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The 5 Best Fitness Trackers for Women in 2019

Editor's Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#1 Garmin Vivosmart 4

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is an attractive, easy to read fitness tracker that measures your fitness activity as well as your Body Battery energy: a proprietary metric offered by Garmin that measures your body’s energy reserve to calculate how much energy you have left based on your heart rate variability (HRV), stress levels, sleep, and activity.

  • Overall health tracking: Monitors your heart rate to evaluate sleep, stress, and more
  • Attractive: Band is slim and comes in a variety of colors
  • Battery life: 7 days
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#2 Withings/Nokia Activity Tracker

If you’re looking for the benefits of a fitness tracker without the stereotypical aesthetics of a fitness tracker, you’ll love the Withings/Nokia Activity tracker. It looks like “real watch,” yet tracks your walks, runs, swims, heartrate, and more. 

  • Style: Looks like a “real” watch as opposed to a fitness tracker
  • Battery life: Battery can last up to 8 months 
  • Fitness tracking: Tracks running, walking, swimming, and 10+ more activities
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#3 Fitbit Charge 3

The Fitbit Charge 3 features 24/7 heart rate tracking, goal-based exercises, sleep tracking, a 7-day battery, and smartphone notifications. Plus, it’s waterproof so you can even track your swimming sessions! 

  • Features: Features a variety of features not available on all fitness trackers, including some specifically for women
  • Affordability: Despite its numerous features, it remains an affordable fitness tracker
  • Battery Life: Battery can last up to 7-days 
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#4 Apple Watch by Nike

Not only does this smartwatch have an accelerometer (measures movement and acceleration), but it also has a heart rate monitor and GPS. It can record accurate speed, distance, and pace while you are running, biking, or even just walking. Once you download the workout app, you can continuously monitor your heart rate, while you are completing your fitness goals.

  • Apple: Love Apple products? Then you’ll love this smartwatch. It’s like having an iPhone on your wrist (and more)
  • Accessories: Variety of watch band options
  • Ideal for runners: Features an exclusive Nike face that prominently displays running stats
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating4/5 Rating

#5 Xiaomi Mi Band 3

If you’re looking for a straightforward, affordable fitness tracker, check out the Xiaomi Mi Band 3. It displays exercise duration, distance, and heart rate and is even waterproof. It will also monitor your sleep and can sync with your smartphone to display the name or number of a caller.

  • Affordable: This is one of the more affordable fitness trackers we’ve seen
  • Easy-to-read display: Face shows heart rate and exercise duration and distance 
  • Battery life: Battery lasts for 20 days
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It’s important to be active. Not just to stay in shape, but to stay healthy: keep your heart healthy, your mind active, and your mood elevated. Even exercising for just 10 minutes a day can be beneficial.

You’ve likely seen more and more people sporting fitness trackers. Fitness trackers used to simply track the number of steps you took and the calories you burned but now can do so much more. Did you know that some fitness trackers can track your heart rate, your sleep patterns, and even know the difference between the number of calories burnt in a yoga class and those burnt in a Zumba class?

A fitness tracker that works for a man won’t always work for a woman. Not only are men’s wrists typically bigger, but their step patterns are different as well. Men and women also burn calories differently. Thus, if you’re a woman seeking a fitness tracker, it’s important to look at the best fitness trackers for women – not just fitness trackers in general.

If you’re a woman in the market for a new fitness tracker, here are our top choices:

Editor’s Choice: Apple Watch by Nike

Apple + Nike watch

Apple is on top of the game with their smartwatches. That being said, we’ve found their collaboration with Nike, one of the best makers of athletic apparel and gear, to be top notch. Not only does it have an accelerometer (measures movement and acceleration), but it also has a heart rate monitor and GPS. It can record accurate speed, distance, and pace while you are running, biking, or even just walking. Once you download the workout app, you can continuously monitor your heart rate, while you are completing your fitness goals.

Sporty and cute, the Apple Watch by Nike is definitely a conversation piece when someone sees this bad boy on your wrist. Keep in mind it is at the high end cost-wise of most other smart fitness watch models, but you do get the cache of having an Apple product. In our opinions, the Apple watch paired with Nike is hands down one of the best fitness trackers for women.

Pros

  • Apple product: If you like Apple products and have an iPhone, this will be a seamless setup and a breeze to use
  • Accessories: Watch has a variety of band options
  • Great for running: Watch features an exclusive Nike face that prominently displays your running stats

Cons

  • Price: Apple watch is at the higher-end price wise of most fitness trackers
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Best Value: Xiaomi Mi Band 3

Xiaomi is our top choice for affordable fitness trackers

If your goal in purchasing a fitness tracker is to make sure you walk 10,000 steps a day (or more), you don’t need anything fancy and you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is our top choice for an affordable fitness tracker.

It displays exercise duration, distance, and heart rate and is even waterproof. It will also monitor your sleep and can sync with your smartphone to display the name or number of a caller.

Pros

  • Affordable: The Xiami is one of the more affordable, yet top-quality fitness tracker’s we’ve come across
  • Easy-to-read display: Face displays your heart rate, amount of time you have exercised, and duration you have walked/run/biked/etc.
  • Battery life: Battery lasts for 20 days
  • Waterproof: Can go down 50 meters

Cons

  • Syncability: Some customers have complained that the device is difficult to sync to the phone
  • Aesthetics: It’s a very basic, not pretty device

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Best Features: Fitbit Charge 3

fitbit charge 3

Fitbit has been around since 2007 and leads the charge in fitness trackers; it even outpaces both Apple and Garmin. Fitbit’s newest fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 3, is one of the best fitness trackers for women thanks to its numerous features and slender style. Wearable even voted it the “2018 Fitness Tracker of the Year.”

Features include: 24/7 heart rate tracking, goal-based exercises, sleep tracking, a 7-day battery, and smartphone notifications. Plus, it’s waterproof so you can even track your swimming sessions! The watch also syncs with a female-health tracking app so you can track your periods and estimate fertility windows.

Pros

  • Features: This fitness tracker features a plethora of options not available on all fitness trackers, including some specifically for women
  • Affordability: With all of its features, you would expect it to cost more
  • Size: Fitness tracker is slim and perfect for a woman’s wrist
  • Battery Life: Battery can last 7-days before you need to recharge it

Cons

  • Touchscreen controls: Users have mentioned that the touch screen controls are difficult to use
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Best with Heart Rate Monitor: Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin Vivosmart is the best fitness tracker for your heart

Nowadays, most fitness trackers come with a heart rate monitor. It will monitor your heart rate while you are active and resting, as well as while you are sleeping. Some heart monitors, however, are more accurate than others, so if you are looking for the best fitness tracker for women that prioritizes an accurate heart monitor, we recommend the Garmin Vivosmart 4.

It’s slim, attractive, easy to read, and differentiates itself from most wearables by giving you your Body Battery energy, a proprietary metric offered by Garmin that measures your body’s energy reserve to calculate how much energy you have left based on your heart rate variability (HRV), stress levels, sleep, and activity. This is the best fitness tracker for women who are more concerned with overall health than merely tracking fitness.

Pros

  • Overall health tracking: Monitors your heart rate to evaluate sleep, stress, and more
  • Attractive: Band is slim and comes in a variety of colors
  • Battery life: 7 days
  • Advanced sleep monitoring: Tracks REM sleep and can gauge blood oxygen saturation levels
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Stair-tracking: While it does track flights of stairs, it often miscounts
  • Band: You cannot change the band if you become tired of the color
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Best Stylish: Withings/Nokia Activity Tracker

The fitness tracker that looks like a regular watch

If you haven’t invested in a smartwatch or fitness tracker because you don’t find them attractive, this smartwatch from Withings/Nokia may change your mind. It’s the best fitness tracker for women who don’t want a fitness track due to aesthetics. Why? Because it looks like an everyday watch.

It has a stainless steel case and chrome hands, but will track your walks, runs, swims and more. It will even monitor your sleep and stay charged for up to 8-months!

Pros

  • Style: Looks like a “real” watch, not a tech-accessory
  • Battery life: Holds a charge for up to 8-months
  • Fitness tracking: Tracks walking, running, swimming, and 10+ more activities (as well as calories and distance)
  • Sleep monitoring: Tracks and analyzes your sleep cycle

Cons

  • Scratches easily: Customers have said that the watch face shows wear very easily
  • No touchscreen: Must log in to app to read fitness tracking
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Buyers Guide

man and women with fitness trackers

There are a number of things to consider when looking at fitness trackers. Make sure you do your research before you purchase and don’t just grab the first one on the sale shelf. Important factors to look at include:

Battery Life

If you have an old smartphone, you probably find yourself constantly looking for a place to charge it: at your desk while you’re at work, on your nightstand while you’re sleeping, and perhaps even behind the hostess stand or bar of your favorite restaurant while you’re celebrating happy hour.

There’s nothing worse than having to constantly charge your electronics, which is why battery life is a key factor to look for in a good fitness tracker. Some of the more simple fitness trackers run off of replaceable coin batteries that should last you a year before having to be replaced. If you don’t want a fitness tracker with a lot of bells and whistles and don’t want to have to remember to charge it, then this may be the best fitness tracker for you.

Fitness trackers that are a bit more complex (ie, they track your heart rate, steps, and more) typically last about a week. Smartwatches, the most complex fitness trackers, typically have a battery life of three days. When looking at fitness trackers, make sure you consider which type of battery life is preferable for you.

App Ecosystem

If you have a fitness tracker but don’t know how to read its output, or it won’t sync with your smartwatch or tablet, then it’s pretty much worthless. Most fitness trackers require a smartphone or tablet in order to be set up, as well as to track and store data regarding your activities.

When researching fitness trackers, make sure you take a look at the app. First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that it’s compatible with your smartphone or tablet. If not, then we suggest finding another fitness tracker. If it is, make sure you actually like the app. Is it easy to read? Easy to navigate? While the aesthetics of your fitness tracker are important, the most important part is being able to read that data it produces.

Design

If you have a fitness tracker but don’t like the look of it, chances are you won’t wear it. If it’s not comfortable you likely won’t wear it, either. Thus, it’s imperative you find a fitness tracker that you find aesthetically pleasing (or at least passable).

If you don’t like the look of most fitness trackers on the market and find them too “techy,” you’re not alone, which is why companies such as Withings invented fitness trackers that resemble upscale watches, and designers such as Tory Burch and Hermes created leather bands to replace the traditional plastic fitness tracking bands.

Connectivity Options

woman connecting with fitness tracker

Fitness trackers have come a long way since the archaic pedometer first came to the market. Not only can you wirelessly connect a fitness track to your smartphone, but you can even enable WiFi, so you can easily download a new app or running route, and GPS so your family and friends can track your location. The most common connectivity options for fitness trackers are Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS.

Most fitness trackers can also pair with your smartphone to send notifications directly to your wrist so mid-workout you’ll know when you’re receiving a text message or phone call. Some can even store and stream music so you can listen to your favorite playlist directly from your fitness tracker as opposed to bringing a smartphone or iPod to listen to music.

Accessories

If you don’t like the look of a basic fitness tracker, check out available accessories. Most have a variety of straps and bands in different colors and materials that can completely alter the look of the tracker.

Designers such as Michael Kors and even Swarovski offer fitness tracking cases that make them look more like jewelry than electronic tracking devices.

Warranty

Most electronic devices have limited warranties and fitness trackers aren’t any different. Most of the fitness trackers we looked at had 1-year warranties. A few had 18-month warranties, and some had 2-year warranties.

Price

As with any purchase, the price is important. Before you begin looking at fitness trackers make sure you have a budget in mind and an idea of the features you want.

You can find a cheap, basic fitness tracker such as the Semaco Fitness tracker for less than $30. It will count your steps, tell you how many calories you’ve burned, and can even track your sleep behavior.

If price isn’t an option, you find a more advanced fitness tracker such as the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus which is perfect for running trails and even features detailed topographical maps – in color. That will set you back nearly $1,000.

If you want something in between, we suggest budging a few hundred dollars. This will get you something a bit more than “just basic,” but not as intense as Garmin’s high-end offerings. Unless you have a specific need for an advanced fitness watch, you likely don’t need to spend more than $500.

Tracking and Monitoring Features

fitness tracker connectivity

Fitness trackers don’t just monitor your steps and calories; they do so much more. In addition to measuring how many steps you take, fitness trackers can also track your heart rate and sleep patterns, cycling, running, and more.

Heart Rate

Most fitness trackers measure your heart rate. This is beneficial for overall health, as well as so you can see how hard to push yourself during your workout. If you can achieve and maintain an elevated heart rate you will get more out of your workout.

Some devices simply monitor your heart rate for fitness purposes, but others (including most Fitbits and Garmins) do so for health reasons such as measuring stress and sleep.

  • Sleep: Fitness trackers can track your sleep patterns and inform you how well you slept the night before. In addition to monitoring your heart rate while you sleep, they can also track your breathing, snoring, and more.

Walking

The most basic function of a fitness tracker is to track your steps. It will count how many steps you walk, how many stairs you climb, and the number of calories you burn doing so.

If your only desire in a fitness tracker is to your track steps and calories from walking, you can find a very basic and affordable one such as the Fitbit Zip.

Running

Fitness trackers can also track your runs. They can track how far you run, what your pace was, and how many calories you burned. They can also track your routes, suggest routes, and more.

If you are looking for a fitness tracker specifically for running, we recommend checking out Garmin’s line of wearables and smart watches. Most Garmin watches have GPS tracking, live tracking, heart monitoring, and even a “Back To Start” feature which helps you find your way back to where you started should you get lost.

Cycling

If you’re a cyclist, you likely want to track your route, your speed, inclines, heart rate, and how many calories you burn. A fitness tracker can help you do this.

Fitness trackers for cyclists can be wearables, or they can small computers that attach to your bike. If your sole purpose of a fitness tracker will be for cycling, we recommend getting a bike computer such as the Garmin Edge 520.

Fitness Tracker vs Smartwatch

man with fitness tracker on wrist

When researching fitness trackers, you’ll need to decide whether you want a basic fitness tracker or a smartwatch. Fitness trackers and smartwatches are very similar in what they track, but the prices can vary greatly. Here are the benefits of a fitness tracker versus a smartwatch, as well as the negatives.

Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers are pretty straightforward: they track different areas of fitness such as the number of calories you burn, distance run/biked/walked, steps taken, and typically your heart rate. Some fitness trackers can synch with your smartphone to display text messages, play music, and more.

Fitness trackers are typically cheaper than smartwatches, but more limited in what they can do.

  • Fitness Tracker Pros
    • Cheaper than smartwatches
    • Track heart rate
    • Track calories
    • Track distance
    • Can be worn on the wrist or on a belt
    • Can be super-specialized (ex: fitness tracker for cycling, fitness tracker for running, etc)
  • Cons
    • More limited in overall capabilities than Smartwatches
    • Can be less user-friendly
    • Can have smaller screens
    • Not all are displayed in color and can be harder to read

Smartwatch

Simply put, a smartwatch does everything a fitness tracker does and then some. It’s akin to wearing a mini computer (or mini smartphone) on your wrist. Some smartwatches even allow you to answer calls, send and receive text messages, stream music, and more.

If you want a fitness tracker as well as the ability to read emails from your wrist, then you may prefer a smartwatch.

  • Pros
    • A smartwatch typically has all of the capabilities of a fitness tracker and more
    • Ability to check facebook, Instagram, and all of your favorite  non-fitness apps
    • Easy-to-read screen
    • Easy-to-use touch screen
    • You won’t have to questions whether or not it’s compatible with your smartphone
  • Cons
    • Less battery life (you should charge nightly)

Final Verdict: Fitness Tracker versus Smartwatch

In our minds, simpler is better.

If you are only focused on tracking your fitness and don’t care about additional apps, the ability to streaming music or being able to connect to facebook or email, then a fitness tracker is likely better for you. It’s less confusing and more straightforward and won’t bombard you with options you’ll never use. Plus, a basic fitness tracker is typically more affordable than a smartwatch.

If you’re on the fence, we recommend starting with an affordable fitness tracker and trying it out for a few months or even a year. If you’re happy with its performance and the results it provides, then there’s no reason to upgrade. However, if throughout your trial you find yourself thinking “I wish I had GPS tracking on here” or “I wish I could play music through this fitness tracker so I could leave my phone at home,” then you decide to look at smartwatches. There’s not a clear winner or loser between the two; it’s completely subjective.

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