Fitness trackers can become great allies to help you get — or stay — in shape without having to invest in a full-blown smartwatch. Not only do they hold you accountable for how much activity you’re doing, or not doing for that matter, they also show you how to get the most out of each workout. There are dozens of great trackers to choose from (a lot of which we haven’t tested yet), but we’ve rounded up four of our favorites based on price, form and function to help get you started on your search.
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If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that behaves a lot like a smartwatch without the extra bulk, the Fitbit Charge 4 might be the perfect fit. It checks all the boxes when it comes to fitness features, with better training tools for athletes than its predecessors and built-in GPS to track outdoor workouts independently of your phone. It also includes mobile payments and the option to reply to texts and messages if you’re an Android user.
If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, you may also consider the Fitbit Charge 3, which is now $99. You won’t get the built-in GPS or mobile payment options, but it looks almost exactly like the Charge 4 and gives you access to most of the same fitness features, including a look at how hard you were pushing yourself during each workout, along with an in-depth sleep analysis. Plus the battery can go up to a week on a single charge, whereas the Charge 4 caps out at about three days with the GPS turned on.
For less than $40, the Mi Band 4 is the best value fitness tracker you can buy. It packs most of the features you’d get in a more expensive fitness tracker, like an AMOLED touchscreen that’s easy to see in sunlight, 24/7 heart rate and sleep tracking. Battery life is also second-to-none as you’ll get around two and a half weeks of use before you need to charge. The one thing it does miss out on is workout variety; it can only detect running, walking, cycling or swimming, so any other workout like Pilates or yoga would need to be tracked under the generic “exercise” type.
I know what you’re thinking: This is not a tracker. But even if you strip away all of its smartwatch features, the Apple Watch would still hold its own as a standalone fitness tracker. And the cheaper Series 3 has everything you need. Not only does it keep tabs on your health and activity like the rest of the trackers on this list, it also gives you access to dozens of fitness apps, ranging from running coaches to strength training routines, to guide your through your workouts.
Let us know if your favorite fitness tracker was left out of the list and we’ll continue to update it once we’ve been able to test it out.
Our editors hand-picked these products based on our tests and reviews. If you use our links to buy, we may get a commission.
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