The holidays are here, which means the new year is coming up soon as well. Many people use the new year to resolve to live more healthily or to exercise more, and there are some gadgets to help with those goals.
There are a number of mobile fitness trackers available now. They all track motion and steps taken in one form or another, and almost all have social hooks to help users see their friends’ activity so they can motivate each other. Each device has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a collection of four of the top devices in the category.
Unfortunately for Android users, these devices are all iPhone-only, though they will hopefully support other platforms eventually.
The Nike+ FuelBand fits around a users wrist and acts as a fitness tracker, pedometer, and watch. The app connects to a free iPhone app via Bluetooth, but it also shows all of the relevant information, so Android users can use it as well. Android users will want to sync the device to a computer, however, to upload their data if they want to compete with their Facebook friends.
The FuelBand tracks fitness using what Nike calls Fuel Points. Nike uses a unique algorithm to determine the number of Fuel Points the user gains each day, and nobody outside of Nike is exactly sure what Fuel Points represent. The FuelBand also tracks steps, but those are often inaccurate because users wear the device on a wrist and not and ankle.
The Nike+ FuelBand is available now for $149.99.
The LarkLife is the new fitness tracker from the company that made the Lark sleep tracker. The LarkLife can still track sleep for users, but it also tracks fitness during the day. Like the FuelBand, the LarkLife attaches to a bracelet to track motion. It records steps to track fitness, but the app does much more.
The LarkLife app also helps users track the food they eat (after the user tells the app what they ate) and reminds them to move when they’re sitting around for too long. LarkLife’s app acts as a life coach to encourage users to get out more and to eat more healthily.
The LarkLife only works with the iPhone and is available now for $149.99.
The FitBit One is the successor to the FitBit Ultra, and like the previous version it’s a pedometer that also tracks sleep and encourages users to live more healthily. Unlike other mobile fitness trackers the FitBit One is a small device that fits in a pocket or that attaches to a pair of pants via the included clip.
In GottaBeMobile’s review of the FitBit Zip we found that FitBit devices are typically more accurate at counting steps than bracelet trackers. More steps means more calories burned, which is important in helping to keep fit.
The FitBit One connects to the FitBit iPhone app via Bluetooth 4.0. The app also syncs to the FitBit Aria, a Wi-Fi scale that can help users track weight over time. Users need to buy the Aria separately, but its part of the wider ecosystem of devices that FitBit offers for users who want to live more healthily.
The FitBit One is available now for $99.95.
Jawbone’s new Jawbone Up is the second iteration of the mobile fitness tracker, but this version is more reliable that the last. The new Jawbone Up still only connects to the iPhone via the headphone port, but it has some unique features. Like other fitness trackers the Up will record steps, but it will also vibrate the remind users when they haven’t moved recently.
The Jawbone app helps track food intake as well. The app can scan the barcode of items, or users can input it themselves. Teh goal is to help users eat healthy in addition to exercise. Like other trackers the Up can also track sleep patterns. Unlike other devices it doesn’t need a special bracelet for night-time tracking, however, because it already is a bracelet.
The Jawbone Up is available now for $129.99.