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Our Top Choice

Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch, Black, Large

Pros: Incredibly sleek and lightweight. Gets top marks for its diverse tracking and monitoring capabilities including distance, calories, and sleep patterns. Syncs seamlessly to smartphones.

Cons: Relatively expensive, but has the technology and features to go along with the price.

Summary: A recently-redesigned heart rate monitor with the latest technology for optimizing fitness and health goals. Though expensive, users who love its high-tech features don't mind.
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Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band - Black Bundle (Includ...

Pros: Stands out for being a stylish monitor that can be worn 24 hours a day. Is waterproof, and the battery will last longer than a year of continuous wear. We also love that it comes in several fun colors.

Cons: Doesn't offer as many features as the Fitbit. To maximize fitness tracking and monitoring, you have to download a Garmin app.

Summary: A streamlined, easy-to-wear design by a company known for making quality data tracking devices. The Polar FT4 and Timex are better bargains for a basic heart rate monitor.
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MIO Alpha I Strapless Continuous Heart Rate Monito...

Pros: A durable, easy-to-use heart rate model that offers Bluetooth technology for easy tracking. Gets high marks for its long battery life and accuracy even during strenuous activities.

Cons: The inability to record data makes the Mio Alpha less useful than other models. It is also more costly than similar heart rate monitors.

Summary: While the Mio Alpha is rugged and accurate, it lacks features of other models that are similar in price.
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Timex Mid-Size T5G971 Personal Trainer Heart Rate ...

Pros: A straight-forward design that is easy to use and program. Gets high marks for its vivid display and the Indiglo night light for easy viewing. The battery may last for 2 years or longer.

Cons: Lacks the technology capabilities that models like the Fitbit and Garmin offer. The chest strap is a bit awkward to use.

Summary: A no-frills heart rate monitor from a trusted company. We recommend the Timex T5G971 for users who want a basic model that is accurate and durable.
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Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor, Unisex (Blue/Blue)

Pros: A well-designed and accurate heart rate monitor that is significantly less expensive than other models with similar features.

Cons: Somewhat bulkier than other models. Some users may miss the lack of a stopwatch feature.

Summary: A convenient heart rate monitor with features that make setting fitness goals easy. We give it top marks for offering simplicity and reliability at a bargain price.