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Start the year off right with these incredible fitness trackers!

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We highly recommend the Fitbit Versa 2 for a wide variety of styles and uses, including automatic activity tracking, on-screen workouts, Fitbit Pay, music storage, and so much more. It’s no wonder that Fitbit continues to be one of the many highly regarded names in the industry with all it has to offer. However, don’t worry if that’s not your cup of tea. There are quite a few other options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for specific software, design, or feature set, you’ll be able to find a fitness tracker that checks all the boxes on your wish list.

Best Overall — Fitbit Versa 2

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Fitbit Versa 2 Features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Altimeter
  • 5-day battery life
  • Sleep tracking
  • Music player
  • Amazon Alexa built-in
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • AMOLED screen
  • Fitbit Pay
  • Replaceable band
  • Compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows

Swapping out the Versa 2 band isn’t as easy as some other Fitbit models we’ve seen. Trying to attach a new band is a bit of a challenge. Not only is the pin finicky, but it’s also tricky to get it precisely in the hole. It’s next to impossible if you don’t have long fingernails.

Aside from the band-swapping issue, the Versa 2 is the perfect blend of fitness tracker and smartwatch. You can check texts, calls, and notifications while eyeing the heart rate monitor as you jog down the sidewalk. Fitbit Pay is now standard, which means you no longer have to pay more to get a model with this feature.

There’s not much you can’t do with the Fitbit Versa 2. You’ll be able to track the basics, including steps, distance, calories, and floors climbed. Some other perks include menstrual cycle tracking, sleep tracking, guided breathing sessions, on-screen workouts, and 24/7 heart rate monitoring. It also provides you with 15 exercise modes to choose from, like biking, running, swimming, and even yoga.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Highly customizable
  • Affordable price tag

Cons:

  • No onboard GPS
  • Difficult to swap bands
  • Bulky charging cable

Best Overall

Fitbit Versa 2

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  • $194 at Amazon
  • $200 at Fitbit

A well-rounded smartwatch

The Versa 2 boasts a slim design, AMOLED display, improved battery life, and tons of fitness features at an affordable price.

Best Value Tracker — Fitbit Charge 4

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Fitbit Charge 4 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Built-in GPS
  • Altimeter
  • Up to 7-day battery life
  • Sleep tracking
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Grayscale screen
  • Replaceable band
  • Compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows

Before it made smartwatches, Fitbit was known for excellent fitness bands. The Charge 4 takes everything the company’s learned about the form factor over the years and stands out as one of the most polished and refined devices Fitbit’s released to-date.

The big draw to the Charge 4 is that it has GPS built right in. This allows you to map outdoor runs, walks, and bike rides without needing to bring your phone with you — something you won’t even find on the Versa 2 mentioned above. It also has all of the other fitness features you’d expect, such as all-day activity tracking, sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and automatic workout detection. There’s also 50M waterproofing if you want to use the Charge 4 for tracking any swims.

The design is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and thanks to seven-day battery life, you can wear the Charge 4 for a full week without having to stress out over how much gas if left in the tank.

Fitbit offers a few great smart features, too, including Fitbit Pay, notifications from your phone, and a Spotify app to control music playback. It would have been great to see local music storage to give the Charge 4 even more independence from your phone, but even so, this is an incredibly complete package.

Pros:

  • Crisp, responsive screen
  • Thin, comfortable design
  • Improved notifications
  • GPS is built-in
  • Waterproofing

Cons:

  • Finicky side buttons
  • No local music storage

Best Value Tracker

Fitbit Charge 4

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  • $150 at Amazon
  • $150 at Fitbit

An all-around great wearable on a budget

With built-in GPS, Fitbit Pay, and 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, the Charge 4 packs a lot of features into a small package.

Best On-A-Budget Tracker — Xiaomi Mi Band 4

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Xiaomi Mi Band 4 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Six workout modes
  • 20-day battery life
  • Color screen
  • Sleep tracking
  • Wearable while swimming
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

When you want to be able to cover your bases with your fitness tracker without breaking the bank in the process, you’ll love the Xiaomi Mi Band 4. A definite improvement from the Mi Band 3, this new version sports a clear color screen that’s easy to read and navigate. More importantly, it offers a satisfying list of tracking abilities and other features that are hard to find at this price point.

You’ll be able to choose from up to six workout modes, which include running, treadmill running, cycling, walking, pool swimming, and a general “exercise” workout mode. The swim tracking is on point, with the ability to recognize swim styles such as freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke. It also records other data sets, like swimming pace and stroke count.

Other than that, you’ll have an extended 20-day battery life, sleep tracking, and all-day heart rate monitoring. It might not be a smartwatch, but at this price point, it’s difficult to complain about this powerful little tracker.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly tracker
  • 20 days of battery life
  • Beautiful color display

Cons:

  • No onboard GPS
  • Mi Band 3 charger not compatible
  • NFC only available in select regions

Best On-A-Budget Tracker

Xiaomi Mi Band 4

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  • $39 at Amazon
  • $35 at Walmart

All the basics at a fair price

Mi Band 4 has connected GPS, plus heart rate and activity tracking. It lacks smartwatch features, but the price makes up for it.

Best Health Tracking Suite — Garmin Vivosmart 4

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Garmin Vivosmart 4 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Altimeter
  • Up to 7-day battery life
  • Pulse Ox
  • All-day stress tracking
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • OLED screen
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 does everything you would expect it to as a fitness tracker. It keeps track of your steps, sleep, calories burned, floors climbed, various exercises, and heart rate. However, where this tracker shines is its health-tracking features.

For starters, you’ll have advanced sleep tracking with REM sleep. It can also gauge blood oxygen saturation levels during the night with its wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor. A relaxation breathing timer complements the all-day stress tracking feature. Lastly, the “Body Battery” monitor helps optimize your daily activities based on your energy levels.

A couple of things you’ll miss include GPS and replaceable bands. You’ll still have access to smartphone notifications on your wrist. If you’re an Android user, you can respond with preset quick replies. If you want detailed health tracking data, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is the way to go.

Pros:

  • Ultra-lightweight design
  • Premium health tracking
  • Helpful Body Battery Energy Monitor
  • All-day stress tracking

Cons:

  • No GPS
  • Slim screen can be hard to navigate
  • Bands cannot be changed

Best Health Tracking Suite

Garmin Vivosmart 4

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  • From $97 at Amazon
  • $100 at Best Buy

Keep track of your health

This tracker offers more health monitoring features than most other options in its price range. It’s also slim and easy to use.

Best Activity Tracking Suite — Samsung Galaxy Fit

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Samsung Galaxy Fit features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Up to 7-day battery life
  • 90+ exercise modes
  • Sleep tracking
  • Stress monitoring
  • Wearable while swimming
  • Color screen
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

If you’ve been searching for the perfect fitness companion that’ll go the distance for any activity you have in mind, you’ll have met your match with the Samsung Galaxy Fit. In addition to being water-resistant to 50 meters and compliant with military-level durability standards, this handy device is built for endless activity tracking.

You’ll have the convenience of automatic activity tracking for six workouts: walking, running, cycling, elliptical training, rowing, and dynamic workouts. Wait, it doesn’t stop there. You can also use the Samsung Health mobile app to manually select from over 90 workouts, ten of which can be customized and set as preferred activities.

The Galaxy Fit will also monitor your heart rate, sleep patterns, and stress levels. You might notice that GPS is lacking here, but this robust activity tracking suite is hard to pass up.

Pros:

  • Lightweight durability
  • Decent 7-day battery life
  • Impressive activity tracking suite

Cons:

  • Lacks GPS
  • Realtime OS isn’t great
  • Limited watch face options

Best Activity Tracking Suite

Samsung Galaxy Fit

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  • $94 at Amazon
  • $100 at Best Buy

Track all of your activities

The robust activity tracking suite, heart rate sensor, and low price tag are a few reasons why the Galaxy Fit is a great tracker.

Best Heart-Rate Monitor — Fitbit Inspire HR

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Fitbit Inspire HR features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • 15+ exercise modes
  • Up to 5-day battery life
  • Connected GPS
  • Sleep tracking
  • Wearable while swimming
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Grayscale screen
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

The Fitbit Inspire HR is so compact and lightweight, you’re likely to forget you’re wearing it. This tracker also offers a more traditional buckle band as opposed to the peg-and-loop style. The bands are stylish and easy to switch when you feel like changing it up.

You’ll need to swipe up to see additional stats and use the single button on the device to return to the home screen. Swipe down when you’re ready to start exercising. With all that said, there are some restrictions to having such a small screen. You’ll need to go to the app to set alarms and bring your phone with you to utilize GPS.

Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Generous battery life
  • Lightweight and inconspicuous

Cons:

  • No altimeter
  • No quick replies
  • No Fitbit Pay

Best Heart-Rate Monitor

Fitbit Inspire HR

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  • From $88 at Amazon
  • $100 at Best Buy

An easy, budget-friendly way to track your heart-rate

The Inspire HR proves good things come in tiny packages. All the tracking and bonus features make it an affordable front-runner.

Best Smartwatch Combo — Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch

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Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Altimeter
  • 2 to 3 days of battery
  • Onboard GPS
  • Water-resistant to 30 meters
  • Music storage & controls
  • Color screen
  • Replaceable bands
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

For some people and their wearables, it’s an all-or-nothing mentality. Fortunately, various devices cater to fitness enthusiasts while still fulfilling the need for a fully functional smartwatch. One example is the Fossil Gen 5.

In addition to sporting the Snapdragon Wear 3100, it also boasts built-in GPS, near field communication (NFC), and music storage. (NFC is used for file transfers, making payments, and reading tags.) With access to Google Pay, untethered GPS, and all of your favorite tunes, there’s no reason to lug your phone to the gym.

The Fossil Gen 5 is swim-proof and will track your heart rate, steps taken, floors climbed, distance traveled, and calories burned. Use its custom goal tracking feature to track the goals that matter most to you. It doesn’t offer LTE connectivity like some other competitors on the market these days. But if you can get by with Wi-Fi, this may be the fitness smartwatch of your dreams.

Pros:

  • Google Pay
  • Multiple battery modes
  • User-friendly Wear OS

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No LTE connectivity
  • A bit large for small wrists

Best Smartwatch Combo

Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch

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  • From $265 at Amazon
  • $295 at Best Buy

The best of both worlds

If you want the look and feel of a smartwatch with fitness tracking, this is it. It’s the best Wear OS you can buy right now.

Best For Style — Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

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Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • 2-3 days of battery life
  • GPS monitor
  • Sleep tracker
  • Music player
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Bright color screen
  • Replaceable band
  • Capacitive bezel
  • Optional LTE
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

Want a quality fitness tracker but don’t want to sacrifice your impeccable sense of style? Look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. You can indeed have it all with this “active” smartwatch that helps you maintain your fashionable appearance while tracking your activities throughout the day.

Your fitness tracking is up to par as well. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 offers convenient automatic activity tracking for more than six workouts, including running, cycling, and swimming. It can track an additional 39 workouts, which range from various outdoor activities to gym routines. It also monitors your heart rate, sleep patterns, and stress levels. The improved Running Coach feature now gives you real-time pace metrics. You’ll receive a rundown of what to expect from your workout before you start. This feature coaches you with audio cues that can be heard through the external speaker or Bluetooth headphones.

Let’s not forget about those bonus smartwatch features. You’ll enjoy built-in GPS, Samsung Pay, smartphone notifications, Wi-Fi connectivity, and music storage. There’s even an LTE model available if you want a full-blown smartwatch experience with no limits, but be prepared to pay more for it.

Pros:

  • Built-in GPS
  • Samsung Pay
  • View and reply to notifications
  • LTE option available

Cons:

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Tizen OS can be a learning curve
  • Questionable third-party app support

Best For Style

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

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  • $279 at Amazon
  • $280 at Samsung

Don’t sacrifice style when wearing your fitness tracker

The Active 2 offers a crisp display, quality hardware, and GPS. The intuitive software and capacitive bezel are a nice touch.

Best GPS — Garmin Forerunner 245

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Garmin Forerunner 245 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Up to 7-day battery life
  • GPS monitor
  • Music controls
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Swim tracking
  • Color screen
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

Serious athletes will love the level of details that this device can provide. It doesn’t stop at tracking your stats. It also gives you detailed information about your performance. Are you gearing up for a race? The Forerunner 245 offers personalized training and recovery insight to help you prepare and reach your goals. If you can’t live without music storage on your device, upgrade to the Forerunner 245 Music.

Garmin takes safety seriously, which is why this device is equipped with incident detection. You’ll be able to share your location with pre-chosen contacts in case you get hurt or lost and need help. It’s also a great feature if you want to share your progress with others. The function can be activated manually or automatically with built-in incident detection.

Pros:

  • Crisp, colorful display
  • Detailed performance tracking
  • Smartphone notifications

Cons:

  • No altimeter
  • No Garmin Pay
  • No gyroscope

Best GPS

Garmin Forerunner 245

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  • $250 at Amazon
  • $250 at Best Buy

The GPS in the Forerunner 245 is better than the rest

The Forerunner 245 is ideal for those who want more from their tracker. You’ll have access to free Garmin Coach training plans.

Best For Casual — Fitbit Inspire

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Fitbit Inspire features

  • Activity & sleep tracking
  • 5-day battery life
  • Wearable while swimming
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Color screen
  • Replaceable band
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

Want to keep things casual and affordable when it comes to your fitness tracking habits? That’s exactly what the Fitbit Inspire was made for. This casual tracker successfully monitors your daily activity, like steps, distance, active minutes, and calories burned. It’s also able to automatically recognize and record specific workouts, including walks, runs, swims, and bike rides.

You’ll have to sacrifice connected GPS, the heart rate monitor, and having more detailed sleep data if you choose this monitor. But if you aren’t too concerned with diving that deep into the details, those may not be deal-breakers. The Inspire was designed for those who are only interested in the basics without the extra bells and whistles.

Pros:

  • Automatic exercise recognition
  • Reminders to move
  • Compact, comfortable design

Cons:

  • No heart-rate monitoring
  • Less detailed sleep data
  • No GPS

Best For Casual Use

Fitbit Inspire

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  • $62 at Amazon
  • $70 at Best Buy

This no-frills tracker looks great and does the job well.

For a stylish yet casual tracker that does most of the basics, the Fitbit Inspire will deliver what you’re looking for.

Bottom line

When it comes right down to it, the Fitbit Versa 2 takes the top spot on our list for a variety of reasons. For starters, the number of features you get for the price is simply unmatched. You’ll have battery life for days, on-screen workouts with Fitbit Coach, heart-rate monitoring, convenient music storage, Fitbit Pay, sleep tracking, and much more.

While there might be some drawbacks to the lack of onboard GPS and experiencing difficulties when swapping out the band, these concerns don’t hold a candle to the slew of features it offers at such an affordable price. You can track every step taken, floor climbed, and lap swam. And you can do all this while you listen to music, check notifications, and monitor your heart rate.

How to pick the best fitness tracker

If you’re looking for the best fitness tracker for your needs, you may find yourself stuck in one of those infamous internet black holes. How do you know which activity tracker has the features you want at a price you can afford—and won’t feel like you’ve strapped a brick to your wrist?

If you’re starting your search, here are a few tips to help you decide which fitness tracker is best for you.

1. Start with price

Depending on which features you want, your new fitness tracker could be surprisingly affordable, or it could end up setting you back quite a bit. (Yeah, we eyed a smartwatch that was nearing the quadruple digits for a good 30 seconds before our conscience brought us back to reality.)

Of course, you should still be cautious about buying anything that’s dirt cheap. Most cheap fitness trackers are just that: cheap. Even less costly models by well-known brands like Fitbit won’t come with a full display, so you’ll need to swap to the app to get all the details on your latest workout.

2. Decide on features

Narrow down your search by deciding which features you need. If your primary goal is to track your steps as you stroll around the neighborhood, you probably won’t need a heart rate monitor or GPS.

But if you’re using your tracker to keep tabs on calories burned, heart rate, and miles traveled while you hit the trail on your mountain bike, you’ll want both a heart rate monitor and GPS.

And if you plan on wearing your tracker while you swim laps in the pool, you’ll want to pay attention to the waterproof rating. And make sure the model you pick out tracks swimming.

3. Look at the wristband

If you’re blessed with average-sized wrists, wristband fit likely isn’t an issue for you. But if your wrists are on the slimmer or thicker side, you’ll want to pay attention to the bands that come with fitness trackers.

Brands like Fitbit typically offer fitness trackers in different sizes ranging from small/medium to large. Others offer adjustable bands that provide a snug fit for wrists of all sizes.

Another thing to note about the wristbands is the strap style. Is it a traditional watch-style strap with a buckle? Or does it simply “button” together? The button style sometimes feels less secure, especially if we’re at the gym tackling three-point rows and deadlifts.

Luckily, most fitness trackers come with band replacements. This lets you upgrade the material, color, and fit if you like. We’re all about having choices.

4. Consider style

Are you OK with a fitness tracker that looks like a fitness tracker? Or do you prefer something that looks like a traditional watch?

Activity trackers come in all shapes and sizes, so you can go as simple or fancy, modern or traditional, as you like.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that could fool a coworker into thinking it’s an actual watch, we’re impressed by the design of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. If you’re looking for something simple, the Fitbit Inspire and Fitbit Inspire HR are slim and uncomplicated.

5. Don’t forget about the apps

Our favorite fitness tracker app is Fitbit, hands down. It’s user-friendly and offers a full range of features. It even has menstrual cycle tracking, which we’ve never seen on any other fitness tracker apps.

The Fitbit app also integrates well with many popular third-party apps for a more robust tracking system that meets your needs. Here are some of our favorites:

Top 5 health and wellness apps

MyFitnessPal
Calm
C25K
Headspace
Strava

How do fitness trackers work?

Each fitness tracker works slightly differently, but some sensors and technology are relatively common across them all, like altimeters, accelerometers, and optical sensors. Here’s some of the technology you may stumble upon if you break into your fitness watch.

3-axis accelerometer — This measures your movements in every direction and helps track those steps.
Gyroscope — This gets a read on your orientation and rotation as you move. Now it’s time for some split squats!
Altimeter — Whether you’re tracking your hike up the mountain or climbing stairs on your work break, this keeps track of your altitude.
Optical sensors — These shine light into your capillaries to measure how quickly or slowly your blood is pumping to give you an idea of your current heart rate.
Actigraphy — Ever wondered how activity trackers monitor your sleep? Actigraphy identifies your sleep patterns by tracking your activity and rest cycles, then gives you an idea of how much you tossed and turned last night.
GPS — The GPS receiver collects data from different satellites to calculate your position as a set of coordinates. This lets you track your terrain and distance after a trail run or day on the slopes.

Of course, not all fitness trackers are created equal when it comes to the accuracy of their sensors. For the most part, actigraphy isn’t as accurate as measuring your sleep cycle in a lab, and optical sensors aren’t as precise as bioimpedance sensors when it comes to monitoring your heart rate.

What are the best fitness watches for large wrists?

When you’re shopping for a fitness tracker, it’s important to keep size in mind. Luckily, most bands can be adjusted to fit your wrist without an issue. If you have a particularly large wrist circumference, you’ll want to keep an eye out for options that’ll work for you.

Out of our list of 10 top fitness trackers, here’s what we recommend for large wrists:

3 best fitness watches for large wrists

Fitbit Charge 3 — The large size band will fit comfortably on larger wrists that range from 7.1 to 8.7″ in circumference.
Fitbit Versa 2 —While the Versa couldn’t look more different than the Charge 3, it can also fit 7.1 to 8.7″ wrists.
Garmin Forerunner 245 —This isn’t the biggest tracker on the market, but it can still accommodate wrists from 5 to 8″.

What are the best fitness trackers for small wrists?

If you’ve got an especially dainty wrist, it can be even more challenging to find the right fit. The last thing you want is for your tracker to be sliding around as you go about your day.

So what should you do? We think these activity trackers fit like a glove—er, watch:

3 best fitness trackers for small wrists

GarminVivosmart 4 —The small/medium band can fit wrists as small as 4.8″ and as large as 7.4″. Now, that’s impressive.
Fitbit Inspire — This tracker is lightweight and compact. Did we mention it can fit wrists that measure between 5.5 and 7.1″?
Fitbit Inspire HR — Not surprisingly, the souped-up version of the Inspire with heart-rate monitoring can also fit wrists from 5.5 to 7.1″.

Now that you’ve found your fitness tracker match, you’re one step closer to running laps around your goals. #YouCanDoIt

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She’s obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.

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Joe Maring is Android Central’s News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012, and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop.

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