Fitness trackers and smartwatches make it possible to learn about your activity, sleep or eating habits with nothing but a swift glance at a smartphone or your wrist.
Our test covers fitness bands and smartwatches that work with iOS and Android smartphones. Our expert testers give each tracker and watch a thorough workout to help you find the models that:
Our Recommended list will help you quickly see which models come out on top.
Some models in our test include a heart rate monitor. We tested these against an ECG machine at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney and found that accuracy was mixed (though they are improving). See the summary of our findings.
List of brands we tested in this review.
Recommended retail price at time of purchase.
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CHOICE recommends fitness trackers with a score of 80% and above. You may also want to consider models with a score above 70% if you can find them for a good price or if they have features you particularly want.
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Most of the products on test have fitness as the main design focus. However smartwatches also deliver much of the functionality of a fitness tracker with additional features and functions such as live notifications, the ability to accept a mobile call and support for third party apps.
We set up each fitness tracker on Android, iOS and Windows where available and score how easy they are to set up and wear, and how well they track information via the band and via the related app.
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We use a panel of six people (3 men and 3 women) and ge them to try on each fitness tracker. They rate how easy it is to put on and take off the band, how easy it is to adjust to get the best fit, and how comfortable the band is to use and wear daily. The scores are then averaged.
We measure how accurately each fitness tracker measures steps. Accuracy depends on what you put in as your height, weight and, in some cases, pace length, and the technology used by the fitness tracker.
Most trackers can eliminate the need for a standalone watch as they present the time on your wrist.
Built-in GPS. Some models also include GLONASS (the Russian version of GPS). Models that support GPS and GLONASS should deliver the fastest position identification.
Whether or not the device works via Android, the smartphone operating system. The Fitbits featured support a wide variety of Android devices, but not all of them. There's a comprehensive list of the supported phones on the company's website.
Whether or not the device works via iOS, the Apple smartphone operating system.
Motivational points in your training regime, anything from walking around the block to hitting 10km in a week. Models vary between supplying preset goals and allowing you to customise your milestones.
Heart rate monitors are a useful barometer of effort for some people and can act as a way to measure your fitness regime more precisely.
While fitness tracking is the main purpose for these devices, notification of a text or phone call coming in from your smartphone can be very handy.
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.