I’ve mentioned before, that at any given time I’m likely wearing around 5 trackers. Sometimes less, sometimes more. I am just having a hard time deciding where I REALLY want to track my steps and what not. So, I’m going to break down my favorites, and what I like about each of them, so maybe you can make a better decision than I have made. All of them are usually within a few 100 steps of each other, so they are all fairly accurate.
UA Band – I just recently acquired this device (as in yesterday) so I’ll be writing up a more in-depth review very soon. So far though, I’m totally loving it (and am thisclose to making this my main tracker, and letting the others go). The band comes with 2 sizes of straps, which is nice. I like that way better than having to try and guesstimate on which size I need to buy of other trackers. It was super easy to change out the band too. It comes with a helpful tool that will pop the band right off. The one thing I don’t like about the size, is there is the harder part of the band that has the display on it. It’s a TAD long. Meaning it’s still very loose on my teeny tiny wrists because that part can’t shrink up at all. It IS very light though, and does not feel bulky, which is nice.
You can see your text messages, phone call and your calendar notifications on the band, which makes it just about all the smart watch you need. I have a smart watch, and that’s really the majority of the things I use it for (texts, to tell me when my phone is ringing, and calendar). Then, of course it can track your steps, sleep, measure your heart rate, and track your workouts. If you have iOS you can also control your music (I’m hoping they update this for Android quickly!).
If you want to go all in with Under Armour apps, this is going to be the tracker for you, for sure. It syncs up perfectly with Under Armour Record, which also syncs up perfectly with MyFitnessPal. I was surprised though, to see that the band is not one of the options under “steps” in MyFitnessPal. I guess at that point they just want you to use Record instead.
Battery life on this one is supposed to last a few days, and is supposed to be able to charge fairly quickly. Since I sit at my desk most of the day during the week, I’m planning on charging Mondays and Thursdays while I’m working. I’ll let you know how it goes in the full post.
FitBit – First off, this is probably the one that is currently the most popular. One of the reasons, I believe, is their challenge system. Seriously, my Sister’s Fitbit broke, and she immediately went out and purchased a new one so she could stay in the challenge. THAT is how you build a loyal following, folks! There are also a TON of options to choose from when choosing a Fitbit. I prefer the one I can wear on my pants (the Fitbit One). Of course, you will get different features with the various models. One thing I don’t like about mine, is that it doesn’t track sleep automatically. You would have to tell it you are going to sleep, and let it know you woke up. I do like the silent alarm though, as I actually use that as my main alarm so I don’t disturb my husband when I wake up at the crack of dawn.
Garmin VivoFit – I am currently rocking the VivoFit 2, so my judgments are based on an older model, keep that in mind. One thing that REALLY sets the Vivofit apart is battery life. I can wear my VivoFit 24/7. The battery is supposed to last about a year or two, and then you replace it with a standard watch type battery you can purchase at the store. If I want to be accurate in counting my sleep and my steps, it needs to be on me AT ALL TIMES. I also like that I can switch my view from actual steps to “how many steps I have left to reach my goal”. There is something motivating about watching that number count down.
The band itself is a bit bulky. It does have a locking type mechanism to keep the band from coming undone, and it hasn’t failed yet. It’s waterproof just like the UA Band, so I can wear it 24/7. The display is also a bit large, so I typically wear it with the display on the side of my wrist with my palm. The one downside to this is that when I’m typing I accidentally push the button on the device frequently.
I really enjoy the Garmin Connect app though. The layout is clean, and I can get a ton of data about things I care about. Plus I am already tracking my runs with a Garmin watch, so it’s nice to see all the data together.
Lumo Lift – This is a great tool, that also just happens to be able to track your steps. It’s MAIN function, though, is to remind me to sit up straight. It has a little magnet that allows it to attach right to your shirt, undershirt, bra, etc… anything that puts it near your collarbone. When it detects that you’ve been slouching for a set period of time, it vibrates to remind you to sit up straight. It’s like my Mom is constantly sitting by my side! It really does work, and the only time it gets annoying is if I’m laying down on the couch to watch TV and it keeps buzzing me. I usually end up taking it off at that point. It can sync your steps to MyFitnessPal too, which is fun.
Samsung Gear S2 Classic – This is less of a dedicated tracker, and more of an actual smart watch, but it does have tracking features too. The main problem with using this to track, is that it barely syncs up with any third party apps. So I can’t see my steps in MyFitnessPal, or inside Record. The other issue with this is battery life. I usually charge it up overnight, so it can’t do my sleep tracking either. So, most of the time I just rely on the other trackers to get the job done, BUT if you are looking for more smart phone features, and a little bit of tracking, this is a really great option. I love the size of it, and I LOVE that I can super easily change out the bands with any 22 MM band. I have several bands from Fossil that I switch out on the watch, depending on my outfit.
So, I know there is Jawbone Up, which I refuse to use, mainly based on the fact when it was first released it didn’t work with Android (which is pretty much the quickest way for me to ignore your product until the end of time). So I really don’t care about that device. Misfit has released one, and Moov also has one I haven’t tried. Really, this space is getting extremely saturated, so being able to sync up with third party apps is going to be key if anyone wants to try and bust into the market. I’m currently happy with the ones that I already have. LOL.
Do you have a favorite of the above? Like one I didn’t even mention? Let me know in the comments!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com