The 10 Best Fitness Trackers

Updated December 13, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Fitness Trackers
Leave expensive personal trainers to the Hollywood types. The rest of us can stay motivated with one of these high-tech fitness trackers that will ensure we stay on target with all of our fitness goals and get us in top shape in no time. Many of us aren't aware of how stagnant we tend to be in modern society, but any one of these devices will make it clear, so you can step up your fitness game. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fitness tracker on Amazon.

10. Adidas Fit Smart

The Adidas Fit Smart helps keep wearers motivated by providing visual guidance and feedback during workouts. It can sync wirelessly with the miCoach train and run app, where you can see your progress over time. Unfortunately, it looks bulky.
  • crack-proof display
  • can set daily and weekly goals
  • vibration is too intense
Brand Adidas Fit Smart
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Fitbit Alta

The Fitbit Alta is ideal for the user who doesn't want a large device on their arm but still wants to see exercise data and smart notifications on a screen. Wearers can buy accessory wristbands in metal, leather, or sport styles to match the day's fashion needs.
  • compatible with ios and android
  • gives reminders to move
  • must be charged frequently
Brand Fitbit
Model FB406BKS
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Bellabeat Leaf

Fitness trackers don't need to look high-tech and utilitarian. The Bellabeat Leaf is a charming silver accessory that can be worn on a necklace, watch, or simply attached to your clothing. It's equal parts jewelry and activity monitor.
  • elegant ash wood pieces inlcuded
  • has stress management exercises
  • sleep monitoring could be better
Brand Bellabeat Leaf
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

7. Coffea H7-HR

The Coffea H7-HR is like a little active lifestyle buddy you wear on your wrist. It offers 14 training modes and a look at your activity levels over a 24-hour timeline, giving you an in-depth understanding of your progress towards your goals.
  • shows the weather forecast
  • has music controls
  • must be disassembled to charge
Brand Coffea H7-HR
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Wesoo K1

At a glance, the Wesoo K1 will display the date and time, but when you scroll through its interface you'll find other helpful data like steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled. In the compatible app, you can set your daily goals.
  • comes with a replacement band
  • made from eco-friendly material
  • takes a long time to sync
Brand Wesoo K1
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Fitbit Charge 2

The Fitbit Charge 2 can show call, text, and calendar notifications on its bright OLED display. It also automatically tracks how well and how long you sleep. Plus, it can be set to wake you up with a non-intrusive vibrating alarm.
  • gives cardio fitness scores
  • tracks floors climbed
  • heart rate isn't always accurate
Brand Fitbit
Model FB407SBKS
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

With the ability to recognize and monitor your activity on most major workout equipment, including ellipticals, step machines, treadmills, and exercise bikes, the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro is a gym rat's best friend. It can even store music.
  • continuous heart rate monitoring
  • battery-saving screen modes
  • doesn't have a built-in microphone
Brand Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Garmin Vivofit 3

The Garmin Vivofit 3 will record your data for a full year before requiring a charge, so you can keep it on 24/7 for a full 365 days of fun and fitness. Its simple interface has just one button, and pressing it will help you scroll through your stats.
  • clasp locks securely in place
  • offers a lot of size adjustment
  • notifies you of prolonged inactivity
Brand Garmin Vivofit 3
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Fitbit Flex 2

Getting in great shape and developing healthier habits doesn't have to cost a fortune with the Fitbit Flex 2. It syncs your exercise statistics to the Fitbit dashboard so you can share your progress with friends, compete with them, and more.
  • can track swimming laps
  • lightweight on the wrist
  • slim tracker fits inside pendants
Brand Fitbit Flex 2
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Fitbit Blaze

A stylish watch and fitness tracker in one, the Fitbit Blaze won't even tip off onlookers to the fact that you're monitoring your exercise and health. It's a good discreet option for those who don't like to wear conspicuous workout-related devices.
  • connects to gps satellites
  • large screen is easy to read
  • swapping out bands is simple
Brand Fitbit Blaze
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

What Makes Fitness Trackers Work?

What a great question. It looks so magical, that simple band on your wrist that converts your every movement into data points for analysis. There's actually a TON of stuff going on inside though, and worth taking a look at:

Accelerometers: these are the nifty sensors that exist in your Wii controllers, your iPhone, and many other devices these days. They measure orientation and - you guessed it - acceleration, and then send these signals to the software so that it can respond appropriately. Some even have a gyroscope inside! Without them, fitness trackers couldn't exist.

Altimeter: Whether you're big into mountain climbing or just trying to take the stairs more often, the altimeter measures your altitude and converts that data into stairs climbed (the iPhone health app assumes a certain number of feet equal one flight of stairs).

Heart rate monitor: Most of the monitors embedded in fitness trackers these days shine a light onto your wrist and track how much light bounces off your blood. Changes in light are then converted into a heart rate.

How Do I Narrow Down My Options?

If you've gotten this far (thanks for reading!), you're probably aware that there are a mind-boggling number of options out there if you'd like to add some data to your fitness (and really, who doesn't want to play with pretty graphs?). Let's assume for the sake of simplicity that you've decided that your smart phone and/or smart watch are too much, and you want a tracker that's independent of all that. Now you get to think through whether you want something you wear on your pants, in your pocket, around your chest, or on your wrist.

Once you've gotten to that point, it's important to think through what type of exercise you'll be doing. Not all fitness trackers are made for swimming, for instance, and you can seriously damage your brand new toy if you aren't nice to it and play by its rules.

Kickboxing more your style? You may need to get two trackers to wear, one on each arm (such as with the Moov Multi-Sport, ranked #2 on our list). If you're training for a marathon or triathlon, you'll need solid GPS data to track those (very, absurdly) long training runs.

Finally, you'll need to assess your level of vanity. Are you going to feel self-conscious wearing something that resembles a calculator watch from the 80s? Does style beget substance on some level?

Be honest with yourself, because unless you wear your fitness tracker every day, it's nothing but an expensive paperweight. If you'd rather go for something that fits on your pants or in a pocket, assess whether you are the type of person who will always remember to take it out of your pocket before putting your clothes in the laundry.

Finally, make sure the tracker's app works with your phone's operating system! While the vast majority of apps are now available on Android and iOS, it's always good to double check.

Fitness Trackers Are Way Old

You whippersnappers out there may not believe me, but once upon a time, fitness was tracked.... with a pencil and paper. Yep, you read that right: our athletic ancestors had to figure out their split times themselves. Be glad you live in the 21st century!

While this seems like a truly late 20th/early 21st-century concern, the pedometer - the fitness tracker's ancestor - was conceptualized as far back as Leonardo da Vinci. The drawings above show a pendulum that would swing in time with one's steps.

Later on, Thomas Jefferson had a mechanical pedometer, and he sent it to James Madison with instructions for how to set it up (spoiler alert: it was way more complicated that clipping it to your waist).

Speaking of which, when did 10,000 steps become the norm, anyway?

Amazingly enough, devices were sold in Japan in 1965 by one Y. Hatano, who asserted that 10,000 steps was the ideal amount of fitness and caloric expenditure to ensure healthiness.

The goal stuck in the collective hive mind not because of some massive scientific study, but because the name, Manpo-kei, was catchy. 50 years later, and nearly every device out there assumes you have a goal of 10,000 steps.



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Last updated on December 13, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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