Battle of the Bands: Finding the best fitness band for you

The Right Click
Clockwise from top left: Jawbone UP24, Nike+ FuelBand SE, Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit, Polar Loop, and FitBit Flex.

All Canadians can likely agree that it has been a particularly long, cold winter – one where you just want to sit inside and eat comfort food. But the warmer weather is finally here and it's time to get outside. For those who need a little more motivation aside from 'patio weather' (or need some help walking off those patio beers), you may be considering one of the many fitness bands that has entered the market over the last few years.

When it comes to fitness wearables, you aren't at a loss for options. The hard part, in fact, is trying to decide which band is right for you. Each one tracks slightly differently, and it's hard to know which one is your ideal band when they all seem to do basically the same thing.

That's where this series comes in. With the help of three other editors here at Yahoo Canada, I've put five of the biggest fitness bands on the market right now to the test: the Nike FuelBand+ SE, the FitBit Flex, the Jawbone UP24, the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit and the Polar Loop.

Here's how the five fitness bands we'll be testing compare, based on features and specifications:

Nike FuelBand+ SE FitBit Flex Jawbone UP24 Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit Polar Loop
Price $149.00 $99.95 $159.95 $199.99 $99.99
Sizes Small, Large (both adjustable) Small, Large (comes with both bands) Small, Medium, Large One Size (adjustable) One Size (adjustable)
Colour Choices Volt, Pink Foil, Total Crimson, Black, Rose Gold Black, Slate, Violet, Lime, Pink, Teal, Tangerine, Navy, Red Persimmon, Onyx, Lemon Lime, Pink Coral Black, Grey, Blue, Green, Orange, Red Black
Display 120 LED 4-colour display 5 LED lights Day, Night indicator lights OLED colour display 80 LED 1-colour display
Est. Battery Life 4 days 5 days 7 days 4 days 6 days
Charging/PC Sync Direct USB or included charge cord Included dongle Included dongle (no PC sync) Mini USB + dongle (both included) Included proprietary charge cord
Connectivity Bluetooth Low Energy, USB Bluetooth Low Energy Bluetooth Smart Bluetooth Bluetooth, USB
Sleep Tracking? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Workout Tracking? Yes Can after workout Yes Yes Yes
Food Tracking? No Yes Yes Yes No
Alarms? No Yes Yes Yes (with phone) No
Inactivity Alerts? Yes No Yes No Yes
Water? Water-resistant (shower, rain etc) Water-resistant (shower, rain etc) No Waterproof (swimming) Waterproof (swimming)
Compatible Devices Requires PC or Mac, optional iOS 6.1 app Requires PC or Mac, optional iOS 6.0 or Android app iOS and Android 18 select Samsung Android devices Requires PC or Mac, optional iOS 6.1 or Android 4.3 app

Over the next few weeks, you'll get in-depth reviews on each band after Yahoo editors Ashleigh, Kat, Alina and myself put them through their paces over the course of a week. At the end of the series, we'll give you our top picks.

Check back next week for our first review!

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