Workout & get fit better in Singapore with a fitness tracking band. We look at Apple Watch, Samsung Gear Fit2, Garmin vívosmart HR+, Fitbit Alta, and Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse wearable tech.
The hottest trend in fitness now is wearable tech, more commonly known as fitness bands. These fitness trackers look like a very stylish watch, but they do more than tell time—fitness tracking bands measure fitness performance metrics. These include heart rate, calorie consumption, distance walked or ran, and even quality of sleep.
How wearable tech works is quite complex and involves the use of sensors such as 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, and altimeter to measure motion, and speed. While this is all fascinating—‘Wow, high tech and so scientific!’—fitness trackers have an accuracy rate of 85%. So don’t be too hung up on the figures—use these generated by fitness tracking bands as a guide that complements your fitness regime.
With the hype surrounding fitness tracking bands, there’s been an explosion of brands available. Ranging from more affordable—and with less functions—brands such as Xiao Mi, Moov and Misfit all the way to top end brands like Apple Watch, and Garmin. Confused on which band to get? We present 5 wearable tech brands that are available in Singapore.
Apple Watch Series 2
Apple is known for marrying style with function, and the Apple Watch is no exception—it looks like a sleek fashion watch, but also includes the functions of an iPod and fitness tracking.
While Series 2 has all the functions of Series 1—heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, WiFim, Bluetooth 4.0, uo to 18 hours of battery life—Series 2 also comes with built-in GPS, water resistance up to 50 metres, and a brighter display. This means that besides runs, the Apple Watch can track laps in the pool.
While Series 1 was only one watch in an aluminium case with sport band, Series 2 offers four watches, each with different casing options to choose from. There is the Apple Watch ($548) in aluminium case with sport band or woven nylon strap, and in stainless steel case with sport band, stainless steel strap or leather strap. The Apple Watch Nike+ ($548) is in an aluminium case with Nike sport band. The Apple Watch Hermès (from $1788) is in a stainless steel case with Hermès strap with additional sport strap. Finally, the Apple Watch Edition (from $1818) is in a ceramic case with sport band, with magnetic charging dock.
Additionally, those in stainless steel or ceramic casing have a sapphire crystal display, while it is Ion-X glass for those in aluminium cases. Plus, customise the Apple Watch with different straps and watch face to choose from. Very fancy indeed!
Functions wise, the Apple Watch has two apps that track workouts and activity respectively. The Workout App offers 12 indoor workouts—including elliptical, stair stepper, and even volleyball—to set your fitness goals. Touch the screen and immediately view up to five metrics. Complementing this is the Activity App, a representation of Stand, Move, and Exercise in rings on the watch face; the rings fill with colour as each activity is completed with corresponding workouts. All these statistics can be viewed from the iPhone.
Need to workout to music? Listen to music from the Apple Watch using wireless AirPods. Need motivation to get moving? Share achievements with friends and family, even as they share theirs with you. Need to focus on wellness? Tap in to the Breathe or Health Apps for some mindfulness. Need to use a third party app? Add any of these: Beddit, Pocket Yoga, WaterMinder, Lifesum, HeartWatch, Lark, Zen, Streaks, iCalorie.
All this does not come cheap, and the Apple Watch probably has the highest price tag, starting from $548 and up. Available at all Apple Stores and authorised resellers.
Samsung Gear Fit2
Supplying the fitness tracking bands for Android smartphones is the Samsung Gear Fit2. It’s also compatible with most Galaxy devices running on Andriod 4.4.
It has the usual tracking sensors—GPS, heart rate, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, sleep quality—and is water resistant up to 1.5 metres. A nifty function is its auto activity tracking—turn it on and the Samsung Gear Fit2 will determine whether you’re walking, running, cycling, or even on the elliptical trainer.
All statistics can be viewed clearly on its 1.5 inch SUPER AMOLED screen that curves around the wrist and fits snugly. If fitness is an integral part of your lifestyle, you can view your current statistics even in Watch Face mode. Or for a more detailed view, you can switch to view any of the Fitness Widgets including heart rate, calories burned, and your position among friends who also have the Samsung Gear Fit2.
Its US interface allows you to stay connected through text messages, emails, and messaging apps. You can even post your statistics and progress on Facebook, by simply tapping on a Share button.
Understanding that music is a huge motivating factor for working out, this fitness tracking band has a standalone music player with 4GB of internal memory.
Currently available in black, pink, and blue, the Samsung Gear Fit2 is available in two sizes—small fitting wrists125-170mm, and large fitting wrists 155-210mm. The Samsung Gear Fit2 is available at local telecommunications operators, Samsung Experience Stores, and major consumer electric stores at a recommended retail price of $298.
Garmin vívosmart® HR+
Coming from a well-known name in GPS technology, GPS tracking is a given with the Garmin vívosmart® HR+. Distance is tracked and pace is mapped out while running or walking.
It does all that a fitness tracking band should—measures steps, distance, calories, climbing, heart rate, activity intensity—and can be worn for swimming, diving, snorkelling, or into the shower. Its Move IQ technology can tell the difference between biking, running, walking or using an elliptical. So it automatically logs statistics with each different movement, without you having to stop the activity timer or change settings.
Garmin vívosmart® HR+is compatible to Android, Apple, and Windows 10 smartphones, and automatically syncs with to the smartphone throughout the day so that your statistics are recorded to their free online community. To access your statistics, login to Garmin Connect Mobile on the phone or computer and save. Another way this fitness tracker connects to smartphones is allowing you to stay connected with messages and access music.
Garmin vívosmart® HR+ is available in black, blue and purple colours. It has a recommended retail price of $229.
With so many models available, it’s difficult to decide which Fitbit to get. However, if having a fitness tracker that looks good and costs less than $100, then the Fitbit AltaTM ticks all the boxes.
From a distance, it looks like a bracelet. The bands are available in many various colours in materials such as metal and leather. Get a few bands, and the Fitbit AltaTM will match looks ranging from athleisure to glamourous, executive, or even casual.
Function wise, it tracks all-day activity, automatically recognises the exercise done with its SmartTrackTM technology, and provides reminders to move as well as auto sleep tracking to map the quality of sleep. The usual ability for telling time, making calls and text, and calendar alerts are present too. Battery life lasts up to five days, depending on use.
The Fitbit AltaTM syncs wirelessly to computers and devices, enabling the user to record workouts, log food consumption, as well as connect with friends.
It can be bought at various consumer electric stores or online via the Fitbit Singapore website with a recommended retail price of $50.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse
If budget is your main concern, the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse is the most affordable fitness tracking band available. For its price of approximately 425, it’s a basic fitness tracker—it tracks heart rate, steps, and sleep.
It boasts a battery life of 30 days, is water resistant, and has a function that enables you to locate it as long as it’s within range of your Bluetooth smartphone.
The Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse syncs with smartphones and provides incoming call alerts. It’s available in six colours.
It sounds so sophisticated and modern, having a fitness tracking band to monitor your daily fitness performance metrics. However, without movement, these fitness trackers do not add to any performance improvement or change. It’s simply a tool for measuring, and doesn’t replace the work you’ll need to get in to improve your fitness level and reach your fitness goals.