What Is The Best
Fitness Tracker Of 2018?
I stepped off the scale in a slight daze.
I had run 24 miles that week. Granted, I didn't go quite as fast as your average leopard, but for your average human, I had moved pretty good.
And the result?
I gained weight.
Now if this were a situation where I had been lifting weights Olympic style for the past week, this situation might have made sense to me.
But I hadn't.
All I had done was run like I was being chased by a guy with a knife and as a result, I was heavier than I was before I started running from said imaginary man.
Then I got my first fitness tracker as a gift.
One month later, I had lost two and a half pounds and cut time off my mile.
Who Needs A Fitness Tracker?
Fitness trackers are about as diverse and nuanced as people are themselves. That being said, they're not for everyone.
In our professional (totally not professional) opinion, fitness trackers are good for anyone who wants to get a better grasp on how their body is doing.
This means that a tracker, depending on its purpose, is excellent for runners, weight lifters, casual walkers, desk sitters, and those who are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or track calories.
In other words... yeah, they're pretty cool little machines.
My personal use for my fitness tracker is to log my calories (and make sure that yes, I can eat that cake), track my miles I run, and keep me in general good health by giving me an idea of what general good health means for me.
So far, my little watch-on-steroids has helped me lose 10 pounds just by helping me know exactly what I'm eating and what I'm burning.
What Fitness Trackers Do
Fitness trackers have a wide variety of uses. Not all the trackers do all these things, but before this comprehensive guide is over, you'll know the ones that are the best value for the price.
How To Choose The Best Fitness Tracker For You
The best fitness tracker for you will really depend on your personal goals.
If you are a hardcore runner, you will want to weigh whether or not the tracker has a GPS attached to it. My tracker requires me to carry my phone to accurately log my distance, but this isn't a problem for me since I like to listen to audio books.
If your goal is solely to lose weight, you will want the tracker that most accurately logs your calories whether you are sitting, walking, working out, or whatever else you do in your awesome life. This tracker should also be able to track your meals.
If you want to lower your resting heart rate, be reminded to walk around some, or just want a versatile beast of a tracker, you should go into the purchase knowing what you want.
Personally, I opt for a versatile tracker that can do a little bit of everything.
Our Picks For Best Fitness Tracker
I've chosen five of the most popular fitness trackers to review. Let's see how they all stack up and hopefully you can find the one you would like to try out.
The Fitbit is the 800 pound gorilla among fitness trackers.
In addition to Fitbit's regular features such as step counting, sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and food/water tracking the Charge 2 comes with the ability to track VO2 Max, which is more or less the scientific measure of fitness.
The Charge 2 also has the neat feature of giving breathing exercises to relieve stress and while that certainly won't make it break the tracker, it is a nice edition to an already extensive menu of options.
The Charge 2 is not perfect for all, however. It will accurately track GPS, but only if you take your phone on your journeys with you. For some runners or bikers, this could be a pain.
Water and this watch don't truly get along very well either, so don't expect to wear it while swimming.
That being said, Fitbit has an excellent app and you can log a previous swim. Using your prior heart rate information, Fitbit will guestimate how many calories you burned if you enter the distance and time you swam.
Garmin has made a name for themselves in the fitness world for catering to runners.
The Forerunner 235 is no different.
This is a device that was designed with runners in mind. It has a built in GPS and offers support for GLONASS, the Russians GPS alternative.
The Forerunner 235 also offers VO2 Max estimator and comes with features that many other fitness trackers lack. It comes with auto-pause, auto-lap, and support for interval workouts.
Neat features that are a little more difficult to find in fitness trackers are a recovery estimator and race time estimates.
All of this on top of usual fitness tracker features like step counting, sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and so on.
The price on this one is a little steep for features that some may not use at all.
The Flex 2 is Fitbit's answer to someone who desires a trendy, slim looking fitness tracker.
The Flex 2 is small. Really small. In fact, a friend of mine wears hers behind an actual watch that she likes to wear and it looks very stylish.
All regular Fitbit features are included. It tracks steps, sleep, and automatically records workouts.
A large distinction between this and other Fitbit apps is that the Flex 2 can be used underwater for about 165 feet (50 meters) and the ability to take the tracker out. The tracker can be placed in the watch itself, a pendant, or a bangle for those interested.
This particular tracker has one disadvantage in that it doesn't track heart rate, but I view this as partially offset by the great Fitbit app.
The Huawei is a smartwatch in every definition of the word. Coincidentally, it makes for a pretty darn good fitness tracker too.
As a smartwatch, the Huawei works best with an app. Thankfully, there's a Samsung and an Apple version of the app, so it works equally well with both mobile devices.
Huawei will track your heart rate, play your music, show your texts and calls, gives VO2 Max estimates, recovery estimates, and uses GPS (as well as those fancy Russian GLONASS ones).
Battery life does eh and the watch needs an app installed to track your sleep.
The design of the watch looks absolutely stunning. I have to admit that I'm in love with the looks of it.
Garmin's user base is not quite as large as Fitbit, but it certainly is not due to a lack of quality products.
The Garmin Vivofit 3 is a perfect example of high quality at a low cost.
The battery on the Vivofit 3 is quite astounding: it will last about a full year before needing a recharge.
Yeah, you read that right.
It also comes with something that Garmin is calling Move IQ. This is a feature that automatically detects workouts of any kind, presumably better than other kinds of trackers.
It also monitors sleep, counts steps, automatically syncs with your phone or app, and can give an audible reminder to get active.
For the price, it's an incredible amount of value.
The features are pretty basic, but it seems to lack a lot of the bells and whistles that someone who is seeking a very high level of fitness may enjoy.
One feature in particular that is lacking is a heart rate monitor, which must be purchased separately.
Based on quality and the features, battery life, and price on each fitness tracker, I'd have to say the overall best tracker for nearly any situation is the Fitbit Charge 2.
The Charge 2 is a great combination of quality and excellent price. It packs a punch as large as some of the items that are hundreds of dollars more than the Charge 2.
In addition, Fitbit has an incredible app to accompany their products. In my personal use, the Fitbit app is helpful, interesting, and super easy to navigate.
Tell us in the comments below: Do you have a fitness tracker? If not, what are you looking for in one?
Thanks for reading!
Stay awesome. Have a great day.
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