Fitness trackers are becoming more popular nowadays with the increased features and battery lives. They are used to monitor and track a wide variety of fitness-related metrics such as your steps, calorie intake, heart rate, sleep and many more.
Even though smartwatches also have some fitness tracking functionalities, many people prefer fitness bands over smartwatches due to their light weight, price range and usage time. But, don’t think that activity trackers are just a cheaper version of smartwatches with less capabilities. On the contrary, they serve a totally different purpose.
In this article, I will not mention about the most common features that you can find in almost every fitness tracker such as heart rate monitor or water resistance. Rather, I will explain the key features to consider before buying.
Key Features To Consider Before Buying
1- BATTERY LIFE
This is maybe the biggest reason why people who want to track their activities choose fitness bands. We have phones, laptops, tablets, earbuds, smartwatches that need continuous charging and nobody wants to add another device to that list. Especially if you are willing to track your sleep, it becomes more crucial.
But keep in mind that battery life depends heavily on your usage habit. For example, if you track your distance with GPS all the time, you will end up charging your device once every few days. Also, do not rely on “X days battery life” sayings on websites. Always remember to check standby, mixed usage, and continuous usage durations before buying a fitness tracker.
If long battery life is the one feature that you are looking for, I would suggest Mi Smart Band 5 which has a very long usage time.
2- SLEEP TRACKING
Not so many people are interested in sleep tracking, but it might give you some valuable information to improve your sleep quality, thus your life. Of course, the results are debatable. Sleep is a complicated phenomenon and you cannot get all the information with just a simple wristband. But it might at least give you some general information such as total sleep time, awake time etc. to help you have more control over your sleep.
If sleep tracking is the main reason you are buying a fitness tracker, Fitbit Charge 4 is the one for you to go. It’s pricy compared to its competitors but it’s also the one full of functionalities.
3- MOBILE APPLICATION
Even the best fitness tracker is worthless if it’s not accompanied with a mobile phone app. You can just see some limited information from the small screen of your band and that screen isn’t meant to serve this purpose also. A developed mobile app will give you all the history of your activities with some fancy graphics and charts. Basically, it will gather all the information and show it to you in a meaningful way. With that, you can track your progress and reach your targets easily.
Before purchasing a fitness tracker, don’t forget to check its mobile app. And since some of the applications have premium memberships, also make sure the free version has all the functionalities you look for if you don’t want to end up paying a subscription fee every month.
4- BUILT-IN GPS
To begin with, you should keep in mind that built-in GPS is a true battery drainer. So, if you plan to keep GPS on all the time, say goodbye to days long of battery life. But if it’s not a problem for you, it gives you the freedom to go for a run leaving your phone at home.
There are also some models with connected GPS which use your phone’s GPS sensor. These models are cheaper and relatively smaller, but you must take your phone with you in order to use that functionality. It is also not desirable for some people to run with a phone in their pocket.
If you want accuracy for your distance and pace, and don’t want to carry your phone while running, you may choose Huawei Band 3 Pro with built-in GPS.
Whenever you buy something, the most important criterion is the price of course. No product is even worth considering if it’s not a good deal.
Fortunately, there is a wide price range for fitness trackers, and you may easily find a product for your budget. They start from around $20 and may go over $150 depending on the features, brand and release date.
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