Best fitness tracker 2019: Pick the perfect fitness band or watch

Eat, sleep, walk, repeat with these top activity bands
Best fitness trackers to buy 2019
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If you're looking for the best fitness tracker of the 2019 class, the Fitbit Charge 3 is our current recommendation.

However, despite it acing our testing and offering a top array of features, it doesn't mean everyone looking to buy a new fitness tracker should zero in on this option.

There's plenty of excellent wearables to choose between, including wares from Xiaomi, Garmin and Samsung, and not just Fitbit.

After all, finding the right fitness tracker isn't just about getting the device with the latest features, it's about balancing this with factors like your budget and style preference, too.

Below, in our comprehensive buying guide, we'll be helping you do just that. We have a snapshot list of the top 10 fitness trackers to own, as well as more detailed summaries further below.


Best overall fitness tracker: Fitbit Charge 3

Best for value: Xiaomi Mi Band 4

Best for price: Honor Band 5

Best for running: Garmin Vivosport

Best for gym workouts: Garmin Vivosmart 4

Best for swimming: Samsung Galaxy Fit

Best for heart monitoring: Withings Steel HR Sport

Best for sleep monitoring: Fitbit Inspire HR

Best for style: Garmin Vivomove HR

Best for kids: Fitbit Ace 2

Best overall fitness tracker: Fitbit Charge 3

Best overall fitness tracker: Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 3 features

  • Heart rate tracking
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Swim tracking
  • ConnectedGPS (phone required)
  • Fitbit Pay (available in Special Edition)
  • VO2 Max data and step tracking
  • SpO2 sensor
  • Guided breathing exercises
  • Works with iOS and Android

The most complete fitness tracker on the market is the Fitbit Charge 3.

A total redesign of the previous generation, we now have a slimmer, refined look - and one that's much more comfortable to wear. If you want to mix up your look or feel, bands can be swapped out with ease, too.

The headline changes are the waterproof body, which makes it an option for swimmers, and the improved touchscreen, and you'll quietly be able to get an entire week of battery from the tracker.

Herat rate tracking is a given these days, but, still, the Charge 3 is one of the leading performers. You get continuous monitoring, resting heart rate measurements and VO2 Max calculations with Fitbit's Cardio Fitness Score.

And, though currently unused, it also comes with a relative SpO2 blood oxygen sensor. When Fitbit eventually rolls out a dedicated feature, this should allow Fitbit to identify sleep apnea.

There's no GPS – but the Charge 3 has ConnectedGPS, which means it will use your phone's signal for outdoor workouts.

Read our complete Fitbit Charge 3 review for more.

Fitbit Charge 3 - $149.99
Fitbit Charge 3 - $149.99

Best tracker for value: Xiaomi Mi Band 4

Best fitness tracker for value: Xiaomi Mi Band 4

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 features

  • Heart rate tracking
  • Waterproof and swim tracking
  • NFC for contactless payments
  • Step tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • Music controls
  • Notification support
  • iOS and Android support

We've put the Mi Band 4 to the test, and, after some notable changes in the features department, we see this as the best pick for those who want great value.

While it might look similar to its predecessor, there's an improved screen - now a bigger, 0.95-inch color AMOLED touchscreen display with 120 x 240 resolution - that makes it a much nicer place to view your data.

The Android and iOS-friendly fitness tracker does the basics like tracking steps and sleep automatically, but will also track activities like running and cycling with GPS help from your phone. The waterproof design allows for swimming workouts, too.

The price has jumped up ever so slightly from previous generation, but the latest Mi Band still represents excellent value for money if you want a fitness tracker that does the basics and more.

Read our complete Xiaomi Mi Band 4 review for more.

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 - $40
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 - $40

Best cheap fitness tracker: Honor Band 5

Best cheap fitness tracker: Honor Band 5

Honor Band 5 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Water resistance
  • Step tracking
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Tracks ten exercises
  • SpO2 monitor
  • Phone notifications
  • 14-day battery life
  • iOS and Android support

We may prefer the design and fit the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 provides, but the Honor Band 5 is the best option for those who just want the most affordable fitness tracker.

And, surprisingly, despite its low price, you get plenty of features that aren't standard on more expensive options, such as a crisp 0.95-inch AMOLED color display (offering 240 x 120 pixel resolution) and a SpO2 sensor.

It doesn't stop there, either. For more basic monitoring, there's a heart rate sensor, automatic sleep tracking support and the ability to track a range of different exercises. That includes swimming, even, with waterproofing up to 50 meters.

Perhaps best of all, though, is the two-week battery life, letting your tracker remain connected to your wrist for an extremely long time between charges (and also your iOS or Android device, as both are compatible).

Read our complete Honor Band 5 review for more.

Best tracker for running: Garmin Vivosport

Best fitness tracker for running: Garmin Vivosport

Garmin Vivosport features

  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart rate
  • Sports modes
  • Advanced heart metrics
  • Seven days of battery life
  • Notification support
  • iOS and Android

The Garmin Vivosport is one of the few fitness trackers featuring both GPS and a heart rate monitor, and this alone makes it the best option for runners and those who enjoy outdoor workouts.

You can place the band into running and cycling mode to get a GPS tracked workout, with the only downside being the difficulty in reading live stats on the tiny 72 x 144 monochrome screen.

It's water resistant to 5ATM (up to 50m), though, which means it will survive a dip in the pool, as well as workouts in the great outdoors.

Despite being a couple of years old, it also features the same rich mix of heart rate enabled metrics, including heart rate variability stress scores, resting heart rate, VO2 Max and fitness age estimates.

Essentially, if you like running and gym work, but are looking for a band over a dedicated GPS running watch, the Garmin Vivosport is one of the best options out there.

Read our complete Garmin Vivosport review for more.

Garmin Vivosport - $125
Garmin Vivosport - $125

Best tracker for gym workouts: Garmin Vivosmart 4

Best tracker for gym workouts: Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin Vivosmart 4 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Step tracking
  • Automatic exercise detection
  • VO2 Max
  • Rep counting for gym exercises
  • Heart rate variability for stress scores
  • iOS and Android support

The Vivosmart 4 is slimmer, sleeker and even better equipped for the gym than its predecessor.

It includes a heart rate monitor, VO2 Max testing (which is a great metric for those who like HIIT and CrossFit clases), and automatic exercise detection, so you won't miss out if you forget to start tracking a session.

The 'body battery' energy monitoring will give you a better insight into how well prepared you are for your next workout, too.

The Vivosmart 4 also packs in Garmin's Move IQ software and rep counting for those who like to lift weights, while the addition of the pulse oximeter sensor means it's even able to help detect sleep apnea.

The decent accelerometer-based run tracking slightly makes up for the missing GPS support, as well, if you're not too bothered about pinpoint accuracy.

Read our complete Garmin Vivosmart 4 review for more.

Garmin Vivosmart 4 - $99.99
Garmin Vivosmart 4 - $99.99

Best waterproof tracker: Samsung Galaxy Fit

Best waterproof fitness tracker: Samsung Galaxy Fit

Samsung Galaxy Fit features

  • 0.95-inch AMOLED touchscreen display
  • Tracks steps/automatic sleep monitoring
  • Accelerometer-based workout tracking
  • Includes heart rate monitor
  • 5ATM (up to 50 metres) waterproof
  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Displays notifications

The Samsung Galaxy Fit isn't a direct replacement for the older Gear Fit2 Pro, but, if you're looking for a fitness tracker that's nicer to wear and tracks your pool time, the Fit gets our vote.

Sitting below the Fit2 Pro, the $99.99 Fit does all the basics including step counting and distance covered, and also offers strong sleep monitoring features too.

You also get smartwatch features like notification support and the ability to switch out watch faces on the gorgeous 0.95-inch AMOLED touchscreen display. There's no music player controls, payment features or Bixby support, but that's not all surprising considering the price.

On the swim tracking front, you're relying on the onboard motion sensors to monitor pool time. Accuracy-wise, we found it served up data more on par with what our Garmin watch recorded. Using it in the pool in general is fine and its slim design means it's nice and unobtrusive.

For battery life, you can expect around the seven-day mark depending on usage. If you want a slim, comfortable tracker with decent swim tracking skills, this is definitely one to consider.

Read our complete Samsung Galaxy Fit review for more.

Samsung Galaxy Fit - $99.99
Samsung Galaxy Fit - $99.99

Best tracker for sleep monitoring: Fitbit Inspire HR

Best fitness tracker 2019

Fitbit Inspire HR features

  • Sleep tracking
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Step tracking
  • Notification support
  • Swim tracking
  • Automatic exercise detection
  • Connected GPS
  • iOS and Android support

Fitbit's newest fitness tracker, the Inspire HR, is a great option for those who want something a little bit sleeker to track sleep with.

It boasts all the same sleep monitoring tech as the flagship Charge 3, only in a lighter and thinner body.

And though it also comes in a regular equivalent, you'll need the Inspire HR if you want to receive Fitbit's Sleep Stages - the feature that brings light, deep, awake and REM insights from your night's sleep.

Fitbit's Inspire range also offers a swim-proof design, step tracking, notifications and automatic workout tracking.

It's not just advanced sleep metrics available on the Inspire HR, either, with the heart rate monitor giving you round-the-clock coverage, as well as the Guided Breathing feature.

It takes all of the Fitbit fitness tracker basics and puts it on a device with a touchscreen display - one that can go the distance, too, with around five days of battery life.

Read our complete Fitbit Inspire HR review for more.

Fitbit Inspire HR - $99.95
Fitbit Inspire HR - $99.95

Best tracker for heart monitoring: Withings Steel HR Sport

Best fitness tracker

Withings Steel HR Sport features

  • Automatic exercise detection
  • Continuous heart rate monitoring
  • Dedicated run and swim tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • 25-day battery life
  • iOS and Android support

The Withings Steel HR Sport is the company's first hybrid smartwatch since the company was bought back from Nokia. Thankfully, it still one of the best hybrids for keeping track of your fitness.

The key thing here is the accuracy of the heart rate monitor, which, in our testing, was a top performer.

It's designed for continuous wear, and will take a reading from your wrist every minute. However, the fact that it's combined into such a beautifully designed tracker-watch hybrid, and still manages 25 days of battery life, is a huge boon for Withings.

Swim tracking is also present, as well as GPS connection over the phone, meaning you can now more accurately track runs with the help of your smartphone.

In short, the Withings Steel HR is a superb fitness tracker that gets our thumbs up.

Read our complete Withings Steel HR Sport review for more.

Withings Steel HR Sport - $159.95
Withings Steel HR Sport - $159.95

Best tracker for style: Garmin Vivomove HR

Best fitness tracker for style: Garmin Vivomove HR

Garmin Vivomove HR features

  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Hidden screen
  • Stress tracking
  • 50m water resistance
  • Tracks gym workouts
  • 14-day battery
  • iOS and Android support

Though a little long in the tooth, the Garmin Vivomove HR is still a powerful fitness tracker hidden inside a decent-looking analogue watch.

While it doesn't quite manage to look as classically designed as the Withings Steel HR Sport, the hidden screen works harder on the Garmin, and smart notifications are much easier to read.

In terms of tracking the heart rate monitor rules the roost, offering 24/7 tracking, a focus on stress via heart rate variability (HRV) and resting heart rate tracking.

You can also track runs (albeit without GPS), strength training and open sessions, which will appeal to gym goers.

Plus, everyone can get behind the 14 days of battery life, and 5ATM (up to 50m) water resistance, which make it a winner in our eyes.

Note: If you want something a bit newer, Garmin has now unveiled a new Vivomove, which comes in three different versions. There's the Vivomove 3, the Style and the Vivomove Luxe, which adds a color AMOLED display that lives above and below the analogue watch hands.

Read our complete Garmin Vivomove HR review for more.

Garmin Vivomove HR - $170
Garmin Vivomove HR - $170

Best tracker for kids: Fitbit Ace 2

Best fitness tracker for kids: Fitbit Ace 2

Fitbit Ace 2 features

  • Swim-proof
  • Suitable for kids 6 and older
  • Step tracking, sleep tracking
  • Call notifications
  • iOS, Android and Windows

Yes, children now have fitness trackers too – and the Fitbit Ace 2 is the company's second generation device that makes some welcome changes to make it a better fit for smaller wrists.

Now designed for ages 6 and above, Fitbit has opted for more colorful band options and has gone swim-proof.

Tracking features are largely the same as the first Ace, letting you track steps and active minutes (10 minutes of moderate movement). There's also sleep tracking and the ability to set alarms and reminders to keep active during the day.

Fitbit has also ensured the tracker is 100% compliant with all child privacy laws, if you're concerned about how it handles that data. Battery life is around five days, though the new animated watch faces can give that a knock.

If you're after a fitness tracker for kids a little younger, the Garmin Vivofit jr 2 is aimed at kids aged 4 and above and has done some fun things to motivate kids to keep moving. But for our top pick, the Ace 2 currently gets our vote.

Read our complete Fitbit Ace 2 review for more.

Fitbit Ace 2 - $69.95
Fitbit Ace 2 - $69.95


Today's best fitness tracker deals

Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit Versa 2
Amazon
$199
Fitbit Versa - Save $29.96
Fitbit Versa - Save $29.96
Amazon
$139.99
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 - Save $32.05
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 - Save $32.05
Amazon
$37.94
Fitbit Charge 3 - Save $10
Fitbit Charge 3 - Save $10
Amazon
$139.99


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23 comments

  • Ianps22·

    Hi,

    Has any review been made with the Huami Amazfit Cor? The price is great ($50), but I just don't know how reliable the swimming tracking is...

    Thanks!

    • j.stables·

      We're working on it, bear with us

  • j.stables·

    It's a big bulky band and no GPS on a Polar is a bit silly.

  • j.stables·

    Fitbit Flex 2

  • temper·

    i have to disagree in parts for the moov now (using it for about 3 years). While it does a nice job in swim tracking, has a good price, great battery life and collects nice data there is a big downside - in fact in my opinion moov got worse over time.But still - in that price range i am not sure about an alternative that offers similar. Anyways: critic - go:

    For tracking only and watching it afterwards in the app its fine - but it has some flaws and misses some essentials.

    What i mean by that?

    a) The app can only use the internal memory - no sd card or similar - so each workout it gets bigger and you can only delete workouts to go against that. Depending on your phone this can suck

    b) you can't export shit part 1: Only the most recent workout is automatically synced (for an unknown time period) after you finished. If that doesn't work - you're screwed. No possibility to sync per hand when that fails.

    c) you can't export shit part 2: You can only sync distance, time, gpx data for biking and running, for swimming only distance and time is synced.

    None of the other data of the so called coach is available outside your small mobile screen.

    They offer their own heart rate solution. Export or sync that data? Not possible.

    d) Speaking of smart coach and their new and shiny heart rate tracker. Ever driven up a hill in first gear with your heart rate maxing? Smart Coach still tells you to "shift to an easier gear". Fucking wannabe smart that is.

    e) Customer support. Another thing i am looking for when buying a new wearable i learned here: do they have a forum for feedback/discussion with other users?

    Moov had one (uservoice)- but killed it from one day to the other - replacing it with a simple answer collection. No discussion possible there. Sucks. Polar did something similar btw (forum.polar.fi). While its ok to say "we got no manpower to give support" - a feedback possibility and to exchange with other users is essential for me. Why drop the chance of feedback and community support? Dumb.

    f) updates: it seems to get buggier with each update. If you look at the blog - they now are all-so-happy to announce the app in other languages then english.

    Worst. Translation. Ever.

    I can only speak for my language - but

    3. there are several typos in the app. This is so bad that it for sure has for sure never seen the eye of a native speaker or anyone nearly able to understand it.

    2. when doing a workout the stats moov tells you every km/mile sounds something alone the lines of: "can't find underline stats error underline. You error error this error underline...".

    So mainly: not usable during the workout. Its like that for the last 2 updates now (and yes i gave them feedback - which leads to my top 1).

    1. The language change is not optional and can't be changed in the settings. So the workaround i got as reply to my feedback was:" you have to change your language in your phone settings." So we'll just change our entire phone language because a single app has a shitty translation? Sounds about right.

    I get why the the wareble office can love that thing - but it's more like hate love - and no understanding for a lot of decisions of the guys behind the moov.

    BTW - you should open a forum here ;) - so people can discuss their experience with trackers, watches etc.

    When looking for a buy you mostly don't see stuff like "is there a discussion/feedback/support forum available", "do they listen to user feedback", how updates are handled, if you can export your data etc.

  • vasanthi·

    Can anyone please suggest models that, in addition to tracking steps, heartrate etc can also show time; in short a fitness tracker cum watch ?

    • c.allison·

      Hi Vasanthi. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit Alta HR, Fitbit Charge 2 and Garmin Vivosport will all track your steps and heart rate, as well as give you the time. If you're looking for more of a watch-style design that can still track heart rate and steps, we'd recommend checking out the Nokia Steel HR.

  • Creepy·

    My Charge 2 fails to maintain a charge after 18 months of use. The best Fitbit can do is offer me 25% off on a new one. Their customer support has gone downhill.

  • Amity·

    I have a Fitbit Charge 2 HR, and haven't had any problems with it. I've had it over 18 months.
    My question is this, my husband works in heavy equipment for 12.5 hours. He wants a fitness tracker, but doesn't want the bumpiness to track as steps. He wants to track his heart rate and his sleep, and will start going to the gym and wants to track that too. Is there a best option for his situation?

  • fb_1859756817·

    There are many feature rich smart bands from likes of Xiaomi and Honor with less than 1/3rd of the prices of above mentioned bands. They are stylish, durable and budget friendly. I bought Honor band 3 ($ 32.55) which includes 24*7 hr monitor, sleep, step detector, alarm, notifications and reading, caller ID and rejection, swimming, cycling, work out plans, fitness analysis, gps connection to smart phone, and more...... Then why spend that much amount for smart bands of Fitbit and Gramins!!!...

    • Maraudermick·

      Yeah, I agree!

      Had a fitbit once; never did work!. POS. Wasted $100. on it, plus months trying to get it to work.

      Thanks for the Honor band 3 info. I'll check it out.

  • Reluctantrunner·

    what would you recommend? Ideally not a wrist strap ( ? something that would work round ankle or bra strap or clip onto clothing). Hospital workers not allowed wrist straps.

    I want easy to use device as most important thing. Not necessary to download info or use with phone. I want a rep timer for running intervals, to measure speed and distance. To use with bike too. Steps for the rest of the day. Sleep info would be nice but not deal breaker, calories burned too. Looking for cheap and cheerful. Not bothered by looks or branding

  • kazz·

    Hi just wondering what you would recommend that has a timer function as well as counting reps to help at the gym eg: 90 second timer which then tracks how many reps you do in that time? Is that even a feature?!?

    Thanks!

  • HeartTrackr·

    Hey!!

    Thanks for sharing this amazing blog post. You have shared the huge information. Keep sharing!!

  • pgeordon·

    Why do you not have reviews for people with visual difficulties?

  • MewMew·

    What would be your suggestion for a vibrating tracker? I need a watch or tracker that I can set a timer on easily and quickly multiple times a day. We use timers at my job all day to time patients and I am hard of hearing and cannot hear the beeping of the kitchen timers they use. I will end up wearing the kitchen timer anyways so I might as well wear a tracker or watch.

    Thanks!

  • annajolie·

    I'm very interested in fitness tracker. I used to read on techwhiff. Now, I want to choose a fitnness tracker. I find information are interesting and useful.

  • annajolie·

    I found Fitbit Versa's review on techwhiff and I found that Fitbit Versa provides users with applications that have detailed sleep functions. That is one of the advantages of the Fitbit Versa. This app will be great if the actual hardware will track and sync properly.

  • dd1122·

    Having bought the Charge 3, I would like to share with this site that it is by far the worst tracker I have ever owned. The step counts is grossly inaccurate. Counting significantly more steps than I actually take. Counting steps while I am sitting at my desk. Not just a couple we are talking hundreds. Also, when exercising once your wrist starts sweating if you are exercising intensely the HR stops working. I have 30 minute workouts on my fit bit where 10 minutes of my heartrate weren't tracked. Just shows blank on the dash board. Asking fitbit for support has been a disaster, completely unresponsive, sent me in circles with suggestions or pages to read on their site to trouble shoot. If tracking your heartrate during exercise and accurate step count are important to you, then this tracker is not for you. Its a total waste of money.


  • wBoop·

    Dear Editor/Writer.

    Are you guys being paid to review the Fitbit Charge 3? How can every major site give it flawless reviews when it's accuracy when it comes to HR, Steptracking and Calorie tracking is highly inaccurate? Do you just assume that the stats shown on the tracker is accurate and base the review of the features? I was gonna buy a Fitbit Charge 3, but after reading a dozen threads it is clear that none of the things it is surpose to track is accurate.

  • mel-knows·

    Hi. I'm interested to buy my first fitness tracker. Can u help me choose. My workout routine are swimming and walking. Which is better huawie band 3, shine or moove ?thanks!

    • m.sawh·

      Hey,

      If you like swimming, the most accurate of those three is the Moov, but it doesn't have a display of course. The Huawei Band 3 tracks swimming too, but we had mixed results with accuracy. You could also consider something like the Vivosmart 4 or the Inspire HR.

  • Cywryn·

    How is FitBit still "leading the way" in 2019 when their customer service is literally THE worst. After paying the ridiculous price of $250 for the Ionic, the screen cracked after only 6 months and the cause? Bumping my belt! When I called the company for a replacement under the warranty, they confirmed that the watch should NOT crack under so little pressure but instead of honoring their warranty they implied that I was lying about how the screen cracked. Then to add insult to injury they offered me 20% off to buy a new one. Obviously I will be choosing a different company for my next smart watch.