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Best Fitness Trackers in 2020

 

Wearable activity tracking technology has blossomed in recent years. Not so long ago, a basic pedometer clipped to your waistband was the height of fitness tech. Today, we have mini-computers strapped to our wrists to guide us, track us, and keep us connected.

You can buy any number of reasonably priced gadgets, most or all of which will track your steps, monitor heart rate, calculate calories burned, and inspire you. More complex versions will even answer a phone call or send a text message.

Our favorite is the Fitbit Charge 4. But if you are just now venturing into the market for a fitness tracker (or looking to replace one you may already own), you may be bowled over by the sheer volume of high quality, reasonably priced possibilities. That’s where we come in.

We are here to provide you with recommendations and detailed reviews of the best fitness trackers in a number of different categories. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Fitbit Charge 4

 

  • Touchscreen
  • Extensive fitness and health tracking features
  • Swim proof
Check Price

 

LETSCOM Fitness Tracker

 

  • Inexpensive
  • Tracks steps, heart rate, sleep
  • Color display
Check Price

 

Garmin vivofit 4

 

  • 1+ year battery life
  • True 24/7 health and fitness tracking
  • Inexpensive
Check Price

Best Overall

1. Fitbit Charge 4

When it comes to fitness tracking, Fitbit is one of the industry’s leaders. They consistently produce reliable, accurate, reasonably priced fitness trackers in multiple styles, price points, and colors.

It should be no surprise, then, that of all the fitness trackers we tested, the best overall was the Fitbit Charge 4. It’s the company’s most recently updated model.

The Fitbit Charge 4’s touchscreen design consists of a backlit OLED screen that responds to any natural scrolling and swiping motions. The face of the tracker is customizable and able to be personalized. In terms of further customization, a number of different band colors and accessories are available.

The Charge 4 tracks the basics, such as steps taken and floors climbed. It also tracks distance and pace using a built in GPS, which allows you to obtain of map of the routes you have taken within the Fitbit app. The Charge 4 will also track the number of minutes you have been active, and many of the common forms of exercise you do will be automatically detected and recorded.

The tracker provides reminders to move throughout the day. In terms of your health, the Charge 4 calculates your cardio fitness score using your heart rate and other metrics. It also performs detailed sleep tracking to show you how much of each type of sleep you are getting. A sleep score shows you the overall quality of your sleep. It tracks calories burned as well as resting heart rate and female health tracking.

The Fitbit app which accompanies this tracker is a fantastic way to monitor all the above health and fitness measurements (and more). It will even allow you to track your water intake throughout the day. And the social component on the Fitbit app provides you with additional motivation, since you will be able to see how many steps your friends are taking and compete with them accordingly.

The Charge 4 also includes a number of features found on more advanced smart watches. This includes contactless payment and a number of apps on the tracker, such as a timer, a stopwatch, and a weather app.

You can control music directly through the touchscreen on your Charge 4. It will even allow you to look up your fitness stats directly on your tracker (instead of having to reach for your phone), and supply you with notifications from your smartphone.

In short, the Fitbit Charge 4 does a little bit of everything (in addition to being a superb fitness and health tracker). That’s why it is our pick for Best Overall Fitness Tracker.


PROS:

  • Touchscreen tracker with sleek, customizable appearance
  • Extensive fitness and health tracking features, including heart rate, sleep score, and real-time distance mapping
  • Swim proof
  • Includes a number of smart watch features as well, such as tap-to-pay, apps, and smart phone notifications built directly into the tracker

CONS:

  • Proprietary charging dongle that is expensive to replace

Check Price on Amazon

Best Color Display

2. Huawei Band 3 Pro

The Huawei Band 3 Pro, produced by a company known for its smartphones, gets our vote for the best color display on a fitness tracker.

The AMOLED touchscreen on the Band 3 Pro is sharp, crisp, and beautiful. It is also fairly easy on the eyes, with a clean, sleek fitness band design. The remarkably bright and colorful screen contributes to the tracker’s high-tech, sleek look.

In terms of tracking, the Band 3 Pro claims to provide holistic health tracking. This includes heart monitoring, sleep tracking, smart sports coaching, and built in GPS. It is also safe to wear when swimming, and can provide you with detailed data on your swim.

Although the display is lovely, the concept of the tracker is nice, and the cost is relatively low, the execution of these features on the Band 3 Pro leaves something to be desired. We found that other fitness trackers were more accurate when it came to tracking certain things (especially heart rate and fitness activity). But it performs okay for the price.

So if you want a tracker with a beautiful color display and a variety of features, but don’t want to break the bank (and aren’t overly concerned with accuracy), the Band 3 Pro may be the one for you.


PROS:

  • Beautiful color touchscreen AMOLED display
  • Holistic health tracking, including sleep, heart rate, and a number of fitness activities
  • Inexpensive

CONS:

  • Not the most accurate tracker of steps or heart rate

Check Price on Amazon

Most Accurate Heart Rate Tracker

3. Fitbit Inspire HR

Another winning entry from Fitbit, the Inspire HR gets all the basics just right. In fact, this fitness tracker wins the contest for the most accurate heart rate tracker of all the ones we tested.

The Fitbit Inspire has a backlit OLED touchscreen that responds to scrolling and swiping. The face of the tracker can be personalized. Different bands can be added separately.

The Inspire HR tracks the basics such as steps taken, distance, active minutes, stationary time, hourly activity, and calories burned. It also monitors the number of minutes you have been active, and many of the different forms of exercise you do will be automatically detected and duly recorded using the SmartTrack Automatic Exercise Recognition technology.

You can also choose manually from 20 or more exercise modes – including running, biking, swimming, and yoga – to set a goal for that exercise, and to receive real time statistics during that workout. It is also water-proof. Real time pace as well as distance can be determined by connecting your Fitbit to the GPS on your phone, through which a map of your route can then be obtained.

The tracker has reminders to get you to move throughout the day. It also calculates your cardio fitness score using heart rate and other metrics. Detailed sleep tracking shows your overall quality of your sleep. Calories burned and resting heart rate are documented as well.

The Inspire HR has a battery life of up to 5 days. You can also view text, call, and calendar notifications directly on the Inspire HR screen, and even receive push notifications from the apps on your smartphone. It provides you with on-wrist statistics and syncs wirelessly to your smartphone so you can take a detailed look at your progress on the Fitbit dashboard.

The Fitbit Inspire HR may not be quite as fancy as the Fitbit Charge 4, but the things that it does are done exceedingly well. It has the most accurate heart rate tracking of any of the fitness trackers we tested, and is accurate overall with everything else it tracks, such as sleep and exercise. If you don’t need the fancy smart watch-like features of the Charge 4, then the Inspire HR is a safe and reasonably priced bet.


PROS:

  • Most accurate heart rate tracking and monitoring
  • Touchscreen tracker with sleek, customizable appearance
  • Extensive fitness and health tracking features, including heart rate, sleep score, and real-time distance mapping
  • Swim proof
  • Reasonably affordable

CONS:

  • Proprietary charging dongle that is expensive to replace

Check Price on Amazon

Best Cheap Fitness Tracker

4. LETSCOM Fitness Tracker

If you are looking for a cheap, basic fitness tracker (that can pass as a more expensive one), look no further than the LETSCOM Color Screen Fitness Tracker. It will do basically everything you need it to do and which the more expensive fitness trackers will do (but at a fraction of the price).

The LETSCOM has a color screen and a waterproof design. It will track your steps, your heart rate, and your sleep. It will even provide you with reminders to move throughout the day if it detects that you are too sedentary, and will notify you of calls and messages you receive on your smartphone. An alarm clock is even included!

At first glance, the LETSCOM appears to do just about everything you could possibly expect from a fitness tracker (aside from fancier features like tap and pay). And it works. It is basic (and the smartphone companion app is basic as well), but it works.

For this price point, you can’t expect much, but the LETSCOM performs like a more expensive, name brand fitness tracker. It may not be the fanciest or the most accurate, but if you are just getting in to fitness tracking and want to get a general picture of your heath and fitness without spending much, the LETSCOM is the way to go.


PROS:

  • Extremely inexpensive
  • Color display
  • Tracks steps, heart rate, sleep
  • Smart notifications, alarm clock, and other features

CONS:

  • Basic app, basic website, basic tracker; nothing fancy

Check Price on Amazon

Longest Battery Life

5. Garmin vívofit 4

If you want a fitness tracker that you never have to take off (even in the pool or the shower), then the Garmin vívofit 4 may be your best option.

Why? Because of all the fitness trackers we tested, the Garmin vívofit 4 has the longest battery life by far. It has a stated battery life of 1+ year. Year! This means that you will never have to take the Garmin vívofit 4 off to charge it.

The Garmin vívofit 4 is truly a fitness tracker that you can wear 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that it will provide you with the most complete picture of your fitness possible. It is safe to wear in the shower or while swimming, so you don’t have to worry if it gets wet.

The color display is bright and easy to read, even in bright sunlight. You can customize the screen with different clock faces and styles. And different colored bands are available for purchase.

The vívofit 4 brings convenience to your wrist. You can see the weather, set alarms or a timer, and even find your phone using the tracker. The Move IQ technology automatically detects different forms of exercise and tracks them accordingly.

The tracker tracks steps, calories burned, distance, and sleep, as well as sedentary periods. This is to motivate you to get moving. The tracker will sync to the Garmin Connect app at certain times throughout the day so you can get a more detailed look at your progress.

The Garmin vívofit 4 provides even more motivation through wireless connection. You can connect your vívofit 4 to another Garmin tracker, such as your kid’s vívofitjr. 2, in order to initiate a timed step competition.

If you want a tracker that you will not have to take off for a long time, go with the Garmin vívofit 4.


PROS:

  • 1+ year battery life
  • True 24/7 health and fitness tracking
  • Inexpensive

CONS:

  • Battery must be replaced after a while

Check Price on Amazon

Best Garmin Fitness Tracker

6. Garmin vívosmart 4

If you want a fitness tracker from Garmin, go with the Garmin vívosmart 4. This is the best Garmin fitness tracker available (in the opinion of our editors) and fits seamlessly into the Garmin ecosystem.

This smart, slim model combines stylish metal accents with a fashionable design and a bright, easy-to-read display. It also includes advanced sleep monitoring that detects REM sleep, and can measure the levels of your blood oxygen saturation during the night using its wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor technology.

The tracker’s health and fitness monitoring features include heart rate monitoring, stress tracking all day, a VO2 max feature, a relaxation breathing timer, a Body Battery energy monitor, and much more. The tracker also features dedicated activity timers for runs, walks, strength training, pool swims, yoga, and other exercises. The tracker will connect to the GPS on your smartphone to provide accurate tracking during outdoor runs and walks.

The Garmin vívosmart 4 will send you vibration alerts for all of your notifications, such as text messages, calls, and more. Also, the tracker offers a battery life of 7 days and is safe for the pool or the shower.

The advanced features and design of the Garmin vívosmart 4 make it the best fitness tracker in the Garmin line. So if you are already plugged into the Garmin ecosystem, go ahead: take the plunge with the Garmin vívosmart 4.


PROS:

  • Combines stylish metal accents with a fashionable design and a bright display that is easy to read
  • Includes advanced sleep monitoring that detects REM sleep and can measure the levels of your blood oxygen saturation during the night using its wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor technology
  • Heart rate monitoring, stress tracking all day, a VO2 max feature, a relaxation breathing timer, a Body Battery energy monitor, etc.
  • Alerts and other smart features; motivation from the tracker and through the Garmin community

CONS:

  • Proprietary charging dongle

Check Price on Amazon

Top Budget Fitness Tracker

7. Mi Original Xiaomi Band 3

The LETSCOM may have gotten our vote for best cheap fitness tracker, but the Mi Original Xiaomi Band 3 wins for best budget fitness tracker. It is priced slightly higher than the LETSCOM (or occasionally at exactly the same price point if you are lucky) but it performs better than the LETSCOM. You may not be even able to tell the difference in terms of accuracy and performance between the Mi Original Xiaomi Band 3 and other name brand fitness trackers; that’s how well it performs.

The Band 3 displays the time, allows you to display or reject incoming calls, displays messages, shows goal reminders, shows you the weather, and has a vibrating alarm. In addition to those features, it of course counts your steps, counts your calories, and monitors your distance and your pace. These are just a few of the many well-executed features on this tracker.

The Band 3 performs like a champion but doesn’t come close to breaking the bank.


PROS:

  • Does just about everything a name brand fitness tracker would do
  • Does it well
  • Incredibly low priced

CONS:

  • Not too fancy looking
  • Not many options for customization

Check Price on Amazon

Top Smartwatch Fitness Tracker

8. Apple Watch Series 6

Chances are unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of the Apple Watch. Not only is it Apple’s flagship smartwatch (and thus the smartwatch for all other smartwatches to beat), but it is also quite a decent fitness tracker. The adjustments made to the Apple Watch Series 6 make it the best smartwatch fitness tracker on the market today.

The Apple Watch Series 6 comes with a built-in GPS, an always-on Retina display, an ECG app, a built-in compass, optical and electrical heart sensors, a 30% larger screen, fall detection, elevation detection, and an emergency SOS feature. It is also swim-proof. All the usual fitness metrics are tracked effortlessly. It just works.

If you want a smartwatch that is also a decent fitness tracker, get the Apple Watch Series 6.


PROS:

  • Built-in GPS, Retina display, an ECG app, a built-in compass, optical and electrical heart sensors, a 30% larger screen, fall detection, elevation detection, and an emergency SOS feature
  • Seamlessly integrates into Apple’s extensive ecosystem
  • Gorgeous, customizable display and watch appearance

CONS:

  • Very expensive

Check Price on Amazon

Best Waterproof Fitness Tracker

9. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

A lot of fitness trackers (and devices in general, really) claim to be waterproof. We know that just because your iPhone 11 claims to be waterproof doesn’t mean you feel comfortable enough to swim in the pool with it. But if you need a fitness tracker that you can be assured will last in underwater situations, go with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. It’s the best waterproof fitness tracker we have found.

This tracker is a fantastic option for all things water related. And of course, it tracks all the usual metrics, such as seven automatically detected exercises, sleep patterns, heart rate, and more. It is also thin and light, with a classic watch design.

So if you need a fitness tracker for swimming, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active.


PROS:

  • Real results tracking of your fitness activities
  • Best tracker for swimming and water activities
  • Durable, thin, and light
  • Military grade protection and swim-ready design
  • Classic watch shape
  • Inexpensive

CONS:

  • Heart rate monitoring not always as accurate as other trackers

Check Price on Amazon

Best for Kids

10. Garmin vívofit Jr 3

The best fitness tracker for kids is the Garmin vívofit Jr 3. So if you want to track your child’s activity or help get them in the habit of taking care of their health and fitness, try this offering from Garmin. Its quirky, kid-friendly design is sure to delight and inspire your little one.

With this tracker, parents can view and monitor their children’s activity, sleep, responsibilities, chores, and more. Parents can even send reminders and rewards for chores and the completion of those chores. You can start step challenges and stay active with your child. Best of all, the kid mode and parent controlled app provides a safe and kid friendly environment for your child to explore.


PROS:

  • Designed with kids and parents in mind
  • Decent fitness and health tracking
  • Companion app for children

CONS:

  • A little more expensive than some might expect a kid’s tracker to be

Check Price on Amazon

 

FAQ

Q: What are the benefits of a fitness tracker?

A: A fitness tracker can benefit you in numerous ways.

Due to the fact that a fitness tracker is meant to be worn pretty much all the time, it gives you a fairly realistic and accurate portrait of your level of activity throughout the day.

Fitness trackers keep track of a number of different measurements, such as the number of steps you take, your heart rate throughout the day, your periods of exercise, the number of flights of stairs you ascend, the number of calories burned, etc. Some fitness trackers will also keep track of your sleeping patterns to allow you to determine the optimal time for you to sleep and wake up.

One of the primary benefits of fitness trackers (besides the ability to keep track of all the above metrics and more) is that they encourage you to stay healthy. A fitness tracker will oftentimes shame you into moving more or taking more steps. It will provide you with a degree of motivation that you might not have had before.

Many fitness trackers also come with a social media component, a network of friends with whom you can compete. This adds another layer of motivation since it turns fitness into a friendly competition.

Fitness trackers and their related apps can also help you keep track of the food you eat, the water you drink, and other essential aspects of your health.

Q: What is the most accurate fitness tracker?

A: In our tests, we found the Fitbit Charge 4 to be the most accurate fitness tracker overall in terms of counting steps and measuring activity. When it comes to measuring heart rate specifically, we found the Fitbit Inspire HR to be the most accurate heart rate monitor.

Q: What is the difference between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch?

A: A fitness tracker is primarily designed to keep track of your overall fitness and activity level, and its features are built with fitness and health in mind.

A smartwatch may have the ability to track fitness level and activity levels as well, but the primary focus of a smartwatch is to act as a miniaturized computer on your wrist. For instance, a smartwatch will usually have the ability to answer phone calls, respond to text messages, check emails, and receive notifications. So in addition to telling the time and tracking your fitness, a smartwatch will serve as a tiny version of a smartphone or a computer on your wrist.

Q: Which fitness tracker has the longest battery life?

A: Of all the fitness trackers we tested, the Garmin vívofit 4 has the longest battery life by far. It has a stated battery life of one year, which we were not able to confirm. But we can confirm that the battery has certainly not died on us yet. This means that you will not have to charge the Garmin vívofit 4, and the battery is replaceable.

So if you are looking for a fitness tracker that you truly never have to take off (it is safe to swim and shower with), the Garmin vívofit 4 is probably the one for you.

The Wired Runner