Product Reviews

The 8 Best Fitness Gadgets to Help You Get in Shape

Dan Price 09-05-2014

There’s not many people in the world who wouldn’t like to lose a few kilos. Unfortunately, no matter how many gym memberships, New Year’s resolutions or diet programs we undertake, all but the most die-hard fitness fanatics seem to eventually let laziness get the better of them and slip into their old unhealthy habits.


Yet there is hope. With the increasing onset of wearable tech, the Internet of things and smart gadgets, it is now easier than ever to get in shape. Here we take a look at some of the best fitness gadgets for you and your home.

Spree Headband

Spree is currently the only fitness tracker that can give you detailed feedback about your body’s core temperature at any given moment. The gadget can also provide you with data about distance travelled, speed, GPS location, heart rate, and calories burned. Its boasts a lightweight design that comfortably grips your forehead while also channelling sweat away from your eyes.

The gadget is accompanied by Spree’s ‘Smart Performance App’ which is designed to help your monitor your performance objectives and give feedback on recommended workouts.




Withings Smart Body Analyser

Traditional scales can be demoralising, as weeks of exercise and healthy eating produce negligible difference to your weight. It’s often cited as one of the main reason people give up on their fitness routines.

The Withings Smart Body Analyser aims to change your view of bathroom scales. Their premise is that there’s a lot more to getting fit than just losing weight, and an average set of scales doesn’t give you all the information you need. Their device can measure heart rate, body fat, and ambient temperature and air quality – thus giving you a more holistic insight into the performance of your exercise regime.


The scales connect to your home Wi-Fi network and will instantly push all data straight to their accompanying app, meaning you quickly gain an oversight of the various metrics. The app itself has been cleverly designed to become the centre of your health and fitness ecosystem by accepting data inputs from devices as diverse as sleep trackers, blood pressure monitors and fitness bracelets.


Of course, Withings aren’t alone in the smart scales marketplace. Last year we reviewed the Fitbit Aria scales Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale Review and Giveaway Whether your goal is to maintain a healthy weight or lose those extra pounds, keeping track of your weight changes is an essential part of the process. Any obstacle to doing so will eventually halt... Read More and found it to be an excellent offering. The Withings device is available from their Amazon for $149.95.

Jawbone UP24

Jawbone UP24 is a wearable bracelet that monitors a plethora of data such as your fitness workouts, your sleep quality and with its accompanying app, you can even track your dietary intake.

Jawbone UP24 is designed without a screen and, therefore, it only works in conjunction with its app. Nonetheless, the device is always connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth and can give you real-time updates on your progress. Battery life is good, with 7-10 days easily achievable. Users who do a lot of swimming or cycling should be aware that no fitness bracelets have managed to effectively monitor these sports, and consequently the device is likely to be ineffective.

For more information about which fitness band is best for you, read our comparison of Jawbone and its Fitbit competitor Fitbit Flex vs. Jawbone UP: A Comparative Review In today's world, nothing escapes the fact that we are moving in a direction where quantifying and recording stuff obsessively is sort of the norm. We use Foursquare to check into places, we annoyingly take... Read More .


The Jawbone UP24 is available for around $120-140 on Amazon.


Xbox 360 Kinect

Especially appealing to people who are more used to spending their free time playing video games rather than heading to the gym, the Xbox 360 Kinect sensor can combine the two worlds into a fun and easy way to get fit from the comfort of your own home.

Both Nike and Adidas have released games that take advantage of the Kinect’s motion sensors to offer workouts, fitness plans and performance tracking. Nike’s game, titled ‘Nike+ Kinect‘ is available for $13.33 on Amazon, while Adidas’ ‘miCoach Kinect’ is also available on Amazon for $9.17.


Remember you need an Xbox 360 console to play either of these games. If you don’t have an Xbox, check out our article on other video games that will help you lose weight 4 Video Games That Will Help You Lose Weight All too often, people who are not gamers have this idea that individuals who choose to spend their time playing video games are lazy. Sure, we like to sit around with a controller in our... Read More .


Nike TR1+ Trainers

The TR1+ trainers are the next step of evolution in Nike’s footwear offering. The shoes have pressure sensors built directly into their sole which use your foot’s heel, ball, and toe to measure the spread of your weight and judge your movement. When combined with their accompanying app, this data allows you to receive real-time feedback on your training technique and posture, consequently making sure you receive the maximum advantage from your workout.

The app itself features several home-based workouts from many of the world’s top sports stars and even has a virtual gym buddy to motivate you through the difficult moments.

The trainers are available on Amazon for $119.99.


Intel Smart Earbuds

Intel’s Smart Earbuds were a big hit at the 2014 CES. At their core, the ear buds monitor your heart rate and relay to the information to an accompanying app. Delve a bit deeper, however, and you’ll be able to do things such as set a target heart rate for different parts of your workout, automatically play appropriate fast or slow music tracks to match your intensity, and get advice for the most appropriate exercise routines given your historical biometric data and physical condition.

The headphones are not yet available to the public, but are expected to go live this summer. The price is still to be confirmed.


Push Wristband

Perfect for regular gym goers, Push is a wristband that has been specifically designed for people who use weightlifting machines.

The discreet device will track your repetitions and sets for each specific workout, and will also give feedback about your force, power, balance, speed, explosive strength, load and tempo. The data will be fed back to a smartphone app that will monitor progress and help improve your performance over time.


SunFriend UV Wristband

This recently-released device is designed to help you stay in shape in another way – by protecting your skin from excessive UV exposure from the sun.

Inspired by the powerful UV sensors developed at NASA, the small device is worn on your wrist and measures the sun’s intensity whilst monitoring your total daily sun exposure. The device’s biggest selling point is that it doesn’t only monitor UV exposure from direct sunlight, but also from reflected surfaces, indoor areas, and places in the shade.


With the summer just around the corner this is the perfect beach gadget, especially given it is waterproof up to three metres. Available in ‘Grey Mist’, ‘Orange Citrus’, ‘Blue Ocean’, and ‘Green Spring’, the device costs $49.99 and is available from the their Shopify page.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think? Are these gadgets a passing fad or can they offer tangible benefits to your exercise routine? Have you already tried out any of the gadgets we mention? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credits: Chris Hunkeler Via Flickr

Related topics: Health, Wearable Technology.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Daniel Price
    May 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Maybe that can feature in part 2! Let us know how it works out for you.


  2. Rick Pack
    May 13, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I wonder how the Push wristband monitors load. I would love to hear the creators speak about the product on a podcast that discusses resistance-training like SuperhumanRadio.

    • Daniel Price
      May 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      There's quite a few FAQs on their site, but I'm not sure how much tech detail there is.

  3. Michael
    May 12, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Solar S150. Not bad

  4. MBarger
    May 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I was really surprised at seeing the UP band on the list. There are so many problems with the bands. I have had 2 in less than a year. I don't use it for fitness, because there are free aps that can do what it can do! About the only thing it is good for when it is working is the silent alarm. Fitbit I can see not being here since it contains metal that MANY people are allergic too. My husband's arm is just beginning to clear up after a couple of months.

    I like the Spree headband. I wanted something to track heart rate. The normal one that goes around chest does not work well if you actually have BREASTS! Thank you for that gadget tip.

    • Daniel Price
      May 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      I wasn't aware of issues with the UP band. I included it as much for its style - I mean, let's be honest, it looks damn good.


  5. Steve S
    May 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I don't NEED any bloody gadgets to "get in shape"!

    • dragonmouth
      May 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      A man after my own heart! :-)

      Instead of spending money on fitness gadgets, spend it on beer (fluid replenishment) after the workout. ;P

    • Daniel Price
      May 16, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Tech for tech's sake.


  6. Ian Beattie
    May 10, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Why would you omit mentioning the original and still fine fitness gadget - FitBit?

    • Daniel Price
      May 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Hi Ian

      I just thought it was so common that I tried to focus on a few lesser known gadgets.


  7. dragonmouth
    May 9, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Do any of these gadgets, especially the Spree Headband, give you a warning when you are about to have a heat stroke? Or do you have to wait until you dump the data to your PC first?

    It is not a smart-ass question. In my years of running and racing I have seen a few people succumb to heat prostration and heat stroke. I also know of at least two instances of runners suffering a heat stroke, veering off course into the bushes and dying because no one noticed.

    • Steve S
      May 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Dying? Hmm.....might wanna rethink tht runnin' stuff eh?

    • dragonmouth
      May 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      No. Just rethink the conditions you run/train under. Don't go out and a hill workout on a sunny, cloudless day with temps and humidity in the 90s, wearing a sweat suit. Of course I exaggerate to make a point but I have seen beginner runners do some stupid things.

    • TheQ47
      May 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Or do your running West of Ireland like I do. Never any chance of heat stroke here!

    • TheQ47
      May 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      *in the* (inserted between running and West of Ireland)

    • Eva Z.
      May 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Dragonmouth, Spree is made to give you the alert, it is being currently implemented. Right now you can watch the temperature on a display (in the app) and once you are in the "red" zone, you know you are close to overheating.

      And you are right, beginners do various things but even experienced athletes often underestimate the conditions, hydration, or try to push themselves too hard.