10 Best Reviewed

Best Activity Tracker Reviews 2020

My hope is that this information will help you find the best activity tracker suitable for monitoring your daily activities. Activity trackers come in many different forms and have many different features.  This information should help define these differences so you can make an informed buying decision.

What does an Activity Tracker do?

An Activity Tracker is a device that monitors a wide variety of activities including things like the number of steps you’ve taken, how many calories you’ve burned, heart rate, and even sleep-related metrics.

Most activity trackers (either through a wired connection or a wireless Bluetooth connection) take all of the data and extract it into activity monitoring software.

This enables you to see how you are progressing over time, making it easier for you to make adjustments in your exercise, eating and sleeping habits.

Note: Every activity tracker has a different feature set, so make sure the one you buy addresses your particular needs.

Why use an Activity Tracker?

There is not just one single reason to use an activity tracker. That’s the beauty of the device.

Most collect a wide range of measures that you can monitor allowing you to pick and choose those that are most important to your goals and objectives.

By closely monitoring your progress you can make positive lifestyle changes that will benefit your long term health and well being.

If you have some specific athletic goals you wish to meet, certain activity trackers are designed for that purpose as well (for example, some are suitable to wear while swimming or in inclement weather).

Another great thing about certain activity trackers is they are quite unobtrusive. This is a great example of an activity tracker that looks almost like a fashion accessory.

My point is there aren’t many reasons not to use one since they come in so many shapes, sizes, and configurations.

As we’ve become more conscious of our health, activity trackers are becoming a must-have device for supporting this need.

Name
Primary Features
Price
Rating
1 – 5
UP by Jawbonetotal hours, light versus deep, length of time to fall asleep, steps, distance, calories burned, time spent active versus idle$$$3
Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity TrackerTracks steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes,
how long and well you sleep
$$$3.5
Fitbit One WirelessActivity & Sleep Tracking + auto sync to device with bluetooth$$$4.5
Misfit Shine Activity MonitorCalculates steps and estimates calories burned and distance travelled Track activities such as cycling, swimming, soccer, tennis, and basketball, not just walking and running Track how much and how well (light/deep) you slept$$$3.3
Bowflex Boost Activity TrackerKeeps track of your activities (calories, steps, distance traveled) and sleep$$2
Fitbit ForceTrack steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed, active minutes and the time throughout the day. Force also monitors your sleep.$$$$3
Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity TrackerTracks steps, distance and calories burned.
Syncs automatically to your computer or select bluetooth 4.0 smartphones or tablets
$$4.5
Polar Loop Activity TrackerShows daily activity, calories burned, steps taken, time of day and activity feedback on 85 LED display – waterproof for swimming$$$3.5
Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom<Track your time, distance, pace or speed, beats per minute (BPM) heart rate (with optional HRM sensor sold separately by Polar) and calories burned; view your mapped route with pace data/changes in elevation on Nikeplus.com$$$3.5
SmartHealth LifeTrak Core C200Integrates ECG accurate HEART RATE into Calorie Calculation CALORIE calculation is not based solely on the motion of the accelerometer$$4
Basis Health TrackerUses multiple sensors, including an Optical Blood Flow Sensor that captures continuous heart rate on your wrist 24/7$$$$3
Garmin Forerunner 610 Touchscreen GPS WatchCustomizable vibration alerts for time, distance, calories, heart rate, or cadence; heart rate zone training with included monitor$$$$3.5

How do Activity Trackers work?

Activity trackers use accelerometer technology to “detect” the type of activity you are involved in. Essentially, the activity tracker can determine, when you are walking, running, sleeping, etc. because the type of movement you are involved in is read and decoded by the activity tracker’s accelerometer. If you are interested in the nitty-gritty of the supporting technology I suggest you read this.

Many activity trackers feature built-in altimeters which allow them to measure elevation gain through various activities such as stair climbing.

“Smart” Activity Trackers help you set goals

Some activity trackers analyze your activity over time and assist you with setting attainable goals. For example, the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band is an activity tracker that can monitor the average number of steps you take over time and then automatically set goals for you. This is helpful when you’ve never carefully tracked your activity in the past and need some help with where to start. You may have a good feel for the amount of time you are active, but not the details. That’s where a “smart” activity tracker can help you get started.

Look for the Unique Activity Tracker Features

As you search for an activity tracker, you’ll see many that share some of the same functionality. Instead of keying in on the similar features, look for the features that make them unique. Each activity tracker has some characteristic(s) be it in form or function that makes them different than all the rest. For example, the Basis Activity Tracker has the functionality to measure skin temperature and perspiration, features other units don’t have. By keying in on those special/unique features you can better decide on which activity tracker is the best for you.

Why the companion app of your Activity tracker is so important

It’s important to remember that the activity tracker is half of the equation. The companion app or cloud service that your activity tracker uses to display your activity metrics is almost as important. Before you buy your activity tracker, you’ll want to make sure that you have a device that works with the companion app. For example, many of the companion apps work with Android or iOS devices but not Windows.

There are no standards for activity tracker companion apps, so the features and usability of these apps will differ from tracker to tracker. Here are screenshots from some of the most popular activity trackers:

  • Jawbone UP24 app
  • Nike Fuel app
  • Basis app
  • Withings app
  • Fitbit Force app
  • Misfit Shine app

5 Best Activity Tracker Reviews

The following activity trackers are the highest rated models. I define “highest-rated” by those having a very significant amount of first-person feedback and a 3 out of 5 ratings or better from Amazon.com buyers.

1. Jawbone UP24 Review

Jawbone UP24
Jawbone UP24

What I really love about the UP24 activity tracker by Jawbone (besides all of the great features) is that it looks like something you can where anywhere.  In fact, it almost looks more like a bracelet than something to monitor your activity. This means you can inconspicuously where the UP24 anywhere… even if you are in a formal working environment. The big difference between the UP24 and the earlier model (called just UP) is the newer UP24  sends activity data via Bluetooth and is continually connected sending real-time data.  This means anytime you open the UP24′s monitoring application, you are seeing your latest data.

The UP24′s new app uses what they call an “insight engine.” The purpose of the insight engine is to connect disparate activity data types to help you to discover patterns and connections between your activities.

The UP24 is designed to be comfortable because the more you where you Jawbone UP24 the more accurately it can track and record all of your activities… including sleep.

Here are additional Jawbone UP24 specifications:

  • Wireless syncing for in-the-moment notifications and personalized insights to keep you moving forward towards your sleep and activity goals
  • Track Sleep including total hours, time to fall asleep, number of wake ups
  • Track Activity including steps, distance, calories burned, active vs. idle time
  • Log what you eat and drink and track nutritional info by taking a photo, scanning a barcode, or searching the UP app database
  • Smart Alarm and Power Nap features wake you at the time that leaves you feeling refreshed

Check Price on Amazon


2. Fitbit Force Review

Fitbit Force
Fitbit Force

The Fitbit Force Activity Tracker is a sleek full-featured offering.  I’m particular to designs that are sleek and fashionable so you can where it every day regardless of what you are doing.  That way you are continuously tracking your activity to get the most out of the tracker.

The Fitbit Force is wireless. It syncs to your PC or Mac using Bluetooth 4.0 technology, delivering real time stats to your device.

The Fitbit Force uses a MEMS 3-axis accelerometer.  This accelerometer measures your motion patterns so you can determine your calories burned, stairs climbed, distance traveled, steps taken, and sleep quality. The altimeter also measures floors climbed. The Force also contains a cylindrical vibration motor, which allows it to vibrate when alarms are set to go off.

Additional specs:

  • Tracks steps, distance, calories burned, stairs climbed, and active minutes
  • Monitor how long and how well you sleep
  • Wake up with a silent, vibrating alarm (that won’t disturb your partner)
  • Get instant access to your stats with a real-time digital OLED display
  • Sync stats automatically to your computer and leading smartphones
  • The Fitbit Force will run a minimum of seven days between charges

Check Price on Amazon


3. Polar Loop Activity Tracker Review

Polar Loop Activity Tracker
Polar Loop Activity Tracker

The Polar Loop isn’t quite as sleek as the Jawbone UP or Fitbit Force, so some may be less likely to wear it all day.  I guess I wouldn’t call it a “stealth” activity tracker.  The Polar Loop Activity Tracker offers something called “Smart Coaching.”  The Smart Coaching features are:

Activity Guide

The Activity Guide will help you gauge how active you’ve been during the day including how much more additional activity you need to add to meet certain physical activity goals.  It will actually suggest additional activities you could engage in (walk, run, etc.) and the length of time you’d need to do them for.

Activity Benefit

Activity Benefit tracks all of your activities during the day.  You can then monitor these for a day, week, or month-long time frames.  You can review how you are doing from your mobile device or the web.

EnergyPointer

EnergyPointer helps you understand which activities you should engage in to meet your fitness goals faster.

Smart Calories

Smart Calories calculates the number of calories expended during a training session based on your weight, height, age, gender, your individual maximum heart rate (HRMAX) and how hard you’re training.  It claims to be the most accurate calorie tracker on the market.

Polar Loop Activity Tracker Specifications:

  • Worn on your wrist, tracks your activity 24/7 and provides guidance and motivation to reach your activity goals
  • Shows daily activity, calories burned, steps taken, time of day and activity feedback on 85 LED display; Plus monitors sleep patterns
  • Automatically syncs to free Polar Flow app and training community via Bluetooth Smart. For best results use updated Flow app version 1.0.1.
  • Custom fit bracelet is waterproof for swimming and has rechargeable battery; Battery life 5 days in continuous use
  • Provides accurate heart rate with Polar H6 or H7 Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensor accessory (not included, sold separately)

Check Price on Amazon


4. Nike+ FuelBand Review

Nike+ FuelBand
Nike+ FuelBand

I wanted to make sure and share an activity tracker for those who like to swim, fish, ski, hike, camp or participate in activities that would expose your activity tracker to potential water immersion.  Enter the waterproof Nike+ FuelBand SE, perfect for inclement weather.  Nike claims the FuelBand can be submerged as deep as 210 feet.

Additional specs for the Nike FuelBand SE:

  • Completely waterproof down to 210 Feet
  • LED display shows real-time progress & current time, track NikeFuel, calories burned & steps taken
  • Gain better insight with new ‘Win the Hour’ challenge & ‘Nike Sessions’
  • Rechargeable battery life of 4 days, syncs wirelessly with real-time updates via Bluetooth 4.0 (iOS 6.1 and higher)

What exactly is “NikeFuel?”

You may have noticed that this activity monitor tracks “NikeFuel.”  NikeFuel is a unit of measurement defined by Nike that acts as a baseline for measuring all types of activities.  This means that the technology of the Nike Fuel activity tracker is able to essentially measure any activity you are involved in – no matter if it’s walking, climbing stairs, running, etc.

Check Price on Amazon


5. Misfit Shine Review

Misfit Shine
Misfit Shine

An Activity Tracker is a device that monitors a wide variety of activities including things like the number of steps you’ve taken, how many calories you’ve burned, heart rate, and even sleep-related metrics.

Most activity trackers (either through a wired connection or a wireless Bluetooth connection) take all of the data and extract it into activity monitoring software.

This enables you to see how you are progressing over time, making it easier for you to make adjustments in your exercise, eating and sleeping habits.

Note: Every activity tracker has a different feature set, so make sure the one you buy addresses your particular needs.

Check Price on Amazon


Conclusion

I really hope this information helps you find the best activity tracker for you.  If you know of an activity tracker you’d like me to review or you have any question, please comment or contact me at contact AT 10bestreviewed DOT com (replace AT with @ and DOT with .)