Best Fitness Watch Trackers in 2021
Are you trying to stay active but have trouble adequately checking your activity level? One of the best fitness watch trackers can help.
Being active keeps your heart healthy, your mind active, and your mood elevated. Undoubtedly, even exercising 10 minutes a day can help your health. A fitness tracker can help you make sure you meet your health requirements.
Fitness trackers used to track the number of steps you took and the calories you burned. Now they can do so much more.
Some fitness trackers can track your heart rate, and your sleep patterns. In addition, they can even know the difference between the number of calories burnt.
Here are the 5 Best Fitness Watch Trackers and what you need to know if you want to use this fitness tool.
#1 Fitbit Charge 4
The Fitbit Charge 4 features 24/7 heart rate tracking, goal-based exercises, sleep tracking, a seven-day battery, and smartphone notifications. Plus, it’s waterproof so you can even track your swimming sessions! Features include:
- Editor Rated: Best Features for Price
- 7 days of battery life
- Female health tracking abilities
- Low cost
#2 Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Smart
Great for a starter tracker. Has all the basics under $50. If you’re looking for a straightforward, affordable fitness tracker, check out the Xiaomi Mi Band 5.
- Connected GPS
- Heart Rate and Activity Tracking
- 20 days of battery life
- Affordable price
#3 Fitbit Versa 2
Meet Fitbit Versa 2 a smartwatch that elevates every moment. Use your voice to create alarms, set bedtime Reminders or check The weather with Amazon Alexa built in. Take your look from the gym to the office with its modern and versatile design. See your stats with an always on display mode. Plus get Fitbit pay, daily sleep quality scores, apps, notifications, 24/7 Heart rate and store 300+ songs for an experience that revolves around you.
#4 Garmin Vivosmart 4
The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is an attractive, easy-to-read fitness tracker. It measures your Body Battery energy to calculate how much energy you have left based on your heart rate variability (HRV), stress levels, sleep, and activity. Features include:
- 7 days of battery life
- Heart rate monitoring to evaluate stress, sleep, and more
- Slim band is available in a variety of colors
#5 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. Features include:
- Editor’s Choice: Best Stylish Smart Watch
- 8 months of battery life
- Fitness tracking for running, walking, swimming, and 10+ more activities
- Watch style looks like a watch instead of a fitness tracker
Editors' Choice: Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch
Fitbit has been one of the leaders in smart watches and fitness watches for years. The new Versa 2 is their most premium fitness watch ever created.
This fitness tracker includes Amazon Alexa Built-in, new sleep tools, fitness features, apps like Spotify, Fitbit pay and more.
Furthermore, once you download the workout app, you can continuously monitor your heart rate while you complete your fitness goals.
Sporty and cute, Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch is a conversation piece.
In our opinion, the Fitbit Versa 2 is hands-down one of the best fitness tracker.
Fitbit Versa 2 Pros
- Premium Design: There’s less border and more display on this hi-res Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 touchscreen. Also you can personalize your smartwatch or tracker.
- Accessories: Switch up your look with accessories that let you wear your tracker or smartwatch your way.
- Exercise Features: Tracks just about everything you would need to achieve your fitness goals. Tracking things, such as, floors climbed, being swim proof with swim tracker, heart zones and many more.
Fitbit Versa 2 Cons
- High price: This watch is a higher-end tracker than most other options, which means the price is also much higher.
Best Features for Price: Fitbit Charge 4
Fitbit has been around since 2007 and leads the charge in the world of fitness trackers. Fitbit’s newest fitness tracker is one of our favorite fitness trackers thanks to its numerous features and slender style.
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! This is one of the best fitness watch trackers.
Fitbit Charge 4 Pros
- Affordable price: With all of its features, you would expect it to cost more.
- Battery Life: The battery can last seven days before you need to recharge it.
- Female health tracking: This watch synchs with a female-health tracking app. It will track your periods and estimate fertility windows.
- Slim size: This fitness tracker is thin and perfect for a woman’s wrist.
Fitbit Charge 4 Cons
- Touchscreen controls: Users have mentioned that the touch screen controls are difficult to use.
Best Price Value: Xiaomi Mi Band 5
If your goal is to make sure you walk 10,000 or more steps a day, you don’t need anything fancy or to spend a lot of money.
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is our top choice for an affordable fitness tracker under $50.
It displays exercise duration, distance, and heart rate. In addition, it also monitors sleeping and can sync with your smartphone.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Pros
- Affordable price: The Xiami is one of the more affordable, yet top-quality fitness trackers we’ve come across.
- Easy-to-read display: Upgrade 0. 95″ Color Screen. The face displays your heart rate, amount of time you have exercised, and duration of the exercise.
- Long battery life: 135mAh battery capacity. The battery on this fitness tracker lasts for 20 days.
- Waterproof materials: This tracker is waterproof up to 50 meters.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Cons
- Low aesthetics: It’s not a pretty device but getting better.
- Syncing abilities: Some customers have complained that the device is difficult to sync to the phone.
- No onboard GPS
Best Heart Rate Monitor: Fitbit Inspire HR
Nowadays, most fitness trackers come with a heart rate monitor. It will monitor your heart rate while you are active, resting, and sleeping.
Some heart monitors, however, are more reliable than others. If you are looking for a great fitness tracker that prioritizes an accurate heart monitor, we recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR.
In addition, it’s slim, attractive, and easy to read. It differentiates itself from most wearables with 15 plus exercise modes and smart phone and GPS connections.
The Fitbit Inspire HR is one of our top picks for fitness trackers who are more concerned with overall health than merely tracking fitness. This is one of the best fitness watch trackers for heart monitoring.
Fitbit Inspire HR Pros
- Advanced sleep monitoring: The Fitbit Inspire HR tracks sleep by tracking REM sleep and can gauge blood oxygen saturation levels.
- Attractive design: The band is slim and comes in a variety of colors.
- Battery life: You can use this tracker for five days without charging it.
- Compatibility: Compatible with both Android and iOS
- Waterproof build: You can use this tracker in the rain without worrying about it getting ruined.
Fitbit Inspire HR Cons
- No Alitimeter: Does not track altitude levels
- No Fitbit Pay: Fitbit Pay allows you to pay using your Fitbit smartwatch
Best Stylish: Withings/Nokia Activity Tracker
If you haven’t invested in a smartwatch or fitness tracker because you don’t find them attractive, this watch may change your mind.
It’s a great fitness tracker for those who don’t want a fitness track due to aesthetics because it looks like an everyday watch.
It has a stainless steel case and chrome hands, but it will track your walks, runs, swims, and other exercise activities. It will even monitor your sleep and stay charged for up to eight months!
Withings/Nokia Activity Tracker Pros
- Battery life: It holds a charge for up to eight months.
- Fitness tracking: This fitness device tracks walking, running, swimming, and more activities, including calories and distance.
- Sleep monitoring: This watch tracks and analyzes your sleep cycle.
- Watch style: This fitness tracker looks like a “real” watch, not a tech-accessory.
Withings/Nokia Activity Tracker Cons
- No touchscreen: You must use the app to read fitness information.
- Scratches easily: Customers have said that the watch face shows wear easily.
Fitness Tracker Buyers’ Guide
When you want a great fitness tracker, you need to consider several categories. Do your research in advance to make sure you get a high-quality option.
Here are several things to consider when you buy your fitness accessory.
If you don’t like the look of a basic fitness tracker, check out available accessories.
Most trackers 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 your device look more like jewelry than a tech tool.
If you have a fitness tracker but can’t read its output or sync it with your smartwatch or tablet, it’s worthless.
Most fitness trackers require a smartphone or tablet to track and store data regarding your activities. Make sure the fitness tracker you want is compatible with your smartphone or tablet. If not, find another option.
If the app is compatible with your devices, make sure you like the app. See if it’s easy to read and navigate.
While the aesthetics of your fitness tracker matter, the most crucial part is being able to read that data it produces.
If you have an old smartphone, you probably need to charge it frequently. Don’t make this issue worse with a weak battery. Dead electronics don’t do you any favors, which is why battery life is a crucial factor to look for in a good fitness tracker.
Battery life can vary:
- Replaceable coin batteries last a year or more.
- Complex fitness trackers (such as those that track heart rate, steps, and calories) last about a week.
- Smartwatches last about three days.
When looking at fitness trackers, consider which type of battery life is best for your lifestyle.
If you don’t want a lot of features and don’t want to charge it, consider a fitness tracker with a coin battery. If you like tracking everything about your health, you may need to get a tracker with shorter battery life.
Fitness trackers have come a long way since the archaic pedometer. Trackers now have many options.
The most common connectivity options to look for are the following:
- Music Options: Some fitness trackers 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.
- Notifications: Most fitness trackers can also pair with your smartphone to send notifications directly to your wrist. You’ll know mid-workout if you’re receiving a text message or phone call.
- WiFi and GPS: Not only can you wirelessly connect your fitness to your smartphone, but you can even enable WiFi. Internet access lets you download a new app or running route or GPS so your family and friends can track your location.
The most common feature you’ll see is the WiFi and GPS options.
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, find a fitness tracker that you think is aesthetically pleasing.
If you don’t like the look of most fitness trackers on the market and find them too “techy,” you’re not alone.
That’s why companies such as Withings invented fitness trackers that resemble upscale watches, and designers such as Tory Burch and Hermes
Before you begin looking at fitness trackers, have a budget in mind and an idea of the features you want.
You can find a cheap, basic fitness tracker such as the LETSCOM 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 the price isn’t an obstacle, you find a more advanced fitness tracker such as the Garmin MARQ Adventurer which is perfect for running trails and even features detailed topographical maps in color. That will set you back nearly $1,750.
If you want something in between, we suggest budgeting a few hundred dollars. This budget will get you something that isn’t basic but isn’t 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.
Most electronic devices have limited warranties. Fitness trackers aren’t any different. In addition, most of the fitness trackers we looked at had one-year warranties. A few have warranties between a year and a half and two years.
Tracking and Monitoring Features
Fitness trackers do much more than monitor steps and calories. They can also track heart rate, sleep patterns, and types of exercise.
Most fitness trackers measure your heart rate.
This feature lets you track your overall health and see how hard to push yourself in a workout. Aim for an elevated heart rate to get more from your workout.
Some devices (including most Fitbit and Garmin devices) also monitor your heart rate to measure stress and sleep.
Fitness trackers can track your sleep patterns and inform you how well you slept the night before. Some can track your breathing, snoring, and REM cycles.
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.
If all you want your fitness tracker to do is measure steps and calories from walking, you can get an affordable option such as the Fitbit Zip. It’ll let you keep track of your step goals.
Fitness trackers can also track how far you run, your running pace, and the calories you burned. They can also give you data about your routes and suggest routes.
If you are looking for a fitness tracker specifically for running, we recommend Garmin’s line of wearables and smartwatches.
Most Garmin watches have GPS tracking, live tracking, heart monitoring, and even a “Back To Start” feature that helps you find your way back to where you started if you get lost.
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 small computers that attach to your bike.
If your sole purpose of a fitness tracker will be for cycling, we recommend a bike computer such as the Garmin Edge 520.
Fitness Tracker vs. Smartwatch
When researching fitness trackers, you’ll need to decide whether you want a fitness tracker or a smartwatch.
Fitness trackers and smartwatches are very similar in what they track, but the prices can vary.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of fitness trackers vs. smartwatches.
Fitness trackers are straightforward: they track different areas of fitness such as the number of calories you burn, distance, steps taken, and heart rate. Some fitness trackers can synch with your smartphone to display text messages and play music.
Fitness trackers are typically cheaper than smartwatches, but more limited in what they can do.
Fitness Tracker Pros
- Calorie tracking
- Distance tracking
- Heart rate tracking
- Lower cost than smartwatches
- Specialized options available (ex: fitness tracker for cycling, fitness tracker for running, etc.)
- Wrist-wearing and belt-wearing options
- Harder-to-read displays
- Less user-friendly
- Limited overall capabilities when compared to smartwatches
- Smaller screens
A smartwatch does everything a fitness tracker does and more. You can use a smartwatch to track your fitness, answer calls, send and receive text messages, stream music, and more. If you want a fitness tracker and the ability to read emails without a phone or computer, you may prefer a smartwatch.
- App compatibility to let you check social media and other non-fitness smartphone apps
- Easy smartphone compatibility
- Easy-to-read digital display
- Helpful touchscreen
- More capabilities than fitness trackers
- Shorter battery life
Final Verdict: Fitness Trackers vs. Smartwatches
In our minds, simpler is better.
If you are only focused on tracking your fitness and don’t care about additional options, a fitness tracker is likely better. A fitness tracker is less confusing and won’t have options you’ll never use. Plus, it’ll be more affordable than a smartwatch.
On the fence? Start with an affordable fitness tracker and try it out. If you’re happy with its performance and the results, then there’s no reason to upgrade. However, if 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 consider a smartwatch.
There’s not a clear winner or loser between the two. Choose which one is best for your needs.
When you want one of the best fitness trackers, use this guide to help you decide.
Next time you get out your yoga mat or go for a run, you’ll be prepared to know all the details about your fitness.Read More