Top 10: The Awesomeness of Fitness Devices (2016)

Can technology improve your health? The answer might be yes, especially when it comes to fitness wearables. Fitness devices keep track of important factors going on inside and outside your body and relay the information to you. You can find out how well you sleep based on your movements throughout the night. You can keep track of your heart rate throughout the day. Some fitness devices keep track of your workout routines and guide you as you complete new exercises.

Heart Rate Detection

Many wearable fitness devices that go on your wrist don’t take the most accurate heart rate measurements. While they can give you a good idea of what your heart rate was doing during the day or while you were walking, the measurement is less precise if you’re doing a lot of exercises that involve arm movements. If knowing your exact heart rate is crucial, you should choose a wearable that monitors your heart rate using a chest strap.

Battery Life

If you’re going to be away from an electrical outlet all day, you’ll need a fitness device with a long-lasting battery. Using a GPS to navigate into the woods isn’t helpful if the battery dies before you can navigate your way back out. Your device has to make it to the end of your long run in order to track your pace accurately.

Versatility

Are you a golfer or a runner? Do you just want a device that can track how much you move during a typical day? Some the best wearable fitness trackers are designed to help you improve in a specific activity. Others can be set to record different data based on the exercise that you’re performing. More basic models simply record your movements or heart rate.

The Best Wearable Fitness Devices

The best fitness wearables enhance your lifestyle without interfering with it. Below are the top rated fitness trackers for 2016.

FitBit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband

This fitness wearable is a neutral fashion accessory that works well to track factors that relate to your health. It counts your steps and distance and translates them into calorie burn. It also keeps track of the number of stairs you climb separately from the steps that you take. The FitBit Charge HR records your heart rate and provides at-a-glance information about the number of hours that you were active throughout the day.

If your phone isn’t far away, you can see who’s calling by looking at the device. When you want to wake up in the morning, you can set a silent alarm that vibrates instead of making a loud noise.

The FitBit Charge HR is relatively affordable for everything that it offers. It averages at about $150. The band comes in several sizes. Some wearers don’t like the cumbersome feel of the FitBit because it is not adjustable.

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Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large

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$ 155.68

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Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Small

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FitBit Surge Fitness Superwatch

On the other end of the spectrum from the FitBit Charge is the FitBit Surge. This is the brand’s most expensive option. It also has more features than the more basic FitBit Charge.

In addition to recording steps, sleep, calories, stairs and heart rate, the FitBit Surge has a GPS tracking feature that can help you monitor and improve your performance when you do activities that involve distance. You’ll get accurate data that keeps track of your pace. Many other fitness trackers only approximate this data.

Many users report that a huge benefit of using the FitBit Surge is its long battery life. Using a GPS can drain the battery of any device fairly rapidly. Some fitness trackers won’t last an entire marathon without running out of gas. The battery of the FitBit surge can last for 7 to 10 days before it needs to be recharged.

The FitBit Charge only notifies you when you get a phone call. The FitBit Surge also shows you text messages in their entirety.

The FitBit Surge costs about $250. The watch is bulkier than its more basic counterpart. It comes in different sizes, however. The adjustable wrist strap makes it easy to size based on your wrist size.

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Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch, Black, Large

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$ 229.93

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Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch, Black, Small

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$ 242.99 300.00

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Garmin Forerunner 230

Another fitness wearable with GPS tracking features is the Garmin Forerunner 230. This smart watch has a durable design and real-time live tracking. You can also share your achievements and information via social media when you use the Garmin Connect Mobile App. This can help you get the motivation you need from others, especially when you can’t exercise with a group or team.

With many GPS trackers, you have to remember to pause the device when you take a break. The Forerunner detects your activity automatically. If you stop running to tie your shoe, your rest time won’t detract from your total pace. The smart watch takes the break into account.

The accelerometer calculates your time and pace when you’re running indoors and can’t use GPS. This feature also makes the watch ideal when your outdoor route takes you through tunnels.

This device costs about $250.

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Garmin Forerunner 230 - Black/White

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$ 189.95

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Garmin Forerunner 920 XT

You may prefer the Garmin Forerunner 920XT if you’re a long-distance swimmer. The watch is waterproof to 50 meters deep. That makes it last longer when subjected to heavy sweating or rain. Pair it with a waterproof heart rate sensor to keep track of your heart rate while swimming.

The 20-hour battery life is decent. It will get you through a one-day triathlon. It will need to be charged if you’re involved in a race that spans more than one day.

The large watch face has a feature that allows you to see your distance, time and average pace together. Most smart watches require you to toggle through each function.

The Garmin Forerunner 920 XT costs about $500. That’s a hefty price, but you get a ton of options for it. Read our full review to get a glimpse into the vast options and features of the 920XT.

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Garmin Forerunner 920XT Black/Blue Watch with HRM-Run

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$ 274.50

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Polar H7 Smart Heart Rate Sensor

The Polar H7 will be fundamental to improving your athletic performance if heart rate accuracy is important to you. The sensor sits in the center of your chest, and the strap wraps around your upper abdomen. This allows the device to capture an accurate reading no matter what activity you’re performing.

The Polar H7 doesn’t do much else. It can integrate with your smartphone or smart watch to calculate the number of calories burned based on your heart rate. That can help you set and maintain your exercise goals.

Many other heart rate sensors aren’t waterproof. That means that they can’t be used by swimmers or during exercise that involves heavy sweating. The Polar H7 Smart Heart Rate Sensor can handle being fully submerged in water.

The Polar H7 Smart Heart Rate Sensor costs about $55. While some users need time to adjust to the feeling of having a chest strap wrapped around their bodies, most find the device comfortable and convenient to use.

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Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor, X-Small/Small

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$ 53.00 79.95

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Polar M400 GPS Running Watch

This GPS watch incorporates an activity tracker to help you monitor your health even when you’re not exercising. It tracks your altitude as well as pace and distance. It also tracks calorie burn, activity goals, sleep length and sleep quality.

The software that comes with the device pushes you to do better. Motivational messages encourage you to keep going during long runs. The activity tracker alerts you when you’ve been immobile for too long. That kind of motivation may be exactly what some people need to get off the couch and get moving.

The Polar M400 costs about $200. Some users find that it takes a long time to connect with a smartphone. Users also have trouble exporting data from the watch to other exercise tracking software.

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Polar M400 GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor, Black

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$ 115.14 249.95

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Apple Watch Sport

The Apple Watch Sport is perhaps one of the most attractive for all-purpose use. The sleek design is streamlined, and you can purchase different bands to attach to the watch face. The Ion-X face of this watch is shatterproof and resistant to scratches. It’s also extremely lightweight.

The watch is water resistant. This means that you won’t damage it if you wear it in the rain or while washing your hands. It should not be submerged in water.

This product integrates seamlessly with the iPhone, allowing you to view texts and answer phone calls. You can even use voice recognition to compose your own texts. Apps make it easy to choose the functions that you prefer to access from the watch as opposed to your phone. It has 8 MB of storage. You can store about 500 songs on the 2 MB of storage that are devoted to holding music.

The Apple Watch Sport tracks your daily activity. It can sense whether you’re sitting or standing. It also has a heart rate monitor and calorie burn calculator. Some third-party apps help you make your workouts more effective. You can get an app that leads you through yoga poses, for example.

The Apple Watch Sport costs about $350. That’s a hefty price tag when it doesn’t have some basic functions that other wearable fitness devices have, like a sleep tracker. It is also a proprietary product that is useless without an iPhone. However, it does make using an iPhone even more convenient.

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Apple MJ2X2LL/A Sport Band, Space Grey Aluminum Case/Black, 38 mm

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$ 267.91 349.00

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Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch

You can use the Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch if you don’t have an iPhone. This fitness device is compatible with Android versions 4.4 and newer. It comes with 1.5 MB of memory. That’s enough to hold plenty of apps.

This may be the only product in this article that actually looks like a watch. Its versatile design allows you to choose from many watch face displays and bands. You can change the digital display as often as you want. The smartwatch has a touch screen that can be used to select apps. It also has a rotating bezel that can make it easier to select what you want, especially if you have large fingers.

The Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch costs about $250. If you don’t have a Samsung Galaxy phone, you may have trouble connecting the watch with your device. If appearance is important and you do have the right type of phone, this is an attractive choice.

It can be hard to choose from the plethora of choices if you’re looking to buy one of the best wearable fitness trackers. Deciding your budget and what you will use the product for can help you narrow down your options. The more expensive wearable fitness devices don’t always have the versatility that you need. The basic products may not be comprehensive enough to give you the advanced feedback you desire. Determining whether you want to improve your general wellbeing or focus on enhancing performance in a specific activity can help you figure out which fitness device to buy.

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Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch - Dark Gray

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$ 199.00 299.99

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Zepp 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer

It’s hard to improve skills like your baseball swing when you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. The Zepp 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer tracks different factors involved in your swing, such as bat speed and swing plane. It’s an impressively accurate way to track detailed information about your movements so that you can optimize your performance.

The hardware attaches to the end of any baseball or softball bat. It sends information to your smart phone after every swing. The software allows you to view your swing from any angle. It also lets you use HD video to record your swing. You can get professional tips to improve your technique or compare your swing to those of Major League Baseball players. You can buy different mounts to use the sensor to evaluate your golf or tennis swing.

The product costs about $130. The analyzer is accurate most of the time. When it makes a mistake, it is obvious. It sometimes dramatically overestimates or underestimates the speed of your swing or show an odd swing path. You can delete this information from your history to make sure that the record is completely accurate. The sensor cannot be connected to a computer. Some users prefer to store data somewhere other than on a mobile device.

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Zepp 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer

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$ 94.99 149.95

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