The year 2016 is upon us! By now, most of us have moved on and almost forgotten our New Year’s resolutions. We’ve compromised on eating healthier and on relaxing instead of getting up and being active. But with this article, I hope you will discover that one of these wearables can ignite the spark that motivated your resolution.
One of the fastest growing tech markets is wearables. Wearables range from activity trackers, to smart watches, and even headsets like Google Glass(es). Over the summer, we here at Goopply did a podcast on wearables. If you haven’t listened to it yet, here’s the link. Our executive editor, Matt Evans, did a fantastic job of reviewing the Apple Watch, and I wrote extensively about my experience with the Microsoft Band. I’d like to review those, and a few other options that will make a difference in your new year.
Fitbit is one of the fastest growing activity tracker brands, and they have a style for everyone.
The Fitbit Zip is a basic pedometer with a clip so that you can attach it to your belt, and connects with your phone or computer via Bluetooth.
This is a pedometer and clip also, but it tracks stairs climbed and sleep.
The Flex is next up and it’s very similar to the One. The Fitbit Flex is worn on your wrist, instead of on your belt with a clip. This baby sports a 4-5 day battery life.
The one drawback of the Flex is that it doesn’t have a proper display to tell you just how far you are towards your step goal. Instead of text, the Flex uses 5 small LED lights that equate to 20% of your goal completed for each light.
Recently they stopped making the Charge. It was essentially a Flex with a screen that was usable for step counting, caller ID, etc.
Fitbit Charge HR
Their current flagship product is the Charge HR. This tracker has a continuous heartbeat monitor in addition to having all the features of the Fitbit Charge and Flex. It currently runs at $149.99. This is great for people who want to ensure they are hitting their maximum heart rate while working out.
Fitbit is releasing the Fitbit Blaze, which seems to be a full featured watch/activity tracker. As soon as we get our hands on it, Goopply will provide you with a review.
Rounding out Fitbit’s line up is the Aria scale. It is a bathroom scale that will measure you’re weight and sync that with your Fitbit account, along with information taken from your activity tracker. This scale is a great companion to your tracker, and will help you stay healthy.
Fitbit also works in conjunction with other Apps, such as MyFitnessPal, to track meals. With this arsenal, there is very little reason you couldn’t get and stay in shape if it was your goal. Fitbit works with iOS, Windows, Windows Phone, and Android.
Microsoft Band (1 and 2)is the Redmond company’s attempt to be in the wearable industry. They do a lot of what the Fitbit Charge HR does, but also lets you receive notifications from your phone, as well as other features if you have a Windows Phone. In my opinion, as just an activity tracker, this is one of the best you can get, and I’m not saying that as a bias towards Windows.
The sleep tracker on it is by far better than Fitbit’s. It details the cycles of sleep you go into, and how long you are in the different cycles.
Up until I moved to the Apple Watch, I never had any problems with their optical heart rate monitor, and I always felt that the step monitor was far more accurate than Fitbit’s. You can enable the Band to receive notifications from your phone per app, and there’s a variety of applications that can be installed directly to the Band itself. As a wearable, it’s very well rounded, and as an activity tracker, it’s fantastic. The Band works in conjunction with the Microsoft Health App, available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone and is currently going for $249.
Ok, so the Pebble Watch wasn’t ever designed or marketed as an activity tracker. However, it does have it built in. This watch is great for someone who wants to get into wearables and doesn’t want to spend the money. The Pebble Classic is a whole $99 for its basic model. Its non-touchscreen display is a black and white e-ink type display. You navigate through the watch notifications and functions using the three buttons on the side. It has tons of different watch faces, and my favorite for tracking activity was the final fantasy one. Each step adds XP, and after so much, your party leveled up. The Pebble works with iOS and Android.
Once again, if you haven’t watched Matthew’s review on the Apple Watch and what it can do for you, please go do it now. Anything I write here can’t do it as much justice as he did with a video review. The Apple Watch starts at $349 and goes up from there based on size and model-type you want. The Apple Watch is an iOS exclusive.
All in all, there are plenty of options, and each one will be different for others. There are definitely more out there then I have listed. I personally have tried all of the above out, and the Apple Watch is the one I currently stick with. It gives me what I need from my phone, while giving me the activity information I desire. I wish it had a sleep tracker, but with the current battery life, this would be difficult. I’d be interested to know what your favorite one is. Hit us up in the comments, or on Twitter @Goopply.