Are Expensive Fitness Trackers Worth It?

With summer around the corner, we compare 3 fitness trackers ranging across a variety of prices and features.
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Guru
Published: Monday, December 5th 2016
General
Summer is here! And, with it comes more days at the beach and, possibly, more days working out in the beautiful outdoors. If you're thinking about getting a fitness tracker, in the hopes that it will help motivate you to becoming more active, then you're probably struggling to decide which one is best for you. Do you go with the brand names like Fitbit or Samsung, or do you go for something a bit less expensive - and less well known - like the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse? We tested out three fitness bands currently on the market, the Fitbit Charge 2, the Tom Tom Touch, and the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse, to figure out which one is the best value for money. Watch our video review below and then read on for more detail.

Tom Tom Touch

Tom tom makes more than just GPS navigation systems for your car. In fact, the company's latest fitness band, the Tom Tom Touch, shows just how good they are at the fitness game. The Touch does pretty much the same thing that every other fitness tracker on the market does. It tracks your steps, measures your heart rate, and tells you how well you did or didn't sleep. What makes it special, however, is that it also measures your BMI, which means that you can now figure out your body fat percentage without having to use special equipment. Other than that, the Touch is water resistant and looks like a fitness tracker, which means that it's not exactly the most exciting wearable to look at. It does have customisable straps, meaning that you change the straps to other compatible ones if you get bored of the one that you're currently using. Other than that, this is a pretty standard fitness tracker within the higher-end section of the fitness wearables. It is worth noting, however, that, while the display isn't complicated to use, it's not always the easiest interface to navigate. You never seem to be certain if you need to tap again or hold down on the silver button, or whether you need to swipe back or up or down. Other than the not-very-intuitive navigation, this is a more than capable fitness tracker, which will serve you well. Cost: RRP R2499.

Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit is the leading name in fitness trackers and the is one of the latest devices from the company. Announced just prior to IFA 2016, the Charge 2 is an updated version of the company's very successful Charge. If you've ever used, or played around with, a Fitbit device before, then you know what to expect. It has PurePulse heart rate tracking, smart notifications, and a new design with a larger display and interchangeable bands. It automatically detects certain workouts and starts tracking them for you without you having to open any apps or tap anything on the screen. The biggest let down of the Charge 2 is that, unlike the Flex 2, it's not water resistant. Other than that, the Charge 2 does what Fitbit does best and provides you with useful, relevant, easy to understand information about your fitness level and activity levels throughout the day. Cost: R2999 at the iStore.

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse

Globally, Xiaomi is known for making high-end smartphones, without the high-end price tag. That ethos extends beyond just their smartphones and continues into their other devices, including their fitness bands. The Mi Band Pulse is a very basic fitness tracker. It doesn't have a heart rate sensor, nor does it have a display. All you get on the front is a row of lights which light up to show how close you are to achieving your fitness goals for the day. Like all other fitness bands, the Mi Pulse tracks your steps, calories, and tells you how well you slept last night. Furthermore, like pretty much every other fitness band on the market, the Mi Band Pulse has a companion app, which you'd need to install on your phone. It also has interchangeable bands. Overall, at this price point, you can't really fault the Xiaomi for anything when it comes to the Mi Band Pulse. The tracker is comfortable, even if it's not the most stylish wearable on the planet. If you're not sure whether to get a fitness band, but you'd like to try one, we'd recommend the Mi Band Pulse. It's a great way to find out if fitness bands are for you without you having to shell out a few thousand rands. Cost: R399 on the South African .