10 Fitness-Tracking Devices to Meet Your Health Goals

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-09-19
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Fitness-Tracking Devices to Meet Your Health Goals
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    10 Fitness-Tracking Devices to Meet Your Health Goals

    By Don Reisinger
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    The Elder Statesmen: Fitbit One
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    The Elder Statesmen: Fitbit One

    The Fitbit One has been around for the last few years, but that doesn't mean it should be overlooked. The $100 device hooks onto the belt loop and is able to track everything from distance traveled, to steps climbed, to sleep quality. It comes in two colors—black and purple—and has a small display that provides relevant readouts on calories burned or steps taken.
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    Jawbone Grows Up and Moves Beyond Earbuds
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    Jawbone Grows Up and Moves Beyond Earbuds

    The Jawbone Up, like the Fitbit One, has been competing in the wearables space for quite some time. The device has a stylish design that wraps around the wrist and measures distance traveled, sleep quality and much more. The cheaper ($80) version can be plugged into a computer to give users their fitness information. The $150 option connects via Bluetooth and is constantly providing information. Unlike many of the devices in this roundup, the Jawbone Up does not come with an on-board display, so connecting it to another device to glean information is vital.
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    Samsung's Fitness Pitch: The Gear Fit
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    Samsung's Fitness Pitch: The Gear Fit

    Samsung's Gear Fit looks awfully similar to the LG LifeBand Touch that we'll be talking about in an upcoming slide. The device is worn on the wrist, includes a heart-rate monitor and is water-resistant for swimmers. When the wearable is connected to a Samsung handset, it allows users to view notifications, like text messages and calendar updates. It's a full-featured product that goes for $150. Not bad.
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    Sneakers ... and Nike+ FuelBand SE
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    Sneakers ... and Nike+ FuelBand SE

    The Nike+ FuelBand SE is one of those devices that has garnered much of its attention because of the company that has developed it. However, it's also a solid product that tracks activity and shows valuable, trending information over a period of time. The device, which costs $99 to start and comes in a wide range of choices, also includes a light-up display that provides some useful information while wearing it. The FuelBand SE is the perfect device for those who are already using the Nike+ app for fitness tracking.
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    Another Fitbit: The Flex
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    Another Fitbit: The Flex

    The Fitbit Flex is worn on the owner's wrist and, like the previously mentioned FitBit One, costs $100. Like the Fitbit device, the Flex tracks sleep and activity and links up to both computers and mobile devices to allow users to stay abreast of their progress. The device comes in a wide range of colors and even includes a version from fashion designer Tory Burch that makes it look more like a stylish bracelet than a wearable.
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    Yes, Moto 360 Has Tracking Features
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    Yes, Moto 360 Has Tracking Features

    While the $250 Moto 360 smartwatch is first and foremost about style and function, the device also includes some features that would make fitness-conscious folks quite pleased. The device includes a pedometer and optical heart rate monitor and provides that information upon request through health apps built into Android Wear. While the Moto 360 is about much more than just health, it could be an alternative for those who aren't so serious about tracking their every move.
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    The Newly Minted Misfit Flash
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    The Newly Minted Misfit Flash

    The Misfit Flash has garnered significant attention for its relatively cheap price of $50. While the product hasn't launched yet, the maker is taking preorders. Users will find that the wearable can track all kinds of fitness items, including calories burned, steps taken and distance traveled. Misfit is pitching the device as a sports-ready product, so it can be worn whether running, swimming or performing any other activity. One of the more interesting features in the Misfit Flash is that it comes with a coin cell battery that can last up to six months.
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    Garmin's Vivofit Breaks Out From the GPS World
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    Garmin's Vivofit Breaks Out From the GPS World

    Garmin might be best known for its GPS tracking devices, but the company is also actively making its way into wearables. The Vivofit from Garmin is worn around the wrist and includes a surprisingly large screen that displays sleep quality information and heart rate, among other items of interest. The device also includes a timer for runners. Perhaps, most importantly, it can last over a year on a single battery charge, thanks to its dual-coin-cell design. The device costs $130.
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    LG Gets Serious About Health With the LifeBand Touch
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    LG Gets Serious About Health With the LifeBand Touch

    LG has also found its way into the wearables business with the company's Lifeband Touch. The device has a slender, curved design that wraps around the user's wrist, and includes an OLED touch-scroll screen that provides information on calories burned, activity level and much more. It also can be connected to an iOS- or Android-based device and allow users to control a wide range of features, including music selection. The wearable device costs $150.
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    The Upcoming Apple Watch
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    The Upcoming Apple Watch

    Although the Apple Watch won't be available for several months, the device is on the radar for those who want fitness trackers and wearables in one. The device will launch with support for Apple's Health app and will catalog pertinent information, like heart rate, stairs climbed and more. The Apple Watch will start at $349 and come in a wide range of customizable versions, so be sure to study it closely before choosing what's right for your fitness needs.
 

Fitness tracking has become a hot topic in the technology industry. Samsung and Nike, in addition to smaller companies like Fitbit and Jawbone, have been competing in the space for some time. And, now, with new smartwatches launching with health-related features built in, a new class of products has entered the market to change how people view fitness tracking. As a result, the market has gotten crowded.  Trying to sort through the sheer number of fitness trackers and find something that best suits your needs will be a chore. While it was once easy to find products that focused solely on fitness, there are now a wide range of products that do much more in addition to personal fitness. Those devices can't be overlooked; they include the latest smartwatches, which can be considered fully capable fitness trackers in today's world. This slide show looks at dedicated fitness trackers as well as the new health-tracking features in the new smartwatches, and suggests which devices should do a decent job of helping users stay healthy and on-track with their fitness goals.

 
 
 
 
 
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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