Best Fitness Tech Gifts Under $200
Need a gift for a tech-obsessed fitness buff? Or does that special someone need a new tech toy to jump-start their fitness resolution in the new year?
Either way, we’ve got some good ideas for you that won’t slim down your wallet too much.
The fitness tracker, headphones, smartwatch, blender, and heart rate monitor featured here all scored well in CR’s ratings and are available for under $200.
But make sure you shop around before buying. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have come and gone, there’s still no shortage of deals out there—you just need to hunt them down.
1 Garmin Vivosmart HR
This is one of our top-rated fitness trackers. It checks all the important boxes, earning top marks for heart-rate and step-count accuracy, along with ease of use and water resistance.
Its 1.1-inch LCD display is easy to read in both low and bright light, making it great for outdoor use. The device will track your calories burned and sleep patterns, while also letting you know when you have a new text, email, or other notification.
It’s easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and has tracking abilities designed specifically for a handful of different sports including running, golf, and swimming.
2 Bose SoundSport Wireless
Workouts are a lot easier to get through when you have your favorite tunes playing. For help with that, we recommend this set of headphones.
These wireless portable stereo headphones did great in our testing, and they are less expensive than many competitors.
What you get for that money is a sports-oriented wireless Bluetooth set that combines elements of in-ear and earbud earphones. They’re some of the best in terms of sound quality, making them a good choice for the more critical listener.
Their isolating design both muffles some external noise and limits the amount of sound that escapes from the ear pieces, which means they’re best for those who want some isolation from outside noises, or don’t want the sound from the earpieces to disturb others.
3 Apple Watch Series 1 (38mm)
Sure, there are newer models, such as the Apple Watch Series 3. But, with Apple’s recent price cut on this model, combined with store offers, this isn’t a bad buy for those looking to save more than a few bucks.
Combined, this watch’s top test results and lower-than-average sticker price, give you great bang for your buck.
At retail, you’ll pay $250 to start for a Series 1, but we’ve seen prices as low as $179 at major retailers this holiday season. Some stores will throw in a free gift card too, so make sure you do your research before buying.
The Series 1 runs the same operating system as the Series 3 and looks pretty much the same. There’s no option to add cellular service, which would allow you to make and receive calls with your watch. But those watches start at $400 and your carrier is going to charge you more every month, too.
What you do get is access to countless apps that will let you do everything from track your steps, to check the weather and play mindless games.
The watch features a super-sharp, 1.5-inch OLED touch-screen display. It gets top marks for ease of use, as well as heart-rate and step-count accuracy. But, like all Apple Watches, it’s only compatible with iOS devices.
4 Ninja Professional NJ600
Weekend warriors need to fuel up before, or after, their workouts. What better way is there to do that than with a healthy, homemade smoothie?
This blender gets top marks for its ability to make icy drinks. You can pick one up for less than $100, making it considerably cheaper than other highly rated models.
To test the blender’s smoothie-worthiness, we used it to make a batch of non-alcoholic pinã coladas that were judged by a sensory panel for smoothness and thickness. Blenders that do well for icy drinks also do well for smoothies.
Too cold outside for chilly drinks? This blender also did very well in our soup pureeing test.
5 Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor
This heart-rate monitor gets top marks for being accurate, easy to use, and good for a variety of sports. It’s intended more for hard-core athletes willing to wear a chest strap than regular people who are just trying to get their steps in.
Electrodes in the chest strap pick up your heartbeat and the device sends real-time results to an app on your smartphone. It’ll track how many steps you take and calories burned. And it’ll map your distance and route with its GPS.