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The best fitness trackers will help you stay in shape during what appears to be a difficult time for active people. The global pandemic pinned us to our homes but this doesn’t mean that we can’t put some effort and stay in shape. A good sports band can do wonders with your motivation and give a reason to keep going.
There are so many fitness trackers on the market that it’s hard and confusing to choose the right one. For those of you who don’t need a full-fledged smartwatch like the Apple Watch or the SamsungGalaxy Watch 3 but still want to get all the benefits of fitness tracking, health monitoring, and workout statistics, opting for a fitness band is the best choice. Here’s our list of the best fitness trackers you can buy in 2021.
1. Fitbit Charge 4
The Charge 4 is at the top of our list for a good reason. It’s really so much more than a fitness band – it can display notifications, you can reply with some predefined fast replies, you can even pay for things via Fitbit Pay that uses the built-in NFC chip. But back to what the Fitbit Charge 4 does best.This is one of the few fitness bands that have a built-in GPS, so you don’t have to bring your phone every time you go out for a jog. The Charge 4 tracks over 20 different activities, from cycling to yoga, and it’s also water-resistant up to 50 meters, so you get to track your swimming routines too.
You can set goals, let the Charge 4 track your workouts automatically, keep track of the burned calories, and last but not least, track your sleep. The heart-rate sensor offers great insights into different zones during workouts and helps immensely with sleep tracking accuracy. It’s really one of the best fitness trackers out there. As for some cons – the battery life isn’t that great with so many features, and the display is sometimes difficult to read under direct sunlight.
2. Garmin Vivosport
Speaking about fitness trackers with built-in GPS, the Garmin Vivosport comes to mind. It doesn’t have the glamorous design of other trackers but comes packed full of features for the serious athlete.
The Garmin Vivosport features sophisticated fitness monitoring tools such as VO2 max and fitness age and wellness monitoring with all-day stress tracking. The band can automatically recognize activities like walking, running, biking, swimming, and elliptical training, while the Strength Training mode can count reps and set rest times during various exercises.
The Vivosport comes with a nice always-on colorful touchscreen, and among all other sensors, it features an altimeter, so hiking enthusiasts will be pretty happy with this device. It may not be as smart as the Fitbit Charge 4 but if you’re serious about your fitness, the Vivosport is a solid option.
3. Samsung Galaxy Fit2
Samsung isn’t a stranger to fitness bands and sports trackers – some of you might remember the Gear Fit and Gear Fit 2 Pro bands. These were great apart from the fact that they were a bit overpriced. The Galaxy Fit2 is an attempt to make things right, and a great successor to the already affordable $100 original Fit.
The Galaxy Fit2 costs just $59.99 and it’s a steal at this price, especially considering the features you get. There are some basic smartwatch capabilities such as notifications, quick replies, music controls, weather forecasts. The AMOLED screen is gorgeous, and the battery life is quite good, although the advertised 15 days are a bit of a stretch.
The Galaxy Fit2 can automatically track exercises, you can swim with it (it’s waterproof up to 50 meters), there’s sleep tracking on board, and everything is packed into a lightweight and sleek design. There’s no GPS, so distance-related activities rely on the step counter but at this price point, it’s understandable.
4. Fitbit Inspire 2
The Inspire 2 is the second iteration of Fitbit’s original affordable fitness tracker. It relies heavily on its heart rate sensor to track your activities and uses clever algorithms to automatically recognize exercise and keep an eye on different heart rate zones. You get 20+ different exercises to choose from, basic notifications, sleep tracking, guided breathing exercises to calm you when you’re stressed.
The Inspire 2 comes in an elegant design with a bright OLED touchscreen that’s a joy to look at. This fitness tracker is waterproof, so you can swim with it (in freshwater), and packs up to 10 days of battery life. There’s no built-in GPS sensor, so for maximum accuracy during distance-based training, you should bring along your smartphone. The price of the Inspire 2 is just under $100.
5. Garmin Vivosmart 4
The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is occupying the same “under $100” market space as the Fitbit Inspire 2. It’s very slim and comfortable, although the screen is tiny and sometimes difficult to read. There is a range of activities to choose from the Vivosmart 4’s menu, including walks, runs, strength training, yoga, pool swims, and more. You also get all-day stress tracking, VO2 max readings, and the Body Battery energy monitor.
Sleep tracking is detailed and accurate, with blood oxygen saturation readings from the SpO2 sensor. The Garmin Vivosmart 4 uses your heart rate data to track your stress levels, and there are breathing exercises and relax reminders to help you calm down. This one doesn’t have a built-in GPS but can receive notifications, and all in all offers a great pack of sensors and health insights at a very attractive price.
6. Amazon Halo
The Amazon Halo is a very interesting device and also the company’s first attempt at fitness trackers. First of all, there is no display whatsoever. The fitness tracker itself is a capsule with some sensors on it, and you can use different bands to strap it to your hand. As you might’ve guessed, there are no notifications or any smart capabilities baked in.
Nevertheless, the Amazon Halo offers some unique features. It tracks your voice throughout the day and analyzes qualities like energy and positivity to help strengthen communication. You can also use the companion app to scan your body with the smartphone camera and get an estimate of your body fat percentage.
The sensor capsule itself can track various activities, as well as your sleep, and feed that information to the app. The pricing is also interesting. The device costs $99.99 but Amazon is selling the software service as well and after the 6-month free trial period, you’ll have to pay $3.99/mo.
7. Xiaomi Mi Band 5
Xiaomi has a great record under its belt – every year its Mi Band fitness trackers receive a ton of “best affordable” awards. That’s not only because they’re, well cheap but also for the great features they offer. The Mi Band 5 is no exception – it has a very pleasant design, bright and colorful AMOLED screen, 14 days of battery life, a good slate of smart features and an accurate heart rate monitor. All this can be yours for less than $50. It’s really a great bargain.
The Mi Band 5 can track 11 sport modes, including outdoor running, treadmill, cycling, walking, pool swimming, and the catch-all freestyle, elliptical, jump rope, indoor cycling, yoga, and rowing machine exercises. Sleep tracking is also great with the addition of REM tracking, while the heart rate sensor has also been upgraded and now can track your pulse continuously. The Mi Band 5 can display app notifications and incoming phone calls, and there is a Night Mode that dims the band’s screen automatically on a schedule.