Choosing the Right Fitness Tech in 2020
As we move into 2020 there is more tech than ever that is trying to become part of our everyday lives. Fitness and exercise are no different, smart watches, headphones, blenders, smoothie makers and weighing scales are all trying to make our lives easier and more connected.
We are going to cut through what is available on the market and give you our guide to the essential tech that you need to buy for 2020.
Did you know that in 2015 there were approx. 62.3 million smart wearable devices sold globally? In 2020 it’s expected to top 124.8m units (statista.com). This is an area of the fitness market that is going through a huge transformation.
But with all the new watches and gadgets entering the market, which one do you buy?
I want a smart watch to track my steps, workouts, heart rate and sleep patterns.
Our choice – Fitbit Charge 3
The biggest ever selling watch from FitBit and it’s for a number of key reasons:
It does the basics well – Steps, heart rate and sleep are all tracked accurately. It’s a very basic looking device that ‘does what it says on the tin’.
It has a great app – A well designed and free app that connects directly to the watch. It a beautiful to look at and easy to use. It initially seems basic, but can be expanded to become as detailed as you need. An example of this is that you can log all of the food you eat using their easy to use barcode scanner, this then goes against the calorie targets that you have set.
The battery lasts a long time and charges quickly – This watch doesn’t have a beautiful colour screen and I am glad, because it doesn’t need one. A simple interface means the battery has around a full week of use before having to be re-charged.
It’s light and comfortable – It has a rubber strap that works well as it means it doesn’t absorb water, is light in weight and doesn’t hold any odours like a metal or fabric strap.
It’s cheap – You can now get this watch for close to £100, for the features and free app supplied we believe this is good value.
Notable alternative – Apple watch S5
A good looking and smart watch that comes at a price. It’s at the very top end (like all apple products) of the budget scale. If you have lots of devices that are already in the apple eco system, such as one of the latest iPhones, then this is a very good smart watch and a recommended choice.
As you would expect from Apple, it comes with a beautiful app and more features than the FitBit recommendation above. One of these features being a built in GPS and full colour screen as well as more options to connect the watch to your phone. Battery is an issue here as people in the office report that it needs to be charged around every 1-2 days depending on use.
Specialist choice – Garmin Forerunner 235
Many of our readers are keen runners that need a few extra features that aren’t included in more of the budget range of watches. GPS is the critical feature here. The Garmin 235 has a great price tag and is the ideal partner for those who are looking for less of a generic fitness watch and more of a specialist item.
We haven’t used the Garmin software in great deal but the app was initially easy to use and gave in depth analysis including steps, heart rate, and average bmp, and the ability to map out your run with the inbuilt GPS without having to connect it to your mobile phone.
Tech relating to headphones has evolved much quicker due to Apple removing the headphone jack from its newest devices. This means that a lot of manufacturers have created their own Bluetooth wireless versions replacing the typical wired setup.
In many ways this has helped gym and fitness users as it no longer means that you need to connect to a device with an awkward wire.
We have picked our three favourite wireless headphone devices:
Low budget – JVC HA-EC30BT
A rival to SONY, JVC have been making tech since 1953. In that time they have made some of the best TVs, HiFi’s and audio systems available on the market. The HA-EC30BT are a mix of great value, sound quality and added features.
Built for athletes, they have soft ear clips, neck band and volume buttons included. Best of all they are water resistant for when you get caught in a sudden downpour which could more than likely happen at any point in the UK.
Mid budget – Beats by Dre Power beats 3
Quite a step up in price compared to our budget line, but at the time of writing they have an average of 4.8 stars from 442 reviews.
The sound quality is excellent and they are sweat and water resistant. You also get a longer 12 hour playback time at full charge and the build quality is second to none. You know that you have bought a premium product when you put these on.
High budget – Apple AirPods Pro
For those who prefer Apple products then there is the Apple AirPod Pros. As you would expect the sound quality is excellent and the comfort fit within the ear was top of the class in our test run.
Included is noise cancellation- which blocks out the world around you and helps you to focus on your workout. We found this especially handy in the gym at peak times, no more hearing the sound of 6 treadmills and somebody grunting at the weights bench!
Smoothie makers, steamers and air fryers
As this is a detailed section that is heavily linked to dieting, we decided to include it in its own section and can be found here – Eat what you like, but lighter!
“Please don’t make me get on the scales” is what can commonly be heard after every Christmas.
Bathroom weighing scales need to become an important part of your weekly routine. Don’t put off buying them, as you begin any fitness journey they can be a good source of momentum to keep going.
An important note that sometimes when you begin to train (especially with weights) you will feel thinner and begin look more toned, but haven’t lost any weight! This is because muscle weighs more than fat. The point I am making is that we recommend you get some scales with a body fat analyser which will help you keep track of this measurement as well as your overall weight. And give you a fuller picture of your health.
Below are our top 3 picks of super scales:
Low budget – Salter Glitter Body Analyser Scale
A great set of scales that look beautiful, very reasonably priced, and offer both the weight and body analyser options. Can store up to 8 profiles to make it easier to switch between family members.
Don’t be put off by the Weight Watchers badge, these are a great looking fully function set of scales. There is only a small ‘WW’ logo included as part of the branding. They have more features than you would ever need including recording your weight, BMI, body fat %, body water %, bone mass % and muscle mass % over time.
For those who want to keep everything logged, included is an app that can send all of your results directly to your smartphone so you don’t have to keep anything scribbled on a notepad.
Hugh budget – Fitbit Aria 2 Wi-Fi Body Weight Analysis Scale
An extension of the FitBit range comes a pretty fancy set of scales. Built in Wi Fi means that stats are recorded and can be sent to any device over your home network. They directly integrate into the FitBit mobile app which makes it a dream if you already have a FitBit watch.
It was really hard to find anything negative about these scales. I guess the only drawback is that for those who are totally into the Apple eco system, this would be another app that you have to download and keep on top of. But we see this as only a minor annoyance compared to the functionality that they offer.