1. Key considerations
  2. Fitbit Inspire 3
  3. Xiaomi Mi Band 7
  4. Whoop Strap 4.0
  5. Oura Ring 3
  6. Bellabeat Leaf Urban
  7. Hybrid smartwatches
  8. Garmin Vivomove series
  9. Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Best discreet clip-on and non-watch fitness trackers

More discreet tech from Fitbit, Withings and more
Bellabeat Bellabeat
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Wearing a fitness tracker doesn't mean having to advertise the fact you're trying to nail your daily step counts. Some wearables can keep that tracking discreet.

If you'd rather not have a smartwatch or a fitness band on your wrist, but still want to capture those stats, there are alternatives – and from big name brands such as Xiaomi and Fitbit.

These wearables offer the same sensors but go about their tracking business more discreetly.

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.

Key considerations

When will you wear it?

Think about the kind of data you want to track to help pick out the discreet wearable that will work best for you. Remember, if you don't wear a tracker on your wrist, or against your skin, it won't be able to read heart rate – and that means forgoing many of the main features of today's wearables. 

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. Alternatively, there are "hybrid" wearables, that track heart rate and health metrics, but appear like normal "non-smart" watches.

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 of resistance to everyday damage.

Battery life

If you're all about discreet tracking, then you won't want to be charging every day. Luckily, most of the devices on our list are good for around a week of battery life. 

Fitbit Inspire 3

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Fitbit Inspire 3 Key specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 5ATM water resistance (50m)
  • Up to 10 days of battery life
  • 1.55-inch, full color display
  • Connected GPS

The Inspire 3 is a fitness tracker that is primarily worn on the wrist – but you can opt to clip it to clothing with the purchase of an extra accessory.

The clip will let you secure the Inspire 3 to the waistband of your trousers or you can also wear it on a belt or bra.

When clipped, you can track steps, estimate calorie data and monitor sleep.

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. And because it won't track heart rate when clipped, you will forgo in-depth features such as the Health Dashboard and advanced sleep metrics.

But you'll still receive inactivity alerts and it'll dish out phone notifications for messages, texts, calls, and calendar appointments.

The Fitbit Inspire 3 offers the best battery life numbers you'll find on a Fitbit, with 10 days achievable between charges.

It costs a little more than the Mi Band 7 (below), but the excellent Fitbit app makes it worth the extra cost in our opinion.

Read our full Fitbit Inspire 3 review.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

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Xiaomi Mi Band 7 key specs and features:

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

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 can also be clipped onto your clothing if you purchase a third-party accessory.

Again, it does mean data like heart rate, stress, and SpO2 monitoring are off-limits until you put it back on your wrist. But information like step counts and distance covered can still be tracked. 

You'll also benefit from the 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.

The Xiaomi app has matured within the seven generations of its Mi Band tracker, and is a good place to view health data – and this is a strong option if you're keen to spend as little as possible.

Read our full Mi Band 7 review.

Whoop Strap 4.0

Free with $30/£30 subscription | Whoop

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 most advanced option on our list, the Whoop collects serious stats – but you do pay for it, with a meaty monthly subscription price.

The Whoop 4 is built for helping you better understand your optimal training and recovery needs and is also one you can now wear inside of clothes. You'll notice there's no screen, so it's a lot more discreet, and there are plenty of options on where to wear it.

Whoop is a top-quality sleep tracker, which also studies your daily activity, workouts, and melds this into a daily recovery core. It advises you on your daily sleep need, which is adjusted based on how hard you worked out, or your general well-being.

In addition, it tracks core wellness metrics that it displays via a daily health dashboard, and produces comprehensive weekly and monthly reports based on your stats, and lifestyle choices.

The adjustable strap can live on the wrist, where the knitted band makes the ensemble more discreet than a big AMOLED screen. But you can also slip it onto the upper arm or bicep, and get all the same benefits.

Whoop also offers a range of garments with a slot for the tracker element, which holds the unit to the skin to deliver all of the same powerful fitness tracking and wellness stats. Whoop Body includes boxers, sports bras, and shorts with options designed for everyday wear and tracking exercise.

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 key specs and features:

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

Smart rings are big news in wearables – and the Oura Ring 3 is the best you can buy right now.

Part of that is down it looking more ring-like than any other smart option, with a choice of finishes and colors.

But for such a discreet device, there is a lot of health-tracking power here. The optical sensor 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 are 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

Best clip-on and non-watch fitness trackers

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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 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, and distance and keeps tabs on your active time. It's also suitable to wear to bed to track your sleep time.

While there are no big health sensors like heart rate or SpO2 there are some big features inside of the companion app including the menstrual cycle and fertility tracking and meditation exercise features. A new Wellness Coach subscription is also on offer to make the 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 analog watches but are fitness trackers in disguise. If you don't want to show off your tech, choose a hybrid instead. You can check out our dedicated hybrid smartwatch guide, but we've selected some options below:

Garmin Vivomove series

Best clip-on and non-watch fitness trackers

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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 of battery life
  • Step and sleep tracking
  • Heart rate and SpO2 monitoring
  • 5ATM water-resistant rating

There are 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 get 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 and Garmin Vivomove 3 series review.

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Best clip-on and non-watch fitness trackers

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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 of 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 but doesn't scrimp on the smarts.

There are cheaper versions 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, and 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 a 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 exercises 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


How we test



James Stables

By

James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.


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