The Spin List: A guide to the best fitness trackers you can buy right now

Feb 28, 2020

CAN A fitness tracker really make you fit?

Remember, a fitness tracker is just a tool. A very useful tool, but still a tool nonetheless. How you use it is up to you. It could be the data-driven boost you need to kickstart your fitness journey. Or it could just stay a brightly lit digital timekeeper that occasionally beeps on your wrist.

At its best, a fitness tracker is there to keep you honest. By monitoring your level of physical activity, you have an on-hand reminder about how active you’ve been during the day. Most tracker apps that connect to your phone can even display historical data, so you can see trends and patterns about how you move.

Plus, most modern fitness trackers also hook up with your phone for useful functions, like mirroring your notifications. So at the very least, there’s that.

We round up the best fitness trackers you can buy today, with prices and features so you can pick out the right one for your life goals.

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Xiaomi Mi Band 4
P1,695


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Color Screen: Yes (AMOLED display, 0.95-inch, 240 x 120px RGB)
Notifications from phone: Yes (read only)
Music Control: No
Heart tracking: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
Sleep tracking: Yes
Blood oxygen tracking: No
Altimeter: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Built-in GPS: No (connected only)

If you’re looking for one of the best bang-for-your-buck fitness trackers out there, the 4th iteration of the Mi Band is right up your alley. It’s got a full color, very bright AMOLED display, which, at this price point, is almost mind-boggling. Now you can check your 10K stats even under the blazing hot sun. It can track a variety of exercises, including swimming, and has 5ATM water resistance to boot.

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Huawei Band 4
P1,890


Color Screen: Yes (Color TFT screen, 0.96 inches, 80x160 pixels)
Notifications from phone: Yes
Music Control: No
Heart tracking: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
Sleep tracking: Yes
Blood oxygen tracking: No
Altimeter: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Built-in GPS: No (connected only)

One nifty feature of the Huawei Band 4 is that the USB port for charging is built right into the body, so you can slot it right into a charging plug. No wires, no wireless cradles. For forgetful people who keep forgetting to plug in their trackers, this is a godsend. Still, if you charge overnight, you might miss out on one of the Band 4’s biggest features — in-depth sleep tracking that measures all four phases of zzzs.

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Samsung Galaxy Fit
P4,990


Color Screen: Yes (OLED, 0.95 inches, 120 x 240 pixels)
Notifications from phone: Yes (with preset responses)
Music Control: Yes
Heart tracking: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
Sleep tracking: Yes
Blood oxygen tracking: No
Altimeter: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Built-in GPS: No

A budget fitness tracker, but with Galaxy branding? Samsung’s little wearable, thankfully, lives up to the name. A vibrant, colorful screen — with Samsung, you really can’t expect any less — displays the essentials: time, steps, sleep, heart rate, stress levels. And it packs it all in in a very attractive package, and an equally attractive price point.

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Fitbit Inspire HR
P6,290


Color Screen: No (OLED monochrome)
Notifications from phone: Yes (read only)
Music Control: No
Heart tracking: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
Sleep tracking: Yes
Blood Oxygen Tracking: No
Altimeter: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Built-in GPS: No (connected only)

After flooding the market with a sea of fitness bands, Fitbit decided to streamline their slim tracker SKUs into just two: the Inspire and the Inspire HR. The Inspire HR is the more versatile of the two — as the HR name implies, it keeps track of your heart rate. It’s also a very small and very light fitness tracker, so if you want a full-featured band without the bulk, this tracker is for you.

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Garmin Vivosmart 4
P8,595


Color Screen: No (OLED monochrome, 1.35 x 0.14 inches, 128 x 16 pixels)
Notifications from phone: Yes (read only)
Music Control: No
Heart tracking: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
Sleep tracking: Yes
Blood oxygen tracking: Yes
Altimeter: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Built-in GPS: No

For a slim fitness tracker, the Garmin Vivosmart justifies its price tag with some robust health tracking features. Unique for a small tracker, it has a pulse oximeter tto check your blood oxygen (useful when you’re climbing Mt. Pulag and checking your O2 levels, or if you suspect you’re suffering from sleep apnea). It also combines all your data — heart rate, sleep, blood oxygen — into a (admittedly non-scientific) “body battery” measurement so you can see your overall energy levels.

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Samsung Watch Galaxy Active2
P13,990


Color Screen: Yes (Super AMOLED, 1.4 inches, 360 x 360 pixels)
Notifications from phone: Yes (actionable, dedicated apps)
Music Control: Yes (dedicated apps)
Heart tracking: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
Sleep tracking: Yes
Blood oxygen tracking: No
Altimeter: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Built-in GPS: Yes

What happens when you slim down a Galaxy Watch? You get a smartwatch that just might be one of the best wearables in the market right now. The touch-sensitive bezel is a joy to use, especially since it’s powered by some beefy smartwatch specs. Its slim profile and rubber watch strap make it ideal for whatever sweat session you’ve got lined up. Yes, even swimming: it’s water-resistant up to 50 meters.

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Apple Watch Series 5
P23,990


Color Screen: Yes (OLED Retina, 1.78 inches, 448 x 368 pixels )
Notifications from phone: Yes (actionable, dedicated apps)
Music Control: Yes (dedicated apps)
Heart tracking: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
Sleep tracking: Yes
Blood oxygen tracking: No
Altimeter: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Built-in GPS: Yes (depending on model)

This generation’s signature wearable needs no introduction. Fitness wise, it comes with a robust set of fitness tools. There’s heart tracking, of course, and Apple’s signature activity rings — perhaps one of the best data visualizations of fitness activity we’ve seen. Then there’s EKG tracking for irregular heart rhythms, a fall detector for when you’ve suddenly lost your mobility, and a Breathe app to remind you to, well, breathe.

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Fossil Gen5
P16,000


Color Screen: Yes (AMOLED, 1.28 inches, 416 x 416 pixels)
Notifications from phone: Yes (actionable, dedicated apps)
Music Control: Yes (dedicated apps)
Heart tracking: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
Sleep tracking: Yes
Blood oxygen tracking: No
Altimeter: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Built-in GPS: Yes

Perhaps Google’s best answer to the Apple Watch, the Fossil Gen5 is powered by Google’s Wear OS, an operating system that’s like Android for wearables. In fitness tracker terms, that means you’ve got the Wear OS version of the excellent Google Fit, so you can sync your fitness data across your devices. Plus, it’s a very nice looking watch, too.

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