With Jawbone essentially out of the consumer wearable game, and market leaders like Fitbit or Garmin seemingly focused first and foremost on offering more features for, well, more money, those of you seeking a solid $50 or $60 fitness tracker from a company you know and trust have but a few options around.
There’s Xiaomi’s dirt-cheap Mi Band 2… if you can find it stateside, Fitbit’s original Flex, as well as the first-gen Garmin Vivofit, although the latter two are more than a little long in the tooth. Meanwhile, the Misfit Flare is brand new, setting you back a measly $59.99 with just the basics in tow.
You get “automatic” monitoring of steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, plus light and restful sleep, all in a low-key swimproof aluminum package with a crystal face, single white LED light and comfortable, unpretentious TPU strap.
Daily progress, goal tracking and lap counts are vaguely accessible on your wrist courtesy of that one and only LED indicator, while a companion app will let you easily log different activities like soccer, yoga or swimming with more in-depth stats and data.
A non-charging, replaceable battery promises to last up to 4 months, which is short of ideal, and surprise, surprise, a “smart button” can be customized to control various connected household devices, take a selfie, play music or make your phone ring. And yes, Misfit is quickly becoming a trusted wearable manufacturer, following its 2015 addition to the Fossil Group, and the recent announcement of an intriguing Android Wear 2.0-powered Vapor smartwatch with a refreshingly low price.