Saturday, October 15, 2016

Year of the Fitness Trackers - 2016

2015 was the Year of the Smart Watch, now it's all about the Fitness Trackers. 
 The fitness and activity tracking features on last years smartwatches were the most used, besides checking the time.

Maybe Smart Watches Aren't for Everyone

Dealing with the tiny screen can get a bit clunky on a smartwatch; some things are just much easier on the phone.
The fitness trackers are a bit more affordable alternative smart watches - if you only need something to track your workouts/activity - and perhaps show the time, and maybe a few smart watch features anyway.

How to choose the right fitness tracker

Some of the most commonly sought after features is vibration for reminders, time checking/keeping (alarms, etc), whether the size of the watch is perfect and not too heavy. And consider if you need advanced GPS (distance tracking), a big screen, features to control your music, camera, phone etc., then you might be looking for a smartwatch...

Garmin Fit

Garmin has over a dozen wearables on the market. From all around activity trackers, to dedicated running and fitness smartwatches. And because Garmin has produced GPS systems for a long time you get some of the most accurate GPS and distance tracking with the top dogs in their lineup.
All of the Garmin wearables connect with your mobile phone via the Garmin Connect app, for charts, progress tracking, and the usual Smartphone fitness features. (See smartphone apps below).

  • The Cruiserweight  (most affordable) Vivofit 3.

Garmin Vivofit 3 - $99 -

  • Top Dogs

The Garmin Vivosmart and Vivoactive series smartwatches have bigger, touch enabled screens, bigger battery (capacity), and more advanced fitness and distance tracking.

comparing garmin smart watches


meet the fitbit

Fitbit was no doubt the most popular this summer. With five fitness trackers and two smartwatches in the lineup, the Flex series is waterproof. All fitbit connect wirelessly with apps on your smartphone.

Tomtom Spark

Another GPS fitness watch to check out. The TomTom spark is water proof as well.

Android "Knockoffs" [Link]

Instead of getting a big brand fitness tracker, you could always get a cheaper Android alternative, just like the many smartwatches, there are hundreds of alternatives to choose from, some as cheap as $15. And they aren't all 'terrible' either, sharing many of the features as the wearables above.

Fitness Apps for your SmartPhone:

Steps and fitness tracking can be quite draining on the Smartphone (maybe not as much as Pokemon Go).
That's why having a fitness tracker wearable is ideal, and usually more accurate, as a dedicated fitness tracking device.

But your phone, with the right app(s) can be a decent fitness and distance tracker, especially if you have good GPS signal.
There are apps that can track your activity (steps) when you keep your phone in your pocket - and calculate the calories you burn, and also the distance based on the steps.
If your phone plan includes GPS, some apps will track your distance more accurately than simply counting your steps.

  • Google Fit

Avaiable in the android marketplace, google fit is the most popular for android. With google maps integration for keeping track of your routes. The only issue I've had is that it thinks I'm on a bike when I'm skating.

For more fitness tracking apps search "fitness tracker" in your app store. They exist for Android, iPhone, and Windows mobile devices. Some of these apps also connect with your fitness tracker for custom features.