A Look at the Hugest Differences Between Popular Fitness Trackers

A Look at the Hugest Differences Between Popular Fitness Trackers

Lately| it seems like no outfit is complete without a wearable fitness tracker. With sleek designs and bright colors| the latest and greatest in self-quantifying technology are making their presence known on arms everywhere. Interested in joining the fitness-tracking pack? We’ve rounded up some of the most popular fitness trackers u2014 including the Jawbone UP4| the Garmin Vivofit 2| and the Fitbit Charge HR u2014 to help you compare features and prices. Read on to find the right fit for you| then check out which trackers are the most accurate here!

| Fitbit Flex

The Fitbit Flex ($100) is a slim| minimalistic wristband. It tracks your activity level| sleep quality| calories burned| and distance traveled; you can program the lights on the band to indicate real-time progress on hitting your goals. The Flex also vibrates to wake you up and wirelessly syncs to automatically update your stats whenever it’s in close range of the included Bluetooth-enabled wireless dongle| which plugs into your computer’s USB port; you can also wirelessly sync to your iPhone| iPad 3| iPad Mini| or Samsung Galaxy. If you like the features of the Fitbit Flex but don’t want to wear a wristband| then try the Fitbit One or Zip.

Another FitBit Flex sibling| the FitBit Force (currently unavailable)| is a similar-looking tracker. However| in 2014 the Force was recalled due to an allergic reaction some users experienced when wearing the band. Like the Fitbit Flex| the Force tracks steps| calories| and distance as well as sleep stats; unlike the Flex| the Force also can gauge how many stairs you’ve climbed and elevation| and it features a display| as well. The water-resistant Force syncs wirelessly and automatically to your iOS or Android phone or computer| so you can view your stats on an app or browser. Since the current Force has been recalled| keep an eye out for the next-generation model of the band soon.

| Fitbit Charge

The Fitbit Charge ($130) is similar to the Fitbit Flex but with a larger display and caller ID info from your nearby smartphone. Like other Fitbits| it tracks your activity (steps| distance| and calories) and sleep patterns.

| Fitbit Charge HR

If you want heart rate monitoring| go for the tracks your pulse. Or| athletes and techies alike may want the Surge ($250)| a GPS watch and tracker in one. Check out more on the Charge| Charge HR| and Surge on POPSUGAR Tech.

| Garmin Vivofit

For a tracker you never have to take off| try the Garmin Vivofit ($100). Its battery lasts for over a year and is waterproof| meaning you can keep it on while you take a shower. The Vivofit tracks steps| distance| calories| and sleep and can also track workout details when paired with a heart-rate monitor (sold separately). An activity bar will show you whether you’ve been sitting for too long. The Vivofit syncs wirelessly with its free iOS or Android app as well as your computer.

| Garmin Vivofit 2

Released in early 2015| the color options for the Vivofit 2 here.

| Microsoft Band 2

The Microsoft Band’s features on POPSUGAR Tech.

| Striiv Fusion

Billed as a combination of smartwatch and fitness tracker| the Striiv Fusion ($80) tracks steps| calories| sleep| and more and features calling and text alerts| a vibrating alarm| meeting reminders| and weather reports. If you want a heart rate function| try the Striiv Fusion Bio ($100).

| Jawbone UP2

The redesigned Jawbone UP2 ($100) is a slimmer| strappier version of the Jawbone family. The difference? This one doesn’t track sleep or heart rate| like the UP3 and UP4 do. The battery lasts up to 10 days.

| Jawbone UP3

The UP3 ($180) is an update on its classic UP model. New in this model are advanced sleep and activity tracking capabilities| but the biggest update is the ability for the UP3 to record your resting heart rate using skin and temperature sensors on the tracker. The UP3 has up to seven days of battery life and is water resistant up to 10 meters.

| Jawbone UP4

The newest UP tracker| the Jawbone UP4 ($200) has the same capabilities as previous Jawbone models with the addition of heart rate monitoring and American Express tap-to-pay. The splashproof UP4 has an LED light notifiation system and a battery life that can last up to seven days.

| Jawbone UP Move

The UP Move ($50)| billed as Jawbone’s entry-level fitness tracker| tracks the basics: steps| exercise| calories| and sleep| just like the more expensive models. The difference? The UP Move is a clippable model that you can wear anywhere| although you can also purchase wrist straps for $15 each. The UP Move is available now for preorder in several colors| with the purple Grape Rose color available at Best Buy and the Jawbone website later this month.

| Mira

The Mira ($169) “”tracks only what’s important””: steps| calories| distance and elevation. Designed to be fashion-forward| the tracker has a battery life of up to five days and also features smart coaching and recommendations based on your daily habits over time.

| Misfit Shine

If you like your fitness trackers sleek and minimal| then the Misfit Shine ($70) may be for you. The Shine conceals its technology in a metallic orb (choose from four different colors) and tracks steps| calories| and sleep. It can also track activities (running| cycling| and swimming). The circular| waterproof Shine can be worn on your wrist| clipped to your clothing| or worn as a necklace| depending on which accessory you buy| and includes a watch battery that lasts about four months. The lights on the Shine can tell you how much progress you’ve made that day| but for more detailed information| you’ll need the free iOS or Android app; the Shine syncs with the app when you place it on your phone.

| Polar Loop

The waterproof Polar Loop ($110) tracks your steps and calories; after syncing via Bluetooth or USB cable| the iPhone-only app also features an Activity Guide that tells you specific things you can do to help you meet your daily goal (for example| going on a 20-minute walk). If you’re sitting down for a while| the app will also remind you to get moving. On the bracelet| the display shows the words “”Up|”” “”Walk|”” or “”Jog”” depending on your activity intensity; you can also sync a heart-rate sensor to the tracker to help you more accurately track your movement. The Polar Loop is available in black| blue| or purple.

| Polar Loop 2

The Polar Loop 2 ($120) has all the same features of the Polar Loop| with the addition of smart notifications for calls| messages| and calendar alerts| vibration alerts| and alarms.

| Bowflex Boost

The Bowflex Boost ($50) has all the same basic features of any fitness tracker but at a more affordable price. It tracks calories| steps| and distance as well as sleep stats| all of which sync wirelessly and automatically with its accompanying iPhone app (it’s not compatible with Android devices). There’s no display| but red| yellow| and green lights let you know whether you’ve hit your goals. For more details on the Bowflex Boost| read Self’s review here.

| BodyMedia Fit Link

The BodyMedia Fit Link (limited availability on Amazon) isn’t as sleekly designed as the other trackers| but it has staying power for two reasons: it’s simple| and it works. Wear the band on your upper arm throughout the day to track calories burned| exercise intensity| steps taken| and sleep quality. You can also keep track of everything you’re eating using the online weight management system. At the end of the day| upload your activity stats to see if you burned more calories than consumed. One big downside of this tracker is that after a free six-month membership| a $7-per-month subscription is required to access the data it collects. The BodyMedia syncs wirelessly with smartphones and also plugs into your Mac or PC to download and view data. BodyMedia was recently acquired by Jawbone| so expect its technology to pop up on the company’s sleeker design.

| Withings Pulse Ox

The lightweight Withings Pulse OX ($100) is a wrist tracker that also clips onto your clothing and measures steps| distance| elevation| calories| and sleep. When you run| the Pulse shows you how long and how far you’ve gone. It also measures heart rate and blood oxygen level with a single touch of your finger. Then| sync data wirelessly to your iOS or Android phone with the free Withings app. The Pulse has a battery life of about two weeks before needing to be recharged.

| Nike+ FuelBand SE

The Nike+ FuelBand SE (discontinued| but available at some sporting goods stores) includes a few extra features from the previous FuelBand. The FuelBand SE tracks calories| steps| and Nike Fuel points| but the new model now also tracks sleep. It also aims to improve calorie burn and Fuel point accuracy with a new feature that allows you to log different types of workout sessions (such as yoga or weight lifting). The water-resistant FuelBand SE syncs automatically with the iPhone app| so you don’t have to push a button to upload data as you do with the older model. Neither the FuelBand SE nor FuelBand is compatible with Android devices.

I Tested 7 Different Fitness Trackers – at the Same Time

I Tested 7 Different Fitness Trackers u2014 at the Same Time

Can’t decide which tracker you should buy? A most popular fitness trackers here.

Search for “fitness trackers”” on Amazon.com| and you’ll get| oh| 22|845 results. Picking the one you want to spend your hard-earned cash on can seem like a pretty daunting task.

Take a deep breath. In the name of helping you avoid fitness-tracker-buyers’ remorse| I chose seven popular options and reviewed every aspect of them I could: I read the instruction manuals| sure| but I also wore the different models side-by-side to see what each clocked 100 steps at and how far each recorded a mile as being. I paid close attention to how user-friendly each one was| checked how accurate the heart-rate monitors were| and also tested the sleep functionality of the bands that promise to log your Zs. Here’s what I found.

More from Women’s Health:

| The Trackers

For the purposes of this story| I tried to stick to true fitness trackers (as opposed to running watches or other fitness-related devices you can wear on your wrist) with two big exceptions: the Apple watch and the Moto 360| one of several Android Wear options on the market. (I had to see if all the buzz is deserved because. . . journalism.) All of the options have the capability to track steps| distance| and calories burned u2014 and some came with other features| too. Hereu2019s a quick rundown of what you can expect from each watch.

Setup was pretty seamless with most of the devices with one big exception: I couldnu2019t get the Withings Activitu00e9 POP to sync with the phone. Granted| the watch has great reviews on Amazon.com (four out of five stars| on average| from 271 customer reviews) so my experience may be an anomaly. But while I had one false alarm when the hands on the watch started moving and Iu2019d thought I succeeded| I couldnu2019t ever manage to sync successfully. An interesting thing about this watch| though| is that youu2019re instructed to keep your smartphone nearby at all times u2014 it seems like your phone is what actually does all of the tracking and it just communicates that information to your watch to control where the hands are. So I decided to keep the watch (and coinciding app) in the test.

| Counting Steps

Pedometer technology has been around for a while| so I wasnu2019t surprised to find that all of the watches were pretty accurate when it came to logging the 100 steps I took during my test run.

If steps are your main priority| youu2019d be pretty good with any of these options.

Each fitness tracker logged 100 steps as:

Pivotal Living 95 steps
Misfit Shine 100 steps
Withings Activitu00e9 POP 101 steps
Apple Watch 102 steps
Jawbone UP 3 102 steps
Fitbit Charge HR 103 steps
Moto 360 107 steps

| Logging Distance

Hereu2019s where things got interesting. None of these bands have the built-in GPS technology Iu2019d recommend looking for if youu2019re training for a race and want to rely on a watch during your runs. Still| they all offer estimates of how far youu2019ve goneu2014so I hit the track to do four laps and see what each of the devices measured a mile as being.

This wasnu2019t as easy as it might seem. Since you canu2019t zero out your distance for the day on any of these trackers to conduct a test like this| I had to drag my boyfriend out to the track with me| read off all of the starting distances to him to write down in a notebook| run a mile| then (without moving at all)| read off all of the ending distances to him (thanks| Matt!).

I also tested the Apple Watch and the Moto 360 twice: once without keeping my phone nearby to see how they did without any help from a 4G connection and once with my iPhone in-hand. Hereu2019s how the fitness trackers did:

Each fitness tracker logged a mile as:

Withings Activitu00e9 POP 0.02 miles*
Moto 360 0.74 miles
Fitbit Charge HR 0.83 miles
Apple Watch 0.97 miles
Pivotal Living 0.99 miles
Jawbone UP 3 1.1 miles
Misfit Shine 1.1 miles

*This corroborates my theory that the watch’s app uses your smartphone’s built-in technology since I ran without my phone during this mile.

Turns out| the Apple Watch and the Moto 360 donu2019t actually appear to use your phoneu2019s GPS unless you turn on an app specifically designed to track your run. (Womp womp.) Since the Moto 360 doesnu2019t have a built-in app to do this (although this will change when the Moto 360 Sport is introduced with GPS technology)| its reading came out virtually identical during my second mile: 0.73. When I used the Apple Watchu2019s u201cWorkoutu201d app| its reading actually came out slightly less accurate than the first time around: 1.06. *Shrugs*

| Sleep Tracking

You didnu2019t think I stopped with the steps and distance| did you? Nope. I also wore these babies to bed (or at least the ones that promised sleep tracking| anyway).

The Misfit| Fitbit| and Jawbone all are supposed to track your sleep automatically (meaning you donu2019t have to push any buttons to put the device in u201csleep modeu201d). They said I slept between nine hours| 14 minutes and nine hours| 49 minutes (sometimes I like to bank shuteye on Sunday nights| okayu2026?). They also said I woke up between zero and two times during the night. But since I canu2019t say for sure exactly when I fell asleep or how restful or restless my night was…thereu2019s no way to know which device was the most accurate on this front. (Sorry| guys!)

The Pivotal Living band has a sleep-tracking mode that you can activate by double-clicking the button on it until you see a moon icon on the screen. But even though I did this| the band didn’t seem to record my Zs; I didnu2019t see any relevant data on the app after I synced my tracker the next morning.

I also performed one other test: counting my actual heart rate and then using the devices that measure it to see how close they got. Iu2019m happy to report that all of the trackers do a great job on this: The Fitbit was dead-on| the Apple Watch gave a reading 1.89 percent above my actual heart rate| and the Android 360 came in 9.43 percent above it (although my heart rate was 53| so a reading of 58 isnu2019t so far off).

You may have noticed that the Jawbone has heart-rate functionality but that I didnu2019t include it in this test. Thatu2019s because you canu2019t check your heart rate on demand with this device u2014 but itu2019s constantly monitoring you to provide data on your resting and active heart rate. The app also provides lots of guidance on what all of the numbers mean| which is a definite plus (while the 10|000 step benchmark is easy enough to grasp| the other numbers can be tough to glean meaning from).

| So| Which One Should You Buy?

Not to pull a Sarah Koenig on “”Serial”” on you| but . . . thereu2019s no one clear-cut answer here. I didnu2019t want to leave you hanging| though| so I decided to give some guidance on who I think each tracker is perfect for.

If youu2019re on a budget: Even with the app renewal fees after your first year of membership| the $12 Pivotal Living band is the most affordable option out there. And for basic step counting| it definitely gets the job done.

If youu2019re more concerned with how it looks than anything else: Although I couldnu2019t get the Withings Activitu00e9 POP to work myself| as I mentioned| the online reviews donu2019t reflect that other people had this issueu2014and I loved the coral-pink color.

If you never want to charge it: The Misfit Shine comes with a replaceable coin cell battery that lasts for up to six months| so you don’t have to worry about plugging it in once every few daysu2014and can wear it to track your every movement.

If you want advanced tracking features . . . and to be able to see your exact step count on your wrist: While other devices have various symbols that indicate roughly how close you are to hitting your step goal| the Fitbit Charge HR has a screen that lets you check in on your precise progress throughout the day.

If you want more context for the numbers to really improve your health: The “”Up”” app that works with your Jawbone Up 3 provides personalized tips like u201cYour REM sleep is most likely to be disrupted in the morning| so it may be a good idea to put in ear plugs before you hit the hay.””

If you want a smartwatch . . . and one that doubles as a conversation starter: People will come up to you and ask you what you think of the Apple Watch (apple.com/watch) all the time when you wear one. Thereu2019s no way around it. And I also liked that the watch buzzes to remind you to stand for at least one minute of each hour.

If you want a smartwatch . . . but don’t want to look like youu2019re an extra on Star Trek: Everyone who saw me in the Moto 360 commented on how impressed they were that it looked like a real watch. And now that Android Wear works with iOS| anyone with a smartphone can use it.

Still can’t decide? Lumoid lets you rent fitness trackers before buying themu2014and u201cWearable Boxesu201d lend you up to five devices (including the Apple Watch and the Moto 360) for two weeks. Thereu2019s no fee if you buy a tracker through the siteu2014and $25 for the box if you decide to return all of them.

Keep in mind: Anything that gets you moving more has done the job that a fitness tracker is supposed to do u2014 and since all of these will have you walking laps in your living room to try to hit 10|000 steps| the one that appeals the most to you (and that you’ll therefore be most likely to wear) is your best bet.

BaubleBar Turns Your Jawbone Up Into the Ultimate Statement Piece

BaubleBar Turns Your Jawbone Up Into the Ultimate Statement Piece

If you wish your wearable tech had more style| Jawbone Gives Its Fitness Trackers a Major Makeover

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Tango bracelet ($45) in maroon

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Tango bracelet ($55) in gold

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Disco bracelet ($65) in light blue

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Disco bracelet ($65) in green

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Salsa bracelet ($55) in gray

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Salsa bracelet ($55) in black

These Affordable Fitness Tracker Covers Match All Your Favorite Outfits

These Affordable Fitness Tracker Covers Match All Your Favorite Outfits

On any given day| I’m usually wearing at least some kind of fitness tracker| whether it’s a GPS running watch or an all-day activity monitor. Evenings| however| are a different story u2014 sometimes| there’s no amount of arm party accessorizing that will camouflage the fact that I’ve got a pedometer on my wrist.

Luckily| many companies have realized that wearables and fashion shouldn’t be mutually exclusive| so there are many more options available now if you| like me| value style as much as substance. But if you don’t want to drop hundreds for a Tory Burch Fitbit cover or a metallic Jawbone UP| these new affordable fitness tracker covers from Griffin Technology could be what you’re looking for. Choose from either the leather Uptown Band ($35)| which fits the Fitbit Flex| or the Ribbon Wristband ($15)| which comes in two sizes and is designed to fit almost any tracker| including the Fitbit Flex| Fitbit One| Garmin Vivofit| Misfit Shine| Misfit Flash| and Jawbone UP MOVE. Just two more fashionable ways to ensure every step in your dancing shoes makes the day’s total tally. Check out the pretty new offerings from Griffin ahead.

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The Uptown Band ($35) fits a Fitbit Flex and comes in tan or black.

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The Ribbon Wristband ($15 for the two-pack) fits many fitness trackers| including the Fitbit Flex| Fitbit One| Garmin Vivofit| Misfit Shine| Misfit Flash| and Jawbone UP MOVE.

What Happened When 1 Guy Tracked His Sex Life With a FitBit

Blogger Jason Wolverton of Big Funny Blog finally answers the question that’s been on everyone’s mind: exactly how many steps does one gain on their Fitbit from having sex?

A couple months back I got a free Fitbit from work for filling out some health survey. All I had to do was log in 30 consecutive days and lie about how healthy I am and ¡ª voil¨¤ ¡ª a Fitbit shows up at my door.

When it arrived, my wife ¡ª as many wives do ¡ª immediately asked if she could have it. It took me all of half a second to reply: “I just lied about how healthy I am to get free sh*t. Do you think I’m actually going to use something that encourages exercise? No thank you.”

Little did I know that silly little wrist band was going to turn my wife into an insane person.

For starters, she’s always in these challenges with her friend to see who can get the most steps in during the day. As a result, it’s not uncommon for me to go to bed and find my wife standing next to our bed in her underwear marching in place. Foreplay, you ask? No, she’s just trying to pound out 500 more steps before she hits the hay.

Ah yes, “Steps,” a currency in my household that is now more valuable than money. I’ll come home from work and ask her how her day was and she’ll just convert her answer into steps.

“I had 8,000 steps in before lunch!”

I, of course, have no idea what this means.

If it was a particularly easy day for her I’ll have to go into the backyard to talk to her because she’ll just be walking circles around the fence like an overanxious dog.

Eventually her Fitbit addiction grew so much that she upgraded to a model that also records your heart rate and monitors your sleep. Now each morning I’m greeted with a synopsis of her previous night’s sleep.

“I slept six hours and 42 minutes and was restless 14 times for 22 minutes. How did you sleep?”

“I slept like a f*cking bear.”

Unexpectedly, though, I started to get an urge to try out a Fitbit for myself. I started to wonder how many steps certain activities would be like playing basketball in the morning or going to the fridge every commercial while watching football. Well, for that one I wouldn’t need a Fitbit. I’d need a Fatbit.

So last Friday I broke down and went out and bought one, completely disregarding the original free one I earned in favor of the same model my wife has. And like any guy, I didn’t immediately want to go for a jog or hike up a mountain to get my steps in. No, I had a much more entertaining physical activity in mind:

“I want to see how many steps I take having sex!”

At that point, my wife got 25 extra steps just walking away from me.

But like a true workout partner, she eventually let me satisfy my curiosity in what can only be described as the greatest Kinesiology experiment man has ever undertaken. And when it was over, I quickly pulled out my phone to check my stats.

“What the hell?!? It says I only took 23 steps!”

“That’s actually pretty good,” my wife replied, “Most guys can’t walk that far in 12 seconds.”

I shot her an angry glance. “What about you? How many steps did it say you took?”

“Well, it doesn’t look like I took any steps,” she said, “But it did say that I slept for two minutes and was restless seven times.”

Image Source: Flickr user Timo Newton-Syms

What Happened When 1 Guy Tracked His Sex Life With a FitBit

Blogger Jason Wolverton of Big Funny Blog finally answers the question that’s been on everyone’s mind: exactly how many steps does one gain on their Fitbit from having sex?

A couple months back I got a free Fitbit from work for filling out some health survey. All I had to do was log in 30 consecutive days and lie about how healthy I am and ¡ª voil¨¤ ¡ª a Fitbit shows up at my door.

When it arrived| my wife ¡ª as many wives do ¡ª immediately asked if she could have it. It took me all of half a second to reply: “I just lied about how healthy I am to get free sh*t. Do you think I’m actually going to use something that encourages exercise? No thank you.”

Little did I know that silly little wrist band was going to turn my wife into an insane person.

For starters| she’s always in these challenges with her friend to see who can get the most steps in during the day. As a result| it’s not uncommon for me to go to bed and find my wife standing next to our bed in her underwear marching in place. Foreplay| you ask? No| she’s just trying to pound out 500 more steps before she hits the hay.

Ah yes| “Steps|” a currency in my household that is now more valuable than money. I’ll come home from work and ask her how her day was and she’ll just convert her answer into steps.

“I had 8|000 steps in before lunch!”

I| of course| have no idea what this means.

If it was a particularly easy day for her I’ll have to go into the backyard to talk to her because she’ll just be walking circles around the fence like an overanxious dog.

Eventually her Fitbit addiction grew so much that she upgraded to a model that also records your heart rate and monitors your sleep. Now each morning I’m greeted with a synopsis of her previous night’s sleep.

“I slept six hours and 42 minutes and was restless 14 times for 22 minutes. How did you sleep?”

“I slept like a f*cking bear.”

Unexpectedly| though| I started to get an urge to try out a Fitbit for myself. I started to wonder how many steps certain activities would be like playing basketball in the morning or going to the fridge every commercial while watching football. Well| for that one I wouldn’t need a Fitbit. I’d need a Fatbit.

So last Friday I broke down and went out and bought one| completely disregarding the original free one I earned in favor of the same model my wife has. And like any guy| I didn’t immediately want to go for a jog or hike up a mountain to get my steps in. No| I had a much more entertaining physical activity in mind:

“I want to see how many steps I take having sex!”

At that point| my wife got 25 extra steps just walking away from me.

But like a true workout partner| she eventually let me satisfy my curiosity in what can only be described as the greatest Kinesiology experiment man has ever undertaken. And when it was over| I quickly pulled out my phone to check my stats.

“What the hell?!? It says I only took 23 steps!”

“That’s actually pretty good|” my wife replied| “Most guys can’t walk that far in 12 seconds.”

I shot her an angry glance. “What about you? How many steps did it say you took?”

“Well| it doesn’t look like I took any steps|” she said| “But it did say that I slept for two minutes and was restless seven times.”

Image Source: Flickr user Timo Newton-Syms

Check Out the Newest Jawbone Fitness Trackers

Check Out the Newest Jawbone Fitness Trackers

Today, Jawbone announced two new additions to its fitness tracker lineup u2014 the UP2 (an update of the UP24) and the UP4, which features first-of-its-kind payment technology for when you’re on the go (runners, take note). Check out the features of the new trackers below!

| UP4

The Up4 ($200) tracks it all: sleep, steps, distance, calories, and more u2014 including heart rate monitoring so you can track your resting heart rate (similar to the Fitbit Charge HR). Also new: the UP4 syncs with your existing American Express account so you can tap to pay at any cash register that accepts contactless payments. No more having to reach for that sweaty $20 bill to pay for your water after a long run! The UP4 will be available in the Summer.

| UP2

The which fitness tracker is right for you?

Check Out the Newest Jawbone Fitness Trackers

Check Out the Newest Jawbone Fitness Trackers

Today| Jawbone announced two new additions to its fitness tracker lineup u2014 the UP2 (an update of the UP24) and the UP4| which features first-of-its-kind payment technology for when you’re on the go (runners| take note). Check out the features of the new trackers below!

| UP4

The Up4 ($200) tracks it all: sleep| steps| distance| calories| and more u2014 including heart rate monitoring so you can track your resting heart rate (similar to the Fitbit Charge HR). Also new: the UP4 syncs with your existing American Express account so you can tap to pay at any cash register that accepts contactless payments. No more having to reach for that sweaty $20 bill to pay for your water after a long run! The UP4 will be available in the Summer.

| UP2

The which fitness tracker is right for you?

Heart Rate Monitoring Makes the Fitbit Charge HR My New Favorite Tracker

Source: Fitbit

At this point, no matter what your style or athletic ability, there’s probably a fitness tracker for you (even if you’re willing to drop thousands of dollars for one). Many have similar features and prices, so many times it just boils down to which tracker looks best on your wrist and does everything you want. But, after testing out the Fitbit Charge HR ($150) off and on for about three months, I think I’ve found a winner. Here’s what I liked (and didn’t like) about the tracker.

Charge vs. Charge HR

Fitbit debuted the Charge HR late last year along with the Charge, and both pretty much look the same. They are a bit wider than many other fitness trackers, making them not exactly an incredibly stylish option ¡ª I’m still guilty of taking my Charge HR off for dressier nights out ¡ª but the muted textured silicone and small display that doesn’t light up unless you press the button means that it looks right at home on my wrist for casual, everyday looks. The Charge HR also features a watch strap instead of a button clasp on the Charge, which means it’s less likely to fall off. But the main difference between the HR and the Charge was the reason why I was so excited for the tracker’s debut earlier this year; the Charge HR features continuous heart rate measuring via an LED light on the back of the tracker that tracks your pulse all day, in five-minute increments for normal activity and one-minute increments if you’re logging a workout.

Heart Rate Monitoring

The fact that the Charge HR measures resting heart rate tracking and heart rate monitoring during a workout was one of the main reasons I was so excited to test out the Charge HR. Having a convenient way to measure my heart rate during a workout without having to strap on a chest heart rate monitor was an easy sell for me ¡ª I’ve spent many a run being frustrated with a strap that won’t stay put or felt too constricting. And, since heart rate tracking helps provide a more accurate calorie count during workouts, I couldn’t wait to put it to the test. Recording a workout is incredibly easy with the Charge HR;?just press and hold the button to start an exercise session, then press and hold to stop. During your workout, pressing the button cycles through time elapsed, steps taken, calories burned, distance, floors climbed, and heart rate for just your workout session.

While the Charge HR’s activity recording worked well on the tracker, I did run into a few specific problems when syncing my workouts with the app on my phone. First, while you can choose how you categorize a workout through the app or online (you can choose options like run, bike, weights, or circuit training), there’s no way to edit your choice if you accidentally categorized it wrongly. Also, if you forget to log a workout automatically (by pressing and holding the button before and after a workout), you can manually enter in a session later, but the Charge HR won’t calculate your calories based on your heart rate for that session; instead, it uses average calorie burn data. According to the Help section on the Fitbit site, Charge HR owners are better off only using the automatic workout function even in workouts that don’t involve a lot of steps like indoor cycling or kickboxing since the heart rate data will provide more accurate calorie burn information than a manual entry. I also had trouble syncing my workouts to the app for a few weeks, although I haven’t run into this problem lately and the issue has been resolved for the Charge HR according to the Fitbit forum. The other good news: the Charge HR activity tracking seems to work at its best when recording runs, so if you’re a runner who’s looking for a chest strap heart rate alternative, this is a good option if you don’t need GPS features (for that, the Fitbit Surge sports watch may be more what you’re looking for).

Source: Instagram user annipillaf

Other Features

Besides the heart rate-specific capabilities, the Fitbit Charge HR works much like other trackers: the display shows steps, distance walked, floors climbed, and calories burned (as well as heart rate), and you simply fire up your smartphone’s Fitbit app (free; available on iOS, Android, and Windows) if you want more detailed stats. Wireless syncing via Bluetooth makes looking at your stats a breeze; the only intermittent problems I’ve experienced with automatic syncing were easily remedied by turning my phone’s Bluetooth off and on. From the app, you can categorize your workouts, track trends over time, and see how you slept. Since the Fitbit Charge HR tracks sleep automatically, you don’t need to remember to press a button to log a sleep session and it logged when I was awake in the middle of the night as well as random midday naps with surprising accuracy. The app is easy to navigate and intuitive; I found the dashboard stats and graphs about my activity and sleep habits to be useful and simple to understand. It also syncs with many popular health apps like MyFitnessPal and Run Keeper if you need to keep close track of your calorie intake and burn.

Source: iTunes

Battery Life

Fitbit says the Charge HR’s battery should last five days, which is exactly how long mine lasted before needing a charge. I appreciated that I got an email every time the battery was low so I could start planning when I’d take it off for one to two hours to charge it. I did have one complaint about charging: the charging cord features a port that only works for the Charge HR (even the attachment for the regular Charge is different) and that isn’t as secure as I’d like; my Fitbit easily detaches from the cord if I move it too quickly. Also, while I haven’t lost the cord so far, I’ve been frustrated when I wanted to charge my Fitbit at work and realized I left the cord at home (or vice versa). It would be nice if the Charge HR used something more universal like a mini-USB port so you wouldn’t have to keep tabs on its charger all the time.

The only other major complaint I have with the Fitbit Charge HR is the fact that it’s not waterproof, just rain-, sweat-, and splash-proof. This means you have to remember to take it off every time you take a shower; there have been a few days where I forgot to put it back on afterward as I rushed through my morning routine as a result. It’s a minor inconvenience for me since I’m not a swimmer, but if you log a lot of laps at the pool you may want to look elsewhere for a tracker that can measure your stats in the water. On the whole, though, I’m definitely a fan of the Charge HR: it’s heart rate-measuring capabilities ¡ª both during a workout and when I’m doing nothing at all ¡ª are useful, the app is simple and informative, and its design is subtle enough to wear with almost anything. If you’re trying to decide between the Charge ($130) and the Charge HR, this tracker’s heart rate capabilities are definitely worth the extra money.

Heart Rate Monitoring Makes the Fitbit Charge HR My New Favorite Tracker

Source: Fitbit

At this point| no matter what your style or athletic ability| there’s probably a fitness tracker for you (even if you’re willing to drop thousands of dollars for one). Many have similar features and prices| so many times it just boils down to which tracker looks best on your wrist and does everything you want. But| after testing out the Fitbit Charge HR ($150) off and on for about three months| I think I’ve found a winner. Here’s what I liked (and didn’t like) about the tracker.

Charge vs. Charge HR

Fitbit debuted the Charge HR late last year along with the Charge| and both pretty much look the same. They are a bit wider than many other fitness trackers| making them not exactly an incredibly stylish option ¡ª I’m still guilty of taking my Charge HR off for dressier nights out ¡ª but the muted textured silicone and small display that doesn’t light up unless you press the button means that it looks right at home on my wrist for casual| everyday looks. The Charge HR also features a watch strap instead of a button clasp on the Charge| which means it’s less likely to fall off. But the main difference between the HR and the Charge was the reason why I was so excited for the tracker’s debut earlier this year; the Charge HR features continuous heart rate measuring via an LED light on the back of the tracker that tracks your pulse all day| in five-minute increments for normal activity and one-minute increments if you’re logging a workout.

Heart Rate Monitoring

The fact that the Charge HR measures resting heart rate tracking and heart rate monitoring during a workout was one of the main reasons I was so excited to test out the Charge HR. Having a convenient way to measure my heart rate during a workout without having to strap on a chest heart rate monitor was an easy sell for me I’ve spent many a run being frustrated with a strap that won’t stay put or felt too constricting. And| since heart rate tracking helps provide a more accurate calorie count during workouts| I couldn’t wait to put it to the test. Recording a workout is incredibly easy with the Charge HR;?just press and hold the button to start an exercise session| then press and hold to stop. During your workout| pressing the button cycles through time elapsed| steps taken| calories burned| distance| floors climbed| and heart rate for just your workout session.

While the Charge HR’s activity recording worked well on the tracker| I did run into a few specific problems when syncing my workouts with the app on my phone. First| while you can choose how you categorize a workout through the app or online (you can choose options like run| bike| weights| or circuit training)| there’s no way to edit your choice if you accidentally categorized it wrongly. Also| if you forget to log a workout automatically (by pressing and holding the button before and after a workout)| you can manually enter in a session later| but the Charge HR won’t calculate your calories based on your heart rate for that session; instead| it uses average calorie burn data. According to the Help section on the Fitbit site| Charge HR owners are better off only using the automatic workout function even in workouts that don’t involve a lot of steps like indoor cycling or kickboxing since the heart rate data will provide more accurate calorie burn information than a manual entry. I also had trouble syncing my workouts to the app for a few weeks| although I haven’t run into this problem lately and the issue has been resolved for the Charge HR according to the Fitbit forum. The other good news: the Charge HR activity tracking seems to work at its best when recording runs| so if you’re a runner who’s looking for a chest strap heart rate alternative| this is a good option if you don’t need GPS features (for that| the Fitbit Surge sports watch may be more what you’re looking for).

Source: Instagram user annipillaf

Other Features

Besides the heart rate-specific capabilities| the Fitbit Charge HR works much like other trackers: the display shows steps| distance walked| floors climbed| and calories burned (as well as heart rate)| and you simply fire up your smartphone’s Fitbit app (free; available on iOS| Android| and Windows) if you want more detailed stats. Wireless syncing via Bluetooth makes looking at your stats a breeze; the only intermittent problems I’ve experienced with automatic syncing were easily remedied by turning my phone’s Bluetooth off and on. From the app| you can categorize your workouts| track trends over time| and see how you slept. Since the Fitbit Charge HR tracks sleep automatically| you don’t need to remember to press a button to log a sleep session and it logged when I was awake in the middle of the night as well as random midday naps with surprising accuracy. The app is easy to navigate and intuitive; I found the dashboard stats and graphs about my activity and sleep habits to be useful and simple to understand. It also syncs with many popular health apps like MyFitnessPal and Run Keeper if you need to keep close track of your calorie intake and burn.

Source: iTunes

Battery Life

Fitbit says the Charge HR’s battery should last five days| which is exactly how long mine lasted before needing a charge. I appreciated that I got an email every time the battery was low so I could start planning when I’d take it off for one to two hours to charge it. I did have one complaint about charging: the charging cord features a port that only works for the Charge HR (even the attachment for the regular Charge is different) and that isn’t as secure as I’d like; my Fitbit easily detaches from the cord if I move it too quickly. Also| while I haven’t lost the cord so far| I’ve been frustrated when I wanted to charge my Fitbit at work and realized I left the cord at home (or vice versa). It would be nice if the Charge HR used something more universal like a mini-USB port so you wouldn’t have to keep tabs on its charger all the time.

The only other major complaint I have with the Fitbit Charge HR is the fact that it’s not waterproof| just rain-| sweat-| and splash-proof. This means you have to remember to take it off every time you take a shower; there have been a few days where I forgot to put it back on afterward as I rushed through my morning routine as a result. It’s a minor inconvenience for me since I’m not a swimmer| but if you log a lot of laps at the pool you may want to look elsewhere for a tracker that can measure your stats in the water. On the whole| though| I’m definitely a fan of the Charge HR: it’s heart rate-measuring capabilities ¡ª both during a workout and when I’m doing nothing at all ¡ª are useful| the app is simple and informative| and its design is subtle enough to wear with almost anything. If you’re trying to decide between the Charge ($130) and the Charge HR| this tracker’s heart rate capabilities are definitely worth the extra money.