In the last couple of years, fitness bands and trackers have started to lean towards being a necessity than being a luxury. And considering the increasing affordability, and the dizzying number of options offered, a lot of people have been investing in fitness wearables off late. According to International Data Corporation s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker data, the wearable market in India observed a shipment of 2.5 million units in 2016. Also Read - Google Wear OS updated at I/O 2021, co-developed with Samsung and FitbitAlso Read - This under Rs 5,000 fitness band can measure your blood oxygen level, body temperature
Talking about the available options, Goqii and Xiaomi have been dominating the entry-level segment of fitness trackers in India, with brands like Fitbit, Fossil, Samsung, and Apple offering some more premium options. While the older wave of activity trackers just offered step and sleep tracking, the new wearables now come with features like built-in heart rate monitors, more accurate sensors, waterproofing, GPS and smartphone notifications making the latest bands hybrids between fitness trackers and smartwatches. Also Read - Apple led the growing wearable pack in Q4 2020, Xiaomi followed
With a number of brands and products available out there, picking the right fitness tracker can be quite tricky. That s where we step in. Here are five things you need to consider before you invest in a fitness wearable.
First of all, ask yourself, why are you looking to buy a fitness tracker? Because there could be multiple reasons, it will help you narrow down on the kind of band you should invest in. A fitness tracker can serve the purpose of a mere activity tracker for fitness enthusiasts. Activity statistics and records boost morale, and with wearables like an Apple Watch or an affordable Fitbit or something as basic as a Xiaomi Mi Band 2, users can set goals and try completing them on a daily basis.
For someone who requires a fitness tracker for actually keeping track of their health and fitness, there are bands like Intex FitRist Cardio with heart rate sensor, there are GoQii s offerings that have partnerships with health-related services for quick assistance for its users. ALSO READ: Tata to enter wearable space with fitness trackers for Yoga enthusiasts: Report
Display or not
Opt for a band with a built-in display and you can keep an eye on the time and your fitness goals without firing up a phone app. Fitbit decided to add an OLED to display to its Charge 2 while the Fitbit Blaze got a tidy 1.25-inch 16 color display, which pays off when it comes to guided workouts and notifications. A display usually adds a few pennies to the price-tag though, so think long and hard whether you actually need one. ALSO READ: Microsoft Windows 10 IoT-based smart wearable to be launched by Trekstor
There are also options like Intex FitRist Cardio, Samsung Gear Fit 2, and Fastrack Reflex, which come with tiny displays that offer basic information like time, steps walked, heart rate, and in some, notifications from a few apps. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi Band 2: From OLED display to 20-day battery life, here are its 7 interesting features
There are a handful of fitness trackers that can be taken into the pool to log your swimming sessions. The Fitbit Flex 2 was the company s first waterproof tracker, albeit with simplified swimming metrics. Intex FitRist Cardio, Xioami Mi Band 2, Fitbit Charge 2, Samsung Gear Fit 2 are some more options that provide water, sweat and dust resistance. However, you can only wear them in the shower or when it’s raining, and not ideal when diving inside the pool.
Buying fitness trackers with built-in GPS could be a good option, especially for those who run a lot. Typical fitness trackers can log data like the number of steps walked, approximate distance covered and more. However, the fitness trackers with built-in GPS can also log the exact route you take when jogging or running with the help of GPS coordinates. This data is synced with the map, allowing you to map out your session. ALSO READ: Intex FitRist Cardio with heart rate sensor launched at Rs 1,499; Specifications, features
Battery life is also one of the key aspects to consider when buying fitness trackers. Fitness trackers such as the Xiaomi Mi Band or Mi Band 2 can last for up to 20 days and more on a single charge, whereas other fitness trackers and activity monitors can last anywhere between 5-10 days on a single charge. This will be a deciding factor as you wouldn’t want to charge the wearable in every three-four days. Do note, the ones with features such as heart rate monitor and OLED displays will tend to consume more power.