Fitbit, Garmin and MyZone fitness band and heartrate monitor reviews

Get a more accurate fitness reading with these three devices

MANY fitness bands and their linked smartphone apps are mere step counters — their other attributes, such as telling you how many calories you’ve burnt, are just estimates based on this basic data. For more accurate fitness tracking you need a band that can tell how much effort you’re putting in. That means one with a heart-rate monitor…


Fitbit Alta HR review

From £110

Slim and light, the Alta HR tracks your fitness by day and your sleep patterns by night, thanks to a battery that lasts a week between charges.

It is a watch substitute too, although the small tap-to-wake display isn’t the easiest to read; it will also show alerts received on a wirelessly linked smartphone. Download the Fitbit app to that phone to record your steps and heart rate, and analyse the data.

The Alta is not waterproofed for swimmers, though, and you can’t switch it into, say, a gym or cycling mode.

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Garmin Vivoactive HR review


To step counting, heart-rate monitoring and a watch function, the Vivoactive adds a barometer, so it can tell when you’re climbing, be it stairs or mountains.

Built-in GPS means you don’t have to carry your phone to record routes, although a price is paid in its chunkiness and in battery life: expect to recharge every five days.

Set it to the relevant mode for the most accurate data analysis via Garmin’s smartphone app; as well as the obvious, there’s skiing, golf and swimming — it’s waterproof.

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Myzone MZ-3 belt review


Serious pavement pounders should consider a chest strap, which more accurately detects the thump and power of each pulse rather than merely measuring frequency (as a wristband does).

The MZ-3 gathers data and then sends it over Bluetooth to a smartphone app — whether that’s MyZone’s own or a third party’s — and will go for months between charges.

Opt for the MyZone app and, once it’s established baseline fitness, you get motivational advice and feedback.

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