I have several smart watches and fitness bands but the one I wear most often is actually one of the least expensive. That’s because the LifeTrack C300 is always charged up and ready to go. Unlike most fitness bands, you don’t have to charge it. I has a coin-sized battery that last for up to a year.
It’s also very inexpensive — available at Amazon for under $35. The company also makes an even less expensive version, the C200, that you can buy for about $30 as well as several other models like the LifeTrak 410 ($53 on Amazon) that tracks sleep
Regardless of the model, the LifeTrak is a simple watch that tells time, measures the number of steps you’ve taken and can take your pulse if you hold your finger down on one of its buttons for a few seconds. It displays how many steps you’ve taken and estimates how many miles you’ve walked and based on both averages and your heart rate, the amount of calories you’ve burned so far during the day (you tell it your gender, age, height and weight). I prefer watches that measure continuous heart rate but, in addition to being more expensive, they require a great deal of energy and couldn’t run for months on a coin battery like the Lifetrak models.
You don’t have to do anything to see the basic display that tells you the time and date and number of steps you’ve taken. It’s always there in clear black text against a white background. You can push a button to show how many miles you’ve walked or how many calories you’ve burned or another button to show your progress by hour or day (for the past week) or to start recording a workout which lets you start a clock to record elapsed time along with steps, miles and calories for a walk or a run
Battery can last up to a year
I can’t tell you how great it is to have a fitness watch that doesn’t require charging. Sure, there are much fancier solutions out there — including the Apple Watch. all the Android Wear watches and a bevy of fitness bands but almost all of them require that you charge the watch at least weekly and, in some cases, daily. As I said, I have several of these and as great as they can be, they’re of no use if the battery is dead, which is too often the case.
Like most other fitness watches it only measures footsteps so it won’t know if you’re biking, swimming or using the elliptical at the gym. It does, however, know the difference between walking and running. Unlike many other fitness bands, you don’t have to recharge the battery – it comes with a replaceable coin-sized battery that last about a year. My one complaint is that it mistakes my biking for walking and gives me a very high number of footsteps on days that I bike making it pretty useless as a step tracker unless I remember to take it off before my ride.
You can sync but you don’t need to
I got the C200 for my wife and the slightly more expensive C300 for myself. The only difference is that the C300 allows you to synchronize data to a smart phone, but I rarely bother synchronizing because all the data I need is right there on the watch. There is also a C410 model that also tracks sleep but I’m not enamored with that model because the sleep information isn’t all that useful to me since I can’t do much about it anyway. The more I stress over not getting enough sleep, the less I sleep.