CONSUMER REPORTS — Market watchers expect fitness trackers to be one of the hottest devices this holiday season. They can count your steps, measure your heart rate, track your sleep patterns, and even monitor your perspiration. You can pair most with your smartphone to keep track of all your data.
Consumer Reports tested more than a dozen of the most popular fitness trackers.
To check the heart-rate feature, testers compare trackers with their highest-rated heart-rate monitor. To test step accuracy, they measure trackers against a manual click counter.
The tests showed some are better at counting steps, some are better at tracking your heart rate, and some are just easier to use.
Consumer Reports' highest-rated tracker the $250 FitBit Surge is great for those who work out often. It's very comfortable and did well in heart-rate accuracy tests.
If technology isn't your thing, Consumer Reports suggests the $200 Basis Peak.
It got the highest rating for ease of use. You can pair and sync it with your phone without much hassle.
If you're looking for a recommended tracker for less, check out the $130 Microsoft Band a Consumer Reports Best Buy. It scored well in heart-rate and step-accuracy tests but wasn't as easy to pair and sync as other tested models.
Some fitness trackers are too cheap. Consumer Reports found that the $100 FitBit Flex was the most difficult to strap on, and pairing it with a smartphone wasn't easy. And it lacks features like GPS and stair counting.