Our bodies are designed to move. If we live a sedentary lifestyle, not only do we get fat but we are also making ourselves more susceptible to certain medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or even some forms of cancer.
To help encourage you to move, you can use the help of fitness trackers which are small gadgets that tell you the time, as well as do other things such as read notifications from your smartphone, step tracking, sports tracking, and more.
In this article, I will go over some of the super cheap fitness trackers that are great for people that are always on the go (and also for people that want to get a move on).
Super Cheap Fitness Trackers
1.Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Xiaomi is a company that actually develops a lot of things. Not only do they build amazing phones but you also get to pick household items among many other things.
As you can tell, the company has also built some of the best inexpensive fitness trackers on the market.
While the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 was released not too long ago, the fourth version of the company’s popular fitness tracker is still one of the best to this day.
You get a 0.95-inch color screen that immediately tells you the time, its current battery life, and how many steps that you have taken.
The touch screen is big enough for you to navigate through its different settings and parameters and what I love about the 4th version of this device is that you now have a colored screen (as opposed to the grayscale screen on the Mi Band 3).
You can easily connect to your smartphone just by downloading the Mi Fit App. I encourage you to sign up so that all of the fitness tracking data can be synced to your phone when you are finished working out, for example.
If you are a swimmer, you will definitely love the fact that this fitness tracker has a 50-meter waterproof rating. No, it is not recommended for you to swim in the deepest depths of the ocean but it should be good enough for surfing or taking a swim at the pool.
In the fourth version of the popular Mi Band line from Xiaomi, the company has introduced sleep tracking. It is not as accurate as the more popular options out there, but it is still a nice addition.
Normally, you would think that this type of product would cost about $50 or more but you will be surprised that this thing only costs $27 at the time of writing. Now that is a good deal!
2.Honor Band 5
The American Heart Association has stated that people should aim to take at least 8,000 steps a day to ensure optimal health. One way to track your steps is by wearing a fitness tracker and if you want an accurate one that doesn’t break the bank, then the Honor Band 5 is the right one for you.
Among all of the super cheap trackers out there, this particular product is one of the most accurate on the market. You could say that the company has truly improved its pedometer over time.
Aside from that, the Honor Band 5 is also waterproof to 5ATM which basically means that you can swim with it without worrying about breaking the thing.
While this tracker does come with both heart rate monitor and sleep tracking, keep in mind that they are not accurate. They both deviate from actual measurements from real instruments but for what they can do on a daily basis, they are definitely passable.
The good thing is that you can pair this tracker with both an Android smartphone or an iPhone so compatibility shouldn’t be a problem.
For those of you who do not know, the Amazfit line of fitness trackers and smartwatches is affiliated or a sub-brand of Xiaomi, so you can expect quality products sold at affordable prices.
Anyway, when you take a look at the Amazfit Bip for the first time, you might mistake it for an Apple Smartwatch. True enough, Xiaomi has been notorious for copying Apple’s designs, but that is actually a good thing as imitation is the highest form of flattery, as they say.
The reason why I think this is one of the best inexpensive fitness trackers out there is that aside from the fact that it has a much larger screen, it also has GPS as well.
Normally, fitness trackers do not come with GPS capabilities as a cost-cutting measure, but I am really happy that the Amazfit Bip has it.
You get the usual goodies such as accurate step tracking, heart-rate monitor, and you also get to download customizable watch faces by using Xiaomi’s app as well.
Its battery life of 45 days might not wow you, but for a fitness tracker/smartwatch, it is pretty good. The only downside to this is that it uses a proprietary charger, so it is best that you never lose it.
4.Fitbit Inspire HR
Fitbit is not usually synonymous with affordable products, but to make way for their new items, the company usually slashes the prices of their older stocks to make them more enticing to the general public.
The Fitbit Inspire HR is definitely a gorgeous fitness tracker. You could say that it has a more premium build than others. It looks simple but there is elegance in that.
Aside from the accurate screen, you also get a variety of different features as well. To unlock this product’s full capability, you need to download the Fitbit app on your smartphone.
There, you will find different activities that you can track, as well as it also records the data during the entire day to help you track your progress and whatnot.
My only gripe with the Fitbit Inspire HR is that it has the lowest battery life on this list at 5 days.
This was originally priced at $150 but you can get yours for the low price of $99.
Not all fitness trackers have the ability to communicate with smart AI features, but this next tracker definitely has that one built-in.
The Wyze Band is one of the only products in its class that has the ability to communicate with Alexa- Amazon’s virtual assistant.
Although you might experience some spotty connections here and there, for the most part, you are still going to be able to fully utilize Amazon’s own AI.
The tracker itself has a nice vibrant touchscreen that you can easily swipe left and right no matter if your hands are sweaty or not.
By downloading its companion app, you get a lot of useful information about your workouts such as the calories that you have burned, the steps you’ve taken, your heart beats per minute, and so much more.
If you want an affordable tracker that has the ability to sync up with an AI, then Wyze Band is quite an appealing option.
6.Huawei Band 3 Pro
A well-known smartphone manufacturer, Huawei has been producing a lot of high-quality smartphones for years now so it is just right to expect some products that would further the functionality of what they’re offering, right?
The Huawei Band 3 Pro is another great and inexpensive fitness tracker that just costs $60. For the price, you are getting a lot of nice things.
This is one of the only inexpensive trackers on the market that has GPS support. Not only that but reviewers and fitness enthusiasts can attest to the accuracy of the product’s heart rate monitor- something that is hard to say for others in its class.
You get a nice colored screen that is always accurate when it comes to inputs and by downloading its companion app, you can also set it to track different sports and activities as well.
Although its battery life doesn’t compare to what Xiaomi has to offer, it is still quite good at 14 days. It is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, though you get amazing connectivity when using the company’s own smartphones.
With an accurate heart rate monitor, step tracker, and GPS functionality, it is very easy to recommend the Huawei Band 3 Pro.
7.Garmin Vivofit 4
As mentioned earlier, you are encouraged to take at least 8,000 steps a day which means that you need to have an accurate fitness tracker that can tell how many steps you’ve taken at any given time.
The Garmin Vivofit 4 has a pretty accurate pedometer in that it rarely displays missteps. That means that the step count that you see on its display is exactly how many steps you’ve taken.
Aside from that, its strap is also comfortable and durable as well. Even if you engage in rough sports, this fitness tracker can definitely take a beating.
It is also important that we get at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night and the Vivofit 4 also has a relatively accurate sleep tracker as well.
The major downside of this tracker, however, is that it doesn’t have a heart rate monitor. This might put some people off from buying this one, but if you want a truly accurate pedometer and sleep tracker, the Garmin Vivofit 4 is still one of the best out there.
8.Samsung Galaxy Fit e
Samsung is hailed as one of the best phone companies today and true enough, the company also produces a lot of products that can further the functionality of its main devices.
That being said, the Samsung Galaxy Fit e is surprisingly a very good fitness tracker offered at a very inexpensive price. For a company that builds stellar smartwatches, this is definitely a welcome addition to its product stack.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit e can seamlessly connect to your smartphone via its Bluetooth functionality but you can also do the same thing by using its companion app.
You get the usual stuff here such as activity tracking, accurate pedometer, heart rate monitor and it has a water-resistant design, so swimming with this thing is not a problem at all.
Even though you do not get a sleep tracker and GPS functionality on this particular product, the Samsung Galaxy Fit e is still a super cheap fitness tracker that you should consider getting.
9.Garmin Vivosmart 3
Garmin is a company that is known for its sports and durable watches, but it also dabbles into fitness trackers as well.
The Garmin Vivosmart 3 is the predecessor to the newly released Vivosmart 4 but that just makes it even more appealing for people that are on the lookout for inexpensive trackers.
For just $50, you get a water-resistant fitness tracker that can accurately track your steps, provides different activity tracking modules, and shows you a lot of key stats that are useful for you.
No, you don’t get any GPS with this one but you are getting a high-quality fitness tracker that has all of the usual goodies.
Typical fitness trackers kind of look like playthings, am I right? So, if you want a tracker that looks somewhat stylish enough that it is safe to use in a formal event, then the Withings Move might be quite a great option for you.
It looks like an analog watch but do not be fooled by its simplicity as it can track your steps, it can provide you with activity-tracking features, and you can also use its sleep tracking functionality as well.
One of the biggest advantages of this thing is its battery life. In light to moderate use, the Withings Move can last up to 18 months. That’s right, you get a year and half of battery life just by using this thing on your wrist.
Now, I’ve said that it can help track your sleep, steps, and activities, right? But, the watch doesn’t display all of the key information directly on its display. You actually have to pair it with your Android device or iPhone to find all of that out.
While that certainly doesn’t provide the convenience that traditional fitness trackers do, it is still a fair compromise given that this particular product can last more than a year.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.
You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.
That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!
For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.
The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.
Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.
With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.
For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.
On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.
At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.
Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.
If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.
This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.
Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.
Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.
To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.
The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.
On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.
It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.
However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.
The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.
There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.
You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.
Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.
Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.
There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.
Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.
The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.
You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).
What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.
Specs and Performance
- CPU: A12 Bionic
- GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB/128GB
- Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
- OS: iPadOS 14
- Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 32.4 Wh
So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.
While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.
Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.
Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games.
Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.
It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.
Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.
However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.
My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.
If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.
The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.
Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.
Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes
Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.
It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.
Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?
One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.
The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.
You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.
Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.
The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.
I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.
Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.
An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.
So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.
3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.
I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.
To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.
The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.
You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.
Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.
Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball.
For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.
You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.
You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.
Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.
The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.
You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.
Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?
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