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Wearable trackers: Features we love

The great thing about technology is that it’s ever changing and improving. Last year we looked at a number of impressive wearable tracker features, and we’re excited to see just how these features have evolved and bettered over the past 12 months.

  1. Waterproof/swim tracking

    One of the best reasons to buy a waterproof tracker is simply the fact that you don’t have to take them off when you shower, wash the dishes, or jump in the pool. It’s a great feature when you consider how finicky some wristbands on trackers can be! However, waterproof trackers become even more exciting when you realise that they’ll actually track for you in the pool! Some devices can track multiple metrics like laps, distance, time, pace and calories burned, while others may only track one or two things. We love the idea of a wearable that will count laps – how many times have you lost track halfway through.

    Devices to consider: Apple Watch Series 2, Fitbit Flex 2, Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Moov Now

  2. Heart rate tracking

    The ability to track your heartrate isn’t new, but we’re loving how much more widely available this feature is becoming. Fitbit, for example, just added it to its Alta tracker making it one of the most stylish products available with this feature.

    Devices to consider: Apple Watch Series 2, Fitbit Alta 2, Fitbit Charge HR 2, Tom Tom Touch, Microsoft Band 2, Garmin Vivosmart HR plus

  3. Contactless payments

    If you’re a fan of the tap and go wireless payments feature then this is one for you! You may be taking advantage of contactless with your card or phone, but imagine not having to take out either and just waving your wrist to pay! This feature isn’t widespread yet – in fact a few devices that have the functionality are only available in the USA – but you can use the Apple Watch! Keep an eye out for more to follow.

    Devices to consider: Apple Watch Series 2

  4. Music storage

    If you want to head to the gym or out for a run, and don’t want to lug your phone around with you, then it might be worth investing in a tracker that can store and play music on its own! Connect to your tracker with some wireless headphones and you’re good to go! Right now this isn’t a widely available feature, but you can find it on devices like the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio + Music. It’s also said to be included in the upcoming Misfit Vapor.

    Devices to consider: Apple Watch Series 2, Tom Tom Spark 3

  5. GPS

    One of the gripes about the original Apple Watch was the fact it needed to sit alongside an iPhone to use GPS and track where you’ve been on your run. But this isn’t an unusual requirement – there are several devices that only work with GPS if connected to a phone. But things are changing, Apple’s Series 2 watch can now track GPS without the phone nearby, and there are other devices that can do so as well!

    Devices to Consider: Apple Watch Series 2, Fitbit Blaze, Tom Tom Spark 3, Garmin Forerunner 35, Garmin Vivoactive HR

  6. Breathing training

    There are several apps available to help you meditate and breathe, but with the release of their Charge Hr 2 and Blaze devices, Fitbit has included a new and pretty nifty feature right on the device called ‘Relax’. According to Fitbit the feature “provides personalized deep breathing sessions that can help you find moments of calm throughout your day.” Choosing between a 2 minute or 5 minute session, your device will use the heart rate sensor to track your breathing and provide a personalised breathing pattern.

    Devices to Consider: Fitbit Charge Hr 2, Fitbit Blaze

  7. Body Composition Sensors

    Another rare feature, but an interesting one to consider is the Tom Tom Touch device which includes a sensor for measuring body composition – giving you measurements of body fat and muscle percentage. If you’re looking to lose weight and gain muscle, this might help you on your way. It’ll be interesting to see if this feature spreads to more brands and devices in the future.

    Devices to consider: Tom Tom Touch

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