It has always been the aim of fitness tracker developers to have a product that was not only functional but also stylish. Developers know that if they are going to design a piece of wearable technology, then it has to be something people will be willing to wear. With that being said, there really isn’t a horrible looking fitness tracker or smartwatch on the market–but there are some that are more stylish than others.
The challenge of selecting a smartwatch or tracker from the very long list of viable options is to narrow down what your personal style is, what kind of features you are looking for, and what kind of situations you will be wearing it in.
Though a sporty fitness tracker isn’t the only option on the market now, as it once was, sporty watches are still a very popular choice since many people still want them to track their health and athletic performance. They still are the most appropriate and comfortable options to wear while working out. Here are the things to look for in a fitness tracker that you want to take to the gym and wear throughout the day.
Comfort is one of the most important things you will need to consider when buying a fitness tracker primarily for gauging your physicality. Most athletic people who have a fitness tracker want to keep an eye on their activity throughout the entire day, not just their time in the gym, so it is important to have a tracker that is so comfortable, you can almost forget that it is even there.
If you are buying a tracker online, as many people do, it can be difficult to determine how comfortable it is. So some things to look for in comfort is the kind of band that it has and if you can change the band out. Many trackers have several band options available to you from the actual designer, and there are even more that you can find online at specialty shops like Etsy. If you are someone who is sporty, you might want to look for a band that is moisture wicking and fits snugly to your wrist. A flexible band that isn’t too stiff is a comfortable band.
Another thing to consider when you are looking for comfort, is the weight and shape of the fitness tracker’s face. If the face is too bulky, you could find yourself banging it unintentionally against weights or other objects throughout the day. Too much weight on your wrist may not seem like a big deal initially, but it might not give you the ease of movement that you’re looking for in a fitness tracker.
There are a lot of hybrid watches out there that look sleek and fashionable, but if you are looking for an athletic style smartwatch or fitness tracker, you will likely get the features that you want from a full smartwatch or fitness tracker. If your style is athletic, then you have a lot of great options for watches that are at the peak of the fitness tracking game.
Some great features to look for in a sporty fitness tracker are sleep tracking, calorie counting, step counting, distance tracker, heart rate monitor, and in many cases, specialized workout categories.
If you are an active person, odds are, you will want a fitness tracker that won’t hold you back. Technology is an amazing tool, but in the past it has been a bit fragile. Now, designers are working harder than ever before to create products that will withstand treacherous weather conditions, collisions, and falls.
Even if you aren’t quite the outdoorsy type, you might benefit from having a rugged and durable design in a fitness tracker. Who hasn’t been caught in the rain and worried if their smartwatch could handle it? Who hasn’t dropped their fitness tracker from a precarious height and cringed? Here are the things you will want to look for in a rugged fitness tracker.
Durability is the most important feature when you are taking your fitness tracker on the go with you. How can you tell if your fitness tracker is durable?
Many times most durable fitness trackers and smartwatches on the market, will highlight and advertise their durability, so they are pretty easy to find. If any fitness tracker you are looking for says that it is military grade, then you are looking at one of the most durable trackers out there. Typically this means that it is waterproof and fall proof. It will have a protective casing to keep the watch face intact in case of collisions. The downside for a durable fitness tracker of course is the bulkiness. This can add to the masculinity of the product but comfort could take a hit.
When you think of rugged, you might think of someone who is unhindered in the outdoors. This person will want to be as comfortable as possible tracking his fitness progress outside of a typical gym. One of the most handy features that a fitness tracker can have for someone working out outside is a GPS.
Though GPS can be spotty at times, depending on location, weather, and connectivity, it is useful for more reasons than just measuring how far you’ve run. GPS is also useful if you were to forget or lose your smartwatch or fitness tracker. It is invaluable if you are running a race and have family and friends wanting to cheer you on at certain checkpoints. You will be able to track where the fitness tracker is from another device, which is great, especially if you are ever concerned about safety. GPS is a great tool for anyone wanting to workout outside.
Stylish fitness trackers for men with GPS capability
If you are really into high fashion, then odds are that you are going to be most interested in a designer smartwatch. Luckily, throughout the past decade several high end designers have paired with developers to create hybrid watches that are on the cusp of technology as well as the cusp of fashion.
Though you might be a bit more hesitant to take your designer hybrid to the gym, there is no reason to have the price tag hold you back. These smartwatches are designed to be durable as well as good looking and many of them are even water resistant and have GPS. So whether you are headed to the gym or you’re dressing up in your best suit, your smartwatch can go where you go, and track your activity the whole time.
Simplicity is everything lately. Minimalism is a movement that has infiltrated how you decorate your home, how you shop, and how you dress–down to your accessories. Where accessories would typically not have a place in the minimalism movement, smartwatches are the exception to the rule. Yes, it is technically jewelry, but it is fully functional, and gives you an ulterior purpose with the aesthetic. Here are the things to look for in a minimalist smartwatch.
If you are a minimalist at heart and in the way that you dress, the odds are you won’t be looking for a watch with a busy display. Minimalist smartwatches do exist and they look very stylish and modern. The watch face in a minimalist watch will typically have little or no numbers. Where many classic analog watches have dials upon dials upon dials, a minimalist display will usually have only one main watch face and perhaps an extra dial at most. It will have clean lines and be easy to read at a glance.
One of the main purposes behind minimalism is to value what you have. So a smartwatch for a minimalist would have to prove it’s value by offering a lot in a little package. If paying with your watch is something you value because you don’t like being encumbered by your wallet, this might be a function that you look for in a minimalist watch. If you want to be able to play music and take calls without having your phone nearby, this might be a function to look for. Or you might be in the minimalist camp that prefers to unplug from an online presence as much as possible. In that case, you might want to get a smartwatch or fitness tracker with the basics and no Bluetooth capabilities.
Here is a list of some of the most minimalist looking smartwatches on the market:
A lot of people find that the classic look of an analog watch is among one of the most stylish designs. It used to be that fitness trackers and smartwatches looked very similar with an athletic design. Now, you can buy hybrids that will allow you to have the classic look of an analog watch with all the features of a smartwatch. Hybrids are not exactly the same as a smartwatch, however, there are some things that you won’t get in a hybrid that you would in a smartwatch.
Smartwatches have as many fitness features packed into a small device as possible. You can be fairly certain that you will be able to find an app to fit your needs and that you will have sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and calorie counting.
In a hybrid, you might have all of these features as well, but how they are displayed is very different. Many hybrids will have a classic watch face that you might be able to track one or two fitness items, but if you want to see most of your data, you will need to look it up in a bigger synced device like your phone or tablet. This can be helpful if you don’t want to get overly obsessive with your stats, but it isn’t very convenient to be checking on your progress in real time during a workout.
Hybrids also typically run on a normal watch battery, which can be a good thing so that you don’t have to recharge it regularly, but it does mean that you will need to replace it a time or two a year.
So if an analog watch is more your style but you want a something that will work as a fitness tracker at the same time, here is a list of hybrids that you can look stylish in:
Typically men’s watches are distinguished from women’s watches by the size of the watch face and the band. Most of the time these watches will be much larger and at times more bulky. However, not all men want to have an oversized display, even though it is handy to have a large display to scroll through.
If you prefer to have a more discreet fitness tracker that doesn’t get in your way, then there are several thin options available to you. Not all of these fitness trackers have a watch display, or any display at all, but they do offer all the tracking that you could want and you can easily access the information from another device.
Here are some of the best smaller options of fitness trackers:
Though the wrist worn style of fitness tracker is by far the most popular, there are other options. There are ankle worn trackers and chest trackers, though these are typically not worn for style and usually not for all day use.
Women have quite a few alternative options for fitness tracker jewelry that can be worn as pendants; you can read more about them here. However, there is really just one stylish alternative option for men and that is a fitness tracker ring like the Motiv Ring. Like a hybrid watch, it doesn’t allow you to have a screen to scroll through and view your progress in real time, but it is a good option for someone who is looking for a sleek fitness tracker that won’t get in the way of your day to day activities.
However, there are a few clip on options that aren’t necessarily stylish, but they do add another option to the mix if you’d rather not have a wrist worn option.
Here are a few alternatives to the typical smartwatch fitness tracker:
Again, fitness clothing may not be really considered “stylish” per se, but it’s becoming a more popular option for people who are interested in tracking their activity level solely during their workout. And for a workout outfit, it’s not bad. Here are a couple different options for fitness tracking clothing:
These smart clothing options are only compatible with a small number of fitness trackers, but it does enhance the accuracy of the device.
Still Not Satisfied?
Even if your personal style doesn’t quite fit into a box and you want different looks for different occasions, you can get a fitness tracker that comes with changeable bands. Many fitness tracker companies will offer a variety of colors and materials for their bands, but you can find even more options at almost any online boutique or physical store. You can do your research and get the absolute best fit for a fitness tracker on the market for yourself, and then take your time to select a variety of bands that fit your personal style.
There really are so many options available to you, that the problem won’t be finding something to fit your style; it will be narrowing down your options.
You know you want a fitness tracker but you’re not sure if you want to break the bank to find out it’s not for you. It’s true that there are several fitness trackers on the market at the high end there are plenty more that give a good combination
What’s the best budget fitness tracker out there in 2020? We are going to take a look at some of choices currently on the market and give you as much as we can about the good and bad to help you make the right choice for your budget.
When compiling this guide we had to make the decision about what is a budget fitness tracker. We decided that it was anything that fell below the $100 mark. This allows us to include a whole range of options from across the fitness tracker market including both the better and lesser known brands.
As ever with battery life it is so much dependent on the settings. However, if you choose them carefully you should be able to get somewhere in the region of 18-30 days from the Amazfit Bip before having to find your charge
The Fitibit Inspire HR is the best overall budget fitness tracker. Whilst more expensive than some of the others the combination of swimming capable, 24/7 sleep tricking and the Fitbit community offers the best functions to value ratio.
Small, plain and minimalist. Ideal if you’re looking for a fitness tracker that doesn’t stand out.
When looking at budget fitness trackers you are looking to get the best combination of features to price you can get to meet your fitness goals.
Naturally, compromises have to be made so you might end up in the situation where it’s great for swimming but doesn’t track steps or it has a built in GPS but no alarm. However, there is enough variety that you should find something that meets your requirements.
Long battery life
Built in GPS
Stylish and good looking
Sleep tracking not the best
Instructions are limited
Number of exercises you can track is limited
No facility to reply from texts directly from the watch
The Amazfit Bip is a smart watch with the ability to keep track of your exercises such as running and walking. The device’s on board GPS allows you to track your run which you can sync to your smart phone to see your route. The watch itself is IP68 certified so fine with a bit of a splash but not suitable for the pool. You also get heart and sleep tracking amongst others and the slightly more esoteric Air Quality Index to tell you how clean your local air quality is
Fitbit Inspire HR
Can be used for swimming
No tracking of floors climbed
Charging cable can be hard to use
As you would expect from a Fitbit device the Fitbit Inspire HR has got all bases covered for fitness tracking. Waterproof so you can wear it in the pool it also has sleep and heart rate tracking, silent alarms and smart phone notifications. Automatic exercise recognition when coupled with the Fitbit app will allow you to do analysis of your sleep and exercise patterns and potentially use it to interface with other fitness apps you may use.
Garmin Vivosmart 3
Garmin Connect APP
Can be used for a swim
Can be paired with ANT+ sensors
Showing its age
Cannot change the strap
Not the most durable
It’s fair to say that the Garmin Vivosmart 3 has been around for a while now. Some more recent trackers might have more bells and whistles but it is still a very capable fitness tracker. With its slimline design, ability to be taken for a swim, music control , smart phone notifications and the ability to pair up to other sensors it the Vivosmart 3 has a lot to commend it. It can even count the number of reps you performed as part of a weightlifting routine
Garmin Vivofit 4
1 year battery life
Don’t need to charge it
The Vivofit benefits from a 1 year battery life so you won’t need to charge it every night. A good solid choice for a simple waterproof fitness tracker and the toe to toe challenge might be worth a go if you buy one for yourself and one for your child.
Honor Band 5
Syncs with Huawei fit
Easy to set up
Stylish and good looking
Not many watch face choices
The Honor Band is actually a Huawei band which means it synchs effortlessly with Huawei Fit. A straightforward tracker where smartphone notifications are signified with vibrations. It has approximately 4-7 days of battery life, a good display and heart rate monitoring.
Huawei Band 3 Pro
Smart wake up alarm
Built in GPS
Swimproof with swimming features
Touch screen could be more responsive
Instructions are limited
Number of exercises you can track is limited
No facility to reply from texts directly from the watch
The Huawei Band 3 Pro is a great combination of fitness tracking features and price. The lightweight device Offers the ability to track multiple activities including Outdoor run, Indoor Run, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycle, Indoor Cycle, Pool Swim, Open water and Free training. Water resistant to 50 metres it has an onboard GPS and 6 axis motion sensors which can help track your swims and calculate a SWOLF score. You can even remote control the camera on Huawei mobile phones
Letscom Fitness Tracker
Easy to use
Doesn’t track daily calories burnt
Can be difficult to charge
The LetsComm Fitness Tracker is an ideal budget fitness tracker for a health conscious beginner or possibly even children. Basically, people who are new to the world of fitness tracking.
Although it has battery life of around 4-5 days the functionality is also very basic – it doesn’t track daily total calories burnt for example and the majority of the configuration has to be undertaken in the app.
Good for swimming
6 month battery life
Syncing data can take time
No step tracking
No heart rate monitoring
The Moov Now is slightly unusual amongst fitness trackers in that it doesn’t have a screen and all your interactions are within the companion app. The lack of screen does give it a bit of an unwieldy look so it’s not the best choice if you want style. However, the upside is it uses a watch battery and the lack of screen means you get around 6 months of use before you need to change it.
It differs from other fitness trackers in that its real focus is not steps taken but active minutes. This is also coupled with more detailed analysis of your activity and even real time coaching. Using it for running with a pair of bluetooth headphones will allow you to get audio feedback from a coach offering feedback on better running styles and how to improve. Similar tracking is available for swimming and you can also wear it around your ankle for cycling.
Wahoo TICKR FIT
More comfortable than a chest strap
Long battery life
Can link to other devices
Arm band can wear out quickly
Instructions are limited
Similar to the Moov Now the Wahoo TICKR Fit is not a fitness tracker in the strictest sense. We have included it here because it can be used to assist in tracking your fitness.
The TICKR fit is actually a heart rate monitor which is worn on your arm and not across your chest. It would be useful to measure calorie burn in exercises where your heart rate can be elevated but you don’t really take steps such as Peloton, yoga, weightlifting or using the elliptical trainer.
Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Easy to use
Comfortable & lightweight
Long battery life
Cumbersome menu system
Not the best looking
Companion app needs other apps to get most from device
Charging the device is a bit fiddly
Xiaomi Band 4 is an inexpensive basic fitness tracker which comes with a color screen and long battery life. There is no automatic exercise detection so you have to manually choose that you are starting and finishing an exercise. It will do the basics but in both the tracker and app you will be able to spot the differences between it and a slightly more expensive version such as a Fitbit.
It can be argued that most fitness trackers users are very health conscious. Some are training for a race, some are professional athletes, and some just have fitness goals that they are working towards. However, there is an increasing amount of fitness tracker wearers who are tracking their physical state because of a medical condition that they have.
It can be argued that most fitness trackers users are very health conscious. Some are training for a race, some are professional athletes, and some have fitness goals that they are working towards. Yet, there is an increasing amount of fitness tracker wearers who are tracking their physical state because of a medical condition that they have. There may be no medical condition as scary as a heart condition, which is why many are asking, “Can you wear a fitness tracker with a pacemaker?” The answer is yes. There is little to no risk of wearing a fitness tracker with a pacemaker. But, it is understandable that some people may question this; read on to find out why.
Devices With Little to No Threat
There are some devices that have made a small impact on the accuracy of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Here is a list of some of the devices like fitness trackers that make people wonder if fitness trackers are safe.
Cell phones are not a huge problem with pacemakers or ICDs, but the frequencies emitted from the antenna have been known to cause them to be less reliable if positioned too close to the pacemaker. According to the American Heart Association, you can still use cell phones with a pacemaker, providing you try to use them on the ear furthest away from your pacemaker.
Since many fitness trackers are smart watches and have a cell phone component with them, many people wonder if they will cause the same issue. Even though there haven’t been any reported problems with smartwatches concerning pacemakers and ICD accuracy, it is always best to exercise caution and keep your fitness tracker at least 6 inches away from your pacemaker as often as possible. If you happen to lay your hand on your chest when sleeping, you may want to consider removing your fitness tracker before bed.
Fitness trackers often will use Bluetooth to communicate with your mobile device or computer. The American Heart Association states that these “headsets don’t appear to interfere with ICDs or pacemakers.”
Although MP3 players do not pose a threat to a pacemaker or ICD, the American Heart Association says that “Most MP3 headphones contain a magnetic material that can interfere with ICDs and pacemakers. Both earbud and clip-on headphones can cause interference.” So while your fitness tracker may not cause any problems, if you are using them in conjunction with headphones, be wary of where you place your headphones. You should never put them near your chest and try to keep them at least 6 inches away from your device.
Computers and Other Electronic Devices
Most consumer products, at least in the United States, have undertaken rigorous testing to make sure that it is the safest product that it can be. And according to the American Heart Association, “In general, consumer appliances and electronics don’t affect the performance of ICDs and pacemakers. On rare occasions, some of these devices may inhibit pacemakers by a single beat. But the pacemaker’s regular signals are quickly restored.”
So what does affect a pacemaker, and why would a fitness tracker not make the list of dangerous incompatible technology? The reason why pacemakers and ICD’s react poorly when they are near certain pieces of equipment are based on the frequency that the technology runs on, the transmitting power, and antennae if there are any.
How Pacemakers Work
To understand how any piece of technology could affect your pacemaker or ICD, you have to first understand how it works. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), pacemakers are controlled by electrodes that measure your heart beats and function. If it senses that your heart is at an unhealthy range for your condition, then it will send electricity to your heart to help it pulse.
So a pacemaker is constantly “listening” for electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs). EMFs are everywhere at different frequencies and different strengths, so a pacemaker has to be discerning. The Earth’s electromagnetic field is constantly producing EMFs, so they are quite literally inescapable. Though, many frequencies are so low that they aren’t read by a pacemaker and many EMFs produced by appliances and technology are transmitted at a far enough distance from your pacemaker that it doesn’t affect a pacemaker.
Someone who has a pacemaker can be in the same room with several appliances and pieces of technology that emit electromagnetic frequencies and be just fine. Even a distance as small as 6 to 12 inches can be far enough away that it doesn’t affect the device. In fact, there are some pacemakers that have a ceramic coating that will protect the device even more from foreign EMTs that might affect the function of the device.
So though pacemakers are constantly measuring electromagnetic frequencies, they are also fairly advanced and can tell the difference in most cases between the pulses from the heart and the frequencies from the surroundings.
How Fitness Trackers Work
Like most technological devices, fitness trackers do produce EMFs but they are at a very low frequency. Cell phones, which also have a low frequency have a much higher frequency than fitness trackers and are deemed safe to use as long as it is positioned at least six inches away from the pacemaker.
Most people assume that fitness trackers measure your heart rate using electricity similar to the leads that produce electricity for an EKG, however this is not how most trackers measure heart rates. Fitness trackers instead use an LED light to illuminate the capillaries under the skin and detect how fast the heart is beating based on how much like is reflected back to the sensors. This method is called photoplethysmography, and it does not affect pacemakers.
The Apple Watch
Most of the fitness trackers on the market are harmless or pose little risk to the accuracy and functions of your pacemaker or ICD, but not all. The Apple Watch states clearly in its manual that the “Apple Watch contains components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. Apple Watch, some of the bands, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock contain magnets. These electromagnetic fields and magnets may interfere with medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.”
So, someone who has an Apple watch and a pacemaker or ICD should exercise more caution with this product. Apple does not go into all the functions that use the electromagnetic fields, however, the series 4 watch user manual did not have quite the same wording and didn’t mention radio or electromagnetic fields, just that some components contained magnets. So perhaps the EKG feature in the newer series of Apple Watches does pose a bit more of a risk than the older series prior to the EKG function.
Someone with a pacemaker should absolutely not use the EKG function in the Apple Watch unless cleared with a doctor.
Consult A Doctor
It is difficult to be 100 percent sure of the safety of a product, especially when there are new fitness trackers on the market all the time. The technology in both pacemakers and in fitness trackers are constantly changing and improving and how they work together may change in the future.
The best course of action would be to contact your cardiologist about your particular fitness tracker you are considering buying. This does get a little tricky as your cardiologist may not stay up with the latest technology, however, he or she should be able to figure out if the fitness tracker is safe or not based on other similar products.
If you are ever unsure of a product, start with your cardiologist. If you are still unsure after given the all clear, then exercise caution and keep your device at least 6 inches away from your chest at all times. Fitness trackers can be an amazing tool to keep an eye on your health, especially if you have a heart condition.
Signs of Pacemaker Failure
In rare circumstances, your pacemaker may start to fail. This could be due to EMF interference, low battery life, or pulling on leads. If you do have a pacemaker and you are worried that it might begin to fail, then be on the lookout for these symptoms:
Shortness of Breath
Overly Slow or Fast Heart Rate
Twitching Muscles in Chest or Abdomen
If you have any of those symptoms and you already have a pacemaker, you may want to consult your physician. Your doctor will be able to test your pacemaker and will know if it may be in the time window for a new battery. Of course, if you feel any of these symptoms to the point where you are concerned about your immediate health, then call 911 or have a friend take you to the emergency room.
According to the American Heart Association, there are 3 million people worldwide with a pacemaker and 600,000 pacemakers are placed yearly. These people have more cause to track their health than the average person, so it is important that fitness trackers are safe for this demographic.
Though your fitness tracker should never replace your medical consultations with a physician, it can be helpful to make sure that you are exercising in a safe range and help you keep an eye on your heart’s performance.
Most fitness trackers are known to track the basics such as steps taken, calories burnt and heart rate. Recently, I’ve started to get more into lifting weights whilst at the gym. People don’t realise it’s a great way to add an extra dimension to your workout. It’s not all about bulking up it can also help with losing weight and boosting your metabolism.
Keen to track my new found weight training workout I looked at my fitness tracker and noticed it had a weight option. Turns out that this simply allowed me to set a goal where I could simply track time or calories. I was after something a little more advanced where I could track my reps and weights lifted which got me thinking is there a fitness tracker that is suitable for weightlifting.
We’ve taken a look at fitness trackers that are currently on the market to see which is the best when you are doing functional training, crossfit or weight lifting.
There are really 2 different routes to take when looking at the features you need to look for in a fitness tracker for weightlifting.
1. Tracking the weightlifting exercises
If you’re fed up of carrying around your pen an paper you will want to look for trackers that come with at least some of the following features:
automatic counting of number of reps
tracking of weight lifted
ability to create custom routines
ability to learn exercises
2. Tracking your heart rate and calories burnt
Alernatively, you might not be interested in tracking information about the weights specifically but more how much of an impact your weight training had on your overall session. For this you would look for some of the following features:-
Real-time Heart Rate Monitoring and calorie tracking
Ability to pair with a chest strap heart rate monitor
Compatibility with weight training apps on the tracker itself
Fitness tracker manufacturers have found the tracking of weightlifting a hard nut to crack. There have been a few attempts at trying to automatically track weights with devices such as the Atlas Wearables WristBand, Push Armband and GymWatch but the reviews are mixed about their ability to do it accurately.
It seems at the moment that the ability to accurately and consistently identify a rep is not quite there.
Advances in machine learning and big data helping the trackers identify the exercises from a large data set probably mean we are not too far away. Atlas are in the process of developing a new tracker the Atlas Multi Trainer which is the next iteration in this direction.
Aside from reps another potentially useful metric to track during your weights session is heart rate.
Most modern day fitness trackers use wrist based optical heart rate monitors. The nature of the exercises you do during a weights session it is all too easy for the watch to move around your wrist and lose the heart rate tracking – which somewhat negates its effectiveness.
In this case, you are best pairing your ANT+ compatible fitness tracker such as a Garmin Vivosmart 3 with a chest strap heart rate monitor which will give you both a reliable heart rate source and more accurate reading of calories burnt during your workout.
Weightlifting specific fitness trackers that attach to the barbell
In the area of strength and conditioning there has also been a lot of research into velocity based training. Indeed, some fitness tracker manufacturers have created fitness trackers that attach directly to the barbell such as the Bar Sensei (video below) and Gymaware
Fitness trackers that track weightlifting
Garmin Vivosmart 3
In the area of normal fitness trackers we think that the Garmin Vivosmart 3 is the best out there currently. As in the video below it has the ability to track reps on the watch, however as previously mentioned this can be hit or miss.
Fitness trackers with weightlifting apps
Samsung Galaxy / WearOS watches and GymRun
GymRun is predominantly a mobile phone app which allows you to track your weightlifting workouts.
Companion Version requires you to have a constant bluetooth connection to your smartphone.
Standalone Version doesn’t need your phone during the workout and allows you to sync your data from / to your watch before and after your workout. This version does come at a price. It is around $14 to buy the optional extra feature package.
With GymRun you will be able to create your own routine and input the weight and reps you are going for. This will then transfer to your phone with a rest timer to help you recover appropriately between sets.
Once you start your workout you can enter the number or reps and weight completed directly on your watch with a summary of your workout shown after you finish.
Best fitness tracker for weightlifting
We tried to be as exhaustive as possible in putting this together but if you know of one that is great at tracking your weights sessions drop us a line and we will look to include it.
small size measuring 5.5 – 7.1 inches (140 mm – 18 mm) in circumference
large size measuring between 7.1 – 8.7 inches in circumference
the charging cradle
instruction manuals and other documentation
Fitbit Versa 2 Design
Continuing with the familiar and simple design that makes it look like an Apple watch the Versa 2 has some subtle and incremental design differences when compared to its predecessor.
Whilst, it won’t win any awards for innovation the design is practical, fits comfortably on your wrist and gets the job done.
The main watch unit is square in shape with curves in each of the 4 corners with the display centred within.
On the left hand side one single physical button can be assigned to a short cut with the majority of functionality accessed via the device’s touch screen.
The straps are made from the typical silicone material. They look like they would suit both large and small wrists. Indeed, the large band has 11 holes and the small one 12 holes which should give most people options. If you don’t like the ones that come out of the box there are lots of alternative designs available on Amazon.
As well as the standard black the Versa 2 also comes in a number of other color schemes included Copper Rose, Mist Grey and colors that are exclusively available via Fitbit.com.
Versa 2 has the capability to set up to 8 silent vibrating alarms directly within the tracker. You can customize both the level of vibration between normal or strong and the alarms themselves which can either be every day or for specifically selected days.
I’ve found that the normal settings wake me up easily and I usually set alarms at different times for the working week and non working days.
A notable new feature is also Smart Wake. The purpose of Smart Wake is to wake you up at the best point in your sleep cycle in the 30 minutes before your alarm is due to go off.
So for example, if you set your alarm for 6am and you enable the Smart Wake feature the vibrating alarm will start at any point between 530am and 6am.
To get the best out of this feature you need to ensure that your Fitbit has been regularly tracking your sleep. On a personal level, I tend to rise early naturally so when it start waking me another 30 minutes before I’ve found it strange. However, I think for other people it will be a really useful feature
Battery life & charging
The Versa 2 has a number of features that can significantly impact battery life such as always on display and music integration. If you don’t bother with these too much for typical usage the battery life is around 5 days,
Long battery life is definitely one of the Versa 2’s most appealing features.
Charging is simple too. Using the USB charger provided in the box simply pinch the sides of the cradle and line the pins on the back of the tracking device within the pins in the charger.
I’ve charged it from the mains, my computer and a portable battery pack and it typically takes around 2 hours to get to 100% charge.
Design wise the cable goes into the bottom of the charging cradle which means that counter intuitively you will need to rest the cradle on its side.
The display is a touch screen Color AMOLED which presents deeper colours to the eye.
If you don’t like the factory provided watch faces you can change to custom watch faces within the Fitbit app. So for example, if you are a healthcare professional you might want to download a face that displays a seconds hand.
With the latest update to Fitbit OS this functionality has been slightly enhanced. You can download 5 custom faces to the tracker which can then be switched using the Clocks app.
A quick settings page is accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen gives easy access to screen based configuration options
Always on Display (On or Off)
if On you will not need to press a button of flick your wrist to see the time. Does have an affect on the battery life
Brightness (Normal, Max, Dim)
Screen Wake (Auto(Motion), Manual(Button) –
in Auto mode the screen stays lit for around 10 seconds
If you want to track your run or bike ride you will need to take your phone along and use the connected GPS functionality.
Workout options like Bike and Run have a setting where you can turn On or Off Connected GPS. If it is on, the Versa 2 will try to connect to the GPS on your phone.
As soon as the connection is established the display will give you information such as pace and distance. After your run or ride is complete you can then view a map of your route by viewing that particular activity in the Fitbit app.
Heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking
Fitbit’s sleep tracking has a very good reputation, Whilst the majority of the insight is available within the app you are able to view the key indicators through the Today screen on the device itself.
As well as your previous night’s sleep, time in each stage and average sleep for the week you can view your Sleep Score. Fitbit say sleep score uses the data from your device and gives an indicator of your overall sleep quality.
Whilst we are on the subject of sleep the Fitbit Versa 2 now has a Sleep Mode. This can either be turned on manually or via a schedule which is configured on the watch
When it’s on the following will happen:-
notifications won’t cause watch to vibrate or screen to come on
screen’s brightness is set to dim
always on display clock face is turned off
turning your wrist won’t cause the watch to turn on
a sleep mode icon will appear at the top of the screen when viewing your stats
The Versa 2 has a 24/7 heart rate tracking functionality which samples at either 1 second or 5 second intervals dependent on what activity you’re doing.
Two interesting stats the Versa 2 offers from a heart rate perspective are:
During an activity where your heart rate is relative to hear rate zones recommended by the American Heart Association.
A cardio score that compares you to your peer group
The Fitbit Versa 2 like a lot of fitness trackers that play music has the ability to either store music on the device, stream it from a subscription service or control music apps playing on your mobile phone.
If you’re looking to go out for a run without your phone you will need to download the music to your Versa 2 using the Fitbit app on your computer and connect a set of bluetooth headphones so that you can hear your music. It’s a fiddly process but it does work.
Alternatively, you can pair your Versa via Bluetooth and control the playback by using the Music icon which appears if you swipe down from the top of the screen. You can play, pause, rewind and fast forward this way. So a great way to control apps like Google Music and Podcast Addict.
Finally, the Versa 2 comes with a Spotify app which allows you to remote control Spotify on your phone or computer.
Spotify app only works if you have a Spotify premium subscription
Smartphone notifications is a feature that allows your Fitbit Versa 2 to alert you on screen and by vibrating when there is any activity in the apps you have configured in the Fitbit App.
If you receive a call the number or name will display on the screen and you will be able to either accept or reject it. It is important to note that you won’t be able to take to call on the Versa 2 itself and you will still need to speak on the phone itself.
Within the Fitibt app, you can also choose which apps send you notifications and these will appear as snippets on the screen. So you might to receive e-mails, WhatsApp messages and notifications from your banking app
For Android phones it is also possible to reply to messages using the quick reply functionality. The type of quick reply can also be customised for each app from which you receive notifications.
Unfortunately, sometimes on my Android phone the connectivity can disappear which is one of the most frustrating aspects of the Versa 2
Alexa integration is a new feature offered by the Versa 2. To make it work you won’t need to have any existing Alexa devices or subscriptions but you will need to have an Amazon account and your phone nearby as it uses your phone to connect to the cloud.
Also, bear in mind that you will not have access to the same level of functionality as the Echo devices and the afore mentioned connectivity issues can cause problems.
As opposed to the Echo devices the Versa 2’s Alexa isn’t listening all the time. It needs to be activated by pressing the app in the watch or if you have set up the short by pressing left button on the device. The screen will then indicate that Alexa is ready for your query.
You can ask it questions like
whats the weather like in New York?
Set a reminder to go for a walk at 1145
Because the Versa 2 does not have a speaker the answers to your questions you will not hear a voice all responses are displayed on the screen
minimal set of smart watch features like smartphone notifications
You shouldn’t buy it if you are looking for more advanced features such as ECG, fall detection, the ability to make calls from your device. Those features belong to smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy watch
The Willful SW352 fitness tracker is a good option for the price. With an IP68 waterproof rating, long battery life and smartphone notifications it competes functionality wise with more expensive trackers. Given its price point it would be ideal as a first fitness tracker or as a gift for children.
Design wise the Willful Fitness Tracker SW352 goes for a slimline, narrow rectangular look. This means that it wouldn’t look out of place on your wrist at work.
Available in 6 colors and there is a single button to control the functionality. that wouldn’t look out of a place on your wrist at work.
The straps are interchangeable and extend from 5.5 to 8.3 inches by 0.59 inches wide so should suit most shapes and sizes of wrist.
To get the most out of the Willful tracker you will need to downloafd the VeryFitPro app which is available within the respective app stores.
Because the device itself is relatively simple, the app is where you control settings, phone notiications, alarms, historic data and time settings.
Like a lot of fitness tracker apps you need to sync to it daily before midnight then you will be able to see your workouts especially as the device itself resets at midnight
You can set up to 10 alarms in the app which then cause vibrating alerts on the tracker itself.
Can you use it without a smartphone?
In theory, you can use the SW352 without a smartphone but you would be limiting yourself to the very basic functionality that is on the device such as counting steps.
You would also lose the ability to track trends in the app as the device resets at midnight every day.
When it works it measure steps taken and the program coverts it to miles. It does not ask you stride length so it is all approximate distance.
this watch counts steps are implemented through a 3D gravity sensor, it will record some steps when you move your hands, so it may have some tolerance errors when you are using, but you can walk 100 steps to test if it is accurate or no
The battery life weights in at around 4 to 7 days for normal usage.
The Willful SW352 makes use of a standard USB charger which is extremely convenient. No more hunting around for the charging unit that you can never find.
To charge the watch you will need to :
separate the main body by pulling on the strap to expose the metal pins that plug into your USB port
clean the pins to ensure good contact and plug into your USB port
give it 2 to 3 hours and your device should be fully charged
The display is a 0.96″ OLED Color Screen which generally gets the job done.
However, some users report a couple of issues they have with the screen:-
hard to see in bright sunlight
tapping the screen to display the time can be a bit hit and miss
screen only lights up for about 5-10 seconds which can be too quick to see
Heart rate monitoring & sleep tracking
The Willful SW352 has sleep tracking and built in heart rate monitoring. It is fair to say that the implementations are slightly more limited than those on more expensive trackers.
The heart rate sensor is not continuous and takes intermittent samples throughout the day. There is no onboard display of heart rate so any details require you to go into the VeryFitPro app which is where you can also set details like maximum heart rate.
As with most trackers the Willful measures your sleep by interpreting the lack of movement of your body or wrist. It is quite limited by the fact that it only records the data between 9pm and 8am and only for periods of 4 hours or more. Again, to get the most from it you have to connect to the VeryFitPro app and ensure that all your personal information is complete.
Although not really a fitness tracking must have one of the best features of the Willful SW352 is the ability to integrate with your phone for notifications and remotely controlling your phone’s camera.
The VeryFitPro app allows you to choose which apps send you notifications and sends it to your wrist. It’s a really useful feature and does have its uses. However, the size of the display does mean that the text can be quite small
The good news is that the SW355 is IP68 rated so you can take it with you into the pool or the shower.
The bad news is that there is no swimming specific functionality so you can only real track your heart rate and activity when doing your lenghts.
The other issue that is common with a lot of touch screen trackers is that sometimes the water from the shower can inadvertently kick off an activity. Not the end of the world but a little bugbear.
You’ve never owned a fitness tracker before and want to get insight into your daily activity and whether a fitness tracker is for you
Want a cheaper alternative to Fitbit if you’re kids are pestering you for a tracker this is a great inexpensive choice which offers a lot of similar functionality to a Fitbit at a fraction of the price
You’re fed up of trying to find your charging cable – the ability to plug this directly into the USB port is a great advantage
You need a fitness tracker if you really want to improve your health. When I first started wearing fitness tracker a couple of months ago, it was frustrating to try.
But when I started wearing it I came to know about its health benefits. I got to see all my statistics right on my wrist. Charting my over time it was like something from a superhero movie,
I was like wow this thing can really help in improving health.
I recommend fitness tracker because it can boost your daily workouts and make it part of your daily routine to achieve targets. It is important to mention that an easy to use tracker is actually motivating towards achieving your health and fitness goals.
Most fitness trackers have more functions than a Swiss Army knife. Usually including a heart rate monitor, distance trackers, exercise programs, calorie trackers and many more, all with the intention of improving your health. If you feel a significant improvement in health, you will never stop using it.
Buy or dust off your tracker
Have you been thinking about buying a fitness tracker, or do you have one, and its collecting dust?
Well now is the time to either buy that tracker or dust it off. Because here you will get answers to the questions which are clicking in your mind. Like, do fitness trackers really improve health? Do fitness trackers motivate you? Fitness trackers have the potential to be one of the best tools which can improve your health and also motivate you.
To find out detailed answers to the aforementioned questions, first, you need to know precisely about fitness trackers.
Do fitness trackers work and really improve health?
Before we get into it, do fitness trackers work and really improve health? To put it into simpler terms, fitness trackers measure movement and motion. They use sensors that can track the following things:
They collect data and immediately convert it into steps, calories, sleep quality and general activity that you do all over the day. There is also a sensor called the ‘altimeter’ that can measure your altitude. It must be noteworthy that, the more sensors your fitness tracker has, the more accurate it can be for you.
Now moving towards the question; do fitness trackers work and really improve health?
Yes, if used.
My guess is that most people take it for granted that fitness trackers are helpful in improving your health, but that’s based mostly on hypothesis.
So, what did they find?
Fitness trackers on their own won’t improve your health; that’s true. But what trackers can do is motivate you, hold you accountable, and measure metrics that you normally wouldn’t think to look at when it comes to your overall fitness. If you’re thinking of slapping a fitness tracker on your arm but need a little more convincing, then read ahead.
The fundamental hypothesis driving the smartwatch industry is that losing weight is a simple matter of “calories in versus calories out”. This view is held by many fitness experts, bodybuilders, and nutritionists. But not all.
Alternative crowd maintains that counting calories are actually unproductive for a large number of the population. According to this viewpoint, the answer has more to do with metabolism, insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, gut bacteria, nutrient density and so on. This group of people might answer the question of whether fitness trackers really work quite differently or not.
Allow me to be so bold as to present my point of view.
Burning more calories than you consume will affect weight loss.
Smartwatches and the calorie counting people rely on a number called an Active Metabolic Rate to do their math. This is the number of calories that you burn during a normal day of work. In turn, this is calculated as your Basal Metabolic Rate the number of calories simply required for breathing and thinking plus any activity on top.
To get your BMR and therefore your AMR you have to enter these required inputs:
This is needed because taller people require more energy just to go about their usual business that’s why bigger folks tend to eat more. Similarly, men and women burn different amounts of calories. You can also do a BMR calculation using your lean body mass.
Two people roughly the same height and weight won’t burn the same number of calories. If you have a higher level of testosterone then you will burn more calories and build more muscle. Hormone balance plays a big role. Similarly, thyroid hormones, cortisol levels, insulin, and some other factors all play a role.
You don’t believe that hormones can make much difference to your physique? Look at somebody who uses steroids. They would have the same numbers as anyone else on a fitness tracker, but they’d look a lot different. On the other hand, many women who start using oral contraceptives can also gain or lose weight as a result.
Our guts harbor a lot of friendly bacteria that play a very vital role in our health and well-being. These bacteria help us to produce hormones and neurotransmitters; they aid with our digestion, and they fend off bad bacteria. Several case studies have shown us that fecal transplants can result in rapid weight loss or weight gain due to the loss or addition of the bacteria.
Millions of people use fitness trackers to monitor their health and fitness. If it were possible to count calories going in and out, this would lead to more precise predictions of weight gain or weight loss.
Not just for exercise junkies, the data from fitness trackers may help predict and even prevent heart disease, blood pressure, and count calories. Sensors on these devices track each and everything from body movements to heart rate and even blood pressure. They also include loud alarms to remind users to stay active throughout the day.
Despite mistakes when it comes to recording your activity, wearable trackers can be useful for improving your daily workout. Because the majority of adult’s exercise comes in the form of walking, your step count should provide a good approximate of your daily activity.
For many fitness-band wearers, the accurate number of steps jogged matters a lot. The bands can increase competition to outwalk friends and encourage them to take an evening walk. Those who wore fitness trackers significantly increased the time they spent doing moderate to energetic activity. These facts remove the doubt about do fitness trackers work and really improve health.
Do fitness trackers motivate you?
A fitness tracker can help by providing valuable data and collecting your health and fitness information that allows you to see what you’re achieving. It also records any improvement. These can all work together to keep you motivated.
People are more motivated to push themselves when they can visibly see their activity levels. It also helps them reach to their next fitness level. Seeing their progress can give them a feeling of achievement, which in turn increases motivation.
Being sufficiently motivated plays an essential role in whether people are able to increase and maintain their physical activity levels. But it must be kept in mind that not all forms of motivation are equally powerful.
There are three forms of motivations:
1. Autonomous Motivation
When a person does something freely, willingly and with a positive attitude, it usually indicates higher motivational quality which is known as autonomous motivation.
2. Controlled Motivation
If a person does an activity mainly in response to other’s demands or pressures such as rewards, competition or comparison with others, this is indicative of lower motivational quality which is known as controlled motivation.
When a person has no desire to take part in an activity at all, then this state is known as amotivation.
Greater motivation depends on three basic “needs”:
Autonomy: It is the need to feel a sense of ownership over your actions.
Competence: It is the need to feel adequately-challenged and experience a sense of accomplishment.
Relatedness: It is the need to feel connected to others and supported in your endeavors.
Both autonomous (higher) and controlling (lower) forms of motivation can prompt changes in our behavior, but autonomous motivation is more durable and beneficial in the longer term, particularly for physical activity and weight loss.
Goal-setting and self-monitoring of progress can maintain the development of high-quality (autonomous) motivation for physical activity. Fitness trackers are really helpful motivational tools to support people in making long-term lifestyle changes and becoming more active, both during and after taking part in a weight loss and healthy living plan.
Overall, fitness trackers can motivate increased performance and raise the effectiveness of the workout.
Benefits of Fitness Trackers
There are a number of benefits for people who want to increase access to health and activity trackers in the workplace. As a result, fitness trackers can really improve their health too. The top 12 benefits are:
1. An environment focused on health
For many years, work environments have made productivity and profit the top priorities, while health received little to no attention. The good news is that the arrival of fitness trackers, along with other wellness devices tied to specific outcomes, have moved health to the front position of the workplace environment. This, in turn, creates a stronger sense of companionship, happiness and overall employee retention.
2. Enhanced chronic disease management
Diabetes and high blood pressure are chronic diseases that require constant monitoring and management. Fitness trackers allow people to monitor their physical activity, what they are eating on a daily basis and many more. This can lead to improved health and, eventually, increased productivity due to a decreased rate of workplace absences related to illnesses and other disorders.
Wear your fitness tracker to bed, and perhaps your nights will be more restful and you’ll feel better in the morning. This can lead to improved health and, eventually, a decreased rate of workplace absences due to sleepless nights.
3. Up-to-date weight loss tool
As you’re busy trying to maintain your personal records, you may not even notice the gains or losses you’re making in your weight. Fitness trackers can make calorie counting more convenient than ever. They can also help you manage your food intake.
Many fitness tracker apps have nutritional information databases. So if you want to count your calories, no longer do you need to carry calorie book with you at the workplace. You set a daily calorie goal, you can see at a glance how many calories you have left in your budget and how many calories you’ve burned.
4. Get better at sports
Even if you’re fit then you can still benefit from using a fitness tracker. With the help of fitness trackers, you’re able to track metrics (such as speed, number of laps, and revolutions per minute) related to specific sports such as running and cycling etc. It helps you to see how well you’re performing and track your progress.
5. Counting steps is easy
It may sound unreasonable, wearing a fitness tracker for counting your steps. But it really motivates you to simply strive yourself to improve your daily steps goal. You can also see how many steps you walked per day and it motivates you to do better the next day. So it reduces your laziness and encourages you to go across the world.
This is a great feature for those who need a little push out of the door to get moving in the morning. Most fitness trackers work with third-party apps where you can challenge a friend to a workout and post your planned sessions to keep yourself accountable to your exercise program. Social exercise aids in helping us perform more regular exercise and avoid pulling the cover over our heads to sleep in. Additionally, when you do get in that activity, you can share it on social media with your active friends.
7. Motivate healthy habits
The intensifying use of smartphone apps with built-in motivations has turned health monitoring into a game. In fact, both small and large companies have taken over games and expanded it further by putting programs in place that motivate healthy employee habits.
8. Pushes you to achieve your goals
Goal setting is the significant feature of fitness trackers and it lets you set the goal and keeps you engaged in your goal progress. In an increasingly deskbound society, fitness trackers are one way of giving you an extra push to get you out of your seat. They are motivating people to reach their health goals i.e., self-monitoring, setting goals, getting feedback on their progress, revising goals, social support, and developing a sense of self-efficacy.
9. Keep track of your progress
A good fitness tracker will have the option to track your progress, calories, steps, distance and heart rate monitor. Moreover, you could summarize your last week or months’ achievements. As well as, it will shake and inform you when your goals will be achieved, i.e. 6000 steps or 20km. It feels good to see your progress and how much stronger you have become.
10. Personal accountability
Fitness trackers track your goals and your progress, psychologically encouraging you to walk more steps than you did yesterday; to run faster than you did yesterday; to sustain peak heart rate for just a little longer. Wearing a fitness tracker can increase a user’s activity levels. Eventually, a decreased rate of workplace absences due to bad health.
11. Incentives promote activity
Fitness is not an individual hobby or habit. Workplaces are getting involved in encouraging employees to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle with many incentives. Having a healthier member of staff cuts down costs for companies too.
12. Tracks even while you sleep
Sleep is linked to the quality of your health and lifestyle. Fitness trackers can easily determine the quality of your sleep on the basis of your movement during sleep. Most fitness trackers have built-in sleep monitors, which measure how long you sleep and estimate the quality of your rest by how much you move around while you sleep.
Finally, it is concluded that fitness trackers continue to play an important role to improve your health and also motivate you. The focus of these devices has been on individuals interested in working towards specific health and fitness goals. I’ve been a user of fitness trackers for years. So, I enjoy tracking my daily activity, exercise and more with my own fitness tracker.
The ability to link your fitness tracker with others, even if they don’t have the same tracker as you, is an innovative way to connect with others. Moreover, you may connect various devices and track your health and fitness data from numerous data sources. This information will be precious for your future safety.
So, if you have a fitness tracker lying nearby, or you have been thinking of getting one, now is the time to make use of it. Gather some close, or not so close friends for motivation, challenge, and fun. Spread the word, “the more the merrier”.
The Fitbit Versa range fits neatly into the category of fitness smartwatches. By taking some of the features of smartwatches such as notifications and combining them with their fitness tracking guile Fitbit hoped to provide an affordable alternative to devices like the Apple Watch.
The original Fitbit Versa did this with great commercial success. So much so, Fitbit have launched a successor the Fitbit Versa 2.
So between the Versa and Versa 2 which one is best?
Should you upgrade if you own the Fitbit Versa?
Take a look below as we pit them head to head in a showdown to help you decide
Alexa integration: The Versa 2 allows you to its Alexa integration to perform functions on your watch such as setting the alarm
Display: The Versa 2 comes with an AMOLED display which is much brighter than the LCD version on the Vera.
Always on display: The Versa 2 has the ability to set the screen so that it is always on – does affect battery life
Battery life: The Versa 2 in normal use which is around 1 day more than the Versa
Price: Fitbit are pricing the Versa 2 so that in most cases it is the same price as the original Versa
From a distance you would be hard pressed to spot differences between the Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Versa 2. The Fitbit Versa 2 has a slightly larger screen and aesthetically its styling makes more use of curves. Overall, the design of both is still very similar to the Apple Watch.
For physical controls the Fitbit Versa 2 has dispensed with the 2 buttons on the right of the Versa leaving one button on the left hand side which can be linked to a shortcut.
The Fitbit Versa 2 also has the same mechanism for changing straps as the Versa. Definitely no improvements here. It’s still very frustrating to change a strap.
Fitbit Versa 2
1.56″ / 3.98 cm
1.56″ / 3.98 cm
0.47″ / 1.19 cm
1.55″ / 3.93cm
1.55″ / 3.93 cm
0.45″ / 1.14 cm
The Versa 2 did away with the Fitbit logo from the Versa resulting in a little bit more screen estate, the device is also ever so slightly deeper. On the wrist it does feel slightly bigger but not to point where you will notice a massive difference.
Fitbit Versa 2 vs Fitbit Versa Showdown
When comparing Versas we use a range of common fitness tracking features. In each category 1 point is assigned to the outright winner and 0 to the loser. In the case of a tie we give 1 point to both devices. The Versa with the most points is the winner of the showdown. The features we use include:-
Fitness Tracking Features
Heart Rate Monitoring
The Versa 2 manages to extend the Versa’s already impressive battery life from around 4 days to just over 5 days for normal usage.
For upgraders, it is a bit frustrating that the previous charging dock can’t be used
Fitbit Versa 2
The Fitbit Versa has a 1.34 inch color LCD touch screen with 300 x 300 pixel resolution which towards other devices on the marker can look a bit dated
The Fitbit Versa 2 keeps the 300 x 300 resolution but is now an AMOLED touch screen
When comparing side by side the Versa 2’s screen is much brighter and the colors have a lot more depth with a much better contrast.
Another feature added to the Versa 2 is an Always on Display a great boon and with the latest Fitbit OS there are a number of clock faces that are Always On.
Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit have decided to stick with the same connected GPS capability.
Does that mean I have to take my phone to track my run?
Yes, as neither Versa has an onboard GPS chip the only way to track a GPS run is by connecting your Versa to your phone and taking your phone along with you.
Fitbit Versa 2
Heart Rate Monitoring
This is a tie as both devices come with the same heart rate sensor which operates 24/7 and continuously collects data points to enable Fitbit to calculate a cardio score.
Fitbit Versa 2
Both devices have the ability to store music on-board which can be listened to using bluetooth headphones. The Versa 2 comes with a Spotify app pre-installed which is not currently available on the Versa.
It is important to note that it is not possible to do sync your Spotify songs to your Versa 2. The Spotify app is available for Spotify Premium subscribers and acts like a remote control where you can use your watch to control your Spotify connected device.
Fitbit Versa 2
Sleep tracking is always been well regarded on Fitbit devices. The Fitbit Versa 2 takes this a bit further by providing a metric known as your Sleep Score to give you an insight to your overall sleep quality
Fitbit Versa 2
Both devices have water resistance to 50 metres and can be used in the pool. Although neither device has any swim tracking functionality and simply record your active time.
Overall, we think there is no compelling reason to upgrade if you are happy with your current Vera. A lot of the functionality is Fitbit OS specific and will probably filter down to the Versa in time. You need to make the decision based on whether some of the new functionality such as Always on Display, Alexa integration and quick replies on Android are important enough for you to spend the cash and take the leap.
Should I buy the Fitbit Versa or the Fitbit Versa 2?
If it comes down to a decision between the Versa and Versa 2 you need to decide whether the newer features on the Versa 2 are important to you.
If you can live without them both watches share a lot of similar functionality – why not save yourself some cash and go with the Versa.
On the other hand, if you want to benefit from the brighter AMOLED screen, alway on display functionality and Alexa integration Fitbit are pricing the Versa 2 very competitively against the older model.
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There are a lot of fitness trackers on the market and a lot of different features for each one, so it can be difficult to make an educated decision about which one to make. However if you are looking for a fitness tracker that that has a blood pressure monitor or a blood pressure watch, you’ll be able to narrow your field significantly.
The technology for measuring blood pressure is still fairly new, so there are not many trackers with this feature. The major manufacturers such as Fitbit, Garmin, Apple are innovating all the time with health monitoring features such as ECG but so far none have gone all in for blood pressure tracing.
That begs the question: Are there enough viable choices for fitness trackers? Check out this list of some of the best fitness trackers with blood pressure to find out which one will work for you.
MorePro Heart Rate Monitor Blood Pressure Fitness Activity Tracker with Low O2 Reminder, IP68 Waterproof Smart Watch with HRV Sleep Health Monitor Smartwatch for Android iOS Phones (Black)
YAMAY Smart Watch, Watches for Men Women Fitness Tracker Blood Pressure Monitor Blood Oxygen Meter Heart Rate Monitor IP68 Waterproof, Smartwatch Compatible with iPhone Samsung Android Phones (Black)
YoYoFit Smart Watch with Blood Pressure, 1.4" Touch Screen Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate and Blood Oxygen, Waterproof Fitness Smartwatch with Step Counter, Sleep Monitor for Men and Women Gift
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 3 (41mm, GPS, Bluetooth) Smart Watch with Advanced Health Monitoring, Fitness Tracking, and Long Lasting Battery - Mystic Silver (US Version)
Omron has been a big name in blood pressure monitoring for several years, so the name alone comes with a lot of clout. Being a big name in blood pressure, it was important that their smartwatch was cleared by the FDA as an accurate monitor before it hit the market, which it was.
This Omron fitness tracker does not employ the commonly used PPG technology that is found in all other fitness trackers that claim to monitor blood pressure, but instead has an inflatable cuff that is supposed to be more accurate.
Though the inflatable cuff is more accurate, it isn’t exactly convenient. No one likes to be interrupted during their day to have their blood circulation cut off. You can make the settings whatever you want, but if you don’t like the feel of the inflatable cuff to get your blood pressure, this might not be an option for you.
The design is a good one, and squeezing an inflatable cuff into a smartwatch is a challenge, but it does remain that it is more bulky than most smartwatches. If you are someone who has a heart condition however, this design is much more sleek than the typical wrist worn wireless blood pressure monitors.
The Asus VivoWatch BP is a fairly new model of fitness tracker with a more accurate blood pressure monitor than most. It has two sensors, one for ECG and one to read your PPG through your finger. With a combination of the two readings, you can get a more accurate read than some of the other fitness trackers that list blood pressure monitoring among their features.
Compared to the bulky Omron Heartguide, this smartwatch is light as a feather and has a sleek design that won’t get in your way as you go about your daily activities.
If you record your blood pressure a few times a day, you can send it to your physician and he or she can have a more accurate idea of your blood pressure condition throughout the day.
The watch takes two hands to get a reading, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is more “hands on” than other fitness trackers.
This smartwatch also doesn’t offer many more features than the basic step counter, heart rate monitor, sleep tracker etc. It isn’t really a watch that you would use to scroll through apps and really personalize your health goals. However, if you just want to have basic health tracking features, then this is a great option without getting too technical.
The MorePro is another affordable option for a fitness tracker, especially with a blood pressure feature. It is lightweight and has a comfortable design. There are not too many screens to scroll through and it is very simple for even the least tech savvy user.
This uses PPG technology on the wrist and it records at a higher blood pressure than what is typically recorded from the upper arm. This is a good option for the price and can be useful to track trends in your blood pressure, but again, it isn’t medically graded accurate.
The Fitfort fitness tracker comes at a very affordable price and has all the features you would want in a fitness tracker. It doesn’t have smart social apps, but it has all the other basic fitness features.
The Fitfort uses PPG like most of the other fitness trackers on this list, and has the common problems that come with it. It typically records blood pressure higher than that person normally would. This is a problem with PPG technology and the location of the wrist. It might not be a big deal to some, but if you are buying the tracker for the purpose of recording an accurate blood pressure reading, you may want to check its accuracy against blood pressure monitors.
Many people say that a fitness tracker is only as good as its app, and the app that comes with this tracker is simple to use and helpful. The Bolzun Fitness Tracker B15P is reviewed to be about on par with the other fitness trackers that measure blood pressure through PPG technology. However, many reviewers have found that the blood pressure monitoring becomes more accurate over time. The more you use it, the better calibrated it is to your body.
The app is also simple to use and easy to navigate, though your blood pressure will not automatically show up in the app each time you use it.
Everything else that the tracker records shows up automatically, namely the step counter and calorie calculator, but the blood pressure requires that you press a button in the app for it to record the information each time you take your pressure.
This may be one of the most affordable fitness trackers on the market, let alone blood pressure specific fitness trackers. It works well with an app and you can customize the screen to have specific notifications. The battery life lasts a long time and provides continuous heart rate and blood pressure monitoring.
Again, it is not medically graded for blood pressure. Especially when fitness trackers are continuously recording blood pressure data–rather than periodically–the data can be incorrect. The blood pressure monitors that have the most accurate readings are the ones that require that you sit still for about a minute with your wrist and heart height. PPG can be sensitive to movement, so the blood pressure reading in this particular fitness tracker is probably off by a bit.
Again, another affordable fitness tracker option. The app and fitness tracker are easy to use and have a simple design. The pedometer is accurate without GPS.
As with many of the above mentioned trackers, it uses PPG and has a higher than normal blood pressure rate when used. Again, this is an issue with the technology available currently and the location of the fitness tracker on the body.
The design can also be a bit fragile. The straps pull off of a USB plug for charging and some users have complained that it breaks if you’re not careful pulling the strap off.
External Blood Pressure Monitors
As mentioned earlier, blood pressure monitoring is fairly new to the fitness tracker market. Tracking blood pressure is an important tool that would benefit every person at every fitness level, however it remains to be in its beginning stages of continuous measurement.
If you have a serious heart condition, consult your physician about what options would be best for you to monitor your blood pressure. Perhaps one of these on this list will be sufficient, but if you have a very serious condition, you will probably want to go for something approved by the FDA.
More information is always better than less, so if you have a fitness tracker using PPG that you have found to be fairly accurate, it can’t hurt to use that continuously to track your blood pressure while regularly checking in with an external blood pressure monitor. If you would like a list of some external monitors that are compatible with your phone, check out the end of our article titled “Can Fitness Trackers Measure Blood Pressure?”
Though there are very few medically graded options for a blood pressure monitor available today, there are high hopes for technology to develop in the near future. The big names in fitness tracking such as Garmin, Fitbit, and Apple, as yet have not put out a reliable blood pressure monitor, likely because they are working on the highest quality technology to make a big splash when they release it. This is definitely a feature to keep your eye out for in the coming years.
Measuring blood pressure through a fitness tracker is a relatively new feature that tracker companies are just starting to develop. Though there may not be many options for blood pressure monitoring trackers, there are some on the market, and they are getting more and more accurate.
So how do fitness trackers measure blood pressure? There are three main methods to finding out your blood pressure through fitness trackers. The most accurate is through traditional cuff inflation, with photoplethysmography (PPG) at a close second, or, a little less conveniently, from external devices. Read on for more information about each method.
Currently, there is one smartwatch fitness tracker on the market that uses an inflatable cuff at the wrist to measure blood pressure and that is the Omron Heartguide. You can find out a little more about the Heartguide here.
Many argue that measuring blood pressure using the cuff method is the most accurate way to do it. This claim is substantiated by the FDA, since the Omron Heartguide is the only smartwatch approved to check blood pressure, though other smartwatches and fitness trackers have blood pressure tracking listed among their features.
However, just because Omron is the only one approved to check blood pressure accurately, doesn’t mean that some of the other fitness trackers aren’t accurate if used correctly. The technology for photoplethysmography PPG is still fairly new; if you don’t have a heart condition, you may want to compare one of the PPG trackers against a blood pressure monitor to check accuracy.
If you do have a heart condition, then the best route to take would be to ask your physician for advice, or bring your tracker in to the doctors office to compare it with your physician’s reading.
The technology that is used in most fitness trackers that claim to read blood pressure is photoplethysmography or PPG. This process is technical but simply put, the device emits a light and measures the reflection of this light to, in turn, measure the blood volume. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, the device will emit an infrared light to measure the blood flow deep in the tissue or muscles. If the device emits a green light, it is commonly measuring the absorption of oxygen in the blood (NCBI).
This is the technology that is used in finger cuffs that you may have used at the doctors office. It does an alright job, but it is not accurate enough for most doctors to use say, during a surgery.
This is also the technology that is used in many fitness trackers that claim that they record blood pressure. It is not technically blood pressure, but the measurements are correlated enough to replace a blood pressure measurement.
If you aren’t the type of person who wants to have a wrist cuff inflating on you several times in a day, but you do want to have the most accurate blood pressure readings possible, then an external blood pressure device might be just what the doctor ordered–literally.
There are several blood pressure monitors on the market currently that will pair with your phone or smartwatch either with a cord or through bluetooth, making sure that all your information is in the right place.
The wrist is arguably not the best place for measuring blood pressure. The arteries are very small and the bones can also get in the way of the most accurate reading. This is why most doctors prefer to take your blood pressure on your upper arm where the arteries are thicker and a cuff can apply more pressure.
So if you are planning on tracking your blood pressure because you have a mild curiosity about how your fitness level is affecting it, you’ll probably be just fine with the PPG method of measuring blood pressure. If, however, you have a heart condition already, you may want to invest in one of the external devices, or even do both to measure the accuracy against each other.
Why Is Ambulatory Blood Pressure Beneficial?
Your blood pressure is arguably the most important aspect of your health to monitor. This is because it is a preliminary symptom of hardening of the arteries, stroke, kidney disease, or heart attack.
The American Heart Association states that “High blood pressure is a largely symptomless ‘silent killer.’ If you ignore your blood pressure because you think a certain symptom or sign will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life” (AMA).
Office Monitoring Is Not Enough
Many people who have “white coat hypertension” or get overly nervous at doctors appointments resulting in high blood pressure, are recommended to use ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. This is a portable blood pressure cuff that the patient can wear throughout his or her daily activities to give his or her physician a 24 hour period of time of regular monitoring.
The measurement that a doctor gets in the office is meant to be a resting blood pressure, and whether you get nervous around doctors or you simply had to rush to get to your appointment, your blood pressure could be much higher than what your daily average might be.
This is why ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is the preferred method of getting an accurate reading of blood pressure if your doctor is determining to diagnose you with hypertension. An average of your blood pressure readings throughout the day, including periods of exercise and sleep, is the most accurate way to measure your blood pressure and your overall health.
With heart disease the leading worldwide cause of death, and high blood pressure the leading indicator of heart disease, blood pressure is more important than ever to monitor. Therefore, having a blood pressure monitor on your fitness tracker should be an important feature that you look for.
Why Are There Not More BP Fitness Trackers?
If you search for fitness trackers that measure blood pressure, you don’t come up with too many immediate results.
Why is this? One of the primary reasons why there aren’t very many trackers that measure blood pressure, in the US at least, is since fitness trackers deal with your health, they have to pass certain FDA approved regulations. There are some on the market that have been deemed acceptable, but not recommended.
Though the wrist is currently not an ideal place to measure blood pressure, and you will get a more accurate reading on your upper arm, technology is only getting better with time, and there may be a day in the very near future where blood pressure monitoring from the wrist in fitness trackers is commonplace.
Many people want to measure their blood pressure regularly, if not continuously, but very few people want to deal with the inconvenience of having an inflatable cuff on their wrist cutting off their blood flow every 15 to 30 minutes. Even with the Omron Heartguide, you do have to stop what you’re doing and hold your wrist at heart level to get an accurate reading.
Right now, a fitness tracker with an inflatable cuff, is a good idea, but still impractical for frequent everyday use. This is why scientists are working on a new technology that doesn’t require an inflatable cuff or an infrared light to get a blood pressure measurement. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology US Department of Commerce (NIST), cuffless accurate blood pressure monitors may not be far off.
The NIST explains that scientists are working on a blood pressure monitor, that instead of inflating, will “gauge subtle pressure changes at the surface of your skin above one of the main wrist arteries – the radial artery – without regularly cutting off your circulation” (NIST).
The challenge with this method of measuring blood pressure, other than it has never been done before, is that the scientists have to create a model that mimics arteries in the wrist to test it, which they have done using a 3D printer.
They use a silicone pad to mimic the tissue of an arm and have a fake artery running through it. Then they use sensors to record data as different weights are pulsed against the silicone. In this controlled environment, they can see how accurate their measurements are and what kinds of readings the sensors are picking up. This technology still has some work to go, but could be ready for a prototype in the near future.
The technology for measuring blood pressure is advanced as it stands now, but still flawed. There is definitely room to grow and, in an overly saturated market of fitness trackers, it will be interesting to see which companies pursue developing this technology to stand out from the crowd. Blood pressure is a vital part of overall health and the technology to monitor it accurately will prove to be worth the effort of developing.