10 Fitness Trackers for Those Who Don't Want to Buy an Apple Watch

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-05-01
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Fitness Trackers for Those Who Don't Want to Buy an Apple Watch
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    10 Fitness Trackers for Those Who Don't Want to Buy an Apple Watch

    By Don Reisinger
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    The Jawbone Up24 Wristband Has a Novel Grooved Design
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    The Jawbone Up24 Wristband Has a Novel Grooved Design

    The Jawbone Up24 is one of the more stylish fitness bands in this roundup, featuring an interesting grooved design that wraps around the wrist. The device tracks a variety of activity and sleep, and will even allow for food logging through an associated mobile app. There's no digital display on the device, so that helps keep the price down a bit to $129.99.
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    Fitbit Charge HR Focuses on the Heart
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    Fitbit Charge HR Focuses on the Heart

    The Fitbit Charge HR monitors the user's heart rate automatically and continuously from the time you wake up until the end of the day. It boasts long battery life that lasts up to five days. The Fitbit Charge HR also comes with a digital display that shows the time, caller ID information and more. Despite the range of features, the Charge HR is nicely affordable at $149.95.
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    Fitbit Surge Caters to the Serious Runner
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    Fitbit Surge Caters to the Serious Runner

    While the Fitbit Charge HR wearable is designed more for more casual workouts and activities, the Fitbit Surge is for serious athletes and runners. The device is thicker than most other wearables in this roundup and has a large display featuring time elapsed during a run, heart rate information and more. Fitbit calls it the "ultimate" wearable and, given the sheer number of features, it's easily one of the higher-end devices in this roundup. But all these features come at a cost: The Surge costs a hefty $250.
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    Microsoft Gets Into the Mix With Band
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    Microsoft Gets Into the Mix With Band

    The $199.99 Microsoft Band is widely considered one of the more feature-packed options on the market, but its supply issues initially made it tough to buy. Now, though, Band is readily available and includes activity, sleep and heart rate tracking. It also analyzes a person's movements and fitness goals so it can suggest workout routines to help achieve those goals. One other important tidbit: The Microsoft Band supports the Cortana virtual personal assistant.
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    Garmin Branches Out With Vivofit
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    Garmin Branches Out With Vivofit

    It might sound odd, but Garmin, the company best known for its GPS devices, is competing in the wearables space with Vivofit. The $130 device includes standard tracking, like steps, calories and distance, but also boasts a digital display to let people quickly glance at their progress without needing to reference a smartphone.
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    Garmin's Vivosmart Is Similar to the Vivofit, but With More Features
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    Garmin's Vivosmart Is Similar to the Vivofit, but With More Features

    Another Garmin device, the Vivosmart has garnered some attention in the fitness space for a solid design that's adjustable to just about any wrist size. The device includes all the standard tracking features one would expect and adds support for "smart notifications," alerting users to texts, emails or calls on attached Bluetooth devices. The Vivosmart goes for $150.
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    Samsung's Gear Fit Is Screen-Happy
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    Samsung's Gear Fit Is Screen-Happy

    One of the major differences between the $119.99 Gear Fit and most of the other wearables on the market is that it comes with a curved screen so it fits snugly around a person's wrist. The Gear Fit includes full activity tracking and is dustproof as well as water-resistant, letting users wear it during outdoor activities. The device also integrates with Samsung's S Health app to give users real-time coaching on how to improve their exercise training.
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    Sony's SmartBand Is Ready for 24/7 Usage
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    Sony's SmartBand Is Ready for 24/7 Usage

    Sony's SmartBand might be going away eventually as the company looks to modify how it operates its mobile division, but for now, the device is on store shelves and worth a look for those who want a stylish design and don't mind that it requires the support of an Android mobile device. The wearable is fully waterproof and has a core with "advanced sensor technology" that shares health information with an Android device. It's a solid option and it's cheap: $59.99.
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    Misfit Flash Is Easy on the Pocketbook
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    Misfit Flash Is Easy on the Pocketbook

    Misfit is arguably the least-known company in this roundup, but the device's Flash is still worth considering for many fitness-seekers. The device has a watchlike design and offers full connectivity with Android and iOS devices, allowing users to track calories burned, steps taken and sleep cycles from their handsets. It's also water-resistant down to 30 meters underwater. Even better, it doesn't require charging, thanks to a long-lasting built-in coin cell. Best of all, it's cheap, coming in at $49.99.
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    Jawbone Up3 Includes Heart Health Tracking
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    Jawbone Up3 Includes Heart Health Tracking

    Like the Jawbone Up24, the Up3 has a grooved design that attempts to deliver a more stylish option than some of its contenders. The Up3, however, comes with more features than the Up24 by adding a Heart Health option to the activity, sleep and food logging options. According to Jawbone, the Up3 can last for up to seven days on a single charge, making it a nice option for busy travelers. It costs $179.99.
 

One of the nice things about Apple Watch is that it combines the qualities of smartwatches with those of fitness trackers. Some have suggested that the two-in-one feature could hurt fitness trackers. But recent market reports say fitness trackers specifically designed to monitor your vital signs and physical activity aren't going anywhere. In fact, they will drive the wearables market for the foreseeable future. This means that the makers of fitness trackers will continue to update their current devices and release new models with more sophisticated features and applications to capitalize on what is shaping up to be a strong market for the devices. The manufacturers have invested plenty of money and design effort in these devices, many of which deserve a close look and perhaps your hard-earned cash. This slide show takes a look at some of the higher-quality fitness trackers on the market to give people a better idea of what might be a good buy. Read on to learn more about some of the top fitness trackers available now.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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