Best budget fitness trackers: Xiaomi, Fitbit, Huawei and more

Activity tracking is cheaper than you think. Here's our top picks

If you're looking for a budget fitness tracker – or a cheap Fitbit – there are some decent options out there. Whether it's imports from China or the budget lines of Fitbit and Withings, you'll be able to find all types of style – some with screens, some without screens and all for different prices.

These trackers on the cheap are our choices for the best affordable trackers currently on the market, for (around) $80 or less. None are perfect, so be sure to read the full reviews so you know exactly what features you'll need to live without.

Essential reading: Find the best Fitbit tracker for your budget

Got any questions about the trackers we've listed? Let us know in the comments section below.


Xiaomi Mi Band 3

Best budget fitness trackers: Xiaomi, Fitbit, Huawei and more

We don't know how Xiaomi does it, but the Chinese company continues to pack its fitness tracker with new features and still make it really affordable.

The Mi Band 3 is no different with the addition of automatic sports tracking that recognises walking, running and cycling, smartphone notification support, 3-day weather forecasts and a heart rate monitor that now provides more detail insights than its predecessor the Mi Band 2. The design has been revamped to make it feel a little less budget and let you take it for a swim. There's even an Mi Band 3 NFC edition that unlocks the ability to make contactless payments.

Based on our experience, it's still not the most accurate of trackers we've used, but if you value a strong combination of features, an app with actionable insights and a sporty design, then the price won't be the only thing that will make the Mi Band 3 sound so appealing.

Read our full Xiaomi Mi Band 3 review.

Feature check: Steps, sleep, heart rate, notifications, waterproof design, contactless payments (on NFC models), automatic sports tracking

$32, Amazon | mi.com

Huawei Band 3 Pro

Best budget fitness trackers: Xiaomi, Fitbit, Huawei and more

Like its predecessor the Huawei Band 2 Pro, the Band 3 Pro is a sub-$100 fitness tracker that packs in a whole lot.

Along with an improved touchscreen display, the new Pro include built-in GPS, heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring and coaching for breathing and running. This is also one of the few trackers on this list that can be dunked in the water thanks to its 5ATM water rating. For those who like to keep tabs on notifications, you'll get bumps for calls, texts and inactivity, too.

If the Mi Band is too basic, then the Band 3 Pro is well worth considering as an alternative instead.

Read our full Huawei Band 3 Pro review.

Feature check: GPS, 5ATM, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitoring, notifications

$59.99, Amazon | huawei.com

Fitbit Inspire & Inspire HR

Best budget fitness trackers: Xiaomi, Fitbit, Huawei and more

Fitbit's latest fitness tracker is actually a pair of fitness trackers. There's the Inspire and Inspire HR. These two devices not only replace the Alta and Alta HR, they have killed off the Flex, Zip and One for good.

Both devices have swimproof designs and track steps, distance and sleep. They also provide notification support and automatic workout recognition. However, they differ with that heart rate sensor.

The Inspire HR uses that for 24/7 heart rate tracking (duh), Sleep Stages, Guided Breathing, and goal-based exercise modes. The Inspire HR also comes with Connected GPS for your outdoor runs.

You will save about $30 by opting for the Inspire over its HR sibling. Either way, you're getting one of the best budget trackers available.

Read our full Fitbit Inspire HR review.

Feature check: Waterproof, swim tracking, sleep tracking, guided breathing, automatic activity tracking, notifications

From $69.95, Amazon | fitbit.com

Garmin Vivofit 4

Best budget fitness trackers: Xiaomi, Fitbit, Huawei and more

Garmin's most basic fitness tracker is a bit of a throwback. Steps, sleep and calories are the metrics here. There's no heart rate or workout modes, though you will get credit for being active thanks to MoveIQ.

The Vivofit 4 is also pool friendly, so don't be afraid to take it for a swim although it won't track your strokes or count laps. It will give you a year's worth of battery life though, so you can forget about needing to keep a charger around. All that with an always-on screen. With the Vivofit 4, you're getting a simple, no frills fitness tracker.

Read our Garmin Vivofit 4 review

Feature check: Steps, sleep tracking, calories, waterproof, notifications

$79.99, Amazon | garmin.com

Misfit Flash

The best budget fitness trackers

It's an oldie, but it's still a solid fitness tracker you can still buy on the cheap. Like the Misfit Shine, the Flash can track sleep and steps, be worn almost anywhere (including on the wrist), and tell when you're cycling and swimming. Like its predecessor, it comes in a range of colours, has a replaceable watch battery that lasts six months and syncs with the same app.

It can also be used as a smart button to take control of smartphone smart home tech as well. So what's the difference? The Misfit Flash is chunkier and made of plastic instead of aluminium.

It's worth keeping in mind that although Misfit itself no longer sells the Flash, those interested can still pick it up from places like Amazon.

Check out our comprehensive Misfit Flash review.

Feature check: Steps, distance, sleep, smart button

$54.99, Amazon




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2 comments

  • SofieVDV2·

    I’m happy to see you don’t give the Fitbit Ionic a place here. 

    A lot of people are complaining of it, including me... The last update ‘killed’ my Ionic (again) totally... It’s in a loop of freezing almost immediately and restarting. Resetting doesn’t help... And no answers or solutions of Fitbit on the many problems. It also gives a lot of synchronization problems and I think that this is the reason mine doesn’t work anymore. I’m really disappointed about this buggy watch that costed far too many money... 

    There are also a lot of other problems about the apps, the fitness it measures, etc... Updates don’t bring solutions for it, what is really problematic because the updates are not frequently at all (max. 1 time in a month).
    So we don’t need any bells on that watch, if even the basic functions don’t work. Bells are useless if the watch can’t even ‘stay alive’.
    My advice? Don’t buy it!!!
    It’s my first and last Fitbit.

  • christidgutz·

    I've had three Fitbit surges, only to have them bubble and peel. The first two Fitbit replaced with little hassle. The third one also peeled and bubbled even though I was following all the guidelines set out by Fitbit for the care of their product. When I called to explain to Fitbit that the third one did the same thing all they could offer me was 10% off my next purchase of the next Fitbit. I bought the Fitbit Blaze which I have trouble with when I try to charge it or connecting to my phone when I'm going for a run. I then bought the Fitbit Ionic which continually tells me it is still charging even long after I take it off the charger. I then have to reset it to get it to quit giving me that message and to record my activity.

    In 2017, I bought my husband a Fitbit Charge 2 for a Christmas gift, when we tried to set up his profile and connect it to his phone it would not connect. I got on the phone with technical support to find out that his Fitbit Charge 2 was defective. I then had to send the device back, wait for it to be received and then wait for his replacement to be shipped. All the while having to call and check the status of when the replacement would be sent.

    I then bought the Fitbit Aria 2 scale and the Fitbit Flyer headphones. My headphones suddenly went bad with no warning. I called Fitbit to get the return label so I could send them back. The person I spoke with acted like I didn't know what I was doing going far enough to ask me if I remembered to charge them. When I explained that I had already eliminated any user error then he reluctantly agreed to give me a return label so I could send them back. I sent the headphones back and on July 23rd Fitbit acknowledged that they had received my headphones on July 13th but had not yet sent out the replacements even though there was supposedly a special team working on the receipt and replacement of the Fitbit Flyer headphones. I was told at that time that the replacements would be sent out to me using expedited shipping. On August 6th I then again called to check on my headphones in which I was again told that they were sorry and would be sent out expedited mail. By now after almost a month, I am tired of hearing that they are sorry and everything will be sent out using expedited mail to no avail. Their apologies are extremely disingenuous and their promises are empty. So, I asked for a supervisor and received the same song and dance. Now it is August 6th with the promise of getting a replacement product and expedited shipping. I asked for my money to be refunded since I've waited so long and don't even really want the headphones any more. I was told that they are unable to refund my money. Then the supervisor then had enough gall to ask if I had returned everything that was originally sent in the box with the headphones when I purchased them. As if the supervisor was looking for a reason to not replace my $150.00 headphones that were defective. I am so very offended by Fitbit and fed up with their poor customer service and substandard quality products. I as much of the world work hard for my money and when I decide to spend it, try to buy quality items of which Fitbit lacks quality standards or decent customer service. So sad and disappointing.

    What irritates me even more is the inconvenience and interruption to mine and my husbands training schedules and routines. Just completely unacceptable.

    The Fitbit Aria 2 Scale is the only item that I have not had any problems.

    I'll never spend any more money with Fitbit, I've given them a fair opportunity to provide me with quality products. Guess, I will have to switch my products to Apple.

    Christianna Gutierrez