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For many people, Fitbit is synonymous with fitness trackers, but the company has faced new challenges from smartwatches in recent years. The Fitbit Charge 4 signifies a change, even if it doesn't look too different from its predecessor. The tracker packs everything you could want from a fitness tracker, and you get basic smartwatch capabilities like notification management, Spotify controls, NFC payments, alarms, and more. However, its $150 price tag may make it a tough sell when a smartwatch like Fitbit's own Versa 2 often goes on sale for the same price.
Xiaomi managed to impress everybody with its low-cost $30 Mi Band 4 that easily kept up with much costlier products from Fitbit, Garmin, and Co. (as long as you're not a swimmer, that is). Exactly a year after its introduction, the company has released a follow-up in the form of the Mi Band 5, packing a slightly bigger screen, a much-improved charger, more tracking capabilities, and a ton of new animated watchfaces.
In the world of activity trackers, nothing comes close to the Mi Band's value. Cheaper than any Garmin or Fitbit tracker, even the most basic vivofit4 and Inspire, but still packing enough functionality, it also benefits from Xiaomi's name recognition and is considered a serious choice, not a cheap knock-off no-name tracker.
The most recent Mi Band 4 pushes the value-for-money envelop even further thanks to a colored AMOLED screen, swim tracking, and music controls, which get added on top of the previous generation's all-day activity, sleep, and heart rate tracking. Overall, the package is very attractive, but cracks are inevitably hiding below the surface, especially if you like spending your time in a pool.
I'm the resident Fitbit fan at Android Police - I had the One for more than 3 years before I switched on to the Flex 2 and Alta HR for the past year. I love the automatic tracking and the nerd in me appreciates all the stats and graphs about my habits. I also enjoy the community around it. For me, the idea behind activity trackers isn't that they will make you more active - that's the mistake everyone makes and why many give up on their trackers after using them a while - but it's that they will help you if you already made the decision to be more active.
Every single person I know who loves to bike to work or for fun uses Strava to track their route. I'm sure there are people who track their runs in Strava too, but I haven't met any of them. I don't know what it is about this app and cyclists specifically, but it seems that Strava has found a way to appeal to them and make the experience of cycling both challenging and social. Part of it are the Clubs, a feature that lets runners and cyclists form groups, compete with each other, share routes, manage events, discuss their progress, and more. There are over 130,000 active Strava Clubs and until today, the only way to access them was through the online site.