Finding the right fitness tracker for you

Posted By: Stella Pike | December 7, 2017

It’s no surprise that wearable tech has risen in popularity in recent years as we become more reliant than ever on smartphones and apps. For fitness fans, these advances can be incredibly helpful as we gain better insight into our bodies and workouts and are able to more easily set (and meet) our goals. In fact, CNBC reports that there are even options for fighters coming onto the market.

Fitness trackers are one of a slew of options out there which have become a mainstay in fitness culture. Regardless of the type of activity you’re looking to track, this is peak goal-setting season, so getting set up for success is key. But with so many options out there and a seemingly endless variety of options, it can be hard to determine what’s best for your needs.

That’s why the team at looked at 87 leading fitness trackers, checking out features and usability, to figure out what’s truly important when finding a device for your regimen. Their team spent hours hand-testing market leaders so you can avoid the long and costly trial-and-error process. They found that there are a few key factors to keep in mind when you begin your search for a great fitness tracker:


You’ll find that fitness trackers tend to fall into one of three different functional categories. More functions typically means a higher price, so it’s important to find something that does what you need while still staying within your budget.

Basic fitness trackers: these count your steps and calculate your distance traveled based off of that count. Think of these trackers as a great option for those looking to log distance-based workouts, like walkers and runners. They tend to be the most affordable category because of their more basic layout, and are typically the best option if you’re hoping to spend less than $100. However keep an eye out, because basic models don’t always sync wirelessly with companion apps if that’s something that you’re planning to use.

Fitness Device

Heart rate monitoring trackers: think of these as being able to do all that a basic tracker can do while also monitoring your heart rate. they have built-in sensors to track changes in heart rate, and are often geared toward those who are interested in tracking how many calories they burn in a specific time period. It’s important to note that the heart rate monitor functionality tends to be inaccurate, so it’s typically best not to rely on them if you’re looking for a precise measurement. That’s not to say that this isn’t a useful function, rather, if you’re someone who needs to keep close track of your heart rate, it may be best to get a separate chest heart rate monitor.

Heart rate monitors with GPS capability: these devices can do all that a basic and heart rate monitor tracker can do, while also utilize GPS tracking. These communicate with satellites to determine your position while you’re outdoors. Oftentimes this is a great option for those exercising long distances outdoors, like trail runners and bicyclists. With all the bells and whistles these devices tend to be more expensive. The GPS functionality doesn’t typically work indoors, so choose wisely for this bigger investment.

Fitness Tracker

After determining what’s important for your fitness goals, you can start to zero in on the functional category that’s best for you. The next step is to look at features, and while there can be incredible variety in what’s offered, there are five features that tend to be most important:

  • One Year Warranty (at least), demonstrating that the manufacturer stands behind their product.
  • Unisex Design, so the device is comfortable for all wrists. To this point, however, if you have a particularly big or small wrist it may be worthwhile to look into the specific size range offered to ensure full adjustability to the correct size.
  • Activity Notifications, alerting you when you’re moving and when you’ve accomplished your fitness goal. These tend to be a great feature for athletes working toward setting new personal records or for those of us hoping to make positive changes to our fitness habits.
  • Wireless Syncing, allowing the device to coordinate with a companion app. For those buying a tracker for this specific reason, it’s absolutely essential to ensure that your device has wireless syncing.
  • Water Resistance, assuring the device works while you’re sweating. This is also important if there’s a chance that you’ll be outdoors (especially while it’s raining), since we can’t control the environment around us.

For further information about finding a great fitness tracker for you and to see which models their team found to perform the best, you can take a look at the full article here: