Best Fitness Tracker for Android 2016
If you’re an Apple user, there are some great fitness trackers designed specifically for your platform. But what about if you’re an Android user? While some iOS operating systems will not work on Android, there are some fantastic options out there that will work on both platforms. In this article, we’ll review 2016’s best fitness trackers for Android.
Best GPS Tracker For Android
The Polar M400 is a fitness tracker that really focuses on the fitness side of things. The strap is made from a silicone material with a metal buckle. It feels very strong yet feels lightweight and comfortable on the wrist. There is an attractive curved rectangular look to the face. It features large, easy to read digits on a bright display. Unlike the FitBit Surge, the watch doesn’t protrude off the arm too much. It is very sleek and slimline.
The battery life of the M400 is an incredible 20 days. This is more than double the energy you’ll get from most competing products. However, when you switch the watch to GPS mode, it will only last for about three hours. You can pair the M400 with the Polar H7 chest strap heart rate monitor. This will greatly improve the accuracy of the recording of your fitness data. The heart rate monitor is easy to strap on and comfortable to wear.
The watch has five buttons. On the left are the light and back buttons. On the right are buttons for Up, Start/ Enter and Down. The watch charges through a micro USB port on the back. The M400 is water resistant to 30 meters, so you can go swimming with the device on your wrist. It has built-in Bluetooth 4.0 capability.
The watch face has many customizable looks. The daily activity tracker will record your steps taken, calories burned, daily activity times, floors climbed and pulse rate. Different profiles for various sports and activities are available. On the watch, clicking the red button on the right will open an activity link. You can choose your activity option from here and then tap the red button to start.
For running, the Polar M400 will track your pace, average minute mile, distance, time, altitude, and elevation gained. When you are done with your workout, just hold the back button for 3 seconds to save everything. It will then be automatically downloaded to the Polar Flow app.
The M400 has both GPS and GLONASS to allow you to map your run or bike ride without having to carry your phone with you. GPS also allows you to track all of your training parameters much more accurately.
Overall, the M400 is a very user friendly, comfortable to wear watch that provides advanced tracking features to allow you to drill down on your workout analysis.
Are you shopping for the best activity tracker for weight loss? Don’t spend a dime until you have checked our in-depth reviews of the top weight loss trackers of 2016 here.
Best Android Calorie Counter
The Garmin VivoFit 2 can be purchased as a stand alone product or bundled with the Garmin chest strap heart rate monitor for an extra $$. However it will pair with any ANT + heart rate monitor. The VivoFit 2 strap has a very secure locking mechanism. It is a quarter turn system, so it will not fall off your wrist.
The device also has a back lit display which makes it much easier to see in all light conditions. It is far more customizable than previous versions of the VivoFit. It allows you to set a different group of settings depending on what you are doing.
The VivoFit 2 has a great battery life as well as very good water resistant properties. You will get about 12 months battery life due to the watch style replaceable batteries that are embedded in the device. The VivoFit is water resistant up to 50 meters. That means you can wear it in the shower or the pool with no adverse effects. The watch does have sleep tracking functionality. However, you do have to manually enter sleep mode. In addition, the sleep analysis on the app is not very detailed.
The VivoFit 2 will track your calories consumed as a result of all of the activities that it records. The most accurate calorie counting function takes place when you are also wearing the chest based heart rate monitor.
You do have to manually sync the Garmin VivoFit 2. You need to hold down the button until the word SNYC appears on the screen.
The Garmin VivoFit 2 is a big improvement on the first generation product, which Garmin are still selling at the same price point. We suggest going for VivoFit 2 and pairing it with a chest based heart rate monitor.
Best Android Sleep Tracker
JawBone claim that the UP3 is the world’s most advanced activity tracker. It features multi platform sensors, including an accelerometer, a bio-impedence sensor to measure heart rate, skin and ambient temperature readings and many more.
The JawBone 3 band is very smooth, being made from hypo allergenic TPU rubber. On the inside of the band are heart rate sensor nodes. The band has a very subtle, narrow, one size fits all look to it. It is comfortable to wear right out of the box. However the sensors under the strap do create a slightly firm contact point. For best heart rate reading, JawBone recommend a snug but not tight fit.
The clasp on the strap fits into a slidable latch. The clasp is held on by tension and may undo itself if brushed against your clothing or body.
The UP3 has very good touch sensitivity. You tap twice to activate the device. Once it blinks, you hold your next touch to switch between being awake and tracking your sleep. The device has a silent vibrate alarm to wake you up without bothering other people. The UP3 will also vibrate to provide any alerts that have been set up through the app and to provide you with a move alert if you have been inactive for too long.
The JawBone UP3 is splash, sweat and shower proof. You cannot swim with the device on your wrist.
JawBone provide one of the best activity apps available. The main page consists of two main tabs. The blue tab is for sleeping and the orange one is for steps. In terms of sleep, the app will detail the moments you were awake, the REM sleep, light sleep and deep sleep. Sound sleep is also recorded, which is when your body is very still through the night. As well as movement, the heart rate monitor also indicates the different levels of your sleep.
Resting heart rate is the best indicator of overall health. The resting heart rate is taken right before you get up, before any stress is introduced to your heart.
The steps analysis provides you with an easy to read bar graph up top and numeric details along the bottom. Over a period of time, as you wear the band, it will learn your sleep patterns, along with your daily activity pattern so that the more you log in your activity and food intake, the more the band will create a unique profile for you. It will usually take about three weeks before the band has enough data to start recognizing your habits. When it does, the Smart Coach feature will kick into play. In the beginning, the app will give you generic pointers. However, after some time of collecting, it will provide you specific guidelines and advice.
As an example of how the Smart Coach feature works, if you are not getting enough REM sleep, it might advise taking a night time shower to help to cool your core body temperature down and in turn help your body create a signal to become drowsy. It’s the same thing with food logging. The app will suggest the foods that you need to eat after seeing your overall food eating habits. So, over time, Smart Coach will learn all about you and give you the personalized feedback you need to make positive changes.
Food logging is done from the home page of the app. As well as selecting from a huge range of foods and beverages, you can also input your mood and weight. You can also manually input your sleep if you were to ever forget to put your band into sleep mode. You can scan your food packages or manually type them in. Once you have done so, a food score will come up on the home page. You will then get a total breakdown of your fiber, calories, fats, sugars and proteins.
The JawBone UP3 will give you around 7 days of battery life. A stopwatch feature allows you to time your workouts manually. In terms of a sleep alarm, the band can be set to wake you up at the most optimal point in your natural sleep cycle, so you wake up feeling refreshed and rested.
Overall Best Activity Tracker for Android
The VivoSmart HR is the second generation VivoSmart. It is water resistant down to 50 meters. The battery life is around 5 days. If you have the heart rate sensor turned, off, however you will get better battery life. The device has Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility. It will sync your data as soon as you open up the app.
The display on the VivoSmart HR is big and comfortable to read from. It has good visibility in all conditions, and it does have a back light. The display is touch screen, which is how you navigate between the software. You can adjust the orientation of the screen from horizontal to vertical. There is a single physical button on the side of the unit. You use it to get into the settings and to start your workout.
In contrast to previous Garmin fitness trackers, the VivoSmart HR has gone for more of a traditional watch style strap locking mechanism. The band is also very soft and easy on the wrist. On the underside of the device is the optical heart rate sensor. Garmin call this feature ‘Elevate’. Elevate will provide you with very accurate heart rate monitoring when running and cycling. But the heart rate sensor does not do a good job when it comes to weight lifting and crossfit.
Similar to the FitBit Charge HR, the heart rate sensor on the VivoSmart HR is running 24 / 7. It will be cataloging your heart rate data and storing it within the Garmin Connect Application.
The VivoSmart HR is an activity and sleep tracker, complete with a heart rate monitor. It will also act as both a workout tracker and as a Smart device. In terms of being an activity tracker, it logs your 24/ 7 activity, including steps, calories and distance. It will also record your floors climbed and intensity minutes.
Garmin has a feature called ‘auto goal’. It will automatically adjust your daily steps goal based on your most recent activity level. That way your goal is always a stretch, but it is always within your reach. You also get move reminders for when it’s time to get active. A move bar on the display gets larger the more lazy you are. A single daily alarm can be adjusted on the mobile app. It automatically tracks your sleep and will sync this information as well as all the rest of your activity information to the Garmin Connect app.
As a workout tracker the VivoFit HR is mainly designed for running and cycling. The internal accelerometer is very good at estimating the distance traveled during your run.
The VivoSmart HR is also a Smart device. It will display all of your phone notifications. You can also control the Garmin Active camera from the device. It also has a ‘find my phone’ feature and a music control feature.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a fitness tracker for your Android device. Our review selections allow you to cut through the pack and direct you to the very best activity tracker for Android to meet your specific requirements. We have found that the best overall fitness monitor for Android is the VivoSmart HR by Garmin. The VivoFit 2 will give you the best calorie counter, while your best bet for a sleep tracker in the JawBone UP 3. If you want the GPS tracker for Android, you can’t go past the Polar 400.