Fitness trackers are devices that allow you to track a variety of variables relevant to fitness, like the number of steps you’ve taken or the number of calories you’ve burned. These devices allow you to accurately track your fitness in a way you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
We reviewed some of the most popular fitness trackers around to help you choose the best of the best.
1. LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR
This inexpensive track does everything you need and nothing you don’t. It keeps up with variables like your heart rate, pace, distance, steps, number of calories burned, and your sleep.
Plus, it can also receive calls and displays your notifications. For these reasons, it is our #1 pick.
2. Fitbit Versa 2
If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that can do anything and everything, this is the one to get. It is more expensive than the others on our list, but it does practically everything a smartphone does – while remaining snuggly on your list.
It also keeps up with your usual fitness variables, like your steps, distance, calories burned, and hourly activity rate.
3. Fitbit Charge 3
This Fitbit tracker is similar to the previous one we reviewed, but it is available at a less expensive price. It has a 24/7 heart rate monitor and keeps up with a variety of fitness variables, like your exercise and sleep stages.
It can connect to your smartphone and sync with many of your apps.
4. Xiaomi Mi Band 4
With six workout modes, this tracker can keep a tab on most common fitness activities, including the treadmill, walking, swimming, and running. It is also water-resistant up to 50 meters, making it the perfect pool companion.
Furthermore, it is far cheaper than most other fitness tracker options.
5. Garmin Vivosmart 4
This tracker comes with a pulse monitor, stress tracker, a relaxation breathing timer, and more.
It can also tell when you’re in REM sleep and gauge your blood oxygen saturation levels. It is water-resistant so that you can wear it in the shower or pool.
6. Lintelek Fitness Tracker Heart Rate
This inexpensive tracker features 14 sport modes and can sync with your phone to receive notifications and calls.
The battery is long-lasting and waterproof, so you can shower with it or use it in the pool. Of course, it also comes with a heart rate monitor and sleep monitor.
7. YAMAY Fitness Tracker
This YAMAY fitness tracker supports seven sports modes and can keep track of other exercise patterns as well. It is compatible with many different smartphones and can sync to receive your notifications and texts.
Plus, it can also track your sleep quality and has a stationary warning.
8. L8star Fitness Tracker
Featuring most of the tracking software that other trackers come with, this fitness tracker is quite inexpensive compared to the expensive name-brand models.
It can track your heart rate, steps, distance, sleep quality, alarm clock, and call reminder. It is also water-resistant, so it can be used in the rain and swimming pool.
9. Lekoo Fitness Tracker
With a 12-month warranty, this is a suitable tracker for most customers. It has a comfortable, ergonomic design and is waterproof.
It can record all your day-to-day activities, like sleeping, walking, and connect with the GPS on your smartphone for route tracking.
10. Willfull Fitness Tracker 2020
This fitness watch features 14 exercise modes, including unusual ones like tennis and mountaineering.
It can work with your smartphone and is waterproof to an extent. It has a 7-10 day battery life as well.
How We Ranked
When ranking each fitness tracker, we first took into account how accurate it was at tracking things lie steps and distance. While other features were outstanding as well, a fitness tracker is worthless unless it is correct. No one wants to use a fitness watch that incorrectly measures their steps or the distance they’ve run.
We did this mostly by checking the customer reviews, which gave us a good view of how accurate the systems were. This led to us throwing out many of the more popular trackers, which turned out to not be very precise at all. Many of these that ranked towards the top of our review list is incredibly accurate, like the LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR. Some of those further down the list had some minor problems with accuracy, though not bad enough to warrant them being removed.
Next, we considered what the trackers could keep up with. Most trackers can record things like your heart rate and sleep. However, some came with built-in systems for tracking things like yoga and mountaineering. If you do one of these less-popular fitness activities, it is essential to get a tracker that can keep up with them. Most trackers can keep up with things like running and distance, though, again, the accuracy varied.
Some trackers can also keep up with things that aren’t directly related to fitness, but that might be helpful, like your blood oxygen saturation level. The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is an example of this. While these features were useful, they aren’t necessary by any means. We considered them a nice add-on but didn’t knock down trackers if they didn’t have them.
We also considered how many practical, phone-like features a tracker had. Many trackers can receive texts and calls, though this isn’t always the case. Some trackers can also sync with your phone’s GPS, which helps find your way on trails and track the distance you’ve walked. Individual trackers can only do basic things, like calls and texts, while others can do practically everything your phone does, like the Fitbit Versa 2.
Finally, we also took into account each system’s price. Some trackers cost hundreds of dollars, while others cost around $20. As the cost rises, so does the number of features. Most more expensive watches are designed to replace your phone, which can be helpful in certain situations. For basic fitness tracking, though, most users can get away with a less expensive watch.
With that said, if you’re going to invest in a good tracker, be sure to spend your money on an accurate one. The Fitbit Versa 2 is a reliable option that can sync with a variety of apps on your smartphone if you’re looking for a tracker that can do practically everything.
Fitness trackers can help you reach your minimum exercise goals for the day. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or are just trying to stay healthy, you likely have a specific exercise goal you’d like to reach for the day. Of course, it can be challenging to keep up with just how much you’re moving every day, especially if you’re trying to fit as much movement as you can into your daily life.
Standing up to do those squats during a commercial break or taking the stairs instead of the elevator are all difficult to track. A good fitness tracker will be able to keep track of all these fitness goals, as well as the number of steps you take every day.
Studies show that everyone should have at least 15-minutes a day of moderate exercise, adding up to at least 90 minutes a week. Of course, exercising more can also be of benefit (1). Those who used this month had a 14% lower chance for all mortality causes and a 3-year more extended life expectancy. Furthermore, every additional 15-minutes of exercise led to an overall mortality decrease of 4% and a cancer rate of 1% lower.
Keeping track of these things is complicated, though, which is why a fitness tracker can be so helpful.
Fitness trackers can improve your learning and memory. Getting a certain amount of exercise can improve your ability to remember and learn. Studies show that memory and learning are best after at least one week of exercising (2). Your memory is the best right after you exercise. Of course, in your day-to-day life, you may find it challenging to keep up with how much exercise you’ve had right before you sit down to learn.
If you’re looking to maximize each study period, you need to be able to identify how much movement you’ve done in the last hour or so. Our memory for things like this can be faltering; we often think we’ve done more movement than we have. Luckily, with a fitness tracker, we can keep up with this quite easily. Just one glance at your wrist can let you know how much you’ve moved lately.
Fitness trackers can prevent coronary artery disease. Research has shown time and time again that regular aerobic activity increases your exercise capacity, and therefore reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease (2). If you’re at risk for cardiovascular disease or even just at normal-risk, starting a regular exercise regiment can be quite helpful. While it seems that those who are entirely sedentary benefit most from becoming active, the benefits do seem to stack. In other words, the more active you are, the lower your chance of getting cardiovascular disease.
Of course, our bodies can’t tell the difference between a strict exercise regiment and leisure time activities that happen to get our heart rate up. Because of this, if you are trying to become active mostly to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, you can likely get away with taking up a hobby that requires physical activity. These leisure activities can be more challenging to measure than more controlled ones. However, a fitness tracker can keep up with how much you’re moving, no matter what you’re doing. Plus, you can set your daily goals to align with your doctor’s recommendation, ensuring that you get the appropriate amount of exercise every day.
Fitness trackers can lower blood pressure. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements in certain hypertension groups (3, 4). If this describes you, you will likely benefit from a regular exercise routine, which can be facilitated by a fitness tracker. You’ll be more likely to take the stairs or walk to work if the result shows up clearly on your wrist.
High blood pressure is, of course, linked with heart disease, which we have discussed a little bit earlier. However, it can also cause kidney problems and has been linked with some forms of dementia (5). Because of this, even if you don’t currently have high blood pressure, you will likely benefit from staying active enough to prevent it.
Fitness trackers can help lower your risk for obesity-related diseases – even before you lose weight. We all know that obesity can increase our chances of certain conditions. However, just by reaching a specific fitness goal every day, we can decrease our chances of certain disorders caused by obesity, even before we begin to lose weight.
Studies have found that exercise changes the metabolism of lipids in our bloodstream very quickly. Not having the correct amount of these lipids in your blood can cause difficulties. Regular exercise, even if you remain overweight, enhances the benefits of low-fat diets on these lipid levels, decreasing your risk for specific health problems. Plus, an increase in these lipid levels also means you’re losing weight – which is probably what many of us what anyway (6).
Fitness trackers can help with diabetes and pre-diabetes. If you have any problem with your insulin resistance, reaching an absolute activity minimum each day may help. Exercise has been shown to have a significant effect on insulin sensitivity, which can be most helpful for those who are already on the cusp of diabetes or who already have type-2 diabetes (7).
Alongside a proper diet, using a fitness tracker to ensure you’re getting the appropriate amount of movement each day can go a long way to managing diabetes or preventing it from occurring.
Fitness trackers can help you share data with your healthcare team. No matter who you are or what disease you may have, data is critical to help your doctors figure out your treatment options. Usually, this data isn’t gained until you’re already at the doctor’s office. However, with a fitness tracker, you may be able to share information like heart rate data with your doctor, which can help them layout the best treatment options for you.
Of course, the exact fitness tracker you have in these cases matters. In many cases, not all tracker brands have been thoroughly validated, which means your doctor won’t be able to use them. They haven’t been thoroughly tested to be accurate. You also need a doctor that is open to using fitness trackers, which isn’t always the case. Fitbits are the most prevalent trackers used by health professionals, so we recommend one of them if you’re looking to invest in a fitness tracker for this reason (8).
Fitness trackers aren’t always accurate. Different fitness trackers are more accurate than others. While we took accuracy into account when ranking each tracker, it is essential to keep in mind that a tracker is only very rarely going to be accurate all the time. Just like every machine, trackers can make mistakes miscalculate steps and distance.
Third-party sources have completely validated only a few trackers. Because of this, only specific trackers can be used for situations that require extreme accuracy, like medical data gathering (8).
Many trackers require their systems to be calibrated before they are accurate. When you first get a tracker, you’ll probably have to perform several tasks to get it properly functioning. However, you will likely have to repeat these actions every-so-often. If your tracker starts showing inaccurate data, you should probably re-calibrate it.
Fitness trackers can cause contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that results from contact with some environmental cause. Because fitness trackers are attached to your wrist, they can cause this skin condition to occur. Typically, they cause this problem either because you are allergic to the material the strap is made out of or because the strap is not correctly fitted and rubs your arm.
Contact dermatitis is widespread among the general population, so it wouldn’t be rare for you to experience it due to your fitness tracker (9). Luckily, contact dermatitis is not very serious. While it can cause sick leave in severe cases, it is not life-threatening by any means. Usually, removing the fitness tracker is enough to make the rash go away, though you will need to contact your doctor if it persists. You may be able to adjust the strap on the watch to alleviate the problem as well.
Fitness trackers are expensive. Many good fitness trackers are costly and aren’t an investment to take lightly. While there are some cheaper options, which we reviewed in our reviews section, there are quite a few expensive options as well.
Furthermore, there are quite a few unknowns about a fitness watch that you won’t discover until after your purchase it. One big unknown is whether or not it will irritate your arm, which takes a period of extended wear for you to find out. If you purchase a tracker that then turns out to be unusable, you’ll be out of luck.
Fitness trackers must be charged. Fitness trackers run off of a battery, and therefore must be changed regularly. Many can run for days at a time between charges, though precisely how much you use them will make their battery life go up and down. While many of the devices in our life require charging, fitness trackers have their complications.
Typically, we charge our phones and other devices at night. However, if you want your tracker to keep up with your sleep, you’ll have to wear it at night. This means you’ll either have to give up a night of sleep tracking or figure out some other time to charge the device. Often, this means you’ll miss out on steps taken or some other feature.
To get the most out of your tracker, you’ll need to wear it as much as possible. Most trackers are made to be at least decently attractive, so this usually isn’t much of a problem. Wearing your tracker all the time will allow you to track your fitness level and metrics most accurately. If you wear it all day, you’ll end up with a decently accurate count of your steps at the end of the day.
If you can’t wear it all the time, you’ll need to at least wear it during your fitness activities. It isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t track your running or swim session with it. Preferably, you should also put it on before you head out for a walk or trip where you might be doing a lot of movement. Shopping trips are an easy way to hit those step minimums for the day.
As we previously discussed, you won’t be able to wear your watch 24/7, however. At some point, you will have to charge it. This means that you likely won’t be able to track every single step you take. However, wearing the watch as much as possible can still provide a decently accurate record of your fitness journey.
What is the best fitness tracker? Out of the trackers that we reviewed, our favorite was the LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR. This tracker can keep track of all the metrics you might need, including your steps and heart rate. With that said, it is also quite inexpensive, especially compared to the more expensive option like the Fitbit. If you’re just starting to dip your toe into the world of fitness trackers, this one is an excellent option to consider.
Are fitness trackers worth it? It depends on how much you’re going to be using it. If you plan on wearing your fitness tracker every day to help you reach specific fitness goals, it is an excellent investment. However, if you just want one because everyone else has one, you may want to reconsider your purchase. They’re only really great if you have specific goals you’re working towards. Otherwise, the number of steps you get at the end of the day will eventually be pointless.
Of course, you should also consider what else a fitness tracker can do before you purchase it. Even if you aren’t going to use the fitness portion of the tracker often, you may love being able to check your notifications with a glance at your wrist.
What is better than Fitbit? If you’re planning on using a fitness tracker solely for the fitness part, you may want to try out top pick: LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR. This tracker is much less expensive than a Fitbit but does an excellent job of providing accurate measurements on all sorts of metrics. It doesn’t have some of the added features the Fitbit does. But, if you aren’t planning on using any of those features anyway, you might as well save you money and choose a less expensive fitness tracker option.
Is Fitbit or Garmin better? If you’re going to go all out and select an expensive fitness tracker, you should purchase the Fitbit. Overall, this fitness tracker was better in almost every way compared to the Garmin. Garmin does have a broader range of devices, which might be helpful for those looking for a particular feature. However, the Fitbit is much better at counting steps and other everyday activities.
The Garmin might be helpful if you play sports all the time, as it seems to be better at these metrics. Otherwise, though, get the Fitbit.
What is a cheaper alternative to Fitbit? While the Fitbit seems to be the “default” fitness tracker, it can be quite expensive when compared to other options. If you aren’t interested in spending hundreds of dollars on a tracker at this moment, you should check out the LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR. This fitness tracker can keep up with your steps, distance, sleep, and other standard metrics. However, it is much cheaper than a Fitbit.
The only real difference is that the Fitbit is more focused on connecting with your phone’s apps. It takes over much of the purpose of your phone, while the LETSCOM isn’t designed to do this. Instead, it is solely focused on fitness tracking. With that said, it does sync with your phone to receive notifications.
What kind of fitness tracker do I need? If you’re just planning on tracking standard metrics like steps and distance, you can probably get away with a cheaper tracker. We reviewed quite a few inexpensive fitness trackers in our reviews section, so head up there for plenty of tracking-focused devices.
If you want your fitness tracker to sync with your phone and interact with a variety of fitness apps, you’re probably going to need to spend a bit more money. For those looking to replace their phone with their fitness tracker practically, the Fitbit is the one you want.
For those with health problems, you may want to ask your health professional which option they prefer. Some health professionals will use data taken from specific fitness trackers when coming up with your treatment plan. However, it often has to be from a particular fitness trackers. In this case, it is always better to discuss it with your doctor beforehand to see which tracker they prefer to use.
Which is better VivoFit or Fitbit? When we reviewed the fitness trackers currently on the market, the Fitbit made our top ten list, which the VivoFit did not. This isn’t necessarily because the VivFit is terrible. We just discovered that the Fitbit is a better option for most consumers, primarily if you’re mostly concerned about fitness tracking in particular.
Firstly, the VivoFit is usually more expensive when compared to most Fitbit models. This depends on exactly what model you’re looking at, of course. Sometimes, their prices can be pretty close. Most people do not have hundreds of dollars to spend on a fitness tracker, especially if you aren’t concerned about all the extra features. With that said, we also didn’t feel like the added cost was worth it. In the end, the VivoFit didn’t do much more than the Fitbit. It has a color display, but that’s really where the features differ.
Furthermore, the Fitbit is a tried-and-true brand. If you’re working with a doctor to tackle your health problems, they will likely be able to get useable information from a Fitbit, which has been validated by third-party sources and used in previous scientific trials.
The only reason we would recommend getting a VivoFit is if you swim. It is more waterproof than most of the other options, which is essential if you spend a lot of time in the water. In the end, it comes down to what you’re looking for and how much money you have to spend.
What is the best Fitbit for the money? We looked at many different Fitbit models when we wrote our reviews. While all of their models are quite good, we preferred the Fitbit Versa 2. This is one of their newer models and therefore comes with many new features. Despite being new, though, it doesn’t cost very much when compared to other models. It has an improved lightweight design, which is especially helpful if you have a small wrist. It has an always-on display option as well as a good battery life.
We generally recommend this fitness tracker to most users who are looking for a higher-end model. The only reason you might want to look elsewhere is if you use Apple Health or Google Fit quite a bit since this tracker can’t sync with them. Also, there is no offline Spotify playback, which might be a big problem for some customers.
Do fitness trackers need a phone? Yes, in most cases, fitness trackers will need a phone to work correctly. Without one, many of their features won’t be useable. Most trackers don’t have built-in GPS systems, which means they have to use the one on your phone. Without access to a GPS, they won’t be able to track your distance or even your speed in most cases.
With that said, there are a few models that don’t need a phone. However, these usually have limited capabilities and are quite bulky. They can also be expensive since they have to include more features instead of relying on a smartphone.
Should I buy a Fitbit or Apple Watch? A Fitbit’s primary purpose is to track your fitness goals and metrics. While it can do other things, this is mostly what it is designed to do. Because of that, it does not have as many features as an Apple Watch. The Fitbit has a longer battery life and can track your sleep, which the Apple Watch can’t do. It also has a broader selection of trackable workouts, since its purpose is to track your fitness.
With that said, the Apple Watch has an extensive app database and is an all-around better smartwatch. However, this is because it was designed to be a smartwatch, not a fitness tracker. It also has a built-in GPS sensor as well as several other features. However, it is not particularly good at tracking workouts and is outshone by the Fitbit in this category.
If you’re looking for something to track your workouts and don’t care about any of the other stuff, the Fitbit is your best option. If you want an all-around useful smartwatch and don’t plan on using it much for fitness, get an Apple Watch.
Fitness trackers are a great way to stay on top of your workout. They make it easy to track your steps, walking distance, and other everyday metrics. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and prizes – so be sure to select one that meets your needs.
For FitBug’s #1 recommended fitness tracker, click here.