Which sports bracelet to choose in 2019: best purchase recommendations
Sports bracelets are simple devices to control our daily activity, providing us with information related to steps, calories, hours of sleep … Today in the market we find a wide variety of models in terms of design, characteristics and budget, so what in this sports bracelets buying guide You will find recommendations to take into account and some of the most interesting models.
What factors to consider when choosing a sports bracelet
What do they measure?
Activity wristbands use sensors and algorithms to monitor and quantify movements, something that implies a certain degree of imprecision.
In this sense, the strong point of this gadget is simplicity, so if we look for more metrics and / or more precision, sports watches with GPS could better fit our needs.
The usual thing is to find activity wristbands that monitor daily activities such as steps we take throughout the day, hours of sleep, heart rate and calorie estimation.
There are also models that allow record certain metrics related to specific sports activitiesTherefore, if we practice a sport regularly, it may be interesting to look for a model that measures its characteristic parameters.
As for the sensorics, in this type of devices we can find integrated accelerometers to measure steps, gyroscopes to determine what we are doing (we are sitting, standing, on the bike …), heart rate monitor, GPS to track our location , magnetometer to detect specific movements, barometer to detect altitude …
Some activity wristbands allow sync with other devices besides phonesuch as chest straps or smart scales.
In addition to recording activity, certain models offer alerts from the phone such as calls, messages or emails, as well as certain social media interactions. Certain models even allow viewing.
Design, style and materials
Taking into account that the activity bracelets are designed to accompany us in our day to day, resistance and comfort are two factors to take into account. In this sense, it is common to find hypoallergenic plastic and silicone as construction materials for the bracelet.
Since they are going to be with us all day, we can’t forget about versatility and customization, so that they fit our style.
In fact, in addition to offering versions in different colors and sizes, on the market we find models with interchangeable shells and bracelets with different designs, colors and materials.
In general all models offer some resistance to water, but not all will be the same: while some will withstand splashing or being in the shower, others are designed to be used in the pool or the sea. Before choosing a model, think about where you are going to use it and what you are going to measure.
With or without a screen?
Although all activity bracelets dump the information captured to an application installed on the mobile from which to view everything, while some rely on an LED screen to offer the parameters directly, in others the viewing experience falls entirely on the app.
Minimalism or speed? For those looking for a discreet device, the screenless option may be interesting, but in general viewing everything on the wrist is comfortable and immediate.
Another of the strengths of sports bracelets is their autonomy, in general superior to that of activity clocks as they are simpler models and with lower energy requirements, especially if they lack GPS.
It is common for activity wristbands with few sensors and without a screen to offer greater autonomy than those with a color screen and a more complete sensor.
In this sense, in the market we find models whose battery lasts from one of days to exceeding the month, with a few notable exceptions.
Application and compatibility
Whether the activity bracelet has a screen or not, it will be from the application where we will view the data captured by the device, either in real time or in the form of history and statistics.
A look at the App Store or Play Store can help us determine how intuitive and complete it is, but first of all, it is better to make sure it is compatible with both the operating system of your mobile phone and its version.
What activity bracelet to buy
Huawei Band 3e
For those users looking for a compact and affordable model with good autonomy, the Huawei Band 3e (21.99 euros) stands out for its 2-week battery, its versatility when it comes to positioning itself in other places such as shoes and its approach to running.
And it is that the Huawei Band 3e offers up to 7 data related to this sport such as cadence, impact or contact time with the ground.
It is water resistant to 50 meters and provides general movement data, sleep monitoring, phone alerts. Although it works with iOS and Android, if you have a Huawei it offers the possibility of knowing the location of your terminal.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3
The third generation of Xiaomi smart bracelet, the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 (27.90 euros) stands out for being Simple wearable with very good value for money with considerable autonomy. In the market we find a wide range of customization options in the form of straps of different designs and colors.
Among the metrics offered by this model with a monocolor display are the estimated distance traveled, steps and calories. It is synchronized with both iOS and Android, as well as with the Mi ecosystem, which opens the doors to being able to use it in conjunction with the Xiaomi Mi Scale, Xiaomi’s smart scale.
Honor Band 4
Another affordable and simple model to track activity is the Honor Band 4 (32.58 euros), an activity bracelet with very little time on the market that follows in the wake of the previous model in terms of simplicity and reduced dimensions, the Honor Band 3.
Although it lacks GPS and notifications from the mobile are scarce, it is an interesting alternative for users who simply want to monitor their activity or do sports from time to time.
In this edition the screen is AMOLED and the autonomy is reduced to 2 weeks and it is water resistant up to 50 meters.
Garmin Vivofit 4
The Garmin Vivofit 4 (63.59 euros) offers a combination of functionality, compact design and price very attractive for those who require an intuitive and slim device to wear both day-to-day and in the shower or pool, as it resists up to 50 meters deep.
It measures steps, calculates distances and calories, estimates sleep and automatically detects activity, as well as reporting the time. The best thing about this model is its battery, lasting up to a year.
Of course, it does not warn of the notifications of the phone and its screen, although in color, is quite small.
Huawei Band 3 Pro
With color display, robust and sporty design and integrated GPS, the Huawei Band 3 Pro (79.90 euros) offers high functionality within smart bracelets at a contained price. Although its autonomy is 12 days, with the GPS on it is reduced to 7 hours.
Among its features, continuous heart rate monitoring, water resistance up to 50 meters (it is possible to record swimming parameters) and TrueSleep, a function that measures sleep offering possible causes in case of insomnia.
Although it is compatible with iOS and Android, if you have a Huawei smartphone we can use functions to locate the phone and shoot the camera from a distance.
Garmin Vivosmart 4
Although in the Garmin catalog we find very precise and complete wearables for athletes, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 (120.91 euros) is a simple activity bracelet if we compare it with its GPS watches but complete with respect to the activity bracelet market, providing physical activity and health control metrics intuitively in a very attractive model by design.
Its measurements include advanced sleep control, blood oxygen saturation levels and a function that indicates when is the best time of day to do sports, in addition to the classics, steps, pulse or calories. It can be used in the pool and records parameters of this activity.
The Garmin Vivosmart 4 offers vibrating alerts for calls, texts and other apps, although you can only respond to them if your phone is Android. Its battery lasts about a week.
With a more sporty, robust and voluminous aesthetics than the Vivosmart 4, the Garmin Vivosport (129 euros) is one of the most complete bracelets for sports.
It stands out for its robust design with silicone strap and polymer case with color screen and GPS integration, which allows us to monitor the route while we are running or riding a bike, two activities whose metrics can be viewed in depth in the application, very complete. It integrates continuous heart rate monitor and is waterproof. Its autonomy is approximately one week, although with the GPS activated it drops significantly.
Fitbit Charge 3
With a compact, light and elegant design, the Fitbit Charge 3 (139 euros) has a good-size monochrome screen for monitoring activity. This model automatically recognizes the activity we are doing and takes metrics from 15 sports modes including running, swimming, cycling, yoga, circuit training, etc.
Without GPS (unless we use the one on the phone) but with water resistance of 50 meters and heart rate measurement, one of the strengths of this model is how complete the Fitbit application is when it comes to viewing parameters and the record. Its autonomy is up to 7 days.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro (157 euros), is the latest bracelet launched by Samsung, a wearable of which Koreans stand out its aquatic characteristics.
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro has a robust sports design and a large color screen (for its dimensions and format) with AMOLED technology from which to view the metrics.
According to its specifications, it resists water up to 50 meters, has a heart rate monitor and GPS, automatically detects activity and has more than 3,000 apps and its own spheres to personalize it.