Whether you like to ride bikes, run, or do your daily exercises with weight training, there's no escaping the fact that fitness is being focused from every angle of our modern day lives. Health and fitness apps are in just about every single major smartphone these days, and the ones that don't have something preinstalled have access to plenty of apps from various sources, many of which are companion apps to fitness bands. Fitness bands, then, are almost an integral part to how we track the data for and stay on top of our fitness goals and health, the problem perhaps can be finding out which ones are the best option for you. There are lots to choose from and there will be plenty of deals on fitness bands leading up to the holidays, here are ten of the best fitness bands available to help you narrow down which one may be right for you.
Garmin's Vivosmart fitness tracker is one of their best, offering many of the sought after tracking capabilities like a steps counter, calorie counter, and integrated swipe gesture controls for accessing the data on the OLED display, which also hides beneath the surface of the tracker when not being interacted with. The Vivosmart will display a brief description of your incoming notifications (the band supports calls, texts, emails, calendar events, etc.) as well as time and date, and a simple double tap to wake brings up the hidden display so you can view them if you missed them when they came in. It can also notify you when you've met your set goals, and it auto syncs with your device consistently throughout the day. It doesn't come with an integrated heart rate sensor but it can be paired with one for additional functionality.
The Flex activity tracker from Fitbit might be one of the most well-known trackers on the market, but that's to be expected as Fitbit is probably the most popular brand. Don't let that take away from the quality of the Flex though as it's popular for a reason. The Flex tracks your steps, calories burned, and the amount of minutes you're active during the day, and like most other activity trackers out there it has a silent alarm feature which can wake you with a vibration at the desired time. To set this particular capability you just open up the Fitbit app and manage it from there. If you're interested in tracking your sleep and the quality of your sleep, the Flex can do this too, and then displays that data in the app along with everything else.
Samsung Gear Fit
If you're sporting one of Samsung's smartphones for your daily driver, then the Gear Fit might be the tracker best suited for your needs. It's always-on capabilities allow it to track your steps, your calories burned, your active minutes, and the integrated heart rate sensor can track your heart rate at any point, and all of this data is shown on the Super AMOLED display that runs across the top of the band. The Gear Fit is IP67 certified which means it's dust and water resistant, so wearing it in the rain if you're out for a run shouldn't worry you. The display can also show you incoming notifications for emails and texts, as well as incoming calls and other 3rd party applications. If you like to personalize things a bit the Gear Fit has some customization capabilities like interchangeable backgrounds, and you can make the most out of its functionality by pairing it up with the S Health app on your Samsung smartphone.
Jawbone has been making fitness trackers for a couple of years now, and with the UP3 they've made one of the best trackers they've ever put out. In addition to the list of tracking features it carries, the UP3 learns how you move specifically to give you the most accurate stats for the activities you engage in. It can track your steps, distance, calories burned, and automatically track how many hours you've slept each night, in addition to tracking REM sleep and how well you slept. Using the companion app you can also track food intake and receive guided tips on how to make healthier life choices.
Polar Loop 2
If you like the idea of having a display but don't want it to show too much, the Polar Loop 2 is a great option for a fitness tracker. It has a slightly hidden display that shows all the stats of the activities it tracks during use, and it can simply display the time if you need the functions of a watch. It can track how many steps you take and how many calories you've burnt during exercise or regular every day activities like walking around the office. Those who want a tracker which monitors sleep will find that in the Polar Loop 2 as well, and it provides notifications for calls, messages, and other notification types when you sync it to your smartphone, with support for both iOS and Android devices. The silicone outer construction should keep the tracker feeling comfortable to wear all day, and should it happen to get wet it isn't a big deal thanks to water proof feature. You can get some extra functions by pairing it with the Polar Flow companion app.
Sony Smartband SWR10
Those looking for a simpler smartband that doesn't list notifications on a display and focuses on the basics of tracking your activities, the Sony Smartband will be something you may want to consider. It can track your steps taken and when paired with the Lifelog app you can see your calories burned, as well as distance tracked. It can be used as smart alarm to wake you up discretely too, so you don't have to worry about waking up your partner. The removable tracker core is waterproof and can be swapped out into different band colors, and if you like music the smartband will also be able to act as a set of controls for your music playback. It's made to be worn all day every day, so and the water proof build means you can also wear it in the shower. It doesn't have GPS or a heart rate sensor built in, nor does it have a display for listing off your notifications, but it will vibrate when notifications come in to alert you that you got a call, message, email etc. As it's always connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth it can vibrate to alert you when your smartphone isn't within 30 feet of the band.
Shine is another tracker aimed at providing you with a simpler and yet more focused set of features. It tracks your steps, calories burned, distance traveled and more various activities. Whether you like to walk, swim, run, or bike to get your cardio in, the Shine can track it all and feed you the stats to those activities via the companion app. It also monitors your light and deep sleep cycles, and its minimalist design is made to look good with just about anything you wear so it can be worn all day without looking out of place. One benefit of the Shine over other trackers is that it never needs to be charged as it uses an replaceable battery. Just wear it without worry and when the battery starts to die on you which should take about six months, replace it with a new one and continue using it. It's also been designed to allow for wear on your wrist or your ankle, and you can even pop out the tracker and use the loop attachment to hook it to a belt loop if you wish.
Garmin Vivofit 2
The Vivofit 2 is another popular tracker from Garmin and the second iteration of the Vivofit. Unlike some other tracker it features an adjustable fit design so it can be worn on nearly any size wrist for maximum comfort, and it's also been designed for longevity. Just like the Misfit Shine it never needs recharging, with a battery that's rated for 1+years of use before needing a replacement. The backlit display shows you the tracked stats like steps taken, calories burned, distance and more. It automatically tracks your sleep, and if you need to be more active it will alert you via the display with a move bar and audible alert.
Microsoft Band 2
If you're in the market for a fitness band that does just about anything and everything, perhaps the Microsoft Band 2 is what you need. With the display you can see all your stats as well as notifications for your messages, emails, calls calendar alerts, weather and 3rd party apps, and the built-in heart rate sensor is continuously on so it's always tracking your heart rate allowing you to check it at any time. It will also track your steps taken, calories burned, and it automatically tracks your sleep quality so you know if the way you sleep needs to be improved. For those who enjoy various types of exercise and sports, the Microsoft Band 2 can track cycling, golf, running, walking and other activities, and with the included GPS you can see where you've been. It also houses 10 other sensors in addition to GPS, including a barometer and UV sensor.
Fitbit Charge HR
The Fitbit Charge HR just might be the most popular option from Fitbit, and while it doesn't have a larger OLED display for showing you things like the weather or incoming social notifications or calendar alerts, it can notify you for incoming calls and messages, and the smaller OLED display is always at the ready anytime you want to see your stats. It can track your calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, floors climbed, active minutes, and more, and with a continuous heart rate sensor it's always tracking your heart rate. Like most of the other fitness bands it can also track your sleep automatically and through the use of the Fitbit app you can see the quality of your sleep. You can also use the app to set alarms so when you're ready to wake up the Fitbit Charge HR will wake you up with silent vibrating alarm so you don't disturb your partner. The Charge HR charges through a the USB cable with the rechargeable battery when you need to juice it back up.