Don't buy a cheap, trash fitness tracker on Prime Day

You really are getting what you pay for in this situation, and it’s not good.

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STOP. Stop right there. Don’t click that buy button. Seriously, it’s not worth it. I know, I know, $25 for a fitness tracker that looks like a Fitbit seems like a great deal. And yes, it’s cool to get a cheap little tracker for your kid that looks just like Mom or Dad’s Apple Watch. I get it – I really do.

But seriously please stop, you don’t want to buy those trackers. They’re only going to boil your blood in the long run, and you’re not going to get your money’s worth at all. Let me explain why, and show you what’s worth buying instead. Trust me; you’ll be way happier with the thing that costs you a little more.

Cheap fitness trackers ARE NEVER WORTH IT

Not all fitness trackers are created equally. You can break most trackers down into three categories, step trackers, smartwatches, and precision trackers. Step trackers are the cheapest, and least reliable you can buy. They’re designed to measure when it feels something kind of like a step, and add it to your total count. But at the end of the day, you have to know you didn’t walk all of the steps it says you walked. No matter which fitness tracker you’re using, step tracking is almost always a lie.

Do yourself a favor and buy something worth owning, not just something cheap.

Smartwatches can apply a little more logic to specific workouts. You can get GPS trackers to know specifically how far you’ve run, which are significantly more accurate than the step counters which just sort of guess where you’re running and how wide your gait is. The real feature for most of these is the ability to share information with your phone, to keep a longer count of your workouts and to make sync notifications from your phone to your wrist. The best of these watches, whether it’s the Apple Watch or the Garmin Forerunner, are considerably more expensive than the things you’re going to see on Amazon for $20 today.

Precision trackers are for hardcore fitness folks. These aren’t usually what you wear on your wrist. I’m talking about strap-on heart-rate monitors for your chest, power meters on your bike, and gait trackers on your shoes. You can find many of these on Amazon on sale for Prime Day, but they’re going to cost you, and the setup process for these is far from easy. But if you’re ready to up your game, you certainly don’t want to put something cheap on your wrist.

So what should I buy?

A lot is going on today, and there’s no such thing as a fitness tracker for everyone, but here are a few Prime Day deals worth considering.

Garmin Vivofit JR 2

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$48 at Amazon

Who doesn’t love Spiderman, right?! Garmin’s fitness trackers are some of the best in the world, and the Vivofit Jr 2 lets you share your fitness goals with your kids. This means you can compete with one another through a nice shared app, and your little one can have the same day to day fitness experience you have. It’s also a solid watch and sleep tracker and pushes the kids to be more active with notifications.

Motiv Ring

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$148 at Amazon

Who says it needs to be on your wrist? The Motiv Ring is a fitness and sleep tracker for your finger. It can be used to track steps as well as runs and rides with its combined app, and it doesn’t look like you’re wearing anything special for fitness. Amazon’s go these rings for $50 off right now, making them not only visually appealing but reasonably affordable.

Withings Steel HR Sport

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$160 at Amazon

Aside from being one of the very few fitness trackers that looks, you know, like a watch, Withings makes a great product here. The Steel HR Sport is a GPS-based tracker with a sleek design and a dead-simple display. It’s $40 off on Amazon for Prime Day as well, which is an excellent deal for a solid looking tracker.

Do yourself a favor and buy something worth owning, not just something cheap. Each of these will last you a long time, where those trash fitness trackers will just end up in your sock drawer next week and never get used again.