4 of the Best Selling Fitness Trackers Compared

Fitness Tracker on Cardio

Wearable technology with a fitness focus has really taken off in the last few years and it seems that everyone has some kind of tracker strapped to their wrist at all times. With new models emerging constantly and all of them promising to do just about everything minus the washing up, it can be hard to know which one is really the best.

In this post, we’ll aim to break down the main features of four of the best selling fitness trackers and explain the benefits and pitfalls of each one. Hopefully, choosing one will become a whole lot easier for you.

Apple Watch Series 6

Price: £369-£399

Screen size: 1.78 inch (diagonal)

Battery life: Up to 18 hours

Main features

  • Blood oxygen monitoring
  • ECG monitoring
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Multiple workout options
  • Always-on screen

Why should I buy it?

The latest model of Apple Watch has a host of new, exciting features including blood oxygen monitoring. This is something that is exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 6, so if you’re keen to know about the oxygen saturation in your blood, this is the fitness tracker for you.

Series 6 watches are also 20% faster than Series 5 and are able to reach full charge in just 90 minutes. The new always-on screen allows you to read the display in all lights and from far away, meaning you don’t have to bring your wrist right up to your eye level while on a run.

It’s also water resistant up to 50 metres, so you can swim and shower while wearing it. Like previous Apple Watch models, it also supports Apple Pay and does all of the basic fitness tracker stuff such as counting steps and calories burned. It can also make emergency SOS calls and is able to watch out for potential falls. So, it’s pretty smart!

Strap options vary from soft silicon to braided yarn, so you can customise your Apple Watch for ultimate comfort.

Why shouldn’t I buy it?

Being an Apple product, there is still no support for Android devices. There are also definitely good cheaper options, if you’re just looking to track your health and fitness progress.

Fitbit Inspire HR

Price: £55-£90

Screen size: 1 x 0.6 inch

Battery life: Up to 5 days

Main features

  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring
  • All day activity monitoring
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Motivational nudges
  • Personalised guided breathing sessions

Why should I buy it?

Unlike the Fitbit Inspire, this smart Fitbit model monitors the wearer’s heart rate 24/7, so you can accurately track any spikes or dips and more accurately see your calorie burn trends.

The Fitbit Inspire HR can also give you both a Cardio Fitness Score and a Sleep Score, which helps you better understand and improve your fitness progress and your sleep quality.

One of the best things about Fitbit is that many of their models offer friendly reminders to encourage you to reach your fitness goals. In that way, it is very much like a beloved friend or even a good personal trainer.

Fitbit Inspire HR’s guided breathing sessions enable you to find pockets of calm during your day. The tracker creates these sessions based on your heart rate data, so they are completely personal to you.

It is water resistant up to 50 metres, so it’s perfect for swimming and showering. It also has over 20 goal-based exercise modes that allow you to set a goal and provide you with stats during workouts.

All of this is really great value for its price, making Fitbit a very good choice for all-round health and wellness tracking.

Why shouldn’t I buy it?

The screen is small and it can be a little fiddly, especially if it’s your first Fitbit. It can sometimes have difficulties pairing with certain smartphones, particularly Huawei phones. This isn’t great, especially as the GPS tracking feature is only available once it’s paired to your phone.

Whoop Strap 3.0

Price: $30 (approximately £22) per month.

Screen size: No screen but measures 1 inch wide and weighs 0.64 ounces

Battery life: Up to 5 days

Main features

  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring
  • Heart rate variability monitoring
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Proknit band
  • Recovery nudges

Why should I buy it?

The Whoop Strap is predominantly for athletes and those who lead highly active lifestyles. It’s designed to monitor your fitness performance and promote better recovery.

Its most unique feature is its ability to measure the wearer’s heart rate variability, which enables it to calculate when you need to work harder and when you need to pull back. It also measures your strain, which is useful for seeing how difficult or how easy your body is really finding your workouts.

The Whoop Strap is water resistant, so you can wear it while swimming and showering. The proknit band is lined with filaments that absorb sweat and water, meaning that it dries very quickly. These filaments also provide optimum comfort.

You can charge the Whoop Strap with a battery pack that slides right on to it, which you can do without taking it off of your wrist -super handy for those who do spend a lot of time exercising.

Why shouldn’t I buy it?

Whoop is really for serious fitness freaks. Casual exercisers or those who are just starting their fitness journey possibly won’t want to commit to $30 a month. The information that Whoop provides is of the greatest interest to those who regularly compete in challenging fitness feats, so if you just want the basics there are cheaper, simpler options available.

Garmin Vivosport

Price: £70-£150

Screen size: 0.38 x 0.76 inch

Battery life: Up to 7 days in Smart mode, up to 8 hours in GPS mode

Main features

  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring
  • Heart rate variability monitoring
  • Stress monitoring
  • LiveTrack
  • Always-on screen

Why should I buy it?

The Garmin Vivosport faithfully monitors the wearer’s heart rate 24/7, ensuring an accurate picture of its health. With this data, it can estimate your VO2 max (your maximum rate of oxygen consumption during exercise) and your overall fitness age. Both of these are useful pieces of knowledge in understanding how you can improve your fitness levels.

This slim, smart fitness band can also monitor your heart rate variability, which it uses to score your stress levels. Knowing how stressed you are can act as a trigger to look after your mental health, which is something that very few other fitness trackers take care of.

The Vivosport is a very well-connected fitness tracker. Once it’s paired with your phone, you can receive your messages, social media updates and its LiveTrack feature allows your friends and family to keep up with your fitness progress. A unique feature of all Garmin fitness trackers is Garmin Connect, a busy online community of users who challenge and encourage each other on every step of their fitness journey.

The size of the Vivosport makes it an attractive option for small wrists. You’ll be amazed at how many features can be packed into such a skinny band!

Why shouldn’t I buy it?

Although it is water resistant up to 50 metres, there is no option to track water-based activity, which isn’t good news for swimmers. It is also smaller than a lot of other fitness trackers. While this could be considered a good thing for some users, those who like a bigger screen may consider it a disadvantage.

Of course, there are other fitness trackers out there but by running through some of the most popular ones, we hope we’ve made your decision a little easier. Before you invest in one of these often expensive devices, be clear about what you really want from your fitness tracker. This will narrow down your choices and leave you with a tracker that does exactly what you want it to do.

Other Options

If you prefer something super simple, or if you just don’t want to spend the money on it then there are other options. My ‘go to’ is a good old fashioned logbook, you can’t beat the ease of use and versatility of a pen and paper.

One of the main problems I find with fitness trackers is that they do a great job with tracking some types of activity but not others, for example when I go for a run my Apple Watch using the Strava app is brilliant, however logging how many sets of bench press and at what weight is a real pain to do using my watch. My Whoop strap is brilliant for long steady state cardio, or telling me how much sleep I’ve had, but it’s awful at logging a short Crossfit working.

What’s best for you will vary based on what type of training you’re into, personal preference and budget, so have a good think before splashing out on an expensive tracker.

If you are into the old fashioned (and cheap) way then we sell convenient A6 logbooks for just £5 HERE.

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