It’s January, and that means people are hitting the gym with a vengeance. Lots of people want to lose weight in 2015, but it can be hard to shed excess pounds without the proper motivation. If you want to drop some excess weight this year, a fitness tracker can help you get active and track your calories burned. Here are ten of the best wearables out there right now, many of which are currently available on sale.
1. Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband
Get a closer look at this fitness tracker in the video above.
The Fitbit Flex may not be the newest Fitbit product out there, but it is solidly built. This device tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and total active minutes in the day. There are little LED indicators that help you know when you are getting close to your fitness goals for the day.
While Fitbit is one of the leading names in the tracking industry, many people still have a negative perception of the brand because of their past (voluntary) recall of the Fitbit Force. This recall was due to skin irritations. The company says that just 1.7 percent of Fitbit Force users complained about skin irritation. The skin rash most affected users experienced was contact dermatitis, which was likely caused by Fitbit owners wearing the device 24 hours a day for extended periods of time. So as long as you don’t have extremely sensitive skin, or wear the tracker for days on end, you will likely not have any skin issues.
- Battery lasts about five days per charge
- Comes in two sizes
- Can be safely worn in the shower
- Works with Android and iOS devices
- Log your data on the website or in the Fitbit app
- Some Fitbit products have caused minor skin irritation
- Fairly limited color options
- More expensive than some other trackers
- No numerical display for steps or calories burned
- May need to be reset when it becomes non-responsive
2. Misfit Shine
Get a closer look at this fitness tracker in the unboxing video review above.
While we’re pretty psyched about the recent price drop on the Misfit Flash, the superior build quality of the Misfit Shine has always made it the more appealing wearable option. The Shine is built from aircraft-grade aluminum, and measures steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and the quality and duration of your sleep.
Price: $73.88 (26 percent off)
- Available in nine different colors
- Minimalist interface
- No charging required, replaceable battery lasts up to 6 months
- Can be worn while swimming
- One year limited warranty
- Costs more than the Misfit Flash
- No numeric display
- Some users dislike the smartphone app
- No built in heart rate monitor
- Won’t work with Android phones running anything prior to 4.3 Jelly Bean
3. Withings Pulse O2 Fitness Tracker
There are lots of fitness trackers out there to choose from. While the Withings Pulse O2 isn’t perfect for the needs of every person, it has a lot of great features. The tracker works with companion apps for both iOS and Android. You can track activities like steps, elevation, distance, running, and calories burned. You can wear it on a clip, or on your wrist. Want to see it in action? You can learn more about this Withings product in the video review above.
It should be noted that Withings just came out with a newer tracker, the Withings Activité Pop Fitness Tracker. This new, relatively expensive tracker’s debut may mean that the Pulse O2 sees an even bigger price drop in the coming weeks.
Price: $99.99 (17 percent off)
- Browse your history on the device, not on the app
- Company makes a whole range of other health devices, including a smart scale and wireless blood pressure monitor
- Real-time coaching
- Can be worn in multiple ways
- Share your data with over 100 health and fitness partner apps
- Bulky screen and band
- Limited color options
- Battery needs to be recharged every two weeks
- May not work with older phones
- Heart rate functionality requires repositioning of band
4. Jawbone UP 24 Fitness Tracker
Check out CNET’s take on the Jawbone UP 24 in the player above.
The UP 24 is the newer, thinner version of Jawbone’s UP fitness tracker. It plays nice with lots of different apps, including Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal, and IFTTT. This device tracks steps, exercise, overall calories burned, hours slept and quality of sleep. You can also use the UP App’s food score capability to judge the balance of your food, drink, calories, and nutrient intake.
With Jawbone’s UP3 band expected to launch later this year, the rest of the UP line is likely to see at least a bit of a price drop in the coming months. When it debuts, the feature rich UP3 will cost about $179.
Price: $99.92 (23 percent off)
- Available in three sizes
- Six color options to choose from
- Smart Coach reminds you to work out
- Thinner than the old UP
- Nice community aspect, which motivates you to lose more weight
- More expensive than the Jawbone’s UP fitness tracker
- Also costs more than the Jawbone UP Move
- Lacks the “advanced” tracking for fitness and sleep that the UP3 will have
- Not yet compatible with Windows phones
- Does not monitor heart rate
5. Runtastic Orbit 24 Hour Fitness & Sleep Tracker
Learn more about this fitness tracker in the video above.
If you’re already using one of Runtastic’s popular apps to track your fitness experiences, then it makes sense to consider some Runtastic hardware. Runtastic’s Orbit fitness tracker will keep a count of your steps, active minutes, calories burned, sleep cycles, and goals.
It also monitors ambient light levels (used for sleep tracking), and can be used as a stand-alone device. The Orbit lets you set multiple alarms, and even includes a “happy tracking” feature that lets you take note of changes in your mood. Plus, it costs less than many other trackers on the market.
Price: $89.89 (25 percent off)
- Can be used as a stand-alone device (great for people with older phones)
- OLED display
- Waterproof up to 300 feet
- Can be worn multiple ways
- Battery lasts up to a week
- Battery does require frequent recharging
- Some people may dislike the fact that this is made in China
- Some users say actual battery life is less than promised (about 3 days)
- Replacing lost charger can be a hassle
- Some find the wristbands less fashionable than other trackers
6. Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
Get a detailed review of the pros and cons of this tracker in the video above.
While Garmin may have gotten famous for their in-car GPS devices, the company is arguably better known today for their fitness trackers. The most notable feature here is their “move bar,” a bar that shows up after you have been inactive for an hour. Additional move bar segments light up for every 15 additional minutes of inactivity. If you get up and walk around, you can make the bars disappear. This is a great feature for people who need a reminder to get up and move around during the day, if only for a few minutes.
In addition to tracking your movement, the Vivofit will help you count calories burned, track your base metabolic rate, and even monitor the quality of your sleep. Users can also check out Garmin’s free fitness community to earn virtual badges and stay motivated.
Price: $78.99 (39 percent off)
- Comes in six different colors
- Your choice of with or without heart rate monitor
- Trusted, established brand
- Large display
- Battery lasts for a year
- Water-resistant, but not fully waterproof
- Some users have reported issues with sync
- Sleep info could be more robust
- Garmin site can be hard to navigate or sync with
- Some users dislike quality of customer service
7. Samsung Gear Fit Fitness Tracker
In the video above, the Wall Street Journal reviews the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit is the slimmest of all the Galaxy Gear smartwatch offerings. The Gear Fit allows you to quickly respond to notifications and track your heart rate. You can easily customize the look of your Gear Fit, which makes the experience feel more personalized. If you are trying to slim down, this accessory will pair with a whole range of Samsung phones, and help you reach your fitness goals. Samsung released a lot of wearables in 2014, but this one was arguably the best. This wearable does more than just fitness: you can reject calls with messages, quick reply to messages and control alarms from the device.
- Syncs with phone so you can easily reject calls or check messages
- IP67 waterproof rating
- Heart rate sensor
- Real time coaching
- Attractive design
- Limited battery life
- Some users dislike display orientation
- Not shockproof
- Does not work with all apps
- Some users may prefer a display that doesn’t advertise their activity level
8. Polar Loop Activity & Fitness Tracker
Learn more about how to use the Polar Loop tracker with Polar’s line of heart rate monitors by watching the video above.
The Polar Loop tracks your daily activity, calories burned, steps taken, time of day and activity feedback on an 85 LED display. It will also monitor your sleep patterns. The fit of the bracelet is somewhat customizable, and the bracelet is also waterproof for swimming.
Price: $79.95 (33 percent off)
- Less expensive than some other trackers
- Alerts you when you have been inactive
- Activity Guide feature helps give you ideas to meet your goals
- Easy to see progress on the device itself
- Color options are somewhat limited
- Requires recharging after about five days
- Heart rate monitors sold separately
- Some find the display cheesy or dated
- May inaccurately track exercises where arms are used less
9. Sony Smartband SWR10
Check out Android Authority’s review of this Sony product in the video above.
In addition to doing all the standard fitness tracker things, the Sony Smartband also has some cool entertainment features. For example, the band can be used to control your music, a slideshow, or “bookmark” a moment in your life. The life bookmarking feature can help you remember where you found a cool restaurant, or remind you about a song you loved hearing at a certain time in your life. The device also alerts you if it gets too far away from your phone, making this a great wearable for people who are always leaving their phone behind at work or restaurants.
Price: $58.72 (61 percent off) (depending on color selected)
- SmartBand will vibrate to indicate notifications on your phone
- Can tell the difference between steps, walking, and running
- Band will work even when a great distance from the phone
- Vibration warns you if you’ve left your phone behind
- Slim design
- Color option may not appeal to all tastes
- Requires devices running at least Android 4.4
- Limited indicator lights
- IP58 rated, not as robust as other trackers
- Because it requires Bluetooth, it could impact your phone’s battery life
10. Nike+ Fuelband SE Fitness Tracker
Check out an unboxing video for this tracker above.
Nike is a huge name in sports, athletic wear, and now, technology. Nike has a great app for runners, and their Nike+ Fuelband SE fitness tracker has a lot of fans. While not everyone is into the whole “NikeFuel” system of tracking your workout’s “points,” this fitness tracker is still pretty cool. You can see steps taken, the current time, a real-time display of your workout progress, and a great community aspect. For anyone who already rocks a ton of Nike fitness apparel, this tracker is a natural choice.
- Available in multiple sizes and color combinations
- Includes two easy-to-insert links to customize the fit
- Has an ambient light sensor
- Reminds you to get active every hour
- Nike+ Groups helps you stay motivated with friends
- All bands have black on them in some way
- Water-resistant, not waterproof
- No on-board GPS
- Lacks “always on” watch face (but does tell time)
- Not all people like Fuel points system
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