Best Fitness Trackers 2018: Buyer's Guide.

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Welcome to the FitFitTrack's Best Fitness Trackers 2018: Buyer's Guide. 

Every year we simply promise to better ourselves. The phrase "New Year, New Me" is said in January and by February most people abandon ship due to other life commitments.

The beauty of a fitness tracker is that it can hold you accountable and automate your health and fitness by providing insights into your daily routine, calorie intake and some smartwatches will help you plan your day efficiently.

One of the biggest problems in life is a commitment to new habits. It takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Once the habit has been developed, this will become a natural process to do daily on a subconscious level. 

Using a fitness tracker can not only help with the development of a new habit but also automates the data and provide instant feedback for your health and well being. We have spoken with hundreds of fitness fanatics who can no longer imagine their lives without their activity tracker.

We have produced this buyers guide for the everyday gentleman and lady who's desire is to track their habits automatically whilst gaining deep insights into their daily activities.

As great as it would be for us at FitFitTrack to provide you with the ultimate, one-trick-pony, all-in-one best fitness tracker... You get where we are going here... We are unable to do so as many people require different features from the fitness gadgets. 

So instead, we have compiled and short-listed our best fitness trackers 2018 in this buyer's guide. If you would like to read more detailed reviews, you will be able to find the full product reviews in each of their own segments below.

So see below for FitFitTrack's Best Fitness Trackers 2018.

The Fitness Trackers

Fitness Tracker

Benefits

Perfect For

Our Rating

Price Rating


✓ GPS Built In

✓ 4+ Days Battery Life

✓ Dynamic Personal Trainer

Every day users that want to combine day-to-day life with fitness tracking.

✓ Tracks Fitness, Sleep and Heart Rate

✓ 7  Days Battery Life

✓Pick up calls and texts on the go

Affordable every day wear that monitors sleep, heart rate and fitness metrics.

✓ Tracks Fitness and Sleep

✓ 7  Days Battery Life

✓ Waterproof

Affordable fitness tracker for those who only need to monitor their fitness.

✓ Tracks Fitness and Sleep

✓ 1 Year  Battery Life

✓  Stay Active Reminder

A great fitness tracker from Garmin that combines both usability and affordability.

✓ Automatically tracks different fitness activities

✓ 1 Year  Battery Life

✓  Stay Active Reminder

Affordable fitness tracker for those who only need to monitor their fitness.

✓ Tracks fitness and heart rate

✓ Touchscreen

✓  Smart watch functions

Fitness tracker from Garmin bundled with smart watch features.

✓ Advanced Fitness Tracker & GPS

✓ Multi-screen monitoring

✓  Lightweight

Perfect fitness tracker for triathletes. 

Looking for a Fitness Tracker? Check out @fitfittrack Best Fitness Trackers 2018: Buyer's Guide now.

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The Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers are becoming ever more popular. You may see your friends, family, and colleagues already wearing them. In fact, the growth of wearable devices including fitness trackers and smartwatches is only going to continue to grow with an expected 929,000,000 connected devices by 2021.


connected fitness trackers growth chart

(Source: statista.com)

Above all of that, it is understood that 1 in 6 people wear a fitness tracker (source).

What does this mean?

Well as technology develops we will see more accurate trackers and more features added to your wrist. This means that one day, a fitness tracker may not be as black and white as they are now (e.g. do you need a heart rate monitor? No? Then look at cheap fitness trackers available.)

What we are trying to say is that fitness trackers are becoming more wearable, more sophisticated and more powerful. Therefore, now more than ever you must find the right reviews to help find the perfect fitness gadget.

How to Choose the Best Fitness Tracker?


Selecting the perfect fitness tracker is no easy feat. There are many factors that you should be aware of. In this fitness trackers guide, we will be giving you an insight on how to approach buying your latest fitness companion.

Choosing Your Fitness Tracker


One of the first things you should know about a fitness tracker is that there are several types of trackers that target different usages. Each of these types has its own sets of advantages. At the end of the day, the best fitness tracker for you will be based entirely on your activities, goals, and preferences.
The first and utmost important task you are required to do is to choose the type of fitness tracker you want. Here are some of the choices you can choose from.

1. Type of Fitness Tracker

The type of fitness tracker is important, as this is how you will be using the device for the life of the gadget. Fitness trackers come in a range of styles:

  • Wristband (most popular)
  • Watch
  • Necklace/Pennant
  • Pocket-sized gadgets.

2. What You Want To Track

You also need to know what you want to track with your device. This helps eliminate activity trackers quite easily because, say, for example, you do not want to track your heart rate - that will narrow it down in both style, size, and cost!

  • Non-GPS & Heart Rate Monitoring (Budget Friendly)
  • Heart Rate Monitoring Fitness Trackers (Medium budget and accurate)
  • GPS & Heart Rate Monitoring (Most expensive, but also most accurate)

3. What Activities You Do

This is also an important factor as lower tier fitness trackers do not off the same amount of features as you'd expect from an expensive activity tracker. 

If you stick to the gym and/or happy to simply track your activity at a simple level then there is no use to buy an expensive fitness tracker that monitors several activities at once. The expensive fitness trackers are prime for triathletes.

READ:   Fitbit ionic Fitness Tracker Review 2018

Equally, you may only want to track your swimming goals - some budget fitness trackers are not waterproof.

4. Your Budget

It is better to go in with an ideal price you are willing to pay for a fitness tracker than to be consumed by the benefits and features of each product. Don't get us wrong, you do pay for what you get. However, make sure you set a nice budget to accommodate your purchase.


You will find a budget of around $100-$150 would suit 70% of the users.


Best Fitness Tracker Reviews 2018

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the decision of choosing the best fitness tracker? Do you feel exhausted just by thinking about the number of gadgets you will have to filter through before you find your perfect companion? Don’t worry. In this fitness tracker guide, we are here to provide you with all the guidance that we can. That includes giving you the best fitness tracker reviews so that you can make a confident decision on choosing the best fitness tracker for you.

Fitbit Ionic – For The Fitbit Loyalist

This is Fitbit's first launch of a smartwatch which has had its success with loyal Fitbit fans and is attempting to break into the lucrative smartwatch space with the likes of Samsung and Apple.

However, unlike Fitbit's other fitness gadgets, the smartwatch doesn't feel as polished as it's competitors. It feels more of an attempt to ward off other smartwatches for your wrist space.

The Fitbit Ionic excels in providing the fitness insights we have come to love from Fitbit. It is a helpful hand whether we are in the gym, running or swimming.

The smartwatch features are limited however and are able to pick up calls, messages, e-mails and other notifications you would come to expect from a smartwatch.

With that being said, Fitbit's core focus remains to provide you with fitness data accurately and that is what it continues to deliver.

The battery life is long lasting - 4+ days and is a pretty solid gadget to have on your wrist. It weighs in at just under 50g, which is lighter than it's competitors.

If you are looking for something new from the product design labs of Fitbit and combines the usage of a smartwatch with the reliable tracking capabilities from Fitbit then the Fitbit Ionic could be for you.

  • Read our review on the Fitbit Ionic here.

Who Should Buy This?

People who are looking to combine their wrist space with both fitness tracking with real-time notifications from daily applications such as e-mail and texts.


Problems / Issues / Things To Consider

This is Fitbit's attempt at producing a smartwatch and it's fitness tracker. So if you are looking for a smartwatch with all the bells and whistles, then the Ionic might not be for you.

There are limited third applications available for the smartwatch feature.

FITBIT IONIC VERDICT

If you are looking for a smartwatch that is powered by Fitbit's accurate tracking sensors and software then this may be the perfect match for you. It provides everything you'd expect from a smartwatch but built by one of the fitness trackers industry leaders. This alone adds weight to the specification of the smartwatch.

4.5/5

EXCELLENT

The Good Stuff:

  • check
    Lots of fitness features
  • check
    Long battery life
  • check
    Bright display

The Bad Stuff:

  • Not the best looking fitness tracker
  • More viable smart watches available
  • Limited selection of third-party apps

Fitbit Alta HR – Best Affordable All In One Fitness Gadget

The Fitbit Alta HR is pretty much the most affordable all-in-one fitness tracker on the market. It combines the notifications from the smartwatch and the activity tracking capabilities that Fitbit is best known for all within the slim wrist space.

The beauty of the Fitbit Alta HR is the design looks so good on your wrist, it's lightweight, slim and powerful. The Fitbit Alta HR is perfect for people that are active all day every day.

The Fitbit Alta HR automatically tracks your steps, sleep (as detailed as giving you insights on how long you have been in a light or deep sleep) and calories burned.

You can stay connected with all of your texts and call notifications by syncing up with your smartphone. With all of these features, you can expect a battery life of up to 7 days.

Finally, the main selling point of this all-in-one Fitbit is the heart rate monitor. The heart rate tracker is accurate and perfect for those who require the heart rate monitor to enter the burn zone in the gym or to track your heart on a daily basis.

Who should buy this?

Honestly, the Alta HR is a perfect fit for the masses. If you are looking for an all-in-one fitness tracker then this is a brilliant product to use. It will be a great fitness companion and help you visualise and strive for your fitness goals. The Fitbit Alta HR can be used for virtually all sports, apart from swimming, which makes it a very versatile choice.


Problems / Issues / Things To Consider

One problem we can highlight could be with the durability of the product bracelet. Due to the daily usage, it could wear down the bracelet quite a bit.

The Alta HR is not waterproof (sorry swimmers and dolphins!)

The vibrations from the alerts are not exactly the strongest, this may help on battery life, but we sometimes didn't notice any alerts whilst we worked out.

FITBIT ALTA HR VERDICT

Our verdict is simple, this is probably the market leader when it comes to fitness trackers due to it's mass appeal to everyone and combined features where you would expect to pay a premium for e.g) heart rate monitor.  When we see people with a fitness tracker, this is usually the product they have.

5/5

OUTSTANDING

The Good Stuff:

  • check
    Sleek design and secure on the wrist
  • check
    Top of the range heart monitor and fitness tracking
  • check
    Notifications via your smartphone

The Bad Stuff:

  • Durability may be an issue  depending on usage
  • Screen can be a bit too small for vision impaired users
  • Weak vibrations for alerts and notifications

Fitbit Flex 2 – Best For Beginners

The Fitbit Flex 2 is the foundation and blueprint of today's fitness trackers with its sleek design and functionality. 

The Flex is perfect for individuals who just want a fitness tracker that doesn't have the appearance of a smartwatch or a chunky bracelet.

The beauty of this approach is you still get all the functionality of the other Fitbit family such as alerts and notifications, but it is also waterproof and still tracks sleep and activity. 

This product is perfect for people entering into the fitness tracker market, looking for something to help provide insights into their daily activities, and to wear something stylish.

READ:   Fitbit ionic Fitness Tracker Review 2018

Who should buy this?

To put it bluntly, this is an entry-level fitness tracker with all of the functions without the on-screen distractions. Perfect for people looking to viewing their fitness insights. Due to the durability and waterproofing - the Flex 2 is amazing for all sports and activities.


Problems / Issues / Things To Consider

One major flaw with this product is that there is no screen. Nothing to visualise your results on your wrist. Instead, you must have your smartphone nearby to use and record most of its features.

FITBIT FLEX 2 - VERDICT

You get a lot of bang for the buck with the Flex 2. It's a seamless integration for anyone looking to take the next step in fitness tracking, away from the mental notes and paper and pen tracking, and automate the process swiftly and accurately.

4.5/5

EXCELLENT

The Good Stuff:

  • check
    Waterproof
  • check
    Compact & Discreet
  • check
    Cheapest Fitbit available

The Bad Stuff:

  • No Display Screen
  • 2-3 day battery life if you use all the auto-sync features
  • If you have sensitive skin, the bracelet can rub

Garmin Vivofit 3

– For The Forgetful

Yup, we are writing to the forgetful few that always have the 20% battery warning when they wake up. Or the unreachable few that phones go straight to answerphone because it is out of battery. 

The Garmin Vivofit 3 is perfect for people who want a 24/7 fitness tracker without the need to charge it every few days.

This fitness tracker comes with a 1-year life battery guaranteed from Garmin, which allows you to focus on your goals and less about charging it.

We were surprised without good Move IQ is. Move IQ can switch between activities such as walking, running, biking, swimming, and cross-trainer. Vivofit 3 recognises when your movement changes and records your activity automatically.

On top of that Move IQ learns your goals. Once achieved, it will develop a new goal automatically adjusted to help you keep going on track to a healthier lifestyle. 

This fitness tracker truly adapts as you progress too which is kind of cool if you are persistent.

Oh yeah, before we forget (see we are forgetful too) the Garmin Vivofit 3 gives you an "activity nudge" or how we like to describe it as "actinudge". This is a simple process that Move IQ lets you know when you have been idle for a period of time and nudges you to move about. This, however, is not a feature for when you are hungover ;-).

Who should buy this?

Goal setters and goal getters. The Move IQ which comes with the Vivofit 3 will help those who enjoy the thrill of achieving their goals and bettering themselves.

And forgetful people.


Problems / Issues / Things To Consider

As stated before, you do not get a rechargeable lithium-ion battery like it's competitors, therefore, you would be required to purchase a new battery at least once per year.

GARMIN VIVOFIT 3 - VERDICT

As much as we love the idea of the Vivofit 3 and it's ability to adapt to different common activities, we do not like the fact that we are forced to buy a new battery. This, to us, is off-putting as that means there is a future, impending, costs outside of the initial cash outlay. Although Garmin suggests a 1-year battery life, numerous reports suggest the life is a little shorter of 1 year, especially with high usage of the Vivofit 3.

4/5

GOOD

The Good Stuff:

  • check
    Automatically track multiple activities
  • check
    No need to recharge battery
  • check
    Budget friendly

The Bad Stuff:

  • Not the most accurate tracker
  • Replace the battery once a year
  • Move IQ can be temperamental

Garmin Vivosmart 3

– Best Multi-Activity Fitness Tracker

This is probably one of the best multi-activity fitness trackers on the market right now. 

Will it track my daily activity? Yes

Will it track my hobbies like running, swimming and cycling? Yes, by the sounds of it you're going to be doing a triathlon!

Will it track my weightlifting and gym activities? YES!

The Garmin Vivosmart 3 is one of the only fitness trackers that allows you to record your sets and reps, but not your protein shake intake. Sorry.

This comes with all of the standard features you'd expect from a fitness tracker and more...

You can even track your STRESS levels with this. Get this, you can actually interpret how much stress your girlfriend/ boyfriend/partner gives you as actual data. Asked to spend the holidays with the in-laws? Check to see the stress level rising.

Joking aside, we think the stress monitor is unique and a welcome addition to fitness trackers as being rushed and stressed all the time is not healthy!

In all seriousness, we had a great time with the Garmin Vivosmart 3 as it is packed with features to help your day to day life and combines it with your health and wellbeing, all stored in a stylish and subtle wristband.

Who should buy this?

Active gym goers who wants to track their sets and reps and compile this into insights.

Any body who wants to monitor stress levels / heart rate.


Problems / Issues / Things To Consider

It is known to be not as accurate as it's competitors.

GARMIN VIVOSMART 3 - VERDICT

Garmin has thrown every possible feature into the Vivosmart 3. The saying Jack of all trades, master of none best describes this product. It is able to do a lot of the features you can find standard in today's fitness tracker with added features such as the ability to track sets and reps. It does, however, fail to exceed in any of the features, they are great foundations laid by Garmin but we feel with future products and developments, with more accurate readings, the Vivosmart could be a real-world all in one contended in the fitness wearable industry.

4/5

GOOD

The Good Stuff:

  • check
    Stress level monitor
  • check
    Rep counter
  • check
    Automatic tracking

The Bad Stuff:

  • Not the most accurate tracker
  • Replace the battery once a year
  • Move IQ can be temperamental

Garmin Vivoactive HR

– Best For GPS Trackingvity Fitness Tracker

A vast upgrade to the Garmin range the Vivoactive is an achievement for fitness trackers. Continuing Garmin's tracking capabilities it uses GPS to increase it's functionality further.

Combined with its heart rate tracking and GPS functionalities the Garmin Vivoactive provides an accurate insight into multiple activities whether it's swimming or skiing.

The beauty of this tracker, albeit it is not the prettiest, but it is packed with lots of features that would make the most elite athletes able to track their day to day training and activities. 

If you are serious about tracking your fitness and have a popular hobby like golf, then this could be a cracking fitness tracker for you.

What we enjoyed most about the Garmin Vivoactive is the fact that it was easy to set up and able to track our activities. Combined with the GPS features, we were able to track our activities with very little problems. 

As you can expect, however, sometimes the GPS would have issues in areas where coverage is poor.

READ:   Fitbit ionic Fitness Tracker Review 2018

Who should buy this?

Golf

Access to 40,000 courses worldwide from Garmin's database. It will also help track your score, shot distance and whether you are under or over par. Wonderful.

Swimming 

Use the Garmin Vivoactive to track your lap times and see detailed insights such as interval distance, stroke count, stroke type, pace and many more stats.

Cycling

Access the cycling app which measures time, distance, speed, and calories to measure your progress.

Rowing / Paddle Boarding

Vivoactive comes with a rowing/paddle boarding app that tracks and displays your pace, overall time, distance and stroke.

Skiing and Snowboarding 

Passionate about skiing? Then this perfect as the Vivoactive has the ability to calculate the speed and distance on an incline versus latitude and longitude.


Problems / Issues / Things To Consider

Screen may appear a little dark for some people's liking.

GARMIN VIVOACTIVE HR - VERDICT

The Garmin Vivoactive HR is an impressive fitness tracker and we loved using its features. If you are involved in many activities and need to keep track and log the events then this is a perfect fit. The ability to manage all of the sports on your wrist is perfect for the athlete always on the move. Just consider the screen can appear a little dark than expected.

5/5

OUTSTANDING

The Good Stuff:

  • check
    Up to 8 days battery charge
  • check
    Heart rate and GPS tracker
  • check
    Great for multiple activities

The Bad Stuff:

  • Tracking can be over sensitive
  • Screen not that bright
  • Wrist strap can irritate

Garmin Forerunner 735XT – Best Advanced Multi-Fitness Tracker

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a top of the range fitness tracker that offers an abundance of stats and insights of your daily activities whilst looking more like a sports watch with advanced tracking and GPS functionalities.

It tracks everything from walking to swimming with ease and accuracy. You can seamlessly switch between activities (great for triathletes) and create your own workouts.

The key difference between the Forerunner 735XT and the other fitness trackers in our buyer's guide is that this is targeted for people who want to take their tracking capabilities to the next level, whilst wearing a watch. 

As you can see by the design this is different to the others and resembles a normal sports watch, but provides the much-loved features of a fitness tracker.

With the design in place, it is possible to view up to 4 different activities/screens at the same time allowing for multitasking and monitoring different stats whilst you are completing your activity.

The Forerunner 735XT has the ability to measure your VO2 max estimate, recovery advisor, ground contact time balance, stride length and vertical ratio. This feature is enabled by purchasing Garmin HRM-Run chest strap though. However, if you are serious about your training and looking to purchase the Forerunner 735XT - this would be an obvious choice to purchase too.

It comes with the standard smartwatch features we come to expect with fitness trackers such as notifications and alerts between calls, texts, facebook etc.

Combining the smartwatch features with its advanced fitness tracking capabilities makes this a strong contender for one of the best fitness trackers in 2018.

Who should buy this?

People who are on the move every day and take up multiple sports that want the most advanced GPS and tracking capabilities as their fitness companion.

Triathletes


Problems / Issues / Things To Consider

The strap is a simple clutch strap, but it would have been better with a modern day quick release strap.

Return of the dark screen. This is meant to provide a visible screen in all light conditions but it can appear just too dark in comparison to other competitors.

GARMIN Forerunner 735XT - VERDICT

Garmin has produced an excellent fitness tracker here. The Forerunner 735XT is an excellent gadget for serious athletes in training and for those looking to get the best insights into their training possible. Out of the box, it works perfectly and can be enhanced by purchasing the Garmin HRM-Run chest strap to delve deeper into the stats. It is pricey in comparison to other fitness trackers in the industry. With that being said, it is one of the more advanced fitness trackers available today and will seamlessly integrate with both your work, social and fitness life balance.

4.5/5

EXCELLENT

The Good Stuff:

  • check
    Very light for the type of fitness tracker
  • check
    Advanced fitness tracking capabilities
  • check
    Multi-view layout on screen

The Bad Stuff:

  • Darker screen that we would like
  • Strap can be difficult to remove
  • Requires addition wearables to use the most advanced features

Final Verdict

In these best fitness tracker reviews, the Fitbit Alta HR has managed to come out on top. This is because not only does it offer similar benefits to other products mentioned, but its the best for all budgets and covers most of our reader's needs. Powered by Fitbit's technology who is a well-known brand, there can be no better credibility behind this purchase.

Final Words

Considerably, the market for fitness trackers has a lot of saturation, and finding the perfect fitness tracker is not easy. That’s why we have come up with this buyer's guide. This list of fitness trackers kept in mind things such as the needs of a customer, what activities they do and how much they are willing to spend on a fitness tracker.

We hope this buyer's guide helps you shortlist the best fitness trackers according to your budget and activity. Bear in mind, there’s no such thing as a perfect fitness tracker, which is why each fitness tracker is built for the needs of different types of activities and consumers. In case you think we missed a fitness tracker that you believe is a contender for the Best Fitness Trackers 2018: Buyer's Guide list, let us know.

Thanks for reading, follow us on social media and if you think this guide has helped you - please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

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