If you are looking for a full-featured smartwatch that doesn't explicitly place fitness at the top of its list of priorities, you'll find entries like the Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch in our best smartwatches chart here.
We’ve reviewed a whole host of fitness trackers but here are ten of the best, collectively covering the needs all manner of athletes. With different trackers placing their focus on different things, bear in mind that this list is in no particular order.
The Black Friday sales season is coming! Our product recommendations are based on average retail prices, but the prices below show the best deals currently available from trustworthy online stores.
1. Fitbit Charge 4 - Best overall
The Charge 4 is easily the best all-round Fitbit tracker and even a match for some of Fitbit's smartwatches. It covers all the basics - tracking steps, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, floors climbed, heart rate, swim-tracking and advanced sleep - not to mention it has most of the top-end exercise features too, including Active Zone Minutes.
Yes, it lacks the larger colour screen you get with a smartwatch, plus in-tracker music storage but its built-in GPS is something even the more expensive Versa 2 smartwatch lacks.
Choose the Charge 4 if you can live with the smaller, monochrome screen.
Read our full Fitbit Charge 4 review
2. Fitbit Versa 2 - Most versatile
While the Fitbit Versa 3 has just been released, its predecessor the Versa 2 is well worth considering if you can find it at a discount.
The Versa 2 covers all the aspects of a health and fitness watch, measuring steps, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, hourly activity, and sleep. It offers on-screen notifications from your phone, silent alarms, cardio fitness levels, workout and other exercise modes - such as swimming and weights - female health tracking and wellness features, plus music controls and even Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.
It beats the cheaper Versa Lite as it boasts a better screen, onscreen workouts, an altimeter to track floors climbed, music storage, Spotify and Alexa functionality. It offers everything the older Fitbit Ionic does, except having built-in GPS - the Versa 2 instead connects to your phone's GPS. The lack of built-in GPS is made more obvious by it now being included in the latest Fitbit Charge 4.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 2 review
3. Xiaomi Mi Band 5 - Most value
Xiaomi once again impresses with its latest budget fitness tracker. The Mi Band 5 isn't only affordable, it packs in a range of features from basic step counting and heart-rate monitoring to sleep tracking and app notifications.
If you own the Mi Band 4, we'd upgrade for the new charging system alone - no longer requiring that you remove the tracker from its band.
Also new in this version is a larger, brighter AMOLED display, new sports modes and tracking features - including menstrual cycles and stress - plus a PAI scoring system for health.
You will not find better value for money anywhere.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 review
4. Fitbit Sense - Best for well-being
The Fitbit Sense adds a lot of new health features at the top-end of the Fitbit range. You could call it the hypochondriac’s smartwatch, it’s so full of warning signs, but there’s a lot here that will help indicate serious health problems that you will have the chance to improve.
Mindfulness might seem a little kooky to some and a concern for those with too much time on their hands, but there is no denying that stress can affect us all, and managing it will quickly bring not just mental but long-term physical health benefits.
For all-round physical and mental health tracking, the Sense is the Fitbit with it all; provided you can swing the high price.
Read our full Fitbit Sense review
5. Withings Move ECG - Best design
When it comes to design, the Withings Move ECG is so classic and simple that it could pass as an everyday watch. On the fitness tracking side, the companion Health Mate app does almost everything you need it to and more, whilst being scientifically backed-up.
If you’re simply in love with the Withings Move classic watch design - but want that little bit extra - this is the wearable for you.
Read our full Withings Move ECG review
6. Xiaomi Mi Band 4 - Easy to use
Coming in at half the price of the cheapest Fitbit, Xiaomi's Mi Smart Band 4 offers activity, health and sleep-tracking at an incredible price.
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 have loved to have seen 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 full Xiaomi Mi Band 4 review
7. Withings ScanWatch - Best health tracking
Aside from a lack of GPS, Withings' ScanWatch is a compelling hybrid tracker, with a classic design and rich tracking capabilities.
The name relates to its ability to more accurately get a read on your heart health than any other tracker here, albeit for a premium that makes it more of a niche proposition.
AFib detection, an SpO2 sensor and the promise of sleep apnea detection via a future update are smart inclusions, while the small PMOLED display grants some degree of smartwatch-like functionality on top of its fitness-tracking skillset.
Read our full Withings ScanWatch review
8. Withings Move - Best battery life
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 no heart rate. That said, 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 heart rate sensor would really seal the deal (which is where the Move ECG comes in) but it’s an understandable omission for the price, and with waterproofing, sleep tracking and great app support, everything else about the Move is easy to love.
Read our full Withings Move review
9. Huawei Watch Fit - Great for guided workouts
Aside from affordability, the Huawei Watch Fit's standout feature is a series of pre-loaded guided workouts that you can do any time, anywhere, with minimal-to-no equipment.
It's large 1.64in AMOLED touchscreen display means it's easy to follow along and the Fit also boasts water resistance, an optical heart rate sensor, a premium design and long battery life, all for an impressively competitive price.
Read our full Huawei Watch Fit review
10. Amazfit GTR - Great aesthetics
The Amazfit GTR is a triple threat: it has a classic design, offers everything you need for fitness tracking and comes in at a low price in comparison to other smartwatches on the market.
This model from Huami offers GPS, heart monitoring, sleep tracking, water resistance, goals for your steps and a whole lot more. It doesn't necessarily have all the fancy features that a more pricey smartwatch would, but the price allows that to slide.
The lack of mainstream firmware may be an issue for some, and the app isn't the greatest we've seen. Nevertheless, this is a great starter watch that should offer everything you're looking for.
Read our full Amazfit GTR review
Your buying guide to the best fitness trackers in 2020
Fitness trackers help you measure and log a myriad of activities each day; from a simple step count to weights sessions, swimming and more.
The biggest challenge when choosing one that suits your needs is that there are just so many to choose from and not all of them offer the same functionality or track fitness to the same degree or quality.
Brands like Fitbit dominate the conversation and while the company's wares are undoubtedly competent, there are lots of other trackers out there that excel in areas your average Fitbit doesn't.
There are also different types of fitness tracker to consider, influenced by factors that affect their designs and prices – two things that are no doubt high on your list when searching for the right wearable.
Some will want something that counts steps and doesn't require frequent charging, others might be in the market for a new marathon companion.
Do you want to be able to log your routes using integrated GPS or is tethered GPS (pulling location data from your phone) enough? Do you need heart-rate monitoring? Does your tracker need to be water-resistant? Is integration with other fitness services, like Strava, essential? These are all additional aspects to consider before buying.
Find out how we test wearables.