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Fitness tracker and smartwatch reviews

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Last updated: 30 November 2018

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.

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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:

  • are the most accurate for fitness tracking
  • help you to keep track of your heart rate, food intake and burned calories
  • are water-resistant and have GPS.

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.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Recommended retail price at time of purchase.

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Smartwatch

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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.

Test results

Ease of use score

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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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Comfort score

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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.

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Step count accuracy score

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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.

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Specifications

Digital clock

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Most trackers can eliminate the need for a standalone watch as they present the time on your wrist.

GPS

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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.

Android app

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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.

iOS app

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Whether or not the device works via iOS, the Apple smartphone operating system.

Features

Milestones

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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 monitor

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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.

Notifications

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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.

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Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Ease of use score
  • Comfort score
  • Step count accuracy score
  • Distance accuracy score
  • Resting heart rate accuracy
  • Active heart rate accuracy
  • Satisfaction
  • Reliability
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Price
  • Availability
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Type
  • Waterproof or resistant claims
  • Smartwatch
  • Notifications
  • Android app
  • iOS app
  • Windows app
  • Webpage tracker
  • Screen
  • Digital clock
  • Alarm
  • GPS
  • GLONASS
  • Floor counter
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Sleep tracker
  • Session tracker
  • Food tracker
  • Milestones
  • Shares results via social media
  • Weight (g)
  • Claimed battery life without GPS (days)
  • Bluetooth
  • Warranty (yrs)
  • Contact
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