Every day, fitness trackers help you monitor and record a variety of activities; from a basic step count to weights, swimming, and more. When choosing one that matches your needs, the biggest challenge is that there are only too many to choose from and not all of them provide the same features or track fitness to the same degree and consistency. Brands such as Fitbit dominate the discussion, and while the products of the business are certainly professional, there are plenty of other trackers out there that excel in ways that your typical Fitbit doesn’t.
There are also different types of fitness trackers to consider, influenced by factors affecting their designs and prices – two things that are undoubtedly high on your list when searching for the correct wearable.
Others may want one that tracks steps and don’t entail regular paying, others for a new marathon companion may be on the market. Would you like to be able to log in your routes using integrated GPS, or is GPS linked (pulling location data from your phone) sufficient? Want heart rate surveillance? Will your tracker be waterproof? Is integration with other fitness services, such as Strava, crucial?
We’ve checked a whole host of fitness trackers but here are ten of the best, addressing all kinds of athletes’ needs collectively. Bear in mind that this list is in no specific order with different trackers putting their attention on different items.
With Charge 3, Fitbit successfully reshaped its most popular product.
You will not find a better-featured activity tracker on the market at such a fair price for first-time buyers. It monitors steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, climbed floors, heart rate, and sleep stages, and if you want to chart your runs you can connect to your phone’s GPS.
You will also receive a complete set of on-screen notifications such as Caller ID, Texts, Calendar, WhatsApp, and others. It also has its App for Weather.
Since two years after Charge 2 arrives, we think it’s a warranted upgrade, particularly if you want longer battery life (7 days) and full waterproofing. It’s a worthy upgrade to the most popular fitness tracker Fitbit has ever seen.
A new Fitbit Charge 4 is due to commence shipping mid-April 2020. Once we’ve got one on our wrist, we’ll review it. It just looks like the Charge 3, but it features built-in GPS, Spotify controls and a new feature of the Active Zone Minutes.
The perfect Fitbit All-round
The Charge 4 is probably our strongest all-round Fitbit tracker and indeed a match even for smartwatches from Fitbit. It covers all of the basics-monitoring steps, distance, burned calories, hourly movement, climbed floors, heart rate, swim-tracking, and advanced sleep, not to mention that it also has most of the top-end fitness apps, including Active Zone Minutes.
the bigger color screen you get with a Fitbit smartwatch is missing, plus in-tracker music storage, but the more expensive Versa 2 smartwatch is missing from its built-in GPS. If you can live with the smaller, monochrome panel, select the Charge 4.
If you want a slim GPS fitness tracker that works well on Android or iOS, the Gear Fit2 Pro is a solid alternative. It has more features and a much better screen than the similarly designed Fitbit Charge 2, but it costs more than £ 90.
Samsung has created a fitness tracker that costs more than competing devices, but that costs more than £100 less than its smartwatches which packs in most of the same apps. It tries to do too many smartwatch stuff with a screen that doesn’t suit though. Buy it if you like the style but you can opt for something cheaper with the same simple GPS features if it isn’t a deal-breaker.
Despite representing a slight update over Band 4 of 2018, Honor’s new budget tracker packs a punch. Retailing now for only £25,38, it is one of the most accessible fitness trackers on the market.
The in-depth workout options, intelligent sleep tracking, and monitoring of blood oxygen mean it has a set of features to rival more expensive devices. While it can sometimes be frustrating to use a few minor inconveniences, it remains a compelling package that deserves your attention.
The cheapest Fitbit with a heart rate monitor. The fitness feature set of the Fitbit Inspire HR covers the basics very well-steps, calories burned, active minutes, distance traveled, heart rate, advanced sleep stage calculation, swimming monitoring, controlled relaxation breathing, the ability to identify workouts with fair precision, and alerts. Like the top-end Fitbits, it will connect to your phone’s GPS.
it lacks an altimeter (so the floors you are ascending won’t count), but otherwise, it’s just as capable as the more expensive Charge 3.
The heart rate monitor intensifies the analysis of the device’s exercise and makes its sleep tracking much more sophisticated.
This is a great price for a lightweight, intelligent-looking device with a solid feature set. Fitness fanatics are going to want something more advanced, like the Ionic or Versa, but for most of us, the Inspire HR will be what we need.
Huawei Band 4
Huawei Band 4 is a great value for money with a color screen, week-long battery life, and a clever USB charging stick. In a package of 26 g, it will monitor steps, distance, calories, sleep, and heart rate.
It’s even 50 m water-resistant, so it’s maddening that the same-priced Honor Band 5 and Xiaomi Mi Band 4 don’t have the swim tracking. Even, at nearly a third of the size, it works with Android and iPhone and is a more fully designed tracker than the equivalent of Fitbit.
The Move is a slick Withings fitness tracker that is perfect for anyone who wants to keep things simple. It only performs the basics-activity and sleep tracking, but not heart tracking-but it does them well, and the analog form factor keeps things clean and readable.
The 18-month battery life is definitely a big selling point, and the customizable designs are also a huge appeal-from the harness to the watch face and even the color of the tracker dial you can change all. A heart rate monitor might seal the deal, but it’s a simple omission at only £60/$70, and with waterproofing, sleep monitoring, and excellent app support, all the rest of the Move is easy to love.
Coming in at half the cheapest Fitbit size, Xiaomi ‘s new Mi Smart Band 4 provides an impressive £34.99 exercise-, health-and sleep-tracking.The enhanced AMOLED color panel alone makes the upgrade worthwhile, although it will not completely replace a smartwatch or smartphone for notifications, and we are pleased to see Xiaomi take advantage of the device’s waterproofing with the swim-tracking system. We ‘d love to see Xiaomi come up with a solution for charging that doesn’t include removing the tracker from the unit, but Mi Band 4 is hard to blame otherwise.
While it lacks the built-in GPS of the Ionic, the Fitbit Versa is otherwise identical in features and is smaller and lighter on the wrist. And, on your phone, it can still connect to GPS. A growing number of applications (Weather, Starbucks, Runkeeper, Strava, and more) as well as on-wrist Fitbit Pay and music storage and control can be used as a smartwatch, plus notifications like Caller Id and texts.
Fitbit Coach provides on-screen, guided workouts. It also boasts more accessories from designers than the Ionic. Although targeting women (who may find the Ionic too big), the Versa is most certainly a unisex design –although wearing the Peach / Rose-Gold version will require a confident guy.
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