The best fitness tracker is a valuable gadget and can calculate your steps taken, sleep quality, and heart rate with ease and accuracy. They are judged on a factor of its accuracy and usability. Garmin Fitness Tracker Vivosmart 4 is our top pick as the best fitness tracker for steps and overall. We also listed Fitbit Inspire HR as our value pick.
Best fitness tracker: Garmin fitness tracker Vivosmart 4
The Garmin fitness tracker Vivosmart 4 is the best fitness tracker right now, and in many respects, it also surpasses its predecessor Vivosmart 3. This time company planned not only to compensate for the faults of the vivosmart 3 but also to create something that goes head to head with its industry rival Fitbit Charge 3. If you don’t need a GPS and can get past the narrow display, Gramin is the reliable option for a feature-packed tracker,
Garmin Vivosmart 4 display quality is greatly improved. It’s still monochrome, but instead of the Vivosmart 3 dim screens, it’s now a much brighter OLED touch screen. The Vivosmart 4 does not come with the option for interchangeable bands, just like its predecessor. Garmin added more color options to the line-up. It looks more like a sleek fitness tracker than a jewelry piece which is to be hidden at times.
Smart Design: This slim wristband tracker comes in multiple colors, complements your style with its unique design, metal trim highlights, and clear, easy to read the screen, looks more like a smartwatch.
Pulse Ox at Your Wrist: Vívosmart 4 estimates the rate of saturation of blood oxygen in your body. Switch on the feature to gauge your SpO2 overnight.
Advanced Sleep Monitoring: Vívosmart 4 monitors the light, deep, and REM stages of sleep along with a night-wide motion to give you an idea of how you’re sleeping. Once you wake up, the Garmin Connect Mobile app can quickly check and compare your sleep statistics.
Keep Track of Your Active Life: Fitness and health monitoring devices include wrist-based heart rate, day-to-day stress tracking, VO2 max, body battery energy monitor, and more.
Share and Compete: With Vívosmart 4 it’s easy to keep an eye on your activities and actions. Your tracker synchronizes with the online community of Garmin Connect automatically, where you can check your results, enter competitions, win fun badges, and even share them via social media.
Stay Connected: Check the weather, check your music, receive smart alerts, find your address, even reply with preset text responses, and access social media updates on the screen of your tracker.
On-Screen Notifications: Get Alerts for all events, including calls, text messages and more.
- It has a thin and lightweight design.
- Vivosmart 4 OLED display is better than the Vivosmart 3’s.
- Sleep metrics are very useful and accurate.
- Body Battery shows your analytics which determines how energetic you are.
- Pulse OX Sensor is nice to have on a lower-end tracker.
- Water-proof up to 5ATM.
- The Garmin Connect app is packed with features.
- No phone-to-GPS tethering option.
- It features a narrow display that could be difficult to use.
- Pulse ox sensor goes off sometimes, doesn’t take readings all night.
The Bottom Line
With its broad range of features, Garmin Smartwatch Vivosmart 4 at just $199 provides a user-friendly interface, sleek and stylish style. The Vivosmart 4 ticks all the right boxes for a day-to-day fitness tracker to help keep tabs on your activity and overall health. The lack of a GPS feature is potentially a deal-breaker for an avid runner. But for others, Garmin Vivosmart 3 and is a considerable option to upgrade. The stylish looking gray wristband with rose gold metal highlights seems to me to be the simplest to mix and match with a variety of outfits, whether or not I’m in my active-wear.
Second-best: Fitbit Charge 3
Fitbit Charge 3 is actually the market’s most sophisticated activity tracker, and it does live up to the expectations. If you’re not a big fan of bulky dial watches then this sleek fitness tracker can be worn with no discomfort all day long, promising good battery life, waterproof (for swimming) and, of course, does good and accurate activity tracking, pretty much the reasons we decided to include this model in our best cheap fitness tracker reviews. You’ll love it. In consumer reports test, it resulted the best.
On the wrist, it looks sleek and nice. The belts are great, wide and long-lasting. If you’ve previously used Fitbit HR, and now switched to Charge 3, then there are a lot of new things you’ll see in Charge 3, which HR did not have.
Firstly it’s waterproof and measures your swimming activity.It has a relaxing feature that’s another favorite, just switch it on for 2 minutes and breathe while the app guides you. The other features of step counting, calculating sleep, heart rate, etc. are accurate. Charging is great and lasts more than 5 days for those who want a gadget that doesn’t need frequent charging on a go. Overall, it is a very good purchase to track your daily activities. See below features;
Swim proof: It is water-resistant to 50m so you can track swims; wear in the shower and more.
Compatible with the phone: Stay connected with daily applications to your day and get updates on your wrist for call, text and smartphone apps.
Get active with All-Day Tracking: Keep track of everyday steps, distance, burned calories, and active minutes. See your stats summaries in the Fitbit app and see how exercises can affect your heart rate of rest.
Exercise more with Guided Coaching: Workout with your phone, tablet or computer anywhere with Fitbit Coach. Get specially tailored step-by-step exercises and begin progressing in your fitness.
Sleep Better with Personalized Insights: Record the time spent in light, deep and REM sleep stages automatically and get tips for sleeping better.
Stay inspired with Friends and Challenges: Stay motivated by competing in Fitbit competitions with friends and family. Have virtual experiences with Fitbit Adventures’ and achieve your goals of fitness.
Heart-track tracking: Good calorie-burnt results; recognize resting heart rate and more with 24/7 heart rate tracking. See when you’re in the zones of Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak to get the most out of every workout.
- Super comfortable to wear for extended use.
- Accurate tracking of more than 15+ activities.
- The touch is very smooth.
- New UI is very user-friendly.
- It looks thin and is Lightweight.
- 24/7 heart rate monitor
- Swim proof
- Battery last for 5 days.
- Sleep tracking (Best in the market)
- Compatible with many of my apps for notifications
- Some Bluetooth connection issues.
- Unpair and repair which leads to data loss.
- No rep count for weight training
- During swim fails to detect heart rate
The Bottom Line:
Get a broader understanding of your body, and health with Fitbit Charge 3. This water-resistant smart fitness and health tracker does more than counting steps to monitor heart rate 24/7, calorie-burning, includes 15 + workouts, sleep tracking, and more. In Fitbit Charge 3 you will find valuable insights about your health every day that will empower you to act, improve yourself, and achieve your goals.
Also consider: Xiaomi Smart Band 4
The capsule-shaped body of the Mi Smart Band 4 slips into a silicone belt. It has a 0.95-inch AMOLED screen that looks brilliant and is one of its segment’s most intuitive displays. It has good levels of brightness that make it easy and convenient to read content in bright outdoors also. It comes with a robust 5ATM waterproof built; you can now swim with your band. This senses the swimming style automatically and records 12 detailed data points for tracking.
The band has adjustable bands, and its lightweight construction makes wearing and carrying it simple throughout the day. The style, however, appears old-fashioned. You need to pull the band out and push it into the charger dock to charge the band. The capsule does not match well with the adapter and it starts to pop out, which can be very frustrating.
The only saving grace is that because of its incredible 20-day battery life, you won’t have to charge it too often anyway.
The Mi app is one thing that should not be ignored. The app is smooth. The displayed data is simple and intuitive and easy to use. You can also allow incoming call notifications; set device alerts from the phone-installed apps, activate idle warnings, locate the band from the phone itself, and configure all of the band’s basic functions within the Mi Fit application.
Sadly, you can’t answer alerts, but you can still see them on your phone.The Mi band 4 is known for its good battery life and ease of wearing.
Mi band 4 is low in cost, but not in features.
Battery Life: Mi Band 4 has 135mAh battery capacity installed, which last up to 20 days of continuous using.
Health Monitoring: Help heart monitoring, give heart rate warnings, sleep tracking, idle notifications; track your health data to keep your body healthy.
Activity Tracking: Comes with 6 modes of workout: treadmill, bike, outdoor running, biking, walking, swimming step counting, distance, calories burned in exercises.
5ATM Water Resistant: Water-resistant rate up to 50 meters, free to wear Mi Band 4 while swimming and bath.
Display: 0. 95-inch Colorful AMOLED display with a resolution of 120 x 240 pixels, the brightness of screen up to 450 nits.
- Color screen
- Music controller included (no 3rd party app needed as with the Mi Band 3)
- Timer, DND, Silent features
- You can change the watch face with numerous selections.
- You can customize your screen face (haven’t dove into that completely)
- Battery life up to 20 days depending on usage
- You cannot get texts with images embedded. We don’t know if this is a glitch, but we are disappointed that the text itself did not convey over to the band without the image.
- No Built-in GPS.
- Cannot Auto Detect Heart Rate Anomalies.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re searching for a versatile fitness tracker without burning a hole in your pocket, it’s the one you should get. If you have a Mi Band 3 already, no one will stop you from upgrading to the new version. The Mi Smart Band 4 is very powerful that offers a really good display, outstanding battery life and the ability to effectively track different exercises. The only problem, we guess, is that wonky charger and the fact that messages (notably WhatsApp) can sometimes become frustrating.
Budget pick: Fitbit Inspire HR
If you’ve never owned a fitness tracker before, Fitbit’s Inspire HR is a solid entry-level band. The price is right (less than $50), and Fitbit nails the basics — sleep tracking, distance, and heart-rate monitoring — in a slim, lightweight fit-band. It’s one of the best fitness trackers you can buy for the money.
Fitbit Inspire HR has a lot to offer from its lightweight and compact layout to a strong battery backup that for many fitness trackers is still a big challenge.
However, the journey of Fitbit Inspire HR is not that easy as there are plenty of common cheaper options available such as Mi Band 3 and Honor Band 4, retailing at fewer prices. We have been using a Fitbit Inspire HR for days now and we came to a solid opinion if this band is worthy to buy.
Tracks Every Bit of you: Every part of your day matters—it tracks steps, distance covered, active minutes and calories burned.
Up to 5 Days of Battery: With up to 5 days of a battery, Inspire HR keeps the inspiration coming day and night.
15+ Goal-Based Exercise Modes: Conveniently choose exercises like Bike, Run & Yoga, and track your workouts to goals like calories burned, time & distance.
Swim-proof: You can wear Inspire HR in the shower, pool and beyond. It automatically tracks how long you’ve been swimming.
On-Screen Notifications: Stay connected to your world by call, social media, and text alert to keep you in touch with your schedule and your loved ones.
24/7 Heart Rate Monitoring: Make the most of your exercise sessions with heart rate zones, see your time in sleep stages and better track calorie burn.
Effortlessly Compatible: Automatically syncs to android, iOS & Windows 10 devices so you can see your progress in the App.
Real-Time Place and Distance: Attach Inspire HR to your phone’s GPS to see real-time pace and distance on your screen during walks, jogs, and bike rides.
- Minimalistic design with no complication.
- The best part is it has a button to start, pause or stop measuring exercise sessions.
- Fitbit Inspire HR has seamless app integration. It doesn’t take more than a minute to fully set up and sync with your phone.
- It comes with automatic exercise recognition, which means workouts like walks, runs, swims, and bicycle rides automatically recorded.
- The main dashboard on the band shows all-day activity tracking and sleep tracking alongside reminders to move, calorie burn tracking and goal celebrations.
- Silicone straps are replaceable, which means users can swipe them depending on color options.
- Built-in GPS missing on the Inspire HR.
- Steps counter not very accurate.
- The display isn’t the best.
- Battery life isn’t as great as promised.
- One could only see one metric on the screen, unlike Fitbit Charge 3.
- You can only read messages in alerts to first few characters limit
- You cannot respond to calls using your band, which means the only option left is cutting calls.
The Bottom Line
For less than $50 Fitbit Inspire HR provides, a heart rate monitor along with several other fitness tracking features. It’s not as versatile as the Fitbit Charge 3 because it lacks swim monitoring and doesn’t have Fitbit Pay, but it’s logical as it’s much cheaper. The design is slimmer than many other trackers that are available, so if you’re planning to buy a fitness tracker, consider the Inspire HR as your next fitness band.
Best fitness tracker under $50: Honor Band 5
We might like the design and fit of Xiaomi Mi Band 4 but the Honor Band 5 is the best option for those who want the budget fitness tracker.
And interestingly, it’s low cost, you get many features which make it no less than an absolute amazing fitness tracker. It has a crisp 0.95-inch AMOLED color display with 240 x120 pixel resolutions, and the SpO2 sensor, that isn’t common in more expensive trackers.For more basic monitoring, there’s a heart rate sensor, automatic sleep tracking support and the ability to track a range of different exercises. This includes swimming with waterproofing up to 50 meters.
Perhaps the best fitness tracker under $50, has a two-week battery life, letting your tracker remain connected to your wrist for an extremely long time between charges (and also your iOS or Android device, as both are compatible)
Does Honor Band 5 provide us with an experience of fitness tracking that can compete in the market?
We would say yes, but not if the scene you’ve been in weight lifting sport. We would say that you can buy the honor band 5 over some of its more costly equivalents if running/walking is our preferred method of exercise.
Display: What we have got is a vibrant, slightly curved 0.95″ 2.5D screen, one that’s easy to read in direct sunlight and undoubtedly the punchiest display I’ve ever seen on a tracker.
Performance: Everything feels responsive here, whether it’s scrolling through menus or waking the screen from its inactivity, any delay between the input and the Honor Band 5 reacting is mostly negligible. Receiving immediate notifications on the wearable is easy enough.
Scientific Sleep Monitoring: TruSleep allows sleep status recognition, collection and analyzing data.
SpO2 Monitor for Everyone: HONOR Band 5’s SpO2 Monitor tracks oxygen saturation levels in the bloodstream so you can assess how your body is adapting during workouts or at high altitudes.
Smart Music & Volume Controls:Do not delay your workout for anything. Switch the album song; easily adjust the volume of a song by your HONOR Band 5
Heart Rate Monitoring: TruSeen allows 24-hour accurate real-time heart rate monitoring and warnings.
14 Days of Standby Time on a Single Charge: It has a power-efficient, high-performing battery bolstered by system-level optimization. Even if you turned on heart rate tracking and sleep tracking features, you could expect up to 6 days of lasting battery.
Special Features: Remote Control Camera (existing only on Huawei / Honor EMUI 8.1 devices).
The Bottom Line:
Honor has made a product that demands little money and is confident that its rivals are fighting by cutting the price of their new fitness tracker. Honor Band 5 is almost too easy to suggest at less than half the price of the Fitbit. You will always find you in a portable band; the Honor Band 5 is a good recommendation for someone on a budget.
Best fitness tracker under $50
Honor Band 5 is the best option for those who want the budget fitness tracker. It's cheap and you get many features which make it no less than an absolute amazing fitness tracker.
How to select the best fitness tracker?
How we picked and tested
How to select the best fitness tracker?
Fitness trackers have a great significance to track one’s health and there is no easy way to do it. Just wear the tracker during your exercises, and you have access to all vital health stats like calories burned or heart rate.
We recommend that each tracker or smartwatch which you buy must have the sensor and features you need to start with the main activity or exercises that you want to monitor.
For a casual runner or novice, you’re likely to need a built-in GPS. For swimmers, the water-resistant device is a need. For gym-goer, you need a tracker that constantly monitors your exercises and recognizes your exercise type.
After all the basic requirements are fulfilled, you could also opt for the tracker which has some advanced sensors that monitor metrics such as VO2 max and blood oxygen levels. This is important to middle age-runners who compete and want to improve PBs and recovery times.
Its best, if you could get benefit from a tracker that uses additional features like these as you spend more time on it. Your next priority should be how imperative Real-time feedback is for you and how big the screen you want.
If you want to have a big screen, you have to pay more for a watch, but if you are more likely to find something on the budget you need to be satisfied with a small monochrome screen (or no screen at all). This also affects battery life with minimal daily use, varying from a day to a week.
How we picked and tested
We made a list of all the fitness trackers that we could find on Amazon and in the company outlets.
To come up with our best pick— we tested each gadget to its fullest and observed its plus and minus. Out of the 15 trackers on our list, I omitted those I knew would not do well in our tests from previous versions of this guide.
After much research and reading reviews from major tech sites, I was left with 3 trackersin my list which was mostly from Fitbit and honor. Also, not everyone wants to wear a bracelet–but a nice sleek fitness tracker. So I also called for some new great choices.
I set each tracker to testing and find out the answers to these questions:
How simple is it to use and wear it? Since these are gadgets you have to wear all day, I prioritize the comfort, wearability, and usability of the device as well as its support with the company app.
Does the device wear comfortably all day and sleep all night? Is it easy to navigate app menus? Could it differentiate the types of workouts been done and display the statistics which you want to see (step counts, burned calories, distances)?
Would the user like to use its application? Is the battery work as long as it is guaranteed?
Is it waterproof, or must you take it off before you shower or swim? How well does it track activities?
To calculate how accurately the trackers have tracked all day long, I have been wearing the devices in pairs for two days straight, one on each wrist (switching wrists on day two), and have compared their step counting readings with the results of an Omron pedometer which I feel is accurate.
We’ve also checked how well the phones remember the behaviors and how the applications display the results logged. With each tracker, we took at least one walk and a 15-minute bike ride or longer, as most apps require at least 10 minutes to start the recording. We observed everything we did every day and compared the tracker’s reports against this written log.
We also wore the tracker to sleep and compared the results with our actual time to go to bed and waking up (for the length of sleep).
Since most of the instruments we checked were fitted with built-in heart rate monitors, we found the resting heart rates they recorded to see if those figures jibed with what we know is true.
How well are the workouts recorded? For all of the devices, we tested how well they estimated distance traveled by walking a mile on a treadmill; the devices all use algorithms to estimate step length, which they multiply by the steps counted. (We also compared their step counts for that mile’s walk against those of our trusty pedometer.)
We have conducted two different experiments on the treadmill for any device that tracks effective heart rate during a training session: a five-minute steady-state running and a two-minute hike run at each speed of six minutes. We compared heart-rate readings with an older Garmin model with a chest strap at 30-second intervals, and for 2 minutes of recovery.
During all of the treadmill tests, we noted how easy (or difficult) it was to read the data display mid-workout.