Holiday gift guide: 7 wearable fitness and lifestyle trackers
The Nike+ FuelBand SE in Rose Gold is pictured in this image provided by Nike.
Published Saturday, December 7, 2013 5:11PM EST
If you're looking for stocking stuffers, wearable fitness and lifestyle trackers are busy updating their features and offerings in hopes of enticing shoppers. Here are some of the best options on the market.
Samsung Galaxy Gear
This autumn Samsung dropped its latest phone, the Galaxy Note 3, and along with it the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. While not a fitness tracker per say, it does integrate with fitness apps such as RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, and Azumio's Argus, and includes an accelerometer built into the watch. While the company has also announced a fitness tracking wristband, the Samsung S Band, it's not yet available. $299.
Fitbit maintains its edge with a new Bluetooth-connected activity tracker called the Force, a $129.95 bracelet that blends the US company's digital fitness tracking expertise with some basic smartwatch functionality. Plus its new smartwatch-inspired design should put it in line with Nike's new FuelBand SE.
UK-based Fitbug has recently launched its low-priced Fitbug Orb for a sweet $49.95. Similar to the Misfit Shine, the tiny gadget can be worn in a variety of ways, such as on a belt, the wrist, a lanyard, or clipped beneath clothing, to track sleep and activity metrics, including steps, distance, calories burned, and speed. Plus it uses Bluetooth Smart to sync the data to a free smartphone app.
Nike+ FuelBand SE
The freshly upgraded FuelBand SE can now better tabulate your NikeFuel for more nuanced activities, including yoga, Pilates, and cycling. Plus new features include push notifications via the device's LCD screen to remind you to get up and move around. FuelBand also now comes complete with Bluetooth 4.0 technology and a double-tap function for the home button that will display time. Just in time for the holidays, Nike is offering a limited edition Rose Gold colorway, available at select retail locations and nike.com for $169/€149. Other colors -- Black, Volt, Pink Foil, and Total Crimson -- are also already available for $149/€139.
The makers of the Basis fitness tracker have added a new feature called Body IQ that allows users to automatically track walking, running, or cycling. The new upgrade can put the Basis band ahead of some of its competition, but more apps could soon offer that kind of functionality, thanks to Apple's new M7 motion coprocessor, which can gather data from the phone's sensor to differentiate movements. Basis is available now in the US at a reduced price of $169 (with international availability forthcoming).
Jawbone recently introduced its new UP24 wristbands. The second-generation UP band tracks how active wearers are or how well they are sleeping or eating, then communicates wirelessly with Apple mobile devices to make recommendations "in the moment" about pursuing healthier lifestyles. UP24 bands available online are priced at $150.
For holiday shoppers, Misfit Wearables won't have a new device by the end of the year to compete with the likes of the Nike+ FuelBand SE, but it now has something that the FuelBand doesn't -- an Android app. One of the more elegant contenders on the market for tracking your fitness and sleep, the tiny, all-metal waterproof device sells for $120. Plus it can be worn in myriad minimalist ways, not just on your wrist, making it a popular choice for women in particular.