Xiaomi

Xiaomi

Samsung is losing ground fast against Chinese brands in India

Consumers are getting more and more price conscious when buying smartphones, especially in India. Although Samsung still holds the number one spot in terms of sales in the country, its market share is decreasing.

According to a report from the technology research company Counterpoint, Samsung is losing the battle against low-cost Chinese brands in India. The tech giant’s market share was 21 percent back in November 2016 — latest data available — which is 9 percentage points less when compared with roughly the same period in 2015.

Meanwhile, the market share of Chinese brands including Lenovo, OnePlus, Gionee and Xiaomi has grown quite substantially. Counterpoint reports that these companies have a combined market share of 50 percent in India, compared to just 19 percent a year ago.

See also:

Samsung estimates highest Q4 profit in 3 years despite Note 7 cancellation

4 hours ago

What’s more, in the $120 to $440 smartphone segment, Chinese smartphone manufacturers have more than doubled their presence in India with a 68 percent market share. Samsung’s market share, on the other hand, decreased by 14 percentage points since November 2015 in this segment.

Brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus, and others have become popular among Indian consumers as they offer a better price-performance ratio than big industry names such as Samsung. If this trend will continue well into the future, Samsung will probably have to lower its prices to stay competitive in the Indian market.

But Samsung isn’t the only brand that’s taking a beating. Indian manufacturers like Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn are also experiencing problems as their total market share has dropped down from 40 to less than 20 percent in a single year.

Samsung is losing ground fast against Chinese brands in India

Consumers are getting more and more price conscious when buying smartphones, especially in India. Although Samsung still holds the number one spot in terms of sales in the country, its market share is decreasing.

According to a report from the technology research company Counterpoint, Samsung is losing the battle against low-cost Chinese brands in India. The tech giant’s market share was 21 percent back in November 2016 — latest data available — which is 9 percentage points less when compared with roughly the same period in 2015.

Meanwhile, the market share of Chinese brands including Lenovo, OnePlus, Gionee and Xiaomi has grown quite substantially. Counterpoint reports that these companies have a combined market share of 50 percent in India, compared to just 19 percent a year ago.

See also:

Samsung estimates highest Q4 profit in 3 years despite Note 7 cancellation

4 hours ago

What’s more, in the $120 to $440 smartphone segment, Chinese smartphone manufacturers have more than doubled their presence in India with a 68 percent market share. Samsung’s market share, on the other hand, decreased by 14 percentage points since November 2015 in this segment.

Brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus, and others have become popular among Indian consumers as they offer a better price-performance ratio than big industry names such as Samsung. If this trend will continue well into the future, Samsung will probably have to lower its prices to stay competitive in the Indian market.

But Samsung isn’t the only brand that’s taking a beating. Indian manufacturers like Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn are also experiencing problems as their total market share has dropped down from 40 to less than 20 percent in a single year.

Here’s the gorgeous Xiaomi Mi Mix in white

Everyone thought that Xiaomi was going to introduce a bevy of new devices at CES, given that this is the very first year that the Chinese manufacturer has an actual presence on the showroom floor, but as it turns out, the only “new” smartphone that they announced was a different color variant of an existing device – the Xiaomi Mi Mix. Now available in a pristine white ceramic paint job, it complements the existing, almost bezeless, all-black version of the phone that was announced back in late October.

Aesthetically, the near bezel-less nature of the Mi Mix continues to be its standout, offering one of the best screen-to-body ratios in a phone around. However, this new color variant makes the phone less prone to appearing smudgy or messy looking. The polished surface definitely helps to make the phone stand out, which as expected, does a significantly better job at masking those nasty fingerprints and smudges that tend to dirty most devices.

Here’s the gorgeous Xiaomi Mi Mix in white

As for the specs, this variant doesn’t differ from the original one. Just a quick recap, the Xiaomi Mi Mix features a 6.4-inch 1080 x 2040 IPS-LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, 4GB/6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 16MP rear camera, a 5MP front facing one that’s slapped in the bottom right corner of the display, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Beyond that, everything else about the phone is identical to the phone we saw announced back in the fall. If you haven’t checked out our full, in-depth detailed review of the phone, then we suggest to check it out to see whether or not the near bezel-less display is something that’ll work for you – or whether it’s more of a novelty. In terms of availability, this one, much like the original all-black version, is only going to be made available in China later this year. Therefore, you’ll need to think about importing this one when it comes out.

Xiaomi reveals white version of bezel-less Mi MIX

In late October, Xiaomi first announced its Mi MIX “concept” phone, with its near bezel-less display. Today, as part of its CES 2017 press event, the company confirmed it will begin selling a white version of the phone in the near future.

See also:

Going into 2017, these are the Chinese smartphone makers to look out for

November 29, 2016

Xiaomi stated that the white version of the phone will still have the same ceramic body as the older black version, so it should be very scratch resistant. That will be good news for anyone who buys it, as the phone looks very impressive with its pearl-like white finish.

That’s the good news. The bad news, at least for most of the world, is that the Mi MIX is still only going to be sold in China. Xiaomi stated the white version will go on sale in that country later this year.

Xiaomi reveals white version of bezel-less Mi MIX

Xiaomi also announced two other products at their CES press conference. One is a new wireless router, the Mi Router HD, which also has a surveillance hard drive that can offer as much of 8TB of storage. The other new product is the Mi TV 4, a smart television that is only 4.9mm thick. The TV uses the company’s Patch Wall system. It’s a software skin on top of Android with an AI program that’s been made to learn from your content browsing history and can then make some informed recommendations.

In addition, the TV’s hardware has also been designed to be modular, so you can quickly upgrade the display, motherboard and sound system without having to buy a full TV. The 49-inch, 59-inch and 65-inch versions of the Mi TV 4 will go in sale in China later this year. Sadly, there’s no word on if it will be sold in other parts of the world.

Upcoming Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X revealed in TENAA listing

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Looks like Xiaomi will soon release a new smartphone (maybe at CES?). The Redmi Note 4X, the successor to the Redmi Note 4, has recently been certified by TENAA, which listed the device on its website.

The device features a 5.5-inch 1080p display and is powered by the MediaTek Helio X20. Although some reports do claim that Xiaomi might announce a second version of the device with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 653 on board.

It comes in a few different variants. According to the listing, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X sports 2 GB, 3 GB, or 4 GB of RAM. There are also three storage versions available, as you’ll be able to get the device with either 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of space.

See also:

Xiaomi may be expanding into more global markets; here’s why that’s important

3 weeks ago

You’ll find a 13 MP camera on the back of the Redmi Note 4X and a selfie snapper with a 5 MP sensor on the front. The device also features a 4,000 mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner, and a metal body. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Xiaomi’s custom user interface on top.

Design-wise, it doesn’t offer anything new. According to the pictures posted online, the device looks very similar to its predecessor.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X will be available in three different colors — gold, silver, and gray. How much it will cost, when exactly will it be released and where currently remain a mystery. We’ll know more details on this topic once the device is officially announced, which should be just around the corner.

What do you think about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X? Would you consider getting it, or would you rather spend your money on a different device?

Xiaomi’s Christmas sales in India might be what you were waiting for

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The company is offering decent price cuts on its smartphones, power banks, and much more during this holiday season. So if you’re looking for a good deal on a Xiaomi device, the company’s Very Mi Christmas might just be the perfect opportunity!

See also:

Xiaomi is a huge hit in India, but not everyone is happy

November 21, 2016

Xiaomi’s Christmas sales have begun. In terms of smartphones, the Chinese tech company is offering a Rs 3,000 discount on its flagship the Mi 5. That brings the price down to Rs 19,999 this holiday season. The Mi Max is priced at Rs 14,999 for the lower configuration (3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage) and Rs 19,999 for the higher one (4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage). There are also others including the Redmi Note 3 or the Redmi 3S, all of which come with a free Hungama subscription.

Aside from smartphones, Xiaomi is probably best known for its power banks. I’m personally a huge fan of the company’s offerings, and if you’ve been looking for a way to keep your phone last all day, this might come as good news. The 20,000 mAh Mi power bank is now Rs 600 cheaper, priced at Rs 1,899, and the 10,000 mAh variant is now just Rs 999.

And that’s not all. The Mi Pro headphones are now Rs 200 cheaper, down to Rs 1,599 this holiday season, and if you’re looking for an out-of-ear audio experience, the Mi Bluetooth speaker is Rs 2,499. The sales also include the company’s official Redmi 3S and Note 3 flip cases, the Mi Band, band straps, the Mi USB fan, the Mi VR Play, and more, so be sure to check out the company’s official website.

The sales also include the company’s official Redmi 3S and Note 3 flip cases, the Mi Band, band straps, the Mi USB fan, the Mi VR Play, and more.

Will you be buying a Xiaomi device this holiday season? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment down below!

Redmi Note 3 global version gets Marshmallow update

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Xiaomi finally started rolling out Android Marshmallow to the Redmi Note 3 a couple of weeks ago, but to many users’ dismay, this only applied to those in India. Though it makes sense to focus on the area where the phone has sold the hottest, global customers have been waiting patiently for the Marshmallow-y goodness after being stuck on Lollipop since its release in March of this year. Now, in the form of a ginormous 1.3GB update, global users can finally get their taste of the revamped OS.

The update brings a variety of new MIUI improvements and feature enhancements, as well as many of the Marshmallow-specific features not present in Lollipop. The beta version of this software has been available for testing almost since the release of the device itself. The company had originally planned to push out the full stable build a lot sooner than it has, but it was unfortunately delayed quite a bit, and now other MIUI devices are expected to get Nougat in the coming months.

Has this phone been delayed to obsolescence? Would you still use it even though it is a full OS release behind? Let us know in the comments below.

Redmi Note 3 global version gets Marshmallow update

0

Xiaomi finally started rolling out Android Marshmallow to the Redmi Note 3 a couple of weeks ago, but to many users’ dismay, this only applied to those in India. Though it makes sense to focus on the area where the phone has sold the hottest, global customers have been waiting patiently for the Marshmallow-y goodness after being stuck on Lollipop since its release in March of this year. Now, in the form of a ginormous 1.3GB update, global users can finally get their taste of the revamped OS.

The update brings a variety of new MIUI improvements and feature enhancements, as well as many of the Marshmallow-specific features not present in Lollipop. The beta version of this software has been available for testing almost since the release of the device itself. The company had originally planned to push out the full stable build a lot sooner than it has, but it was unfortunately delayed quite a bit, and now other MIUI devices are expected to get Nougat in the coming months.

Has this phone been delayed to obsolescence? Would you still use it even though it is a full OS release behind? Let us know in the comments below.

What will 2017 flagship smartphones look like?

What a year it’s been in the world of technology! 2016 has been filled with not so much revolutionary Android devices but evolutionary ones. Samsung refined the new design language it introduced last year, LG gambled with modularity (and failed), Lenovo made a strong comeback, and Google finally joined in on the hardware fun. But overall, 2016 was defined by faster processors, virtual reality, fingerprint security, better cameras, and larger batteries. Now that the year is coming to an end, what can we expect from 2017? Read on to find out what next year’s flagship devices might look like!

Bezels, move aside

What will 2017 flagship smartphones look like?

Design-wise, it’s expected that major manufacturers will find ways to truly minimize bezels. From a practical point of view, slimmer bezels mean getting a bigger screen without sacrificing portability. Plus, it just looks sexier. I mean, why else do you think tens of thousands of Xiaomi Mi Mix units – which boasts an insane screen-to-body ratio – sold out within seconds?

However, the real question is “How will these companies achieve a near bezel-less design?” Of course, one way is taking an approach similar to that of Xiaomi: a regular flat screen that makes up most of the device’s front side with clever tricks for concealing cameras and speakers.

The other way is to curve the screen, which is likely to become even more commonplace in 2017. The Galaxy S7 edge, for instance, gives an impression of being bezel-less on the sides due to the dual-curved display, a trick we’ve already seen other OEMs emulate. Either way, we will see bigger screens in smartphones next year, but not necessarily bigger phones.

See also:

Galaxy S8 tipped to be bezel-less like the Xiaomi Mi Mix

2 weeks ago

The dragon will continue to soar

What will 2017 flagship smartphones look like?

Snapdragon 835. That’s a name that you’ll hear a lot more often next year. Unveiled very recently in partnership with Samsung, Qualcomm’s latest mobile chipset will be the main source of power in most of next year’s flagships. Its 10nm design means not only will your phone be more powerful but also more efficient in terms of how it handles various tasks.

Samsung is rumored to be testing its own 10nm chipset, the Exynos 8895, which could appear in some Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8 devices depending on the region. But for the most part, just like this year, Qualcomm’s processor will be the go-to chipset next year. At any rate, given the fact that Snapdragon 835 is built on Samsung’s technology, there may not be a strong financial incentive for the South Korean company to eschew Qualcomm’s offering in favor of its own.

Starting with the OnePlus 3, 6 GB of RAM became the norm in the Android world. Although Samsung and LG did not follow the trend this year with the Note 7 and the V20, these two big dogs are likely to join in with companies like ASUS, ZTE, Vivo, and Xiaomi in 2017. My guess is that you will probably see the phrase “Snapdragon 835 coupled with 6 GB of RAM” quite frequently next year. But hey, I’m not complaining!

My guess is that you will probably see the phrase “Snapdragon 835 coupled with 6GB of RAM” quite frequently next year.

Fingers or eyes?

What will 2017 flagship smartphones look like?

Ah, the question that will become even more pertinent next year. Samsung gave us a sneak peek at the technology with the Galaxy Note 7 this year, but alas, even before people could evaluate its merit, that device was gone. I’m talking about iris recognition, of course. Fingerprint scanning was made mainstream first by Apple, and for the past two years or so, it has become a must in Android devices. That will continue, and fingerprint scanners will be found not only in flagship devices but also lower-end ones as well.

However, companies are likely to distinguish their high-end flagships from others by incorporating an iris scanner. In theory, iris-scanning is more secure than scanning your fingerprint. It would be extremely surprising to see that feature missing from the upcoming Galaxy S8, and LG is reportedly considering incorporating the technology into its flagships next year as well. In terms of under-glass fingerprint scanning, it is possible that the S8 might use the sensor, but since it’s an optical fingerprint sensor, I’m not sure how secure it’ll be.

With more biometrics comes mobile payments. Samsung is said to be pre-installing Samsung Pay on almost all of its devices next year (not to mention Bixby Pay), and LG is apparently preparing to launch its own mobile payment platform. Chinese OEMs are also slowly looking into this too, as seen with Huawei Pay and Mi Pay.

Double the lens, double the fun

The return of dual lens cameras. I feel quite bad for HTC: the HTC One M8 was really the first Android smartphone to try to take advantage of a dual lens setup, but with poor execution and timing, it was a catastrophe. The trend came back this year with LG’s G5. While the G5 failed in its modular design, the camera was quite impressive. LG used the setup for wide-angle shots, and it signaled – this time with more success – a new era for Android smartphone cameras.

What will 2017 flagship smartphones look like?

Huawei and Xiaomi followed suit. Huawei, in particular, put two 12-megapixel sensors with one exclusively capturing monochrome details. Instead of focusing on wide-angle shots like LG, Huawei’s approach was primarily for better color reproduction and sharper images.

As you can see, not every dual-camera smartphone works the same way or for the same purpose, but whatever the end goal may be, 2017 will see a significant increase in Android phones with this kind of setup. I suspect that companies will follow in the footsteps of Apple and Huawei and offer software-based shallow depth-of-field effects, but this bokeh effect aside, dual-lenses offer significant advantages over a conventional single lens setup. Two lenses with different focal lengths are also great.

I suspect that companies will follow the footsteps of Apple and try to offer software-based shallow depth-of-field effects, but this bokeh effect aside, dual-lenses offer significant advantages over a conventional single lens setup.

Virtual reality might become our reality

What will 2017 flagship smartphones look like?

Google has the Daydream View. Samsung has the Gear VR and has confirmed that the company is working on a second-generation model. Virtual reality is going to become even more prevalent in 2017. Game developers see its potential, especially now with the PlayStation VR, and there are proven educational benefits as well. There are already interactive textbooks as well as medical apps that take advantage of VR.

This brings me to screen resolutions. Currently, most VR-supported phones have 2K displays. For better or worse, the resolution is likely to remain at 2K for the most part. Rumors indicate that one of the Galaxy S8 variants will sport a 4K display, but mainstream flagships will probably stick to Quad HD due to battery and thermal issues. Unless it’s for VR, having a 4K resolution inside a 5-something-inch display just doesn’t really make sense.

My personal hope is that companies will ship their flagships with 4K screens but simply set the default resolution to 2K.

However, my personal hope is that companies will ship their flagships with 4K screens but simply set the default resolution to 2K or even 1080p (kind of similar to what Samsung did with its Nougat program). Who knows, it’s a possibility!

USB-C to rule them all (even the 3.5mm headphone jack)

What will 2017 flagship smartphones look like?

Lenovo and Apple have already said goodbye to the 3.5mm headphone jack, and unfortunately, more companies might follow suit in 2017. The new trend is the versatile USB-C port – so versatile that it could even replace your headphone jack.

The new trend is the versatile USB-C port – so versatile that it could even replace your headphone jack.

The latest rumor indicates that Samsung might be ditching the traditional 3.5mm jack with the Galaxy S8 as well. Although we will have to wait and see, as companies try to fit more in – more battery power, more screen, more sensors – without sacrificing the device’s slim profile, the 3.5mm headphone jack may prove itself to be an obstacle, an obstacle that eventually could be axed by manufacturers.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

2017 is certainly going to be an exciting year: we will see more futuristic-looking phones with crazy screen-to-body ratios. Phones will be faster than ever and may finally replace our DSLRs (even for nighttime shots). We could even see the debut of the world’s first foldable device. Now, if there is one thing that must accompany all this, it’s timely software updates. Android flagships’ major features will be more impressive than ever, but with lagging software updates from OEMs, these features may not shine as brightly as they could.

Now, if there is one thing that must accompany all this, it’s timely software updates.

What do you think will be the main trend in smartphones next year? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

Fitness trackers have come an extremely long way over the years. No longer are they glorified pedometers; they’re much more than that. Most standard fitness trackers nowadays can track your steps taken, distance traveled, how many calories you’ve burned for the day, and even your sleeping patterns. They’re handy little devices if you want a better look at how active you are throughout the day, and there are plenty to choose from.

Related:

Which Fitbit is right for you?

4 weeks ago

We understand it can be a little daunting trying to choose which fitness tracker best suits your needs, so we’ve compiled a list of the best fitness trackers on the market. We’ve divided our list up into separate categories to help you narrow down your options. As always, if you feel like we missed something, be sure to tell us in the comment section below.

Without any further delay, here are the best fitness trackers you can buy right now.

Editor’s Note: We will update this list as more devices hit the market.
Update, December 2016: This month we removed the Garmin vívosmart HR to make room for the vívosmart HR+.

The best fitness tracker

Garmin vívosmart HR+

The best fitness tracker you can buy right now is the Garmin vívosmart HR+. It’s one of the most feature-packed, well-rounded wearables you’ll find.

For starters, it has a big touchscreen display that’s easy to read outdoors. And thanks to the larger screen, that means you’ll be able to view more information on the tracker itself without having to pick up your phone to open the Garmin app. It also has a waterproof rating of up to 50 meters, which is a feature many other trackers don’t offer.

The vívosmart HR+ is one of the most feature-packed, well-rounded wearables you'll find

How does it differ from our previous fitness tracking champion, the vívosmart HR? For starters, it comes with a built-in GPS while remaining just about the same size as its predecessor. The addition of a GPS brings some new running features like personal records, virtual pacer, Auto Pause, Auto Lap and walk/run mode. It will also track your activity and workouts automatically with Garmin’s powerful Move IQ technology, something the vívosmart HR does not offer.

The vívosmart HR+ has been around for a few months now, but it just recently dropped $50 in price. That brings the grand total to only $150, which is an absolute steal for what you’re getting here. With a built-in GPS, great water resistance rating, automatic activity recognition, and the company’s wonderful Auto Goal feature, the vívosmart HR+ is by far the best fitness tracker available in this price range.

Specs

  • Display: 1.0-inch LCD touchscreen display
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 5 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, email, alarm, idle alerts and more
  • Colors: Black/Shark Fin Gray, Imperial Purple/Kona Purple, Midnight Blue/Bolt Blue

Read more

Buy now from Garmin

Runner-up

Fitbit Charge 2

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you’re buying a fitness tracker in this price range, it’s hard not to consider the Charge 2.

It’s clear Fitbit really focused on design when making the Charge 2. This device not only looks more like a piece of jewelry and less like a standard fitness tracker this time around, you also have the option to change out the bands if you’d like.

The Charge 2 also has a bigger display this time, meaning you get more room for smartphone notifications. Plus, Fitbit also introduced a few new features to the Charge 2 that should help users stay healthy and relaxed overtime: Cardio Fitness Level, which will give you a cardiovascular rating based on an estimate of your VO2 Max, and Relax, a new on-device guided breathing feature that will walk you through short breathing exercises to help you lower blood pressure, reduce stress and lessen anxiety.

Overall, it’s an all-around great fitness tracker, especially considering its $150 price point.

Specs

  • Display: 1.5-inch multi-line OLED tap display
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Sweat, rain, and splash proof, but not waterproof
  • Battery life: Up to 5 days
  • Notifications: Text, call, calendar, alarm and idle alerts
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Plum, Teal, Lavender/Rose Gold, Black/Gunmetal

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Honorable mention

Fitbit Alta

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you don’t need a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor, you should get the Fitbit Alta. Not only is it affordable, it’s also one of the most attractive fitness trackers Fitbit has ever produced. It’s small enough to look like a bracelet on your wrist, and if you don’t like the standard rubber straps you can swap it out for a more premium metal or leather one.

It has most of the same features other Fitbit devices bring to the table like sleep tracking, automatic activity recognition and 5-day battery life. It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, though, which some would see as a major negative on the spec sheet. With that said, heart rate monitors on wrist-mounted fitness trackers don’t normally provide the most accurate metrics, so this caveat should be taken with a grain of salt.

All in all, the Fitbit Alta does most of the things you’d want in a fitness tracker without the ugly aesthetics. You can pick one up on Amazon for only $118.

Specs

  • Display: OLED tap display
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Sweat, rain, and splash proof, but not waterproof
  • Battery life: Up to 5 days
  • Notifications: Text, call, calendar, alarm and idle alerts
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Plum, Teal

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best GPS fitness tracker

Garmin vívoactive HR

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you need something a little more powerful than our first few options, Garmin’s vívoactive HR might be for you. It’s not too expensive as far as GPS trackers go, and it comes with tons of useful features.

For starters, it will accurately track your daily activity when you go running, cycling, swimming and more, all thanks to the built-in GPS. Of course it also has an optical heart rate monitor that will help you keep tabs on your resting and active heart rate. One other thing to note – this thing is bulky. I had a hard time getting used to wearing it for an extended period of time, though I must say that the bigger screen is really nice for viewing your daily stats and notifications.

Again, this isn’t the newest fitness tracker on the market. But if you need something with GPS and heart rate tracking capabilities and don’t mind spending around $250, you should definitely consider the vívoactive HR.

Specs

  • Display: Touchscreen
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 8 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, email, alarm, idle alerts and more
  • Colors: Black (with interchangeable bands in Lava Red, Force Yellow and White)

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Runner-up

Samsung Gear Fit 2

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 isn’t as feature packed as the vívoactive HR, but it’s definitely still worth including on our list.

It’s smaller than many other GPS-enabled fitness trackers out there, and it actually looks quite good. It sports a 1.5-inch Super AMOLED color display that will certainly help you achieve a few days of battery life on a single charge. It also comes with an optical heart rate monitor, plenty of on-board storage for storing music, and automatic activity tracking.

The Gear Fit 2 is also priced very competitively at just $150.

Specs

  • Display: 1.5-inch Super AMOLED
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes, IP68
  • Battery life: Up to 3-4 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, email, alarm and more
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Pink

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best stylish fitness tracker

Withings Activité Steel / Activité Pop

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you’re looking for a wearable that focuses on form over functionality, you should check out the Withings Activité Pop or Steel. No, these devices aren’t just analog watches, they’re also activity trackers.

They’re both comfortable to wear all day, and more importantly, they don’t look anything like the other fitness trackers on the market. They also come in a variety of different color options and styles, so you’re bound to find one that suits your needs. Both devices will track your steps taken, calories burned, sleep and much more. They’re also waterproof and come with a CR2025 button cell battery that will last up to 8 months at a time. Not bad!

The Withings Activité Steel sports a 316L stainless steel casing, while the Activité Pop looks a bit less premium and comes in more color options. These devices are available on Amazon for just $150 and $130, respectively.

Specs

  • Display: Analog
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 8 months
  • Notifications: Alarm
  • Steel colors: Black, White, Raspberry, Mineral, Evergreen, Khaki, Mocha, Yellow, Black Leather, Red Leather
  • Pop colors – Azure, Shark Grey, Sand, Pink

Read more

Buy the Withings Activité Steel from Amazon
Buy the Withings Activité Pop from Amazon

Runner-up

Garmin vívomove

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

The vívomove is Garmin’s first attempt at an analog fitness watch, and it’s quite a good attempt indeed.

Instead of featuring a separate step counting dial like on the Withings devices, Garmin has implemented a ‘move bar’ that fills up with each step you take. I really like this implementation, and it’s quite easy to see just how far away you are from achieving your daily step goal. Not only will it track your steps taken, it’ll also monitor your sleep.

It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor or GPS, and it won’t feed you smartphone notifications. It is waterproof, though, which is a feature many competitor products are missing. It also has an impressive battery life of about a year, so you’ll never have to charge the device; just replace the button cell battery and you’re good to go.

There are three models available, but you should definitely go with the Sport model (pictured above). It’s the cheapest and has the same functionality as the others.

Specs

  • Display: Analog
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 1 year
  • Notifications: No
  • Colors: Black, White

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best for notifications

Fitbit Blaze

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

The Blaze might not be our favorite Fitbit device out there, but it’s still darn good at a handful of things.

This is Fitbit’s most smartwatch-y device on the market. It has a touchscreen display, interchangeable bands, and it arguably looks more like a smartwatch than it does a fitness tracker. It can also feed you notifications from your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can get call, text and calendar notifications, though you aren’t able to get Facebook, Twitter, email or basically anything else. Not that anyone needs Twitter mentions on their wrists when they’re on a run, but the option would be nice, at least.

Other than notifications, the Blaze does a lot of other things right. It’ll get you 5 days of battery on a single charge, features a display that’s bright and clear enough to see outdoors, and it’s comfortable enough to wear all day. There are also leather and metal band options if you’re looking to wear it to work or out to dinner.

Specs

  • Display: 1.25-inch LCD
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Sweat, rain, and splash proof, but not waterproof
  • Battery life: Up to 5 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, calendar and alarm
  • Colors: Black/Gunmetal, Black/Silver, Blue/Silver, Plum/Silver

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Best budget-friendly fitness tracker

Garmin vívofit 3

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

Garmin’s vívofit 3 definitely won’t win any awards in the design department, but it does come with a surprisingly long feature set for its price.

It sports an always-on display, a battery that will last up to 1 year at a time, and also reminds you to move if you’re not on track to meet your step goal. It’s also waterproof up to 50 meters.

As you can see in the photo above, there are plenty of different strap options available as well. So if you aren’t a fan of the standard Black or White model, you can pick up a new strap that will make it look a little more like a bracelet and less like a fitness tracker.

Specs

  • Display: LED
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 1 year
  • Notifications: Idle alerts
  • Colors: Black, White, Camo
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Runner-up

Xiaomi Mi Band 2

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you’re looking for an activity tracker for around $30, you should get the Xiaomi Mi Band 2.

Xiaomi’s third attempt at a fitness tracker might not be the best on the market, but it does excel in a few key areas. It’ll track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and even your sleep. It also has an optical heart rate monitor that can help you keep track of your resting heart rate. It also comes with an IP67 waterproof rating and a battery that will last up to 20 days on a single charge.

While the Mi Fit companion app isn’t the greatest and the display can be hard to read at times, the Mi Band 2 is still a great option for those looking to keep an eye on their daily activity.

Specs

  • Display: .42-inch OLED
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Yes, IP67
  • Battery life: Up to 20 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, alarm, idle alerts and more
  • Colors:

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So there you have it, the best fitness trackers on the market right now! How did you like our list? Did we leave anything out? If so, let us know in the comments!

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