Back to School 2016 Buying Guide: Top 10 Fitness Trackers

Whether or not you're heading into another year at High School or finally heading off to College, you might want to either get in shape or try and keep it that way. A fitness tracker can not only be a good way to motivate yourself, but also a great way to keep track of your walks around campus and help add an extra dynamic to getting around your day. There's no need to spend a huge amount of money on a fitness tracker, even though some of the better options out there do command higher price tags.

Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR has arguably become what people think of when they think of a Fitbit, and with good reason. They don't look too obvious your wrist, and they track your heart rate for serious athletes as well as those looking to get an incite into their health and wellbeing. They come with a small display that, while not exactly in-your-face does a good job keeping you up-to-date with your heart rate as well as your step count throughout the day. On top of all that, the Fitbit app is easy-to-use and pretty sophisticated at this point.

Jawbone UP3

Jawbone is, along with Fitbit, one of the more known brands in the world of Fitness Trackers, and the UP3 is their latest offering. It builds on the UP2, and brings heart rate tracking to the table as well as an excellent Android app that offers calorie counting and water monitoring as well. These are available in a wide range of different colors and bands, and they're a more casual activity tracker, a little thinner than most and more stylish than the majority. The UP3 is a great option for ladies as well as those just looking for something a little more low-key.

Misfit Link

Misfit might not be a name that you're familiar with, but they've been in the wearable game for a long time now, and were recently acquired by Fossil. The Link is their most affordable tracker, which can be clipped to whatever piece of clothing you want, and can be used for other simple automation through apps on your phone and such. For just $20, it's hard to go wrong with something like this, and the wide array of third-party accessories like bands, necklaces and so on make this a solid first fitness tracker.

Fitbit Alta

The Fitbit Alta is one of their newest trackers, and it sits in between something like the old Flex and the new Surge. It's not built as tough as the Fitbit Charge is, but it's got a display that offers lots of information and is nice and thin on people's wrists. Designed to be stylish as well as informative, this is the sort of thing that will appeal to a lot of casual wearers, as well as those that plan to track specific, more simple exercises.

Moov Now 3D

What's different about Moov is that it tracks your movements in 3D space, and keeps you up-to-speed with your progress through your headphones. The idea being that the app will coach you through exercises and mini-games while the app continues to keep track of your actual motion happening there and then. It's not too expensive either, especially for a tracker that can work for practically any activity you want, and does something a lot of other trackers just don't do.

Fossil Q Reveler

Fossil have been making fashion accessories and great watches for decades, and recently they entered the wearable market. The Q Reveler is a stylish and well-made fitness tracker designed to give users the confidence of looking good, while also keeping an eye on their movements. It comes with a cool wireless charger as well as a genuine leather band, and while it could be considered a little pricey, it looks great and will have a lot to offer users.

Microsoft Band 2

If you're looking for a more complete solution that will track it all, the Microsoft Band 2 is an excellent option. It is certainly on the pricier side of things, but it packs in a display, a heart rate sensor, a UV sensor, really accurate step-tracking and a great app to boot. With built-in GPS as well, the Band 2 is great for tracking long hikes, runs, weightlifting, sports or whatever else you can think of.

Garmin Vivofit 2

The Vivofit 2 is similar to a Fitbit, but stands apart from all of those thanks to its promise of a 1+ year battery life. It might only be good tracking your steps as well as some light exercise, but it's simple and easy-to-use. Not to mention that there are versions with or without a heart rate tracker available and both of them are fairly reasonable in terms of how much they cost. For a low-key, functional fitness tracker that you don't need to charge every few days, this is one of the safer bets out there.

Misfit Shine 2

The Misfit Shine 2 is a great option for those looking for a more sophisticated tracker that is still quite low key. With more tracking abilities than the affordable Link, the Shine 2 isn't too much more expensive, and it can also be worn around your neck, wrist, clipped to your person and so on. It's worth a look and it might be everything you need in such a device.

Fitbit Blaze

The Fitbit Blaze is a device that bridges the gap between smartwatch and fitness tracker, with the form factor of the former, and the functionality of the latter. It's a great device for those that are super-serious into tracking their workouts, their lap times and so on, and while it might not appeal to everyone's design tastes, it does stand out from the crowd. There are lots of bands available for this one, and it boasts better battery life than many smartwatches and trackers out there, too.

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About the Author

Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.