I am going to offer you clear guidelines so that you know how to choose the best activity tracker at a good price that will be the one that best suits your needs, knowing those basic characteristics that it must meet.
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What is an activity tracker?
The activity tracker, smartband or bracelet is a digital device that collects a series of data about your physical activity through sensors that it incorporates.
An activity tracker must record your heart rate and many have functions such as pedometer, calorie counter, altimeter, GPS and training programs that pursue your motivation during workouts.
Activity wristbands have become very popular for their comfort of use and have an affordable purchase price compared to other devices with similar features and functions such as smartwatches.
Designed to provide a series of data of the physical activity that you perform, obtaining them thanks to some sensors that it incorporates. They have become very popular for their comfort of use and for offering many of the main features that we would look for in much more expensive and bulky heart rate monitors.
If you need a device that monitors your sports workouts and on which you can define goals to improve your performance, buying an activity bracelet can be interesting.
We are going to focus on activity wristbands that do not exceed € 100 and that, as you will see, they will provide us with all the functions that are usually sought to monitor our physical activity.
Main features of the activity trackers
The screen is an aspect to consider and not only for its aesthetics but because its size and technology will mark the ease and comfort in reading the data in full training.
The LCD touch screen is often the most common technology for smooth viewing of data and scrolling through various options. It should be noted that manufacturers are increasingly making screens larger to facilitate the use of these devices.
Sensors and connectivity
Usually what is most sought after in a bracelet is a good heart rate monitor to monitor physical activity at all times. But there are other very interesting functions such as GPS that will allow you to know your location precisely without a mobile phone (only included in high-end bracelets).
Obviously, there are other interesting sensors that many of the bracelets incorporate such as the barometric sensor , altimeter, pulse oximeter , and at the connectivity level the essential Bluetooth.
In the wide catalog of bracelets there are certain differences in their benefits, some come with powerful apps to follow the activity from the mobile, others can be used for swimming and other water sports.
There are models with a compass , some can play music , others have the capacity to store data by themselves, …
This characteristic is essential, it should not be less than 5 days even in periods of intense training use.
In general, almost all activity bracelets use rechargeable batteries , although there are models of non-rechargeable batteries with more autonomy, I do not advise them, the replacement of the batteries usually requires specialized personnel.
Selection of the best activity trackers
New Xiaomi brings out its Mi Band 5: Xiaomi has endowed this bracelet with a larger screen and superior autonomy compared to its predecessor Mi band 4. Of course at a slightly higher price.
Xiaomi has presented its new Mi Smart Band 5 activity bracelet , with 11 different exercise records, sleep record and women’s health record.
- Xioami’s new Mi Smart Band 5 has a 1.1-inch full-color high-definition OLED screen, 20% larger than previous models , in which we can see both our physical activity progress throughout the day as notifications once we connect it to our mobile phone. This connection is made through bluetooth 5.0 and is compatible with both android and iOS.
- It stands out, as in other previous models, its long battery, which can last up to 14 days according to Xiaomi .
- And it is extremely light, weighing only 11.9 grams.
- The bracelet, which remains as in previous models, is soft and comfortable to wear.
- Among the novelties that this bracelet presents we can find the magnetic charge , which allows you to charge the device without having to remove it from the bracelet.
- 11 new sport modes that we can record with it (yoga, elliptical training, rowing machine training, rope jumping, exercise bike training, indoor running-running belt-, outdoor running, swimming -en submersible up to 50 meters-, cycling, walking and free training).
Once again in this type of watches we must bear in mind that this bracelet does not have an integrated GPS , but it does have an accelerometer and a three-axis gyroscope.
Very good value for money: great autonomy, it is comfortable, intuitive and easy to use
- Color display the new 240 x 120 pixel 24 bit color AMOLED touch screen
- 5 ATM water resistance , which allows you to do all your daily routines with water
- Types of training : treadmill , exercise, running outdoors, cycling, walking, swimming in the pool
- Notification of calls, text messages, app notifications and in-game music; mi band 4 tracks your pace, step count, heart rate, calories burned and more
- You do not have GPS , you must connect to your mobile to use this function.
- Heart rate monitoring and sleep monitoring, alert when the heart rate is too high; Accurately records information about each night’s sleep, deep sleep, and light sleep data to help you adjust your sleep habits
Interesting value for money: good design, easy to use and with a quality screen
- The AMOLED screen is colorful, offers a good size and has great visibility outdoors.
- SpO2 function . Monitor blood oxygen levels and monitor changes in your body.
- 24 hours real-time heart rate monitoring, night infrared heart rate monitoring, heart rate warnings, etc.
- Average autonomy of between five and six days .
- Water resistance: up to 50m (IP68).
- Provides hundreds of fitness and lifestyle tips.
- Sleep monitor . Analyze the quality of sleep, combine Huawei’s artificial intelligence technology and six major categories of sleep problems, the fitness tracker can automatically record stable sleep, unstable sleep and wake time.
- Notifications . The connected bracelet vibrates to notify you when your smartphone receives a phone call, an SMS and messages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, etc.)
- Multisport mode. Real-time monitoring of heart rate, duration, distance, speed, race.
- It does not have GPS, support for connected GPS devices.
- Activity tracker (pedometer, distance, calories), moderate to high intensity activity duration and steady state, 10 sports modes .
- Use the Huawei health app that is available for free on Google Play.
It is an activity bracelet designed for those looking for a device that offers basic monitoring functions at a good price.
- OLED grayscale touch screen , outdoor visibility is quite good, small screen but it meets expectations.
- Comfortable and lightweight design, the body is small
- Battery autonomy of up to 5 days
- Continuous heart rate monitoring
- Monitor your steps, distance, minutes of activity
- Sleep analysis, light, deep & REM sleep and useful tips to rest better
- Notifications for calls, text messages, calendar events and apps when the mobile is nearby
- Accessories to customize it to your style
- It does not incorporate GPS , it must be connected through your mobile to see the pace and distance of your workouts
- Syncs with Mac OS X 10.6 and later, iPhone 4S and later, iPad 3 or later, Android 5.0 and later devices, and Windows 10
- It comes with two straps , one for small / medium wrist and one for large wrist.
- Activities to choose from are running, biking, swimming, treadmill running, weights, or HIIT training.
Attractive design, comfortable and with a quality screen. It’s easy to use
- 0.95-inch full color AMOLED screen
- Water resistant up to 5 ATM
- Battery autonomy of 7-8 days frequent use and up to 11 days in case of occasional use
- Monitors your heart rate and sends an alert if it exceeds a predetermined level while you are resting
- Accelerometer, gyroscope, HRM type sensors
- Control of physical activities, steps, distance, calories, sleep and stress
- Without GPS , the location is done through the mobile’s GPS
- Training types : walking, running, cycling, swimming, others (select from 90 activities in the app)
- Monitoring stress levels , the Galaxy Fit shows your levels and offers you guided breathing exercises to relax.
Extremely comfortable and light, it includes many functions and its application is very well designed
- The sleek fitness tracker in modern design with metallic details and a bright, easy-to-read display .
- Heart rate sensor on the wrist, stress monitor throughout the day.
- Includes advanced sleep monitoring and allows blood oxygen saturation levels to be measured at night using the pulse oximeter based on wrist measurements
- Activity control: steps, inactivity, sleep, heart rate, calories, floors, distance, stress, blood oxygen level and energy
- Receive vibrating alerts for all notifications , (message responses available for Android device users)
- The battery life lasts up to 7 days (excluding pulse oximetry monitoring during sleep)
- 5 ATM water resistance , can be used in swimming activities and under the shower
Comparative table of types of activities
|Xiaomi Mi Band 5/4||Sleep, heart rate (punctual and throughout the day), steps, distance, calories|
|Honor Band 5||Sleep, heart rate, steps, distance, calories, blood oxygen level, inactivity|
|Fitbit inspire HR||Sleep, heart rate, steps, distance, calories, health, inactivity|
|Samsung Galaxy Fit||Sleep, heart rate, steps, distance, calories, stress|
|Garmin Vivosmart 4||Steps, inactivity, sleep, heart rate, calories, floors, distance, stress, blood oxygen level and energy|
Comparative table of technical specifications
|Bracelet||Dimensions||Weight||screen||Waterproof||Sensors and connectivity|
|Xiaomi Mi Band 5||47.2 x 18.5 x 12.4 mm||11.9 grams (without NFC), 12.1 grams (NFC)||1.1 inch color OLED, 126 * 294 pixels||IP68, 5 ATM up to 50 m||Bluetooth 5.0, accelerometer, gyroscope, PPG heart rate sensor, proximity sensor|
|Xiaomi Mi Band 4||Adjustable length: 155 – 216 mm||22.1 g||0.95 «AMOLED 240 x 120, 400 nits||IP68, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)||Bluetooth 5.0, accelerometer, gyroscope, PPG heart rate sensor, proximity sensor|
|Honor Band 5||43 x 17.2 x 11.5 mm||22.7 g||0.95-inch AMOLED (282 dpi)||IP68, 5 ATM up to 50 m||Sensors to measure activity and heart rate, pulse oximeter|
|Fitbit inspire HR||34 g||OLED grayscale touch||5 ATM (up to 50 m)||Three-axis accelerometer Heart rate monitor, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Samsung Galaxy Fit||45.1 x 18.3 mm||23 g||AMOLED 0.95 «and resolution of 120 x 240.16 M colors||5 ATM||Bluetooth 5.0, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, HRM|
|Garmin Vivosmart 4||S / M size: 15 x 10.5 x 197mm, Adjustable length: from 122-188mm. Size L: 15 x 10.5 x 223mm, Adjustable Length: 148-215mm||Size S / M: 16.5 g Size L: 17.1 g||6.6mm x 17.7mm OLED. 48 x 128 pixel resolution||5 ATM||Heart rate, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, Bluetooth pulse oximeter and ANT +|