Wearable tech might have seemed gimmicky at first, but over the past year or two we’ve seen a major boom in the industry. In particular, the wearable tech for health and fitness tracking that’s on the market now is nothing short of revolutionary, being a way for the health-conscious to track workouts and exercise, monitor the body’s vitals, and even track sleep patterns at night. For those who don’t currently have an exercise regimen, wearable fitness technology and it’s inherent cool factor could very well be an incentive. If you’re looking to purchase one of these useful gadgets, here’s some of the most noteworthy wearable fitness tech available right now. Fitness Tracking on a Budget Perhaps the only drawback to wearable fitness tech—and wearable tech in general—is that, since it’s still relatively new, it tends to be fairly expensive. However, there are several options available that provide the most essential functions without breaking the bank.
A relative newcomer on the scene, the Misfit Flash is a very solid performer as a pedometer and sleep tracker, which it automatically detects so you don’t have to activate a sleep mode like other trackers, and it can even be worn swimming or on your foot when biking. At just $49.99, the Flash comes in an attractive variety of colors and is comparable to Jawbone’s similarly-priced UP Move in its features and its form. Additionally, it can be worn either around the wrist or as a clip-on and is powered for up to six months on a single watch battery.
Exercising in Style Whether it’s to impress at the gym or for the versatility to wear in the office, some might prefer a fitness tracker that offers a little more style. There are certainly a selection of attractive wearable fitness trackers on the market, which also tend to offer more features along with a higher price tag. However, the versatility and functionality of these stylish gadgets make them worthy of at least your admiration if not your consideration.
When it comes to stylish wearable fitness tech, look no further than two stand-out offerings from Withings, the popular consumer electronics company based in France. The Withings Activité is the higher-end version, essentially a smart watch that’s just as at-home in the gym or even in the pool as it is around the office. With its price tag of $349, the Activité is not for the faint of heart or wallet, but it’s a real stunner and offers an unscratchable Sapphire dome over a non-OLED analogue watch face, luxurious calves-leather straps that you can swap for the gray silicone strap that’s included, and a unisex design that’s perhaps biased toward men. Under the hood, the Activité packs more power than a Fitbit. Press a tiny button on the underside of the watch to sync and set the time via the app—the analogue hands of the watch are controlled digitally—then let it track your steps, distance, elevation, and even the calories you burn. It also tracks your sleep and has a silent alarm to wake you.
If you’d prefer not to spend quite so much, the Withings Activité has a less-expensive younger brother that, aside from the materials in which it’s housed, offered essentially the same features as the Activité. Called the Withings Activité Pop, it costs $150, is made of plastic and rubber, and comes in a number of colors. Though made of less expensive materials, the Activité Pop will surely still turn heads as a handsome unisex watch that might be slightly biased toward the feminine. However, it’s worth noting that for the time being, the Withings Activité watches are only compatible with iOS. The Highest Performers We’ve seen the fancy-looking trackers as well as the budget offerings, but you might be wondering which wearable fitness tech would be the best in terms of functionality and capability. On paper, these high-performing trackers would lack the packaging and borderline-obscene price of the Activité, but offer a little more than something like the Misfit Flash. Fortunately, there are a number of options that fit the bill.
According to reviewers and consumers alike, the best-in-class title is usually deferred to the Fitbit Charge HR. It’s just a tad higher than average in price at $149, but it’s still a favorite of the wearable fitness tech market. The superpowered Charge HR looks and wears somewhat like a watch, but instead of a watch face it has a small yet vibrant, easy-to-read monochrome LCD that will match the color of the textured band, which comes in several hues. While it usually displays the time, the LCD can cycle through key information like your daily step count, distance you’ve travelled, how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, calories burned, and your heart rate using the button on the lefthand side; it’ll also vibrate and functions as a caller ID when someone calls your phone. Unfortunately, the Charge HR lacks a GPS and isn’t waterproof beyond being okay to wear in the shower, which might not make it the best option for avid runners or swimmers. However, the Charge HR is going to be more than enough for anyone who frequents the gym or wants a top-of-the-line health and fitness tracker. For more ideas and information, head to Modernize.com.