2018 was an interesting year for fitness trackers, especially in the affordable section. Tech, such as optical heart rate sensors and colour displays became more prevalent, while others features such as blood pressure tracking became available in devices under Rs 5,000. Newcomers like Huami offered built-in GPS tracking at under Rs 10,000. Yes sir, 2018 was one very interesting year and we cannot for 2019. Before that, let’s see which devices set the benchmark in 2018.
2018 Zero1 Award Winner: Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Sapphire
The Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Sapphire is not the cheapest fitness tracker in the market but it’s a top performer. The device is aimed at athletes or active individuals in general. So, you don’t get creature comforts like a touchscreen. It also offers pretty accurate metrics such as heart rate, altitude, fat burn zones, route tracking and more. It tracks everything from Yoga to skiing.
Of all the fitness trackers we tested, the Fenix 5X gave us the most accurate metric. For example, it was able to track our step count accurate to a single step. You also get plenty of apps and watch faces to play around with. To top that, we’re pretty sure that the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is tough enough to be used as a cudgel. It’s the closest you will get to 100 percent accurate in terms of fitness tracking and metrics, making it the winner of our Zero1 Award.
Runner-Up: Fitbit Ionic
The Fitbit Ionic lost out to the Garmin at the last minute, but there’s no shame in that. It offers everything that the everyday fitness freak would want in a smartwatch. Accurate route tracking, multiple activity tracking, water resistance and more. It can track runs, bike riding as well as workouts. You also get a relatively large touch screen for easy navigation. The Fitbit app is pretty handy as well. The app features the Fitbit Coach, that guides users through a set of exercises.
The Iconic also offers about four to five days of battery life, which is pretty impressive. It only loses out to the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Sapphire because of the better accuracy of the Fenix 5X fitness tracker overall. The Fitbit Ionic fitness tracker was not too far behind the Garmin though, and it costs only a fraction of the Fenix.
Best Buy: Xiaomi Mi Band 3
Xiaomi’s Mi Band series tend to offer very good value for money, and this year was no different. However, it got strong competition from the Lenovo HX03F Spectra, but narrowly won thanks to its impressive battery life and a slightly better activity tracking. The device looks a lot like its predecessor but also includes a touch screen that users can swipe across to access the various functions of the device. It can not only track exercises and runs, but also offers weather updates for up to three days.
It offers a lightweight design as well as an optical heart rate monitor for less than Rs.2,000. Further, the wearable can work together with the company’s Mi Body Composition weighing scale. The smart scale pairs with the same Mi Fit app and the information from the two are offered together. As a result, you can see how well your new workout regimen is helping you out with your weight. The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is a stepping stone for anyone to try out a fitness tracker to see if it helps them get fit, and that is not a bad thing in any way.