Fitness trackers are transforming how we move, exercise, sleep, and even relax. They’re like a personal trainer and lifestyle coach rolled into one.
A fitness tracker allows you to set targets and actually meet them, with constant monitoring of your movement that reveals where you need to work harder.
Whether you want to hit your daily step count or you’re an amateur athlete trying to beat your current PB, a fitness tracker can do some of the heavy lifting for you.
Say goodbye to the out-of-shape, sleep-deprived, and stressed-out version of yourself, and welcome in the easygoing and well-rested you—the one with the envy-inducing body.
Get each day off to a flying start with one of these top fitness trackers and exercise watches. Whether you want to keep an eye on your heart health, monitor weight loss, or motivate yourself to get up and move, these health trackers will paint an accurate picture of your fitness and wellbeing—one that’s soon to be a picture of perfect health.
The 15 best fitness trackers of 2021
|1||Fitbit Charge 4||Overall best|
|2||Withings Pulse||Best value|
|3||Apple Watch||Best high-end|
|4||Withings ScanWatch||Best with oxygen monitor|
|5||Garmin Forerunner 35||Best for running|
|6||Fitbit Ace 2||Best for kids|
|7||Suunto 7||Best for outdoors|
|8||Garmin Vivofit||Best for seniors|
|9||Fitbit Inspire HR||Best for beginners|
|10||Garmin Vivosmart||Best for swimming|
|11||Polar A370||Best for small wrists|
|12||Withings Scale||Best for weight loss|
|13||Withings HR Sport||Best for gym workouts|
|14||Garmin Vivoactive||Best for phone-free workouts|
To help you find the fitness tracker that’s best for you, check our buying guide to choosing the best sports and health watch after the list.
Fitbit Charge 4: Overall best fitness tracker
Stuck in a fitness rut? Ready for a health revolution? Then get your hands on the Fitbit Charge 4, our pick for the best overall fitness tracker. It’s got everything.
There’s built-in GPS so you can monitor your pace and distance on the screen. There’s the Active Zone Minutes feature which alerts you with a buzz when you reach your target heart rate zones. And the heart rate monitor also gives you an accurate indication of calories burned—which basically means more excuse to indulge in your favourite edible pleasures.
You can even wear it in the shower or pool as it’s water-resistant to 50 metres.
Best for: Discovering your inner athlete.
Battery life: Up to 7 days or 5 hours when using built-in GPS Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Built-in Compatibility: iOs and Android
Withings Pulse HR: Best value fitness tracker
Reaching your exercise goals may cost effort and energy but it needn’t cost hundreds of dollars. Not thanks to Withings Pulse HR fitness monitor.
This sleek little health band features connected GPS so you can accurately map your route during all your daily activities. The heart rate monitor offers information to strengthen your heart and boost endurance. And water-resistance to 50 metres makes this exercise tracker perfect for those who want to take it swimming.
Finally, a daily Sleep Score will ensure you clock away enough zzzs to compensate for all your hard work.
Helping you to live a healthier life without requiring a loan to pay for it, Withings’ Pulse HR is our best value fitness tracker.
Best for: Perfect health without a premium price-tag.
Battery life: Up to 20 days Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Connected Compatibility: iOs and Android
Apple Watch: Best high-end fitness tracker
Apple Watch Series 6 is one of the most advanced and high-quality smartwatches and fitness trackers out there. It’s basically a fitness coach and personal assistant combined.
Track your daily activity with Apple’s most accurate fitness tracker. Measure your workouts, whether that’s running, yoga, or dance. Sync your favourite music, podcasts, or audiobooks and enjoy listening on the go with the best wireless earbuds.
You can even monitor your blood oxygen and check your heart rhythm with the ECG app and take calls and reply to texts straight from your wrist.
With its ultra-slick performance and perfected user experience, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the all-time best fitness watch.
Best for: Making monitoring your well being enjoyable and effortless.
Battery life: Up to 18 hours Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Built-in Compatibility: iOs
Withings ScanWatch: Best fitness tracker with oxygen monitor
Pulse oximeters are the latest trend in fitness trackers so take advantage of the newest technology with the clinically validated ScanWatch from Withings—the best fitness tracker with an oxygen monitor and a great Android fitness watch too.
Keeping an eye on your respiratory levels is not just good for those who engage in high-elevation activities. Knowing your SpO2 measurements—or blood oxygen levels—also helps you recover faster from workouts and even exposes conditions like sleep apnea.
One of the best fitness watches, it also features a medical-grade ECG that can detect signs of arrhythmia, making it potentially a life-saving device. And a 30-day battery life is equally live-saving in a slightly different way.
With its oxygen monitoring capabilities, Withings ScanWatch is the watch you can’t do without.
Best for: The next best thing to a medical professional.
Battery life: Up to 30 days Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Connected Compatibility: iOs and Android
Garmin Forerunner 35: Best fitness tracker for running
Up your running game with a fitness watch designed to help you hit your stride. Garmin’s Forerunner 35 is possibly the best smartwatch for Android.
Whether you pound the pavement a few times a week or you’re training for your fifth marathon of the year, this fitness tracker watch will optimise your running footprint. With in-built GPS, it tracks how far, fast, and where you run, as well as estimating your heart rate and allowing you to listen to music from your phone.
This fitness watch is slim, lightweight, and can calibrate according to whether you’re running inside or outside.
Make it to the finish line each and every time with Garmin’s Forerunner 35.
Best for: Getting that ‘running high’ on a more regular basis.
Battery life: Up to 9 days Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: No Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Built-in Compatibility: n/a
Fitbit Ace 2: Best fitness tracker for kids
Here to prove that fitness is fun for all the family, the Fitbit Ace 2 is the perfect way to get your kids out and about. It’s one of the best fitness trackers for kids out there.
Encourage the inner Olympian in your kid with a fitness tracker that logs their steps as they skip, jump, and run through their day. They can earn virtual badges and the Fitbit band also has on-screen celebrations whenever they reach a target.
The Fitbit Ace 2 is the perfect way for kids to let off steam. They’ll sleep better for it—and so will you.
Best for: Giving kids a constructive outlet for all that energy.
Battery life: Up to 5 days Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: No GPS: No Compatibility: iOs and Android
Suunto 7: Best fitness tracker for outdoors
Get off the sofa and into the open air with the Suunto 7, a fitness tracker with more than 70 sports modes as well as GPS to accurately track your outdoor adventures. Plus there’s a wrist heart rate sensor to give you valuable insights into how your body is performing.
You can also check incoming calls and messages and even make payments—perfect for that post-workout coffee shop treat. Ultra-durable and waterproof to 50 metres, it’s the ultimate rugged sports watch.
Best for: A supremely functional sports watch for any adventurer or outdoorsman.
Battery life: Up to 40 hours or 12 hours in GPS mode Sleep tracker: No Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Yes Compatibility: iOs and Android
Garmin Vivofit: Best fitness tracker for seniors
Staying fit and healthy in later life can be hard when our bodies aren’t what they were. Here to motivate you to get up and move is the Garmin Vivofit, the best fitness tracker for seniors.
It motivates you to get moving with a red ‘move bar’ that displays after an hour of inactivity. It also logs calories and even assigns you a personalised goal each morning, boosting your weight loss and wellbeing.
Wear it 24/7, to any event or occasion, and even in bed so you can monitor your sleep patterns and improve the quality of your rest.
You’re only as old as you feel. The Garmin Vivofit is here to make sure you feel fit, healthy, and full of beans.
Best for: Proving that staying in shape isn’t just for spring chickens.
Battery life: Over a year Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: No GPS: No Compatibility: iOs and Android
Fitbit Inspire HR: Best fitness tracker for beginners
The Fitbit Inspire HR is perfect for training novices with all the necessary features but nothing so serious that it turns working out into a chore.
Track all-day activity, from steps to active minutes and calories burned. It’s also one of the best fitness trackers with a heart rate monitor out there with a sensor that keeps an eye on your pulse 24/7.
At night, it will monitor your sleep, giving you statistics to help you work out if you’re getting enough rest. And all in a friendly, approachable, and supportive way.
Best for: Getting started on the road to a superhuman body.
Battery life: Up to 5 days Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Connected Compatibility: iOs, Android
Garmin Vivosmart: Best fitness tracker for swimming
If the only kind of fitness you care about is the kind that takes place in water, then you need the Garmin Vivosmart, the best fitness tracker for swimming. Unlike many water-resistant watches, the Garmin Vivosmart can actually track your activity in the pool.
But its functions go beyond in-water exercise. This feature-heavy Garmin fitness tracker also has a heart rate monitor, advanced sleep monitoring technology, and can even gauge blood oxygen levels using the Pulse Ox sensor.
Whether you’re racking up the lengths at your local leisure centre or cold water swimming in wild ocean waters, you need the Garmin Vivosmart on your wrist.
Best for: Aquatic adventurers wanting to level-up their underwater exploits.
Battery life: Up to 7 days Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Connected Compatibility: iOs and Android
Polar A370: Best fitness tracker for small wrists
A wearable fitness tracker is a great invention but not if it doesn’t fit your wrist. You need the Polar A370, the best fitness tracker for small wrists.
Despite its size, the Polar A370 packs a lot in, with a continuous heart monitor, calorie counter, as well as assisted GPS that connects with your phone to track speed, distance, and your route.
You can also get notifications for any incoming calls, messages, or other phone alerts. And it will monitor your sleep and give you insights so you can develop better sleeping habits.
Best for: Superb fitness tracking for those with very small frames.
Battery life: Up to 4 days, or 12 hours with GPS Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 30 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Connected Compatibility: iOs and Android
Withings Smart Scale: Best fitness tracker for weight loss
This isn’t actually a fitness tracker. It’s a set of clinically-tested scales by Withings. Cheeky, we know. But if your priority is weight loss, then you need a gadget that’s optimised to help you shed the pounds.
Already got your sleek new athleisure get-up? Now it’s time to see results. These scales offer a holistic weight tracking experience. Weigh in, get instant feedback on your trends and BMI, and sync up to the app to track progress, set a weight goal, and log your diets.
These highly accurate scales by Withings are revolutionising how we go about slimming down—hence why we consider them the best fitness tracker for weight loss.
Best for: Watching the steps rise and the kilos fall.
Battery life: Up to 18 hours Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: No Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Yes Compatibility: iOs, Android
Withings HR Sport: Best fitness tracker for gym workouts
Hitting the treadmill at your local studio with a new determination? Stacking weights and lifting reps like there’s no tomorrow? The best fitness tracker to take to the gym is Withings HR Sport.
For the exercise addicts among you, this is the perfect workout companion with multi-sport tracking, connected GPS, heart rate monitoring, and a personalised fitness level assessment.
It can also tell you the calories burned and a detailed breakdown of how long you spent in different heart rate zones. Plus, it looks cool enough to wear out in the evenings.
No pain, no gain, as they say. But with Withings’ HR Sport, we reckon there’s going to be a lot more gain and a lot less pain. Potentially the best smartwatch for fitness.
Best for: Inside intelligence on how well your body is performing.
Battery life: Up to 24 days Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Connected Compatibility: iOs and Android
Garmin Vivoactive: Best smartwatch for phone-free workouts
Many fitness trackers depend on a connection to your phone for activity monitoring. Not so the Garmin Vivoactive, a GPS smartwatch that doesn’t depend on anything. Other than you, that is.
The Garmin Vivoactive offers meaningful insights into health, fitness, and wellbeing with VO2 max and fitness age estimates. You can even monitor stress with the estimated heart rate variability.
You can download up to 500 songs onto the watch for phone-free listening and there are more than 15 preloaded sports apps, including yoga and strength training.
Say goodbye to your phone screen with the Garmin Vivoactive. A top contender for best smartwatch and perfect for phone-free workouts.
Best for: Leaving your phone behind and focusing on bringing your best.
Battery life: Up to 7 days or 5 hours if using GPS with music Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: Yes, up to 50 metres Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Yes Compatibility: iOs and Android
Amazfit: Best budget fitness tracker
This fitness tracker by Amazfit is all the proof you need that getting fit doesn’t mean forking out all your savings.
Burn calories but not cash with a 24/7 heart rate and activity tracker. You can also monitor your sleep as well as blood oxygen saturation during high-intensity workouts. Integration with Alexa is another bonus. You can ask questions, set alarms, create shopping lists, and even check the weather.
The ultimate budget fitness tracker, the Amazfit means money can’t be your excuse for not working out anymore. Sorry.
Best for: Fulfilling all your fitness dreams for under $50.
Battery life: 18 hours Sleep tracker: Yes Waterproof: No Heart-rate monitor: Yes GPS: Yes Compatibility: iOs, Android
Buyers guide: how to choose a fitness tracker
When buying a fitness tracker, there are a few things you want to research before you invest. Here are the main criteria to consider when choosing.
There are different styles of fitness tracker out there. Some are trackers, some are smartwatches. Most are worn on the wrist but there are also clip-on trackers and tracking rings. We recommend getting a bracelet-style tracker as you’re less likely to lose it.
And if you plan to use your fitness tracker to monitor your sleep, you’ll want one that is comfortable to wear in bed.
The longer the battery life, the better, but the more features you use, the quicker the battery will drain. Battery life can vary from 5 to 25 days. There are also a few fitness trackers out there that use coin batteries instead, which can last as long as a year.
Fitness trackers send all their information to an app so you want to make sure that it’s compatible with your smartphone and that the app works just as well as the tracker.
A waterproof fitness tracker has the benefit that it can be worn in the shower and even for swimming. Water-resistance up to 50 metres means you can wear it in the pool.
But a waterproof fitness tracker isn’t the same as a swimming fitness tracker. For the best information on your swimming, you may want a specialised swimming watch.
There are fitness trackers out there to suit every price preference. Cheaper trackers often lack a display so you’ll need to check your smartphone for insights and statistics.
The more money you spend, the more features you get. More expensive fitness trackers are usually targeted at proper athletes so consider your fitness goals before buying.
Features to look out for
Built-in GPS – the most accurate movement tracking requires GPS. Unless you want to carry your phone around with you, you want a phone with built-in GPS, although this often makes fitness trackers more expensive.
Connected GPS – this is when your fitness tracker uses the GPS capabilities of another device, usually your smartphone.
Sleep tracker – fitness trackers use a three-axis accelerometer to monitor movement and determine light sleep versus deep sleep.
Heart rate monitor – gain extra insights to your overall health.
Exercise trackers – find a fitness tracker that can record your preferred type of exercise. Runners will want a tracker that monitors time, distance, pace, and lap time. Cyclists may want a tracker that monitors power and cadence.
Step counter – measure how many steps you take. Try to reach the recommended target of 10,000 steps a day.
ECG measurements – electrocardiogram sensors record the electrical signals generated by your heartbeat to track how your heart is functioning.
Stress tracking – by monitoring your heart rate variability, or HRV, fitness trackers can sense heart rate fluctuations and give you a stress score.
Smartphone integration – some trackers will notify you when you get calls, texts, or emails, and also allow you to control your music.
Workout feedback – if you want information on how to improve your fitness or health, look for a tracker that can offer coaching advice.
Frequently asked questions about fitness trackers
The most accurate fitness tracker is the Fitbit Charge 4. It has built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor, a calorie counter, and water-resistance to 50 metres. For more information and advice on choosing a fitness tracker, check out our list of the best fitness trackers.
The best fitness trackers include the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Apple Watch Series 6, both of which feature advanced technology to monitor your health accurately and deliver insights on your fitness. Withings’ Pulse HR is also a popular and budget-friendly fitness tracker that has connected GPS, a heart rate monitor, and water resistance up to 50 metres.
Fitness trackers are well worth it if you’re looking to boost your fitness or improve overall health. They don’t just monitor the exercise. They can also track sleep and heart rates, helping you to become better rested and keep an eye on your stress levels.
Cheap fitness trackers are often perfectly adequate for those who simply want to get in shape. Unless you’re a serious athlete who needs advanced GPS tracking or you want cutting-edge technology like ECG monitors, a cheap fitness tracker can do the job of tracking your workouts and reminding you to move more.