Fashion-conscious people like to use chic activity trackers for their wrists and adapt their looks to their own taste with interchangeable bracelets.

Wristwatch enthusiasts choose the model in classic watch design, which provides information of your activity with an additional hand.

Ambitious athletes receive detailed feedback on their training with technically more complex fitness trackers.

If you prefer to keep your wrist free, you can wear your tracker inconspicuously as a clip on your belt or clothing.

Fitbit Inspire – the new replacement to the older Fitbit Zip clip-on tracker

In November 2013, I bought my first device from Fitbit. Since it didn’t cost too much, I decided to buy the Fitbit Zip. In between I bought a fitness watch, the Fitbit Charge HR, but just like with a Smartwatch I noticed again and again that I am not the watch type.

When I realized that the Zip was no longer compatible with new smartphones, in my case the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, I needed a new fitness tracker. Fitbit had promised that with an update, the Zip will work again.

But I doubt it. Because why should you invest so much effort in a device that has been discontinued and is no longer sold? After some time, since nothing has changed in this direction and the Zip also had failure symptoms, it was time for a successor in the year 2019.

The market for fitness trackers that are not worn on the wrist is relatively thin. In the end, only the Fitbit Inspire with a clip remained. With the add-on clip included, the price of the successor to the Zip has almost doubled.

Inspire series – used as a wristband or can be clipped on

With Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR, the wearable manufacturer returns to its roots. Not only can you wear the two fitness trackers on your wrist, you can also attach them to your belt or trouser pockets with a clip.

Almost ten years ago, Fitbit started with step counters that were attached to the trousers in a clip. This is also possible with the Fitbit Inspire, if you separate it from the wristband. This should please everyone who is not willing to wear anything on their wrist in certain situations but doesn’t want to do without their fitness tracker.

The Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR are the successors of the Fitbit Alta and Alta HR. The functions are very similar, but the slim design has changed a bit.

After two months of continuous use, I’m quite satisfied with the Inspire. The battery doesn’t last as long as the Zip, but you can charge the Inspire with a USB port. With the Zip, a new battery had to be bought every time. Synchronization with Android also works fine.

The Inspire’s range of functions also includes the same core functions as the Zip: counting steps, calculating distance and calorie consumption. There is also a stopwatch and a timer, but I don’t use these functions. Rather, these are the functions that sometimes annoy me a bit. In my pocket sometimes, the stopwatch switches itself on. Here, Fitbit should make an improvement, so that the Inspire does not unintentionally make entries in the pocket.

Fitbit Inspire HR – Fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor

The new Fitbit Inspire HR naturally counts your steps and calculates your calorie consumption. It also tracks your sleep and sports activities. For this it has “over 15 target defined exercise modes” and an automatic training recognition, which works very well with other Fitbit wearables.

The Inspire HR measures the heart rate round the clock and can get GPS from your connected smartphone – for example when jogging or cycling. Standard features include a timer, stopwatch and reminders if you don’t move enough, and cheerful vibrations when you reach your goals. In the Relax function, the Inspire HR will guide you to relax with breathing exercises.

The Fitbit Inspire HR is operated via the touchscreen display on which the fitness tracker also displays all its measurement data. There you will also see the notifications when you receive an email or messenger message on your smartphone.

With the cheaper Fitbit Inspire, you lack these two features: heart rate measurement and taking over the GPS from the smartphone. Apart from that, both fitness trackers have essentially the same range of functions. Both wearables should be water-resistant to a depth of 50 meters and last for five days with one battery charge.

Bellabeat Leaf Urban Wellness Tracker for Women

I love this piece of jewelry with special functions like a pedometer, sleep monitor, calorie counter and also help you deal with stress. It is elegant, there are umpteen wearing variants and besides I can also do something good for my health.

It counts your steps reliably and spurs you to sleep, exercise, and rest. People have often asked me about the Bellabeat Leaf Urban and when I explain that it is not only a piece of jewelry but also has all these functions, they get enthusiastic about it.

I have been using the leaf for about three months and am fully satisfied. The app is nice, sometimes stubborn, but ok. Customer support is very nice and helpful. The leaf looks very appealing, especially compared to other trackers. But the bracelet is insecure; I don’t like to use it. Therefore, it’s better to clip it on your t-shirt or place it in your pocket.

The wearable looks chic as a bracelet and is water resistant. You can shower with it but not with the leather bracelet. I love it.

A versatile health tracker with chain, bracelet and clip-on options

Leaf Urban and its app are specially designed for women to monitor their health. In addition, it helps you to know when ovulation occurs or when the next period is imminent.  The vibration reminds the user to be more active according to the set settings.

It is compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones or tablets with Android 4.3 and newer models with Bluetooth 4.3. It has a replaceable standard battery with up to six months of battery life. Leaf Urban synchronises with an app and transmits all your data wirelessly.

I wanted an alternate fitness tracker that wasn’t immediately recognizable and didn’t look too sporty. Also, I wanted nothing with too many functions. The tracker is beautiful (I have the rose gold version) and fits to every outfit – from business look to sports outfit. It’s also great that I can wear the leaf as a bracelet, as a chain or as a kind of brooch on a top or waistband.

The leaf tracks steps or activities and I can enter each workout manually. In addition, the app offers a whole selection of guided meditations to play. If you like, you can set alarms to wake you up or remind you of movement during inactivity.

Great fitness tracker and looks very good too

I particularly like the design because it doesn’t match the usual tracker. The day variations (chain, clip and bracelet) are very diverse. With the bracelet, however, it can sometimes be difficult with narrow sleeves. With the trouser clip, we can loosen the leaf when dressing and undressing. Using the leaf and the app is easy and intuitive.

The accuracy is good, and the software seems to learn a little about my daily activities because they are now much more accurately recorded. Durability of the leaf is great. There are no scratches on the clip yet. Although not waterproof, the leaf has also survived an accidental water bath.

The tracker settings are intuitive and easy to understand. After three months of testing, I have a feeling that the tracker used as a necklace is less accurate than wearing it as a bracelet.

Falling asleep and waking up times differ from the actual by thirty minutes to one hour. The program is easy to use and clear.

I love it because it’s not ugly. I’ve always hidden my fitness trackers before, but this is lovely to look at and it works perfectly for my needs.

Should you go for Clip-on or wristband fitness trackers?

Activity trackers are usually available as clips for attaching to your outfit or worn as bracelets. The most important advantage of the clips is that you can wear them discreetly on your body or placed in your pocket. Compared to the bracelet, there is a higher risk of losing the clip.

Most users wear fitness trackers as wrist straps. The other forms, such as a clip or in-ear headphones, are less popular.

The first trackers that came onto the market were clips that wearers attached to their clothing. So they followed you every step of the way. Then came the bracelets, which had several functions. Some wristbands do not have a display, while others have a watch format that gives information about time, activity levels of the body and notifications from the smartphone.

Using sensors, they can often measure the heart rate so they need no extra chest strap for calculating the pulse. The latest innovation here is the bio impedance sensor, which can even measure your stress level.

Fitness enthusiasts now have an option to wear some newer trackers as headphones. The headphones can dictate the exercises during your sporty workout while the trackers measure the pulse in your ear. Crazy, huh?

An advantage of many wristbands is the accuracy of their sleep measurement function. This allows you to monitor the length of your sleep and, in some models, the quality of sleep. Most of the sleep data got from wearing the wristband trackers is more accurate than attaching the clip-on tracker with the pillow or placing it on your bedside table.

Activity trackers are practical as clips or wristbands that cover their energy requirements with an integrated battery. This battery lasts many months before you need to replace it and thus saves regular recharging in everyday life.

The trackers that have a rather simple range of functions consume less power. Large displays or complex sensors will quicken the discharge rate of the batteries. The batteries store power for a few days or weeks before you need to plug them in.

Many of these wristbands have an integrated pulse sensor to monitor the heart rate besides measuring movement and sleep. They usually record the pulse round the clock and displayed graphically in the corresponding smartphone app. Such devices are suitable for both spontaneous pulse monitoring and long-term heart rate monitoring. However, battery drainage is greater in these devices.

Again the heart rate sensor on the wristband will estimate your pulse data with a greater accuracy than placing it on your outfit or pocket.