Which tracker best bal­ances sporty sub­stance with cock­tail-bar style?

Australian T3 - - STATE OF THE ART -

The Su­per AMOLED screen is sim­ply amaz­ing for a tracker

There’s a risk that as the race for fitness-track­ing fea­tures reaches Olympic lev­els, the de­vices be­come too cum­ber­some to be com­fort­able. Like­wise, if they’re to be worn 24/7 for max­i­mum track­ing data, are they sub­tle enough for those who don’t want to shout about their calo­rie count­ing?

The water-re­sis­tant Sam­sung Gear Fit2’s Su­per AMOLED screen is sim­ply amaz­ing for a tracker. It’s bright, colour­ful and in­tu­itive, and can be cus­tomised with sev­eral watch­face op­tions. It’s also curved, which adds to its sleek­ness and viewa­bil­ity out­doors. The strap is soft, mal­leable and purr-in­vok­ingly comfy against the skin, and comes in small and large sizes. The unit is the light­est on test (by 1g), and you soon for­get you’re wear­ing it.

The Fit2 has two but­tons, but the per­fectly re­spon­sive touch­screen gets more of the ac­tion. The large screen en­ables it to dis­play more in­for­ma­tion than its ri­vals, and, com­bined with the bright colours, this makes it very easy to use. Over­all, the de­vice is sub­tle and sleekly stylish, yet also eye-catch­ing enough to prompt cu­rios­ity from oth­ers.

When it comes to style, the Fit­bit is more func­tional than the Sam­sung, but more sassy than the Garmin. The crisp, cus­tomis­able and de­cent-sized non-colour OLED screen is im­pres­sive, while the in­ter­change­able sil­i­cone band is comfy (there are qual­ity leather straps, too, for $119.95). The Fit­bit comes in three sizes.

Garmin’s Vivos­mart HR+, also wa­ter­re­sis­tant, feels chunky on a slim wrist. Like the Sam­sung it comes in two sizes, but this unit is sig­nif­i­cantly big­ger and never quite felt as com­fort­able. Aes­thet­i­cally, there’s lit­tle pre­ten­sion to­wards wine-bar ac­cept­abil­ity, but the rugged de­sign is de­cep­tively thought­ful. The 160 x 68-pixel, non-colour screen is fairly small and seems dull com­pared to the Sam­sung, but it’s eas­ier to read in di­rect sun­light. No­ti­fi­ca­tions take a fair bit of scrolling to read through, but then track­ers aren’t de­signed for read­ing lots of text.

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