Classic pedometers have given way to a high-tech range of fitness trackers for every level of athlete. The new generation of the most elite fitness trackers offer a wide range of data points on every aspect of a fitness regimen: sleep monitoring, heart-rate maintenance, diet assessment, and much more. Throw in a vast array of goal-setting and social media apps, and there’s sure to be something for every professional athlete or trainer who wants to get the most out of every minute of the day.
The Skinny: Dollar-for-dollar, this is the best-reviewed activity tracker on the market. In addition to the classic features that measure distance traveled and calorie burn, this one adds a heart rate monitor that takes your pulse day and night. Basis’ online account focuses on habit and tendency more than raw data. Its website and mobile apps provide well-designed goals that include exercise thresholds that keep you consistently active, while the nighttime monitoring helps you stabilize sleep patterns.
The One For You? This is a top-of-the line fitness tracker that justifies the investment. Stylish and functional, this device contains a host of features not offered by the competition. For cardio buffs, the heart rate monitor is a must-have feature. Users find the website and its habit-tracking metrics to be hugely motivating. iPhone devotees beware: there’s not a syncing feature as of yet.
$249.99 for 8GB
The Skinny: Designed to track serious exercise for hardcore athletes and runners, the MotoActv tracks every kind of workout stat through GPS and a pedometer. A popular feature: it serves as a very compact digital music player and even suggests heart-pumping playlists for your workout. Features standard Bluetooth for linking to phones, headsets, and other sensors.
The One For You? With its exceptional data tracking and analysis, this device is best suited to the tech-friendly and self-motivated. Users get a lot out of the enhanced interface and love the music option, but here’s the bottom line: the combo of an iPod Nano and a good mid-range tracker such as the Jawbone or Nike+ will get you the same core features at half the price.
The Skinny: With enhanced features that back up the cost, this is the super-processor of the bunch. Vital signs and movements are tracked with a precision unmatched by the competition. The simple interface and an easy-to-read screen won’t deter extended use. There’s no iPhone app or glitzy motivational goal features here—just pure metrics and an extremely thorough and data-intensive website.
The One For You? Hardcore athletes and trainers looking for a finely calibrated workout will get everything they need from this high-powered watch-style tracker.