Best Fitness Tracker 2013
Find a Fitness Gadget that works for you
A guide to finding the best fitness tracker for 2013. Fitness trackers have become very popular recently. These are wearable gadgets that can track you steps (like a pedometer) and other health and fitness related stats. They also have online dashboards so you can sync your data and keep track of how you are doing.
On this page we'll have a look at the latest and best fitness trackers and compare features to help you work out which will be the one that best fits with your lifestyle.
Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker, Burgundy
I have a FitBit One in burgundy (you can also choose the plain black model) and I absolutely love it. The FitBit One tracks the steps you have taken each day and estimates calories burned.
It also tracks how many flights of stairs (or equivalent) you climb. I've found this very handy. I work from home and can easily add some extra stair climbs into my routine when motivated by a FitBit badge on my dashboard!
The FitBit One also tracks sleep and can wake you with a silent vibrating alarm. This is my least needed feature because I don't really have any sleep issues. But it's rather useful for telling me what time my kids woke me up!
The FitBit syncs via Bluetooth to a PC when you are in proxmity (it has a USB dongle) and it charges via a USB cable every several days. It can also sync with some iOS devices and Android is coming (soon please!)
My favourite feature is the beautiful OLED display on the device. Some Fitness Trackers don't have a display on the device itself, but I check it all the time and use it as a watch too.
The clips to clothing. Some people have lost theirs because it has fallen off or fallen out of the silicon holder so this is something to be aware of. I wear mine on a cord around my neck and then clipped to my clothing. You also have to transfer the FitBit One to a wrist band at night. It's not a perfect design but I can live with it until something better comes along. FitBit One
UP by Jawbone - Medium Wristband - Retail Packaging - Onyx
The JawBone Up is a wristband fitness tracker which works with an iPhone app and is pretty well liked by its users. Android is apparently coming.
You can wear the JawBone Up in the shower (unlike the FitBit One), but I don't want to wear it in the shower! I've always taken my watch off to shower.
I personally don't like the wristband design. It doesn't have a watch so I'd have to also wear a watch. I have small wrists, and although it comes in various sizes, it still seems clunky and not very attractive (which is subjective obviously.)
The JawBone Up can wake you up near your alarm time but based on when you are in your lightest sleep. I don't need this feature - we have our lights come on gradually to wake up gently (if the kids don't get there first ...) but that might be a good feature for you.
There's no wireless Bluetooth sync - you have to take the JawBone Up off and plug it in which I would not want to do after the convenience of the FitBit One.
Striiv Play Wireless Smart Pedometer
The Striiv Play Wireless Smart Pedometer is a device that you clip onto your clothing. It has a lovely design with a clear OLED display. It tracks your steps and stairs climbed and syncs via Bluetooth, it also has an online dashboard, social features, games and fitness challenges. (Originally Striiv was an app that used the iPhone, but I guess they found that a specialist device works better.)
I love the design and features of the Striiv and the price is very reasonable compared to the alternatives. However some reviewers have reported some problems with early devices. This will probably get addressed but it doesn't encourage me to be an early adopter.
Also the Striiv is focused on iOS. I do have an iPhone at the moment but it's too old to be supported and my next phone will probably be an Android, so the Striiv wasn't the right choice for me.
Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker, Black
The FitBit Zip has less functionality than the FitBit One (it doesn't do stairs or sleep) but it has a lower price. The Zip comes in lots of colors and syncs with Bluetooth. It has a replaceable battery which lasts 4-6-months which is convenient - no weekly charging.
There's also a new FitBit Flex wristband coming out in 2013 if you prefer to wear your fitness tracker on your wrist.
Basis Health Band - New for 2013
The Basis Health Band is a new health and fitness tracker for 2013. It's key features are a built-in heart rate monitor (no chest band needed), accurate calorie tracking and an upper arm band which you can wear day and night.
I have to say this one looks pretty uncomfortable to me. It's also ugly. I like to wear my fitness tracker all of the time and the FitBit One looks good and can be hidden if needed. You can hide the Basis Health Band under a shirt or sweater in winter, but it's not a good look with summer clothing.
But if the heart rate monitoring is important to you then you may be able to put up with having the device on display.
GeoPalz iBitz - Fitness Tracker for Family and Kids
The GeoPalz iBitz is a fitness tracker that is aimed at kids and families. It's brightly colored and linked to a Tamagotchi-style virtual pet and online games and rewards. You can use it to get kids to earn their gaming activity or other rewards through physical activity.
I do like this idea and think it's great for kids who need to me encouraged to go outside.
However, my kids are young enough to think that a trip to the park with their scooters is the reward! I don't want them to associate physical activity with work just yet!
The iBitz is designed to be used by the whole family so parents can get fit themselves and track their kids' progress and reward them.
Top Fitness Trackers
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Best Fitness Trackers 2013