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Top ten smart fitness tech for 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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As we’re hurtled into 2015, the majority of us are faced with the age old battle of January: time to get fit. After the splurges of Christmas, there’s no doubt that many of us are feeling a little over-indulged. And it’s not just our waists that will be feeling the effects. It may be good for relaxation, but the truth is an overindulgent Christmas isn’t great for general fitness either. So what can we do now that the New Year is upon us?

Well, because we provide life insurance, we like to stay savvy with all things health-related. With that in mind, we thought we’d provide you with information on the best fitness tech out there, designed to keep you on track with this year’s health kick. Some of our favourite bloggers below have contributed. Here’s what they found…

Jawbone UP24

Jawbone recently brought out the UP24 activity tracker, which has been received with rave reviews. A sleek and stylish band that monitors sleep, exercise and diet, it’s a seriously smart way to bring in your New Year’s resolutions. With a seven day battery life and Bluetooth Smart support for real time syncing, this is fitness tech at its best. Scarlett from scarlettlondon.com says… I love how non-intrusive it is. I never thought I'd be able to sleep with something on me that is monitoring my patterns - however it's lightweight, comfortable and you barely feel like it's there at all.”

Misfit Flash

The Misfit Flash is an advanced activity tracker that monitors sleep, steps and even dips in the pool. This one has taken a bold step away from its predecessor, the Misfit Shine, which was twice the price. The reason it’s so much cheaper is because the all-metal disc has been replaced with a plastic one. However, this isn't to be seen as a disadvantage, except perhaps where appearance is concerned. Helen from helsbels.org.uk says…Initial thoughts that it's lightweight and easy to wear and I like the key chain feature which is something the competitors don't have. However, it does seem a little flimsy and took a while to get the device into the wrist band.”

Acer Liquid Leap

This one may seem a little random, with Acer usually sticking to the production of laptops and tablets. However, the brand’s first fitness tracker has captured a corner of the market. Its best feature is probably its OLED display, which turns it from a plain activity tracker into a smart watch too. Kat from talesofapaleface.com says…“I love the fact it's a wrist-based device as it's so much easier to wear than click on pedometers, but it's pretty step-happy when it comes to counting my activity - I've had to take about 20% off the total as it seems to track most wrist movements and isn't that accurate.”

Epson Pulsense

The Epson Pulsense not only tracks activity, but monitors heart rate too. This addition opens up a world of data, allowing you to monitor your fitness progress to a whole to level. It’s this kind of analysis that means you can really refine the health-related changes you make to your lifestyle. Zoe frommamageek.co.uk says…”The step counting and heart rate measurements seem accurate enough, and I liked the way that the app told me how long I spent in each heart rate zone. I found it too uncomfortable to wear to bed, so I don’t know how well it measures sleep.”

Fitbit Flex

The Fitbit Flex has become a classic in the activity tracking market. The sleek band comes in a range of colours and offers the ultimate in sleep, step and activity monitoring. The only downside is that it has been noted to scuff fairly easy around the screen area, which might be a deal breaker for the aesthetically minded. Angela from warriorwomen.co.uk says… Although I'm very happy with the sleep aspect of the Fitbit app, the overall display is quite stark with an awful lot of blank space and it doesn't feel as exciting as either the Up or Withings apps. Another stand out feature for the Fitbit Flex is price.”

Withings Pulse Ox

The Withings Pulse Ox breaks the mould again, offering a heart rate monitor and blood oxygen reader on top of all the usual fitness tracker features. It does, however, have the odd downside. It’s not waterproof and the screen isn't very readable in bright daylight. Kellie from bigfashionista says…I had no experience of the Withings range before, and I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of setting it up. Unlike other wearables the pulse Ox not only has a wrist strap which is very strong and well made but also comes with a clip so you can attach it to your clothing. It makes it very hard to lose.“

Garmin Vivofit

Whilst the Garmin Vivofit measures up in terms of features offered, some say that it’s lacking in the looks department. As one of the chunkier fitness wrist bands out there, it’s definitely not on the discreet side of things. However, if appearance doesn't bother you, this could be a goer. One of its main benefits is the fact that it’s waterproof; a major advantage for swimmers. Sam from Honeygolightly.com says…What I love is that you can connect it to your My Fitness Pal app and it will transfer data between the two. So the steps taken can been seen in My Fitness Pal and converted to calories burnt which adds to your daily calorie intake.”

Polar Loop

The Polar Loop is a seriously advanced version of the activity tracker, with loads of smart little features that make it stand out from the crowd. One of these is the fact that each individual band is made to fit its owner’s wrist, which is measured accordingly pre-production. This may sound like a hassle, but it ensures that the band doesn't chafe or cause irritation.

Fitbit Charge

The Fitbit Charge is like the Fitbit Force, but reinvented. The sleek black or slate-coloured device is unique in that, on top of all the usual activity tracking, it monitors floors climbed too. It’s definitely got attitude, and it looks the part. We think this is a serious contender in the market. Georgina from fitcetera.co.uk says…The screen is really handy, as with most activity trackers you have to check the app to view your progress, but with the Fitbit Charge you can see how many steps you've taken at the press of a button. The screen also doubles up as a watch, which is then one less thing to wear on your wrist, and even shows you incoming calls to your mobile - very James Bond.”

Fitbit One

The Fitbit One is a clip to be attached to the clothing, rather than a band to be placed on the wrist. Some see this as a distinct disadvantage, whilst others prefer it to the ‘wearable’ models. It all depends on what you find more comfortable. The device wirelessly syncs with your computer too, which is a pretty handy feature for those that live for convenience. Lizzie from blueoctoberblog.com say… I walk each day, and using the online tools I can record a load of other stuff such as what I eat, drink and when I workout. So far, I'm super impressed!”

This research was conducted by an independent third party. To the best of our knowledge neither the third party nor the contributing bloggers have received any compensation for writing these reviews. We have no material connection to the brands or products that are mentioned. We will not be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and you are dissatisfied with it.

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