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The best fitness trackers of 2015

The Garmin Forerunner 225 has an always-on display, accurate GPS for tracking runs and a wrist-based heart rate monitor, and can track steps and calories.
The Garmin Forerunner 225 has an always-on display, accurate GPS for tracking runs and a wrist-based heart rate monitor, and can track steps and calories. TNS

Fitness trackers may track steps, sleep, heart rate, caloric intake and more. Here are our top recommendations this year.

Jawbone Up2

Product Review: http://www.cnet.com/products/jawbone-up2/#ftagCAD187281f

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Up2 provides simple activity and automatic sleep tracking in a slim and fashionable design. The band has good battery life and can be worn in the shower. The Jawbone mobile app includes smart coaching and can be paired with many popular third-party apps.

The bad: It doesn’t have a display to quickly check fitness progress on and there’s no heart rate tracking. The sleep tracking tends to overestimate and the band can’t be worn while swimming.

The cost: $98.99 to $99.99

The bottom line: A better fit and superior software make the redesigned Jawbone Up2 our favorite everyday fitness band.

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Garmin Forerunner 225

Product Review: http://www.cnet.com/products/garmin-forerunner-225//#ftagCAD187281f

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Garmin Forerunner 225 has an always-on display, accurate GPS for tracking runs and a wrist-based heart rate monitor, and can track steps and calories. It’s water-resistant and can be worn in the shower and pool.

The bad: Heart rate tracking is limited to workouts, there’s no automatic syncing, sleep data lacks detailed information and Garmin’s mobile app is dated.

The cost: $294.99 to $299.99

The bottom line: Runners interested in tracking both heart rate and all-day activities can’t go wrong with the Forerunner 225.

Fitbit Charge HR

Product Review: http://www.cnet.com/products/fitbit-charge-hr/#ftagCAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The Fitbit Charge HR adds continuous heart rate tracking to all of the other features already available in the Fitbit Charge for just a bit more money. Resting heart rate readings are reasonably accurate.

The bad: Design and fit aren’t ideal for glancing at heart rate; active exercise causes accuracy drop-offs; not shower- or swim-friendly. OLED display turns off after a few seconds, which gets annoying. Heart rate coaching and goal-setting aren’t intuitive.

The cost: $129.88 to $149.99

The bottom line: Fitbit’s Charge HR adds heart rate tracking to an already solid fitness band at a great price, but it doesn’t feel like all the kinks are fully ironed out yet.

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Apple Watch

Product Review: http://www.cnet.com/products/apple-watch/#ftagCAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The Apple Watch is a beautifully constructed, compact smartwatch. It’s feature-packed, with solid fitness software, hundreds of apps and the ability to send and receive calls via an iPhone.

The bad: Battery only lasts a little more than a day; most models and configurations cost more than they should; requires an iPhone 5 or later to work; interface can be confusing; sometimes slow to communicate with a paired iPhone.

The cost: $349

The bottom line: The Apple Watch is the most ambitious, well-constructed smartwatch ever seen, but first-gen shortfalls make it feel more like a fashionable toy than a necessary tool.

CNET offers unbiased reviews of personal technology products, www.cnet.com.

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