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Fitness Trackers Demystified

30 September, 2016 (0) Comments

Fitness Trackers Demystified

If you’re still looking for inspiration to buy fitness trackers, check out our post about why you need one here. For those who are ready to buy one, this is going to be your ready reckoner, because we've packed it with a lot of info!

Ranging from Rs 1000 going all the way up to Rs 45,000 there is no shortage of fitness bands available in the market. A quick word of advice - avoid the ones without a secure clasp like that of a wrist watch as they are really very easy to lose. 

So, for all those health conscious and fitness freaks, we've dissected the top brands available in India - Fitbit, Apple, Garmin, Misfit, Jambone, based on different types of activities:

For Running

garmin vivosmart hr+ india fitbit blaze india jawbone up2 india garmin forerunner 235 india

Ideal for avid runners and marathoners and have metrics like distance covered, pace, GPS, running route, elevation stats. We know how important accuracy is to marathoners and hence have made sure to shortlist only those devices that have no or few complaints regarding the same.

1. Garmin Vivosmart HR+ 


Garmin products are power packed with precise details of your workout. Vivosmart HR+ comes with a backlit monochrome touch screen. You can see your activity (steps, distance, pace, calories) and record different kinds of workout like sports, indoor running. 

Why this product is especially suited to runners is because of its features like:
VirtualPacer which compares your current pace of running to the target pace.
Intensity Minutes record the intensity of each run which is gauged by your heart rate and steps taken
AutoGoal which learns your daily activity and assign goals depending on that.
Move Alerts remind you to move every few minutes.
GPS so you can see your running routes on the app.

Apart from these core functions it also offers some smart features like weather, call & social media notifications, music control. Text and emails are readable on the screen plus there is Clock, Calendar and Alarm. It also has a connect with Third Party Apps like MyFitnessPal which lets you log your food and water intake plus. Other features worth mentioning are waterproof up to 50 metres, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitor 24/7 and ability to compete with the community using Garmin Connect App. 

Pros: accuracy, detailed metrics, special running features like VirtualPacer, AutoGoal
Cons: Slightly bulky strap
Price: Rs 20,999 at Amazon
There is a cheaper model, Vivosmart HR which comes with all these features except the GPS. So if you aren't willing to pay 5 grand for GPS, try that instead.

2. FitBit Blaze

fitbit blaze india
Fitness Blaze comes with a wafer thin colour OLED touchscreen. It almost looks like a phone screen. It has everything that a good fitness tracker needs - steps, distance, calories, floors climbed, active minutes, exercise intensity, heart rate monitor, sleep monitor, auto tracking of different activities like run, cycling, cross training etc. Along with that all the smart features like call, text, email, calendar, alarm alerts, music control. It also has onscreen workouts which suggest, track, record and show demos of exercises like jumping jacks, pushups, crunches etc.

Pros: Accuracy, FitStar Onscreen Workouts

Cons: GPS only on phone (not inbuilt), No move alerts
Tip: Onscreen workouts are enabled by the FitStar app. You can download the app even if you don't own a FitBit device.

3. Jawbone UP2

jawbone up2 review india
Jawbone is a highly functional and so very pretty! We especially love the blue and purple colors. All the activity, however, has to be monitored on the UP app since unlike its fellow brands, it does not have a screen. But don't let its simplicity fool you. It comes with all the requisite features - steps, distance, calories, move alerts, competing with friends, food logging and an exceptional sleep tracker which monitors your deep and REM sleep, wakes you up when your sleep is the lightest. Its the perfect, most unobtrusive run partner.

Pros: Smart Alarms, very handy, exceptionally long battery life of 10 days, friendly price
Cons: Sleep and activity modes have to be set manually; not waterproof; no screen, no heart rate monitor, no GPS, no smartphone features

4. Garmin Forerunner 235 

garmin forerunner 235
Forerunner 235 has an impressive 1.23-inch touchscreen colour LCD with a resolution of 215 x 180 pixels. It's a bigger, rounder, more beautiful and detailed version of the Vivosmart HR+. In addition to the features in the Vivosmart, Forerunner has watch faces, colourful band straps, VO2 max which measures the amount of oxygen exhausted in a workout, recovery advisor, race predictor, and the ability to send workouts you plan on the app to the watch itself. It also has Pace Alert which tells you when you're deviating from you target speed,

Pros: Extensive activity and performance features
Cons: Too many details
Price: Rs 27,999 at Amazon

For Style Conscious Fitness

fitbit alta india misfit ray india jawbone up2 india fitbit charge 2 india
These are for those who are regular to the gym and do a combination of indoor running, cycling, weight training and stretching/yoga/pilates/Zumba. It's only fair to expect something that you'll wear round the clock to look good. Fear not, all trackers aren't bulky and ugly. There are actually some really sleek options as well.

1. Fitbit Alta

fitbit alta
Fitbit Alta is the latest style addition to Fitbit's repertoire. It comes with a quick release band which means you can swap it with stylish accessories like colorful, leather and silver bands. Despite the design, it doesn't compromise on features. Steps, distance, active time and calories burned, move alerts are all included. Smart features include call, text, calendar notifications. It comes with a backlit tap display which is actually quite difficult to use. The tap often doesn't work. 

Pros: Good looking, can be worn to work or any other occasion, good battery life
Cons: No heart rate monitor, no GPS, no floors climbed, not waterproof, tap display is buggy

2. Misfit Ray

 misfit ray india price
Misfit's brand proposition is to make devices which have ample features and at the same time look like a piece of jewellery. Because the Ray looks like a bracelet, you can actually wear multiple things along with it and not look weird. The cylindrical body comprises disposable batteries, which means you do not have to charge the band every few days. It is also waterproof up to 50 metres, so you can record your swim workouts. It tracks steps, distance, calories, and light and restful sleep, lets you tag activities like yoga, cycling. Misfit will also tell you how much walking/running or swimming you still need to do to reach your daily points goal, send you alerts to move, and alert you for calls and text with a blue blinking light.

Pros: very sleek design, accurate tracking
Cons: no heart rate monitor, no GPS, few smart features
Price: Rs 7495 at Amazon

3. Jawbone UP2/UP3

jawbone up3 india price

The difference between the UP2 (which is reviewed above) and UP3 is the heart rate monitor. One of the more beautiful and versatile bands. Worth a buy for a gym goer.
Price: Rs 7999/ Rs 11,999 at Amazon

4. FitBit Blaze

We've reviewed the Blaze in the runner section. You can easily say that it is also an excellent gym partner. What sets FitBit Blaze apart is its onscreen workouts. You can select say a 7-minute workout and it will give you a timed schedule for exercises like jumping jacks, pushups, crunches etc. You can even see a demo of the exercise in a video to see how it is performed. You can record your reps and sets and it sets personal goals for you based on your performance. Moreover it comes with replaceable leather straps which add to its great looks.

5. Fitbit Charge 2

fitbit charge 2

Fitbit Charge is the latest addition to the Fitbit family, it launched just a week ago. As always, FitBit's devotion to looks is said to be incomparable, however we must admit that we've used both the Charge 2 and Garmin Vivosmart HR and Garmin is a much better product - we find the fit to be much better than that of Charge 2, the band quality itself makes is an easy wear. Moreover, the Garmin even looks a shade slimmer than the Charge 2 which came as a real surprise.
Charge 2 is a Alta re-envisioned. This is how it is different from the Alta: 
1. Comes with a wrist-based heart monitor
2.  Cardio Fitness Level is another added feature which is actually nothing but your VO2 max which is the max amount of oxygen your body can use when you’re working out at your hardest. This feature is already available for many generations of Garmin products.
3. A Breathe app which helps you lower your heart beat
4. Bigger screen size
Cons: It still does not have an in-built GPS, not waterproof either, accuracy issues, buggy touch screen

For Serious Athletics & Sports

fitbit surge india garmin vivoactive hr india
Does the idea of gymming bore you? We know you are definitely one of those who likes playing squash, badminton, basketball, tennis or going for an occasional swim. If you're a serious athlete you're probably supplicating your sports workout with strength training in the gym. You care about results and especially for you, we have handpicked some advanced fitness trackers that you're going to love.

1. FitBit Surge 

fitbit surge
Fitbit surge has a monochrome backlit touchscreen which is tad bit broad in our opinion. It is capable of tracking steps, distance travelled, calories burned, floors climbed, elevation and active minutes. All these activities are visible on the screen. It has a 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking and GPS. It allows you to select the type of run you want: free, lap or treadmill. Other sports like weights, golf, circuit training, yoga, golf, tennis, hiking and biking can also be recorded. You will be able to see the reps of your weight lifts. Smart notifications are restricted only to texts and calls.

Pros: Easy to use
Cons: Basic smartphone notifications, huge size of the band

2. Garmin Vivoactive HR

garmin vivoactive hr
Powerful, accurate and full of features is how we define the Garmin Vivoactive HR. It has a sunlight readable colour touchscreen. It is GPS enabled and requires no phone to track sports like cycling, running, swimming which can be accessed by the in-built sports app. Training features include Auto Lap® which automatically starts a new lap and Auto Goal which sets goals based on your performance. It's waterproof up to 50 metres and provides you with extensive metrics of your swim like lengths, distance, pace, stroke count/rate, calories. It obviously has all the other standard features of steps, calories, floors climbed, intensity minutes. It has a Heart rate monitor, sleep monitor and moves alerts. You can set up vibration alerts for heart rate, pace, run/walk intervals. It's also geared for niche sports like golf, skiing, paddle surfing. Smart features include email, text, calls, social media alerts, calendar. 

Pros: All-rounder, accurate, great battery life
Cons: Broad design, screen has issues
Price: Rs 20,587 at Amazon

For Disease Susceptibility

jawbone up2 india
Heart disease & diabetes are one the top causes of mortality. If you suffer from any of these or have a family history, it's utterly important to invest in one of these bands.

1. Jawbone UP3 

The defining feature of Jawbone UP3 is it's accurate and extensive sleep tracking. Jawbone is known for its excellent sleep tracker. It also comes with a heart rate monitor. Standard activities like steps, calories, distance are recorded as well. You can log your food and keep track of calories consumed through the app. Overall a good bet for the disease prone.

We have included fitness trackers that are meant for people who have moderate to intense activity in their lifestyle. Bands that only count steps hence have been not included. Smart watches like Pebble, Samsung Gear, Titan Juxt have also been not been included because of minimal fitness features. Samsung Gear, Moto Sport, Mi Bands, Microsoft Gear and other brands were eliminated on basis of multiple reviews that indicated inaccuracy in activity reporting, short battery life and fit issues.

This post is not paid for or endorsed by any brand. Our information resources include, product reviews on Amazon, video reviews by RizKnows and our personal experience.

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