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: 1 November 2018
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.
The Charge 3 should prove very popular come Christmas and especially for those New Year resolutions. It is a worthy upgrade to Fitbit's most popular-ever fitness tracker.
Read our Fitbit Charge 3 review.
- Reviewed on: 28 March 2019
The best Fitbit smartwatch for less
The Versa Lite is physically same as the 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.
Read our Fitbit Versa Lite Edition review.
3. Fitbit Versa
- Reviewed on: 11 March 2019
The best Fitbit smartwatch
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: 26 November 2018
The Mi Band 3 is not entirely flawless, but you will not find a better fitness tracker at this price (currently £20.62 at GearBest).
Fully waterproof and with 20-day battery life, this fitness band can track your steps, sleep and heart-rate, and offers smartwatch-like functionality including the ability to see at a glance the time, date, weather forecast, incoming texts and phone calls and other notifications.
The OLED display is larger than in previous generations, which means more space for information (some of it in Chinese language). It's not quite bright enough for easy use in direct sunlight, and it does tend to pick up fluff and dust, but this hypoallergenic wristband is super-low-weight and should fit most wrists.
Read our Xiaomi Mi Band 3 review.
5. 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 well - steps, calories burned, distance travelled, and the ability to auto-detect workouts with reasonable accuracy - but it does not have GPS or an altimeter. For those features, you should consider the Charge 3, Versa or Ionic Fitbits
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 Fitbit Inspire and well worth the extra £20/$30.
This is a good price for a light, smart-looking device with a solid feature set. Fitness fanatics will want something more advanced.
Read our Fitbit Inspire HR 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: 26 April 2018
Overall, we'd recommend the Misfit Shine 2. It's an all-rounder with some added perks including the haptic feedback for notifications and calls, which we've found enormously useful. Comparing it with rival Fitbit we think it's been priced well, and not having to think about the battery life too often is a huge boon, meaning you'll rarely have to take it off.
Read our Misfit Shine 2 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.
10. Moov Now
- Reviewed on: 2 February 2016
The Moov Now is one of the most interesting activity trackers we've tried. It puts workouts and coaching first and the basic activity and sleep tracking second, and that's obvious, but not necessarily a bad thing. The voice coaching itself is motivating, but it's the levels, achievements and personal bests that'll keep you coming back for more. It's a shame that the activity and sleep tracking is so limited, so if that's what you're looking for in an activity tracker you'll want to look elsewhere, but for runners and cyclists of any level and for people who enjoy quick workouts at home, £59.99 will go a long way here.
Read our Moov Now review.