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March 5, 2015

Getting in shape at MWC: 5 wearables to aid a healthy lifestyle

CBR looks at 5 fitness tracking devices showcased at this year's Mobile World Congress.

By James Nunns

Fitness tracking devices are becoming all the rage and a number of devices have been showcased at Mobile World Congress. But which is the best one? CBR is here to help with a breakdown of the top 5 fitness wearables.

1. Fitbit Surge

Ok so the device is a little bulky but it does look nice and it also feels both durable and comfortable on your wrist.

The device has built in GPS so that the wearer can see real-time run stats which are displayed on a 0.82 x 0.95 inch screen.

Heart rate monitoring comes with this model and is complimented by the standard sleep activity monitoring which comes on all of the Fitbit wearable range.

The Surge also helps you stay connected by showing text and call notifications and gives you control over your music.

But one of the best assets it has to offer is the 7 day life span of the battery which is much better than its competitors.
Although it will set you back £200, if you are a keen fitness enthusiast then you can’t get much better than this device.

2. Garmin Vivoactive

Like the Fitbit Surge the device has built in GPS to track your sporting activities, and also like the Surge it is a touchscreen.

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The touchscreen is very nice but at 8mm thick and over an inch wide it raises concerns over the durability of the device – can it stand up to being knocked about?

The wearer can monitor sleep, heart rate and a number of other options helping to make the device well equipped.

However, despite the company advertising the device as having 3 weeks of battery life, the reality is that if you enable GPS then it will only last 10 hours.

The device is expected to cost around £200 when it is released in the UK.

3. HTC Grip

The Grip offers a much larger display that its competitors, measuring in at 1.8 inches, this is achieved through intelligent design which leaves it looking nice, if a little underwhelming.

The Grip is once again a touchscreen and with its larger display comes the obvious improvements in ease of use, but on the downside there is no heart beat monitor.

Another issue with the device is its battery life which is 2.5 days but just 5 hours with GPS enabled, which is simply not enough.

At the moment HTC are only offering this at the American market at $200 which puts it in the same price bracket as a lot of its competition, most of which have more to offer.

On a positive note The HTC Grip can receive notifications from your smartphone such as texts and calls and you can even send pre-recorded responses.

The user can also control their music and there are some other apps available such as a calendar and weather app.

4. Oaxis Star.21 and O2

A company that is looking to challenge the big names with its own unique offering.

A funky looking design makes the device look like it has a display made out of diamonds (which it doesn’t). The display is made up of 21 LED’s that show a number of notifications to the user such as progress levels.

Interestingly the band works on 21 day cycles, starting off with learning your habits, then setting goals and then guiding you to a healthier life. After 21 days the statistics reset and the process begins again.

The O2 is a more advanced and bulkier model but it offers a heartbeat monitor which its younger sibling doesn’t.

5. Acer Liquid Leap+

Much like its competition it offers a touchscreen which for the Liquid Leap+ is a 1inch OLED display. In terms of design it is quite simple, looking a lot like the FitBit Flex – but with a touchscreen.

The Liquid Leap+ is a lot cheaper than its competition at £70 so it makes sense that it doesn’t offer a Heart Beat sensor. However, the device does offer typical fitness tracking abilities such as step count, activity tracking and sleep tracking.

Combined with a good battery life in the 5-7 day range and the Liquid Leap+ becomes a good option for consumers who want a decent fitness tracker that does the basics at a low price.

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