Here are nine options that will work well with your iPhone, whether you’re looking for a watch, a fitness tracker, or just something to stand out from the crowd.
Pebble Smart Watch
If you’re looking for a smart watch, but don’t want to spend $350 or more on the Apple Watch, the Pebble is a fantastic way to go. It’s gotten as much or more positive feedback than just about any other smart watch out there, and it offers a wealth of options when it comes to apps and functionality.
You can read your text messages on the e-paper screen in broad daylight, use fitness tracking apps, check the weather, control music on your phone and — of course — tell the time. With all of these features, a lot of app and developer support, two models (a more casual plastic-bodied one and a fancier metal one) and a price tag that can’t be beat, it’s a solid contender for the best (non-Apple) smart watch for the iPhone.
If you want to keep track of your steps, distance travelled, overall activity, and sleep quality in startling detail from a device that lives on your wrist, the Jawbone UP is one such solution. The accompanying iPhone app helps you get all of the information from the tracker, and you can log your dietary intake from your phone to give you a better idea of your overall calorie deficit or surplus throughout the day.
You can also use the Jawbone UP with a number of other apps. There are three different models of the UP — two wrist-mounted and one that clips to your waistband. The Jawbone UP3 also provides automatic activity classification, advanced sleep monitoring, and heart health monitoring.
The Lifeband Touch is one of the sleekest fitness devices out there, with its simple, claspless construction and svelte touchscreen. Although it doesn’t provide nearly as much information as the Jawbone, it’s still a good way to keep yourself motivated to exercise, and gives you periodic reminders to move and stretch.
You can easily set activity goals from the iPhone app and keep track of your progress day-by-day to see if you’ve been active enough. You can also use the Lifeband to control the music on your iPhone, which is great when you’re out for a run or a walk.
The Nike+ Fuelband was one of the earliest fitness trackers, and although work on it has been discontinued, it’s still a great device. By measuring “fuel,” or units of activity, the Fuelband gives you an idea of how much activity you’ve had in a day and lets you compare it to other days online or on your phone.
It also works well with the Nike+ footpod, an accelerometer that fits into the soles of many Nike shoes and syncs distance, step, and time data with your iPhone.
One of the biggest names in heart rate monitoring, Polar has a few different models that will work with a variety of apps on your iPhone. The H7 is a high-end model that not only syncs heart rate data with your iPhone, but will also work with other Polar products, so if you decide to upgrade to a sports watch with GPS or the Polar activity tracker, you’ll still be able to use the band.
Fitness trackers and heart rate monitors are yesterday’s news. What’s tomorrow’s news? A golf swing monitor that you can sync with your phone of course. Attach the Zepp sensor to your golf glove, and the app will give you data on your club speed, swing plane, hip rotation, backswing position, and tempo. It’ll even create a 3D model of your swing to help you hit the ball further and more accurately.
Zepp also makes a tennis swing analyzer, for if you spend more time on the court than on the course, and a baseball swing monitor as well.
Want a really unique wearable device to use with your iPhone? Check out the Lechal (ley-chull) shoes, which communicate walking directions via vibrations in the insole. No more pulling your phone out of your pocket or purse to see if you’ve missed a turn on Google Maps—your shoes will tell you!
You can also control the Lechal app with foot gestures, and it’ll track steps, distance and other fitness information for you. The tech is actually contained in the insole, so you can buy the insole by itself or move it between different shoes. But why would you want to, when the shoes look this awesome?
Want a wearable for someone else that syncs with your phone? The Monbaby baby monitor clips onto any onesie or pajamas and sends information directly to your phone, including breathing rate, sleep position, and movement level. It’ll also set off an alarm if it detects a fall or if your baby is moved from his or her current position.
The app analyzes your baby’s sleep pattern and displays a graph over time, letting you adjust your sleep schedule to match. You could build your own baby monitor, but probably nothing quite this cool.
So as to not leave our furry friends out, the final item in the list is for them. The Tagg is a dual-purpose device that attaches to your dog’s or cat’s collar: it works as a fitness tracker, helping you get an idea of how much time your pet is moving around and how much time he’s resting, and it also functions as a GPS receiver.
After you set a safe zone in the iPhone app, you’ll get an alert if your pet moves outside of that zone, and it will help you track any missing pets down too. Looking for a lost dog or cat is incredibly stressful — make it easier with a GPS tracker!
Whether you’re a fitness fanatic, a new parent, a new resident of a city, or a tech-loving pet owner, there are wearables out there that fit your lifestyle. The Apple Watch is cool, and it can do a lot of things, but there are plenty of things it can’t do. Fortunately, there are lots of wearable options out there to meet your needs.
What’s your favorite iPhone-compatible wearable device?