Although there are a variety of high-end fitness-tracking devices — such as the Apple Watch Series 4 and the Fitbit Versa — it’s easy to find plenty of cheaper models, too. Our favorite cheap fitness tracker is the Fitbit Inspire HR, a no-frills tracker that is packed to the brim with sensors and still costs just $100. Even though it is cheap, the Inspire is backed by Fitbit, a brand that helped pioneer the fitness tracker market.
The Inspire HR is only one of several cheap fitness trackers we have on hand for testing. We’ve ran with them, slept with them, and worn them 24/7 for weeks to find out which ones are the best. We’ve compiled our favorites so that you’re sure to find one to suit your needs — and your budget. If you’re looking to splurge, be sure to check out our compilation of the absolute best fitness trackers available.
The best overall
Fitbit Inspire HR
Why you should buy this: It’s an affordable product from the leading brand name in the business.
Who’s it for: Athletes who want an entry-level, automatic fitness tracker in an ultraslim package.
Why we picked the Fitbit Inspire HR:
The name Fitbit has been synonymous with fitness trackers since the day they debuted — and for good reason. Although the Inspire HR isn’t as fancy as some of the company’s high-end products, the name itself guarantees reliability. The bottom line is that it works effectively, which is what you want from a fitness tracker.
The Fitbit Inspire HR is chock-full of features including all-day automatic activity tracking including steps, distance, active minutes, heart rate, and calories burned. Activity tracking is complemented by sleep-tracking features, female health tracking, and reminders to move. Maybe you’re a swimmer or you hate the idea of having to take off your fitness tracker every time you shower? The Fitbit Inspire HR is shower-proof, swim-proof, and even tracks swimming.
The Inspire HR features the same automatic wireless syncing to your smartphone as Fitbit’s higher-end devices and the battery life is decent, lasting up to roughly five days. The product is sleek and elegant and if you prefer a more stylish look, there are plenty of accessories available for purchase. It’s hard to beat such a comprehensive package for this price — especially one backed by the Fitbit name.
Read our full Fitbit Inspire HR review.
The most stylish
Why you should buy this: You want a fitness tracker that looks more like a timepiece than a fitness tracker.
Who’s it for: Style-conscious fitness enthusiasts.
Why we picked the Withings Move:
Fitness trackers often look clunky, sporty, or too big for a person’s wrist. Meet the Withings Move, a stylish solution for fitness enthusiasts who want a wearable that actually looks good. The Move features a classic analog watch face, with all the fitness-tracking elements hidden inside the casing. The only hint that the Move is a fitness tracker is the small third hand that is used to track your progress toward your step count goal.
Aside from its good looks, the Withings Move tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep — matching appearance with function. The wearable is also swim-proof, has automatic exercise detection and can produce a GPS track when connected to your mobile phone. It includes replaceable batteries that last up to 18 months, so you won’t have to deal with the hassle of ever charging the thing. You will have to bring it to a professional to have the batteries replaced, though.
Withings even allows you to customize the watch colors with options for the dial, casing, activity hand, and the band.
The most competitive
Why you should buy this: The Runtopia S1 offers a lot of bang for your buck, packaging heart-rate tracking, step counting, and GPS into a comfortable watch.
Who’s it for: Runners who want a basic training device that can share their runs with Runtopia.
Why we picked the Runtopia S1:
The Runtopia S1 is an entry-level smartwatch that offers GPS, heart-rate tracking, step counting, and smart notifications. The S1 has a solid build quality that is surprising given the affordable price tag. It is also comfortable, with an adjustable band to fit a wide variety of wrist sizes.
When running, the S1 tracks your time, pace, distance, and heart rate, allowing you to get the most out of your workout. The watch is tied to the Runtopia service so you have to be an existing Runtopia user or sign up for an account if you want to sync your data with your mobile phone. Runtopia is known for its incentive-based platform that gives you virtual coins for your steps and workouts. These coins then can be used to purchase rewards and discounts. The S1 only tracks running, but an update to add cycling is coming soon. It also doesn’t offer sleep tracking.
The best display
Huawei Band 3 Pro
Why you should buy this: It’s hard to find a full-featured fitness tracker with a tap display and GPS tracking at such a low price.
Who’s it for: Fitness lovers who covet a touch display screen and want GPS tracking
Why we picked the Huawei Band 3 Pro:
Many cheap fitness trackers lack display screens but the Huawei Band 3 Pro is the exception to this rule. Couple that with the fact it boasts accurate GPS tracking — at this price point, no less — and it makes for a product that’s hard to believe. The features don’t stop there as the Huawei Band 3 Pro boasts standard step and sleep tracking, a heart rate monitor, VO2 max, and recovery time. It easily pairs with any iOS or Android smartphone, ensuring you’ll never miss a call, text, or alarm.
Huawei also made the wearable waterproof to a depth of around 50 meters, allowing you to swim and shower without the hassle of taking it on and off. At just $70, it does have its downsides, but they’re not dealbreakers. The mobile application is not as polished as the big name brands, and there is limited support for third-party apps. Also, the Huawei Band 3 Pro doesn’t offer interchangeable band options, so you are stuck with the default colors. Again, these are nitpicks that are easy to look past with a price tag this appealing.
Read our Huawei Band 3 Pro review to find out more.
The best battery life
Garmin Vivofit 4
Why you should buy this: You don’t want to worry about charging your fitness tracker.
Who’s it for: Any fitness freak who barely remembers to charge their smartphone, never mind a fitness tracker.
Why we picked the Garmin Vivofit 4:
Garmin is another name making massive strides in the fitness wearables industry. The Garmin Vivofit 4 is one of the company’s most affordable products and while it is simple, it provides for basic fitness features and includes a small, color display screen. The product tracks steps, distance, and calories burned and offers sleep monitoring, as well.
Its integrated Move IQ system is a coveted Garmin feature that provides for automatic activity detection and syncs to Garmin Connect, where it classifies each activity type. Garmin Connect also allows you to save, plan, and share your activities, in addition to boasting a social aspect.
Although the Garmin Vivofit 4 has a lot to offer in terms of fitness features, its highlight is the yearlong battery life — which was unheard of in the world of wearables when it was first introduced. Though it does lack heart rate tracking and GPS, if you’re looking for a great entry-level fitness tracker you never need to charge, you’ve met your match with the Garmin Vivofit 4. It’s even safe in the shower or for swimming and boasts tons of screen and band customization options.
The best personalized training
Why you should buy this: You want personalized training feedback.
Who’s it for: The hardcore fitness freak who cares about results, not appearances.
Why we picked the Moov Now:
Forget the bells and whistles, thewas designed with serious athletes in mind. This innovative product features a 9-axis accelerometer which tracks not only steps and calories, but how you move as well. Wearing the Moov Now is like having your own personal trainer on your wrist.
The tracker helps correct form, reduces your chance of injury, and tracks your progress. Some of the activities highlighted on the product’s website include circuit training, running, cycling, swimming, boxing, and indoor cycling. The tracker is waterproof and dustproof and provides for up to six months of battery life — meaning you’ll hardly ever have to stop moving. It’s not the most stylish of the bunch — and does lack any kind of display — but the tracker can be worn on other places on your body than your wrist and is available in four different colors.
Should you buy one now?
Fitness tracking technology is advancing at a rapid pace and it seems as though brands release new products every few months. Many varieties which began as simple fitness trackers have since been transformed into full-blown smartwatches. If you’re into fitness, it’s likely you’ve considered purchasing a fitness tracker. But just because technology is advancing doesn’t mean you have to shell out a fortune for a fancy product. Affordable fitness trackers feature a lot of the same technology as the more advanced options — just without a few of the shinier bells and whistles.
On this list alone, there are fitness trackers which offer GPS tracking, personalized coaching, and impressive touch displays. If you’re just testing the wearable waters, you want a basic fitness tracker, or you’re on a budget, now is a great time to buy. Cheap fitness trackers aren’t going anywhere and as the companies improve their technologies, these trackers are improving at the same time.