Making “Smart” Choices for Wearable Technology

After the Apple announcement yesterday, it only felt right to dedicate today’s post to “wearable technology” (as products like fitness trackers and smart watches have become labeled). It’s crazy how just a few years ago, these products didn’t even exist – now personally, I cannot imagine my life without them.

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Fitbit Flex

I’ve been a loyal Fitbit user for many years now. Despite being torn between the Jawbone Up and Fitbit Flex devices years ago, I received a Fitbit Flex for Christmas and was immediately hooked. I know that pedometers are nothing new – but having something that syncs to an app and provides me with data regarding my activity truly motivates me to keep moving throughout the day. As a bonus: the “Challenges” feature within the Fitbit app is probably the best thing for someone that is as competitively Type A like myself… I can say without a doubt that I would be much, much lazier if I didn’t find myself competing against my friends for who can get the most steps in a day (note: to anyone that is currently in a challenge with me, I’ve been slammed with work lately – but trust me, the comeback is coming!)

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Fitbit Charge HR

After having the Fitbit Flex for a few years, I upgraded to the Fitbit Charge HR. My reasoning for this was that I wanted to have something that not only monitored my heart rate but also automatically tracked my sleeping. I purchased this device during a time when I was working at a very stressful office job & after seeing the data for a few months that I was physically overstressed and sleeping horribly, it gave me the push that I needed to move on.

As much as I love the Charge HR, my biggest complaint about it is that it is so bulky. Now, this criticism might just be my opinion (I have tiny wrists so almost anything feels huge on there) – but I have to put it away during the blazing hot weeks of summer because it just seems like it’s too much.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been looking at various options to replace my Charge HR. Fitbit has launched several new products, and there are some awesome competitors out there as well. Here are some of my picks if you’re considering investing in a wearable technology device.

Fitbit

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Like I said earlier, Fitbit has released quite a few year models over the last few months. My personal favorite of these has been the Alta HR. It is similar to the Charge HR that I am currently using, only it is much slimmer and also has the option to change the bands (not only am I loving the rose gold one, there’s also some beautiful leather options available). Fitbit makes an effort to keep their models fashion-forward – remember the Tory Burch collaboration? – so while this device has a lot of awesome features, it still looks like a nice bracelet that would fit in with almost any outfit.

Michael Kors

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When I discovered that Michael Kors had recently launched a smartwatch, I was surprised – this was not a product that I would have expected from them. Upon closer inspection, however, I will say this is a really nice option for anyone that wants a smartwatch but appreciates the look of a traditional watch. The Michael Kors Access watch looks extremely similar to their other watches – but has similar features to other wearable technology products (call and text notifications, activity tracking, etc.).

Apple

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There’s no way that I could have made this list without including the Apple Watch – which is the most popular option on the market currently. The Apple Watch is currently available in two models (Series 1 and Series 2), which the newest option (Series 3) launching for preorder on Friday. I have to admit that while I am a loyal Fitbit user, I am strongly looking into moving towards an Apple watch – especially if the older models are marked down in anticipation of the newest release. This product is a great option for iOS users that already have an iPhone and iPad – while I was skeptical at first if I really needed another Apple product, after hearing about the features and reviews from my friends that already own one, I’m sold.

Garmin

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Finally, I cannot forget Garmin here. While Garmin was originally a company that created GPS devices, they lately ventured into the wearable technology realm and have become known for their smartwatches. Of all the products on this list, Garmin is likely the most respected wearable technology brand for serious athletes. The Vivoactive HR is basically a combination of both the Apple Watch and the Fitbit – if you’re a runner or care more about your fitness than getting text message notifications, this might be the best choice for you.

It will be interesting with the release of the newest Apple Watch to see how these companies adapt to consumer needs. I think I am leaning towards the Series 2 option, though I plan to go check out the product in store later this week and continue reading more reviews online. However, any of the items listed in this post are great options – a smartwatch is really a manner of personal choice, whichever one that you are most comfortable using is going to be the best one for you.

 

 

 

 

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Freelance writer. Equestrian. Fueled by coffee. Lover of luxury fashion, college football and used bookstores.

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