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New fitness equipment can help kick-start a healthier lifestyle, and these savings make it even easier
By Samantha B Gordon
If you’re just starting out on a journey to a healthier lifestyle or you want to take your home gym to the next level, you shouldn’t pay full price for the equipment you need if you don’t have to.
Consumer Reports tests everything from ellipticals and treadmills to fitness trackers and smartwatches to e-bikes and adjustable dumbbells—and we’re keeping a close eye on everything that performs well to alert you when things are discounted.
Right now we’re seeing a decent selection of deals thanks to July Fourth, and with Amazon Prime Day coming up in a few weeks, we expect even more opportunities to save. Plus, there are always plenty of sales on small kitchen appliances, so you can save on new ways to eat healthier, too. We’ll be updating this story regularly, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for now, keep checking back for the latest.
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Fitbit Inspire 2
The Inspire 2 fitness tracker has been on sale since mid-April, but the price continues to fall. It’s now only $7 more than the lowest we’ve seen all year. It gets top marks from our testers for step-count and heart-rate accuracy. It earns a spot among the best fitness trackers for its ease of use, pairing, and readability in low light. The Inspire 2 also has a very generous claimed battery life of 10 days (we don’t test that characteristic) and built-in GPS, a feature not found on many other fitness trackers.
CR’s test results: Fitbit Inspire 2
The lightweight and stylish Fitbit Luxe looks more like jewelry than a straight-up fitness tracker, and it performs well on basic functions. The device earns high ratings for both ease of use and step counting, and it includes the stress-tracking features found on the more expensive Sense smartwatch. It isn’t quite as good as other models when it comes to heart-rate tracking, though. And the tiny screen can be tough to read, especially for people who have trouble seeing up close.
CR’s test results: Fitbit Luxe
Garmin Forerunner 35
While technically a fitness tracker, this model offers a watchlike feel. You get a 1.3-inch monochrome display that shows your step count and heart rate. The Forerunner 35 has built-in GPS and a claimed battery life of nine days, and it makes good on its water-resistance claim of 164 feet. In our testing, it receives top marks for heart-rate tracking and step-count accuracy as well as ease of use.
CR’s test results: Garmin Forerunner 35
Home Gym Equipment
Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell
This dumbbell has an easy one-handed adjustment; just twist the handles. It also has a good handgrip, and the weights are automatically balanced. But it can be harder to place the weight into its cradle on some settings and can be uncomfortable when resting the dumbbell on your thighs during bench exercises. This is the price for a single dumbbell, so if you want two, you’ll have to order two. But considering that most of the other dumbbells we’ve tested cost around $400, you’re still saving quite a bit. (And if you’re buying from Amazon, clip the on-page coupon to get the savings.)
CR’s test results: Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell
Horizon Fitness 7.4AT
This CR-recommended treadmill is one of the best we’ve tested. It’s a folding model with a reading shelf and quick control dials to rapidly change speed or incline. It has high ratings in all categories except user safety, where it rates nearly as well. It comes with a heart-rate monitor to connect directly to training programs, and has built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity.
CR’s test results: Horizon Fitness 7.4AT Treadmill
Amazfit GTR 2
Compatible with both Android and iPhone models, the Amazfit GTR2 has two big things going for it: The price is very low (especially with this discount), and the battery life is really good, at a claimed 14 days. The case design is sleek, channeling some higher-end analog watches, and the touch-screen display is bright and easy to read. The model also features stand-alone GPS. Just make sure to select the on-page coupon to get the full savings.
CR’s test results: Amazfit GTR 2 Smartwatch
Citizen CZ Smart
This retro-looking Citizen CZ Smart comes from a company best known for analog watches. The watch’s price is fairly high compared with other options, but the traditional styling will appeal to users who want smartwatch functionality in a model with the look of something made of chunky stainless steel. The watch performs very well in our labs, with solid scores in ease of interaction as well as heart-rate and step-count accuracy. Compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, the watch offers GPS. It lacks the blood oxygen sensor found on some smartwatches, which limits its sleep-tracking functionality.
CR’s test results: Citizen CZ Smart Smartwatch
Fitbit Versa 3
If you’re looking for a versatile smartwatch under $200, Fitbit’s Versa 3 may be a good option. It has built-in GPS, which allows you to go for a run or ride without taking your smartphone along, plus a blood oxygen sensor, which enhances its sleep-tracking capabilities. It also has a mic and a speaker that allow you to take calls via a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. Our testers found the Versa 3 to be a solid performer when it comes to counting steps and tracking heart rate, and it’s easy to pair with a smartphone. The older Versa 2 is also on sale if you’d prefer to spend a little less.
CR’s test results: Fitbit Versa 3
Fossil Gen 6 (44mm)
The Fossil Gen 6 may be a great choice if you’re looking for a smartwatch that looks more like a sports watch. It will be able to run the Wear OS3 operating system, which is expected to be a significant upgrade over Wear OS2, when that operating system becomes available later this year. The Gen 6 features stand-alone GPS, which helps runners and cyclists track their workouts, and a blood oxygen sensor that enhances sleep tracking.
But keep in mind that the Fossil Gen 6’s claimed battery life is only a day, which is short compared with what you can find with other models. It also depends on the rather basic Google Fit suite of health and fitness apps. And while it has a blood oxygen sensor, it lacks ECG functionality that can measure heart-rhythm irregularities.
CR’s test results: Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch
Garmin Venu 2 (45mm)
The Garmin Venu 2 is more stylish for everyday wear than the company’s previous offerings. It’s compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, and is packed with activity profiles, ranging from basic workouts, like running, to more esoteric ones, like indoor rowing and bouldering. It even includes workout animations that show you how to do a variety of exercises and indicate which muscles are targeted.
The device features a very long claimed battery life of up to five days. However, unlike many smartwatches, it doesn’t have a mic, so you can’t use it for calls, making it best suited for someone more focused on fitness than all-day use.
CR’s test results: Garmin Venu 2 smartwatch
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 (44mm)
The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 has a bright, round, 1.3-inch AMOLED display that can showcase a variety of interesting watch faces. The model has a mic and speaker for handling phone calls. It offers a robust suite of health and fitness options, including a blood oxygen sensor, ECG monitoring (that could detect irregularities in heart rhythm), and even a sensor that is claimed to measure body fat. It works best if you have a Samsung Android phone because that gives you access to all the Samsung Health features.
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Watch4
Gaiam Performance Yoga Mat
Consumer Reports tested 19 different yogas mats to find out how each one holds up to regular use. Gaiam’s mat aces the drying and grip tests CR put it through but offers somewhat less cushioning. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; a firmer mat can provide more stability for standing poses and can be easier on the wrists. The sale price is currently only available for the black mat.
Jabra Elite 85t
Want to stand out from the crowd? Skip the AirPods and try this well-rated model from Jabra. The noise-canceling true wireless earbuds get high marks in our tests both for sound-blocking and audio quality. They have some handy features, too: adjustable noise cancellation, customizable audio that’s supposed to optimize to your hearing, an ambient sound-monitoring mode, and more. Jabra advertises a 5.5-hour battery life bolstered by a charging case with a built-in battery.
CR’s test results: Jabra Elite 85t
This Ninja blender is at the same price it sold for during Black Friday and Cyber Monday at many retailers, but $20 less than that at Amazon right now. It ranks in the middle of CR’s ratings. It earns above-average scores for chopping onions for salsa or almonds for pies but gets only an average score for puréeing soups and scores below average for grating Parmesan cheese. It’s also a bit noisy. The 8-cup-capacity chopper has convenient touch-button controls and three speeds, and comes with accessories such as a dough blade, a blender attachment, and even a recipe book.
CR’s test results: Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System
Ninja BN801 Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ
Ninja full-sized blenders earned an above-average rating for predicted reliability in our member surveys. The 1,200-watt Ninja BN801 blender combines impressive performance and value pricing. Whether you crave soups or smoothies, this model has you covered: It receives top marks for puréeing, and its score for icy drinks is almost as impressive. It comes with a personal blender attachment, a 24-ounce to-go cup, and a food processor accessory. The blender’s removable blade also makes cleanup a cinch—a big reason it does very well in our convenience tests. The price continues to fall, as well. It was nearly $190 on Memorial Day, so this is a great time to buy.
CR’s test results: Ninja BN801 Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ
Renpho R3 Massage Gun
The Renpho R3 Massage Gun might be the best all-around device for most average users because it’s small and lightweight, and relatively quiet compared with other devices. Plus, with these sales (and Amazon’s on-page coupon) it’s one of the most affordable options CR has tested. However, due to its smaller size, it may not be the ideal choice for people who want the most intense massage or the best way to massage areas on the back.
The pistol grip could add some postural stress, compared with some of the other devices, though its light weight and small form factor could help alleviate stress for some. As an added bonus, this can be charged with a standard USB-C charging cable.
Therabody Theragun Mini
This ultraportable device is one of the quietest massage guns we’ve evaluated. It has a wedge-shaped handle and is among the best devices for reducing problematic wrist postures. But it doesn’t come with any attachments, and its small size makes it challenging to reach most of the back. For overall portability and quiet, however, this could be a top choice.
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