Rewind to 2014 -- smartwatches were the new thing and everyone was predicting that 2015 was going to be the "Year of the Smartwatches". No such thing happened in 2015, nor in 2016. Instead, over the past couple of years, fitness bands have steadily become the dominant so-called wearable digital device of choice. Many quality fitness bands were released, both worldwide and in India, in 2016.
In the third quarter of this year, a total of 23 million wearable devices were shipped worldwide according to the International Data Corporation, registering a growth of 3.1 percent as compared to the same time last year. Apple Watch was the only smartwatch that featured in the list of top five wearable devices. Here are some of the best wearables released in India this year.
1. Xiaomi Mi Band 2
The second version of the Xiaomi Mi Band, which took the crown of the most sold wearable in India last year came to the country in September. Last year, the Mi Band was priced at ₹999, but the Mi Band 2 introduced this year has been bumped up to ₹1,999.
Features wise, the Mi Band 2 has an OLED display and a heart-rate monitor that aids in better fitness analysis. Xiaomi claims that the band's battery will last for 20 days on a single charge.
2. Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2
The Fitbit Charge 2 is one step above the very popularFitbitt Charge HR. The newer version, which is priced at ₹14,999 (available for ₹11,999 on Amazon) features an advanced heart-rate tracker that tracks all kinds of movements and sports. It also has alerts for calls and texts, and a guided breathing session displayed on the OLED display. The battery life is estimated to be 5 days.
Fitbit Flex 2 on the other hand, is much lighter and a 30 percent smaller version of Fitbit Flex. It doesn't have the heart-rate monitor but it is swim proof, and is priced at ₹9,499.
3. Apple Watch Series 2
A price tag of ₹32,990 might be a tad high for a lot of people, but if you want the best smartwatch and fitness tracker out there, you should go for the Apple Watch Series 2. It has all the features of a FitBit, including a heart-rate monitor and a GPS tracker which helps in getting accurate stats for a workout.
The Apple Watch Series 1 is also available at ₹23,990, which, without the GPS tracker and waterproofing, is still a great deal. The smartwatch component of Apple Watch is great as well, and you can store music in it and listen to it offline. Serious runners can also consider getting Apple Watch Series 2 Nike edition which is designed for them with a specialised band. You can read the full review of Apple Watch Series 2 here.
4. Misfit Shine 2
Misfit has always taken the route of minimalistic design, and Misfit Shine 2 is also a band without a display. But it takes the help of the LED lights on circular display to tell the time. It has all the goodies of regular fitness trackers such as step tracking, sleep tracking, and activity monitoring.
It is waterproof so you can take it for a swim as well. You can also set your daily and weekly fitness goals on Misfit Shine 2, based on its point dial. Misfit claims that its battery lasts for six months. Misfit Shine 2 is priced at ₹7,495.
5. Moov Now
A great multi-purpose band available for ₹4,299, Moov Now comes with an audio coach to guide you during exercise. It can be worn anywhere in the body and can track exercise routines accordingly.
The fitness tracker measures different details such as strides, swim laps and more to help users achieve their fitness goals.
Besides these five fitness bands, the Indian fitness startup GoQii deserves an honourable mention. Uniquely, GoQii has a physical fitness coaching program, with actual coaching instructors, as part of the package when you buy its fitness band. But the band's hardware is sub par.