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We’ve tried and tested the best fitness trackers and watches for all budgets



The best activity trackers and fitness watches: Apple and Fitbit, tested

<h2 class=”body-h2″>What to consider when buying a fitness tracker</h2><p>It’s important to choose an activity tracker or fitness watch that’s right for you and your lifestyle. Perhaps you’re a keen runner and built-in GPS is a priority. You may want a waterproof watch to track your swims. Or maybe you just want something stylish that won’t look out of place in the office, while keeping an eye on your activity levels. </p><p>Before you buy, think about which features are important to you. Here are the main ones to consider. </p><h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>Fitness tracking</strong></h3><p>Many trackers allow you to record different workouts, with the number of options ranging from 10 activities to as many as 150 different types of exercise. Most trackers will allow you to record walking, <a href=”” target=”_blank”>running</a> (both indoors and outdoors) and <a href=”” target=”_blank”>cycling</a>, while others monitor everything from swimming and <a href=”” target=”_blank”>yoga</a> to circuit and interval training. </p><h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>GPS</strong></h3><p>While some devices come with built-in GPS, more basic models often rely on an accelerometer, which can quickly become inaccurate. Having a GPS chip improves location accuracy, elevation and distance, so you can map your running and walking routes more accurately. </p><h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>Sleep tracking</strong></h3><p>Sleep tracking capabilities vary between devices. Some just total up the number of hours you’re getting, while others break this down into heavy, light and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Some also provide a score for the quality of your sleep and offer tips on how to improve it.</p><p class=”body-tip”>If improving your slumber is priority, check out our ring review of the celeb-favourite sleep tracker, the <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Oura Ring</a>. </p><h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>Heart rate sensor</strong></h3><p>Heart-rate monitors can provide more accurate calorie burn data and some will indicate the zone your heart rate is in. This information can be useful if you’re training for a specific purpose, such as weight loss or to improve your cardiovascular endurance.</p><h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>Waterproofing </strong></h3><p>All fitness trackers are sweat-proof and many are also waterproof, meaning they can be worn when you’re in the shower or when swimming. If you swim several regularly, look out for a fitness tracker that will monitor your pool sessions, including the number of lengths you swim, as well as the time you’re active and the calories you burn.</p><h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>Third-party apps</strong></h3><p>If you’re already using a smartphone app such as Strava to track your exercise sessions, look for a fitness tracker that’s compatible with your favourite app. This means you can leave your smartphone behind if you wish, safe in the knowledge that you’ll still be able to import your data – the wearable will continue to log your steps, distance and calorie burn and will automatically update your phone app once you reconnect it via Bluetooth.</p><h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>Battery life</strong></h3><p>How long your fitness tracker lasts between charges depends on the number of sensors you use and how often your screen is displaying information. Many models in our round-up last for more than seven days on a single charge, with some taking even longer to run flat. </p><h3 class=”body-h3″><strong>Smartphone notifications</strong></h3><p>The majority of fitness trackers and watches can be synced with your smartphone to ping or vibrate when you get a call, message or other notification. </p>”/>

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