I was talking with my mom recently and she saw my latest gadget, my fitness tracker. Right away she told me,”I want one!” I had to remind her that years ago I gifted her with a simple but easy-to-use pedometer that she hasn’t used in years. These step-counting devices – odometers for your feet – predate the fancier trackers that have more bells and whistles. Pedometer functionality is limited to counting steps and being reset at the end of the day but if you fast forward a few years, fitness trackers have joined the app family to provide information about daily activity, sleep quality and much more. Some have GPS, heart rate monitors and other features – all available on your smart phone or computer web browser.
To get to my point, as with any purchase, to avoid an over-eager sales person with complex products, knowing what you need before you go to the store is key. The internet has several product-neutral sites aimed at doing just that – helping you compare products and explain features and use. The tech world has many competitive products so making a big purchase takes time. Here are two of my favourites and one general resource to help you along:
- TechRadar (my personal favourite): http://www.techradar.com/reviews
- Cnet (oldie but a goodie) https://www.cnet.com/reviews/
- Consumer Reports http://www.consumerreports.org
You can also search for category-specific review sites, depending on what you’re looking for. Reaching out to people, either in person or on Social Media can be helpful as well. And if you really want to explore the world of online product info, go back and write a review yourself once you get used to your new gadget.