When it comes to fitness tracking and activity tracking, every individual has different needs. Some might need constant heart rate monitoring or step counting while others might want to track their vitals while sleeping.
In the current market for fitness tracking devices, there is a solution for everyone. More often than not, that is where choosing the correct device becomes a daunting task for many.
There is a long list of brands with fitness trackers. Three of the most reliable and well-known name in this segment are Fitbit, Jawbone and Garmin.
These brands have been adding new technologies and features at a rapid pace. Differentiating lines between them is continuously blurring thus making a correct choice of fitness tracker device is even more difficult.
While for some Fitbit fitness tracker device might be a better choice due to its 24x7 Heart monitoring. Others may hedge their bets on Jawbone due to its better design and sleep tracking. For some, the higher battery and lower price of Garmin might be the winning factors.
Making the correct choice for your new fitness tracker device depends solely on your needs. Enlisted below are some noteworthy details on three of the biggest brands in the fitness tracker segment:
A San Francisco-based company known for it’s product range in the activity and fitness tracker wearable tech devices like the Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Alta, Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Charge HR etc.
Special Read: Which Fitbit Fitness Tracker Should I Buy?
The Fitbit Blaze is by far the best-looking fitness tracking device in the market. A classy watch that you can wear with your formal as well as casual clothes with equal ease.
Fitbit Blaze comes with a pretty and colourful screen which is capable of showing almost all the vital tracking stats. The stock software that comes installed on the device is simple enough to use for everyone.
View top curated Fitbit Blaze Reviews
A big negative for some has been the absence of GPS on this device. But apart from that, it delivers well on all other fronts from step tracking, sleep tracking, and 24x7 heart rate monitoring. Thus, I feel the Fitbit Blaze does well what a fitness tracker is supposed to do.
The person for whom fashion is as important as fitness tracking will love the design of the Fitbit blaze. As it will look stunning and gorgeous on your arm, no matter if you are busy exercising or enjoying a party.
And if this wasn’t good enough, the design of the bands on this device is also customizable with options for metal, rubber and classic bands. For the touch screen lovers, this fitness watch boasts of a 1.66 inches and 240 X 180 Pixel colour touch screen LCD. Which you can use to view your stats on and even play around with them.
This fitness watch is the flagship product of Fitbit and leads the line of fitness trackers in the company’s impressive line-up. The lack of a GPS on this device can leave some disappointed. So in case you are out jogging on an unknown road you might need to switch to your phone for navigation. The blaze can get fully charged in two hours and the battery is good enough to last for five days.
As far as the software goes, it does look pretty impressive. It’s new SmartTrack feature automatically detects and records all your exercising activity.
There are dedicated screens for tracking your different types of exercise activities like running, weight training, cycling, cardio training, cross training etc.
You can check-out top reviews of all Fitbit’s fitness trackers.
An additional feature that is capable of winning customers time and again is the fact that though according to Fitbit, this is not a smartwatch, it is by default capable and set to exhibit the stock notifications on your Android phone like a call, text, and calendar events. As a consequence, you can leverage their application’s setting Turn On notifications feature for Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype etc.
Fitbit Blaze is $199.95 from Fitbit or as little as $198.99 from Amazon.com.
This another San Francisco, California-based company makes popular wearable fitness trackers such as Jawbone Up move, UP2, UP3 wristbands and also portable audio devices.
In the Fitness tracker vertical, Jawbone is one of the oldest and most reliable brands. Not to mention the fact that Jawbone offers some of the best and most reliable tech at the lowest price.
Jawbone UP2 which comes with a meagre price tag of $100 is one the best-looking devices. Has a perfect blend of features and is the perfect choice for someone looking at a device with basic features which are added onto by the easy to use software and what just snatches the market away from the competition is one of the best data insights and analytics that come with the software.
The Jawbone UP2 has all the basic features from step tracking, sleep tracking, smart alarm etc. Then there are the bigger and better models like the UP3 which come with a much bigger price tag. Though people who prefer having a screen on their wrists might be disappointed as the UP2 comes without a screen.
The Jawbone UP2 is priced between the company’s flagship product the UP3, with a long list of biometric sensors and the entry level budget friendly Jawbone UP move.
This device is one of the best-looking fitness tracking devices in the market with its sleek & compact design. The range of vibrant colours in which the device is available is impressive.
The bands are made of rubber and are comfortable, the main circuit and device are housed in a compact aluminium top. The absence of any screen or buttons only adds to the looks of this device.
The Jawbone UP2 has three broad functionalities or features. The first is the daily Activity Mode, keeps a tab on your fitness by step tracking, calories burned and monitor any spikes in your activity levels.
The second is the Sleep Mode, a regular tab on your sleep time and also the quality of your sleep. You can also use the smart alarm in the sleep mode which ensures that you get in your lighter parts of sleep time.
The last is the Stopwatch feature which is used when you go out for workout sessions. A problem with the stopwatch feature though is that to turn the stopwatch on you need to open your app and the use it, which is annoying. Also what adds to this annoyance is the fact that the stopwatch turns off the moment you stop exercising. Which means that you need to go into your app and then turn it on every time you take a water break.
As any physical buttons are missing you can switch between different features by tapping the top part of your device. Though the Jawbone UP2 might be short on feature list but it does a good job of the features it does have by being reliable and accurate.
On the software side, now that Jawbone has ended its partnership with Full power Technologies, it has only led to better things on its app front. With the application becoming much more comprehensive and simple to use.
The data insights and analytics are also well thought out and the software is one easy to use, comprehensive and one of the best that stands out. Jawbone has also released a new feature Smart Coach which it claims will provide more useful insights into your behaviour and fitness.
Garmin is an American multinational company that has a diverse portfolio with specialisation in GPS technology.
Due to its development in the wearable technology, it has started competing against the likes of Fitbit, Jawbone, Apple etc., in the smartwatch consumer electronics market.
Some of the fitness trackers from Garmin are Vivosmart HR, the running and sport focussed Garmin forerunner 630 etc. The Garmin Vivosmart HR has comparable features like step tracker, heart rate monitoring & sleep tracker. But where it leaves its competition is it’s more than good notification set.
The software lags a bit when compared to that of Fitbit and Jawbone as it is complex to use. As of the features and analytics offered, the software is comprehensive.
The Garmin Vivosmart comes at a mid-ranged price of $150. For this price, the Garmin Vivosmart offers 24x7 heart rate monitoring using optical heart rate monitor. Also smartwatch like notifications and workout tracker.
On the design side, the Garmin Vivosmart is a simple, plain and sturdy device with no embellishments to make it look good. It is black and bland but that does not mean it lacks in any way in the technology it offers. Also, the device is lightweight and might as well go un-noticed which can be good for some while a negative for the more fashion conscious.
One big advantage of the Garmin device is the fact that it is waterproof. While the above-mentioned devices of other brands are not, thus making it pool friendly.
The device like other devices effectively measures your heart rate, step tracking and sleep quality. But it also has a feature called the Move Bar. The Move Bar fills up when the band detects no movement and when the bar is completely filled, you need to move around for it to clear. It might sound annoying but it does sound mighty effective too.
The biggest differentiators for Garmin from its counterparts Fitbit and Jawbone are its smart notifications. The watch is capable of syncing with your phone and any notification on your phone is also replicated on the Garmin fitness tracker watch. The device can only notify you any new notification on your phone. But as you can watch or open it on the watch, the Garmin device surely is not as useful as a smartwatch.
On the software side, the app though is comprehensive with a host of features, does turn out to be complex and difficult to use.
The analytics section is also quite good with a list of options available to view the data in different forms using graphs, charts etc. There is also a leaderboard to encourage you where you can track your progress against those of your connections.
The Bottom Line
Now that you have an overview of Fitbit vs JawBone vs Garmin, it is your own responsibility to tickle your grey cells and buy a relevant fitness tracker. Weigh your options carefully and take an informed decision.