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Consumer Reports: Finding the best smartwatch, fitness tracker for you

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Posted at 7:44 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 09:18:22-05

(CONSUMER REPORTS/WTVF)  — A recent survey found that nearly a third of all Americans have put on some weight since the pandemic started. With January here and New Year's resolutions, you may have decided it's time to get back into shape, and it turns out, getting a smartwatch or a fitness tracker just might help.

Consumer Reports tests dozens of smartwatches and fitness trackers each year. And both types of gadgets can help you get fit by counting your steps, checking your heart rate, tracking your sleep, and reminding you to keep moving — even when you’re working from home.

The Apple Watch has long dominated CR’s ratings in part because they’re easy to pair with the iPhone and have a very accurate heart rate monitor. The new Series 6 is no different but it’s on the pricey side.For a less expensive option, consider the Apple Watch SE, which is near the top of CR’s ratings.

More of an Android person? The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is a great option, but also expensive.

“Don't need all those smart features? A fitness tracker might be a good option for things like step count and heart rate,” said Bree Fowler, Consumer Reports Tech Editor.

CR’s top-rated fitness tracker is the Garmin Forerunner 235.

Another option high in CR’s ratings — the Fitbit Charge 3, which CR’s tests found was easy to use with both iPhone and Android.No matter which brand or type of wearable tech you choose, Consumer Reports has some important advice.

“A smartwatch or fitness tracker is a lot like a gym membership — it’s only helpful if you actually use it,” said Fowler.

Just in time for the new year, Apple has launched a new fitness streaming subscription called Apple Fitness Plus. If you've got an Apple Watch, the program will give you guided workouts on demand that can be streamed across all of your Apple devices.