Fitness & health trackers certainly are the in thing at the moment. If you commute to work on a train it’s got to the point where you are likely to see more people with a fancy wearable than without one. If you haven’t jumped on the trend yet but are interested in a wearable tracker to kick-start your health regime then look no further.
We’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on a couple of different brands in the office and had a little play. We’ve analysed all the features and you can see our thoughts below:
Charge HR £119.99
The Charge HR tracks your heart beat throughout the day, measuring steps, calories burned and amount of time active to name but a few. The handy smartphone app also provides you with details of how you slept, notifications when your Charge HR’s battery is running low as well as allowing you to input your daily food intake and calories eaten. Caller ID allows you to see whose calling and you have the ability to control your music through the Fitbit app mid workout. Other features include a reasonably long battery live that lasts up to 5 days.
The latest update now allows your Fitbit to automatically work out when you are active and what sort of activity you are doing. Whether you are going on a gentle cycle or playing an hour of hard 5 a side football your Fitbit will be able to track things such as amount of time active, calories burnt & heart rate accurately thanks to its very reliable heart rate monitor. If you are looking for more detailed analysis of workouts the Charge HR allows you the option to input your work out details, water drank and what you’ve eaten throughout the day for a more detailed summary.
PYB Rating: ●●●●●
Garmin Vivosmart HR £119.99
The Garmin Vivosmart HR definitely isn’t the most stylish piece of tech on our list. It’s clunky & oversized and has been made to be functional and not a fashion accessory. However is it functional?
Similar to the Fitbit the Garmin continuously tracks heartbeat all day, steps taken, floors climbed, distance travelled and calories burnt accurately. Where the Vivosmart really comes into its own is notifications. Unlike the Fitbit the Vivosmart will pair with your smartphone and any push notifications that come through will be relayed on the screen. It could be anything from a WhatsApp to a new meeting request which is useful when out and about. The Vivosmart will also track your exercise and relay the results in the app.
Where the Vivosmart HR really lets itself down is its accompanying app the Garmin connect. A quick google search reveals the extent of the problem with countless forums and reviews filled with syncing issues. Once you get your Garmin synced, the app is one of the most complex on the market and you’ll instantly be bamboozled by the volume of graphs and charts. The content is super confusing for a week or 2 but once you get used to it there is a lot of useful information for tracking your day to day progress.
PYB Rating: ●●●◌◌
Jawbone UP3 £129.99
The Jawbone UP3 is one of the most compact wearables on the market. Its slim design is tasteful and wouldn’t look out of place in the gym or in a nice restaurant. The UP3 also has one of longest battery lives on the market lasting up to 7 days. The UP3 also has an incredible fitness app which is great for monitoring your day to day well-being as well as providing reliable data during exercise, ideal for coaching pointers.
However the lack of LED display is a major drawback. Different coloured LEDs identify which mode you are in but if you are looking for any real-time data you are going to have to have to open the app and let the Jawbone sync. Heart rate tracking is a new feature of the Jawbone UP3 however we found it a little hit and miss. For us the lack of on screen display and poor continuous heart monitoring make the Jawbone not worth the asking price.
PYB Rating: ●●●●◌
Microsoft Band 2 £199.99
There is no doubting that the Microsoft band 2 is a massive improvement on the original. The screen is now curved so it matches the contours of your wrist & the screen resolution is super sharp. However to make this possible the battery has been moved to sit in the clasp which makes it bulky and susceptible to catching.
In terms of the tech the Microsoft band is right up there with the best. The built in GPS allows for accurate distance tracking as well other features found on the other bands such as tracking steps, calories burnt, constant heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, stair climbing and exercise tracking. On top of this push notifications come through to the on screen display which is handy when out and about.
Where the band really lets itself down is its battery life. The band still only offers up to 48 hours max which is nothing on the competition & having to recharge it most night’s renders the sleep tracking almost pointless. The clever adjustable clasp that makes the band fit any wrist is almost too clever for its own good as well as being bulky and heavy.
We’re not sure if the Microsoft band is trying to be a fitness band or a smartwatch and that’s its main problem. The band is packed with incredible features but poor battery life is a major floor for a band that you’re supposed to wear 24/7. On top of that a simple google search will reveal the clasp and fit is still not comfortable enough. It’s neither a fitness band nor a smartwatch which is a big shame as it’s full of great features.
PYB Rating: ●●●◌◌
Our favourite fitness tracker is the Fitbit Charge HR. At an affordable price the Fitbit Charge HR delivers everything & more you need for tracking day to day activity. Its stylish unisex design doesn’t look out of place anywhere and provides you with all the day to day information we’d expect from a fitness tracker. We also love the layout and ease of use of the app and the beefed up activity features are an added bonus!
Want to win a Fitbit?:
We’ve got 1 Fitbit charge HR to give away to one lucky winner. To enter head on over to our Twitter page @protectyrbubble and RT & Follow (if you’don’t already) the pinned tweet containing #PYBfit for your chance to win.
Terms & Conditions
GB CI IOM 18+. End .05. 02.2016.1 prize. 7 days to claim. See: http://ukblog.protectyourbubble.com/?p=3971 for full prize description, entry routes and Ts and Cs. Promoter: Protect Your Bubble, Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN. No entries should be sent to this address.