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Best Fitness Tracker

Best fitness tracker 2017 South Africa | 20 best activity trackers

Which fitness tracker should you buy? If you’re looking for the best fitness tracker, the answer is simple: we have to say the Fitbit Charge HR. However, there are plenty of other options which we cover in our detailed round up of the best fitness trackers you can buy in South Africa in 2017. Read on for our best fitness tracker reviews.

What’s the best fitness tracker?

With 2017 now in full swing and our New Year’s resolutions still very much on top of our minds, fitness trackers have become the must-have gadget for the start of the new year. There are quite a few brands available, each of which prioritise slightly different features. In this article we’ll review what we believe to be the best fitness trackers available in South Africa at the moment: Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin and some less powerful alternatives for smaller budgets.

Fitness Tracker Buyer’s Guide: What to consider

When trying to pick the best fitness tracker, there are a few key points you should consider as these will help to narrow down the possible alternatives.

Tip: Most of the latest Android Smartphones and iPhones have basic built-in apps to track steps and limited additional a fitness metrics.

Decide what you need: First off, decide what mertics you would like the fitness tracker to be able to track: most fitness trackers cover steps, calories burned, distance covered and sleep. Over and above these, do you need your tracker to have GPS capabilities? What about heart rate monitoring? Heart rate monitoring is a key distinguishing feature amongst today’s activity trackers and whereas previously most devices relied on a cumbersome chest-strap, the latest Fitbit’s can take your pulse from sensors around your wrist

Top of the range trackers can further include features such as a built-in vibrating alarm, a barometer for climbing and hiking, various level of GPS support and specialised tracking modes for specific sports (think cycling, swimmming, running etc.). Whilst not all activity trackers are 100% waterproof, almost all are water-resistant (Also read: Best activity trackers for swimmers)

Size vs Versatility: When it came to reviewing the best fitness trackers 2017, we found that there is a sacrifice to be made between what the tracker can do and how big the device is. As such, you need to think carefully if you’d be comfortable with a larger tracker. Since fitness trackers work best when they are worn 24/7, having a smaller device – with limited features – might prove better than having all the bells-and-whistles and being weighed down by a clunky cuff aroudn your wrists. Take note: if you’re used to wearing a watch, make sure you feel comfortable wearing the fitness tracker on your right-hand.

Apps and Peripherals: Whilst monitoring the amount of steps taken and calories burned is great, the real value in a good fitness tracker lies in making you exercise more heling you reach your goals and keeping you motivated whilst getting there. This is where the app comes in: most of today’s best fitness trackers are powered by very sophisticated data, all presented in beautiful dashboard views which you can access directly from your phone via the proprietary app. Many apps allow further integrations with others such as MyFitnessPal or Strava which provides and even richer view of your exercise activity.

Screen, Display & Battery When it comes to display, decide on whether you’re after a more simple- but arguable more stylish – slimmed down, led-backlit, touch-screen display or a more complex view displayed in a manner reminiscent of the old Polar heart rate monitors. Also, if you’re looking for the fitness tracker to replace your watch, make sure it offers a satisfactory watch display.

And finally, consider and evaluate the battery life and charging process. How long does the battery last? Also, some models only come with a USB-cable for charging. Also, take note when buying activity trackers from overseas as some might come with US or UK adaptors which don’t fit local sockets (just buy a travel adaptor if this happens).

Best fitness tracker 2017: South Africa Prices

Prices fluctuate almost monthly with the change in the exchange rate, as such we won’t quote exact prices here. Entry level activity trackers start at around R1 500 with the latest Fitbit trackers coming in at around R3 500.

Make sure you compare prices online and or browse our deals section for a bargain before purchasing.

Best fitness tracker South Africa 2017

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1. Fitbit Charge 2

The Fitbit Charge 2 is a worthy upgrade to the extremely popular Charge HR. With stylish looks, serious set of features and strapless heart rate monitoring, we give the Charge 2 both thumbs as the best fitness tracker currently available in South Africa!

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2. Fitbit Charge HR

Although discontinued, the Fitbit Charge HR offers a range of real-time fitness stats and its bigger display presents these in a better format than competitors such as the Jawbone Up24. Especially if you can get a discount deal on it…

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3. Fitbit Alta

Slim and stylish, the Alta sacrifices a few features – such as altimeter and heart rate monitor – but adds in caller ID and teh ability to read texts on your wrist. It’s a great replacement watch with the looks to match.

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4. Xiaomi Mi Band 2

Great vaue for money, especially with the update to a new OLED screen. Limited integration with third party apps and not as stylish as the latest Fitbits, but as a value call, it does a great job!
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5. Jawbone UP2

One of the irst brands to really go after the activity tracker market, Jawbone has been challenged by the juggernaught that is Fitbit. However we still like the Jawbone UP2 for its focus on exercise tracking in a no-nonsense, straightforward package.
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