Best Wireless Fitness Tracker Review 2018
updated June 6, 2018
The wireless activity tracker has put the power of analysis into the hands of every fitness enthusiast. Now, rather than just doing exercise, we can track and pore over our body’s reaction to that exercise. We can graph our heart rate response, monitor our calories burned and body temperature. And, of course, we can know exactly how much exercise we have performed. All of this, and much more, can be achieved by simply wearing a wireless Bluetooth fitness bracelet.
Simply wearing a Bluetooth activity tracker will not, in itself make you fitter. But it can get you excited about and motivated to achieve specific daily exercise related goals. This could be the impetus that you need to fast track you toward attaining the physique and level of health that you have been striving for.
In this article, we will present you with the 10 best wireless activity trackers on the 1016 market. We will also present an overview of the top fitness tracker companies operating in the marketplace right now.
Top Wireless Activity Wristband Companies
There are new companies entering the wireless fitness technology space all the time. However, there are 5 key players who dominate the market. They are:
- Fit Bit
FitBit - FitBit are an American company operating out of San Francisco. Their first product, the FitBit tracker, was released in 2008. From 2012 onwards they released new products every 6-2 months. FitBit are the largest and most recognized player in the wearable fitness space.
Garmin - Garmin are an American multinational company operating out of Switzerland. They have a background in GPS technology. They manufacture a wide range of GPS based technology, which includes marine, automotive and fish finding GPS. A key feature of Garmin wearable fitness technology is its GPS capability. Their most popular offerings are the Garmin VivoMove, VivoFit and VivoSmart.
JawBone - JawBone is an American company operating out of San Francisco, California. In addition to selling wearable fitness technology, JawBone also manufacture and sell wireless speakers, Bluetooth headsets and NoiseAssassin technology. Their current wearable tech line-up revolves around the UP range (UP, UP 3, UP 4, UP 24, UP Move). The company have more than 250 patents relating to the UP range of fitness trackers.
Polar - Polar are the most established player in the wearable fitness space, having produced fitness trackers since 1977. Their first product was a heart rate monitor. The company is based in Kempele, Finland. They operate in 80 countries and have more than 12000 employees. Their Get Active range is designed for first time exercisers. Their Maximize Performance range is geared towards the serious athlete and incorporates GPS monitoring. As well as fitness and activity tracking, Polar also produce gadgets for equine training. Their Club Solutions range of fitness gadgets are marketed directly to health and fitness companies.
MisFit - MisFit is an American company that has been operating since 2011. MisFit have recently been purchased by Fossil for $260 million. Their focus is on producing elegant, sleek designed devices that can be equally worn in the gym and at the nightclub. They have a range of fitness devices that track steps, calories and sleep.
For an in depth look at the best offering that tech giant Samsung have brought to the wireless activity tracker market - the Samsung GearFit - check out our in depth review here.
Wireless Activity Tracker Reviews
The previous model to the FitBit Charge HR was recalled due to giving skin irritation to users. The Charge doesn’t have that problem. Instead it provides one of the best step and calorie counters available. The Charge comes in two variations. Both have an identical display but the Charge HR comes with a built-in heart rate monitor. This comes at an increased price, but it is well worth it if you are after a more complete picture of your health.
The FitBit Charge HR has a monochrome OLED display. The display is small but easy to read. As well as measuring your steps taken, calories consumed and distance traveled, the Charge HR includes an altimeter to allow it to track the floors you climb. The Charge HR is water resistant to 10 meters and will give around 5 days of life before you need to recharge the battery.
A cool feature of the Charge HR is its SmartTrack feature which will automatically identify the activity type you are engaged in and track your progress accordingly.
The first generation of the Microsoft band was famously ugly and uncomfortable. However, this new and improved version is a massive step up for the tech giant. Technically, the Band 2 is very competent. It is packed with 11 sensors, making it easily the most versatile device on the market. It is integrated with Windows 10 devices. Users will also be able to pair to both Android and iOS phones to receive call notifications, texts and emails.
The biggest selling point of the Garmin VivoFit 2 is the huge battery life, which lasts an impressive 12 months. The VivoSmart offers more functionality than the VivoFit. It controls caller ID, phone notifications and email alerts. The display allows you to clearly read the data on it in all light conditions. However, it does not come with a back light, so you won’t be able to read it in the dark.
The Garmin VivoFit 2 will automatically determine your levels of activity and then set goals for you that are based around what you are, and are not doing. An inactivity bar provides you with a prompt when you have been sitting around for too long. ANT Plus technology allows you to pair the VivoFit with a chest based heart rate monitor.
The Surge is the most powerful FitBit to date, offering GPS tracking of your runs and cycles, real time workout stats and GPS heart heart monitoring. As such, it straddles the line between GPS running watch and the more casual fitness tracker. It may not be the most attractive wearable, but the stepped up specs and touch screen make it the most fitness focused device on our top ten list.
The Surge will provide you with continuous heart rate monitoring. You also get automatic sleep monitoring, so you don’t have to manually input it each night. The sleep tracking of the Surge is superior to any other FitBit product, and pairs with the FitBit app, which will provide you with very detailed sleep analysis.
The Surge has excellent battery life.
In direct opposition to the FitBit Surge, JawBone are in the market of lifestyle tracking. This consists of monitoring your daily routines and activity and not necessarily specific workouts. The stylish UP2 and UP3 are comfortable devices you’d be happy to wear 24/7. The bands are slim, yet still manage to pack in advanced sensors. The UP3 includes a heart rate monitor.
An innovative feature of the UP2 and UP3 is JawBone’s Smart Coach feature. It will compare your actual results to your goals and give you an analysis and will provide you with extra information about your activity.
The Withings Pop is a stylish, French designed watch with fitness tracking built in. It allows you to measure your progress toward your daily step goal. It has a smart, modern design and has a very good app. The Pop is water proof and will monitor your swim activity. For a premium watch you can opt for their metal and glass version. The plastic band model, however, has almost identical functionality for less than half the cost.
The Withings Activity Pop has great battery life. This wireless activity tracker is one of the most accurate trackers of your steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned that is out there.
The MOOV Now is the best overall device for training. This device is small, lightweight and super simple to operate. In addition to providing an all day activity and fitness tracker it will give very detailed workout analytics.
The device is waterproof, allowing you to swim with the MOOV on your wrist. It tracks your running, cycling, swimming, kickboxing and body weight workouts, guiding your through each of them.
Moov doesn’t just track your workouts; it provides specific and timely feedback. The Moov has an exceptional price point of such a great device.
The Moov Now has a very good coaching feature. The Moov app features a range of workouts that coach you through each move. There’s a ‘Get toned in under 10 minutes’ workout. The device will guide you through with video clips of each exercise. It will even monitor your performance and give you feedback on how you went. You are able to progress through more than a hundred levels of activity to give you the ultimate in progressive resistance.
The Moov coaching feature will also coach you through your running, cycling, swimming and boxing workouts. When you run and cycle, the device will need to be strapped to your ankle. The Moov will provide you with voice prompts giving you training advice.
The MOOV has very good battery life, giving you up to 6 months charge before the watch type battery has to be replaced.
The Polar A360 has a built-in optical heart rate sensor. You can also connect an external Bluetooth chest heart rate monitor. No other activity tracker will allow you to do this. Polar lets you track all sorts of workouts, from strength training to running and cycling.
An inactivity alert will vibrate when you have been sitting around for too long. There is also a proprietary built optical heart rate sensor on the back side of the watch that gives you an accurate reading of your heart rate. The heart rate function will allow you to set and work within specific heart rate zones. You can also pair the A360 with Polar’s H7 chest based heart rate monitor for an even more accurate heart rate reading.
The MisFit Shine 2 is the best fitness tracker in terms of style. The Shine 2 is incredibly stylish and comes with plenty of accessory options. It comes in a number of colors and can be worn in any situation. It is affordable, has great battery life and has recently got a number of smart features added to it.
The Shine 2 does not have a conventional display monitor. Instead it has 12 LED lights around its circumference that light up in different patterns. The lights on the Shine 2 will present in different colors to tell you your progress toward your goals. It is constructed of aircraft grade aluminum along with glass reinforced polycarbonate.
The Shine 2 has a more powerful central processing unit that its predecessor. Other improvements are a vibrating alarm and Smartphone notifications. The Shine 2 is water resistant up to 50 meters, allowing you to wear it in the water.
The Jawbone UP Move is the best budget activity tracker in the current market. It is a super cheap tracker that is perfect for newcomers to fitness technology. JawBone have recently launched a number of new accessories for this product line. This enables you to dress it up if you want to. The UP move is a basic device, but it has everything you need for activity tracking. The JawBone app is very solid.
As well as being worn on your wrist, the JawBone Up Move can also be worn as a clip on device. It syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth to Android and iOS.
The wireless activity tracker market is expanding exponentially. By using our top 10 wireless activity tracker reviews as your guide, you’ll be able to fast track your way to the very best in the industry.