If you baulk at paying $200 or more for a fitness tracker, here is one that does practically everything the others do, but which costs just $125.
The LifeTrak Zone C410 tracks the calories burned, steps taken and distance travelled.
It also measures your heart rate and monitors your sleep patterns by tracking your movements and position of your arm to detect when you fall asleep and wake up.
The C410 will not win any beauty contests. It looks rather plain and you might even mistake it for a cheap wristwatch. But its silicone strap feels comfortable on the wrist and is easily replaceable.
The device has a small always-on LCD screen that displays the time, date, activity type and activity value. Press the big metallic button below the display to toggle through the activity types.
The top button of the two on the right side of the watch displays graphs of your fitness data (hourly or daily) and switches to Workout mode to track duration, steps, calories and distance over a specific period.
The lower button toggles between start and stop in Workout mode.
You activate the backlight by pressing both buttons. However, the backlight is not very bright and lacks contrast, so it is not a great aid to reading.
To check your heart rate, ensure the metal plate on the back of C410 is in good contact with your wrist - flat on the wrist is best - then hold down the front button and wait.
Simultaneously, I put two fingers to the pulsepoint on my neck and counted. The difference was no more than eight or nine beats per minute.
You can set the sleep tracker to work manually, but I decided to let it do the job automatically. It was very accurate in pinpointing when I slept and woke up. On the downside, when I left the tracker on a table, it registered that as sleep.
The device syncs with the free Argus fitness app (available only on iOS) via Bluetooth. Hold down the lower side button to sync data with the app. This also updates the time and date according to your smartphone.
The Argus displays data in a hexagonal format, showing calories burned, steps taken and distances travelled. Tapping on a hexagon of the data will bring up a chart.
Sleep data is not included. You must buy a separate Sleep Time+ app ($2.58) to see the sleeping chart.
While many fitness trackers run flat in about a week, the C410 uses a standard CR2032 coin battery, which is expected to last for a year.
Gram for gram, the LifeTrakZone C410 is probably the best value for money you can find in a fitness tracker at this time - especially if you do not mind its plain looks and iOS-only app.
Water resistance: Down to 30m
Value for money: 4
Battery life: 5
This article was published on April 23 in Digital Life, The Straits Times.
Get a copy of Digital Life, The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.