With an enormous choice of smartwatches on the market, keeping a track of your fitness has never been easier. From cheap wearables that track your daily step count to high-tech GPS watches that guide you through remote terrains, there’s a device designed to serve every fitness need.
But among all these choices, finding the best fitness tracker for you can be a challenge. Brands are great at shouting about how great their products are and why you need their unique features, but it’s worth taking the time to properly consider your needs before buying into the hype and parting with your cash.
To help you sift through the noise, The Recommended searched the internet to find a selection of the best fitness trackers at a range of price points. Whether you’re wanting a device to monitor your basic health data or track your long-distance runs, we’ve considered budget, features and practicality to compile a list of the best sports wearables to suit every type of user.
The best fitness trackers at a glance:
- Best value fitness tracker: Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker
- Best mid-range fitness tracker: Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch
- Best for outdoor activities: Amazfit T Rex Pro Sports Watch
- Best watch for runners: Garmin Forerunner 55
- Best quick-charging watch: Huawei Band 6 Fitness Tracker
- Best budget sports watch: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 Activity Tracker
- Best GPS fitness tracker: Polar Ignite
- Best minimal fitness tracker: Honor Band 5 Fitness Tracker
The best fitness trackers
Best budget fitness tracker: Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker
Great battery life
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Fitbit’s Inspire 2 is a great basic fitness tracker for anyone on a tight budget, with heart rate monitoring capabilities, sleep tracking and over 20 exercise modes.
The Inspire 2 doesn’t have GPS, so it’s not suitable for those looking to track their outdoor activities. Nevertheless, it’s a great pick for monitoring daily metrics such as step count, heart rate, and calories burned. The Inspire 2 also comes with a 1-year Fitbit Premium trial, giving you access to sleep tools, guided programs, workouts, and the Fitbit health metrics dashboard.
Best mid-range fitness tracker: Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch
As well as a bigger display than the Inspire 2, the Fitbit Versa 3 also has built-in GPS, meaning you can track outdoor activities and upload your location and performance data to apps like Strava.
The Versa 3 also boasts up to six days of battery life, voice control capabilities via Google and Alexa, and it’s compatible with music apps such as Spotify, meaning you can control your playlists and songs from your wrist without having to use your phone. The Versa 3 also comes with a six-month Fitbit Premium trial and is available in four stylish colours.
Best for outdoor activities: Amazfit T Rex Pro Sports Watch
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced fitness watch with built-in GPS for tracking outdoor activities such as open-water swimming and trail running, the Amazfit T Rex Pro is a solid choice.
With so-called ‘military-grade durability’, the T Rex Pro claims to be waterproof up to 100 metres and capable of withstanding temperatures as low as -40 ° C, making it a great piece of tech for tracking long open-water swims as well as wintery dips in cold water. The T Rex Pro also boasts 100 exercise modes, including running, climbing, skiing and many more. It also has a very impressive battery life - designed to last up to 18 days on a single charge.
Best watch for runners: Garmin Forerunner 55
One of the cheapest smartwatches in the Garmin range, the Forerunner 55 is a highly capable fitness wearable for runners looking to accurately track their performance metrics on a modest budget.
The Forerunner 55 has a built-in GPS for tracking your routes and gathers essential running metrics, including time, distance, pace, speed, and heart rate. For new runners, it also offers training guidance, recovery advice, and structured training plans for set distances. Its battery life is also impressive, boasting up to two weeks of activity on a single charge.
Best quick-charging watch: Huawei Band 6 Fitness Tracker
With fast-charging technology
The Band 6 is superb for battery life, claiming to last up to two days (with typical usage) from just five minutes of charge, thanks to Huawei’s fast charging technology.
The Band 6 has 96 exercise modes, tracking your heart rate, calories, step count and more. It also has menstrual cycle tracking, sleep monitoring, and stress monitoring. As well as a fitness tracker, the Band 6 is a capable day-to-day wearable. It allows you to view calls and messages, check the weather, control music and take photos remotely through your phone. The watch face is also customisable, with a wide variety of displays to toggle between, and the watch itself is available in four different colours.
Best budget sports watch: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 Activity Tracker
Would make a great gift
A great budget sports watch for those with modest fitness needs, you’ll struggle to find a better value, no-frills smartwatch than the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is a slim and stylish watch that’s ideal for recording daily step counts and tracking activities in the gym, including walking, running, swimming and cycling. It doesn’t have a built-in GPS, so it’s not suitable for tracking outdoor activities, but it does have a battery life of up to 15 days, which is impressive considering the size of the device.
Best GPS fitness tracker: Polar Ignite
Designed to help guide you through your training sessions, Polar’s Ignite smartwatch packs in a lot of impressive features for its price tag, making it a great value option.
The Polar Ignite provides personalised daily workout guidance based on your individual fitness and goals. It has built-in GPS for accurately tracking outdoor activities, advanced wrist-based heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. Other handy features include breathing exercises and nightly recovery tracking, which then helps you to recover quickly with tailored suggestions and advice.
Get your personalised and ready-made daily workout guidance based on your recovery and overall readiness.
Best minimal fitness tracker: Honor Band 5 Fitness Tracker
Featuring an ultra-slim design, the Honor Band 5 is a minimal fitness tracker that’s great for monitoring your sleeping habits and providing tips for how you can improve the quality of your sleep.
Best suited to those looking to track only the most basic health data, the Honor 5 is a capable step tracker, as well as a heart rate monitor. It also has over ten activity modes and is waterproof up to 50m, so it’s great for tracking basic data while pool swimming.
What you should consider when buying a fitness tracker
It might sound like an obvious thing to consider when shopping for a fitness tracker, but battery life can easily be overlooked. Before you buy, take the time to properly consider how long you’ll need your device to last. For example, if you plan to track full-day hikes or other long activities, a device with a max battery life of 12 hours won’t be right for you.
If you’d like to track your runs or other outdoor exercise and upload your activity to apps such as Strava, you’re going to need a device with a built-in GPS. This will allow you to view and keep a log of your routes, as well as track performance metrics such as distance, pace, splits and cadence.
Some wearables are compatible with music apps such as Strava, allowing you to skip or pause songs while you exercise without needing to use your phone. While some premium watches are also capable of storing music - meaning you can leave your phone at home altogether - most watches under £200/ £300 require a connection to your smartphone.
If you would like to read more expert-recommended fitness round-ups, check out our Fitness page for a full list of recommendations, including the best exercise bikes, the best gifts for fitness enthusiasts, the best weight benches, and the best dumbbells, recommended by personal trainers.
Luke Chamberlain is a Staff Writer for The Recommended, and interviews some of the world’s most knowledgeable product experts to help readers make smarter decision about the products they buy online.