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The Fitness Tracker Buying Guide

The Fitness Tracker Buying Guide

By Lisa Selvaggio

A fitness tracker can be a handy tool that you can use to stay on top of your heart rate, your physical activity, and more on a day-to-day basis. But which one should you choose, especially since there are so many options on the market?

Smartwatch or Fitness Tracker?

Although they might appear to be the same thing at first, there are some differences between smartwatches and fitness trackers.

Put simply, a fitness tracker will focus on things related to your health, like your heart rate, the number of steps that you take in a day, how many hours you sleep at night, and how many calories you burn during a workout.

On the other hand, a smartwatch can give you information to help you on your fitness journey, while also helping you with other daily tasks. These handy devices can let you know when a text message comes in, and you can also take advantage of various apps to do everything from check the news and weather, to play music and games.

It’s up to you to decide how much you want your wearable device to do. From there, you can shop either for a fitness tracker or a smartwatch that will give you what you need.

Some of the Main Features to Look for in a Fitness Tracker or Smartwatch

When shopping for a wearable device, consider your fitness goals, as doing so can help you narrow down your choices. You can also look at whether or not a smartwatch or fitness tracker you’re interested in boasts the following features:

  • Long battery life — No matter what you are planning on using your fitness tracker for, having a long battery life is always going to be beneficial because it means you won’t need to worry about recharging it all the time. The longer the battery life, the better, as there will be less downtime during which you won’t be able to track important data.

  • GPS — If you like to go hiking, biking, jogging, or even just walking, you might want to track how far you have traveled. In that case, a built-in GPS is a helpful feature. It can keep track of the route that you took so you can review it later on, and it can also come in handy when you are continually adding new routes to your routine.

  • Water resistance — If you want to be able to take your device into the water, such as during a workout in your pool, you’ll want it to be water resistant. Even if you just want to rest assured that your device won’t be damaged if it comes into contact with water, such as while jogging in the rain or taking a shower, water resistance is key. Just be sure to read the details regarding how long a device can be in the water, and how deep into the water it can go, before it’s no longer protected.

Our Top Recommendations

If you’re ready to shop for a fitness tracker or a smartwatch that will have a lot of the latest features, consider the following products:

  • 1. Fitbit Charge 4 — Looking for a fitness tracker? The Fitbit Charge 4 is packed with attractive features. These include a built-in GPS, the ability to get smartphone notifications, and water resistance to 50 meters. Beyond that, it boasts all-day activity tracking, so you can keep track of steps walked, floors climbed, number of minutes that you were active, and more. Plus, you can track your sleep, there are goal-based exercise modes to choose from, and you can keep an eye on your heart rate and blood oxygen.

  • 2. Garmin Fenix 6 — Would you prefer a smartwatch? The Garmin Fenix 6 is also loaded with features that you’re sure to use daily. It can track your heart rate, respiration rate, sleep, blood oxygen, and more. When it comes to fitness, it boasts animated workouts that range from cardio to Pilates, and you can track both indoor and outdoor activities. Plus, it has GPS, a compass, a thermometer, and an accelerometer built in, along with calendar, weather, music, and much more. Overall, it’s a rugged product designed for serious athletes and adventure seekers.

Which Fitness Tracker Will You Choose?

There are a lot of fitness trackers and smartwatches out there, and the two above are just a couple of our top picks when it comes to wearable devices. Once you find the one that has the features you want, it’ll be hard to go back to not using a device to track your stats and progress.


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