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Best Fitness Tracker: The Top Activity Trackers to Keep You Active, Fit & Motivated

fitness tracker on runner
Henry Silva
Written by Henry Silva

I hope you’ll agree with me when I say: Maintaining good health is not possible without proper fitness, right? Even so, it’s hard to maintain the routine to take the required actions, day in day out over the long haul. Usually, it’s remarkably easy to fill up your daily schedule with necessary activities to the extent that you forget about your own fitness.

That’s why you need the best fitness tracker, which can help to keep you motivated at all times. The best model will do wonders for you. For starters, you can figure it out without reading a manual and get instant feedback. It motivates you to be as active as you think you are, even on days you don’t work out.

Basically, it keeps you honest and true to your word. Counting steps is a great way to increase activity. Wearing a fitness tracker allows you to ultimately challenge yourself every day and get credit for every step you take. Using a fitness tracker has made a big difference in many people’s lives, including my own.

I have to admit that I’m kind of obsessed with my fitness tracker. Today, we will be highlighting the best features when shopping for this gadget as well as review some products to help find the best fitness tracker on the market.

Product NameWeightDisplayBattery LifePrice
Garmin Vívosmart HR+ Activity Tracker1.6 ouncesTouch Display1 + yearCheck price on Amazon
Polar A360 Fitness Tracker5.1 ouncesTouch Display5 to 6 daysCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Vívofit Fitness Band0.96 ouncesW x H Segmented LCD1 + yearCheck price on Amazon
Runtastic Orbit Fitness Tracker16 ouncesLED Display5 to 7 daysCheck price on Amazon
HeHa Modern Fitness Activity Tracker8 ouncesLED DisplayUp to 30 daysCheck price on Amazon
Adidas Fit Smart1.6 ouncesLED Matrix DisplayUp to 5 daysCheck price on Amazon
Sport Heart Swimming Fitness Tracker0.5 ouncesOLED Touch Display7 to 10 daysCheck price on Amazon
Jawbone UP2 Fitness Tracker5.92 ouncesNo Display10 + daysCheck price on Amazon
Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker5.6 ouncesOLED DisplayUp to 5 daysCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

Before you think about purchasing a tracker, you should clearly establish your fitness plans and goals. You should think about the activities you currently do and the ones you will be doing in the future. For example, if you like running, you should get a tracker with the software that’s designed for it.

If you are new to exercise or just looking to move more, your needs should be covered with a basic tracker that can track steps and calories. People who are regularly active will want a device with more advanced features like GPS tracking or heart-rate monitoring.

Design

Another important factor to consider when shopping for a fitness tracker is the design. Most fitness trackers come in the form of a band that you wear around your wrist, but there are also devices that you can clip into your clothing.

design of fitnes tracker

Choosing based on the design of the tracker not only depends on your personal taste, but for the intended usage as well. If you want a feature-rich tracker, you will want to get one with a display that provides elaborate information. If you’re planning to wear the device all day, you could go for a minimalist approach with discrete display.

Water Resistance

Do you want a device that you can wear and forget? There are trackers that can resist water even if you go for an unexpected dive while there are those that are simply splash-proof.

Again, this all depends on the intended usage of the buyer. Typically, splash-proof trackers are likely to be sweat-proof as well.

Features

Nearly every fitness band you’ll find in the market will have two essential features: steps and calorie trackers. Again, you should evaluate your intended usage for the band. If you need to know how many flights of stairs you climb daily, go for a tracker with the standard accelerometer and altimeter.

tracker counting steps

If you’re a runner or a cyclist, a band with GPS tracking should come in handy for tracking your progress. Those who are looking to improve their sleeping habits should invest in a tracker that has sleep monitoring features.

Companion Apps

The majority of fitness trackers, come with a companion app that syncs all your data along with other features. One of the most popular features for these apps is food logging. This lets you keep track of your diet by providing estimates on the food’s caloric and nutritional value.

Another significant feature is the ability to log your workouts along with other exercise details. There are even companion apps that let you connect to popular third-party fitness apps like MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun. The overall design and interface of the app is another factor to consider as well.

Compatibility

To make the most out of a fitness tracker, it’s recommended that you sync it with your smartphone. It’s a good thing that most fitness trackers can sync with iOS and Android. It goes without saying that before spending money on a tracker, make sure that it’s compatible with your smartphone or any other gadget.

Man With Smartwatch And Cellphone Showing Heartbeat Rate

You don’t want to end up with a fitness band that doesn’t work with your Apple, Android or Windows Phone device.

Price

Of course, you need to consider the price when choosing which fitness tracker to buy. Most fitness trackers range from approx. $50 to approx. $300. Again, your personal goals will come into play here.

If you are simply looking to count your steps and calorie intake, then you can save money with an entry-level tracker with basic features. If you want a feature-packed tracker with all the bells and whistles, a high end device might be a good option.

gear fit 2 on grass

Every day it seems that there’s a new fitness tracker that hits the market. Hopefully these factors will help you navigate the ever-increasing number of fitness bands and get one that’s right for you.

Best Products on the Market Today

There are various types of fitness and activity trackers on the market. You should set your eyes on a highly versatile tracker that can track how many steps you have taken, calculates calories expended, and monitors your heart rate among other things. The following are the best models that we believe will best suit your lifestyle needs.

Garmin Vívosmart HR+ Activity Tracker

Garmin vívosmart HR+ Activity Tracker

Price: approx. $150

Weight: 1.6 oz.

Dimensions: 2.5 x 0.5 inches x 0.8 inches

Specific Features: GPS integrations, Running Metrics, Move IQ, 24/7 Heart Rate Monitoring, Purpose Built

Best Use: Jogging, walking, running, biking, swimming, elliptical training

Garmin has always been a brand associated with innovative GPS technology. So, you can bet that this translates well into their activity bands. The Garmin Vívosmart comes with Garmin’s patented vívosmart HR+ technology.

The technology does not only count your steps, calories and intensity minutes, but, also tracks how far and how fast you go while doing any activity. The built-in GPS ensures that you receive a more accurate data, since the band acquires its information from satellite signals.

The vívosmart HR+ tech also seamlessly syncs with your smartphone via the Garmin Connect mobile app. The device and the companion app are very intuitive to use and highly customizable, since you can configure it to your specific requirements.

It has all the features you’ll need from a fitness tracker, such as calorie tracking, sleep monitoring, distance tracking, pedometer and more. Overall, it’s a great high-end device for those in search of a complete package.

PROS:

  • Easy to use smart band
  • GPS integration
  • Round the clock heart rate monitoring
  • Automatic tracking (move IQ)
  • Purpose built for the active lifestyle

CONS:

  • Fragile display surface
  • The display is not clearly visible in the dark

Related: Garmin also sells a 6 Pack IQ shield, which we recommend for the full coverage screen protection of the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Regular Fit Activity Tracker display.

Check the price on Amazon

Polar A360 Fitness Tracker

polar a360

Price: approx. $110 – $300

Weight: 6.1 oz.

Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 3 inches

Specific Features: Compatible with Windows and Mac, Polar Flow web service via USB, Waterproof, Sleep quality tracking, Vibrating smart notifications, and Color touchscreen.

Best Use: Running, walking, jogging, treadmill

One of the main selling points of the Polar A360 is its sleek, elegant design. It really is something that you won’t mind having on your wrist at all times. The 80 x 160 resolution display is a thing of beauty and easy to read.

As for its features, it can count your steps, how many miles you’ve gone, how many calories you have burned, and it can even tell you how much of your daily goals have been accomplished. It has a 24/7 activity tracking which is useful in counting how many steps you’ve made and monitoring your sleep time.

The tracker syncs with the Polar Flow app, which works with both Windows and Mac operating systems. Another feature that you’ll love about this device is its heart rate monitor, which excels in accuracy.

You can even set different profiles depending on the type of activity you do. It’s a solid activity tracker that nails both the aesthetic and feature aspects.

PROS:

  • Bright touch screen
  • Vibrating smart notifications & inactivity alerts
  • Wrist heart rate monitor
  • Calorie counter capabilities
  • 24/7 activity tracker

CONS:

  • GPS not integrated

Related: There are three screen protectors you can buy for your Polar A360 (IQ Shield Matte, IQ Shield LiQuidSkin, and 6-Pack), and a replacement Polar A360 wristband. We recommend these products because they will improve the durability of your fitness tracker.

Check the price on Amazon

Garmin Vívofit Fitness Band

GARMIN VÍVOFIT FITNESS BAND

Price: approx. $50

Weight: 0.96 oz.

Dimensions: 0.42 x 0.83 x 0.42 inches

Specific Features: Move Bar, 24/7 Wearable, Personalized goal, Sleep monitoring, Compatible with Garmin Connect app

Best Use: Running, walking, jogging, treadmill, elliptical

Here’s another quality device from Garmin and it’s a perfect tracker for those who are looking for a mid-range option. The Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band features a Move Bar, which is basically a red bar indicating the time that you’ve been inactive. This actually motivates you to move more or just walk for a couple of minutes to reset.

The band is stylish and comfortable enough that you can wear it 24/7 without problem. It’s even water resistant so you can safely shower while wearing it. The band can also monitor your sleep and determine the quality of your rest. Another impressive feature of this device is its battery life which can last for about a year without needing a replacement.

Like with most Garmin fitness bands, it syncs with the Garmin Connect app for saving, planning and sharing your progress. It doesn’t have tons of features, but for its price point, you just can’t go wrong.

PROS:

  • Stylish, waterproof and comfortable wristband
  • 24/7 wearable
  • Monitors your sleep
  • Remarkable battery life
  • Move bar ensures that you are active during the course of the day
  • Helps you achieve your goals
  • Lightweight and low profile design

CONS:

  • May present sync problems

Related: There is a Pack of 10 PCS Garmin Vivofit Colored Bands that you can buy along with the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Tracker. The bands are suitable for personalizing your wristband with respect to your daily stylishness.

Check the price on Amazon

Runtastic Orbit Fitness Tracker

runtastic colorband fitnes tracker

Price: approx. $20 – $40

Weight: 1 lbs

Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 1 inches

Specific Features: One size fits all, Flexible & comfortable wear, Stylish, reliable wearable accessory, Clip included with each wristband, Interchangeable bands

Best Use: Running, walking, jogging, swimming

The Runtastic Orbit is one of the more popular fitness trackers and it’s been in the market for quite some time. It’s hard not to see why it can pretty much track everything, including active minutes, calories burned, sleep cycles and more.

The Orbit is waterproof with a rating of up to 300 feet in case you are into swimming. This device’s integration with the Runtastic app is seamless, and the UI is a breeze to navigate. It can sync with third-party apps like MyFitnessPal.

Perhaps one of the best features of the Orbit is that you can easily change the wristband, which gives it a layer of personalization. If you are a fan of Runtastic many apps, this band is pretty much a no-brainer purchase.

If not, then we still highly recommend this device since it’s a solid activity tracker. Not to mention that it is a stylish, flexible and comfortable wear that can easily be changed in a matter of seconds.

PROS:

  • Easy to change
  • Stylish, flexible, reliable and comfortable wear
  • One size fits all
  • Each wristband comes with a clip

CONS:

  • Can’t operate on itself, it has to be synced

Related: The one resourceful product that you can buy along is the RUNBT1. This heart rate combo monitor is recommended because you can use it to convey your heart rate info wirelessly to your Runtastic apps.

Check the price on Amazon

HeHa Modern Fitness Activity Tracker

HEHA MODERN FITNESS ACTIVITY TRACKER

Price: approx. $60

Weight: 0.6 oz.

Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.7 x 0.4 inches

Specific Features: Health checking, Heart rate variability (HRV), Calorie counter, Step tracker, Sleep monitor, Long battery life, Comfortable

Best Use: Running, walking, jogging

What makes this fitness tracker from HeHa stand out from the rest is the Health Monitor feature. The HeHa Modern Fitness Activity Tracker can test your body for stress and measure your stress levels as well as test the balance of your autonomous nervous system.

For each of the indicator, you will actually be given health tips and a breathing exercise to alleviate the stress. This is tested through Heart rate variability or HRV. In conjunction with the app, it’s easy to find out your stress levels.

Other basic tracking features like activity tracker, calorie counter, step tracker and sleep monitor are covered. Another good thing about the device is its long battery life. It can last for as long as 30 days, even with 16 hours in walking mode.

The user interface is also fairly easy to navigate, although, the app itself could benefit from some improvements. Generally, this is a good product that is worth the money.

PROS:

  • Heart rate variability
  • Combines sleep monitor, step tracker, calorie counter, and activity tracker
  • Reliable and long battery life
  • Effective health checking
  • Screen displays necessary data

CONS:

  • It may present syncing problems
  • Few instructions

Related: Since you are into fitness, you definitely know that staying hydrated is a must. Therefore, we can recommend the Fitness Master Fruit Infuser Water Bottle, to keep your body hydrated and vitaminized.

Check the price on Amazon

Adidas Fit Smart

adidas fit smart

Price: approx. $80

Weight: 1.7 oz.

Dimensions: 1.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches

Specific Features: Set goals and track steps, calories and distance all day, Visual coached guidance for workout intensity, integrated accelerometer tracking pace, distance and stride, Wrist-based continuous heart rate technology

Best Use: Running, walking, jogging, strength training, calisthenics

Adidas is a brand that’s synonymous with quality sports equipment and accessories. The launch of the Fit Smart indicates that Adidas is trying to zone in on a new segment of the market. You can say that it’s a device that bridges fitness trackers and running watches.

To start off, the Fit Smart has a sleek but minimalist design that looks really good. Like most fitness trackers, this device can track steps, distance and calories all day. However, what makes this tracker a cut above the rest is the real-time coaching feature.

With the help of the band and the companion app, you can train smarter and harder. It’s like having a personal trainer in your wrist. The miCoach app can provide you with free training plans to help you get on the right track.

The band is intended for those who want to improve their workouts or run the extra mile. You will definitely love the ergonomics of this band; it’s very easy to use and the app works impeccably.

PROS:

  • GPS integration
  • Sleek, minimalist design
  • Multiple tracking, including calories, distance and steps
  • Free training plans
  • Long and reliable battery life

CONS:

  • Big design for a small wrist
  • Steps not counted properly

Related: Adidas also sells the miCoach X_Cell heart rate monitor. You need this HR monitor because the multi-sport app is no longer updated.

Check the price on Amazon

Sport Heart Swimming Fitness Tracker

hEART BRACELET SWIMMING FITNESS TRACKER

Price: approx. $30

Weight: 0.5 oz.

Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches

Specific Features: Sealed, waterproof design, Multi-function data record, Touch screen, Sleep monitoring, smart alarm clock

Best Use: Walking, running, swimming

If you’re a swimmer, it’s only natural that you opt for a fitness tracker that can withstand being submerged in water. As far as waterproof fitness bands go, Sport Heart Swimming Fitness Tracker comes highly recommended.

Many users have tested its water resistance and seem to be happy with the results. Users have been reporting that they have taken a shower or went for a swim without removing it and it still works. The OLED Touch screen display works great and the interface is fairly easy to navigate.

The band syncs with smartphones seamlessly and it will even give a notification if there’s an incoming call. This tracker could use a couple more features, but it’s clearly intended for swimmers which is understandable.

Overall, this waterproof fitness tracker is a good bang for the buck, and an amazing choice for swimmers who are in the market for an efficient tracking device.

PROS:

  • Effective swimming bracelet
  • OLED touch screen display
  • Syncs remarkably with smartphones
  • Incoming call notification
  • Good battery life

CONS:

  • May present problems with display

Related: You may definitely need a replacement band along the way. One of the ideal choices is the FIT-FIRE Replacement Band.

Check the price on Amazon

Jawbone UP2 Fitness Tracker

JAWBONE UP2

Price: approx. $30 – $50

Weight: 0.88 oz.

Dimensions: 220mm x 11.5mm x 3.0-8.5mm

Specific Features: Lightweight design and hook clasp, Smart Coach, Smart AlarmTM, iOS and Android compatible, Syncs wirelessly, 10 days battery life

Best Use: Walking, running, sleep tracking, food logging

Here’s a fitness tracker that should appeal to a majority of buyers, whether it’s a fitness enthusiast or a beginner. As far as the features are concerned, the Jawbone UP2 Fitness Tracker comes only with the basics.

There are three main features of the band. First is the daily Activity mode, which keeps track of steps, calories burned and any level of physical activity. The next one is the Sleep mode, which monitors the time and quality of sleep. Third is the stopwatch which is your standard fair for when you head out to exercise.

There is also the Smart Coach feature that will help you make healthier food choices and provide the motivation you need to get out of the couch. What we love the most about the band is that it could pass for a fashion accessory.

It’s thin, sleek and oozing with style. Being closer to your fitness goals has never looked this good.

PROS:

  • Lightweight design & hook clasp
  • Five bright colors
  • iOS compatibility
  • Syncs wirelessly
  • Up to ten days of battery life
  • Automatic activity and sleep tracking
  • Android compatibility

CONS:

  • Improper sleep tracking

Related: In case you forget or lose your charging cable, you can always buy a spare one to have it for such an event. We suggest getting the original JAWBONE UP2 UP3 UP4 Charging Cable, which acts as a charging cable and data transfer cable.

Check the price on Amazon

Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker

fitbit alta

Price: approx. $130

Weight: 1.1 oz.

Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.6 x 0.4 inches

Specific Features: Syncs automatically and wirelessly to computers and mobile devices, Water resistant, All-day activity tracker, SmartTrack, Tap display, Up to 5 days battery life

Best Use: Walking, running, and jogging

The Fitbit Alta might just be one of the, if not the most bestselling fitness tracker available – and for good reasons. The Alta’s popularity can be attributed to a lot of things, but mainly for its assortment of colors and features.

The device is available in black, blue, plum, and teal. Another major selling point of the Alta is its design and form factor. It just looks stylish and you won’t mind having it on your wrist at all times. On the features department, the Alta doesn’t disappoint either. You can track your steps, distance walked, number of active minutes and calories burned.

The band syncs flawlessly with a smartphone, tablet or computer. You have the option to enable text and call notifications, which is convenient. This band will motivate you to be more active and eventually crush your fitness goals. It’s definitely one of the best fitness trackers money can buy.

PROS:

  • Best seller activity tracker
  • Alta syncs automatically
  • Compatible with Windows, Android and iOS
  • Waterproof
  • Bluetooth 4.0

CONS:

  • Shorter battery life of up to 5 days

Related: Fitbit also retails replacement accessories, such as Fitbit Alta HR & Alta Bands and Vancle Fitbit Alta Bands. These replacement accessories are necessary for future use.

Check the price on Amazon

The Wrap Up

Fitness trackers aren’t some magical tool that will help you lose weight or become a hardcore fitness model. Keep in mind that you still need to put a lot of work in order to go anywhere near your fitness goals.

woman in good shape

With that said, if you are looking to fine-tune your workouts or just need that extra push to get your lazy self out of the couch, a fitness band is a worthy investment.

Do you think a fitness tracker is useful for going after your health and fitness goals? Have you used one before? Please share your experiences in the comment section. Finally, be sure to share this article with your workout buddies.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Silva
Henry Silva

Henry was hiking since he was 4. He was lucky enough to be born in Boulder, Colorado and enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park hikes growing up. His favourite is Longs Peak, which rises to 14,259 feet (4,346 m) above sea level. It is the highest point of the park. Henry likes to explore new hikes and spend his spare time in the wilderness.

  • Dawson

    I have and like the Fitbit Alta Tracker. One feature I can’t live without is the calendar notifications that transfer from my phone to my Alta. I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty lost in my workouts, and never want to miss an important appointment. It’s also easy to charge and a full charge lasts me almost an entire week.
    It’s comfortable and easy to wear, which is so important.
    I have found that wearing a tracker inspires me to chase my fitness goals, and not get complacent. I considered the Garmin Vivofit Tracker HR+, but settled on the Fitbit Alta. Great article!

    • Henry Silva

      Thanks for dropping by Dawson and I’m so pleased that you like the Fitbit Alta. Fitbit is a popular brand and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it easy to use but the interface is great, right? There’s a lot of features that you can use for any fitness routine and that’s a big plus. The easy sync of the Fitbit to any device is such a cool feature that I myself love it!

  • Deb Summers

    Thanks for this article. It seems that everyone now has a fitness tracker, and seeing a side-by-side comparison really helps. I am in the market for a nice fitness tracker as a holiday gift for a very active friend. Obviously I need to get the most for my money.
    I am leaning towards the Garmin Vivosmart, which is not inexpensive, but have heard that the app for it is not as nice as the app for the Fitbit. Being waterproof is also a very important feature.

    • Henry Silva

      Hi Deb! Your choice would depend on the needs of your very active friend. The Garmin is a bit pricey but its outstanding features are worth the price. If you want the complete package, Garmin is a wise option. Then, there’s Fitbit which is very popular for its innovative colors and designs. You may have to examine which of the models are water-resistant since I think it’s a very important consideration.

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