I know several of you had made a resolution at the beginning of 2019 to keep yourselves fit throughout the year. While some of them have joined gyms, others might have promised to make changes in their lifestyle and food habits. But sadly, before the first week of 2019 comes to an end, many of you are already thinking of quitting.
I understand it's difficult to maintain discipline, especially in the cold weather. Getting up early in the morning to hit the gym or even in the evening after work for the matter is no easy task. However, the lethargic behaviour can be tamed with the smart fitness bands.
To help you make the informed decision, we have listed top six smart fitness trackers that are sure to make you develop the motivation to get yourself fitter and healthier. You can gift yourself or suggest these to your loved ones.
Here are top 6 hand-picked smartwatches you should know:
Apple Watch Series 4:
This Apple gadget may be expensive for some, but it's totally worth the price it commands. Also, it makes up for the perfect gift to your middle-aged better half and also ageing parents. Even young people who just joined their first corporate job will find the Watch Series 4 (review) a perfect fitness companion.
Having used the Watch Series 4 for more than three months, I can tell you there is a significant change in my overall fitness level. Ever-friendly user-interface and the activity rings make you complete the rings—move (pink), exercise (green) and stand (blue) without being too nagging. If you become idle for more than 50 minutes, it will alert to stand or take a walk for a few minutes to make your body physically active.
It also as in-built breathe app, that you can use to calm yourself after a tense team meeting or make you come out of any work-related stress.
In the US, the ECG (Electrocardiogram) app and Irregular Rhythm Notification' feature became active on the Watch series 4 last month, and already, it has saved several lives. These life-saving features are expected to come in global models as soon as Apple receives respective country's nodal health agency.
Without the aforementioned features, the heart rate sensor on Apple Watch will serve you well and will notify if your heart is abnormally beating high or low. It is one of the most accurate for a smart wearable in the market and you can find it even on Watch Series 3(review) and older models, which have received price cuts in recent times.
Other things you should know about the Watch Series 4 is it flaunts visually appealing curvy lozenge-like slim body (just 10.7 mm thickness) and come with more than 35-percent increased display compared to the predecessor. The Watch Series 4 looks gorgeous with near edge-to-edge screen and thanks to the new interface watchOS 5, it offers more information with richer detail including new Yoga fitness tracker in the Workout app. Also, the sensors incorporated in the Apple Watch Series 4 are very intuitive and can automatically sense, if you are working out or not and notifies you to record the activity, so that the information can be added to the activity rings.
The speaker is also said to be 50% louder, optimized for phone calls, Siri and Walkie-Talkie features. The microphone has been relocated, to reduce echo for better sound quality. The device includes the next-generation Apple S4 dual-core chip, delivering twice the speed while maintaining the same all-day battery life. It also boasts new generations W3 wireless chip for stronger Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity with companion accessories.
The only qualm is that Apple Watches are compatible with iOS-based iPhones only. If interested, you should know that Apple offers the Watch Series 4 in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm with prices starting at Rs 40,900. Or else go for the older Apple Watch models, which are pretty good compared to the latest rival brands.
Samsung Galaxy Watch:
Another top-end smartwatch, which I'd like to recommend is the Samsung's new Galaxy Watch. It is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
Also, it boasts advanced health management feature including stress management tracker, which automatically detects high levels of stress and offers breathing exercises to help keep users centred and focused.
The new Galaxy Watch comes in two sizes—46mm and 42mm-- with familiar circular dial design we see in the 2017-series Gear Sport but differ in battery capacity. The new models come in 472mAh and the 270mAh cells, respectively. Despite the difference in battery capacity, they are capable of offering close to 80 hours of battery life.
One of the perks of having long battery life on Samsung's Galaxy Watch is that you can track all levels of sleep, including Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycles, to help users adjust sleeping habits and get the rest they need to take on their day.
With sleep and stress under control, Galaxy Watch also helps users achieve other health and wellness goals, including fitness. Galaxy Watch supports 21 new indoor exercises, tracking a total of 39 workouts that allow consumers to personalise and change up their routines. Since balanced nutrition is as important as exercise, Samsung claims that the Galaxy Watch makes it easier than ever with intuitive calorie tracking and personalised alerts.
Furthermore, users can stay on track of their meals using Bixby Vision on their Galaxy device. To take a photo of each meal and instantly log nutritional information in Samsung Health and on Galaxy Watch for better calorie management.
As far as the durability is concerned, it comes with military certification both in terms of security (Knox) and also the build quality-- with Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ and industry-leading water resistance with a 5 ATM rating, meaning it can sustain underwater pressure up to 50 meters.
Also, the Galaxy Watch supports LTE connectivity, meaning the user can make a call or reply messages directly from the smart wearable without having the companion phone near it.
Fitbit Charge 3:
Like most of the recently released fitness tracker series, Fitbit's new Charge 3 is visually appealing and also importantly, comes with advanced health monitoring capabilities. The company also claims that the new Charge 3 can work for one full week with a single charge.
With such long lasting battery life, it can easily help you track the overall health including sleep pattern.
The most interesting aspect of Fitbit Charge 3 is that it boastsSpO2 sensor, a first for any fitness tracker in the market. It is the global standard for a non-invasive procedure to check blood oxygen level, which is crucial in early detection of abnormal functioning of the lungs and also the heart.
As far as build quality is concerned, it comes with aerospace-grade aluminium body, which will be light and yet offer high durability. On the front, Charge 3 flaunts OLED-based screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 series shield on top. It also boasts swim-proof, meaning you can wear it on your wrists while swimming.
It is available in major retail stores across India with prices starting at Rs 13,999 and a special edition will set you back by Rs 15,999.
I reviewed Amazfit Cor in 2018 and will say again, it is still one of best among smart bands. It sports an ergonomically designed curved case, which covers your wrist with a 1.23-inch LCD screen, the brightest we have seen in the affordable price range. It also comes with stainless steel case having 5ATM ratings, meaning it can survive high underwater pressure up to 50 meters (or 164 feet).
It does all the basic functions of a fitness tracker does, including steps count, scan heart rate periodically, track sleep, flash email/SMS notifications, phone call alerts, which I found to be very useful while commuting on a bus during rush hours. I was able to see who messaged or called me and if I needed to reply urgently I would answer the call or else reject it. It also features stand-up reminder, which the fitness bands asks me, whenever I am idle for too long (over an hour), to get up and take a walk to get physical exercise to the body.
Thanks to long battery life, it will help track your sleep pattern, which is the most important aspect of a person's well being. If humans don't have adequate sleep, the immunity power will decline to lead to recurring illness like cold and also hampers your work-life in terms of decision making.
Amazfit Cor is compatible with most of the Apple (iOS 9.0 or later) and Android (v4.4 or later) phones in the market. Just have to install Mi-Fit app and you are good to go. It has a very long lasting battery. Once fully charged it can run for around two weeks if not more.
Fastrack Reflex Wav:
This is also a cost-effective smartwatch. Highlights of the Fastrack Reflex Wav are long battery life, sleek design, build quality and sleep & activity tracker.
It is one of the lightest smart wearables I have used so far. Once you wear the Fastrack Reflex Wav, you will forget, it's on your wrist and yet it reminds timely about the call or messages on the phone. Also, it makes you take a walk if you sit idle for too long.
Fastrack Reflex Wav sports OLED screen, which is bright enough for the eyes to notifications and also time, weather details in any light conditions. I also liked the fact that it comes with an IP67 rating, meaning you can go for a dip in the swimming without worrying about the device getting damaged internally. I can survive up to 3 feet of fresh water for close to 30 minutes.
As far as the interface is concerned, it is very easy even for a first-time smart band user. Also, it responds swiftly to the right and left swipe gestures. I was able to install the Reflex Wav app on my iPhone and got it paired in a few minutes. I just started using, and within minutes, I was able to get notifications such as sedentary alert, messages (WhatsApp and also SMS), weather details, locate my phone via triggering ringtone and several more. You can even take selfies from the front snapper and also take photos from rear camera right from Fastrack Reflex Wav band.
It supports Apple devices and Google's mobile OS-powered phones running iOS 8 (& above) and Android 5.0 (& later) versions, respectively. It is available for Rs 4,995 in India.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3:
If you are cash-crunched but need an effective fitness tracker. Xiaomi's Mi Band 3 is a best value-for-money device in the market. Xiaomi Mi Band 3 comes with a low of upgrades over the Mi Band 2 (review) and yet costs Rs 1,998, same as the predecessor.
The new Mi Band 3 comes with a 0.78-inch OLED touch-screen display, which is more than enough to see alerts for the eyes to clearly notice, even if you are typing from a distance on the keyboard
Also, Mi Band 3's larger screen can now display contents of notifications from the companion smartphone, in addition to information such as time, date and steps count. It also boasts improved alerts and 50m water resistance, meaning you can take a dip in the swimming pool without worrying about damaging it.
Despite the big screen, it still has holds the sleek, minimalist design language of the predecessor. Navigating through the features is as simple as it gets. For instance, users can swipe up and down to scroll through menu items and left and right for more options.
Other new features include a built-in stopwatch, a phone locating function, and an independent vibrating alarm function that works even when your smartphone is turned off. Interested consumers can head to Mi.com and Amazon.in to buy the Mi Band 3.