Best Fitness Trackers Reviewed & Rated

Wearables – health tracking technology that can be worn like jewelry – have gained traction and popularity over the last few years. It has become almost uncommon to see someone without some kind of wearable technology on them and it’s not hard to see why. Most of the world, at this point, grew up watching science fiction shows and movies. The idea of having the world at your fingertips has obvious appeal. Most wearables have other functions besides tracking health statistics and helping the wearer monitor their activity level. And while most people enjoy these additional functions, some people prefer to cut out as many distractions as possible when they are exercising. Thankfully, there are several fantastic fitness trackers available on the market that either limit other forms of notifications while the user is exercising or lack the distractions entirely.

Featured Fitness Trackers

Fitbit Charge 2img
  • Fitbit Charge 2
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Smart Notifications
  • Price: See Here
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Realalt 3DTrisport
  • Realalt 3DTrisport
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Counts Walking & Running
  • 30 Days of Records
  • Price: See Here
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Create 365 Mini Fitnessimg
  • Create 365 Mini Fitness
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Multiple Fitness Aspects
  • Portable
  • Price: See Here
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Some of the products on this list are indeed wearables. It is hard to get around their versatility and utility. Other products are analog versions that have their own kind of versatility that has nothing to do with social media notifications. They are available at a range of prices which means that there should be a tracker on this list to fit nearly any budget. Many of them can be used together or with other fitness aides to create a total fitness experience that motivates and informs the user in whatever way best suits them and this is one of the best things about unique fitness trackers. Exercise, health, and fitness are all incredibly personal topics. These products allow users to treat them as such.

 

10 Best Fitness Trackers

 

1. Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit is so prolific in the world of wearables that their company name has almost come to mean any fitness monitoring wearable, regardless of what company makes it. Their products receive almost universally high reviews and it is little wonder why. From activity notifications to heart rate monitors, Fitbit packs just about everything they can into their devices. The Charge 2 is a quality product that truly exemplifies the company's consistently high standards of quality and versatility.
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Heart Rate Monitor
The Charge 2 is one of the few products on this list that comes with a built-in heart rate monitor. Not only is the monitor part and parcel of the device but it is fairly accurate, which is a difficult feat for most heart monitoring wearables on the market at the moment. The Charge 2 collects data on the wearer's heart rate and stores it in the connected Fitbit app. Users can then log into the app to see what their heart rate is throughout the day. This is a particularly handy feature for anyone who is trying to lower blood pressure or ensure that their heart rate is reaching a certain optimum point during their workout.

Very Versatile
Fitbit doesn't limit their utility to heart rate monitors, however. The Charge 2 also comes with a built-in step counter, activity tracking capabilities, activity-level based notifications, and a variety of smart notifications for people who need to stay connected. These options are also largely changeable to fit the user's needs and wants at any given point.

Cost and Value
The Charge 2 is very nearly the most expensive product on this list but it also gives some of the best value on the dollar. It is an ideal product for people who want maximum connectivity and the most information possible on their workouts. The downside to this product, however, is just about the same as its appeal for some people: the wearer is always connected
Pros

Smart Notifications

Heart Rate Monitor

Versatile

Variable Connectivity

Cons

Price

Wearer is Always Connected

2. Realalt 3DTrisport

Realalt is a small company whose inventory is limited to pedometers. They have a few models available but their most popular by far is the 3DTrisport. This pedometer can tell the difference between a walking pace and a running pace and then count the steps accurately for either. It also computes the distance a wearer has traveled and stores those records for up to 30 days.
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Counts Running and Walking Steps
Basic pedometers fell out of fashion when wearables hit the market, but many of them had fallen from favor long before that. This is largely due to the fact that basic pedometers were often inaccurate and failed to tell the difference between different speeds of foot traffic. This led to runners being credited for less distance than they were certain they had traveled or to walkers who were attributed more steps than they had achieved. Realalt's pedometer is capable of telling the difference and adjusting its measurements accordingly to afford users more accurate information.

Stores Up to 30 Days of Records
This product does not connect to an app or to the computer. It instead logs the information internally and can hold up to thirty days of records at any one time. This allows users to see their activity in the short term without going through the bother of clearing old records while also giving users the chance to records the information elsewhere if they want to keep a long-term record.

Cost and Value
This is the most affordable digital device on this list but it is also one of the most basic. Even fans of the device are quick to say that its setup process is unnecessarily complicated although they are pleased with the results. Despite the complicated setup, this would be a good option for someone who already has a heart rate monitor and separate tracker or for someone who only wants to keep track of their daily distance covered without any additional hassle.
Pros

Counts Walking and Running Steps

Computes Distance

Stores up to 30 Days of Records

Cons

Complicated to Set Up

3. Create 365 Mini Fitness

The Happy Planner, also known as the "Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) Planner" is one of the most popular planners on the market right now. Day planners used to be products designed mainly for people with corporate schedules but that has changed as the daily needs of the average person have changed in recent years. This mini fitness Happy Planner is only one of several planner topics and styles available from the company, all of them designed to take multiple page inserts and customization options. This specific tracker is the one I personally use and it has helped me change my habits to form a more active, mindful, and balanced lifestyle.
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Tracks Multiple Fitness Aspects
The information might have to be input manually, but that is hardly a drawback once the planner is opened. Each day has a section for three separate meals as well as a snack section, followed by an exercise description box at the bottom. Every month is concluded with a "Progress Check-In" page that prompts the user to reflect on what they achieved and what goals they may want to alter or set for the next month. There is even a space for a "progress selfie" which can be taken with a specific camera or printed from any personal photo and then glued in

Easy to Customize and Refill
The Happy Planner is the most customizable option on this list. The company sells inserts for budgeting, students, moms, teachers, vacations, and many other specific need sets. They also offer sticker books and customization tools so that every user can make their planner exactly what they want it to be. The combination that worked best for me was to combine the fitness tracking pages with daily planner pages. It made planning my day easier if I had a meal planner and a fitness-based reminder only a page away. The planners are also refillable which means that the current pages can be removed and replaced with fresh pages so that the tracking can continue without much interruption.

Cost and Value
Happy Planners might seem overpriced but they are the most versatile planners on the market at the moment. Users can keep the planners limited to one topic or turn them into whole-life planners that can be kept at hand at all times. They are easy to transport and come in multiple sizes and styles to fit just about any need. Users have to enter the information manually but it is worth it to have a continuing record and go-to source for all things fitness and schedule-related.
Pros

Fits in Most Bags

End-of-Month Progress Summary

Includes Progress Selfie Space

Tracks Food, Water, and Activity

Refillable Pages Available

Customizable

Cons

User Must Remember to Use it Regularly

4. Bellabeat Leaf

4. Bellabeat Leaf
Bellabeat has been on the market for a while and, despite their unique approach to the idea of activity logging, there are few copycats. While most wearables are watches, Bellabeat decided to go a more decorative route and developed the Leaf, a minimalist necklace pendant that doubles as a fitness monitor. The company has put out a few other options since the release of the original, one of which is the Urban. The Urban is an upgrade on the original and features a different metalwork design around the core than the original. Each pendant has a 6 month better life without needing a charger and offers features like inactivity alarms.
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Comes with Multiple Stylish Accessories
Although the Leaf Urban is marketed as a necklace pendant it can also be worn as a bracelet. Each pendant comes with a complementary bracelet and necklace but users can substitute their own if they prefer. Some users have even taken to wearing their Leaf as a choker to keep up with current fashion trends. The parent company, Bellabeat, has an entire blog dedicated to the specifics of wearing a Leaf, making it even easier for the customers to use the accessories that come with each purchase or to use their own.

Offers 6 Levels of Inactivity Alarms
The Leaf Urban does not have a display because it transmits all of its data to a connected app that is stored on the user's phone. This did not stop the designers from giving the Leaf a direct impact on the user's activity level, however. Bellabeat designed their leaf with six levels of inactivity alarms. Users can choose which level of inactivity is acceptable at a given time and the Leaf will remind the user when they have become too sedentary based on the level the user sets the device to.

Cost and Value
The Leaf's unique design also comes with a uniquely high price tag. They don't really have much competition because their product is so unique and they means that customers have to pay a bit of a premium for the stylish and sleek accessory. It also isn't waterproof which means wearers cannot take it in the shower or the pool, and they cannot wear it around their wrist when washing their hands. These drawbacks may not be an issue for some users, however, and there are many people who will appreciate its fashion-focused appearance.
Pros

6 Month Battery Life Without Charging

Comes with Multiple Accessories

Works with both iOS and Android

6 Levels of Inactivity Alarms

Cons

Higher Price Point

Not Waterproof

5. Garmin Vivofit 2

5. Garmin Vivofit 2
Garmin is best known for their GPS systems and, more specifically, for the distinctive way their guidance system says "recalculating". It has practically become an iconic internet joke at this point, though the system itself is a bit dated. There is nothing behind-the-times about the Vivofit 2, however. This wearable is a simple and sleek option that features a backlit display, inactivity alerts, and features a 1-year battery life straight out of the box. It might take a few tries to get the Vivofit to sync with a user's device but its affordable price makes it worth the effort.
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Offers Inactivity Alerts
Most people have, by now, become comfortable with the idea of certain devices tracking information like heart rate, distance traveled, and even what type of activity their user is engaged in. It's become almost commonplace to see someone checking their wrist not for the time but for their step count. A less-known feature of many devices, however, is the ability to notify their use when the person has been inactive for too long. Most devices do this by vibrating faintly and some devices offer users the ability to select what level of activity is acceptable so that the device does not interrupt them during work or sleep.

1+ Year Battery Lift
The Vivofit 2 comes with a stellar battery life. Straight out of the box, this wearable will last a user a year or more before the battery gives out. The company insists that their product does not need to be charged or the battery replaced until after the one-year mark which is impressive given the device's backlit display and various other power-consuming features.

Cost and Value
Most wearables come with heavy price tags, but the Vivofit 2 is a much more affordable option. It might not come with the bells and whistles of other, more hyper-connected wearables. But it does offer a backlit screen and inactivity notifications to help keep users on their feet when they might otherwise find themselves sitting around for too long.
Pros

Offers Inactivity Alerts

Backlit Display

1+ Year Battery Life

Cons

Can be Difficult to Sync

6. OZO Fitness SC2

6. OZO Fitness SC2
The second steps-only tracker on this list comes from OZO Fitness. They are another small company with only one type of product on the market and that product is pedometers. Their SC2 is a discreet option that tracks not only the wearer's steps but also the distance they travel and the calories they burn in doing so. It was designed with a large-font easy-to-read display which makes it ideal for anyone looking at it on-the-go or anyone who may have issues reading a smaller font.
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Tracks Steps, Calories, Distance, and More
The SC2 is a pedometer in name but it tracks much more than the wearer's steps. It uses the number of steps taken to calculate the distance a wearer has travelled as well as the number of calories the wearer has burned in the process. The numbers are not going to be spot-on specific due to differences in peoples' strides and their body's efficiency in burning calories but the information is still a step up from no information at all and can help users make general predictions about their activity levels.

Discreet Clip-On
This device's simplicity also affords it a slim profile that allows wearers to clip it to their clothing and track their steps discreetly. Wearables have made it fashionable to track steps and fitness information but some people still prefer to keep their approach quiet and the SC2 allows them this privacy.

Cost and Value
The SC2 is one of the most affordable electronic devices on here, thanks in large part to its simple design and limited interface. The worst that can be said about it is that it is not Bluetooth compatible but users in search of simplicity likely won't mind this.
Pros

Clip-On

Tracks Steps, Distance, Calories, and More

Easy-to-Read Display

Discreet

Cons

Non-Bluetooth

7. Create 365 Happy Planner

7. Create 365 Happy Planner
Fitness Happy Planners are so effective that not one but two found their way onto this list. The medium fitness planner is twice as large as the mini though it is still smaller than a full sheet of printer paper. The internal pages are slightly different as well, as are the inserts and decoration options. Users will still find the same versatility, however. This planner is undated, allowing users to reuse any empty pages the following year. It also has space for fitness and food tracking built-in to the included pages.
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Fitness and Food Tracking
Exercise is not the only aspect of life that must be tracked when someone is trying to make healthy changes. It is impossible to simply "burn off" whatever a person eats unless they eat very little and do nothing but exercise. Since this is not a healthy option, tracking food intake as well as exercise is the preferred alternative. Tracking food intake also allows a person to see if they have adverse reactions to any particular foods which, in turn, could be causing water retention or unwanted changes to their weight.

Easy to Customize
As mentioned with the mini, Happy Planners are designed so that users can customize them to fit almost any need. The company offers a huge variety of pre-made inserts and users can also create their own using a Happy Planner hole punch. There is almost no limit to the customization options for these planners and they can be refilled over and over so that once a person finds a layout they like, they can stick with it.

Cost and Value
The medium planner costs a little more than the mini, which is understandable given that the medium - also known as the "Classic" - is twice as large as the mini. Some users will dislike that they have to manually record everything, but other users will like analog privacy and the freedom to record what they want and to do so in whatever way suits them best.
Pros

Undated Planner

Room For Anything

Fitness and Food Tracking

Easy to Customize

Refillable

Inserts Available

Cons

User Must Remember to Use it Regularly

8. Instecho Wrist Wearable

8. Instecho Wrist Wearable
Instecho is a company that specializes in technology add-ons. Their inventory features products like USB-mounted multiports and adapters that increase the number of USB ports for any given computer. Their wrist wearable is a perfect example of the simplicity and quality that seems to define the company. A clean-cut minimalistic aesthetic hides an array of features all packed into one small wearable. A unique "shake to activate" camera mode really sets this wearable apart from the rest while the smartphone alerts, heart rate monitor, and IPx67 waterproof rating allows Instecho to improve on what their competitors are already doing.
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IPX67 Waterproof
An IPX67 waterproof rating is more than any other product on this list has, but don't take the Instecho wearable swimming just yet. This rating means that the device will function for up to thirty minutes while submerged in 15cm to one meter of water. In practical terms, it means that the Instecho can survive getting caught in a rain shower or taking a trip under the faucet when the wearer is washing their hands but it should not be submerged continuously or to any real depth or it will no longer function.

Multi-Exercise Tracker
Instecho programmed their wearable with the ability to track different activities differently. This might seem a bit like overkill but it is actually an important feature that allows the device to give more accurate numbers when reporting on a person's caloric output. Baseball, for instance, requires a different level of energy output than running a marathon or getting through a boxing match. This device allows the user to specify which type of activity is being done so that the results at the end are as close to accurate as possible.

Cost and Value
Instecho doesn't just believe in sleek designs. They also appear to believe in affordable wearables. Their product is one of the most affordable of its kind, its price tag only a little higher than those of basic pedometers or analog planners. Users have reported that the screen is hard to see outside but that seems to be the only thing they take issue with when it comes to this affordable and feature-packed device.
Pros

Unique Camera Mode

Multi-Exercise Tracker

Heart Rate Monitor

Smartphone Alerts

Rechargeable

IPX67 Waterproof

Cons

Screen is Hard to See Outside

9. Fit Planner Journal

9. Fit Planner Journal
Fitime's Fit Planner journal is the third and final analog option on this list. It is a non-refillable planner that is designed to last a few months but it packs as much as it can into those few months. It is the company's only planner, the rest of their inventory consisting of detox teas, but that has not prevented them from coming up with an excellent tracking model and a well-built planner. The planner tracks both meals and exercise. It also has a built-in goal-setting organizer to help users plan for and achieve their goals.
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Tracks Meals and Exercise
Any trainer will tell you that exercise alone is not enough to see consistent results. Whether the person's goal is to gain weight, lose weight, or define their muscle mass, diet plays just as important a role as exercise. This planner allows users to track their meals in a spacious format that will give most people all the room they need to take an accurate record. It also has a space for the activity level each day so that the two records can be compared more easily

Goal-Setting Organizer
This planner also features a goal-setting organizer. Users will be able to keep track of their goals and their progress towards them without having to use a separate app or planner which simplifies the whole process. Having their goals in the same place as their fitness and food trackers also allow users to make sure that their day-to-day actions are supporting the overall achievement of their goals.

Cost and Value
This planner's cost falls between the costs for either of the Happy Planners. It lacks their versatility and longevity but it has the benefit of a pre-bound construction style and the combination of tracking exercise, diet, and goal progress all in one place. Users will have to replace it after a few months but as long as they remember to use it, each planner is well worth the monetary investment.
Pros

Tracks Meals and Exercise

Stylish

Durably Built

Goal-Setting Organizer

Cons

User Must Remember to Use it Regularly

10. The Smart Buckle

10. The Smart Buckle
The Smart Buckle is a little bit harder to explain than most, mainly because the company and the concept are so new that the patents for the product are still pending. At its core, the Smart Buckle is a device that allows users to turn any 20mm watch into a smartwatch. Instead of purchasing a whole new product, they only have to replace their watch's buckle with The Smart Buckle and then connect the proprietary app to being tracking and collecting data. It's expensive and essentially experimental at this point but it's an interesting concept that may change the smartwatch market entirely given time.
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Turn Any 20mm Watch Into a Smartwatch
Smartwatches are so popular that they verge on trendy at the moment. Not all of them are functional as, well, watches and this has kept some people from entering the market. Other consumers don't want to give up a favorite or sentimental watch in favor of a more digitally-focused one. The Smart Buckle appeals to both of these groups by allowing them to turn any 20mm watch into a smartwatch. All of the tracking technology is in the buckle rather than the face of the watch and this gives the device amazing potential.

Sends Data to Related App
The Smart Buckle does not have its own display. It instead sends all of the information it gathers to a related app that must be installed on the user's phone or tablet. This allows the user to get the full benefit of health tracking without the additional distraction of smart notifications are constant connectivity to phone notifications.

Cost and Value
The Smart Buckle is the most expensive item on this list. It is also the only one that is not exactly "tried and true" but that is mostly due to the product's relative newness. Its versatility and style set it apart from the rest of the market, however, and it would not be surprising to see The Smart Buckle gaining popularity and traction as more customers give it a try.
Pros

Turn Any 20mm Watch into a Smartwatch

Sends Data to Related App

Stylish

Cons

Few Reviews

High Price Point

Whether a person prefers to go digital or stick with pen and paper, there is an ideal fitness tracker out there for everyone. Each product on this list offers its own unique take on the world of exercise logging and their utility will vary from person to person. Most people have to try a few options before they find the one that best suits their need, but the important thing is to keep trying. Exercising can be hard and in today’s world, keeping track of it can be even harder. These products are simply tools to make it easier. Aides to help keep people on track and given them the information they need to succeed in achieving their goals, whether those goals are dietary changes, numbers on a scale, or developing a more active lifestyle.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Fitness Trackers

Portability

Size

It might seem odd to consider size when discussing fitness trackers since most of them are the size of a watch or a necklace pendant. But even wearable fitness trackers have to account for size. If they are too thick or bulky, they could very well get in the way during a workout or day-to-day life. Products like necklaces may swing out from the body and cause a problem during workouts if they are too large or the chain too delicate. Size takes on an entirely different issue with analog planners as well. Some analog planners are the size of full sheets of paper while others are the size of cell phones or a paperback book. This difference in size makes some more universally portable than others, particularly for people who don’t carry a bag or carry only a small bag.

Battery Life

Digital trackers are generally considered to be the most portable and versatile type of fitness aide but they do have their drawbacks. One such drawback is their battery life. A digital device is only as good as its battery life. Products that died quickly after steady use or required frequent charging were left off this list because they can quickly become a hurdle to exercise rather than a means to track its efficacy.

Durability

Wearables would be useless if they were as delicate as some other digital devices. One hit with a basketball or the side of a weight bench and the product would be completely useless due to a shattered face or malfunctioning contact points on a touchscreen. Analog planners are likewise useless if their covers and pages become bent and torn from simply being tossed in a gym bag, or if the binding becomes easily warped and makes turning the pages impossible. The products on this list might not be able to withstand a dunk in the pool or a direct hammer blow, but they can survive day to day life and the expected wear and tear of use.

Additional Equipment

Most people are drawn to fitness trackers because of the idea that they can be used anywhere as soon as someone finishes exercising. This idea falls flat when the device must be plugged into an additional piece of equipment or an entirely unrelated device must be used just to gain access to the information collected. This is common practice for certain types of wearables, but those sorts of products were given a slightly less favorable placement than products that could truly be used as soon as they were needed.

 

Versatility

Additional Uses

Social media notifications might be a distraction, but reminders to get up and get moving are pretty useful. Likewise, an analog planner might not track statistics automatically, but it also allows its user to combine their fitness tracker with a day planner and to-do list without fussing with app changes or complex settings. These additional uses are part of what bring added value to a product and products with higher levels of utility were chosen over products that only had one or two functions to offer. There are a few single-function products on this list to ensure that people who need those products had options. Generally speaking, however, people want extra utility from their trackers and this list reflects that trend.

Possible Distractions

With additional utility comes the burden of possible distractions. It is nice to have a planner with a daily schedule and to-do list in your fitness tracker but it also provides the temptation to put off exercising until the planner is filled out. Digital devices offer their own distractions in the form of social media notifications and the constant connectivity they give when attached to a phone or email account. All of these distractions can lead a person to forgo exercise all together. Products that allowed users to mute notifications or that had reduced potential for distraction were rated more favorably than those whose distraction potential was unchecked.

 

Longevity

Possible Breakdowns

This criteria point is restricted to digital products but it is an important factor. Products with a reputation for breaking down or only lasting a few months – even lasting up to one year before breaking – were looked at less favorably than products that would last for several years. Although most of these products are affordable, there is no reason to spend money on a product that a consumer will simply have to replace in a few months or a year. It’s a poor use of money that only contributes to consumer waste levels as well.

Refills

As the previous criteria point only applied to electronic devices, this point only applies to analog trackers and planners. The planner market is split pretty evenly between companies who sell refills and those who simply sell bound options that must be re-purchased when the current product is full. Bound options are more locked-in and offer their users less chance for personalization while also contributing to a higher level of waste. Refillable options allow for more versatility and personalization while only creating waste through the paper between the covers, rather than the whole planner.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Can I find these in “brick and mortar” stores?

A: Some of them, yes. The Happy Planners are available at most craft stores and big box stores while the digital devices can most likely be found at Best Buy and other similar electronics stores.

Q: What if I need to track a statistic that isn’t mentioned?

A: Some of the digital devices have apps that allow for additional tracking options. If their app does not cover it, another app might be able to fill in the tracking gap. The analog planners can be easily modified to include additional tracking options and the Happy Planners, in particular, may have inserts or stickers to make the task simpler.

Q: Do any of these track blood sugar or blood pressure?

A: A few of them have options to track blood sugar and blood pressure by inputting the information separately.

 Q: Do the planners come in other sizes or topics?

A: Yes they do. There are several sizes to fit most portability requirements and there are several inserts or supplemental planners available, depending on the brand in question.

Q: Can I swim while wearing any of these?

A: Unfortunately, no. Only a handful of these products have any waterproof rating and even then the ratings are for the kind of submersion that comes with hand washing. There are some wearables and heart rate monitors that are rated for swimming, however, and may be used in conjunction with some of the products listed above.

Sources:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-finds/2018/01/08/the-best-fitness-trackers/
  2. https://www.komando.com/tips/375296/what-does-ip67-mean-for-your-gadgets/all
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zgx4Te64aew
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