How to Choose the Best Fitness Wristband Activity Tracker

How do you choose the best fitness wristband in 2024? What features and functions should the ideal fitness wristband have to suit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.

Why Use a Fitness Wristband?

The best fitness wristbandDeveloping healthy living habits seems an extremely difficult task if you are used to a sedentary lifestyle.

Fitness wristbands reduce fear of effort and help you improve your healthy lifestyle by monitoring daily activities for you to understand your habits and make personalized changes to your lifestyle.

So whether you want to make a radical change in your lifestyle or just want to lose a few pounds, a fitness wristband is the ideal tool for achieving your goal.

The best fitness wristbands are much more than an improved pedometer. These devices incorporate complex motion sensors to monitor your activities, and then a smartphone application or dedicated software transforms these data into reports and graphs that help you identify areas where changes need to be made. These graphs also show the improvements of your lifestyle over time.

Best Fitness Wristbands: What to Look for

Fitness wristbands are for everyone. You do not have to be a marathon contestant or a big sedentary person to benefit from the best fitness wristband. However, you will need a fitness wristband that suits your needs and goals.

Avoid devices that offer many features you do not need. Too much information can be overwhelming and confusing with the effect of abandoning the product. In the same way, if you have too little information you will not be able to get a clear picture of the habits you need to improve.

Below are some criteria to consider when choosing the best fitness wristband, but the right product differs greatly from person to person according to personal needs and wants.

Understand Your Needs

The first step to choosing the best fitness wristband is understanding what you need it for.

Fitness wristband activity trackerAre you planning to use it mainly for tracking your daily steps, monitoring your sleep, or measuring your heart rate during intense workouts? By establishing your needs, you can identify the specific features to look for in a fitness wristband.

Fitness Wristbands with Basic Features

Fitness trackers with basic features are designed for those just beginning their fitness journey or who have simple monitoring needs.

The primary function of these devices is step counting. They use accelerometers to detect movement and convert it into data representing the steps you’ve taken. This simple yet effective tracking can provide you with a basic understanding of your daily activity level.

In addition to steps, basic fitness wristbands also provide an estimate of the distance you’ve travelled and the calories you’ve burned. This is calculated based on the steps you’ve taken, your profile information (like height, weight, age, and gender), and the intensity of your movements.

Some basic fitness wristbands also offer sleep tracking, which is usually divided into light and deep sleep stages. They typically use a combination of movement and heart rate data to make this assessment.

Finally, many basic models also include silent alarms, inactivity alerts, and reminders to move. These features can be invaluable for individuals looking to increase their daily activity level.

Advanced Fitness Wristbands

Advanced fitness wristbands come packed with enhanced features aimed at delivering a more holistic view of your health and fitness.

One standout feature in advanced trackers is heart rate monitoring. By continually or periodically tracking your heart rate, these devices can provide insights into your cardiovascular health and workout intensity. Some models even offer heart rate zone training, which helps you target specific heart rate zones to achieve different fitness outcomes.

Built-in GPS is another feature often found in advanced fitness wristbands. GPS allows the device to accurately measure the distance and pace of your outdoor activities such as running, cycling, or swimming. This can be an essential feature for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes.

Advanced trackers also come with multi-sport tracking features, allowing you to log specific types of exercises like yoga, weightlifting, or HIIT workouts. They can measure specific metrics related to each sport, providing more detailed performance analysis.

In terms of sleep tracking, advanced wristbands offer more sophisticated data. They can track sleep stages including REM sleep, provide insights into your sleep quality, and give suggestions for improving your sleep habits.

Some advanced models even include stress tracking, measuring your body’s readiness or stress levels based on heart rate variability data. They can suggest relaxation techniques or remind you to take a break when your stress levels are high.

Lastly, advanced fitness wristbands often come with smarter notifications and better integration with your smartphone. They can display calls, text messages, emails, calendar alerts, and even control your phone’s music player.

In summary, while basic fitness wristbands cover fundamental tracking needs, advanced models offer a more comprehensive view of your health and wellness. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to your personal fitness goals and how much information you desire from your tracker.

Check the App Compatibility

The functionality of a fitness wristband is largely tied to the smartphone application it pairs with.

Fitness tracking smartphone appThe app serves as the interface where you interact with the data gathered by your wristband. It allows you to understand and analyse this data, set goals, and in some cases, interact with a community of other users. Given the critical role these apps play, it’s important to consider app compatibility and features when selecting a fitness wristband.

Operating System Compatibility

First and foremost, ensure the app is compatible with the operating system of your smartphone. While most fitness wristband apps are designed to work with both iOS and Android devices, there might be certain models that are exclusively compatible with one platform. Checking this compatibility should be one of your first steps.

Ease of Use

The app should be easy to use and navigate. A clean, intuitive interface will help you get the most out of your fitness wristband. Consider reading app reviews or watching demo videos to get a sense of the app’s usability.

Data Analysis and Visualisation

Good apps provide detailed analysis and visualisation of the data collected by your fitness wristband. This should include charts, graphs, and other visual aids to help you interpret the information. For example, an app might display your daily step count, comparing it to your step count over the past week, month, or year. It might also provide insights into your sleep patterns or heart rate variations over time.

Personalised Insights and Recommendations

Some apps go a step further by providing personalised insights and recommendations based on your data. This can help you understand your health and fitness trends, identify areas for improvement, and set achievable goals.

Community Features

Many fitness wristband apps also offer community features, where you can connect with other users, engage in challenges, share your achievements, and gain motivation. If social interaction is important to your fitness journey, seek out apps with a strong community element.

Integration with Other Apps

The ability to integrate with other health and fitness apps is another feature to consider. Some fitness wristband apps can sync data with popular diet tracking apps, workout apps, or even the health app that comes with your phone. This can provide a more holistic view of your health and wellness.

In conclusion, while the fitness wristband itself is an important piece of hardware, the app it pairs with is equally critical. Be sure to consider both when making your decision to ensure you have a positive and beneficial fitness tracking experience.

Design and Comfort

Design is a key aspect to consider when selecting a fitness wristband because it directly impacts not just aesthetics but also comfort and usability.

Happy sportswoman in earphones pointing to her fitness wristbandFirstly, think about the display. Some fitness wristbands come with large, full-colour touchscreens that can display detailed information and notifications, similar to a smartwatch. Others have smaller, monochrome screens that show basic stats, or even no screen at all, relying instead on the paired smartphone app to display data. Your choice will depend on how much information you want to view directly on the wristband.

The band itself should be comfortable, especially if you plan to wear it 24/7. Many fitness wristbands offer interchangeable bands made of various materials, such as silicone, leather, or metal, allowing you to choose one that suits your comfort and style. Some bands are adjustable for a perfect fit, while others come in different sizes, so it’s important to ensure the band fits your wrist well.

The overall design of the wristband should also reflect your personal style. Whether you prefer a sleek, minimalist look, a more robust sporty design, or a fashionable accessory, there’s likely a fitness wristband out there to suit your taste. Remember, the more you like wearing it, the more likely you are to keep it on and use it regularly.

Battery Life

Battery life is another critical factor when choosing a fitness wristband. The lifespan of a fitness tracker on a single charge can vary greatly, from a single day to several weeks, depending on its features and usage.

Trackers with colour displays, GPS, and other advanced features tend to have shorter battery lives, often requiring daily charging. On the other hand, basic models with simpler displays and fewer features may last up to a week or more on a single charge.

Consider how frequently you are willing to charge your wristband. If you’re planning to track sleep, for instance, you’ll want a wristband with a battery life that lasts several days so it doesn’t run out of power overnight. Similarly, if you plan to use GPS frequently for tracking outdoor workouts, you’ll need a device with a robust battery or fast-charging capability.

Also, bear in mind the charging method. Some trackers use standard USB cables, while others require proprietary chargers. The latter can be an inconvenience if you lose or forget your charger.

Water and Sweat Resistance

Water and sweat resistance is an essential consideration for fitness wristbands, particularly for those who engage in high-intensity workouts, outdoor activities, or swimming.

Most fitness wristbands on the market are at least sweat and splash resistant, meaning they can handle sweat from workouts or a little rain. However, if you want to wear your wristband in the shower or pool, you’ll need to look for a device that’s explicitly labelled as water-resistant or waterproof.

The water resistance of wearable devices is often expressed as an IP rating or ATM (atmospheres) rating. An IP68 rating, for example, means the device can withstand dust, dirt, and sand, and can be submerged in water up to a maximum depth of 1.5m for up to thirty minutes. Meanwhile, a 5 ATM rating signifies that the wristband is resistant to water up to a depth of 50 metres, making it suitable for swimming.

However, keep in mind that water-resistant doesn’t mean swim-proof. If you want a tracker that can record swimming sessions, look for one that has a swim tracking feature. Such a device will not only resist water but also track metrics like laps, distance, and pace.

Accuracy

The primary purpose of a fitness wristband is to provide insights into your health and physical activity. As such, the accuracy of this data is paramount.

Fitness wristbands use various sensors, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, altimeters, and heart rate monitors, to collect data. However, the accuracy of these sensors can vary between devices. Factors like sensor quality, algorithm sophistication, and how well the wristband is worn can all affect accuracy.

 Sportsman and sportswoman with bottle of water checking time and heart rateStep counting is a fundamental feature, and most fitness wristbands are reasonably accurate at tracking steps on level ground. However, if you need accurate step counts in diverse settings, like hiking on uneven terrain, you might want to look at more advanced models with superior sensor technology.

Heart rate monitoring accuracy is another important consideration, particularly for those who do intensive workouts or need to monitor heart rate for health reasons. Wristbands that use optical heart rate sensors are generally accurate for steady-state activities but might struggle with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. If heart rate accuracy is a top priority for you, consider a device with a chest strap, as these tend to be more precise.

Sleep tracking is an area where accuracy can greatly vary among fitness wristbands. Basic models may only track the duration of your sleep, while advanced devices can monitor sleep stages, including light, deep, and REM sleep. If you want more detailed sleep insights, opt for a wristband with advanced sleep tracking features.

In summary, while no fitness wristband can provide 100% accurate data, some devices offer more reliable measurements than others. Researching and reading reviews can give you a better understanding of a device’s accuracy before you make a purchase.

Budget

When selecting the best fitness wristband, your budget plays a crucial role. Fitness wristbands come in a wide range of prices, with cost often tied to the number and sophistication of features.

Basic fitness wristbands that track steps, calories burned, and sleep are the most affordable, typically ranging from £20 to £50. These are great for beginners or those who just need a simple tracker to encourage a more active lifestyle.

Mid-range fitness wristbands, priced between £50 and £150, offer additional features such as heart rate monitoring, advanced sleep tracking, smartphone notifications, and sometimes even built-in GPS. These wristbands are perfect for fitness enthusiasts who require more detailed insights but don’t want to break the bank.

High-end fitness wristbands can cost anywhere from £150 to over £300. These devices typically come with advanced features such as stress tracking, blood oxygen level monitoring, ECG (Electrocardiogram) functionality, and extensive workout modes. They also often have more premium designs, with high-resolution colour displays and the option for luxury bands. High-end fitness wristbands are excellent for dedicated athletes, fitness professionals, or tech enthusiasts who want the most advanced and accurate tracking possible.

Before deciding on a fitness wristband, determine how much you’re willing to spend, and then consider what features are most important to you. Remember, the most expensive wristband isn’t necessarily the best for your needs. It’s about finding the right balance of features, comfort, and price.

Conclusion

Choosing the best fitness wristband can be a daunting task, given the multitude of options available in today’s market. However, by understanding your fitness goals, identifying the features that matter most to you, and establishing a budget, you can narrow down your choices considerably.

Remember, while features and accuracy are important, the best fitness wristband is ultimately the one that you will use consistently. After all, the most sophisticated fitness tracker won’t do you much good if it’s sitting on your dresser collecting dust. Choose a fitness wristband that not only meets your fitness goals but also fits comfortably on your wrist and blends seamlessly with your daily routine.

By considering all the factors we’ve discussed — your fitness needs, app compatibility, design and comfort, battery life, water and sweat resistance, accuracy, and budget — you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision and select a fitness wristband that will serve you well on your health and fitness journey. Here’s to a fitter, healthier you!

Recommended Fitness Wristbands

Taking into account the article’s recommendations and the offer of fitness wristbands available on the market, we present to you below some models that offer excellent quality / price ratio.

SaleRecommended Product No. 1
Health Fitness Tracker with 24/7 Heart Rate, Blood Oxygen, Blood Pressure, Sleep Tracker, Step...
  • 【Health Monitoring and Sleep Tracker】Measure your health indicators (SpO2, heart rate, stress, female menstrual cycle, etc.) 24/7. In addition, this smart fitness watch automatically monitors your sleep status (deep sleep, light sleep, wake up) and provides comprehensive sleep quality analysis, so that healthy sleep starts now.
  • 【24 Sports Modes & 5ATM Waterproof】Amzhero Fitness Tracker supports 24 sports such as walking, running, mountaineering, swimming, yoga, hiking, cycling, treadmill, etc. 5ATM waterproof design can be worn while washing hands, getting wet or swimming. Not applicable for high humidity and corrosive locations such as spas and seawater.
  • 【Smart Alerts Via BLE 5.0】When connected to your mobile phone via BLE5.0, all notifications, including incoming calls, text messages and social media app alerts, will vibrate on your wrist via the watch, so you won't miss any important moments. Meanwhile, it will vibrate to remind you when you are sedentary to prevent cervical and lumbar spine diseases.
SaleRecommended Product No. 2
Blackview Smart Watch for Men Women, Fitness Tracker with SpO2 Heart Rate Sleep Monitor, IP68...
  • 👍【Smart Watch for Men Women】The R1 smart watch consists of a 1.47" HD color display perfectly paired with a skin-friendly fitness silicone strap and easy to wear. The ultra-thin bezel outlines on-screen content, drawing attention to your favorite features. 150+ online watch faces to change freely and define your style.
  • 👍【Health Monitor】Equipped with advanced HR sensor, and measure your heart rate and check blood oxygen levels in real time 24/7. Automatic sleep tracker can monitor your sleep status and provide a comprehensive sleep quality analysis (deep sleep, light sleep, and wake-up time), allowing you to develop a good sleeping habits. NOTE: The data displayed on this smartwatch is for reference only and is not intended for medical use.
  • 👍【24 Sports Modes and Waterproof】The sports watch can record your daily activities, such as steps, distance and calories burned. Furthermore, the digital watch has 24 sports modes, including walking, running, cycling, skipping, badminton, basketball and football.With IP68 waterproof rating, no need to take off the watch when you wash your hands or rainy days, which is convenient for your daily use. *Note: Please don't use the watch in a HOT WATER environment.
Recommended Product No. 3
TOOBUR Smart Watch for Women Alexa Built-in, 1.95" Fitness Tracker with Answer/Make Calls, IP68...
  • [Alexa Built-in] Enjoy the convenience of Alexa on your wrist! With TOOBUR's smart watch for women, you can control your smart home devices, set reminders,get weather updates and more all from your wrist. Simply download the "VeryFit" app from the App Store, connect to your watch via Bluetooth, and enjoy the convenience of Alexa on your smartwatch.
  • [Stay connected on-the-go] Simplify your daily routine by managing your calls and messages in one place. With Bluetooth compatibility, the TOOBUR smartwatch allows you to make and receive phone calls, you can also receive social media, E-mail and SMS notification right on your wrist, you will never miss an important message or notification. keeping you connected while you're on-the-go.
  • [1.95'' HD Screen & Customizable Watch Face] Experience crystal-clear visuals like never before with our smartwatch's 1.95-inch high definition screen. Choose from 100 beautiful cloud-based watch faces or even upload your own photos, such as selfies or pictures of your pets, to create a truly personalized look. With endless possibilities, you'll never run out of options to make your watch truly your own.
SaleRecommended Product No. 4
Runlio Fitness Tracker with Sleep Monitor, Activity Tracker with Step and Calories Counter, IP67...
  • Fitness Tracker for Daily Activity: The fitness tracker can automatically track your daily steps, calories burned, distance taken, and active minutes, which will help you to create a healthy lifestyle.
  • Sleep Monitor: With this activity tracker, you can read sleep time clearly from the curve icon on the "VeryFitPro" app, which analyzes your sleep quality and shows your deep sleep, light sleep, and awake time.
  • Call & Message Notifications: The fitness watch allows you to get incoming calls, SMS messages, and SNS notifications directly on your wrist (including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram).
SaleRecommended Product No. 5
Garmin vivosmart 4 Smart Health and Fitness Activity Tracker, Slate, Small/Medium
  • Slim, smart activity tracker blends fashionable design with stylish metal accents and a bright, easy-to-read display
  • Fitness and health monitoring tools include wrist-based heart rate, all-day stress tracking, relaxation breathing timer, VO2 max, Body Battery energy monitor and more
  • Includes advanced sleep monitoring with REM sleep stages and a Pulse Ox sensor at the wrist to gauge blood oxygen saturation levels
Recommended Product No. 6
Fitbit Inspire 3 Activity Tracker with 6-months Premium Membership Included, up to 10 days battery...
  • Up to 10 days of battery and Water-resistant up to 50m
  • Compatible with iOS 15 or higher & Android OS 9.0 or higher
  • Move more: 24/7 heart rate, Daily Readiness Score, Active Zone Minutes, all-day activity tracking, 20+ exercise modes, automatic exercise tracking and reminders to move

Last update on 2024-07-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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