Best Fitness Tracker 2014: 5 Best Activity Trackers
Looking for the best fitness tracker to help you 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 Samsung Gear Fit, Sony SmartBand and Garmin Vivofit, to name a few, hitting the market there's no letting up on the tracking craze.
Hit the arrow above to see the first fitness tracker on the list, or select your preferred option below:
Best cheap fitness tracker | Fitbit Flex
Best fitness tracker for sports lovers | Nike Fuelband SE
Best fitness tracker for analysis | Jawbone UP24
Best fitness tracker for battery life | Misfit Flash
Best fitness tracker for running | Withings Pulse O2
What does a fitness tracker do? Essentially, it collects data from your day that can then be analysed, hopefully encouraging you to incorporate healthier habits into your 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 they're USB-charged or contain a watch battery.
Most of the latest fitness trackers support the latest iPhones and Android phones. Bluetooth 4.0 support, which enables real-time data syncing, is available on most phones, but it's wise to consult the relevant specs sheets before dipping into your pockets.
If you're sold on the idea of a tracker and don't know which one to get, we've been slapping on the most popular devices in recent months to identify the best on the market.