The best fitness trackers have one key principle: they track your data without drawing attention to themselves. Unlike fitness smartwatches with massive displays cramming in a ton of information, trackers are lightweight, skinny devices that measure your fitness progress and health data without drawing attention to themselves. And they're lighter and more affordable, to boot.
If you're looking for a fitness tracker that truly does it all, we highly recommend the Fitbit Charge 5, which gives you premium tools like onboard GPS, advanced health monitoring, Fitbit Pay, music controls, and more. But if it isn't your cup of tea, we have plenty of other options that prioritize price, weight, style, or cool features, so you can find the best fitness tracker for your needs.
At a glance
With the specs of a smartwatch and the sleek design of a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 5 comes with everything you need to take your workouts to the next level.
Best premium option
Best premium option
The Vivosmart 5 monitors your health and fitness 24/7, with advanced sleep tracking capabilities, seven days of battery life, and a slim, ultra-light design.
Best value Fitbit
Best value Fitbit
If you want Fitbit quality without paying the usual Fitbit price, the Inspire 3 is a fitness tracker that comes with a lightweight design, 10-day battery life, and six months of Fitbit Premium.
Best cheap option
Best cheap option
The budget-friendly Xiaomi Mi Band 7 boasts a bright display, intelligent health and fitness tracking, and over 110 sports modes pre-installed on the device.
If you want the look of a smartwatch, the Versa 4 is a great choice, complete with an AMOLED display, built-in GPS, and nice, long battery life.
Best luxury option
Best luxury option
Perfect for users with smaller wrists, the Fitbit Luxe boasts an ultra-stylish, minimalist design, a bright color screen, and comes with six months of Fitbit Premium.
Simple and affordable, the Amazfit Band 7 comes with HRM, SpO2, and stress tracking capabilities, plus a long-lasting battery and built-in Alexa assistant.
Best detailed reporting
Best detailed reporting
The Amazon Halo View may not look like much, but this discreet fitness band comes with premium features like intelligent activity and sleep tracking and a heartrate monitor.
While we've generally known what to expect from fitness trackers, the Fitbit Charge 5 proved you can and should expect more. Along with a gorgeous AMOLED touchscreen, a sleek stainless steel body, and an improved design over the Charge 4, it added advanced features and new health sensors that the Charge 4 lacked.
We called the Charge 5 a “pseudo smartwatch” in our review, and it's true. The bright 1.04-inch touchscreen takes some getting used to, because navigating by touch on a small screen with no buttons can be difficult. But it's actually bigger than most of its rivals on this list, and the improved design allows for a more natural and comfortable fit that seamlessly contours to the shape of your wrist.
Most importantly, it has nearly all the same health tools you'd get on the twice-as-expensive Fitbit Sense. The EDA sensor takes precise temperature measurements and records stress levels. The ECG sensor measures your heart rhythm and can detect irregular heartbeats. And, of course, you have the HRM rated to do its own AFib checks and the blood oxygen sensor for better sleep tracking and a more accurate Daily Readiness Score.
Many essential fitness features from the Charge 4 are found on the Charge 5, including onboard GPS, automatic workout detection, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and Active Zone Minutes. But the design, display, and sensor upgrades make it more compelling.
Best premium option
The Garmin Vivosmart 5 does everything you would expect it to as a fitness tracker. It keeps track of your steps, sleep, calories burned, floors climbed, various exercises, and heart rate. However, where this tracker shines is its health-tracking features. It may not be a full-blown Garmin smartwatch, but it has the essential features most users need.
For starters, you'll have advanced sleep tracking with REM sleep. It can also gauge blood oxygen saturation levels during the night with its wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor. In addition, a relaxation breathing timer complements the all-day stress tracking feature. And in our Vivosmart 5 review, we found that the Body Battery monitor is one of the most interesting and useful ways to keep track of how much energy you have left throughout the day.
The Vivosmart 5 still misses out on built-in GPS, as you'll need to rely on your phone for tracking your routes. But Connected GPS is pretty standard for most fitness trackers to prioritize a compact design. You'll also have to accept the monochrome display, when many others sport a stylish AMOLED. You'll still have access to smartphone notifications on your wrist. If you're an Android user, you can respond with preset quick replies. The Garmin Vivosmart 5 is the way to go if you want detailed health tracking data without a monthly fee. It costs more upfront than the Inspire 3, but you'll save money in the long run.
Best value Fitbit
If the Fitbit Charge 5 is a bit rich and heavy for your blood, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is the affordable alternative you need. It loses perks like built-in GPS, the ECG/EDA sensors, and has a smaller display that our Inspire 3 reviewer found too small to read notifications on. But it's still a comfortable, affordable medium for tracking workouts and getting thorough Fitbit Premium reports on your health.
Despite how “minuscule” the display is, the bright, colorful AMOLED is “as crisp as possible,” showing your health and fitness data with great clarity. And perhaps thanks to the small display, the Inspire 3 is extremely long-lived, matching the Inspire 2 despite the older tracker's monochrome OLED display.
With Fitbit Premium, you'll receive a daily readiness score based on how hard you worked out the previous day, your stress levels during the day, how well you slept, and other data to help you see how hard to push yourself in training. Unlike some of the bulkier Fitbit trackers and watches, the Inspire 3 is so understated that you'll barely notice it's there. Sometimes, being “forgettable” is a good thing!
Best cheap option
When you want to be able to cover your bases with your fitness tracker, without breaking the bank in the process, you'll love the Xiaomi Mi Band 7. It's a definite improvement from its predecessor, sporting a larger display area that's easier to read and navigate. But, more importantly, it offers a satisfying list of tracking abilities and other features that are hard to find at this low price point.
You'll be able to choose from more than 110 different sports modes including outdoor running, treadmill running, indoor cycling, outdoor cycling, pool swimming, yoga, and more. And unlike the Mi Band 6, the Mi Band 7 is capable of automatically tracking five of the most common workout types. Other than that, Xiaomi claims it hits 14 days of battery life, but our reviewer found it hit closer to 7 in real-world use, pretty standard for this category. That battery estimate includes sleep tracking, all-day heart rate monitoring, and menstrual health tracking, but not always-on display, which uses up even more battery.
It might not be a smartwatch and is missing features like built-in GPS, but it's difficult to complain about this powerful little tracker at this price point. Our reviewer called it “comfortable to wear,” praised the relatively massive 1.62-inch AMOLED display (a definite improvement over the tiny Inspire 3 or Vivosmart 5), and called it “the one to beat” against other budget trackers.
When you look back at the smartwatches that were released in the last two years, the Fitbit Versa 4 might stand out like a sore thumb. That's because the Versa 4 and Sense 2 were overshadowed by the release of the Google Pixel Watch. Fitbit removed the ability to download and install third-party apps to either of these wearables but tried to make up for it by bringing back the physical side button and a redesigned interface.
Fitbit even released an update, a couple of months after the launch, which brought the ability to use Google Pay instead of Fitbit Pay. And you might notice that the interface looks a bit more like Wear OS 3 compared to what previous Fitbit smartwatches offered.
That being said, the Versa 4 is probably the best fitness tracker packed into the body of a smartwatch. You won't be able to download music directly to the Versa 4, and you only have Amazon Alexa for your digital assistant queries.
But what the Versa 4 lacks in some areas, it makes up for it in others, such as being super lightweight and comfortable to wear. Battery life is divine, as it'll last you for at least six days, if not longer. And, if you're coming from something like the Versa 3 or even the original Fitbit Sense, you'll still be able to use your favorite bands.
Best luxury option
If you prefer a lightweight, low-profile tracker but want something that has the high-end looks of a much more expensive smartwatch, then the Fitbit Luxe might be just the device you're looking for.
The Luxe's casing is made from high-quality stainless steel and is available in three premium finishes. You can dress it up and accessorize with jewelry-style bands, but it can also handle your HIIT classes or half-marathon training. It includes six months of Fitbit Premium service for you to try out, and setup is a breeze thanks to Google Fast Pair (Android only). The Luxe is also the first Fitbit tracker to feature a color touchscreen.
While this is one of the best-looking wearables we've ever tested, the Fitbit Luxe looks great, but it costs closer to the Charge 5 than the Inspire 3 despite having the latter's drawbacks (no NFC, no built-in GPS). And it only lasts 5 days per charge, half that of the Inspire 3. Our Fitbit Luxe reviewer said he personally would pass on it, calling it “too small” and overpriced compared to other trackers. But for people with smaller wrists prioritizing a stylish design, the Luxe will save them a lot of money compared to a smartwatch, and 5 days per charge isn't terrible compared to a daily-charge smartwatch considering how much the Luxe can track.
The Amazfit Band 7 is remarkably similar to our favorite budget tracker, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7, from its reliance on the PAI health assessment system to its weeks-long battery life. Its display is slightly smaller and lower-resolution, though still much larger than the Vivosmart 5 or Inspire 3. But it has one major upgrade on the Mi Band: support for an Amazon Alexa assistant, so you can quickly ask it questions or perform any action that the Alexa app supports.
After our Amazfit Band 7 review, we found the tracker more than lived up to our expectations of what a $50 tracker can achieve. It can continuously track heart rate and stress or take a spot check of both plus blood oxygen at any time. And it takes this data, along with your workout data, to generate a Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) score that tells you how hard you're working out — and how hard you should work out to maintain or improve your health.
Like most trackers, it only has connected GPS that relies on your Zepp app, but it does at least connect near-instantaneously, and the lack of built-in GPS helps the watch last a long time even with continuous tracking and the always-on display active. It has all the essentials you need to succeed and a simple, comfortable design.
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The Amazon Halo View is the company's second attempt at delivering a well-rounded fitness tracker. The first attempt was the Amazon Halo band, which featured a distraction-free design with no display for users to interact with. Thankfully, Amazon listened to feedback and delivered a new model with an AMOLED touchscreen. This fitness tracker is compact, lightweight, and the Halo View bands are interchangeable. You also get heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, and blood oxygen monitoring. The battery can last for up to a week on a single charge.
It's important to note that while the Amazon Halo View offers tons of in-depth features, you'll need a Halo membership to use them. When you purchase the tracker, you get one year of Halo for free. After that, you'll have to pay a small monthly fee for the subscription.
Aside from basic tracking, the Amazon Halo View focuses on other metrics that many users will find interesting. For example, Movement Health uses the app and your smartphone camera to carefully assess your mobility, stability, and posture. After the assessment, you'll receive custom program recommendations with corrective exercises to improve your movement. The Body Composition feature uses the same tool to determine your body fat percentage. While this information might be helpful, our reviewer found it a bit invasive and “creepy,” and unhealthy for those with body issues.
How to choose
You'll be happy to know there's no shortage of options when choosing a fitness tracker. One of the most reputable names, as you may know, is Fitbit. The industry leader makes up a good portion of our list with many of the best Fitbit devices like the Charge 5, Luxe, and Inspire 3.
Whether you want the look and feel of a smartwatch, a dedicated fitness tracker with onboard GPS, a basic tracker that's ideal for beginners, or something in-between with a particularly stylish design, Fitbit has it all.
Clearly, Fitbit isn't the only name out there. You'll also find other significant players that may catch your eye, such as Garmin, Samsung, and Xiaomi, to name a few. Once you've decided what type of experience you're looking for, it'll be easier to narrow down your options and find the right fitness tracker for your needs.
Are you seeking the most robust activity tracking suite possible? Perhaps you're more focused on certain health aspects, like energy, stress, and blood oxygen saturation levels. If you're on a tight budget, it also won't be difficult to find a fitness tracker at a reasonable price. Not to mention that there are also tons of great fitness smartwatches if you need a bit more from your wearable.
What are the best fitness trackers?
When it comes right down to it, the Fitbit Charge 5 takes the top spot on our list for various reasons.
For starters, the number of features you receive is simply unmatched. You'll have a whole week of battery life, NFC support for contactless payments, built-in GPS so you can leave your phone behind on a workout, heart-rate monitoring, convenient music controls, sleep tracking, and much more. Let's not forget about the new ECG and EDA sensors that dive deeper into your overall health.
While there might be some drawbacks to the Charge 5's smaller display, it's much easier and fun to use now that you get a color AMOLED touchscreen. These concerns certainly don't hold a candle to the slew of features, though.
You can track every step taken, floor climbed, and lap swam. You can do all this while controlling your Spotify playlist, checking notifications, monitoring your heart rate, and tracking your blood oxygen levels.
If you're looking for the best fitness tracker for your needs, you may find yourself stuck in one of those infamous internet black holes. How do you know which activity tracker has the features you want at a price you can afford — and won't feel like you've strapped a brick to your wrist?
If you're starting your search, here are a few tips to help you decide which fitness tracker is best for you:
1. Start with price
Depending on which features you want, your new fitness tracker could be surprisingly affordable, or it could end up setting you back quite a bit. (Yeah, we eyed a smartwatch that was nearing the quadruple digits for a good 30 seconds before our conscience brought us back to reality).
Of course, you should still be cautious about buying anything that's dirt cheap. Unfortunately, most cheap fitness trackers are just that: Cheap. Even less costly models by well-known brands like Fitbit won't come with a full display, so you'll need to swap to the app to get all the details on your latest workout.
2. Decide on features
Narrow down your search by deciding which features you need. These days, most trackers have a heart rate monitor and blood oxygen monitoring. But the Charge 5 has more specific sensors for stress and irregular heart rate spot checks, and others can measure these metrics through continuous tracking. You may or may not need this based on whether you care more about health or fitness tracking.
All trackers have sleep tracking, but if you want a tracker that takes that information to create a Body Battery or Daily Readiness Score, you'll want a Fitbit or Garmin tracker. They're able to deliver more useful data about your energy based on heart rate, sleep, and stress.
Most fitness trackers rely on Connected GPS to keep a lightweight, long-lasting design. If you're someone that wants to leave their phone behind during workouts, you really will want the Charge 5 or 4. And these trackers are also the only ones on our list with NFC tap-to-pay support.
Almost no fitness trackers support voice assistants because a mic takes up room and reduces battery life. So if that matters to you, the Amazfit Band 7 has that unique Alexa access to tempt you, though it doesn't have a speaker to vocalize responses. You'll want to upgrade to a fitness smartwatch instead if you want a complete experience or Google Assistant access.
Another thing to note about the wristbands is the strap style. Is it a traditional watch-style strap with a buckle? Or does it simply “button” together? The button style sometimes feels less secure, especially if we're tackling three-point rows and deadlifts at the gym.
Luckily, most fitness trackers come with band replacements. This lets you upgrade the material, color, and fit if you like. We're all about having choices.
4. Consider style
Are you content with a fitness tracker that looks like a fitness tracker? Or do you prefer something that looks like a traditional watch?
Activity trackers come in all shapes and sizes, so you can go as simple or fancy, modern or traditional, as you like.
If you're not ready for a full-blown smartwatch, but you still want something on the stylish side, the Fitbit Charge 5 or Luxe may be calling your name. On the other hand, if you're looking for something simple, the Fitbit Inspire 3 and Luxe are slim and uncomplicated.
5. Don’t forget about the apps
Our favorite fitness tracker app is Fitbit, hands down. It's user-friendly and offers a full range of features. It even has menstrual cycle tracking, which we've never seen on any other fitness tracker apps.
The Fitbit app integrates well with many popular third-party apps for a more robust tracking system that meets your needs. Here are some of our favorites:
Top 5 health and wellness apps:
Each fitness tracker works slightly differently, but some sensors and technology are relatively common across them all, like altimeters, accelerometers, and optical sensors. Unfortunately, many of them are only found in fitness smartwatches, not trackers. Here's some of the technology you may stumble upon if you break into your fitness watch.
- 3-axis accelerometer — This measures your movements in every direction and helps track those steps.
- Gyroscope — This gets a read on your orientation and rotation as you move. Now it’s time for some split squats.
- Altimeter — Whether you’re tracking your hike up the mountain or climbing stairs on your work break, this keeps track of your altitude.
- Optical sensors — These shine light into your capillaries to measure how quickly or slowly your blood is pumping to give you an idea of your current heart rate.
- Actigraphy — Ever wondered how activity trackers monitor your sleep? Actigraphy identifies your sleep patterns by tracking your activity and rest cycles, then gives you an idea of how much you tossed and turned last night.
- GPS — The GPS receiver collects data from different satellites to calculate your position as a set of coordinates. This lets you track your terrain and distance after a trail run or day on the slopes.
Of course, not all fitness trackers are created equal when it comes to their sensors’ accuracy. For the most part, actigraphy isn’t as accurate as measuring your sleep cycle in a lab, and optical sensors aren’t as precise as bioimpedance sensors when it comes to monitoring your heart rate.
What are the best fitness watches for large wrists?
When you're shopping for a fitness tracker, it's important to keep size in mind. Luckily, most bands are adjustable to fit your wrist without an issue. However, if you have a particularly large wrist circumference, you'll want to keep an eye out for options that'll work for you.
Out of our list of 10 top fitness trackers, here's what we recommend for large wrists:
3 best fitness watches for large wrists
- Fitbit Charge 5 – The large size sport band can fit bigger wrists between 6.7 to 8.3 inches in circumference.
- Fitbit Charge 4 — The large size band will fit comfortably on larger wrists that range from 7.1 to 8.7 inches in circumference.
- Xiaomi Mi Band 7 —This may not be the biggest tracker on the market, but it can still accommodate wrists from 6.1 to 8.6 inches.
What are the best fitness trackers for small wrists?
If you've got an especially small wrist, finding the right fit can be even more challenging. The last thing you want is for your tracker to be sliding around as you go about your day.
So what should you do? We think these activity trackers fit like a glove — er, watch:
3 best fitness trackers for small wrists
- Garmin Vivosmart 5: The small/medium band can fit wrists as small as 4.8 inches and as large as 7.4 inches. Now, that’s impressive.
- Fitbit Inspire 3: This tracker is lightweight and compact. Did we mention it can fit wrists that measure between 5.5 and 8.7 inches?
- Fitbit Luxe: Designed to look dainty, the wristband is also thin and lightweight, making it perfect for smaller wrists ranging from 5.3 to 7.1 inches.
Now that you've found your fitness tracker match, you're one step closer to running laps around your goals. #YouCanDoIt