Your buying guide to the best fitness trackers in 2019
Fitness trackers are the best way to continuously monitor your daily activity, be it casual or professional. The perfect smartphone companion, a tracker helps measure activity throughout the day be it steps, swims, boxing, running or weights and allow you to view all the data on your smartphone.
The downside? There are tons of them. Way too many! Brands like Fitbit dominate the conversation, and while they are good, there are lots of trackers out there that do things different and sometimes better.
There are many types of fitness tracker, and the features affect the design and the price – the two things you are no doubt looking at right now.
Think what you want from an activity band. If you just want to count steps and not charge it very often, then you can go for a subtle band with no screen.
But if you want to run a marathon you’ll have to spend a little more for features like a display, GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring. Whether or not a band is waterproof and if you can swim with it is another thing to consider.
Some of these bands can GPS track by tethering to a phone as long as you don’t mind taking your phone on a run with you. And remember to check out the corresponding app for each tracker. The Fitbit app is very different from Samsung Health for example, and this might affect your buying decision.
How much should you spend? That depends on your preferred budget and what you need it for. You might only need to spend £60, but if a £150 tracker is more appropriate you’ll have to bite the bullet. Spending more gets you features like a heart rate sensor and GPS, in some instances.
We’ve reviewed a whole host of fitness trackers, but here are the ten best that cover the needs of every kind of situation – so the band at number ten might actually be better for you than the one at number one.
- Reviewed on: 12 July 2019
The best all-round Fitbit
Fitbit has successfully redesigned its most popular product with the Charge 3. For first-time buyers, you won’t find a better-featured activity tracker on the market at such a fair price. It tracks Steps, Distance, Calories burned, Active Minutes, Floors Climbed, Heart Rate, and Sleep Stages, and can connect to your phone's GPS if you want to map your runs.
You also get a full set of on-screen notifications such as Caller ID, texts, Calendar, WhatsApp, and others. It even has its own Weather app.
Given that it comes two years after the Charge 2 we think it’s a warranted upgrade, particularly if you desire the longer battery life (7 days) and full waterproofing. It is a worthy upgrade to Fitbit's most popular-ever fitness tracker.
Read our Fitbit Charge 3 review.
- Reviewed on: 12 July 2019
The best Fitbit smartwatch for less
The Versa Lite is physically the same as the original Versa except for the lack of two buttons on the right edge. Inside, it loses a few features: Wi-Fi, altimeter, Fitbit Coach on-screen workouts and the ability to store music.
But wait! It's still excellent, and we didn't miss any of those features. It's cheaper, lasts for four or five days on a single charge, looks great and has tons of compatible straps and accessories.
The newer Versa 2 has a better screen, plus altimeter, on-screen workouts and music, but costs £50/$40 more.
Read our Fitbit Versa Lite Edition review.
3. Fitbit Versa
- Reviewed on: 12 July 2019
While it lacks the built-in GPS of the Ionic, the Fitbit Versa is otherwise identical in features, and is smaller and lighter on the wrist. And, of course, it can still connect with the GPS on your phone. As a smartwatch it can use a growing number of apps (Weather, Starbucks, Runkeeper, Strava and more) as well as on-wrist Fitbit Pay and music storage and control, plus notifications such as Caller ID and texts.
Fitbit Coach offers animated on-screen workouts. It also boasts more designer accessories than the Ionic. While aimed at women (who might find the Ionic too large) the Versa is most definitely a unisex design – although it would take a confident man to wear the Peach/Rose-Gold version.
Read our Fitbit Versa review.
- Reviewed on: 27 November 2019
Coming in at half the price of the cheapest Fitbit, Xiaomi's latest Mi Smart Band 4 offers activity-, health- and sleep-tracking at an incredible £34.99. The enhanced colour AMOLED panel alone makes it worth the upgrade, though it won't entirely replace a smartwatch or smartphone for notifications, and we're pleased to see Xiaomi taking advantage of the device's waterproofing with swim-tracking. We'd love to see Xiaomi come up with a charging solution that doesn't involve removing the tracker from the band, but Mi Band 4 is otherwise difficult to fault.
Read our Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4 review.
- Reviewed on: 19 June 2019
The Move is a slick fitness tracker from Withings that’s ideal for anyone who wants to keep things simple. It only does the basics - activity and sleep tracking, but not heartrate - but it does them well, and the analogue form factor keeps things clean and easy to read.
18-month battery life is obviously a major selling point, and the customisable designs are a big appeal too - you can tweak everything from the strap to the watch face and even the colour of the tracker dial. A heartrate sensor would really seal the deal, but it’s an understandable omission at just £60/$70, and with waterproofing, sleep tracking, and great app support, everything else about the Move is easy to love.
Read our Withings Move review.
6. Misfit Ray
- Reviewed on: 26 April 2018
We'd recommend the Misfit Ray. It's really good-looking and the choice of colours makes it even more stylish to suit each individual, haptic feedback is a real boon and it compares really well with rivals in the same price range. Battery life is excellent and the app is intuitive too. You'll find that you're motivated to get out there and get fit in no time.
Read our Misfit Ray review.
- Reviewed on: 1 April 2019
The cheapest Fitbit with a heart-rate monitor
The Fitbit Inspire HR's fitness feature set covers the basics very well - steps, calories burned, active minutes, distance travelled, heart rate, advanced Sleep Stages measurement, swim tracking, guided relaxation breathing, the ability to auto-detect workouts with reasonable accuracy, and notifications.
It will connect to your phone's GPS just like the top-end Fitbits. Sure, it lacks an altimeter (so won't count the floors you climb), but otherwise is just as capable as the more expensive Charge 3.
The heart-rate monitor deepens the device's exercise analysis and makes its sleep tracking far more sophisticated. It's a major step up from the plain entry-level Fitbit Inspire and well worth the extra £20 / $30.
This is a great price for a light, smart-looking device with a solid feature set. Fitness fanatics will want something more advanced, such as the Ionic or Versa, but for most of us the Inspire HR will be all we need.
Read our Fitbit Inspire HR review.
8. Honor Band 5
- Reviewed on: 2 October 2019
Honor's latest budget tracker packs a punch, despite representing a minor upgrade over 2018's Band 4. Currently retailing for just £25.38, it represents one of the most affordable fitness trackers on the market.
The in-depth workout options, smart sleep tracking and blood oxygen monitoring mean it has a feature set to rival more expensive devices. While a number of minor inconveniences can make it frustrating to use at times, it remains a compelling package that deserves your attention.
Read our Honor Band 5 review.
- Reviewed on: 29 November 2017
The Gear Fit2 Pro is a solid choice if you want a slim GPS fitness tracker that works well on Android or iOS. It has more features and a vastly better screen than the similarly built Fitbit Charge 2, but costs £90 more.
Samsung has made a fitness tracker that costs more than rival products, but over £100 less than its smartwatches but packs in most of the same features.
It does try to do too many smartwatch things with a screen that doesn’t suit though. Buy it if you like the design, but if it’s not a deal breaker you can opt for something cheaper with the same basic GPS functionality.
Read our Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro review.
- Reviewed on: 21 November 2018
After an extensive review of price, features, design and performance, the Huawei Band 2 Pro is definitely a recommended purchase for anyone looking to stay healthy.
It’s packed with loads of features such as GPS fitness tracking, heart and oxygen data, messaging and calls, a relaxation aid and sleep tracking - with data stored, outlined and explained on the Huawei app.
The Huawei Band 2 Pro takes a holistic approach to health by targeting both mental and physical wellbeing.
For the reasonable price of £79.99 ($69.99 USD), users can monitor health, maintain or improve fitness goals, sleep better, relax and set personalized goals.
Read our Huawei Band 2 Pro review.