No matter how much you exercise, fitness trackers can be a great way to help you get — or stay — in shape without having to invest in a full-blown smartwatch (not everyone has the money to shell out for something in the Apple Watch series). An activity tracker can hold you accountable for your physical activity you get the most out of each workout. Many models include extra features such as a sleep tracker, calorie burn tracker, heart rate tracking and more. They’ll then share that data with an app to help you keep an eye on your fitness goal or goals.
There are dozens of great fitness trackers to choose from (many of which we haven’t tested yet), but we’ve rounded up four of our favorite activity tracking devices based on price, form and function. We took into consideration factors like ease of use, battery life, and features like heart rate monitoring and calorie burn tracking when me made our decisions. Many of them require that you use an app to track your progress, and these apps will send smart notifications if you reach a particular goal or need to get up off your butt and start moving. Regardless of your fitness level and the types of physical activity you enjoy, this list can help get you started on your search for a wearable device that monitors your activity and helps you achieve peak fitness.
So if you’re looking for the best fitness tracker out there, read on! Let us know if your favorite fitness tracker was left out of the list and we’ll continue to update it once we’ve been able to test it out.
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If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that behaves a lot like a smartwatch without the extra bulk, the Fitbit Charge 4 might be the perfect fit. It checks all the boxes when it comes to fitness features, with better training tools for athletes than other Fitbit devices, like the Fitbit Ace or the Fitbit Flex. It has a built-in GPS to track outdoor workouts independently of your phone. If you want to keep track of your data, you’ll want to download the Fitbit app, which does a great job breaking down how much progress you’ve made and how close you are to achieving your fitness goal. It can also facilitate mobile payments and the option to reply to texts and messages if you’re an Android user.
Read our Fitbit Charge 4 review.
If you’re looking for fitness band that’s a bit more affordable, you may also consider the Fitbit Charge 3, which is now $120. You won’t get the built-in GPS or mobile payment options, but it looks almost exactly like the Charge 4 and gives you access to most of the same fitness features, including a look at how hard you were pushing yourself during each workout, along with an in-depth sleep analysis. Plus the battery can go up to a week on a single charge, whereas the Charge 4 caps out at about three days with the GPS turned on.
Read our Fitbit Charge 3 Review.
For less than $40, the Mi Band 4 is the best value fitness tracker you can buy. It packs most of the features you’d get in a more expensive fitness tracker, like an AMOLED touchscreen that’s easy to see in sunlight, 24/7 heart rate and sleep tracking. Battery life is also second-to-none as you’ll get around two and a half weeks of use before you need to charge. The one thing it does miss out on is workout variety; it can only detect running, walking, cycling or swimming, so any other workout like Pilates or yoga would need to be tracked under the generic “exercise” type.
Read more about the Xiomi Mi Band 4.
I know what you’re thinking: This is not a tracker. But even if you strip away all of its smartwatch features, the Apple Watch would still hold its own as a standalone fitness tracker. And the cheaper Series 3 has everything you need. Not only does it keep tabs on your health and activity like the rest of the trackers on this list, it also gives you access to dozens of fitness apps, ranging from running coaches to strength training routines, to guide your through your workouts.
Read our Apple Watch Series 3 review.