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Best gifts: Wearables for the whole family

Many New Year's resolutions are focused on achieving fitness and weight goals with wearable tech serving as functional tools to help you reach those goals.
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By Matthew Miller, Contributor on
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1 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic. Image: CNET

Wearable technology has improved significantly over the past couple of years and growth of this market continues at a regular pace. Wearables are available across a wide range of capabilities and pricing.

The Fitbit Ionic is the newest member of the Fitbit family and is the most capable Fitbit available with integrated GPS, onboard music storage for streaming to headphones, Fitbit Pay, daily activity tracking, and a battery that last 4-5 days.

Check out the full ZDNet review for all the details on this Fitbit wearable.

Price: $299.95

Fitbit Charge 2
2 of 10 Image: Fitbit

Fitbit Charge 2

The Fitbit Charge 2 is a mid-level activity tracker that provides automatic activity tracking, advanced sleep tracking, smartphone notifications, and PurePulse heart rate tracking. It doesn't have an integrated GPS radio, but connects to your phone's GPS to show you your status while you run.

The Fitbit Charge 2 is available in four regular color options and a couple special edition models for $30 more.

Price: $149.95

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3 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Fitbit Alta HR

The Fitbit Alta HR has the same capabilities and functions as the Charge 2, but in a much slimmer form factor and with a longer battery life of up to 7 days.

There are also four standard color options and two special edition colors for this wearable. The advanced sleep tracking shows you sleep stages for light, deep, and REM phases.

Price: $149.95

Apple Watch 3
4 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple Watch has reclaimed the title of the most popular wearable for 2017. The Series 3 is available now with and without cellular functionality. Cellular provides you with the ability to call, message, and receive notifications without your phone being carried with you.

The Apple Watch is a very powerful daily activity tracker, GPS sport watch, and very capable smartwatch. It has a battery that will get you through a full active day, but is not designed for multi-day use without charging up each day.

Check out the full ZDNet review for all the details on this newest Apple wearable.

Price: From $329 to $749, with expensive Apple band options above and beyond the initial price. The cellular version is $60 more with an option to purchase service from your carrier for $10 per month.

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5 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

While many adults are seen with wearables, some companies are starting to focus on helping motivate the younger generation to get out and move. Garmin has a new Vivofit Jr. 2 wearable with a wide selection of bands and styles. You can have a buckle or a flex band to secure it to your wrist.

Band options include Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel comic characters, colors, and themes.

The Vivofit Jr. 2 has a 1+ year battery life so no charging is needed. It has a rugged design with a color display and 5 ATM water resistance so it can track your child's steps, sleep, and 60 minutes of daily recommended activity.

Garmin has integrated a game play system in the connected app that includes motivation to complete chores as well.

Price: $99.99

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6 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Garmin Vivosport

The Garmin Vivosport is Garmin's competitor to the Fitbit activity bands, but it also has an integrated GPS receiver. Most of these smaller bands do not have GPS so you can wear this and go on runs without your phone.

The Vivosport has a color display, smartphone notifications, and all-day stress tracking. It lasts up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and up to 8 hours while in GPS mode. There are four available colors.

Price: $199.99

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7 of 10 (Image: Garmin)

Garmin Vivoactive

Garmin is known for its advanced GPS sports watches, but the new Garmin Vivoactive 3 bridges the gap between a GPS sports watch, smartwatch, and daily activity tracker.

It has an integrated GPS receiver and wrist-based heart rate monitor with the new Garmin Pay payment system. You can go for a run and buy something to drink without your phone or a credit card in hand.

The battery lasts up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and up to 13 hours in GPS mode. The Garmin smartphone app has seen some major updates recently and is one of the best fitness tracking applications available today.

The Vivoactive 3 is available in three colors.

Price: $299.99

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8 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

Samsung has been making wearables for years and its gear is very powerful with attractive design elements. The new Gear Fit2 Pro is its most advanced band and is so capable you don't even need a dedicated GPS sport watch if you have this product.

It has an integrated GPS receiver, onboard storage for music, and an integrated heart rate monitor. It supports smartphone notifications, including the ability to respond to calls, texts, and more.

The Gear Fit2 Pro has a brilliant color curved glass touchscreen display, 5 ATM dust and water resistance, and typical usage battery life of 3 days. It supports just about everything in a smartwatch, except for a wireless payment system. It works with Android and iOS smartphones too.

Price: $149.99

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9 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Samsung Gear Sport

Samsung's Gear Sport is its newest GPS smartwatch and it offers a lot for a reasonable price. It has all of the great functions found in the larger Gear S3 Frontier, but in a smaller form factor that appeals to more people.

The Gear Sport is available in two colors and includes a 5 ATM water resistant rating, integrated GPS receiver, Samsung Pay (NFC) support, third party apps with full smartwatch functionality, onboard music storage, and more.

The new Gear Sport has a brilliant 1.2 inch 360x360 pixels resolution Super AMOLED display and typical battery life of 3 days.

Price: $249.99

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10 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Huawei Watch 2

Huawei is the third most popular wearable brand in the world and has a few products available for US customers. The Huawei Watch 2 is an advanced Android Wear smartwatch that works with iOS and Android smartphones and one of the best Android Wear devices available today.

The Huawei Watch 2 is a well-made Android Wear device with a fast processor, onboard storage for music, integrated GPS receiver, IP68 dust and water resistance, and support for applications.

Check out the full ZDNet review for all the details on this Huawei smartwatch.

Price: $299.99

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