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Get your kids moving: best fitness trackers for teenagers

Obesity and excess weight are significant public health issues in developed nations like the US. This is a problem that affects the younger generation as well as grownups. We discuss the best fitness trackers for teenagers in this article.

The latest statistics show, 18.5% of Americans aged 2 to 19 were obese. For the teenage generation, this rises to more than one in five.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

Teenagers are advised to engage in at least an hour of cardio each day, according to physical activity guidelines. This actually isn’t that much. Sporting activities such as brisk walking, dancing, or even kicking a footbag in the driveway can all help people get a decent cardiac workout!

As they approach adolescence, kids occasionally lose interest in physical activity. Let’s face it, there are many diversions now that technology is so advanced. And its only going to go downhill from here.

By giving your teen an activity tracker, you can encourage them to be active. Teaching children the value of fitness and health at a young age can help them avoid heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues as they age. Additionally, if you wear a fitness tracker, it can even encourage friendly competition.

Here’s our pick of devices if you’re looking for a fitness band for your teen.

Jump to

Fitbit Inspire 3
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Garmin Vivosmart 4
Fitbit Ace
Amazfit Bip S
Fitbit Luxe
Fitbit Charge 5
Apple Watch SE2

Frequently asked questions


Fitbit Inspire 3

The most well-known manufacturer of activity bands worldwide offers a cost-effective fitness gadget called the Inspire 3. This page covers a number of Fitbits, including this one.

The device’s simple, buttonless design doesn’t add much new to Fitbit’s offering. However, Inspire 3 does incorporate many features of its predecessors packaging them in a sleek and appealing product.

All the activity tracking basics are there. This includes steps, distance, calories, and heart rate and sleep (Light, Deep, REM). There is even SpO2 tracking. An altimeter for counting floors is the only thing that is missing. Not an issue for most people.

Fitbit Inspire 3
Fitbit Inspire 3 | Image source: Fitbit

For those who are interested, Inspire 3 will even connect to the smartphone’s GPS to deliver more precise information on running pace and distance. Because call, text, and calendar notifications from connected smartphones are included, your children will have no justification for not seeing your message.

The device’s excellent resolution AMOLED display replaces the monochrome one of its predecessor. This screen is actually one of the highlights of this device. Everything is considerably easier to read compared to Inspire 2, especially when on the go.

The battery life comes in at a respectable 10 days. As it covers the essentials without overwhelming with information, the water-resistant device is a fantastic choice for people just beginning to track fitness. It is reliable and effective at what it does.

Like all fitbits, the gadget will work with any phone, including iPhones and Androids. It connects to the smartphone app and there is also an internet dashboard.

View on Amazon*

Release date: August 2022 | Display: 1.4 inch AMOLED | Battery life: up to 10 days | Water resistance: 5 ATM (swim-proof) | Weight: 20 grams | Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2 | Built-in GPS: No | Music storage: No | Cellular: No

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

The Mi Band 7 is an improved model of one of the most well-liked low-cost fitness bands in the world. Since its release earlier this year, the highly anticipated wearable has been flying off the shelves. Although not the cheapest device on the market, this one offers great value for money.

The seventh generation tracker shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor in terms of appearance. After all, there is only so much you can change in a fitness band. However, the Mi Band now has a sizable 1.62 inch AMOLED display. The modification gives the wearable a sleek appearance.

Additionally, there are many additional sports modes and an upgraded SpO2 sensor that can now track blood oxygenation around-the-clock. Additionally, you gain access to a number of performance measures including Vo2Max and Recovery Time. However, there is still no built-in GPS; instead, Connected GPS is available, which is a bit disappointing.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Xiaomi Mi Band 7 | Image source: Xiaomi

The same sturdy, rubberized design that is perfect for the younger generation is still present. It makes no sense to purchase something expensive that may be damaged easily. This is a robust device.

With its thin, stylish, water-resistant design, and intelligent fitness monitoring features, Mi Band gets the fundamentals right. Other features include caller ID, alarm clock, reminder notifications, weather, alarm, and a variety of clock faces.

The fitness tracker has awesome battery life and can stay on for up to 20 days before you’ll need to reach for the USB charger cable. As we note in our hands-on review, this is a device that ticks most boxes and will not break the bank.

View on Amazon*

Release date: May 2022 | Display: 1.62 inch AMOLED | Battery life: up to 20 days | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Weight: 23 grams | Sensors: 6. axis sensor: low power-consumption – 3-axis accelerometer and 3 axis gyroscope, PPG heart rate sensor, SpO2 | Built-in GPS: No (Connected GPS) | Music storage: No | Cellular: No

Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin Vivosmart 4 is yet another excellent choice. It comes in a small form-factor so is ideal for those with small wrists or if you are after something discreet.

The list of sensors under the hood is comprehensive. Even at night, the device will track blood oxygen levels, giving you more insight into how well your children sleep. Although Garmin would refrain from diagnosing these, the sleep monitoring feature could even be utilised to help detect disorders like apnea.

Which Garmin fitness tracker should you buy?
Garmin Vivosmart 4 | Image source: Garmin

The standard step, distance, calorie, floor, heart rate, sleep tracking, and numerous exercise modes are among the additional features. The Vivosmart 4 connects to a smartphone’s GPS and, like many other Garmin wearables, monitors stress, VO2 Max, reps and sets in the gym. If you already own a Garmin sports watch, this might be a great option for your teen.

View on Amazon*

Release date: September 2018 | Display: 0.26 inch OLED | Battery life: up to 7 days | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Weight: 23 grams | Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, barometeric altimeter, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2 | Built-in GPS: No (Connected GPS) | Music storage: No | Cellular: No

Fitbit Ace

Given that it is intended for individuals 8 and older, this is a choice that may be utilised for younger children as well. Fitbit’s first fitness tracker for kids tracks sleep, active minutes, and steps automatically to motivate young people to stay active. We’re talking about the fundamentals here as there is only an accelerometer and vibration motor inside. Not even a heart rate monitor.

The tracker resembles the Alta quite a bit, as those who are familiar with the brand will notice. But this has been adopted for the younger generation.

Your children may monitor their development in real time thanks to the device’s B&W OLED tap display. With Fitbit’s family account, parents can control what their children see on the device. It also provides parents with the option to choose who their little ones connect with.

What is the best Fitbit for your kids?
Fitbit Ace | Image source: Fitbit

The tracker dispenses prizes for exercising along with upbeat messages and entertaining, virtual badges to add a little extra motivation. The shower-proof device, which is barely 15mm wide and has a battery life of up to 5 days, is available in a variety of colours.

View on Amazon*

Release date: December 2018 | Display: 1.4 inch B&W OLED tap display | Battery life: up to 5 days | Water resistance: sweat, rain and splash-proof | Weight: 23 grams | Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer | Built-in GPS: No | Music storage: No | Cellular: No

Amazfit Bip S

CES 2020: The best health & fitness wearable tech we saw this week
Amazfit Bip S | Image source: Zepp Health

Amazfit Bip S is a great device for those on a budget. The gadget shares a striking resemblance with its well-known predecessor. This version has been upgraded with new sports modes, an enhanced GPS chip, better water resistance (5 ATM), and more.

The watch’s battery life, which was its predecessor’s main selling point, is still fantastic at 30 days (22 hours with GPS turned on), and it is now even lighter at just 31 grammes.

There’s a transflective colour display on-board that is always on and doesn’t deplete the battery. Worthy of note is that the display has good visibility in bright outdoor conditions.

This is not the best smartwatch you can buy – far from it. But it offers a lot.

In our review, we note that this is not a sports watch. But it offers a lot of the same functions for less than half the price. In fact, you will struggle to find a timepiece that delivers so much for the price. Bip devices have a loyal following for a reason.

View on Amazon*

Release date: February 2020 | Display: 1.28 inch reflective color display | Battery life: up to 40 days | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Weight: 46 grams | Sensors: BioTracker PPG Bio-Tracking optical sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis geomagnetic sensor | Built-in GPS: Yes | Music storage: No | Cellular: No

Fitbit Luxe

Luxe might be Fitbit’s most elegant fitness tracker yet
Fitbit Luxe | Image source: Fitbit

Luxe is one of the more elegant-looking Fitbit models. Some believe that this is the most attractive product the company has produced to date. Having said that, the simple design might not be appealing to some. There are no longer any physical buttons, hard angles or edges, or even the Fitbit branding beneath the display. Everything has been streamlined.

The display of Luxe, an AMOLED with 124 x 206 pixels, is its most notable feature. Similar to other Fitbits, the menu system allows you to navigate by tapping and swiping on the display.

Although the strap is removable, we advise teenagers to go with silicon bands. These are kept firmly in position by a classic watch buckle made of anodized metal. We’re talking about polished stainless steel here, so the construction is incredibly robust. The device’s 26 gramme weight makes it hardly noticeable on the wrist.

There is a lot going on below the surface. An optical heart rate monitor, a three-axis accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a vibration motor, and an ambient light sensor are all part of the technology. The average battery life is 5 days.

There is no built-in GPS, but there is connected GPS. You’ll need to go for the next device on this list – Charge 5 – for that.

View on Amazon*

Release date: April 2021 | Display: 0.76 inch AMOLED | Battery life: 5 days | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Weight: 26 grams | Sensors: -axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2, temperature | Built-in GPS: No (Connected GPS) | Music storage: No | Cellular: No

Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit-Charge-5
Fitbit Charge 5 | Image source: Fitbit

When it comes to activity and health tracking, Charge 5 is an incredible powerhouse. The improvement over Generation 4 is substantial. Additionally, there are some lovely design tweaks. For instance, the tracker now supports a touchscreen with full colour AMOLED technology. The predecessor’s TFT Grayscale display wasn’t all that impressive.

The tracker has ECG and EDA sensors, which is new technology. Only one other Fitbit has them; however, Sense is a fully functional smartwatch. The key difference between the two is that this one comes in the form of an activity band and the other in the form of a watch. Both devices have essentially the same technology within.

It is worth noting, to get the full benefit from the advanced sensors you will need a Fitbit Premium subscription. But each purchase comes with free 6 months access. That should give your teen enough time to decide whether they need all the advanced stats.

There is also built-in GPS. Your teenager will value this if they are serious about outdoor activities like running. One of the few fitness bands with built-in GPS is Charge 5.

There’s also some smart functionality sprinkled in. This includes notification support, NFC for contactless payments, Spotify, and more.

Charge 5 is priced quite reasonably considering everything it does. The gadget provides most of the advanced fitness tracking smarts that Fitbit has to offer.

View on Amazon*

Release date: August 2021 | Display: 1.04 inch AMOLED | Battery life: up to 7 days | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Weight: 15 grams (without strap) | Sensors: Multi-path optical heart rate sensor, multipurpose electrical sensors compatible with EDA Scan app, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, SpO2, temperature | Built-in GPS: Yes | Music storage: No | Cellular: No

Apple Watch SE2

The 2022 Apple Watch SE is a newcomer on the block and is aimed for teenagers who are looking for a fully functional smartwatch. In fact, Apple is promoting the timepiece as something for teens that could be used instead of a smartphone. The device now takes the Series 3’s place as the entry-level Apple Watch.

The majority of people concur that the Apple Watch is, without a doubt, the best smartwatch available right now. You can choose from a huge selection of third-party apps. Additionally, watchOS 9 includes some useful updates.

SE brings many of the features of the regular iteration. This includes the new Crash Detection feature and Fall Detection. 

The watch has a 30% larger display than Series 3. And it is 20% faster than the previous SE thanks to the inclusion of the new S8 chip. This is the same chip that can be found in Series 8.

Amazon*

Release date: September 2022 | Display: 1.57 or 1.73 retina display | Battery life: around 18 hours | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Weight: 30-37 grams (depending on model) | Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate (2nd gen), barometer, always-on altimeter, compass, GPS (GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS), ambient light sensor, LTE (optional) | Built-in GPS: Yes | Music storage: Yes | Cellular: Optional

FAQ

What percentage of teenagers in the US are obese?

The most recent figures show that 18.5% of Americans between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. For teenagers, this proportion increases to more than one in five.

Teenagers need to exercise, but how much should they do each day?

The recommended amount of physical activity for teenagers is at least an hour of cardio each day.

What are the advantages of providing a fitness tracker to a teen?

Giving a teen a fitness tracker is a great way to get them moving and instil in them the value of fitness and health from an early age. As they get older, this can help them prevent health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Fitness tracker usage can promote friendly competition.

Which fitness tracker for a teen should I choose – there are so many devices out there?

Fitbit, Garmin, Amazfit, or Xiaomi are all excellent options if the teen’s main goal is to track exercise. These are all well-known companies with devoted consumers and a long history in the fitness tracker industry. Avoid unknown brands because their hardware or supporting software will likely be of questionable quality. As far as a fully fledged smartwatch, we would recommend the Apple Watch SE2.

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