The Pivotal Tracker 1 is the most affordable fitness tracker we have ever tested. Pivotal Living, a startup based in Seattle, has taken a unique approach and is offering the tracker as part of a yearly subscription plan. The US-only device is available for only $12, which also gets you access to the company's Android and iOS app. The following year you can pay $12 more for another year of access to the app. Pivotal Living will even provide you with a new band.
The second tracker on our list is the Misfit Flash. This small (and waterproof) device tracks your steps, distance and calories. There is also automatic sleep tracking, and it has a replaceable coin battery that lasts six months. The tracker can be worn on your wrist or your waist with an included clip-on accessory. The mobile app, available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, also integrates with a variety of other ecosystems, such as RunKeeper, MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal.
When most people think about fitness trackers, there are two brands that come to mind: Fitbit and Jawbone. The latter company's Up24 fitness tracker is hard to beat. The stylish band can track everything you would expect -- steps, distance, calories and sleep -- and a recent software update improved battery life to 14 days. You can set a silent alarm to wake you up in the morning, alerts to remind you to get up and move, and daily activity goals. It's also waterproof, meaning you don't have to take it off before you shower.
Fitbit is arguably the original name brand in the fitness tracker space. The new Fitbit Charge HR is a retooling of the earlier Fitbit Force. For only $20 more, the Charge HR adds continuous heart-rate tracking to all of the features already available in the slightly more affordable Fitbit Charge, which is the reason it receives the nod from us. The other difference between the Charge and Charge HR? The latter also includes a traditional watch strap.
The Charge HR can track the steps you take, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed, and your sleep at night. All of this data can be viewed directly from the device's small OLED screen, which is also capable of displaying call notifications from your smartphone. Other features include a silent alarm to gently wake you up in the morning and customizable daily goals.
Fitbit's mobile app, which is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, is clean and straight forward. It also supports third-party apps, such as MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. One of the downsides with the Charge and Charge HR is that you must remove the band before you shower or go for a swim. We also found that while resting heart-rate readings tended to be accurate, there were drop-offs when exercising.