TOP 6: BEST FITNESS TRACKERS OF 2017Date: 2017-11-29
If you have fitness-freaks as besties, then a fitness tracker is the perfect gift for the jolly-holiday season, what better way to start tackling your New Year resolutions?
These are the best fitness trackers we have seen launched this year, as wearables get smarter, smaller and more diverse.
We are focusing on trackers launched in 2017, as it has been a relatively quiet year for fitness trackers. Fitbit – for example – limited itself to one new tracker and one new smartwatch in 2017, so these are our picks for the best of 2017:
1. Fitbit Alta HR
The Alta HR is the only fitness tracker Fitbit launched this year, adding a heart rate sensor and improved sleep tracking to the original Alta. It is a very impressive tracker in its own right and in many ways the perfect compromise between the simplest fitness trackers and more advanced (and bulky) smartwatches.
The Alta HR shows the time but does not bother with individual apps (you can get basic smartphone notifications if you want.)
The display is simple and customizable and features every useful tracker: reminders to move, heart rate monitoring, and sleep tracking, plus all the usual step and activity monitoring. It also has a seven-day battery life.
You can buy a Fitbit Alta HR here.
2. Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
The Gear Fit2 Pro is the manufacturer's newest and most advanced fitness tracker below the level of a smartwatch, building on the features available in its predecessor the Gear Fit2, and has an added feature to track swimming activities and other extras.
It comes close to being a fully-fledged smartwatch, with its curved, 1.5-inch AMOLED display showing fitness stats and the time and date, as well as limited alerts from your smartphone.
It has integrated GPS, and can even sync Spotify playlists for offline listening, so you can really break free from a smartphone.
You can purchase a Gear Fit2 Pro here.
3. Misfit Flare
If you are looking for something a bit more basic, but good value activity tracking, few manufacturers do it better than Misfit, which is now owned by Fossil. The Flare is Misfit's new tracker for 2017, which is a straightforward bracelet that monitors steps, distance, calories and both light and restful sleep. What makes it even better, it is swim-proof up to 50m, and can track swims with a paid-for upgrade.
The Flare uses a replaceable battery rather than a rechargeable battery, similar to those used in regular watches, and that means you can go for months without having to worry about losing power.
You can get the single button on the front of the tracker linked up with various bits of smart home kits, so you get a lot in return for what you pay.
Buy the Misfit Flare, here!
4. Garmin Vivosmart 3
Garmin is also getting onboard with trackers-that-are-almost-smartwatches trend, and the Vivosmart 3 is the most recent example.
It is not a smartwatch, but it packs plenty of features, including stress and sleep tracking, and even breathing exercise, alongside the usual gamut of activity tracking options and heart rate monitoring.
It is not "up there with the top fitness trackers" but there is no integrated GPS, and the design is not as appealing as some of the other competitors, but it is still a strong entry from Garmin. It can also measure V02 Max; a more advanced measure of fitness that tests the level of oxygen your body can make use of when exercising, and coupled with Garmin's excellent mobile app.
Have a look at the fitness tracker here.
5. Huawei Brand 2 Pro
With realising smartphones good enough to take on the titans of mobile, Huawei is also pushing out wearables and fitness tracker, with the Huawei Brand 2 Pro being the latest and best of its offerings. Like the Alta HR from Fitbit and the Vivosmart 3 from Garmin, it features a small display that shows the time and basic notifications.
Behind the plain and waterproof appearance, it packs in just about everything you could ask for in a tracker: integrated GPS, sleep monitoring VO2 Max support, and even some mindfulness features to make sure you're taking care of yourself and not working or exercising too hard. Swimming can be tracked too, besides the basics of steps, distance, calories, and elevation. It leaves no box unticked.
Buy the Huawei Brand 2 Pro, from $55.99
6. Polar A370
Polar might not be as popular as Fitbit or Garmin, but its been putting out top-quality fitness trackers and wearables for a while now. The A370 is its well-equipped entry for 2017 and if you are looking for a fitness tracker that looks good, is comfortable to wear and tracks just about anything you need it to, then look no further.
The Polar A370 includes a heart rate tracker, integrated GPS, insight into your sleep pattern, plus all the basic steps, distance and calorie tracking that you'd expect from a device such as this. The tracker is topped off with a big, colour display that shows the time, your vital statistics, and notifications from your phone. Battery life is in the region of three to four days, which is solid enough, and you've got six wristband colours to pick from.
Buy a Polar A370 here!