Best Fitness Trackers for Keeping You Fit

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 7, 2017
Get motivated to meet your goals with a tracker that keeps daily stats and shows you time on display. Get some encouragement for being more active throughout the day. We've reviewed 5 best fitness trackers that will help you lead an active lifestyle. Take a pick! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
DISPLAY
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
BODY METRICS
FUNCTIONS
BATTERY LIFE
PROTECTION
OS COMPATIBILITY
PACKAGE
WARRANTY
 
PROS
Fast charging (about 2 hours). Haptic feedback reminders and alarm clock will always keep you up to date with the events. Continuous reading of the heart rate makes an accurate analysis of your activities and the critical load on the heart.
CONS
To use the heart rate monitor function, the bracelet should be a few centimeters above the wrist.
OUR VERDICT
Fitbit Charge HR pedometer is a stylish fitness tracker that measures your activity and analyzes your diet. It can work for 1 week on a single charge. You can share your results with friends via a special social network.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Wristband
DISPLAY
OLED
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
3-axis accelerometer, Built-in optical heart rate monitor, Altimeter, Vibration motor, Bluetooth 4.0
BODY METRICS
Step counting, SmartTrack™ recognizes when you are exercising, Pulse measurement round-the-clock, Tracking the quality of sleep, Calories burned, Distance covered
FUNCTIONS
Shows time and training statistics, Smartphone apps with barcode scanner, Vibration alarm, Training and activity memory, Caller ID
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 5 days
PROTECTION
Protection from dust and water
OS COMPATIBILITY
Android 4.2 and higher, Windows Phone, iOS, Mac OS
PACKAGE
Wristband, USB cable, Bluetooth adapter
WARRANTY
USA - 1 year, EEA - 2 years
PROS

Fitbit Alta stores minute-by-minute data for 7 days and summary totals for 30 days. You can personalize your activity tracker by purchasing one of accessory bands (available in a variety of colors).

CONS
The display is rather small.
OUR VERDICT
Fitbit Alta is a well-balanced gadget combining a catchy design, premium materials (including medicine-grade 22 kt gold). The item suits any clothing style and will certainly help you keep fit!
detailed parameters
TYPE
Wristband
DISPLAY
OLED
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
3-axis accelerometer, Vibration motor, Bluetooth 4.0
BODY METRICS
Step counting, Distance covered, Calories burned, Tracking the quality of sleep
FUNCTIONS
Inactivity reminder, SmartTrack technology, Automatic exercise recognition, Smart notifications, Silent alarm, Time
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 5 days
PROTECTION
Sweatproof, Rainproof, Splashproof
OS COMPATIBILITY
Windows: Vista and higher, Mac: OS X 10.6 and higher, iOS: iPhone 4s and higher, Android: 4.3 Jilly Bean and high
PACKAGE
Fitbit Alta, Charging cable, Sync dongle
WARRANTY
1-year limited warranty
PROS
The pedometer is really accurate and works without faults. The unit is water-resistant and can be immersed as deep as 50 meters. The CR1632 battery is enough for 1 year of continuous operation. The fitness tracker has a wireless sync with a computer. Compatibility with a heart rate monitor.
CONS
No vibration and sound alerts.
OUR VERDICT
This tracker motivates you to be active throughout the day by displaying the red move bar after one hour of inactivity. You can wear this gadget for the whole year and monitor your results on the tracker's display. It's not a must to synchronize the tracker with a PC to see your results.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Wristband
DISPLAY
LCD
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
3-axis accelerometer, Heart rate sensor (might not be included in the package), Bluetooth 4.0
BODY METRICS
Heart rate monitoring, Step counting, Distance covered, Calories burned, Tracking the quality of sleep
FUNCTIONS
Activity status, Current time and date, Statistics of your achievements for several weeks, Smartphone apps displaying statistics and the current information
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 12 months
PROTECTION
Protected against dust, Water-resistant (50 meters)
OS COMPATIBILITY
iOS, Android 4.3 and higher, Mac OS
PACKAGE
Vivofit wristband (large and small strap sizes included), Heart rate monitor (optional), USB Bluetooth adapter
WARRANTY
1-year limited warranty
PROS
The casing is made of stainless steel which makes the design of the gadget really unique. You can quickly change the wristband in order to choose the one fitting your style. The touch screen makes using the tool really simple.
CONS
This gadget mustn't be immersed in water for too long.
OUR VERDICT
Wristfit fitness tracker will look stylish on your wrist and you will always know everything about your physical activity. And what's more - the gadget is charged wirelessly, so no cables at all!
detailed parameters
TYPE
Wristband, Watch
DISPLAY
OLED, Touchscreen
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
3-axis accelerometer, Vibration motor, Bluetooth 4.0
BODY METRICS
Step counting, Calories burned, Distance covered, Tracking the quality of sleep
FUNCTIONS
Alarm clock, Reminders, Time and date, Information about incoming calls and SMS, Low activity reminder
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 5 days
PROTECTION
Protection from dust and water
OS COMPATIBILITY
Android 4.3 and higher, iOS 7.0 and higher
PACKAGE
Wristband, Charging clip with a USB cable
WARRANTY
2-year limited warranty
PROS
The display lights flash as soon as you move your hand. You can take a picture on your smartphone by simply touching the screen of a tracker. The gadget can be charged via a computer owing to the built-in USB slot.
CONS
Toprime requires a connection to a smartphone for fine-tuning the settings.
OUR VERDICT
Great gadget for busy people! If the wireless connection between the fitness tracker and the smartphone is lost, Toprime will give an audio alert, so you will never forget your phone.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Wristband
DISPLAY
OLED, Touchscreen
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
3-axis accelerometer, Vibration motor, Bluetooth 4.0
BODY METRICS
Step counting, Calories burned, Distance measurement, Tracking the quality of sleep, Summarizing daily activities
FUNCTIONS
Silent vibrating alarm clock, Shows time, Information about incoming calls and SMS, Setting goals, User immobility reminder, Manage gestures, Find My Phone feature
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 7 days
PROTECTION
Protection from dust and water
OS COMPATIBILITY
Android 4.4 and higher, iOS 7.0 and higher, Windows, Mac OS
PACKAGE
Wristband
WARRANTY
1-year limited warranty

What is a Fitness Tracker?

How often have you thought about the kind of lifestyle you lead? Eventually, poor diet, sedentary work, and restless sleep will sooner or later lead to one thought - “It is time to change something!”. Start with yourself! Begin to control your activity using a fitness tracker - a gadget that counts the number of steps and other activity metrics throughout a day. This small but smart device will not only control your physical activity but also motivate you to achieve new goals, detecting the time of inactivity and prompting you to do some exercise or simply walk. Some of the trackers come equipped with heart rate sensors that can also monitor your heartbeat, track your sleep and let you share these results on social media later via mobile phone. Still, to achieve the results you need to have a willpower and always push yourself to the limit. 

And of course, don’t forget about a proper nutrition which plays an important role in everyone’s life! We recommend adding protein bars to your diet that can help you achieve positive and quick results. If you are an active person and adore sports, make sure to read the review of the best dive watches.

What Features to Compare

Design

To buy a fitness tracker that you’d like to use and wear, consider its design. The market today offers the devices of all sizes and shapes to fit a wide audience. Some of them can be worn on clothes, clipped to belts or pants or just worn in a common way, on a wrist. Fitness trackers that are much favored among customers today are those that resemble a bracelet with a small information display. There you can find a lot of useful readouts on your daily activities and receive alert notifications. The most advanced activity trackers support the following metrics - calories burned, distance walked, the number of steps, and some weekly statistics on your performance. For sportsmen, all these functions would be of great use, no doubt.

Features

In general, all trackers are capable of calculating the number of steps, distance covered, and calories burnt but some can do even more. People who often have a troubled sleep would appreciate using a feature on tracking their phases of sleep to know exactly what to correct in their lifestyle to solve this issue. Some trackers feature a smart clock that would wake you up only when you are in your light phase of sleep so that getting up isn’t such a chore. Or you can set this time yourself, knowing at what time you feel fit to get up. There are trackers with GPS-function and altimeter; they’ll come in handy for runners and other sportsmen who’d like to trace down their speed. People who do exercises to burn fat and need to monitor their heart rate in order to make training more effective should check out Heart Rate feature (although most modern models have got one). Basically, there are two options available - one that can “sense” your pulse with an infrared sensor and the other attached to the chest to sense the heart muscle. For a complete analysis of your physical performance, the tracker can sync via Bluetooth with your smartphone or PC via a special app. This allows you to set a profile and track your results as well as share them with your friends on social networks. When synced with a smartphone, some activity trackers can display information on incoming calls or notifications from your phone. This feature is useful for people who do not want to use the phone constantly but rather take a quick glimpse on the wrist to know whether to bother or not.

Usability

An activity tracker is a device that will always be with you wherever you are and whatever your condition is. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the usability of the device since it should provide protection against dust and moisture. For example, if you wear a fitness bracelet on your wrist all the time, you get sweaty when exercising and, as a result, sweat might damage the electronics. So, choose the device that is fully protected from moisture. Some models are highly water-resistant, so you can even swim or take a shower wearing them. The functionality and design of the tracker will affect its battery life. The majority of modern trackers should be charged at least once a week. No need to mention, the device with a color display must be charged every 3-4 days, but in any case, it will be less frequent than charging a smartphone. If you pick a device that can do nothing but only count steps, it won't consume a lot of energy at all, even if you sync it with your smartphone to send statistics.

Fitbit Charge HR

Assistant on Your Wrist

This fitness tracker is really stylish and convenient so you don't even feel it on your wrist throughout the day no matter what you're doing. By default, Fitbit Charge HR can show the current time on a display, though, it's important that you fine-tune it in the settings, otherwise, you'd need to click the same button all the time. Though the display on this Fitbit activity tracker is quite small, the information on it is easy to read. Besides the time, the display shows step metrics, heart rate, and even notifications coming to your smartphone (via the Caller ID function). It's so helpful since you don't need to take your phone from the pocket or bag. The Fitbit wristband activity tracker also boasts a smart alarm clock - the gadget monitors your sleeping phases and can wake you up with a gentle vibration at the right moment when you're most fit to get up in the morning.

Review of Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband

Your Personal Coach and Nutricionist

No secret that any success and positive result requires setting a goal, drawing up a plan, and strictly sticking to it. This way you will be able to lose weight, build muscles, and keep fit. Fitbit Charge HR is the gadget that will help you control your lifestyle as it has the following features: it counts all the steps you make, calories burned, and even calories you take in after eating. And that's just the beginning! All the information about your body is recorded and analyzed in a special app on a smartphone. Fitbit Charge HR syncs with your smartphone (or a computer) via Bluetooth. In the app, you need to input some data about yourself: height, weight, age, and so on. The app will automatically analyze the metrics and provide some helpful tips. Moreover, Fitbit allows you to save up on a nutritionist. How is it possible? Simple! You can scan the barcodes of the products you consume and the app will tell you an approximate number of calories that you consume. This way, you will know how many calories your body gets and spends every day. So simple yet utterly efficient!

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband in the use

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Band cover cases will help you make your Fitbit Charge HR activity tracker unique and emphasize your style.

Detailed review of Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband

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Fitbit Alta

Style and Elegance

Fitbit Alta collects a lot of important data about your activity throughout a day. Moreover, this gadget boasts an eye-catching design so it perfectly fits any clothing you wear. If for any reason you don't like black band supplied in the package - choose another one (several colors are available). The gadget is made of premium-quality materials - even some 22 kt medicine-grade gold is used! Therefore, Fitbit Alta fitness tracker can be worn instead of a wrist watch. The display of the gadget can be easily adjusted to your personal preferences, so you can pick the most convenient settings (brightness, clock orientation, etc.). This device has lots of sensors that allow you to fully control your daily activities and achievements. For example, the SmartTrack technology automatically recognizes the kind of exercise you are currently doing. Therefore, you don't need to set your gadget manually. Once paired with a smartphone, the display will show you incoming calls, text messages, messages on social networks, and so on. Thus, you won't need to touch your smartphone! Activity trackers have already changed lives of million people worldwide and Fitbit Alta is certainly one of the best gadgets for keeping fit and living a healthy active life. Top style. Top quality. Top efficiency.

Review of Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker

Compatible With Any OS

Activity trackers are created to monitor activity metrics, which means such gadgets are supposed to be compact and lightweight as they are used during workouts. Needless to say, compactness means a small display. Fitbit Alta activity tracker is surely suitable for the toughest workouts. And it doesn't matter what kind of smartphone (or any other portable device) you use since Fitbit Alta is compatible with all of the best operating systems. You will always be able to check your activity metrics on the screen of your smartphone! Moreover, connecting the gadget to a computer is not a problem too. If your PC or laptop has no built-in Bluetooth, you can use a sync dongle (included in the package). Why is it convenient to use Fitbit Alta with a PC? The reason is quite simple: all the graphs and charts are much easier to analyze on a large screen. The tracker stores your metrics for up to 30 days and you can sync the device with your smartphone or computer anytime you wish.

Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker in the use

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Detailed review of Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker

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Garmin Vivofit

Heart Monitor for Professionals

Today, nearly every company manufacturing activity trackers installs a heart rate sensor in its gadgets, so you might think that it's easy to monitor your heart rate with the utmost accuracy. However, professional sportsmen and people who train a lot need to know the most accurate data in order to make workouts as effective as possible and avoid any health troubles. And it's too challenging for a small sensor built into a fitness tracker. That's why an external heart rate sensor (usually worn around the chest) is used - it's far more accurate and is quite similar to medical equipment at hospitals. Fitbit vivofit fitness band is compatible with a chest heart rate monitor (that might be supplied with the device) that syncs with the tracker via Bluetooth 4.0. It's recommended to use this heart rate monitor during intensive workouts when your heart is under a particular load. The vivofit fitness band automatically detects the heart rate sensor and shows the readings.

Review of Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band

24/7 Motivation Gadget

Vivofit fitness band monitors your physical activities and, based on the results, sets daily goals for you. Once the goals are achieved, vivofit fitness band will set new and more ambitious goals for the future, bringing you closer to healthy lifestyle. According to scientific research, long-terms periods of inactivity (like sitting at a desk) reduce the production of enzymes responsible for fat burning. To prevent it, you can just take a walk every day or pause your sedentary work for a brief shot of exercising. However, most people are too lazy to do so, this is where vivofit activity band will come to aid! A red strip will appear on the display after an hour of motionless sitting; it will grow till you start moving. Vivofit fitness band monitors your activity 24 hours per day, 7 days a week and its battery lasts up to 1 year. That's certainly a major benefit for those who hate waiting till a fitness tracker is charged. Also, vivofit activity tracker controls the quality of your sleep, though, there is one major point: don't forget to switch to the 'Sleep' mode before going to bed or the gadget will confuse sleeping with inactivity.

Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band in the use

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Detailed review of Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band

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GBlife L16

Simple yet Stylish

The elegant casing of the Wristfit L16 activity tracker is made of stainless steel while a flat elliptical shape of the device draws everyone's attention. And you most probably will like the design of this fitness band too! The upper surface of the gadget is a black protective glass with an OLED display under it, whereas the lower surface has the charging contacts. The casing is attached to the wristband (made of TPU) and looks like a wristwatch. The wristband is available in several colors, so you can pick the one that you like most: black, blue, pink, purple, and white.

Review of GBlife L16 Smart Bracelet Sport Watch

Stay Up-to-date

The Wristfit L16 fitness band is one of the best choices for active people who not only need to train but also keep track of the events. That's why this fitness gadget shows the incoming calls to your cell phone so that you can either answer or reject them. It's really useful when you are driving or if you have an important briefing. Moreover, the display is big enough to show you the messages, e-mails and notifications, etc that you receive. The tracker connects to a cell phone via Bluetooth. Quite similar to other devices of this kind, Wristfit requires a special app. Once it's installed, you will be able to fine-tune the settings, then set a goal and the tracker will keep you informed and motivated!

GBlife L16 Smart Bracelet Sport Watch in the use

Usability

This activity tracker surely has all the functions required for monitoring your physical activities and what's more - the gadget is fairly affordable. Wristfit L16 counts steps, shows time, keeps track of the distance covered, counts calories burned, analyzes sleep, reminds you of low activity, and so on. This is a truly outstanding device for those who don't want to overpay!

Detailed review of GBlife L16 Smart Bracelet Sport Watch

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GBlife L16 Smart Bracelet Sport Watch application

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Toprime I5 plus

Charge From Any USB

As usual, most activity trackers on the market have a pretty similar set of functions and the same form factor. The gadgets are powered by a small battery that needs to be charged from time to time via a USB slot. Some models require a special adapter. No need to mention, this kind of charging is rather inconvenient since you always need to have a cable. However, Toprime fitness band is different - it can charge from nearly any USB slot and there is no need to carry an adapter or cable all the time! The secret is simple: the gadget has built-in charge plug that also serves to connect the device to a computer for fine-tuning. Thus, you don't need to worry if you go traveling or on a business trip, you will always be able to charge this tracker!

Review of Toprime I5 plus Sleep/Fitness Tracker

Phone is Always at Hand

Toprime fitness band has the following functions: distance covered, step counting, time spent, calories burned, and the level of your activity. Moreover, you can set a number of steps you have to make per day and the tracker will show it to you, motivating you this way. No need to say, the device is synced with your smartphone via Bluetooth; you need to download the Zeroner Health app and install it on your smartphone, then input all the settings, and the gadget is ready. There's one special feature this gadget boasts - you can take photos on your smartphone by just touching the display of the activity tracker! Make as many selfies as you wish! But that's not all! If you always forget where you leave your phone, this fitness band has a 'Find my phone' function. How does it work? That's really simple: when the distance between the tracker and the phone gets too big, the phone will send a sound signal. And this function might be helpful if someone tries to steal your phone.

Toprime I5 plus Sleep/Fitness Tracker in the use

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Detailed review of Toprime I5 plus Sleep/Fitness Tracker

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Infographics

Comparison of Fitness Trackers for Keeping You Fit

FAQ:

Q: What are fitness trackers used for?

A: They are used to keep track of your physical activities but these gadgets do a lot more than that. Thanks to the smart sensors and software, an activity tracker not only tells you how much you move during a day but also monitors your sleep, counts calories you burn, and even wakes you up in the morning with a gentle vibration. In a nutshell, this device helps you keep fit.

Q: How does a fitness band know how much I move?

A: Any activity tracker is equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer that detects your movements in any direction. Bases on this data, the software counts an approximate number of calories you've burned. Some models also have a gyroscope that measures orientation and rotation. The most advanced models also have an altimeter that tracks the height you are at. Trackers may be equipped with heart rate sensors. The more sensors there are, the more functional the device will be and the more information it will output. Needless to mention, the more sensors, the higher the price.

Q: Do activity trackers have displays?

A: It depends on the model. In general, activity trackers work via a special app installed on a portable device (a smartphone, for example), so they don’t need a large display (unlike smart watches). However, most of such devices have a screen that shows you the time and some other functions.

Q: How to connect an activity tracker to a smartphone?

A: These devices are paired with smartphones via Bluetooth connection. Turn Bluetooth on on your phone and wait till it detects the tracker. Then, finish the pairing process. Before doing so, download and install the appropriate application. Each manufacturer develops the app for its own lineup of fitness bands.

Q: Can I take shower or swim wearing a fitness tracker?

A: It depends on the model you use. The majority of activity trackers are sweat-, rain-, and splash-proof, however, they aren’t waterproof. It means you shouldn’t use them while taking a shower, swimming, let alone diving (for which special dive watches are required).

Q: What smartphones are activity trackers compatible with?

A: The majority of activity trackers are compatible with Android and iOS smartphones but check what versions are supported. For example, if a device requires at least Android 4.4, whereas your smartphone has Android 4.0 or one of the earlier versions, the two gadgets will not be compatible.

Q: Can I receive calls and messages on a fitness tracker?

A: No. Some models support notifications, which means they show you the caller id and vibrate in the case of an incoming call. Yet, you still need to use a smartphone to receive a call.

Q: How long can an activity tracker work on a single charge? How do I charge them?

A: It depends on the model. Most gadgets can work for about 5-7 days on a single charge. Most activity trackers are charged through a USB port. Therefore, you can easily connect a tracker to your laptop, computer, or any other device with a USB port.


Sources:

1. David Nield How to Buy a Fitness Tracker: Everything You Need to Consider, Wareable. May 16, 2016.

2. Valentina Palladino Fitness Tracker Buying Guide, Tom's Guide. February 10, 2015.

3. Jediah Porter How to Choose the Best Fitness Tracker, OutdoorGearLab. November 27, 2015.

4. How to Choose the Right Fitness Tracker, SkinnyMs.

5. How to Choose an Activity Tracker, Good Housekeeping.

6. Anick Jesdanun How to Choose a Fitness Tracker When They All Sound the Same, Phys.org. July 20, 2016.

7. Fitness Tracker Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. August 2016.

8. Nancy Ripton How to Choose the Best Fitness Tracker for Your Lifestyle, Best Health.

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