Fitness trackers have come an extremely long way over the years. No longer are they glorified pedometers; they’re much more than that. Most standard fitness trackers nowadays can track your steps taken, distance traveled, how many calories you’ve burned for the day, and even your sleeping patterns. They’re handy little devices if you want a better look at how active you are throughout the day, and there are plenty to choose from.
We understand it can be a little daunting trying to choose which fitness tracker best suits your needs, so we’ve compiled a list of the best fitness trackers on the market. We’ve divided our list up into separate categories to help you narrow down your options. As always, if you feel like we missed something on our best fitness trackers list, be sure to tell us in the comment section below.
Without any further delay, here are the best fitness trackers you can buy right now.
The best fitness tracker
The best fitness tracker on the market is the Garmin vívosport.
This new device packs a GPS and a heart rate monitor, which is pretty incredible considering its slim and lightweight design. It’s also waterproof up to 50 meters, will last up to seven days on a single charge, and comes with a Chroma touchscreen display that’s miles better than the display on the vívosmart 3. The display is a little small for my liking, however.
The vívosport is available now for around $149.99. That’s an absolute steal for the best fitness tracker on the market right now.
Also read: Best GPS running watches
Fitbit Charge 2
If you’re buying one of the best fitness trackers in this price range, it’s hard not to consider the Charge 2.
It’s clear Fitbit really focused on design when making the Charge 2. This device not only looks more like a piece of jewelry and less like a standard fitness tracker this time around, you also have the option to change out the bands if you’d like.
The Charge 2 also has a bigger display this time, meaning you get more room for smartphone notifications. Plus, Fitbit also introduced a few new features to the Charge 2 that should help users stay healthy and relaxed overtime: Cardio Fitness Level, which will give you a cardiovascular rating based on an estimate of your VO2 Max, and Relax, a new on-device guided breathing feature that will walk you through short breathing exercises to help you lower blood pressure, reduce stress and lessen anxiety. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a GPS built in like the vívosport.
Overall, it’s an all-around great fitness tracker, especially considering its $129 price point.
Fitbit Alta HR
2016’s Fitbit Alta has been one of our favorite fitness trackers since launch, mainly due to the sleek, stylish design that many other Fitbit devices lack. But what if you’re looking for a device similar to the Alta, but can’t go without a heart rate sensor? You’ll want to check out the Fitbit Alta HR, the company’s slimmest activity tracker with a heart rate monitor.
The new Alta HR brings the company’s own PurePulse heart rate technology to a slimmer form factor. Fitbit supposedly developed a new chip for the Alta HR that reduced the size and number of components needed, allowing for a 25% slimmer design than the Charge 2. With a built-in heart rate sensor, you’ll be able to better track your calories burned, non-step exercises like yoga and spinning, and also see real-time heart rate zones on your wrist. Having a heart rate sensor on your activity tracker really does make a world of difference.
Alongside the Alta HR, Fitbit also introduced two new sleeping features, Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights. Sleep Stages utilizes the heart rate sensor to estimate the amount of time you spend in light, deep and REM sleep, as well as the time you spend awake each night. Sleep Insights, on the other hand, uses all the data your Fitbit collects to provide personalized guidance on how to better improve your sleep. If you’re interested in learning more about Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights, more details can be found here.
If you need a slim fitness tracker that doesn’t skimp on the features, the Alta HR is for you.
Also read: Best heart rate monitors and watches
Best multisport fitness tracker
Garmin vívoactive 3
Garmin’s vívoactive 3 is a huge step up from its predecessor, the vívoactive HR.
For starters, the vívoactive 3 actually looks like a watch this time around, and it will look nice on your wrist whether you’re at the gym or the office. It’s comfortable too, and has a bright, colorful touchscreen display.
Don’t miss: Garmin vívoactive 3 review
There are a total of 15 activity tracking profiles built in, so most athletes will be covered here. It also has a super accurate GPS and heart rate monitor, a battery that will last around five days on a single charge, and plenty of great smartwatch features built in.
If you don’t mind spending close to $249 on a fitness watch, you should definitely consider the vívoactive 3.
Best stylish fitness tracker
Nokia Steel HR
If you’re looking for an analog watch that doesn’t skimp on the fitness features, you should definitely check out the Nokia Steel HR (formerly Withings Steel HR).
Nokia really hit the nail on the head with the Steel HR. It’s accurate, affordable, comfortable enough to wear all day, and downright gorgeous. Not only that, it sports a digital display that, while not of the greatest quality, offers a unique take on bringing a digital screen to a traditional analog watch design.
Like most other stylish fitness trackers, it’s not the most feature packed. It doesn’t offer an on-board GPS, nor is the digital display great for outdoor use. But for everyone else looking for an attractive, well-built fitness tracker that doesn’t actually look like a fitness tracker, the Steel HR may be just what you’re looking for.
Best smartwatch/fitness tracker hybrid
If you were underwhelmed by Fitbit’s first smartwatch offering, the Versa might be just the thing for you.
The Fitbit Versa is much better looking and more compact than the Ionic, and it doesn’t cost as much money. Now, that lower price tag will get you fewer features (no GPS, for instance), but that’s the whole point of this smartwatch — the Versa is a smartwatch for everyone.
No, it’s not the smartest smartwatch in the world —as of this writing you still can’t reply to phone notifications — but this is a Fitbit after all, so it’s a stellar fitness tracker. Sometime in the Spring, Fitbit will be debuting female health tracking on the Versa, which is a way for women to track and understand their menstrual cycle and how it connects to their health. You can log your cycle data and record your symptoms, and even see dynamic cycle predictions based on your history.
The Versa also brings Fitbit OS 2.0, quick replies for Android users, 24/7 heart rate tracking, on-screen workouts with Fitbit Coach, over 15 exercise modes, Connected GPS, and swim tracking thanks to its 5ATM rating. There’s also room to store your music, and if you spring for the Special Edition model you’ll have access to Fitbit Pay.
This is the best Fitbit you can buy, period. It’s an incredible fitness and sleep tracker, comes with a built-in GPS, allows you to pay for things from your wrist, and it’s water resistant. If you don’t care about smartwatch features and are looking for a high-end Fitbit device, buy the Ionic.
The software still needs some work, however. Fitbit OS is laggy and notifications are limited right now. And if you compare the Ionic’s smart features to other smartwatches on the market, there’s no contest—there are better devices out there.
Software issues aside, the Ionic is one heck of a fitness watch. It’s available now on Amazon and Fitbit.com for $269.95, and comes in three different color options.
Polar’s new M600 sport watch is by far the best Android Wear-powered fitness tracker on the market.
With a built-in GPS, IPX8 water resistance rating, optical heart rate monitor and 4 GB of on-board storage, the M600 is quite the feature-packed device. It also comes with support for Polar’s wonderful Flow app, allowing you to track just about any activity you can think of – rowing, skiing, hiking and much more. You’ll also be able to squeeze about two days of battery life out of this thing, which is impressive for an Android Wear watch.
You can certainly find Android Wear devices for a lower price tag, but the M600 provides much more than other devices. If you’re in the market for a smartwatch/fitness tracker hybrid, this is one of the best fitness trackers you can get.
See also: Best smartwatches
Best budget-friendly fitness tracker
Garmin vívofit 4
Garmin’s vívofit 3 was one of our favorite inexpensive fitness trackers of 2017. Is the vívofit 4 a worthy successor? That depends.
In many ways, the vívofit 4 is an improvement over its predecessor. It’s more comfortable, has a new color display, and plenty of useful extras. But the lack of heart rate monitor connectivity is unfortunate, and we hope it returns with the next model.
Throughout our two weeks of testing, the vívofit 4 was so close to delivering accurate results but ultimately fell short more often than we’d like. To its credit, it does offer users a general idea of their performance levels, which is why most people will buy the vívofit 4. It’s an inexpensive fitness tracker that you basically never have to take off, and it keeps track of the basics. If you need a device you basically never have to take off, the vívofit 4 is for you. If you own a vívofit 3, it might not be worth it to upgrade.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
If you’re looking for one of the best fitness trackers for around $20, you should get the Xiaomi Mi Band 2.
Xiaomi’s third attempt at a fitness tracker might not be the best on the market, but it does excel in a few key areas. It’ll track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and even your sleep. It also has an optical heart rate monitor that can help you keep track of your resting heart rate. It also comes with an IP67 waterproof rating and a battery that will last up to 20 days on a single charge.
While the Mi Fit companion app isn’t the greatest and the display can be hard to read at times, the Mi Band 2 is still a great option for those looking to keep an eye on their daily activity.
So there you have it, the best fitness trackers on the market right now! How did you like our list? Did we leave anything out? If so, let us know in the comments!