Best clip-on and non-watch fitness trackers

We pick the wearables that won't put your monitoring on show
How to keep fitness tracking discreet
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Wearing a fitness tracker doesn't mean having to advertise the fact you're watching your health or trying to make sure you nail those daily step counts. There are wearables that can keep that tracking undercover.

If you'd rather not don a smartwatch or a fitness band but still want to capture those stats, there are ways to do it. These wearables offer the same sensors but go about their tracking business in a more discreet manner.

If you're looking for a wearable that fits that profile, we've served up the standout devices you can hide away and still stay on that journey to a fitter, healthier you.

Clip-on fitness trackers key considerations:

When will you wear it?

Think about the kind of data you want to discreetly track to help pick out the discreet wearable that will work best for you. If it's something you'll want to track sleep? Is it for tracking exercise? Some form factors will work better than others based on those key tracking scenarios.

Wear it on clothes or somewhere else?

If you're eyeing up a tracker that can be worn on clothes, pay close attention to the types of clothes it can attach or live on. Some discreet trackers also need dedicated garments to offer tracking, so check whether you'll need to spend more to enjoy that undercover monitoring. If it's a wearable maybe that you wear on your finger, think about how regularly you'll want to wear it and whether a sizing kit is available to get the most secure, reliable fit.

Think about durability

This is one to consider for all wearables, but make sure you understand the level of protection the tracker has against moisture and dust. Can you keep it on when you go for a swim or is it one that can hold up well against some bumps and knocks? It might be out of sight, but that doesn't mean it still needs a good level or resistance to everyday damage.

Battery life

It's something to consider for all wearables, but this not just about level of battery life but knowing when the battery is running low. If you don't look at it most of the day, you might not spot it's running low. Grabbing a wearable that notifies you on your phone that battery on your device is low is a useful feature to have.

Fitbit Inspire 2

Price when reviewed: $99/£89.99 |fitbit.com | Amazon + Clip Accessory

Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2 Key specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 5ATM water resistance (50m)
  • Up to 10 days battery life
  • 1.4 inch, greyscale OLED, 126 x 36 px
  • Connected GPS

The Inspire 2 is a fitness tracker that primarily works as a device you wear on your wrist, but unlike other Fitbit trackers, this is one you don't have to wear on your wrist as well.

That's thanks to the Inspire 2 clip you can also purchase alongside Fitbit's cheapest tracker. That clip will let you secure the Inspire 2 to the waistband of your trousers or you can also wear it on a belt of on a bra.

From that new wearing position you can accurately track steps, estimated calorie data and monitor sleep if you're wearing it to bed that way too. You will have to place it back on the wrist if you care about heart rate tracking and using Fitbit's Active Zone Minutes feature.

It's the same story if you want to make use of the connected GPS support.

You'll still receive inactivity alerts, it'll still dish out phone notifications for messages, texts, calls and calendar appointments and give you the best battery life numbers you'll find on a Fitbit currently.

If you want Fitbit tracking that's hidden out of plain sight, this is the option to go for.

Read our Fitbit Inspire 2 review for more details.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6

Price when reviewed: $49.99/£39.99 |Amazon + Clip accessory

Xiaomi Mi Band 6

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Key specs and features:

  • 14 day battery life (7 days in testing)
  • 1.56-inch AMOLED display
  • Connected GPS
  • 5ATM (50m)

While the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is now on the scene, it doesn't currently offer a way to wear the cheap tracker on other parts of your body like you still can with the Mi Band 6.

That's via a clip-on accessory that like the Fitbit Inspire 2, lets you wear it on the waistband of your trousers or attach it to a belt and do your tracking from elsewhere.

That does mean data like heart rate, stress and SpO2 monitoring is off limits until you put it back on your wrist, but information like step counts and distance covered can still be tracked. It's one to wear while you sleep as well.

When it is back out, you'll have a vibrant 1.56-inch AMOLED display, with a 152 x 486 resolution that punches out at 450 nits. The real-world difference is the colors feel more punchy and sharp.

If you're happy not to track your heart or SpO2 on a regular basis, then the Mi Band 6 will be a good fit until the 7 gets its own clip-on accessory too.

Read our Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review for more details.

Whoop Strap 4.0

Free with $30/£30 subscription | Whoop

Best clip-on and non-wrist fitness trackers July update

Whoop Strap 4.0 key specs and features:

  • Can be worn inside Whoop garments
  • Tracks heart rate, blood oxygen, temperature
  • 5-day battery life
  • Connected GPS

The Whoop 4 is the screen-less wearable that's built for helping you better understand your optimal training and recovery needs and is also one you can now wear inside of clothes.

Along the knitted band it's supplied with, Whoop also offers its Body garment range, which includes boxers, sports bras and shorts with options designed for everyday wear and for tracking exercise.

You'll can slip the Whoop into the specially made garments as soon as you've got it all set up and ready to track motion, heart rate and sleep depending on which garment you're using it in.

Key features include the ability to track sleep accurately and recommend sleep times based around training. It can track what Whoop calls Strain, to understand how much effort you've put in in a day though tracking exercise reliably (particularly outdoors) has to be done via the companion app.

You'll need a subscription to put it to best use and Whoop's Body garments come at an extra expense as well.

If you like the look of the Whoop and its approach to tracking and you're willing to pay up for those garments then there's a good experience for fitness lovers here.

Read our Whoop 4.0 review

Oura Ring 3

$299/£299 with £5.99/$6.99 a month subscription | Oura

Oura Ring 3

Oura Ring 3 key specs and features:

  • Tracks heart rate, steps, sleep and temperature
  • 100m water resistance
  • 4-7 days battery life
  • Connected GPS

Smart rings are a thing and the Oura Ring 3 is in our eyes, the best one you can buy right now.

Part of that is down it looking more ring-like than any other smart one. That's because Oura offers it in different looks and a titanium case that keeps things nice and light but offers that attractive metal look.

You'll also need to use a sizing kit to make sure you get the ring that fits best as well.

There are sensors here, though you can rarely notice them when the ring is on. These optical sensors deliver heart rate, body temperature, respiratory rate and blood oxygen (soon) data to help you better understand when your body is ready to exercise.

There's also sensors here to track steps and enable some of the best sleep tracking you'll find on a wearable.

Like the Whoop 4.0, you'll need to pay for the ring and the subscription to put it to best use, but if you're not sold on fitness trackers that live on the wrist and like the idea of a smart ring that looks like a regular ring, this is might be the one for you.

Have a read of our Oura Ring 3 review

Bellabeat Leaf Urban

Price when reviewed: $139/£119 | bellabeat.com | Amazon

Bellabeat Leaf Urban

Bellabeat Leaf Urban key specs and features:

  • Tracks activity, sleep and menstrual cycles
  • Can be worn in three different ways
  • 6 month battery life
  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Bellabeat Wellness Coach subscription service

The Bellabeat Leaf Urban has been around a for a few years now, but it remains one of the few examples of a wearable that's built for women that offers multiple ways to wear it.

The tracker can be worn as a bracelet, necklace or clip with the first two accessories included in the box. The IPX6 water resistant device has motion sensors to track steps, distance and keep tabs on your active time. It's also suitable to wear to bed to track your sleep time.

While there's no big health sensors like heart rate or SpO2 there's some big features inside of the companion app including menstrual cycle and fertility tracking and meditation exercise features. A new Wellness Coach subscription is also on offer to make best use of your data and additional features.

Throw in a battery that lasts six months before you it needs to be switched (it's the coin cell kind) and the Leaf Urban is a wearable made for women that keeps that in mind with the design.

Have a read of our Bellabeat Leaf Urban review

Hybrid smartwatches

They look like analogue watches, but are actually fitness trackers in disguise. If you don't want to show off your tech, choose a hybrid instead.

Garmin Vivomove series

Price when reviewed: From $179.99/£159.99

 Garmin Vivomove 3 series

Credit: Wareable

Garmin Vivomove series key specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Connected GPS
  • View notifications
  • Tracks runs, swims and cycles
  • Up to 5 days battery life
  • Step and sleep tracking
  • Heart rate and SpO2 monitoring
  • 5ATM water resistant rating

There's multiple models in Garmin's Vivomove series collection including the Vivomove 3 (pictured above) and sleeker, pricier versions like the Vivomove Luxe. All share the same features and approach to delivering those smarts in a form factor that hides away those connected features.

You're getting a mix of physical hands and a hidden digital display that only comes into sight when you want to check data on it. That data includes blood oxygen data, heart rate, sleep and sports tracking metrics when you use the supported connected GPS.

You can also view notifications, calendar appointments, weather updates and make contactless payments with Garmin Pay to make sure you get a good mix of smartwatch features here as well.

Whether you pick up the cheaper Vivomove models or go for the Style or Luxe versions, you'll get surprisingly normal looking watches with some very useful fitness, health and smartwatch skills.

Read our Garmin Vivomove Sport review and Garmin Vivomove 3 series review.

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Price when reviewed: From $499/£499.99

Best hybrid smartwatch: Blend health tech and style

Credit: Wareable

Withings ScanWatch Horizon key specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Connected GPS
  • View notifications
  • Tracks runs, swims and cycles
  • Up to 30 days battery life
  • Step and sleep tracking
  • ECG sensor for detecting Atrial Fibrillation
  • Heart rate and SpO2 monitoring
  • 5ATM water resistant rating

The Withings ScanWatch is another hybrid smartwatch that looks like a beautiful watch and doesn't scrimp on the smarts.

There are other version of the Scanwatch, but the Horizon offers high grade case materials with the option of metal and rubber straps to swap from formal to fitness-friendly looks.

Great looks aside, the Horizon hosts a small AMOLED screen, which can display information such as notifications, heart rate, activity tracking stats and can track sleep if you want to keep it on in bed.

Withings also includes an ECG sensor, which is designed to deliver a level of heart rate measurement accuracy that can help detect signs of arrhythmia. There's additionally room for an SpO2 sensor to monitor blood oxygen levels and it can also be used to monitor breathing disturbances during sleep.

It's also capable of tracking exercise like runs and swims, with connected GPS support available to improve outdoor tracking accuracy. Throw in a lengthy 30-day battery life and the Horizon gives you a smartwatch that feels and looks like a high grade watch that doesn't easily give away its onboard smarts.

Check out our Withings ScanWatch Horizon review