So, if the media buzz is anything to go by, this was set to be the year that we all got off our sofas and chose a lifestyle full of exercise and healthy living. The shiny new Apple Watches hit the shelves earlier this year – and, although Apple themselves are keeping their sales figures very close to their chest, experts reckon that over 7 million have been sold already (more here).

Fitness trackers have been around for a while now, and their popularity is only set to increase – sales of the devices are predicted to see nearly a 25% rise in revenue by 2017 (more here). So, trend being set, it's only natural that we're seeing an increase in focus on brandable versions of these devices.

Activity Trackers seem to be everywhere nowadays...

With all this in mind, we asked our website wizard Tom Mercer to take two models of the most popular promotional activity tracking products, and gave them a test run. His task was to wear each of them for a week, and assess their abilities – simple. Here's what Tom found...

The Branded Energy Band [left] and the Premium Activity Tracker [right], reviewed below

Branded Energy Band

The Branded Energy Band is the more cost effective of the two activity trackers I have trialled. Current prices place it at over £10 cheaper than the Premium Activity Tracker for the minimum order quantity of 25 pieces.

There are a variety of colour options to choose from, so you can match it with your brand – I chose orange of course! This offers a great advantage over other brands that only offer standard black and white options.

This product can tracks steps using the visual display, but to get the most out of it you can download the free ACT2FIT App for Android or iOS (I used the iOS version, but they both looked pretty much the same). Once downloaded, you can connect your devices via Bluetooth so they can sync to give you a much more in-depth set of reports, including steps, calories burned, exercise time and distance travelled.

If you've used Bluetooth syncing before with devices, then setting this up should pose no problem at all. After a very short period of scratching my head, I was up and running, synced and ready to go...

The ACT2FIT app even monitors sleep, and features an alarm that will make your device vibrate. I found this feature especially handy when the missus and I needed to get up at different times in the morning – a silent, vibrating alarm in the morning means early rises for me no longer means that she gets woken up by my obnoxiously loud alarm! Hoorah!

Screenshots from the Branded Energy Band: Home screen [left], Historical Data [mid-left], Sleep Report [mid-right], and Personal Settings [right]

You can check your historical data, set goals for yourself, and input personal info like height, age etc. Although the app isn't the prettiest on offer from the marketplace, it functions perfectly well and I was please with how well it synced with the device on my wrist.

Branded Energy Band
Cost 4 / 5 Colour Options 4 / 5
Tracking Reliability 4 / 5 Branding Options 4 / 5
App 3 / 5 Extras 2 / 5
Overall Score 3.5 / 5

Premium Activity Tracker

The Premium Activity Tracker is just that – although it doesn't offer all the bells and whistles that the more expensive brand name items have to offer, it certainly trumps the Branded Energy Band in terms of added extras – just bear in mind this comes with a bit of a price hike.

A little more limited in colour options than the Energy Band, this item only comes in black, white and orange – but here's the kicker – you get all of them! The Premium Activity Tracker is removable from its band, and each box contains one strap of each colour – so your clients get the choice to match not only their branding, but whatever they're wearing that day. It's the little things...

Once again, the activity tracker syncs with a free i-gotU Life App available for Android and iOS, and I of course once again used the iOS version, but saw no differences in comparing them on each marketplace.

Each of the two activity trackers come with their own free app for syncing to a smart device. On the left is the ACT2FIT App for the Branded Energy Band, and on the right is the i-gotU Life App for the Premium Activity Tracker. Each are available from the Android and iOS App Stores.

Syncing the app with the device is nice and simple, and the app itself does look a little more polished than the cheaper counterpart. It offers all the same features as the Branded Energy Band, but this one does feature a few more bells and whistles to get the tech geek inside you all excited...

Once synced, the Premium Activity Tracker will actually alert you if you get a message, tell you about social media push notifications, it will even tell you when an incoming call is in progress! These features can be customised and switched off if necessary, as I soon learned when my wife told me how annoying it was to have her husband buzz every time the Internet comes a-calling. The band also features a UV alert – if the device senses a high UV exposure, the band will alert you and tell you to cover up. You can alter the settings for this also, so it will only alert you in certain circumstances, or not at all.

Screenshots from the Branded Energy Band: Calorie Screen [left], Notification Settings [mid-left], Sleep Report [mid-right], and Weekly Summary [right]

I personally found the charts and reports a bit easier to read with the app for this device than the Branded Energy Band, but the Premium Activity Tracker features one more thing that the Branded Energy Band does not – its incorporation with the iOS HealthKit App. Like many health apps on the market nowadays, it has the ability to sync with the native health app on your iPhone, so all your tracking data can be found in one place. Once for the geeks again perhaps, but I found it's usability and usefulness hard to ignore.

Premium Activty Tracker
Cost 3 / 5 Colour Options 3 / 5
Tracking Reliability 5 / 5 Branding Options 4 / 5
App 4 / 5 Extras 5 / 5
Overall Score 4 / 5

To Conclude

The actual branding area of both of these items is pretty fluid and can be settled upon ordering, as each client has different requirements for their artwork.

Both of the fitness tracking devices do offer a fantastic range of features, and both are a great way to show clients just how committed to their health you are. For me though, the Premium Activity Tracker just finishes in the lead because of the inclusion of all the added extras. It's a gadget to be reckoned with, and goes above and beyond the pure functionality focus of the Branded Energy Band.

Branded Energy Band

A fine example of an activity tracker - for a functional and cost effective branded health gift, you can't go wrong here.

Check it out here »

Premium Activity Tracker

With loads of extra features, this wins in a photo finish. A great brandable health gift that ticks all the boxes and more.

Check it out here »