The best fitness tracker used to be a heavily contested area. While some people might gravitate towards more expensive fitness wearables, you're best off getting a cheap fitness tracker if you only need a wearable to track – err – general fitness. Even the most basic fitness bands nowadays tend to include optical heart rate sensors, GPS and great companion apps, so they are well worth considering.
Fitness trackers represent an excellent value for money, making them more appealing than even the best running watches or best triathlon watches to people on a budget. For example, the Fitbit Charge 5 costs a quarter as much as an Apple Watch 6, yet it has built-in GPS, an optical heart rate sensor, and tracks steps, sleep and exercise, to mention a few key features.
Most people prefer Fitbits over other brands, and if you want to know what is the best Fitbit at the moment, you'd better read our comprehensive buying guide today. For the best deals on fitness wearables, check out our best Fitbit deals and Garmin watch deals roundups: prices are always up to date (and cheap).
Best fitness trackers to buy right now
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The Whoop 4.0 is an excellent fitness tracker, mainly for those who prefer to train hard and want to know when to slow down. It could also come in handy for people generally interested in how well their bodies recover from exercise daily. We enjoyed using the Whoop 4.0 band during the testing period – no wonder we awarded the band four stars in our review and awarded it the Best Fitness Tracker title at the T3 Awards 2022. The Whoop 4.0 can help you achieve the optimal balance between rest and workouts if you're into fitness and sports.
Read our full Whoop 4.0 review
The Fitbit Charge 5 is a decent update over the Charge 4, and it sports a pretty AMOLED screen and the updated Infinity Band, which is comfortable for exercising and sleeping. The overall user experience is also great; the Daily Readiness Score is a good addition, not to mention the ECG function, which makes the Fitbit Charge 5 one of the best fitness trackers to track health and fitness.
GPS and HR tracking could be more seamless, though; given the location of the GPS antenna, the Fitbit Charge 5 will either provide accurate heart rate readings or spot-on route tracking, but not both. At full price, the Charge 5 is as expensive as some of the best beginner running watches, such as the Garmin Forerunner 55 or the Coros Pace 2, but thankfully, you can already come across cheap Fitbit Charge 5 deals online.
Read our full Fitbit Charge 5 review
The Huawei Band 7 isn't a drastic re-imagination of its predecessor, the equally as capable Band 6, but it's worth your attention, especially if you're after a dainty fitness tracker with a pretty screen and long battery life. The minor refinements applied to this fitness tracker, including the decreased weight and thinner body, are welcome in terms of increased comfort and wearability, and the always-on display is a great add-on.
Existing Band 6 owners have no significant reason to rush out and upgrade to the Huawei Band 7 anytime soon, especially when the two bands are almost identical in appearance and features. However, don't let that observation detract you from the fact that the Huawei Band 7 is a fantastic fitness tracker sold at an incredibly affordable price – at least half the Fitbit Charge 5.
So, if you're in the market for a new fitness tracker that's accurate, attractive, functional, and jam-packed with useful features, the Huawei Band 7 deserves to be at the top of your wish list, if only for the beautiful AMOLED display and fantastic comfort factor.
Read our full Huawei Band 7 review
In our review, we noted that the AMOLED screen of this fitness tracker brings the widget view of the Garmin OS to life. Animations for hitting your step goals never looked so pretty!
Not all new features of the Venu 2 are mind-blowing or innovative, but they certainly are interesting enough for the average user. Better still, the extra features were added on top of the existing ones found in other Garmin wearables, of which there were plenty already; you really can't complain about getting more bang for your buck.
Speaking of price: the Garmin Venu 2 is not a particularly cheap tracker/smartwatch, although it's way more affordable than some other smartwatches that are less capable than the Venu 2. If you aren't keen on having a dedicated sports wearable wrapped around your wrist and appreciate a good-looking smartwatch with helpful health and fitness features, you'd be silly not to give the Garmin Venu 2 a try.
Read our full Garmin Venu 2 review
The Huawei Watch Fit 2 is a significant upgrade from the original Watch Fit and offers a lot more functionality, including various sports modes, Bluetooth calling, built-in GPS etc. It's also more expensive than its predecessor, which is not surprising if you consider how much more functional this wearable is.
The Watch Fit 2 is closer to the Apple Watch than the Fitbit Charge 5 both in terms of looks and functionality. It makes sense for Huawei to have Watch Fit 2 in its lineup as it also has a more accessibly priced fitness tracker line (the Band series), so having a wearable between the Band and Watch GT line feels natural.
The price is on point, and if you're after a competent fitness tracker/smartwatch, you'll like the Huawei Watch Fit 2. The larger size might make it less appealing to people with smaller wrists than – let's say – the Fitbit Luxe, but you get a lot of functionality in return.
Read our full Huawei Watch Fit 2 review
The Fitbit Versa 3 is a very enjoyable fitness smartwatch. It offers more functionality and looks better than most fitness trackers, but it's maybe not as smart and precise as the Apple Watch Series 5. That comparison might not be fair, though, as the Fitbit Versa 3 offers excellent functionality for much less than the Apple Watch 5.
In our review, we praised it for being a well-rounded tracker with built-in GPS, in-app workout intensity maps, and PurePulse 2.0 optical heart rate sensor. The Active Zone Minutes feature monitors your fitness activities, even when you're not actively logging workouts – how convenient! The heart rate sensor and built-in GPS could be more accurate, but they are more than adequate for everyday sports activities.
The Fitbit Versa 3 has a built-in speaker and microphone to take quick phone calls, send calls to voicemail and adjust call volume straight from the wrist. The Fitbit Versa 3 is a great buy, considering the asking price. Should you find one for a discounted price, we recommend getting one, even if you already have a Versa 2.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review
As noted in our review, this is a decent fitness smartwatch, especially considering the asking price. Some corners have been cut to keep costs down, but nothing spoils the experience. The "liquid crystal" display is a bit on the small side, but at least it's responsive and bright. The sensors are precise and use Garmin's proprietary algorithm that's proven to give accurate readings, especially during high-heart rate exercise sessions.
The interface of the Garmin Venu Sq will be familiar to people who used Garmin watches before, but even if you didn't, you can rest assured you won't get lost in obscure menus. The Venu Sq has many premium features, such as built-in GPS, blood oxygen/stress monitoring, and sleep tracking, regardless of the lower price. And measures it all with relative accuracy, too.
Read our full Garmin Venu Sq review
The Fitbit Inspire 2 was announced simultaneously as the Fitbit Sense and the Fitbit Versa 3 and got little attention, although it deserves more. This cheap fitness tracker not only has an optical heart rate sensor but also comes fully equipped with features such as the Fitbit Active Zone Minutes and SmartTrack, features we highlighted in our Fitbit Inspire 2 review.
Plus, included in the price is a 1-year Fitbit Premium membership, which would cost more than the fitness tracker itself. You can look at the Inspire 2 as a free fitness tracker when you subscribe to Fitbit Premium – a free fitness tracker with an OLED screen, that is.
The Fitbit Inspire 2 has excellent battery life, too: it can go for up to 10 days in between charges, and since it uses connected GPS, tracking activities outdoors won't drain the battery more either (you will need to carry the phone with you, though). And of course, the Inspire 2 makes full use of the excellent Fitbit App: in the app, you can set up goals, check sleep stats and more.
The Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 sits somewhere in the middle of the kids' fitness tracker market for price and features – and it does everything quite well. Although the screen is nice and colourful, it's also a bit dim and challenging to read when the light conditions are not optimal.
The watch packs in loads of features but lacks a touchscreen; and it’s nicely built and looks quite attractive, but it isn’t as sleek as the Fitbit or as impressive as Vodafone’s Neo, for example. In short, it lacks the wow factor and may be a little middle-of-the-road for gadget-fiends.
However, if you have a child who loves Marvel or Disney, or you hate charging gadgets, this watch will be a big hit and, like Iron Man, will blow the competition away, we concluded in our Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 review.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit2 isn't a lousy fitness tracker; it has a handsome-looking AMOLED screen, recognises five different exercises automatically, tracks sleep, and has long battery life.
What we don't understand is why it is essential to download and install three different apps and drivers to connect the Fit2 to the phone in the first place. Not to mention the annoying software update reminders, which will appear out of nowhere when one unlocks their phone. Like, whoever allowed the Samsung app to bug the users with these updates without permission?
Phone-related issues aside, the biggest problem of the Samsung Galaxy Fit2 is that there are cheaper and more capable fitness bands from established brands such as Huawei, to mention one. These bands offer more functions (e.g. built-in GPS) and better specs for less. The Fit2 is only recommended to people brand-loyal to Samsung and can't imagine wearing a non-Samsung fitness tracker.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Fit2 review
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How to buy the best fitness tracker for you
So, walking 10,000 steps per day is absolutely better than walking none, but it won't turn you into Sir Mo Farah. Tracking your sleep may give you some interesting insights, but it won't necessarily help you sleep any better. I've tried to address those shortcomings by picking out the bands that try to do more, rather than just literally being step counters.
Fitness trackers have issues around accurately calculating how many calories you've burned, how much distance you've covered and what your heart rate is, particularly during vigorous exercise.
Perhaps worst of all, most older fitness trackers made no effort to tell you how fit you are or offer any ways to get fitter. Brands are finally addressing this, largely through estimating your VO2 Max during regular workouts. This gives you a base score for how fit you are, which can be rewarding or terrifying, depending on where you sit on the scale.
How we test the best fitness trackers
The best and only proper way to test fitness trackers is to wear them continuously throughout the day. This includes wearing them for sleeping, showing, workouts and everything else you can think of – this is exactly what we do here at T3 when we're sent a fitness band for a review.
Modern fitness trackers can track heart rate, and some of them even have built-in GPS. If that's the case, we test the accuracy of these against other wearables we know to be accurate, often running watches or heart rate monitors.
Read more about how we test at T3.
Is Fitbit or Garmin better?
For those who're planning on tracking everyday fitness activities and don't want to spend a boatload of money, we would recommend getting a Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch. Most Fitbits are cheaper than Garmin's wearables and track fitness stats with admirable accuracy.
If you're getting ready for a race, whether it's a running or cycling competition, Garmin watches would be able to help you in training and recovery more efficiently than Fitbits. The Garmin ecosystem is geared towards athletes and is able to provide training insights/tips, something you won't be able to access when using a Fitbit fitness tracker.
What is the most accurate fitness tracker for steps?
Original fitness trackers were pedometers, so one would assume they measure steps accurately. That said, the best fitness trackers to measure steps accurately are the ones with built-in GPS and accelerometer, as they can track distance travelled moore efficiently. The Fitbit Charge and the Garmin Venu series are both excellent wearables to track steps.