I actually DO want Big Brother to monitor me...
November 23, 2019 7:34 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to ask Santa for a watch that will also track my heart rate. I do not want to ask Santa to spend $199. What should I ask for? Review sites seem to spit out the same questionable Top 10 lists, and I've never heard of some of the best rated ones on Amazon.

I mean, this one is $29 and very highly rated with over 1,000 reviews but... what even Is that brand? This one, same thing, but in pink and I've never heard of this brand either.

I am not an astronaut, and highly accurate monitoring is not mission critical. I have A Fib, a cardiologist, a care plan and beta blockers, I just want to be vaguely reassured I'm not about to die when I get occasional chest pain. Some kind of charting wouldn't be terrible.

I don't care if Russia and the Chinese get my biometric data.
posted by DarlingBri to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (Adding: budget is probably $75USD.)
posted by DarlingBri at 7:35 AM on November 23, 2019

Maybe a used Apple Watch series 2 or 3?
posted by sixswitch at 7:46 AM on November 23, 2019

Best answer: High ratings on Amazon are often faked. Use Fakespot.com to check out products that you are interested in.
posted by Amity at 7:51 AM on November 23, 2019 [7 favorites]

My phone will take my heart rate through an app and the camera lens. It's fairly accurate, enough to know when I'm concerningly tachy anyway. I've counted and done it and its pretty close for my standards. It does require you to take it still, so it wouldn't do it while you were running or anything.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:59 AM on November 23, 2019

I have an older version of one of those cheap-o fitness trackers (this one) and it is actually great! Heart rate monitor seems accurate as compared to my in-machine ones and it has a step counter that gives you happy vibrations and clapping animations when you hit your target.

You can get all the requisite biometric data via its phone app, including heart rate and sleep quality, and it will even let you answer phone calls and remote-control your phone's camera from your wrist (which kind of freaks me out, honestly). The Chinese definitely, definitely, know all about my sleep habits.

But hey, I got it for 20 bucks, it's lasted several years at this point, it came with extra wristbands, and (for me) a single charge lasts upwards of a month. I say go for one of the cheap ones with great reviews--maybe even try out a couple different ones since you have the budget to buy two @ $37.50.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 9:01 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Fitbit Inspire HR is normally $100 and there might be Black Friday sales.
posted by metasarah at 9:01 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I also want to say Fitbit + Black Friday deals. I'd check both their website and Amazon. Or, wait until around Christmas time (if you can) because lots of fitness-related gear goes on sale in time for everybody's New Year's resolutions.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:14 AM on November 23, 2019

If you were to make it explicit to Santa that second hand was okay, the Fitbit Charge 2 often sells for about $30 on Facebook. (I have one going spare I'd sell Santa, but I think we're in different countries.)

My understanding is that Xiaomi is a brand people have heard of in Asia and is firmly in the budget fitness tracker range. I had one of theirs before I bought the Fitbit to test out the whole fitness tracker thing. It was fine. (I had the like $18 one. It didn't do heart rate.) I retired the Fitbit in favor of a Garmin watch because I wanted better running features and had a bunch of corporate morale points.
posted by hoyland at 9:16 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

My husband got an Amazfit brand watch last year. Which was about $80, he uses it daily & loves it, reviews are mixed on Amazon though so make of it what you will.
posted by wwax at 9:34 AM on November 23, 2019

You don't care if the Russians or Chinese get your realtime non-HIPAA heart rate data, but how about Google?

Fitbit Charge HR is good at heart-rate monitoring, although I have often caught it when it had lost my pulse and was oversampling to find it again, while reporting the oversample rate as my pulse. You know, you look and your pulse is reported as 130 or more, but slowly falling, while your finger reports a pulse of about 95.

It will also report a pulse when it has not been on your wrist for 15 minutes. Sloppy software.

I have worn it side-by-side with cheap lenovo and d4 units, that only check pulse intermittantly. Since the Google takeover, I've been wearing a Miband 4, which is also an intermittant checker, with no barometer, but the display is so good that it's now my choice.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:21 AM on November 23, 2019

I think a used or older generation FitBit is what you want here. You want something that is user-friendly or else you won’t use it, and FitBit places a high priority on ease of use.
posted by samthemander at 11:35 AM on November 23, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks so much! Santa is arriving from the US but I am not in the US so I had actually forgotten about Black Friday! I didn't also didn't realise the FitBit Inspire HR was only $100. I have instructed Santa to look for one on sale, and frankly my dad loves buying tech stuff so I'm happy with just reminding him it can likely be bought at a discount .

You are all geniuses.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:55 PM on November 23, 2019

Best answer: If that's any help, I have the Letscom fitness tracker you linked above (or a version of it). It's perfectly fine; tracks the heart rate, sleep, exercise, steps, and has an associated app to chart those things. Charges by plugging into a USB port. They really don't need to cost $100 to be useful, and this way you can try it out until you get bored wearing it :)
posted by Ender's Friend at 2:49 PM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

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