The best fitness trackers for any budget
What do you think of when you think of a fitness tracker? We’re guessing you think of a small device that tells you how many steps you’ve taken during a workout. But these days, they offer so much more than that. Counting your steps is but one of countless fitness tracker abilities. They are a great way to get you into shape, stay healthy and motivate you to actually get that workout in. Some of them even track your sleep, track your heart rate and offer workout challenges. So it’s no surprise that the fitness tracker market has a lot of options at various price points. We’ll tell you the best fitness trackers for any budget. Whether you want to spend a little or a lot, one of these is right for you.
The best budget fitness tracker under $100
The Wyze Band has earned rave reviews. It’s one of the most affordable yet useful fitness tracker available. For its low price tag of $30, this fitness tracker packs in the features:
- It tracks your steps, sleep and heart rate.
- It has indoor running and free-training activity modes.
- It’s waterproof up to 50 meters.
- It allows you to receive your smart phone notifications.
- And it has a 10-day battery life.
The Wyze Band does have some limitations. But these are excusable for such an inexpensive device. For one thing, the small size of the display screen limits the amount of information on display at one time. But it’s easy to read, and it provides solid running metrics.
The Wyze Band’s only dedicated workout mode is for indoor running, so there are limits to its activity tracking. There’s an option for heart-rate-based training, which provides some metrics. And the Wyze app lets you track your average pace, calories burned, running heartbeats per minute and total miles ran.
Even though the price point is low, you still get the benefits of built-in Amazon Alexa. So you can use it to control your connected smart home devices.
The best fitness tracker under $200
For a mid-level priced option, we recommend the Fitbit Charge 4, which carries a price tag of $150. That’s a great deal for this best-in-its-class device. If you’ve heard of fitness trackers, you’ve heard of Fitbit. The brand name is close to a genericized trademark for fitness trackers in general. It got that way because Fitbit pioneered feature-rich fitness trackers. And the company’s trackers are still at the front of the pack.
Thanks to a built-in GPS, the Charge 4 lets you track your workouts without using your phone. When was the last time you went for a run without your phone? You’ll marvel at how much better exercising can be physically and mentally when you leave your phone at home. (Note that the GPS feature doesn’t do any favors for the device’s battery, so we recommend you turn off the function when you’re not using it.)
But it could be that you prefer to stay tethered to your phone. You’ll still love the Charge 4. Besides helping with health and fitness, the Charge 4 has mobile paying options and the ability to reply to texts if you have an Android. (iPhone owners can receive messages on these trackers, but can’t reply.) And while the Fitbit Charge 4 doesn’t play music itself, you can use it to pause and skip tracks if you pair it with Spotify on another device.
We especially love Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes metric. It uses your heart rate zones to determine how hard you’re working during your workouts. The higher you push your heart rate, the more Active Zone Minutes you earn. This feature gamifies your workout and pushes you to get out of your comfort zone.
The best fitness tracker over $200
Are you ready to splurge on a deluxe fitness tracker? The Garmin Vivoactive 4S may be the way to go. You’ll get a lot for your money if you’re willing to pay the $350 asking price.
Besides tracking steps, heart rate and sleep, this smartwatch-like device also tracks stress and respiration. It also offers you the option to create your own customized workouts. Add those to the device’s many activity modes and exercise instructions already installed. With the Garmin Connect app, you can sync the tracker to various Garmin-generated workouts and, once you’ve uploaded a workout to the tracker, you can play it back.
The Garmin Vivoactive 4S has a color touch screen that is a little muted compared to other, similar devices. But this tracker’s buttons make it easy to go back and forth between workout modes such as running, biking, yoga, swimming and climbing.
Unlike the Fitbit Charge 4, you can play music with the Vivoactive 4S through Spotify and Amazon Music. Additionally, the device is water resistant in up to 50 meters, the battery lasts up to seven days and it offers a contactless payment system.
The Vivoactive 4S is a more practical alternative to a GPS running watch. And it’s one of the most accurate trackers of steps and distance. If you’ve got the money to spend, it’s one of the best fitness trackers your money can buy.