GET ON TRACK
These activity trackers help you decide if you should do more, or eat less, to get healthier.
JAWBONE UP $189.90, from Epicentre, Nubox and store.apple.com/sg WEARING IT Comfortable, but the ends of the band caught in my hair each time I ran my fingers through it. DATA The app’s data was the most comprehensive. It recorded steps, distance, active and idle time, and calories burnt. It tracked the length of my light and deep sleep, how long I took to fall asleep, how often I woke up and how long I stayed awake. But the food tracker struggled, listing mostly Western dishes like pasta and burgers. Using the food log also took more steps compared with the Fitbit Flex, although it gave information on nutritional content. USEFUL FEATURES You can set the Idle Alert to vibrate at regular intervals to remind you to get moving. The Smart Sleep Alarm calculates the best moment for waking up (based on your sleep cycle), so you’ll feel most energised – it woke me 15min earlier than my usual time. But this was the only device that didn’t indicate activity progress, so if I set a daily goal of 10,000 steps, it couldn’t show how close I was to my target; I had to check the app. SYNCING IT There’s no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity; to sync, plug it into the headphone jack of your smartphone. CHARGING IT A full battery lasts up to 10 days. Plug into the USB cable, then the computer, to charge. VERDICT Has the most detailed data, and the most creative and practical features.
8 FITBIT FLEX $129, from Harvey Norman, Courts, Epicentre and store.apple.com/sg WEARING IT Comfortable, but the band trapped water – if I forgot to air-dry it after a shower, the screen would mist over and water would leak out. DATA The app is simpler than the Jawbone Up’s, with basic data like steps, distance and calories burnt. I could earn Very Active Minutes for high-impact cardio workouts above an intensity preset by the device. But an intense, hour-long dance workout yielded just one Active Minute, so I was unsure how hard I had to work to achieve Very Active Minutes. Like the Jawbone Up, its food database is limited, but its search engine is easier to use. USEFUL FEATURES Five LED lights on the tracker show how close I am to my goal (two lights indicate a 40 per cent goal mark; at 100 per cent, the device buzzes and the lights flash). It also let me set a vibrating alarm to wake up to. SYNCING IT The easiest – pair it to your phone via Bluetooth. CHARGING IT One charge lasted about six days. To recharge, remove the device from the band, attach it to a USB cable, then a computer. VERDICT An affordable starter device – just remember to dry it well after a shower.
7 MISFIT SHINE $169.90, from store.apple.com/sg and store.misfitwearables.com WEARING IT This watchlike tracker was the most comfortable and least conspicuous. The others were shower-proof – this was the only one I could wear while swimming. DATA The data is similar to that of the Fitbit Flex, but doesn’t track food intake – not something I missed as the other food trackers weren’t very useful. Like the Fitbit Flex, the app suggested activities for reaching my goal. USEFUL FEATURES I could check my daily progress by double-tapping the device, but it wasn’t sensitive and always needed a few tries. I could also earn Shine points for walking, running, swimming and cycling. The default activity is walking; to switch activities, I had to access the app, then sync it to the device – a bother. SYNCING IT A hassle, as I had to detach the tracker from the band and place it on my smartphone screen to pair via Bluetooth. CHARGING IT None needed – it runs on a watch battery, which lasts a few months. VERDICT I like that it’s waterproof and I didn’t have to charge it, but it could be more functional and user-friendly.