
For some people (and for the record, we need to add this excludes us) it isn’t the best-looking tracker, but that seems to be forgiven when looking at all of its other features. The Polar M430 is water resistant, supports different languages, gives accurate readings and has good battery life. It is an excellent choice for a very reasonable price.
Moov has made quite a name for itself in the fitness tracker industry, which is probably why we have included two of its models on our list. This particular tracker is a bit of an oddity in that it doesn’t have a screen. In a world “the bigger, the better” is the norm, this may seem a bit strange.
But it has everything else a good fitness tracker should have and at a really good price. You can track steps, sleep and get fitness updates, and the Omni Motion 3D sensor gives you a whole lot of coaching features including cross-training, running and even boxing.
The battery lasts for around six months, so you can pretty much put it on and forget about it until it is time to replace it.
It is fair to say very few other fitness trackers offer so much for so little.
Quality doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is proof of that. Even at its low price, the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 has just about everything you would expect from a fitness tracker. It includes all the essential features, plus movement reminders, sleep tracking and even phone notifications.
Depending on how you use it, and what you use it for, the battery life is close to one month. It also has a user-friendly app you can download to your phone. While it isn’t one of the better-looking fitness trackers available, it has everything you could possibly want and need and at a very reasonable price. A quick FYI, in case you didn’t know, the M3 has just launched, so we will hopefully have more information on that for you soon.
We mentioned earlier that we have a fitness tracker for kids, and here it is. Almost one-third of children aged between 2 and 15 in the UK are overweight or obese which is why we need to encourage physical activity as much as possible.
The Kidizoom Smart Watch DX is a fun, cool-looking smartwatch that is packed with features including a camera for videos and photos, plus the usual calendar, calculator, stopwatch and voice recording function.
What caught our eye with this watch were the new games and “Action Challenges” that get children moving. Some examples of these are “Crazy Dance,” “Super Run” and “Funky Jump.” It also has a pedometer to track the number of steps taken.
While the pedometer isn’t 100% accurate, we aren’t too concerned. We are just happy to get kids excited about being active.
Buying Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Fitness Tracker
Fitness trackers come in different shapes, sizes and forms, but what they all have in common is that they use sensors to monitor your activities. Some might track the number of steps you take, your heart rate and your sleep patterns, while others do much more.
Almost all trackers also have accelerometers, which measure your steps whether they’re up and down, back to front or side to side.
A lot of the trackers have mobile apps, and the smartwatch types have alerts for calls, WhatsApp messages, emails and texts. They also let you compete in challenges and earn points or badges with online friends.
So now that we know what fitness trackers can do, it is time to find out what types there are.
Types of Fitness Trackers
If you are new to fitness trackers, there are two types. The all-day tracker has more basic functions and can measure:
Training trackers, on the other hand, measure the above and more. Functions include:
Types of sensors
we have mentioned that all fitness trackers work with sensors to measure and track your activities. Let’s take a closer look at the different types and what they do.
Heart rate monitor: A heart rate monitor allows you to measure your pulse while you are exercising and resting and gives you a good idea of your overall health. Some monitors, like the Moov HR, focus on the heart rate more than the other functions.
Accelerometer: The accelerometer or gyroscope helps you keep track of the number of steps taken and detects any movement. A lot of fitness trackers today have a “move alert” function, which tells you when you have been sitting for too long. This is handy for people who work behind desks for hours at a time.
Altimeter: The altimeter measures altitude whether you’re climbing up stairs or cycling or running up a hill. When it is used with the heart rate monitor, you can see just how hard you are pushing yourself.
GPS: GPS, often built into the fitness tracker, tracks your location. You can use maps to work out training programmes and get accurate speed and distance readings.
Styles of fitness trackers
Fitness trackers have come a long way and manufacturers are now thinking about form as well as function. Traditional devices are worn around the wrist, but now you can find trackers that are clipped onto your clothes or worn as a headband or a ring (like the Motiv).
You can also choose to get a hybrid smartwatch, which looks like an ordinary wristwatch but has all the features of a fitness tracker.
Types of display
Even the way in which the information is displayed differs from one fitness tracker to the next. The Moov Now, for example, doesn’t have a screen at all, yet it’s still a hugely popular choice. On the other hand, the Fitbit Charge 2’s best feature is its large screen.
When we talk about the fitness tracker’s compatibility, we are referring to if and how it syncs with all your devices. Some work with Android, iOS and Windows, while others only support one of these. Also, check the apps that are available and make sure that they have good software support. This way, you can log your activities and keep a close eye on your progress.
Before you buy a tracker, make sure it can sync with your PC or smartphone or you may not be able to take advantage of all its benefits.
It is important to keep in mind that fitness trackers aren’t foolproof and might not always be 100% accurate. You need to decide how accurate you want the data to be and choose a tracker accordingly.
The more functions a tracker has, the more frequently it will need to be charged. Also, the battery life will be affected by how much you use it and how often. Some models, like the Amazfit Bip and the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, have excellent battery life.
If you are using your fitness tracker to train for triathlons, you need to make sure it is waterproof and can adequately track your progress when submerged. Even if you don’t participate in sports involving water, your tracker should at least be water-resistant so you don’t need to remove it when washing or on rainy days.
There you have it. With our recommendations, reviews and buyer’s guide, you should have a very good idea of what a fitness tracker does, how it does it and why. The only thing left for you to do is decide which of our top 8 picks is the right one for you. It’s time to get moving!