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THE CHOSEN FEW: Fitness bands

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The fitness band market has grown exponentially in recent years. There are now a dizzying array of models for consumers to choose from, with Samsung, Nike and Garmin all joining niche brands Jawbone and Fitbit in trying to gain traction in this rapidly evolving sector. We take a look at five of the best…

1. Samsung Gear Fit
The Gear Fit is tech giant Samsung’s first stab at the fitness band market. It’s chunkier than most, yet surprisingly light on the wrist. The upside of the extra size is more features – which is certainly a Samsung speciality. The Gear Fit rocks a 1.85in AMOLED display with basic notifications (calls, texts) and is loaded with an accelerometer and gyroscope to track your activity. One feature they haven’t nailed is the heart rate sensor, which has patchy accuracy according to users. Oh, one final point, you need be one of Samsung’s 500m phone users to use the Gear Fit.
Price: AED799 stocked at Samsung store in Dubai Mall.

2. Nike Fuelband SE
The FuelBand is not a new addition to the fitness band party but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a highly efficient piece of kit. Made of durable plastic, the FuelBand SE is light, and understated addition to your tech armoury. There is a retro dot matrix LED display which doubles up as a digital clock and if you follow Nike’s famous ‘Just do it’ slogan, rainbow colours will light up when you’ve reached your fitness goals. Like most trackers it will tot up your calories burned and steps taken. A solid choice for runners.
Price: AED599 to AED1,150 (depending size and colour) from www.souq.com

3. Garmin Vivofit
The Vivofit is a natty little number from Garmin, the US company that specialises in Sat-Navs and fitness watches. To wear, the Vivofit has a robust rubber construction and rocks a useful ‘always-on’ screen. As well as the basics; time, date, calories burned and total distance, it’s also a tad bossy, reminding you if you’ve been inactive for an hour with a growing red band along the top of the screen – remember, it’s for your own good. One major plus is a year-long battery and there’s no need to panic if you’ve dropped it in water, it’s waterproof to 50m.
Price: AED485 from Souq.com

4. Jawbone Up2
The Jawbone Up24 is a good-looking, stylish band. Made from textured rubber with a swirled pattern design help with grip, it’s the bigger brother of the original Up, with added Bluetooth smart syncing, so you know how you’re performing 24/7. It has a plethora of features; it can measure your resting heart rate, eating habits, perspiration, BMI and hydration. Not enough? Well, it’ll also tell you if you were in a deep, light or REM sleep and how long it takes you to drop off. There’s a staggering array of options. The Up24 will also give you a week of usage on one charge.
Price: AED479 from Virgin Megastore

5. Fitbit Charge
Fitbit has found a decent foothold in the wearables market in recent years and the Charge, which replaced the recalled Force model after complaints over skin irritation, is another hugely capable addition. Like the Up2, it’s another band with a textured rubber finish and you can pick it up in slate, blue or burgundy. There is a tiny 0.75in screen, which gives you the time and date and basic phone notifications, if synced with an easy-to-use iOS and Android app. As a fitness tracker, during the day the Fitbit Charge tracks your steps with a built in altimeter, distance travelled and calories burned and by night it’ll track your sleep quality and wakes you silently in the morning – good news if you don’t want to wake your sleeping partner.
Price: AED599 available from Virgin Megastores

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