Money expert Clark Howard is a fitness fanatic.
In addition to exercising regularly, he obsessively tracks his health and fitness. Famously, he wears an Oura ring as a wedding band. He’s also worn two watches for years (both fitness trackers).
The most recent time he detailed his regimen, he was wearing a Garmin fitness tracker and a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 in addition to the Oura ring. (Yes, that’s three fitness trackers at the same time.) So it’s no surprise that Clark’s podcast listeners look to him for advice on wearables.
Amazon recently discontinued its health & fitness tracker Halo. For customers who were using it, what does Clark recommend as a replacement? That’s what a listener of the Clark Howard Podcast recently asked.
How Should I Replace My Amazon Halo, Which Is Now Discontinued?
Amazon discontinued my fitness tracker. What should I buy instead?
That’s what a listener asked on the June 29 podcast episode.
Asked Tim in California: “I have the Halo app and [fitness] tracker. It is now discontinued. What does Clark recommend as a replacement? I loved it!”
First, Amazon said in its announcement that it will “fully refund purchase(s) made in the preceding 12 months,” including unused prepaid subscription fees. So you can look forward to that refund if you qualify.
Amazon also is covering shipping costs if you want to recycle your device(s).
“Tim, I am so sorry. Not enough other people love the Halo series from Amazon,” Clark says. “Amazon, because of trying to improve their profitability, they’re discontinuing a lot of their own house-brand electronics.
“I wear my Oura fitness ring as my wedding band. And if Oura goes bust, I then have a ring that is useless other than turning out to be a really expensive wedding band. Because I replaced my $12 wedding band with this $300 Oura.
“You face the same thing. You now have a Halo device that, ‘Poof!’ is just electronic waste at this point.”
Amazon Halo Alternatives According to Clark
Looking to replace your own Amazon Halo? Or simply wanting a breakdown of the fitness and health trackers from Clark?
He breaks your no-subscription options into two distinct categories: dedicated to fitness vs. a watch that’s an extension of your phone and has health and fitness capabilities.
“As you look for alternatives, you’ve got two ways to really think about this. You can get a device that’s a dedicated fitness tracker. [Like a] Garmin or Fitbit,” Clark says.
“Garmin is for people that are really, really serious about fitness and exercise. And Fitbit is for people who want to become more fit. They serve different markets, really.
“Or you can go to the other, which is having an Apple watch or a Samsung watch or a Google watch. They all offer health and fitness functions in it. But it’s kind of an afterthought. Not what they’re really about.
“And the good news with many of these is you won’t have a monthly subscription with them for the health tracking that they offer.”
Why Clark Loves His Oura Ring
Clark loves his Oura ring. It tracks his health 24 hours a day. He gets a daily “activity” score that includes your sleep and your activity-to-rest ratio. He insists it lines up very well with how he’s actually feeling. When he’s sick or getting sick, or if he’s not sleeping well, his score is lower.
“I bought this ring for the oddest reason. They discovered completely by accident in the early days of COVID that the Oura ring could give you early warning that you had COVID,” Clark says.
“The NBA was able to play that ‘bubble’ season they did in Orlando by putting Oura rings on all the players, trainers, coaches, family members, league officials, everybody wore them. And they were able to prevent any widespread outbreaks and get the season played.”
Clark’s sleep scores have gotten better the longer he’s used the Oura ring and says it modified his behavior.
Oura charges a monthly subscription. But in typical Clark fashion, he joined Oura early enough that he’s grandfathered in and doesn’t have to pay subscription fees. That is, until his current device breaks or is no longer supported.
“What am I going to do when this one dies?” Clark says. “It’s going to be very upsetting having to pay a monthly fee.”
Clark didn’t list every possible fitness tracker. But the key, as he made clear, is to determine what you’re trying to accomplish.
The right product for you depends on whether you’re concerned about monitoring your overall health and sleep, tracking an intense fitness regimen, simply trying to get in shape or curious about your heart rate and how many steps you’ve taken today.
Some fitness trackers can check off many or all of those boxes. In other cases, you may need to cobble together multiple devices like Clark does.
Either way, if you haven’t checked out the technology in five to 10 years, it has gotten advanced quickly. And it may be worth revisiting.