Do you love running or working out? Are you diligent about knowing exactly how many steps you’ve taken in one day? Do you work a job where you sit around a lot and need some motivation to get moving? If one or all of these apply to you, then this list of the best wearables for fitness might be right for you.
For those who don’t know, fitness trackers usually look like watches or bracelets. They track your heart rate, the number of steps you take, your breathing rate, and a host of other things. There are usually apps that go along with them, and you can sync your health info to track our progress.
Here are the top five wearables for fitness that we think provide the most value for the price.
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Garmin Forerunner 45 ($129.99)
The Garmin Forerunner 45 is the most expensive device on the list, but for good reason. It comes with a bunch of features to help you optimize your workout. It has a built-in GPS so you’ll get a map of your route after you’re finished running. This also helps track your pace, distance, intervals, and heart rate.
You can hook up the Forerunner 45 to your phone so that while you’re out and about, you’ll get notified of emails or texts via a slight buzz on your wrist. No need to whip out your phone while you’re exercising! This device is also waterproof up to 50 meters, so if swimming is your thing, you can still track your workout in the water.
Fitbit Charge 4 ($139.95)
The Fitbit Charge 4 is slimmer and sleeker than the Garmin Forerunner 45. It has the same features: built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, phone syncing, and is waterproof as well. This is a great device if you don’t want one that resembles a digital watch. It’s less bulky and lightweight, making it easier for you to wear it all day and night.
While the Forerunner 45 also tracks your sleep, having a smaller device at night means you won’t notice it as much or accidentally bang yourself with it while sleeping, thus ruining your sleep score.
Amazfit Bip ($69.99)
The Amazfit Bip looks just like an Apple watch, except it is one powerful tool by itself! Like the Forerunner 45 and Charge 4, it has built-in GPS, is waterproof, tracks your steps, heart rate, phone notifications, and sleep patterns. It also boasts an impressive 40 days of charge instead of 6 or 7 days.
Be aware that for all the devices on this list, these long battery lifetimes only apply when the GPS isn’t turned on. With active GPS running in the background, battery life usually lasts about 12 hours for all devices.
Polar M200 ($116.99)
The Polar M200 is the bulkiest device on this list. It somewhat resembles a flatter and sleeker G SHOCK watch. For people who sit at a computer and type all day, this isn’t the most comfortable thing to be wearing while working. But at just over a hundred dollars, this tracker can do just about everything.
One great feature is the Running Index. This app gives you feedback on how your run is improving over time. It’s great for people training for marathons or other long-running events. In fact, some experts argue that the Run Program on this device means you can improve on your own and possible stop paying a trainer. That alone could save you hundreds of dollars.
Garmin Forerunner 35 ($119.14)
The Forerunner 35 is a great option for those who want to stick to the brand and get something that’s not as expensive. This device is a square watch, similar to the Amazfit Bip. But one of the biggest differences between the Forerunner 35 and the Forerunner 45 is the technology under the surface. The 35 is great for beginners to track the basics. The 45 is better for athletes really looking to delve deep into the numbers behind their workout. You can save 7 workouts with the 35, whereas the 45 holds about 200 workouts. The GPS on the 45 is also a lot better than the 35, using a wider set of satellites.
But, if you’re looking for the basics — heart rate, steps, and GPS — then the Forerunner 35 works just fine.