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Best Fitness Tracker 2014: 5 Best Activity Trackers

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Best Fitness Trackers

Looking for the best fitness tracker to get in shape? Whether it's for running, cycling, swimming or simply walking down to the shops, we've put five of the most popular bands and pod activity trackers to the test.

If you thought wearable tech was all about smartwatches, then you'd be wrong. The likes of Fitbit, Nike and Jawbone started the trend, but with the likes of the Samsung Gear Fit, the Sony SmartBand and the Garmin Vivofit to name a few on the way in 2014 there's no letting up on the tracking craze.

What does a fitness tracker do? Essentially it collects data from your day that can then be analysed and hopefully encourage you to incorporate healthier habits into your daily routine.

Most trackers include an accelerometer to track movement and record steps just like a pedometer. Additional features include the ability to monitor sleep patterns, count calories burned and an altimeter to track the number of steps you've climbed, one of the best ways to burn off a big lunch. Most also include the ability to log food and water consumption to give you a more comprehensive overview of your day.

Some of the key features to look out for in a fitness tracker include whether you want to wear one around your wrist or clipped onto your clothes. If you want to take it in the shower or go for a swim you need to make sure it's waterproof and not water-resistant, too. Those are two very different things.

Nobody wants to charge another gadget as regularly as smartphone and trackers can vary from a week to months of power depending on whether it's USB charged or a watch battery.

Find out if it's compatible with your smartphone. Most of the latest fitness trackers support the latest iPhones and Android phones. Bluetooth 4.0 support, which enables real-time data syncing, is only available on select Android phones like the Nexus 5 and Moto G so it's wise to check support before buying.

If you are sold on the idea of a tracker and don't know which one to get, we've been slapping on the most popular ones in recent months to pick out the best to look out for.

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