Activity trackers for women – merging fashion with fitness

The world of quantified health hasn’t exactly been focused on women. Activity trackers started off with chunky and unattractive devices aimed at fitness freaks and technology buffs. The tech community is, however, increasingly grasping the importance of designing wearable technology that is both functional and attractive.

It is clear that at the moment, wearable technology is still more popular with men than women. Around 70% of Fitbit’s profits are accounted for by men. Furthermore, even though 95% of women are aware of wearable technology, only a third of them have followed through with a purchase.

Essential reading: Wearables that keep you safe

This article is a summary of our favourite activity trackers designed with female fitness enthusiasts in mind. Our criteria is based on a combination of visual appeal, smaller sizes and functionality.

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Bellabeat | Withings Activite | Swarovski Shine | Jawbone UP3Amazfit | Samsung Charm| Fitbit Charge 2 | Fitbit Alta | Misfit Ray


Bellabeat Leaf & Urban

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Founded in 2014, Bellabeat is a wellness-oriented company dedicated to creating attractive connected wearables for women. The company has distributed over 400,000 of its Leaf device, launched a little over a year ago.

This smart piece of jewellery is designed to track women’s health. Wear it as a necklace or bracelet with Leaf accessories or items you already own – or clip it to any clothing item as a stylish accent. You choose what fits your style best in any given occasion.

The tracker learns about you and provides insights and improvements to your daily routine to help you feel your best. The wearable tracks your breathing, sleep, activity and monthly cycles through the smartphone app. If you are feeling stressed, you can follow one of its breathing routines to try and calm yourself down. Its advanced technology is hidden inside the wood housing, giving it a soft natural appeal.

Leaf does not need to be charged. It is powered by a replaceable battery that lasts up to 6 months. It also has up to 14 days worth of memory, so you only need to sync it every couple of weeks.

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large_leaf[1]Bellabeat has recently come out with its second generation tracker. In addition to all the features offered by Leaf, Urban helps you deal with stress. The new feature analyzes different lifestyle habits to help you not only manage this silent killer, but also prevent it by determining the triggers that cause it.

The Urban features a slightly different design and is smaller and lighter than the predecessor device. Made with water-resistant certified wood composite and stainless steel, it maintains the natural look and feel that made Leaf so appealing.

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Withings Activite Pop

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Withings Activite Pop watches are a clever, stylish blend of everyday watch and connected fitness band that look good, are fun and easy to use. They come in a number of  colours with interchangeable straps. This unobtrusive device has a good battery life, is waterproof and automatically tracks activity and sleep.

While there are definitely more advanced fitness trackers, and more advanced smartwatches, the Activite is designed to look and feel normal. And it does this very well. This watch is a beautifully designed activity tracker that succeeds in being one of the first truly wearable devices of its kind.

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Swarovski Shine

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The Swarovski Shine comes from a partnership between the cut crystal specialists and Misfit. It blends further the worlds of fashion and health and fitness wearables.

The device offers all the functions of Misfit’s other trackers– i.e. it measures your daily activity and quality of sleep,  syncs wirelessly with your smartphone and has a battery life of up to 6 months. As with the original device, you can enable the clock feature when you double-tap the tracker.

The main appeal to the Swarovski Shine is the giant Crystal on top of the wearable. You can choose from a range of bracelets, bands and necklesses, to make this fitness tracker fit into your wardrobe. The idea is that you buy bands and necklaces to suit every occasion. Not surprisingly, the various jewelry-esque pieces are a bit pricier than the Misfit Flash or the original Misfit Shine.

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Jawbone UP3

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The UP3 is loaded with state-of-the-art sensors that give you a better understanding of your health and fitness. Like all bands, Jawbone UP3 measures the steps you take, and like some, monitors the quality of your sleep. It has a sparkling design and is astonishingly light.

Essential reading: Stress busting wearables to help you chill

While most other fitness trackers display raw figures and leave it at that, the UP will provide you with tips throughout the day on how to improve your health and fitness. We like the advanced sleep tracking and the ability to automaticaly recognise when you fall asleep.

The ability to periodically check on your heart rate throughout the day in addition to viewing you resting heart rate, is definitely a welcome addition to its wide range of features.

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Amazfit

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This stylish, ceramic-based device allows you to track and record steps, distance traveled and calories burned. It will also monitor sleep quality and receive incoming call vibration alerts.

You can choose from two wristband styles, Moonbeam and Equator. Moonbeam is a white ceramic shell encased in a rose gold-plated metal frame and is surrounded by a premium white leather wristband. Equator is designed to offer sleek sophistication. The ceramic shell is surrounded by a simple, minimalistic band in complementary matted black or rose gold tones. You also get interchangeable accessories to suit your mood.

Amazfit is one of the slimmest, most lightweight activity trackers on the market today. Just by looking at it, you would never even guess that its a fitness tracker.

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Samsung Charm

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The Samsung Charm is a lifestyle band designed to look like a piece of jewellery. It uses a small LED to make you aware of incoming or missed calls and messages, as well as push alerts from applications that you can select via the smartphone app. Color-coded notifications display information about charging, connectivity status and battery level.

Charm also doubles up as a basic activity tracker. Simply sync it with a smartphone via Bluetooth and pair it with the accompanying app to see how many steps you’ve taken, how much distance you’ve covered over the course of a day and how many calories you’ve burned. The device sports on-board memory, so even if you don’t have your smartphone with you, the wearable will continue to gather fitness data.

To suit both men and women, the tracker comes in two versions, bar and square-shaped, with three color options — Rose Quartz, Gold and Black.

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Fitbit Charge 2

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The list would not be complete if we did not mention the Charge 2. This is also our choice for the best fitness tracker right now for the average person.

unknown-1The wearable features a sleek new look with a larger screen than previously. It also comes in a number of colors so is suitable for both men and women. There is a 3-axis accelerometer inside, along with an altimeter and heart rate monitor. Its heart rate tracking is continuous and accurate.

The Charge 2 links to the GPS on your smartphone to provide more precise data on pace and distance when you’re running, while recording a map of your route in the app. It also offers Multi-Sport tracking and smartphone notifications.

Plus there are a few new features that tap into your hear-rate readings. The most interesting and potentially useful one is called Cardio Fitness Level. It gives you a snapshot of your fitness level using a personalised Cardio Fitness Score, which is based on your VO2 Max.

The other new addition are Guided Breathing Sessions. This is a relaxing mindfulness experience that calms your body and mind through personalized deep-breathing sessions called “Relax”.

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If you are interested in Fitbit’s less sophisticated wearable – the Flex 2, you have the option of choosing a super chic accessory with an exclusive collection from Tory Burch (view on Amazon).


Fitbit Alta

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Alta might actually be the best-looking fitness tracker Fitbit has released so far. The tracker is particularly popular with women and the high-fashion crowd. Just strap it on, without worrying about pressing buttons or logging any activity. Automatic activity tracking is a huge plus.

simple.b-cssdisabled-png.h584ccea3211cdc831c6734f2343195d3.pack_-300x256Alta is also one of the cheapest trackers sold by the San Francisco company. There is no heart rate sensor, which has allowed Fitbit to lower the price as compared to its other wearables. It also does not contain a GPS or an altimetre for counting floors climbed. Think of it as a much better looking, revamped cousin of the Flex, but with a screen.

While it’s comfortable and easy to use, the Alta doesn’t go far beyond the basic capabilities of a fitness tracker. If, however, you’re looking for a stylish fitness tracker from a recognised brand that does the essentials well, then this could be the device for you.

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Misfit Ray

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This is an activity tracker made from aircraft-grade anodized aluminium that for the first time moves away from the circular shape that Misfit is well known for. Rather than many LEDs, there is only one which displays different colours to alert you to text, call and other notifications from your phone.

The device offers pretty much the same functionality that can be found in Misfit’s other devices. It allows you to monitor sleep duration an quality; see steps taken and distance travelled; tag specific activities such as cycling or yoga; track calories burned; take selfies and control lights and music; and get vibration alerts for calls, texts and alarms. It also features movement reminders.

Misfit Ray runs on replaceable button cell batteries that run up to 6 months – so one less device to recharge in the evening. It is water resistant up to 50 metres.

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7 Comments on "Activity trackers for women – merging fashion with fitness"

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Frank
Guest

Isn’t that a limited edition of the UP2 rope edition. Have not seen the UP3 in a rope edition.

Irina
Guest

Could you recommend a trekker that will measure distance, pace and elevation gained and lost? I do a lot of hiking and running, and it’s hard to find a women design with these feature.
Thank You!!!

Joey
Guest

HI,
I have a rather small wrist and find a lot of fitness trackers too chunky. I want one that accurately measures steps and sleep.
What would you recommend?
Thanks

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