Whether your goal is to lose weight or just improve your health more generally, a fitness tracker could be the answer for you.
The devices form part of a loose movement known as the quantified self, where you use data to improve on aspects of your life, and these gadgets measure the amount you run, walk and even sleep each day.
But they offer lots more bang for your buck too, measuring heart rates, blood pressure and calorie intake in some instances.
Whether they will compete with Apple’s iWatch, when it’s released, remains to be seen, but some industry observers believe the devices will continue to exist in a niche for people trying to stay in shape.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five devices that represent the range of fitness trackers you might be interested in.
One of the better known fitness trackers, this pedometer can tell you how well you sleep, how many calories you burn, how many steps you walk and stairs you climb as well as a few extra features, too.
The clip-on device is convenient to wear and its alarm feature vibrates to wake you up, while linking it to your account at fitbit.com means you can fill out your profile with weight details and your diet.
There’s also the Flex, offered at the same price, which is a wrist-worn device that basically offers the same features as the One. However, it does lack an OLED display.
Waterproof and sleek as a river stone, the Misfit is anything but. While it lacks the ability to log stairs climbed, the Shine knows when you’re walking, cycling, running or swimming. There’s a four-month battery rather than a charger, while it only works with iOS devices at the moment.
The Jawbone UP is a slim and snug wrist device, and records your daily exercise as well as diet to paint a picture of your overall fitness.
But where the UP has the most to offer you is in its app. Here you can see all your exercise data, sleeping patterns and even your mood, set your alarm and can even suggest the best kind of nap to have – a half hour snooze or a 45-minute power nap.
Basis Carbon Steel
The Basis captures an overwhelming amount of data about your body. You want to know your heart rate? No problem. Fancy checking out your skin temperature? Here you go. Honestly, it’s so granular it’s for the fitness freaks out there rather than anyone trying to roughly keep in shape.
That will be the main decider for those entering the fitness tracker market: if you run ultramarathons, this is for you. If you’re entering your local park’s 10k, there’s cheaper options out there.
Nike+ FuelBand SE
Nike’s fitness device has one unique selling point that is surprisingly attractive. It measures your ‘fuel’, which is simply your daily rate of activity, whatever that activity might be. At first this seems like a gimmick but let it build up over time, and you get a context of what your total average daily activity looks like.
The idea behind measuring fuel is to compare with friends as to how much your respective totals are, though if you want to measure regular metrics like steps taken, you can do that too via the app.
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