New Year, New You: A guide to fitness trackers

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 23:07:33-05

When tracking fitness, group fitness expert Vanessa Aviles said not all fitness trackers are created equal. She's showing us her favorites -- but you have to decide what you'd like to spend.

"Big competition between Fitbit, Jawbone and Garmin," she said.

Aviles said no activity monitor is going to be 100 percent accurate, and buying one doesn’t mean you will automatically get in shape. However, if a device can make you aware of how much you move (or don’t move), you can make choices to adjust your physical activity.

The right activity tracker will be based on your individual needs. Whether it's step
counting, sleep tracking or 24/7 heart rate tracking, there's something for everyone.

With so many fitness trackers to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you. Features like sleep measuring and activity tracking — not to mention what the tracker looks like itself — all can influence whether or not you think it's worth it to drop hundreds of dollars.

Popular features:

  • Steps
  • Heart Rate
  • Distance
  • Calories
  • Floors
  • GPS
  • Active Minutes
  • Calories
  • Sleep
  • Notifications/Calls/Alarms

Top Brands:

  • FitBit (Charge, Charge HR, Surge)
  • JawBone
  • Garmin
  • Basis B1

Smart Watches:

  • Apple Watch
  • Android Wear
  • Upcoming Samsung


FitBit Charge HR (149.99)

  • Caller ID + Watch
  • App is user friendly and has a large & encouraging community
  • Can track calorie intake with app


  • Battery life seems to drain every 3 days

Jawbone Up3 (HR) (179.99)

  • Comfortable sleek design - more fashionable
  • Smart Coach - (provide easy-to-follow advice to meet your goals)
  • Tracks skin and ambient temperature


  • No display / Doesn’t tell time
  • Doesn’t track stairs

Garmin Vivosmart HR (149.99)

  • Waterproof design - shower and swim-friendly
  • Able to control your playlist from the wristband
  • Find my phone function


  • Bulky design
  • Complex app and settings menu

If you're in the $30-$50 range, the Misfit Flash and Fitbit Zip log your steps and calorie burn. The Flash even monitors your sleep.