It doesn’t matter what gets you to exercise, whether it's your love for pizza, Instagram models, summer, a bad break-up, or you are genuinely looking to workout. Getting the best fitness tracker is essential for keeping track of your workouts and health metrics. There’s a big problem though; the wearable fitness band market is growing by the month, and getting ever more complicated to navigate.
If you are in the market for the best fitness tracker, whether it’s a fitness watch or an activity band, there is no shortage to choose. Garmin, Xiaomi, Fitbit, Polar, and Misfit are the industry leaders, with options to suit every fitness level and budget.
Fitness trackers are becoming more feature rich, and an affordable option for individuals looking to stay healthy and fit. Apart from pedometers, fitness trackers now focus on sports tracking, sleep statistics, heart rate monitoring, and even help you feel less stressed in the day.
The best fitness tracker you can get needs to suit your individual needs and how active your lifestyle currently is. While some people want to track their sleep, others will look for step counting, while still others prefer one with a heart rate monitor to deliver advanced heart rate data. Luckily, when it comes to the best fitness tracker, there’s something out there for everyone. And the good news is that you don’t need to sell an arm and leg to get one.
HOW DO FITNESS TRACKERS WORK?
Just a few years ago, fitness bracelets were primarily step counters worn on the wrist. Nowadays, they do everything from checking how you sleep to measuring your heart rate as you run. Fit trackers are everywhere!
To be precise, fitness trackers measure motion. Most of today's fitness bands come with a three-axis accelerometer that tracks your movement in whatever direction you take. Some even come with a gyroscope that measures rotation and orientation. The collected data is then converted into activity and steps, and, from that point, to sleep quality and calories.
Fitness trackers also come with an altimeter that measures your altitude, which is handy when you are working out the number of flights of stairs you have encountered during the day or the height of mountains as you climb. All this information is collected and crunched down to create an overall reading.
Therefore, the more sensors your tracker has, the more accurate your data is. Some can even sense when you change floors in a building.
The sensors in your tracker measure the acceleration, duration, frequency, pattern, and intensity of your movement. Put together, that’s a good bunch of data, and you can use it to maximize your workouts.
HEART RATE MONITORING
Fit bands such as the Fitbit Charge 2 use an optical sensor that shines a light through your skin and measures your pulse rate with it. This light works by illuminating your capillaries. However, these sensors are less effective than bioimpedance when it comes to gauging your overall health, but are still useful when checking your rate as you work out.
When it comes to sleep tracking, the fitness trackers use a process known as actigraphy, where the device translates your wrist movement into sleep patterns. Just like steps, there is a bit of guesswork and estimation involved. Don’t be mistaken; it’s a useful guide, but not as accurate as polysomnography.
WHERE TO BUY THE BEST FITNESS TRACKER
Depending on the functionality, price, quality, and form, the best fitness tracker is available virtually everywhere. Once you have determined the particular brand and model that will be ideal for your fitness use, you can get them at your local department store, online, or at your local sports shop.
GENERAL PRICING INFORMATION
Fitness trackers redefine fitness, and in the words of Leonardo da Vinci, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Having a fit band is now as ubiquitous at the gym as having earbuds. Their popularity is proof to the draw of technology that works well without breaking the bank. With manufacturers sticking to the basics of tracking activity and sleep.
WHY DO I NEED A FITNESS TRACKER?
Well, there’s no doubt that fitness trackers have exploded in popularity, and it's worth taking a moment to know what you want to gain from this device.
It's important to understand that, fitness trackers, by and large, will only monitor your activity regarding steps and calories burned through the user’s movement. You have the capability of setting how active you want to be, and they will give you a rough idea of how successful you are.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
The best way you can determine the best fitness tracker for you is to decide which features you need. Activity monitoring may be available in all models.
However, not all devices look and wear the same. Some will have features that you crave while some you may find unnecessary. What each user expects regarding features and style is going to vary.
Heart rate monitors are a big plus, especially when you are looking to maximize your workouts as well as track your progress. Motion fitness trackers often have sleep tracking capability. The sleep tracker feature records the number of sleeping hours each night to determine the quality of your sleep.
Most low-priced fitness bands will lack digital displays. One drawback of not having a screen is that you cannot see the number of steps you have taken without connecting it to your smartphone. You also can't check the time. As you begin to move up in device price, devices start offering more add-ons including GPS, reminders, and heart rate monitors. Getting a heart rate monitor is essential when it comes to workouts.
It's also important to consider a fitness tracker with an activity monitor if you plan to track your activity. Swimmers, runners, gym enthusiasts, and trekkers all have particular needs. It's important to get a device that will suit your fitness needs appropriately. For example, it might be a good idea to get a water-resistant fit band if you are a swimmer, or get a band with an altimeter and GPS if you are a trekker.
The right choice is the option that is in line with your health and fitness needs -- as well as your wallet.
HOW WE REVIEWED
To determine the best fitness tracker, we compared ratings from several review sites and forums looking and comparing their features to find the best fitness tracker. We considered the prices, functionality, and quality of the devices. We also reviewed the products based on their affordability, consumer rating, and complaints.
THE TOP 10 BEST FITNESS TRACKER OPTIONS
Getting a fitness tracker is a perfect way to monitor your activity and health effortlessly with unmatched accuracy. You could think of it as an electronic finger on the pulse, constantly measuring your quality of sleep, vitals, and step count.
Today, the fitness tracker market is full of fantastic fit bands, most of which do a perfect job when it comes to the basics of tracking. But to be honest, we are only interested in the best of the best, and you should be too. Here are the best fitness trackers we could find.
- Better measure calorie burn, understand resting heart rate & more with 24/7 heart rate tracking and a battery life of up to 7 days (varies with use and other factors); Charge time (0 to100 percent) 2 hours
- Choose from 15 plus exercise modes like run, bike, swim, yoga, circuit training and more, set a goal, and get real time stats during your workouts to see how you can keep getting better
- Automatically record time spent in Light, Deep and REM sleep stages and see activity trends, health insights and personalized guidance in one place with Fitbit Today. Operating temperature is -10° to 45° Celsius
- Swim proof and water resistant to 50 Meters so you can track swims and wear in the shower; We do not recommend wearing Charge 3 in a hot tub or sauna; Also connect to smartphone GPS for real time pace and distance during outdoor runs and rides
- Stay connected to your day with everyday apps for weather and more and get call, text and smartphone app notifications on your wrist; Small wristband Fits a wrist between 5.5 to 7.1 inches; Large wristband Fits a wrist between 7.1 to 8.7 inches
The Fitbit Charge 3 is more redefined than its predecessor, the Fitbit Charge 2. It's lighter and looks fancier on the wrist. The Fitbit Charge 3 is perhaps one of the best fitness trackers money can buy. It has a clearer, bigger display; however, just like the Fitbit Charge 2, it's still in black and white.
This device lacks an onboard GPS, but it's waterproof and has a full fitness suite including a heart rate monitor. Users are still able to use GPS by pairing it with their smartphones.
- AMOLED touch display: color screen and adjustable screen brightness; full screen touch and home button control - built-in GPS tracks workouts without your phone
- 5ATM: 50M water resistance, pool swim and open water with a 6-axis imu sensor, providing stats for stroke style detection, distance, laps, swolf, number of strokes and calories
- Multi-sports mode: indoor/outdoor run, walk, indoor/outdoor cycle, swim, free training and various exercise types - 24/7 heart rate monitor: provides precise real-time heart rate data
- Sleep tracking: true sleep 2.0, developed in collaboration with Harvard medical school's cdb center, identifies the 6 most common sleep-related issues, and gives suggestions for better sleep
- Camera remote: doubles as a Camera shutter remote for your smartphone - take better selfies, group photos, and shots at distances without carrying an extra Camera shutter remote
In case you are looking for a budget fit band, this device is your best bet. The Honor Band 3 has a sleek design that makes it look more expensive than it is, but with an affordable price as well as swim and sleep-tracking.
You will have to connect to your smartphone for GPS, and the app isn’t anything to be excited about. But for its pocket-friendly price, it completely makes up for that.
- Slim, smart activity tracker blends fashionable design with stylish metal accents and a bright, easy to read display
- Includes advanced sleep monitoring with REM sleep and can gauge blood oxygen saturation levels during the night with the wrist based Pulse Ox sensor. (Not a medical device and not intended for use in the diagnosis or monitoring of any medical condition)
- Fitness and health monitoring tools include estimated wrist based heart rate, all day stress tracking, Relaxation breathing timer, Vo2 Max, body battery energy monitor and more
- Features dedicated activity timers for walks, runs, strength training, yoga, pool swims and others; lens material: Polycarbonate
- Get vibration alerts for All notifications, including calls, text messages and more (text replies available for Android Device users).display resolution: 48 x 128 pixels
The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is one of the most accomplished fitness trackers in its range. However, it's not an ideal health band for serious athletes like most of Garmin's products. It's more suitable for individuals looking to track the odd bit of exercise and still have an attractive band.
Compared to other Garmin bands, the Vivosmart 4 has a larger screen, with a battery that is meant to last a week depending on your activity.
- Real-time Display of Exercise Duration, Mileage, Heart Rate, etc. , 50 meters Swimming Waterproof. department_name:unisex-adult
- All-Day Health Management More accurate pedometer, heart rate, sleep quality monitoring, sedentary reminder
- Reject Call without Phone The brand new millet bracelet 3 can also display the caller name or number if you do not want to answer, long press can reject the call.
- New Xiaomi Sports APP In Xiaomi Sports App, you can set daily needs according to your own situation. Choose the fitness program that suits you and regularly check your week's exercise Sleep data, etc.
- Daily pedometer
If you are looking for the best fitness tracker to improve your pacing or to find your way out of the woods, then you don’t need to spend three figures. The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is a basic fitness band that looks like the Fitbit Flex 2 but costs half the price.
It’s waterproof, has a heart rate monitor, an activity monitor, and a sleep tracker. Its main drawback is its battery life, and the app isn’t as attractive as it could be.
- Built-in GPS and continuous heart rate: monitor your heart rate and track your workout routes without your phone
- Scientific sleep tracking: keep track of light, deep and REM sleep stages to make your sleep truly restful; PMOLED display
- 5ATM water-resistance: support all day wear, rain, and even a swim in the pool, which allows you to dive into becoming a better you
- Professional running Coach: One press to start the workout app instantly and get workout data such as recovery time and Vo2 Max. Operation System: Android 4.4+/iOS 8.0+
- Long battery life: a single charge gives you 21 days of normal usage. Workout mode can last 4-5 hours (per-second hr. monitoring + GPS on)
The Huawei Band 2 Pro is a sleek fitness band that packs a decent number of features in its tiny frame, for an affordable price. This fitness device has GPS, VOX max, heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, step tracking, and impressive battery life.
With its slim screen, this device works perfectly with running gear, and it still looks sharp enough for a business meeting. You won’t get precise metrics with this device, nor is it going to be easy to read. But if you are looking to delve into the world of fitness trackers without breaking the bank, it’s a great place to start.
- Water resistant up to fifty meters, now you can own the pool, run in the rain and recover in the shower;Dust resistant
- Power through intervals to the beat of your favorite tracks with music storage on your Gear Fit2 Pro
- Boost every session with fitness apps powered by Under Armour. Count every mile on Map MyRun, and stay on top of your nutrition with MyFitnessPal. Water Resistant : IP68
- Get a more accurate view of your performance and all day calorie burn with continuous heart rate monitoring
- Compatible with Android and iOS smartphones (compatible with select Bluetooth capable smartphones using Android OS 4.4 and later with at least 1.5GB RAM as well as iPhone 5 and later with iOS 9.0 and above. Refer user manual for troubleshooting instructions. Not all features available with iOS paired smartphones. Gear Fit2 Pro supported smartphones may vary by carrier and device. For a list of compatible smartphones and features, please visit Samsung.com. For best results, connect with compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphones.).Strap material:Elastomer
Samsung hasn’t made any significant changes to the fit band line since the Gear Fit 2. The Gear Fit 2 Pro has an attractive design, which looks fantastic on your wrist. It sports a big AMOLED display that makes it possible to see all your stats. It comes fitted with built-in GPS, meaning users can leave their smartphones at home while going for their runs.
Apart from having an authentic heart rate monitor, you can use it to track your swimming activities, too.
- Features always on customizable color display and 1+ year battery life; no charging necessary. Safe for swimming and showering
- Tracks steps, distance and calories burned, monitors sleep and provides a personalized daily step goal (heart rate monitoring not available on this product)
- Periodically syncs to Garmin Connect, where you can save, plan and share your activities, get involved in social challenges and more
- Garmin Move IQ feature automatically detects activity and classifies activity type on Garmin Connect. Smartphone compatibility is iphone and android
- Width is 0.75 inch and thickness is 0.37 inch. Circumference for large is 5.83 to 8.46 inch and Circumference for regular is 4.80 to 7.40 inch. Display size is 0.43 x 0.43 in inches and Display resolution is 88 x 88 pixels
The Vivofit is perhaps one of the best fitness bands out of Garmin. It's particularly popular for its long life battery, meaning you won't have to recharge your device for a whole year. It’s probably one of the few fit bands that users can wear all day and night (for sleep tracking) without worrying about recharging.
One drawback is that you will miss out on phone notifications, but you get the advantage of an always-on color display.
- Work out inside, or use built-in GPS to accurately track activities outside
- Includes fitness monitoring tools such as Vo2 Max and fitness made estimates. Physical size : Width: 0.83 inches,Thickness:0.423 inches
- All-day stress tracking helps you stay in touch with your body's response to potential stressors. Connectivity : bluetooth smart and ANT+
- Features always-on color Garmin chroma display and slim profile. Display size: 0.38 x 0.76 inches
- Get connected features such as smart notifications, Live Track and more
It's not the most stylish fit band. However, there is a reason it appears on this list. The Garmin Vivo sport is cheaper than most Fitbit products and comes with built-in GPS. What’s more, this device offers a solid seven-day battery life from a single charge even when the GPS features are on.
While it's waterproof, it doesn’t do a good job tracking your swimming activities; however, it excels in other kinds of workouts. It also has an accurate heart rate monitor.
- GPS Running Watch: Measures time, distance, speed, pace, calories burned, and live stats on the go
- Activity Tracker: Capture your steps, active minutes, distance, calories burned, and sleep and also comes with route exploration
- Multisport Mode: Track all your activities including runs, bikes, swims, treadmill runs, gym workouts, indoor cycling, and more. Waterproof up to 40m
- Compatible to Apple: all iPhones with iOS 8 and above ,Android 4.4 and above with following phones: Samsung: S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S5, S5 Mini, S5 Plus, S4, S4 Mini, A3, A5, Note 3, Note 4, J5, Nexus: 5, 5X, 6, HTC: One M8 and M9 ,LG: G4,Sony: Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z5, Z5 Compact,Huawei: P8, P8 Lite,OnePlus One
- Extended Battery Life: Battery lasts up to 3 weeks in non GPS mode and 11 hours with GPS. size small: 125 172mm & size large: 145 206mm
The TomTom Spark 3 offers a lot of great features for your wrist including music without pairing your phone. This device also offers fantastic GPS tracking, route navigation, and a heart rate monitor. It’s one of the best fitness trackers to have while on a run discovering new areas. Since you don’t need to pair it to your phone for music, you don’t need to take your phone out with your Bluetooth headphones while going for a run.
- The Amazfit Bip smartwatch comes with 30-day long battery life on a single charge of 2.5-hours.
- Optical heart rate monitoring and built-in GPS to track daily step count, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep quality.
- 4-sport modes - outdoor running, treadmill, cycling and walking with detailed insights into most frequent activities.
- Get notifications for emails, SMS messages, and incoming phone calls as well as alerts for Facebook, Twitter, weather forecasts, etc.
- This smartwatch comes in 4 colors and a bright always-on 1.28" display and is compatible with both Google Android and Apple iOS.
The Amazfit Bip looks more like a smartwatch than a fitness band. It runs software unlike most of the fit bands on this list. The Amazfit Bip fitness tracker resembles an Apple Watch, and it also comes packed with a lot of amazing features. The Amazfit Bip has an accurate heart rate tracker, GPS, VO2 Max, and sleep tracking.
If you are looking for a fitness tracker with watch-like features, this is your best bet. It has an always-on light display and an impressive battery life.
Regardless of which fitness tracker you decide to buy, it is important that you keep one thing in mind. Fitness trackers are great health and fitness tools, but you can only reap its benefits when it's in use! Therefore, get a fitness tracker that will keep you motivated to achieve your fitness goals.