Best and worst fitness trackers

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If you want to get a fitness tracker for the holidays, which one is right for you?

Here are the best and worst fitness trackers for your money

Consumer Reports took a look at this hot category of electronics purchase and found that the sweet spot for a good device is around the low $100s. The magazine looked at everything from pricey models like the Fitbit Surge ($250) to cheapo brands like the Jawbone Up Move ($50).

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Here are the nine criteria the magazine looked at to determine their rankings: Ease of use, ease of interaction, ease of pairing (syncing to your phone), heart-rate monitor accuracy, step count accuracy, water resistance, readability in bright light, readability in low light and versatility.

The clear winners — and the only ‘best buy’ designations on the entire list of 17 tested models — were the Fitbit One ($100) and the Microsoft Band ($130). Both were pretty evenly matched, though I should note the Fitbit One got an N/A for heart-rate monitoring accuracy and a poor mark for versatility.

If you’re looking for fitness trackers to avoid, you’ll probably want to steer clear of the Fitbit Flex ($100), Garmin Vivofit 2 ($100) and the Jawbone Up3 ($180). Those three were win, place and show for worst trackers in the Consumer Reports tally.

As for me, I wear the original Garmin VivoFit fitness band. It’s become such a big part of my life. I walk around 5 million steps a year or some 15,000 steps a day on average. Recently, I did 18,124 steps in a single day!

My wife, by contrast, got a fitness band and promptly lost it. Wearing one is just not her thing. That’s true of so much of the wearable technology that’s so popular these days. Either you’ll see it and love it…or it will be a big shrug of the shoulders for you.

But make no mistake, fitness trackers are here to stay. Target recently announced it’s going to offer Fitbits to all its employees. The reason? To reduce corporate healthcare costs. Another one of Fitbit’s corporate customers lowered health care costs by 6% after the first year using the Fitbit with its employees, according to Bloomberg.

Read more: Employers giving out free fitness trackers


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