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Recommended Fitness Trackers?

penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 412 Member Member, Premium Posts: 412 Member
Hi all, I'm looking for recommendations on fitness trackers. I'd love to see links to threads with pros/cons, etc too, as when I was searching around the message boards I was not finding a lot of what I was looking for - maybe I just wasn't using the right terms.

I had a very simple Fitbit several years ago and I did OK with that until the battery died and I couldn't get it to wake back up. I had it synced to MFP so I could eat back some of the calories. I'd like to do that again - I don't need incredibly precise, but I would like a more accurate idea of how much I'm moving. I don't need it to be super high tech (I have a cheap Android smartphone and I'm not really dedicated to any particular brand or platform). A heart rate monitor would be interesting but I know on a wrist they aren't super accurate, so for me that's not a necessity.

But I don't even have any idea of what's out there now! Cost is not a huge obstacle, but it seems like some of these are cheaper than they were in the past. I think my first tracker cost $100 or so, and I can find a nicer one new out of the box for $40 on Ebay. But I don't know if that's what I want.

If you'd like more information to make an appropriate suggestion, please ask! Thanks in advance. :)

Replies

  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 412 Member Member, Premium Posts: 412 Member
    Oh, as far as activity goes: I walk quite a bit (sometimes with children and sometimes solo), and am going to start C25K later this month. I used to run regularly, but am out of the habit. I'd like to build it back up. Having something to track that a little more carefully is probably the main reason I'm interested in getting a tracker to begin with.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 2,074 Member Member Posts: 2,074 Member
    If you want something that syncs with MFP, Polar, Garmin, Fitbit and Misfit are supported (although Fitbit might be having issues recently?).
    Those brands all have cheaper options and more expensive options, depending on what you want.

    I have a Garmin Vivoactive 4, top end of the price range for a tracker, but I really like it. It has a built in heart rate monitor, but I wanted to be able to pair the device with a HRM chest strap, which is one of the reasons I chose that model. It has GPS tracking, good for running and hiking outdoors. It also has exercise modes for strength training and indoor rowing, activities I do regularly.

    Garmin have cheaper models too. And the Connect app, used for all their devices, is good.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,270 Member Member Posts: 6,270 Member
    I also have the Vivoactive 4 and quite like it. It's still too big for my liking (too thick, mainly) and the battery life could be better (yeah, overnight, oxy tracking), but the stats are so much better than anything Fitbit provides.

    You need to figure out for yourself what you need the tracker for. The Fitbit Charge 4 is on the cheaper end with lots of features, as is the Garmin Lily. But both have downsides of course.
  • CapncameraCapncamera Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    I have owned Fitbits, Withings and now Garmin

    Fitbit:
    Once had an issue whereby my data was being deleted (this is back in the Fitbit Flex days), I stopped using them due to this and recently when looking into a new one revisited to find alot of data hidden behind a paywall.

    Withings:
    Got a Steel HR Multisport which was good, a nice analog looking watch with fitness tracking features - I primarily got this as I already had the withings scales. The downside being the App is not very good and feels hard to track, but the battery life is incredible.

    Garmin:
    Had the Venu for about a month now, overall no issues, the battery life only lasts about 3 days (with constant pulse ox etc) but overall it's very nice.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 412 Member Member, Premium Posts: 412 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    I also have the Vivoactive 4 and quite like it. It's still too big for my liking (too thick, mainly) and the battery life could be better (yeah, overnight, oxy tracking), but the stats are so much better than anything Fitbit provides.

    You need to figure out for yourself what you need the tracker for. The Fitbit Charge 4 is on the cheaper end with lots of features, as is the Garmin Lily. But both have downsides of course.

    I'm kind of kicking myself because I asked for an analog watch for Christmas since I was tired of pulling out my phone to check the time, and I see that Garmin has some really nice ones with analog faces! (I don't like digital clocks - just a personal preference.) I might feel a little silly wearing the watch plus the tracker, but that's OK.

    I'm looking at the vivofit 4 right now (which I guess could also be used as a digital watch, heh). It would track steps, I wouldn't have to worry about it getting wet, and has a long battery life (though I'm a little confused about whether it even comes with a charger.) The automatic syncing is nice too. Having to manually input from a regular pedometer would probably mean giving up on counting. I remember back in high school health class they passed them out and they were also woefully inaccurate. I probably have one kicking around in a drawer somewhere, though.

    I get overwhelmed thinking about things like the oxy tracking, to be honest! I don't know what I would do with that kind of information! I am a Luddite in many aspects of my life so this is a bit of a step outside my comfort zone, but I feel like it would also help me with precision and accountability. It's easy to pretend I'm doing everything I should if I'm just estimating, rather than having the numbers staring me in the face, if that makes sense.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 2,074 Member Member Posts: 2,074 Member
    If you're not used to it, all that data can be overwhelming for sure 🙂
    I used to think it was cool, but I've deactivated the oxy tracking in favor of more battery life. I only activated it again when I thought I had Covid and I was short of breath.
    I don't look at my sleep tracking much anymore either.
    And I never activated the smart watch features either (messages, phone calls, payments)
    No obligation to use all the features 🙂

    PS not sure about other Garmin watches, but mine lets you download watch faces, so you're free to choose digital or analog faces.
    edited March 5
  • glassyoglassyo Member Posts: 5,215 Member Member Posts: 5,215 Member
    I have a vivofit 4.

    You don't charge it. It comes with a battery that usually lasts about a year.

    I was iffy on two things when I got it...if I'd be able to read the display easy enough and if the automatic tracking would work. I ended up liking it but had problems with the auto tracking and timed activities. When those were enabled, the info on the display wouldn't reset after midnight but would in the garmin connect app. Customer support and I spent an extended amount of time trying to fix it but then garmin had that ransom problem so we lost touch. :)

    The vivofit is pretty accurate tho and definitely didn't over estimate my exercise calories like all the fitbit I tried after my classic one bit the dust.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,270 Member Member Posts: 6,270 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    If you're not used to it, all that data can be overwhelming for sure 🙂
    I used to think it was cool, but I've deactivated the oxy tracking in favor of more battery life. I only activated it again when I thought I had Covid and I was short of breath.
    I don't look at my sleep tracking much anymore either.
    And I never activated the smart watch features either (messages, phone calls, payments)
    No obligation to use all the features 🙂

    PS not sure about other Garmin watches, but mine lets you download watch faces, so you're free to choose digital or analog faces.

    I'm still in the honeymoon phase and the watch is still learning to recognise my sleep. And hey, I'd MISS data! But yeah, according to DC Rainmaker disabling overnight oxy will improve the battery time by about 33%, which is a massive change.

    At the moment I'm curious at how good the VO2max estimates are as I'm proud owner of a real one, and have done quite a few cooper tests for estimates (both line up). At the moment the watch is quite a bit higher, but it's coming down :D

    Yes, you can also download analog watch faces, and some are as standard watchface preloaded. But everything moving costs energy, such as a moving seconds hand. I use a total simple watch face: Big hrs, below big minutes, and then left to it date, steps and hr (yeah, hr display also burns the battery)
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 44,881 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 44,881 Member
    I've had Fitbit for a long time. Currently have a Charge 3 and like it. I don't use a lot of the functions except steps and calorie burn estimation.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • moorea26moorea26 Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    I prefer Garmin. I have a Vivosmart 4. It's not bulky and I love it. I've owned 3 Garmin devices and have love them all.
  • GirlheidiGirlheidi Member Posts: 60 Member Member Posts: 60 Member
    Have a vivoactive 3 from garmin.
    Its great.
    Don't use it for sleep but for everything else.
    Love all the features.
    Used to have a fitbit, would never go back to one. Garmin all the way
  • Sportertje354Sportertje354 Member, Premium Posts: 37 Member Member, Premium Posts: 37 Member
    I've tried a bunch over the last few years, from various brands, some better than others, and some broke.

    For about 6 months have been using the Garmin Vivoactive 4S, and love it
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,292 Member Member Posts: 10,292 Member
    I love my Garmin. I have the hiking watch, it's great battery life, maps, it tells me about cars behind me when I ride a bike. My doctor was happy about the pulse ox feature.
  • skinnyrev2bskinnyrev2b Member Posts: 370 Member Member Posts: 370 Member
    I have a Fitbit Versa. (The original one). I went for this one cos I could swim with it, and it would auto count laps (and stroke). It also connects via gps to my phone to track mileage and speed when out cycling and walking. Battery life - I charge it once a week or so? It's on all day everyday... I've not enabled the oxy function, and distrust the sleep data (it often has me asleep whilst watching a film for example) but whilst it's occasionally glitchy, it's ok for what I want from it.
  • SuzanneC1l9zzSuzanneC1l9zz Member Posts: 91 Member Member Posts: 91 Member
    Another vote for Garmin. I have a Vivoactive 3 that I'm still really happy with. One thing that I don't think I've seen anybody mention is that you can get workouts off the Connect website. Lots of choices depending on what type of workout you want and what equipment you have available. I use a couple of the full-body, dumbell-only strength workouts, an abs-focused tabata and a cardio circuit that uses dumbells. I only have the dumbells and resistance bands to work with for strength training right now and it's been great for giving me options and ideas. There are videos for moves you don't know and the watch guides you through everything step by step including timing rest periods.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 412 Member Member, Premium Posts: 412 Member
    Thanks all for your input! I ended up getting a vivofit 4 and so far it seems pretty well suited to my basic needs! I am amazed at how many calories it gives me back for exercise just from my regular activity, but following the advice I've seen around the forums I'll experiment with only eating some of it back to start, since it may be rather generous with those estimations. ;)
  • suzr84suzr84 Member Posts: 22 Member Member Posts: 22 Member
    I have a Fitbit charge 2 but I’m not really fussed about tracking steps and don’t like that I can’t wear all my nice watches so I decided to buy a Polar Verity Sense which is just an arm band that syncs to a phone app. I’ve heard good things about it so fingers crossed it works out.
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