With so many fitness trackers to choose from in 2015, which ones should you keep an eye on? And which ones do you actually need?
Every fitness or activity tracker has its strengths and weaknesses. Some are costly but less useful, while others are very useful and user-friendly but not so great-looking.
That’s why I tested dozens of fitness trackers to help you make an informed decision.
I figured that the best choice would be one based on your individual needs, goals, style and budget.
Most people think that fitness trackers are basically overpriced smartwatches that Apple, Samsung, Sony and Garmin have made available to the public. Well, they’re more than that. Some fitness trackers are quite expensive, but not necessarily useful.
I tested fitness trackers according to their utility, design, comfort, battery life, features, adaptability, compatibility, style and more.
I evaluated the experience a user will have when employing the item for the first time. I wanted to find out how fast the user would adapt to the complex new technology that each tracker offers.
Here’s my countdown of the Top 10 Best Fitness and Activity Trackers for 2015:
10. Microsoft Band, a fitness band by Microsoft Health
It wasn’t easy for Microsoft to jump on the wearable market with its Microsoft Band, but you have to give the company credit for trying. The first version, according to many users and testers, was a flop and couldn’t measure up to the other fitness trackers available today, like Garmins, Fitbits and Jawbones. But now, the Microsoft Band has undergone a major update, which is why I have included it on my list.
After testing the new version and I found that it contained several updates. It’s much better than its predecessor.
The new Microsoft Band has a swipe-capable predictive onscreen keyboard that lets you type responses to your messages instead of reaching for your phone. “Its word flow technology allows you to type with minimal errors,” Microsoft said. That’s important if you want to track your activity while staying connected to the world.
Microsoft also added a voice dictation feature as an alternative to typing. But the most innovative feature is the bike tile, which lets you track both outdoor and indoor cycling. It’s a feature many fitness trackers don’t yet have. The Microsoft Band is very good at tracking your sleep, exercise, workouts and more. It also features the ability to accommodate third-party apps.
If you love Microsoft products and have been waiting for the company to hit the field of wearable technology, your wish has been granted.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Microsoft band review
9. Basis Peak, a fitness and sleep tracker by Basis
First in its series, the Basis Peak came out in March 2014. It might not be the best-looking fitness tracker, but its performance will blow your mind.
Its powerful step and calorie tracker with a cutting-edge heart monitor and state-of-the-art performance is one of a kind. The only downside I found is the lack of a GPS mode, but if that’s not a big turn off for you, this tracker is worth every penny.
Compared to other fitness and activity trackers, the Basis Peak is the best pedometer on the market. Its battery life is one of the best in the industry.
Unlike other fitness trackers, which require that you wait before you can see your data on your smartphone app or online, the Basis Peak lets you view data right on the device in real time. The Bluetooth capability is one of its biggest assets because you can connect wirelessly to your Android or Apple devices while on the go.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Basis Peak review
8. Jawbone Up Move, a smart activity tracker by Jawbone
Here’s another great pedometer that lets you easily track your day-to-day activities. The Jawbone Up Move is a very affordable way to both track sleep and count steps.
It’s very small and can be clipped to your belt, shirt or anything else without being noticed. The Jawbone Up Move app beats both the Garmin and the Fitbit apps because of its user friendliness and usability platform.
The Jawbone Up Move is light, fast and fun to carry around. If you are looking for a cheap way to keep track of your daily activity and your sleep, as well as have a simple stopwatch on hand, the Jawbone Up Move is a good move.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Jawbone UP Move review
7. Nike+ FuelBand SE Fitness Tracker by Nike
If you believe that motivation is one of the best ways to remain active and reach your fitness goals faster, I’m sure you’ll love the Nike+ FuelBand SE.
The Nike+ FuelBand SE is an activity tracker that helps you stay focused on your goals. It gets you going and lets you share your results with other people.
If you are serious about staying active and monitoring your goals, look no further. The Nike+ app that comes with the FuelBand SE helps you track the number of times you meet a goal, thereby providing motivation to keep you going.
The Nike+ FuelBand SE is aimed at people who lack motivation. If this is you, the FuelBand will help you just fine. However, if you are already an active junkie and serious like myself, then the Withings Pulse might be a better option.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Nike+ FuelBand SE review
6. Misfit Shine, an activity and sleep tracker by Misfit Wearables
Elegant but affordable, the Misfit Shine activity tracker is aimed at entry-level users. It’s a great fitness tracker to help you monitor your steps, calories, sleep, running, cycling and swimming.
Made of aerospace-grade aluminum that that gives users insights into how much they are moving and sleeping, the Misfit Shine weighs only 9 grams on its own and 16 grams with the wrist strap. The fact that it’s so light might make you forget you’re even wearing it.
Just like the Jawbone Up Move, the Misfit Shine can be used without the wrist strap. Simply wear it on your clothes or clip it to your belt and you are ready to go.
I even see people wear it as a piece of jewelry on their necks—who am I to judge?
I love the Misfit Shine’s look and functionality. It’s the same price as the Jawbone Up Move and is the perfect activity tracker for entry-level and fashion-conscious wearable users.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Misfit Shine review.
5. Fitbit Charge HR, a heart rate + Activity wristband by Fitbit
Now we’re stepping onto some serious ground. The Fitbit Charge HR, predecessor of the Fitness Charge, is one of the best fitness trackers ever created. It tracks your activities and movements right from your wrist without running to your smartphone. Its real-time data capability makes it stand out from the crowd.
It fits perfectly on your wrist and is very comfortable to wear all day long. There are many colors to choose from based on your own style and preference. I prefer it in black, because that hue looks more elegant and is less noticeable from a distance.
I’m a runner, so I was very impressed with the Fitbit Charge HR’s accuracy and the way it presented the information and tracked data the first time I used it.
It’s a complex wearable at first, but once you get used to it, the Fitbit Charge HR is one of the best health companions you can get on the market.
If you want a general activity tracker that helps you stay alert and motivated without costing a fortune, this is the one for you.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Fitness Charge HR review.
4. Garmin Vivosmart Activity Tracker by Garmin
The ability to use both a fitness tracker and a smartwatch at the same time is what makes the Garmin Vivosmart the almost-perfect fitness wearable in 2015. Imagine the ability to track all your activities while staying connected via Facebook and Twitter, as well as the freedom to reply to your emails and texts. The Garmin Vivofit—the Vivosmart’s predecessor—was already doing so much, but this new version is another story.
The Vivosmart looks very powerful and useful. I’m not too much sold on the design, but for the price I think it’s worth trying.
Garmin is really trying to stay relevant in the wearable market, a fact evidenced by how much effort the company has put into creating the number of excellent features that come with the Garmin Vivosmart. This is a more advanced device for people who are very sold on cutting-edge technology and fitness. Plus, it’s a Garmin—how can you go wrong?
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Garmin Vivosmart review.
3. Fitbit Surge, a GPS + activity and fitness tracker by Fitbit
Let’s meet the granddaddy of the Fitbit family. The Fitbit Surge came up as number three on my list because of its polished and clean design, as well as its ability to do what the Fitbit Charge HR can do but more.
At first, it sure looks like a Pebble, but after trying it out for a week or so, I was convinced that this was the best of the Fitbit family.
I have heard many people say that Fitbit is trying to stick it to the smartwatch pioneers, but I strongly disagree. Even if it does what most smartwatches do, I don’t think the Fitbit Surge was created to replace your smartwatch. The full-screen display, vibration mode, automatic sleep tracking, all-day heart rate, GPS running tracker and battery life are what make it one of the best fitness and activity trackers in 2015.
It’s very simple to use and very comfortable to wear for any occasion because it can pass as a watch (especially the black one).
It costs $249.95 right now—kind of expensive, which is a turn off for people who are simply looking for a fitness tracker to help them keep going and monitor their daily activities. But if you can afford it, I don’t see why you shouldn’t give it a try.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Fitbit Surge review.
2. Withings Activité Pop, a time and activity tracking watch by Withings
If you are fashion conscious and want a serious sleek and elegant fitness tracker, you’ve found it—the Withings Activité Pop will probably be your BFF.
When comparing this to other fitness trackers, we chose it as number two because we believe that no other fitness tracker or even any smartwatch beats the Activité Pop when it comes to hardware design.
When you wear the Withings Activité Pop, no one will know whether you’re wearing a fitness tracker or a designer watch. If that’s not an attractive feature on its own, I don’t know what is.
No matter how serious I am about my daily routines and workouts, I like to stay discreet. Of course, the Withings Activité Pop is not the perfect activity tracker in terms of accuracy and real-time data tracking. Plus, I don’t feel safe sleeping with it, because I’m kind of a ninja during my sleep (If you know what I mean), but compared to the bulky look of most fitness trackers on the market today, the Withings Activité Pop is the most discreet and attractive. It has a luxury look that makes you feel like a real boss.
If you are a serious athlete, a hard runner, tech conscious and just don’t care too much about the look of your fitness tracker, then the Fitbit Surge or the Garmin Vivosmart are your best options. However, anyone who wants an activity tracker that looks good—and that makes them look good—will find that the Activité Pop is the way to go.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Withings Activité pop review.
1. Jawbone UP24, A smart activity and fitness tracker by Jawbone
My number-one pick is the famous Jawbone UP24. This enjoyable light, simple and easy-to-use fitness tracker does it all, and I mean all. It simplifies anything you know about tracking your daily activities, sleep and calories. It also syncs with your smartphone (iPhone or Android).
The Jawbone UP24 is a revolutionary fitness tracker that lets you do more without breaking the bank. It’s fast, and its real-time synching feature makes it the best fitness tracker to date.
The UP24 is fashionable, light and comfortable to wear all day long. The accurate activity and sleep tracking data doesn’t compare to any of the other fitness trackers.
Some might dislike the Jawbone UP24 because it doesn’t have a display like other fitness trackers, but if that’s not a turn off for you, I don’t see why you should get anything other than this bad boy.
To find out more on how it works and the best place to buy it, here’s a full Jawbone UP24 review.