How to choose a fitness bracelet – expert reviews

A fitness bracelet is a useful device not only for those who want to track their activity, but also for anyone who simply wants to start moving more.


  1. What do you need a fitness bracelet for?
  2. Parameters of the choice of fitness bracelets
  3. How to choose a fitness bracelet with a heart rate monitor
  4. What fitness bracelet to choose for the iPhone
  5. Choosing an Android fitness bracelet
  6. Choose inexpensive fitness bracelets from China
  7. The best manufacturers of fitness bracelets
  8. Review of the best fitness bracelets
  9. Video on choosing a fitness bracelet
Choose a fitness bracelet

What do you need a fitness brace for?

In fact, a fitness bracelet is a device to measure and track a person’s physical activity. Powerful models are also able to determine biometric indicators, such as heart rate, skin conductance (to track emotional state), as well as independently determine the type of exercise.

Fitness bracelets can be divided into three levels:

  1. Entry level. This level includes devices such as Xiaomi Mi Band, Jawbone UP, etc.d. Such devices are able to count steps, analyze some types of movements, work as a smart alarm clock, etc.d.
  2. Amateur. This level includes devices such as Fitbit Charge, Misfit Shine, Withings P
      se and t.d. Able to track many types of activity, not just steps and similar movements. The functionality of the bracelet is enhanced by the capabilities of the app;
    • Professional. Are able to count the height, determine the conductivity of the skin, self-track the type of physical activity and distinguish, for example, running from volleyball. Examples – Microsoft Band, Garmin Vivoactive and others.

Structurally, the vast majority of fitness bracelets are nothing more than “a bunch of sensors with a battery”, and all the “smart” functionality is determined by the capabilities of the application. So, for example, Xiaomi Mi Band can only count steps and analyze sleep, and Fitbit Charge – also to track the calorie intake. True, the user will have to independently enter into the application the food he ate for breakfast or dinner.

The main task of fitness bracelets is as follows:

  1. Entry-level devices have a user motivation. The assumption is that a person, frightened by his low physical activity, will start moving more and more often;
  2. Amateur level devices – to help novice athletes. A fitness bracelet helps you work out properly, without overexerting yourself and burning exactly the extra calories;
  3. At the professional level devices – activity tracking of experienced athletes. A fitness bracelet collects information on all workouts, body condition and environment during exercise.

Thus, if you just want to move more (or find out how much you walk around the house during the day), it is worth buying an entry-level fitness bracelet. To help in sports activities – amateur. And for serious workouts, extreme hobbies like mountain climbing or activity tracking at an advanced level, a professional.

Parameters of the choice of fitness bracelets

selection parameters

When choosing a fitness bracelet, in addition to the “level” of the device, you should pay attention to its technical characteristics. Among them:

  1. Types of sensors installed;
  2. Battery life;
  3. Frequency and type of synchronization of information;
  4. Moisture resistance of the case;
  5. Smart watch functions;
  6. OS compatibility;
  7. Device attachment;
  8. Type and material of the strap, the presence of additional sensors on it.
  9. The important thing is also the manufacturer of the device.

Types of sensors installed

The number of biometric and physical indicators that a fitness bracelet is able to track depends directly on the sensors installed. The most common sensors are as follows:

  1. Gyroscope and accelerometer. Designed to track the movement of the device in space. Installed in all fitness bracelets. Most often used to count steps, hand strokes, other movements of the user;
  2. Heart rate monitor. As the name implies, designed to count heart rate. Comes in active and passive. The active heart rate monitor runs continuously, significantly reducing the battery life of the fitness bracelet (up to a couple of hours of work without recharging), while the passive one turns on manually through the app or starts automatically when detecting prolonged physical activity;
  3. Altimeter. Sensor for measuring height. Shows the number of floors walked (for city dwellers) or the height of the mountain conquered (for climbers);
  4. GPS module. Designed to determine the location of the user. Can be used to track jogging, hiking, cross-country, marathons and other physical activity that involves moving long distances;
  5. CGR (skin-galvanic reaction) sensor. Can be used for a variety of purposes, from detecting stress conditions to monitoring hydration levels in the body;
  6. Thermometer. Can measure both skin temperature and environmental conditions;
  7. Light sensor. Helps the bracelet determine the time of day;
  8. Bioimpedance sensors. Works similarly to a GSR sensor, determining the conductivity of the skin, but through this parameter they analyze the respiration rate, electrolytes in the blood, even its composition (but not too accurately, so, for example, a fall in sugar levels will not warn about). In general, they are designed to measure small changes in the body.

Most entry-level bracelets have only a gyroscope, accelerometer and pulsometer. Other sensors are found in devices of higher class.

It is worth bearing in mind that the accuracy of most sensors is not perfect. For example, the heart rate monitor measures the heart rate optically, that is, by “scanning” the skin and determining the amount of blood in the veins by the amount of absorbed photographic radiation. Therefore, its readings can vary depending on a variety of parameters, among them – the composition and diseases of the blood, the degree of fit of the bracelet to the skin, skin color, lighting levels in the room and others. The difference between the measured heart rate and the real heart rate can be up to 10-20 beats per minute.

Other sensors work similarly. Accelerometer can count different hand movements as steps (such as typing on a keyboard, which was tested by the author of the article); the CPR sensor shows different values on dry and wet skin; the light sensor can mix up day and night if you cover it with your sleeve.

No device with perfectly calibrated and balanced sensors exists, so do not take their readings as absolute truth.

Battery life

Autonomy time depends on three parameters – the type of pulsometer, the presence of a display and the frequency of synchronization. Separately, it is worth mentioning that it makes no sense to buy fitness bracelets, which will need to recharge more than once every few days.

The heart rate monitor, being an optical device, consumes a lot of battery power. Therefore, the more often and longer it is used, the shorter the battery life of the bracelet. In constant active mode, the heart rate monitor is able to discharge the battery in just a couple of hours.

Therefore, for most users will fitfitness bracelets with a passive heart rate monitor– Such as Xiaomi Mi Band 2 or Fitbit Charge HR. To measure the heart rate in them you need to open the companion app on your smartphone and press the appropriate button.

The screen– Another resource-intensive element in the design of a fitness bracelet. Therefore, it is advisable to choose models that are not equipped with it. And if you still need a display – you will have to prepare yourself for the fact that the fitness bracelet will have to charge every couple of days.


For comparison, Xiaomi Mi Band 2 with OLED display “lives” from one charge up to several days, and Misfit Shine without a screen (though, it uses an hour battery) – 2-3 months.

The frequency of synchronizationalso determines the autonomy of the device, because it determines the activity of the Bluetooth module. The lower it is, the longer the “life” bracelet. For example, Jawbone UP2 without BT-module has up to 10 days of battery life, but UP24 with it – only up to 2 days.

If you plan to only periodically review the statistics of physical activity, you should choose a model with a low rate of synchronization (or even with forced synchronization). But to track the movements in real time you will need a device that would be constantly connected to a smartphone. But don’t expect it to be autonomous.

From the battery capacity, as is clear from the above, the autonomy of the fitness bracelet is almost independent.

The frequency and method of synchronization of information

synchronization of the fitness bracelet

Frequency of synchronization of information between the fitness bracelet and a smartphone to which it is connected can be divided into several types – forced, background, constant on demand and active.

  1. Forced synchronizationIs that the device records information about your physical activity in its own memory, and then, if necessary, transfers them to the companion application. This type of data exchange is implemented in the first-generation Jawbone fitness bracelets and Fitbit Charge when connected to a computer, not a smartphone. Provides the greatest autonomy, but it is impossible to determine how many steps were walked during the walk, without special manipulation.
  2. Background synchronizationIs that the fitness bracelet periodically (every few minutes or even hours) sends information about physical activity in the companion application on a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. Implemented in the vast majority of such devices, including the Xiaomi Mi Band. Provides optimal autonomy and allows you to view statistics for short periods of time without special manipulation.
  3. Constant on demand is turned on manually. Most often works in entry-level and amateur fitness bracelets with an active workout mode or heart rate monitor. Leads to a rapid discharge of the battery, so you should not abuse it.
  4. Active is similar to the constant on-demand, only it sends data in real time, regardless of the actions of the user. Allows you to get the most up-to-date information, but leads to a very fast battery discharge.


The optimal solution would be to buy a fitness bracelet with background synchronization and the ability to turn on permanent on demand.

To synchronize information is most often used wirelessly via Bluetooth, but some models of fitness bracelets (such as the first generation Jawbone) require a “wired” connection. The latter is not very convenient.

Weather resistant case

Fitness bracelets, intended for active use and regular wear, should be well protected from the external corrosive environment. Therefore, the best solution – models with housing, insulated to IP67 standard and above. IP68 even allows you to swim without removing the bracelet.

The functions of “smart watches

the criteria for choosing a fitness bracelet

Fitness bracelets equipped with a screen also have smartwatch functionality – for example, allow you to set the time, view notifications and answer calls. However, such features lead to an increase in the cost of the device and reduce its battery life.

So choose fitness bracelets with smartwatch features (these include, for example, Sony SmartBand SWR10 and Huawei TalkBand B2) should be based on your needs and budget.

Compatibility with the operating system

Some bracelets are compatible with all mobile and even desktop operating systems (such as Jawbone, Xiaomi Mi Band and Fitbit Charge), and others – only with some. For example, Sony SmartBand works only with Android devices.

So when choosing a fitness bracelet it is also worth checking its compatibility with the OS you use.


Despite the name “fitness bracelet”, some models of such devices have a different design. For example, Jawbone Up Move is made as a clip that attaches to clothing, and Misfit Shine can turn into a pendant.

Features of the strap

Ideal strap material for fitness bracelets is silicone or silicone-coated rubber. It is both durable, hypoallergenic and not deformed due to contact with moisture. Wet fabric can cause skin irritation.

In addition, premium fitness bracelets can use a leather strap. It provides the best tactile sensations when worn daily, but it does not feel comfortable when playing sports and can deform if exposed to moisture.

It is good if the fitness bracelet will support the replacement strap. However, multi-functional models do not have this feature. They are on the strap are placed additional sensors, so that to replace it without disassembling the device is not possible.

Features of the choice of fitness bracelets

Features of the choice of bracelet

When choosing fitness bracelets of different types and purposes, it is worth considering different parameters.

How to choose a fitness bracelet with a heart rate monitor

The following parameters affect the accuracy of the heart rate monitor:

  1. Density of contact with the skin – the bracelet should fit snugly (i.e. small in size and preferably curved);
  2. The height of the heart rate monitor – it is desirable that this sensor is not deepened in the bracelet and stands out from it slightly;
  3. Ability to turn the heart rate monitor on the back of the wrist for more accurate readings.

What fitness bracelet to choose for iPhone

Almost all fitness bracelets are compatible with iOS, including Xiaomi. Limited compatibility is found only in products from Sony and Microsoft.

Choosing Android fitness bracelet

Almost all fitness bracelets are compatible with the Android operating system. Limited compatibility found only in Microsoft products.

Fitness bracelets themselves do not have an operating system, so if the device specs state that it runs on Android, then it is not a fitness bracelet, but a smart watch.

Choose inexpensive fitness bracelets from China

The best option for a budget fitness bracelet from China is the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. If this option is not suitable, you should not choose models that are equipped with a screen, SIM cards and other built-in TVs – they will not last long, and the accuracy of the readings will be very controversial.

Among the ultra-budget fitness bracelets from Chinese manufacturers we can also highlight the products of Bong, THL and Teclast. But in most cases they do not have an interchangeable strap or russified app.

The best manufacturers of fitness bracelets

Among the best manufacturers of fitness bracelets are the following companies:

  1. Xiaomi (perfect in their price segment);
  2. Fitbit, Misfit, Withings (excellent mid-priced devices);
  3. Jawbone (pioneers, there are both successful and failed models);
  4. Sony, Huawei (fitness bracelets with smart watch function);
  5. Microsoft, Garmin (professional fitness bracelets);
  6. Teclast, THL, Bong (“China” with good functionality and low price).
  7. Also noteworthy are Samsung and Moov, but the range of fitness bracelets from them is very limited.

Review of the best fitness bracelets

Some of the best fitness bracelets include the Xiaomi Mi Band current version 2, Fitbit Charge HR, Misfit Shine and Withings P


    Xiaomi Mi Band 2

    Xiaomi Mi Band 2

    Simply the best in its price category “up to 2000 rubles. Can read your heart rate, though not always very accurate (the gap is up to 10-20 beats per minute), steps, calories, has a smart alarm clock and LCD screen that displays clock and notification icons from your smartphone.

    Fitbit Charge HR

    Fitbit Charge HR

    Rather expensive, but fully autonomous fitness bracelet, which can be used without a smartphone. Compatible with computers, adapter included. Can count heart rate and determine the number of floors covered by the built-in altimeter. All information is shown on the display. The app has a food diary.

    Misfit Shine

    Misfit Shine

    Wristband that does not need to recharge – runs on a one-hour battery. Can turn into a pendant. Has excellent water resistance, smart alarm mode, the application has a food diary. No heart rate sensor. There is a dial, and completely useless, but interestingly realized.

    Withings P
      se O2

    Withings P<ul></div><p>se O2″ src=”/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/13116666194621-75ka.jpg” height=”467″ title=”Withings P</p><ul>se O2″><p>Stylish fitness bracelet with touch screen. Have a heart rate monitor and a blood oxygen level sensor. No alarm clock, has little autonomy with frequent forced synchronization on demand, does not count too accurately, no moisture protection. Nevertheless, a great device for geeks who just need to move more. Well, the function of measuring oxygen levels is not found in every such device.</p><blockquote class=

    In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a heart rate monitor the secrets of choosing Nordic walking poles.

    Video on choosing a fitness bracelet

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