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Fitness trackers to avoid | CHOICE

If you’re thinking of improving your fitness in the new year, you might be considering a fitness tracker to monitor your efforts and motivate you to keep going. Or perhaps you’re not planning on changing your lounge lizard ways but want to buy a nice gift for the gym bunny in your life. 

Either way, these fitness trackers are ones to remove from your shortlist. They’re the lowest scorers in our test of 19 models on the market. They might look the business (with pricetags to match), but their performance leaves much to be desired. 

“Ease of use, comfort and distance accuracy are key components of our test and these devices stumbled in one, or more, of these areas,” says CHOICE tech expert Peter Zaluzny. 

“Some otherwise decent fitness bands or smartwatches have been let down by OK to borderline performance in some cases.”

The lowest-scoring fitness trackers in our tests

Samsung Galaxy Watch5 (BT) 44mm with D-Buckle band
CHOICE Expert Rating: 68%
Distance accuracy score: 50%
Price: $619

One of the most expensive fitness trackers we tested, this Samsung Galaxy failed to outperform every single other product we tested – even ones that were about a quarter of the price. 

This smartwatch has loads of features – fall detection, find my phone, body fat percentage monitor, skeletal muscle weight monitor, IP68 rating, supports Samsung Pay, and more – but it doesn’t do the basics well. 

Our experts rated it at just 50% for distance accuracy, and found that there were significant delays in updating the pace and distance counts while using it. And while it can measure body fat percentage and skeletal muscle weight, it couldn’t install the Samsung Health Monitor app which tracks blood pressure and ECG over time. 

If you’re thinking about buying it for your wife, girlfriend or daughter, don’t: none of our female trialists could get a comfortable fit with this band. 

If you have $600 to spend on a fitness tracker, you could pick up any one of the models our experts recommend and still have change, so check our review to…


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