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Best fitness trackers: Fitbit v Jawbone v Misfit

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Exercise used to just be exercise.

If you went for a walk or a run, or worked out in the gym, there was no particularly easy way to log all your stats (short of taking notes by hand, for the diehards).

These days, however, we live in the era of the "quantified self", so all that data can be kept at your fingertips.

fitness tracker fitbit

But before you rush out to buy a dedicated tracker, bear in mind you might already be carrying around a device that can perform some of these features: your smartphone. There are a number of apps that incorporate things such as pedometer functions to count your steps or track your runs.

But smartphones are a tad bulky and you wouldn't necessarily want to keep one on your body all day. Which is why you'll ultimately get a lot more out of a standalone device and the broader ecosystems they offer. Dedicated fitness wearables are convenient, practical and fun (and addictive!).

What is it? Misfit Link How much? $38 Pros: Adopting the clip-on form made popular by devices such as the Fitbit Zip, the Link is bargain priced and quirky. This unique wearable is basically one big button, which gives you access to various nifty features in addition to activity tracking (plus sleep monitoring): you can take selfies, control music playback and even activate slides in presentations. Cons: Kind of gimmicky but cute and potentially very useful for some users. misfit.com

What is it? Jawbone UP2 How much? $114 Pros: To be honest, the UP2 doesn't offer a huge range of features over the Misfit Link but it's perhaps the sleekest-looking activity tracker we've ever seen. This slim, stylish band sports sleep tracking, a smart coach feature to give you personalised fitness feedback, activity tracking, alarm features and more. Cons: Nice looking but no display, meaning you'll be using the smartphone app a lot to get details on your progress. jawbone.com

What is it? Fitbit Blaze How much? From $329 Pros: Fitbit's the biggest name in activity monitors. The Blaze represents its most polished device yet, with a smartwatch form that offers all the standard fitness tracker features plus heart-rate monitoring, connected GPS support, workout apps, sleep tracking and smartphone integrations. Cons: Despite A premium, high-end fitness tracker in a watch design, not a general-purpose smartwatch. fitbit.com

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Peter Dockrill is Money's tech expert.
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