By now, you have heard of fitness trackers. They are everywhere. In the industry, they’re known as “wearables”, or a technology that now you can wear.
But what is the best fitness tracker around now? And do fitness trackers actually help to improve your fitness levels?
We've researched the top fitness monitors around.
They are cooler than Google Glass, more practical than an Oculus Rift VR headset, and way more advanced than those old pedometers you used to strap to your belt. And forget the expensive price tags on other wearables, you can easily get the best activity tracker under 100 pounds.
Fitness trackers can do so much more than simply track your steps. You can use them to accurately determine your fitness levels, accumulate data on your workouts, and improve your abilities as you actively move around.
But which fitness tracker do you choose? How can you determine which feature suits you best? Are they even cool?
We’ve created this handy guide to figure out which of the multiple options on the market are worth noticing. Everyone is trying to get your attention, but which fitness tracker should you pay attention to.
We’re going to lay out some of the features and benefits of using fitness trackers, talk about how you can incorporate them into your life to improve your health at work or at home and which is the best cheap fitness tracker for you.
We’re not going to specifically point out the number one fitness tracker for everybody.
Instead, we want to educate you as much as possible about buying the best and discarding the information you don’t need.
Best Fitness Trackers
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
Garmin Vivosmart 3
Fitbit Charge 2
TomTom Spark 3
The Benefits of Wearing a Fitness Tracker
You may not even be a “watch person”, and now you’re considering buying a fitness tracker that sits on your wrist?
Why would you ever choose to do that?
These activity trackers can tremendously boost your athletic ability, your overall health and your understanding of your own body.
The number one reason they work so well is that they cause you to be reminded of your health. By wearing a fitness tracker, you’re constantly reminded of how many steps you’ve taken throughout the day, your heart rate, your active minutes, and much more.
That simple reminder is enough to get people motivated to move more, increasing their blood flow, improving their posture, and getting a whole world of benefits to their heart, lungs, and muscle strength.
Studies have shown that when given a fitness tracker, for women who weren’t naturally inclined to exercise, they improved their routine activity per week compared to a group simply asked to improve without wearing a fitness tracker.
Fitness trackers also monitor your health in ways that you haven’t considered important:
- Sleep Tracking. Some activity trackers, if you wear them during the night, can track how well you sleep. That is important because getting enough sleep improves brain function and general health much more than we realise.
- Minutes of Activity. Improving your daily activity, even by 15 minutes, is enough to severely limit your risk of heart disease and obesity, two of the biggest killers in our society. If you’re wearing a fitness tracker for swimming, running, or rowing, you need an accurate idea of your active minutes to see how efficient your workouts actually are.
- Heart Rate. You can track your heart rate during the day, keeping an eye on your base rate, and watching how much time you spend in “high activity” modes and burning fat.
- Competition. With some models, you can sync up your fitness tracker with theirs, competing with each other over a period of time for steps taken, which is a way to motivate yourself to move more and encourage accountability among friends.That, in itself, is one of the biggest indicators that you will succeed in your journey to improve your health if you have someone who keeps you accountable.
We’re excited about some of the options now available. They’ve come a long way from a simple pedometer that was first available years ago, and they can easily adapt to your normal life.
Fitbit Versa Fitness Tracker
The Fitbit Versa is a versatile fitness tracker and perfectly bridges the gap between fitness trackers and smart watches, without being classed a fully fledged smart watch.
It's our top choice for it'd build quality, long battery life and for how it tracks your fitness goals and progress.
Fitbit are one of the biggest names in fitness trackers and wearables, if not the biggest. It was Fitbit that really brought fitness trackers to the attention of the public with many other companies following after, so they're a great place to start our list.
The Fitbit Versa is a great fitness tracker, in fact it's our top choice making it to the top of our list of the best fitness trackers.
Not only is the Versa one of the best fitness trackers you can buy, it's also one of the most comfortable designed for wear all day every day.
Its lightweight and slim design allow for the Versa to be worn with no irritation - you probably not even realise you have it on.
This doesn't sound like a big deal, a comfortable wrist strap, but believe us when we say you'll know when you're wearing one that isn't lightweight or nice to wear.
Including a 4 day battery life the ability to store and play over 300 songs and an on-screen coach that you can tailer to your workouts, the Fitbit Versa is a great all rounder and our top pick of the best fitness trackers.
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
This is our top choice for Android users.
Samsung is synonymous with Android, so there's no better place to look for an Android friendly fitness tracker.
With Spotify compatibility, this is everything you need for a solid session in the gym.
This fitness tracker comes ready to connect to your life. Although made by Samsung, you can connect to any smartphone, iOS or Android. Start to accurately monitor your stats with an improved format and easy-to-read output.
The curved screen fits naturally over your wrist and gives you real-time updates on stats like steps, calories burned, heart rate, and flights of stairs walked. You can also get sleep quality updates and learn your habits so that you can improve on them for next time.
The Gear Fit2 is also ready to connect to your Spotify account, giving you 14 million songs that you can wear on your wrist. Alternatively, upload your music directly to the activity tracker so you’re never without your tunes.
The built-in GPS allows you to map your runs or your movements while you can leave your phone at home. The large display can be easily seen, even during the middle of your workout. We’d recommend this fitness tracker to those who want an in-depth look at their health, and excellent stats for the data nerds out there.
We love the MOOV NOW for its slim, lightweight design and epic 6 month battery life. 6 months!
MOOV have created the NOW to be a wearable coach, rather than a a wearing fitness tracker, giving you audio coaching as you work out.
Moov Now describes itself as a wearable coach rather than a wearable tracker. That’s because it gives you audio cues and encouragements for your workout. It’s a simple idea, taking your coach with you as you train, so it can talk you through the workout, from beginning to end.
That might just what you need to spur you on to do better training sessions. You’ll also get instant access to stats that instantly improve your performance.
This is the perfect fitness tracker for Crossfit or swimming. It’s durable, draws you into the workout, and gives you real-time audio training developed by professionals. It’s a serious tracker that understands your 3D movements. It educates and pushes you to do better with its unique motion-sensing trackers, developed for military and gaming use.
It’s waterproof, sweat-proof, and doesn’t need to charge after a few days. Included is a 6-month battery life that can be easily changed out after it’s done.
We’d highly recommend this fitness tracker if you’re serious about your sports and your training methods. It’s not for casual use but is meant to transform you into a more powerful performer in the sport of your choice.
For us, this is the best looking fitness tracker of the bunch, but the Fitbit Blaze does a lot more than look good.
As you'd expect from Fitbit, it's a great tracker that works well with a 4 day battery life and on-screen activity reminders.
The Fitbit Blaze is a slight variation on the Charge. It looks and feels like a normal watch while giving all the benefits of a great fitness tracker. The PurePulse allows it continuously monitor your heart rate, creating a base rate and a benchmark for your workouts.
The battery lasts up to 5 days and you get all the benefits of the Fitbit app, like activity minutes, sleep graphs, and even weight loss goals.
We like the Blaze as the best activity monitor for rowing or cardio exercises. The heart rate monitor is very accurate and gives an up-to-date account of your pulse, even during extremely strenuous movements.
The only downside? It isn't waterproof, so if you're looking for a fitness tracker for swimming, this isn't the one for you.
Garmin Vivosport 3
This is a great option if you're looking for a smaller, lightweight tracker and not something with a larger face.
This tracker is 50m water resistant, tracks your daily activity but also your stress levels too, letting you know if you need to take a break.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is not just a smart tracker; it’s a learning tracker. The Vivosmart actually learns your movements, your runs, your trails, and your normal rhythms. It uses that data to give you goals and set benchmarks for you to meet and beat every day.
By combining the data from sleep, distance, calories, flights, and steps, you can get an extended view of your own health habits, and improve on them for next time.
The Vivosmart HR+ has a large display screen which makes it easy to read during runs or rides. It’s always on so you never have to press a button in the middle of your workout to see how effective it is. We recommend this tracker because it’s highly regarded and well-reviewed online. And for what it does, we’re pretty happy with the price point as well.
Fitbit Charge 2
This is a more traditional looking fitness tracker from Fitbit, and once again they've delivered.
It does everything you'd expect from a fitness tracker and does it very well. There are no needless or quirky fixtures, it's just a good, solid all-rounder.
As we've mentioned, Fitbit were the first company to really elevate the idea of wearing fitness trackers, and they’ve done so because they have excellent, proven results with their products.
The Fitbit Charge 2 is one of their latest performance fitness trackers. At a glance, you can view stats like steps taken, flights of stairs, calories burned, distance walked, and much more. Wear it overnight to see your sleep patterns, tracking your restless stages and your REM activity. Wear it during a workout to time your heart rate, get accurate graphs of your activity time, and much more.
You can pair this with the Fitbit app to get even more stats and features. Connect with friends to compete in challenges and see and cheer their performances as well.
We love the little things in this fitness tracker, like the badges they give you for achieving certain lifetime milestones. Like 'the Italy badge', earned after you walk the equivalent of 736 miles or the length of Italy.
TomTom Spark 3
One of the leading names in GPS technology, TomTom have produced a great and robust fitness tracker.
With in-built GPS there's no need to connect your phone to check your route and route exploration technology will show you routes you've not tried before.
The name TomTom has become synonymous with GPS movements. Now you can use that same technology while you move around on foot. The built-in GPS system gives you access to the entire TomTom catalogue of maps, so you’re never without a clear path.
The fitness tracking portion of the monitor can give you multiple options for sports.You can cycle, run, swim, or take it to the gym. Connect it to the TomTom sports App to get even more accurate details about your movements. Detailed reports give you an up-to-date look at your health and your training schedules.
Gain insights and motivation through the maps that TomTom uses to map out your route. Learn your times and improve on them for next time through the advanced modes. And soon, you’ll even be able to access personalised workouts, tailored to meet your individual needs.
We’d recommend this tracker as the best way to keep track of your runs. It’s suited well to those who want to run competitively and seek to improve their times. It’s ideal for cyclists as well who could really use the maps to stay on course, no matter how long you’re out on the bike.
Fitbit have produced a stunning fitness tracker once again with the well designed Fitbit Surge.
Featuring 8 sensors for more accurate movement tracking and activity recognition, the Surge will closely tracked your exercise, fitness and tell you how to improve.
The Surge is yet another variation put out by Fitbit. But they call this the “superwatch”. It performs more, tracks more, monitors more, and outputs more data than most of the trackers on the market.That comes from the 8 different sensors built-in to the watch to keep track of your movements during the day.
Not only can you track all the normal stats, but you can connect with your phone to get texts, calls, and keep on top of your music. The Surge tracks multiple sports, making it great for running, Crossfit, cycling, and gym training. Track your movements and calories while you work-out to optimise your active time.
Fitness trackers are only set to get better. They will play a big part in your life to get you in shape, back in shape, or start you on your journey to good health.
You simply have to strap one on to notice how much more you care about your own physical wellbeing.
It’s time to track your daily life and get better at living it.