Five of the best fitness trackers for Christmas
The Sport Review examines some of the best fitness trackers ahead of Xmas, including Garmin's Forerunner 920XT
Play harder, work smarter, live better with Garmin vivoactive, the GPS smart watch that enhances your active lifestyle. The ultra-thin, lightweight GPS smart watch with sunlight-readable, high-resolution colour touchscreen comes with built-in running, cycling, golf, swimming and activity tracking apps that follow your progress. Use Garmin vivoactive on its own or pair with your smart phone (Must be within 9 metres of smart phone) to gently alert you to incoming calls, emails and texts, plus notifications from social media and other mobile apps. Customise your watch face and features with free designs, stats widgets and apps from Connect IQ, Garmin’s 3rd party app developer site.
Features: Ultra-thin GPS smart watch with sunlight-readable, high-resolution colour touchscreen. It has built-in running, cycling, golf, swimming and activity tracking apps. You can pair with smartphone.
Battery life: The rechargeable battery lasts through all your activities with up to three weeks in watch/activity-tracking mode or 10 hours using GPS.
Review: Competing alongside the Fitbit, the Vivoactive more than holds its own. The screen is a little dim but still readable in all light conditions. The screen graphics are a little dated but as a fitness watch, it delivers. The GPS tracking device works well.
With built-in GPS, multisport functionality and automatic, continuous heart rate, Surge delivers the stats you need to measure your effort and maximise your training time. Add activity tracking, automatic sleep detection, music control, and text and call notifications and you have everything you need to stay connected, motivated and in the zone no matter what goal you are working towards.
Features: Purepulse heart rate, activity tracking, auto sleep and silent alarm, caller ID, OLED display, music control and GPS tracking.
Battery life: 7 days.
Review: The FitBit surge covers all exercise bases. It can be used running on the road or treadmill, cycling and in the gym. It is relatively stylish for a fitness watch. It is comfortable and I didn’t experience any irritations. Synching is pretty straightforward and the Fitbit dashboard is simple enough to navigate around. The battery life doesn’t live up to its seven-day billing but still longer than other fitness watches.
Forerunner 225 (Garmin)
Know your zone with the Garmin Forerunner 225 – the first Garmin GPS running watch with wrist-based heart rate. Now you have the option to run without a strap because this watch has a built-in sensor that measures your heart rate at the wrist. A colourful gauge shows your zone and beats per minute at a glance: warm-up (gray), easy (blue), aerobic (green), threshold (orange) or maximum (red). The Forerunner 225 offers vibration alerts and a built-in accelerometer to record distance for treadmill workouts, as well as tracking your daily activity and sleep. Connected features include automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking and social media sharing.
Features: Tracks time, steps, distance, pace, heart rate and calories burned indoors and out. Built-in sensor to measure your heart rate at the wrist and show heart rate zones. Customised training plans from Garmin Connect on your watch for real-time coaching. Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move. Sync with Bluetooth to your smartphone for live track, quick uploads and to share your runs online.
Battery life: Up to four weeks in activity tracker mode, seven to ten hours in GPS mode.
Review: It is an excellent choice for those who want a watch capable of fulfilling the functions of an activity monitor and a running watch. Like the Vivoactive, the display is bright and clear. It is comfortable and lightweight to wear, too.
Features: Personalised guidance from Smart Coach. Automatic advanced sleep tracking. Smart Alarm silently wakes you. Idle Alert reminds you to keep moving. It syncs wirelessly.
Battery life: Up to 7 days battery life.
Review: The Jawbone UP4 is stylish and feels really comfortable, simple to set up and easy to understand as the app you download is easy to understand. It has plenty of features and can sync with apps such as My Fitness Pal (something which the FitBit Surge couldn’t do). However, unlike the FitBit and Garmin products, it doesn’t have a clock face, though.
Forerunner 920XT (Garmin)
Introducing the Garmin Forerunner 920XT – a multi-sport GPS watch with advanced running dynamics that’s qualified to take elite athletes’ training to the next level. Get the stats but also keep in touch with smart notifications for email, texts and more on your watch as well as live tracking and social media sharing. It’s Garmin’s most advanced all-in-one solution for triathletes and multi-sport athletes.
Features: Running dynamics include cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. Offers VO2 max estimate, race predictor and recovery advisor. Features swim distance, pace, stroke type identification, stroke count, drill logging and rest timers. Smart notifications let you see email, text and other alerts on your watch. Connected features: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect™, live tracking, social media sharing.
Battery life: Up to four hours.
Review: The Forerunner 920XT is excellent for those who want a fitness watch for the swimming pool, running and cycling. It is rather pricey, but if you’re a real fitness fanatic, this is the ultimate fitness watch. Of the three Garmin watches in this review, it is probably the least stylish, though, with a clunky look.