Christmas tech: Five activity trackers to watch
Garmin, Samsung and Fitbit do battle
The Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Still on the hunt for a few Christmas gifts? If you are considering a fitness tracker, here are five to take a look at.
Fitbit Charge 3
€119 (on sale)
When it comes to activity trackers, Fitbit have a few to choose from. The Fitbit Charge 3 may not be the cheapest among them, but it does a lot for you. It tracks heart rate, links with your phone for smart notifications and automatically tracks your exercise throughout the day. The Charge 3 comes with a decently sized - though not overly large - touch screen, and there are no buttons to mess about with - you can swipe to scroll through the menus and tap on the function you want; to go back, you simply squeeze the sides of the display. Plus the battery life will last at least five days in my experience, although Fitbit puts the official tally at a week.
Samsung Galaxy Fit
Samsung keeps things simple with the Galaxy Fit. Lightweight and reasonably compact, the fitness tracker will keep a close eye on your activity throughout the day and your sleep at night. There is no connected GPS, but you will get automatic exercise tracking and heart rate alerts so you know when to pick up the pace. It will also monitor your stress levels too.
The Galaxy Fit is water and dust resistant too, and although it is a Samsung device, it is compatible with both iOS and Android. Basically, you have choices.
If you like your activity tracker to look less like a sports band and more like a watch, the Withings Move is the one for you. The device tracks your activity, from walking, running, swimming and more to your sleep. But you can’t access it on the watch itself; the only concession is a third hand that shows you how close you are to your daily goal. Other than that, the Withings Move looks like a traditional watch. There is no touch screen, no digital screen at all in fact. If you want to see all the detail on your day, you’ll need to connect your watch with the Withings Health Mate app, and sync your activity regularly. Daily activity is tracked automatically, but you can start recording a workout with a long press of the side button on the watch, which will also start up the connected GPS to track your movement. It all adds up to longer battery life - the watch has a replaceable battery that should last six months or so - and a much cheaper price. It’s also compatible with both iOS and Android.
Garmin knows its stuff on fitness tracking. There are a few options here, including the Vivosmart and Vivosport, but the Vivofit comes in under €100 and has a one-year battery life. The colour display is customisable and always-on, tracking your steps, distance and calories burned, and sleep. Your daily step goal is personalised, so there’s not striving to meet an abitrary 10,000 steps a day. It can take a bit of water too, safe for both swimming and showering, although you might want to skip any high speed water sports. It connects with the Garmin Connect app to collect all your data and present it to you in one neat package.
Xiaomi MiBand 4
If you are looking for something a little more budget, the Xiaomi MiBand 4 will track your activity for under €40. The band has a colour AMOLED display just under an inch in size, and six workout modes, including treadmill, outdoor running and swimming. The latter means it is water resistant too. The battery will last around two weeks on a single charge, and it will still track your heart rate.