The era of activity trackers is here. At present, not only tech and fitness geeks, but even trainers and medical professionals recommend their use, especially for people who lead largely sedentary lives. âIf you are someone who has decided to achieve your fitness goals, these apps can be very helpful … these gadgets can significantly help you set and achieve your goals. But remember, there is a 10-20% deviation from the numbers, âsaid Dr Dhananjay Gupta, director of orthopedic service at Fortis Vasant Kunj Hospital in Delhi.
However, at the higher end of the spectrum, these activity trackers come with built-in GPS and are very reliable and accurate for tracking sports like running, biking, swimming, and walking. These portable devices can track your exact route and near-exact distance using their GPS units, and this data is much more accurate than standard daily step or calorie count data. All of the trackers listed below track steps, sleep, heart rate and are equipped with GPS. Here are the top five on the market today.
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Garmin FR 55: Garmin remains the easiest choice for anyone who enjoys endurance sports and this new entry-level offering does not disappoint. It not only tracks your runs, walks, walks, hikes and swims, but can also record your strength training. Equally important, it has a battery that lasts for two weeks on a single charge. Thanks to the number of years Garmin has spent analyzing user data and improving its product, the FR 55 has the best algorithm and therefore the most reliable data on steps, sleep and calories burned. It also provides excellent data on different metrics for running, cycling and swimming. It’s a workaholic but it doesn’t have a high resolution screen. It is a sacrifice that must be made to keep prices low. Price from ??20,007.
Coros Rhythm 2: Coros rose to fame when the world noticed a green unit with red highlights on the wrist of marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge set to retain his Olympic crown at Tokyo 2020. The Coros Pace 2 does everything it can. Garmin’s most popular model, Forerunner 245, but costs less. It also boasts of a battery that outperforms the Garmin 245 with and without GPS. While the bezel is a bit thick and the display isn’t as crisp as other trackers on the market, it’s a great buy for endurance athletes who need detailed data. Price from ??20,216.
Also read: How good is the Coros Pace 2 running and fitness tracker?
Fitbit Sense: Fitbit started with activity trackers, then they ditched smartwatches with activity trackers in the market, and then quite late in the day launched GPS-enabled units. The company launched two GPS units, the Charge 3 and the Sense, one after the other. Meaning is the one you should be looking for and it differentiates itself by focusing on health metrics. It can be used to measure not only your heart rate, but also blood oxygen levels, temperature, and even an ECG, all of which are fairly common with most trackers. The problem here is to use most of these features, you need a paid premium subscription. The battery life is about decent at 6 days and it comes with a quick charge feature. Price from ??22,999.
Apple Watch Series 7: We can’t have an activity tracker list without the Apple Watch. The latest Series 7 comes with a bigger screen and thinner bezel than ever before, the touchscreen is great and it’s pretty much an extension of your phone on your wrist. With the GPS + cellular option, it also becomes your mobile phone. It can track all your fitness activities, take an ECG, track your heart rate, detect falls, and trigger emergency calls. It also tells you up to 20 seconds when you wash your hands! My biggest grouse with this watch is its poor battery life. It should be charged every day. Price from ??41,900.
Also read: The Apple Watch SE or the Garmin Venu, which is better for fitness?
Hunt for the Titans: This is Titan’s first foray into trackers and the effort falls short of other products available on the market. The design, huge size, and interface appear dated and the unit takes a while to lock onto the satellites to enable GPS tracking. However, the Titan Traq does the basics correctly and effectively tracks route, pace, and heart rate. It has decent battery life and comes at a very attractive price for a tracker that can be used for a triathlon. Price from ??8,460.
Shrenik Avlani is a writer, editor and co-author of The Shivfit method, a book on functional fitness.