Best Fitness Trackers for 2023
Fitness trackers have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to their ability to help individuals monitor their physical activity, set fitness goals, and track progress. However, with so many options available in the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming.
To find the best fitness tracker for your needs, it’s important to consider a few factors. First, think about your budget. Fitness trackers can range in price from under $50 to over $500, so determining how much you’re willing to spend can help narrow down your choices.
Next, consider your fitness goals. Are you looking to track your daily steps and calorie burn, or do you want a device that can monitor your heart rate, sleep quality, and stress levels? Some fitness trackers are designed for specific activities, such as running or swimming, so think about what kind of exercise you enjoy and make sure the tracker you choose can track it.
Another factor to consider is the features you want. Do you want a device that can display notifications from your smartphone, or one that has a built-in GPS? Some fitness trackers also come with coaching or training programs, while others offer social features that allow you to connect with friends and share your progress.
Lastly, consider the style of the fitness tracker. Some people prefer a device that looks more like a traditional watch, while others prefer a sleek, minimalist design.
To make the process of choosing a fitness tracker easier, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the top options on the market. Our reviews are independent and in-depth, covering everything from design and features to performance and battery life.
Some of the top options we’ve tested include the Fitbit Charge 5, which is great for tracking daily activity and sleep quality, and the Apple Watch Series 8, which is a versatile device that can be used for fitness tracking as well as communication and entertainment.
For serious runners, we recommend the Garmin Forerunner 265, which has advanced running metrics and a long battery life. And for those who want a budget-friendly option, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is a great choice, offering features like heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking at an affordable price.
Overall, choosing the right fitness tracker depends on your individual needs and preferences. By considering factors like budget, fitness goals, features, and style, you can find a device that will help you achieve your fitness goals and stay motivated along the way.
Summary: The Best Fitness Trackers
Fitness trackers have become a popular tool for individuals looking to track their daily activity, monitor their health and fitness progress, and optimize their workout routines. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. However, we have tested and identified some of the best fitness trackers available today.
Fitbit Charge 5
First on the list is the Fitbit Charge 5. As the flagship wristband from Fitbit, it tracks all the basic metrics, such as steps taken, heart rate, and sleep, as well as advanced features like built-in GPS for outdoor workout tracking. The crisp AMOLED display provides an easy-to-read view of workout data and progress.
Apple Watch Series 8
Next, the Apple Watch Series 8 is a versatile smartwatch that offers top-notch fitness tracking capabilities. It boasts features such as menstrual cycle tracking, allowing users to monitor their health closely. It is also stylish and versatile, allowing users to make calls, stream music, and download apps from their wrists.
Garmin Forerunner 265
Finally, the Garmin Forerunner 265 is an excellent choice for those who love outdoor workouts. The latest Forerunner from Garmin has advanced training features to help users reach their fitness and performance goals. It also excels in battery life, and the AMOLED display adds some style to this more serious fitness tracker.
Overall, these are some of the best fitness trackers available on the market today. With advanced tracking capabilities, sleek designs, and user-friendly features, they make it easy for users to take control of their fitness journey.
How to Choose Which Is The Right Fitness Tracker For You
When it comes to tracking your fitness progress, a good fitness tracker can be an excellent tool to have. However, with so many different options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs.
To help you make an informed decision, there are several factors you should consider. Firstly, it’s important to think about your fitness goals. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to focus on steps, heart rate, and sleep, or do you need something with more advanced features for outdoor exercise? Understanding your goals will help you to select a device that is best suited to your needs.
Another important factor to consider is your budget. Fitness trackers can range from very affordable to very expensive, and it’s essential to decide on a budget before diving into the details of different devices. You don’t want to waste time researching a tracker that’s too expensive or too basic for your needs.
Once you have a clear idea of your goals and budget, you can start comparing features. Different fitness trackers have varying specialties, with some offering the basics for beginners and others providing more advanced workout and health tracking capabilities. Consider the features you’re most interested in and prioritize accordingly.
Lastly, it’s important to think about the style of the device you prefer. Fitness trackers come in different shapes and sizes, and it’s essential to choose something that you feel comfortable wearing at all times. Whether you prefer a smartwatch, fitness wristband, smart ring, or something else, finding a device that you love the look of will make it more likely that you will stick with it and get the most out of it.
Overall, choosing the right fitness tracker can be a straightforward process if you consider your goals, budget, preferred features, and style. By doing so, you’ll be able to find a device that is perfect for you and will help you to achieve your fitness objectives.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is a smartwatch that has gained popularity among Android users due to its excellent fitness tracking features and all-around functionality. It comes in two case sizes, and a more expensive ‘Pro’ version is also available. However, it should be noted that the Galaxy Watch 5 is not compatible with iPhone devices.
One of the standout features of the Galaxy Watch 5 is its bright and punchy display, which provides a great viewing experience. The Google Play app store is full of great third-party options, giving users a wide range of apps to choose from. However, users should note that the battery life of the watch will typically last less than two days before needing to be recharged.
Samsung’s latest generation of smartwatches, including the Galaxy Watch 5, doesn’t change the formula too much from the previous Galaxy Watch 4 series. However, this smartwatch can still deliver an excellent fitness tracking experience. It is comfortable to wear around the clock, packed with tracking features, and available in a style that can suit most wrist types.
One of the things that we like about the Galaxy Watch 5 is the accuracy of sleep insights, heart rate monitoring, and GPS location tracking. We found it very comfortable to wear during workouts, including those in the water, as well as during sleep tracking. With multiple versions available, there’s likely to be a good fit on the wrist for most people. The Wear OS software platform has also greatly improved, and the Google Play Store offers a number of very good fitness and workout tracking apps, such as those from Runkeeper and Strava.
However, there are also some downsides to consider. For example, workout tracking insights and accuracy are somewhat lacking, which means it’s not necessarily the best fit for advanced exercisers. The battery life and design are largely unchanged from the previous generation, although more of a change is present in the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro model. Some health tracking features will only be available if you have a Samsung smartphone, such as blood pressure monitoring. Additionally, it can only be paired with Android phones, which means iPhone users can’t consider it.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 currently offers the best fitness tracking experience in a smartwatch for Android users. While battery life suffers due to the rich software and display, the breadth of tracking features and solid accuracy make this a good option to consider.
The Withings ScanWatch is a unique and innovative health and fitness tracker that offers a wide range of features in a discreet and non-techy package. One of the key features of the ScanWatch is its ability to automatically detect workouts, making it an ideal companion for fitness enthusiasts. Additionally, the device can last for around a month before needing to be recharged, thanks to its efficient battery management system.
The ScanWatch features physical watch hands along with a very small OLED display, making it easy to check your tracking stats, notifications, and heart rate data. It has a thin, lightweight, and small case, making it comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
The device is capable of tracking basics like steps, calorie burn, and sleep, and can also track outdoor activities like running, offering VO2 Max estimations. We found the automatic recognition of activities to be reliable during our testing. The device also features an ECG sensor that can scan for heart arrhythmia, as well as low or high heart rates.
Another impressive feature of the ScanWatch is its SpO2 sensor, which measures blood oxygen levels and can monitor for breathing disturbances during sleep. Its sleep tracking and heart rate features are some of the best in the business, making the ScanWatch a standout example of putting powerful sensors into something discreet and non-techy.
Depending on the features you have enabled, you can get up to 30 days of battery life with the ScanWatch. However, with no real prompts to move, it’s not the best wearable for motivating you to be more active. Additionally, there’s no built-in GPS, which means you’ll need to be connected to your phone in order to receive accurate distance and location tracking. The Withings Health Mate app doesn’t really emphasize activity time as much as alternatives like Fitbit or Garmin.
Overall, if you’re looking for a traditional-looking watch that offers some hidden fitness tracking and innovative health features, the ScanWatch should be right up your street. With its combination of style and functionality, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to keep an eye on their health and fitness without sacrificing style or comfort.
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 is a highly versatile wearable that caters to a wide range of users, from beginners to fitness enthusiasts. It excels at health monitoring, workouts, and fitness basics, offering a comprehensive package of features that is hard to beat. The device comes in two sizes, with numerous case finishes and bands available, allowing users to customize it to their liking.
One of the standout features of the Series 8 is its edge-to-edge, always-on display, which looks and feels premium. The display is highly responsive and provides excellent visibility, even in bright sunlight. However, the device is only compatible with iPhone and not Android, which may be a deal-breaker for some users.
The battery life of the Series 8 is not the strongest, lasting under two full days in most scenarios. However, this is a trade-off for the rich on-watch experience and superb display. The fitness tracking experience revolves around the three Activity Rings, which act as the best motivator on any tracker. They provide users with a digestible view of their current day of exercise, calorie burn, and standing hours. Additionally, the experience has grown to include deeper workout tracking insights, more activity profiles, and integrations with popular platforms like Strava.
One of the highlights of the Series 8 is its outstanding heart rate monitoring during a range of activities, with the accuracy comparing well to other top wrist-based options and chest straps. The device offers a rich array of fitness tracking apps to use for workouts other than Apple’s own, making it highly versatile. The design and band options ensure it’s comfortable for 24/7 wear and can be worn in the shower or swimming pool without worry.
The Series 8 also boasts unparalleled health and safety tracking features, including skin temperature, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, ECGs, Fall Detection, Crash Detection, and many more. However, the fitness tracking leans more toward the beginner end of the scale, which means experienced trackers focused on running, cycling, or swimming may be better served with a more dedicated tracker.
The display and case are both prone to scratches and scrapes, especially if your workouts involve equipment. Overall, the Series 8 is a dependable and rounded middle child in Apple’s range, with the Apple Watch Ultra offering a more hardcore, outdoor emphasis, and the cheaper Apple Watch SE offering almost all of the core fitness features.
Garmin Forerunner 265
The Forerunner 265 is a top-tier fitness tracker from Garmin that offers a range of advanced features and insights to help you get the most out of your workouts. Designed for runners, cyclists, and swimmers, this device is capable of tracking your performance metrics with incredible accuracy and precision.
One of the key selling points of the Forerunner 265 is its impressive battery life. With the always-on display enabled, the device can last around 4-5 days on a single charge, while turning off the display can extend that to 10-15 days. This makes it a great option for those who want to track their fitness without having to worry about constantly charging their device.
The Forerunner 265 is also available in a couple of different case sizes, making it a good fit for all wrist types. The bright touchscreen display is easy to view even in bright sunlight, making it ideal for outdoor workouts.
One of the standout features of the Forerunner 265 is its gold-standard GPS, which can log workout distances and location with incredible accuracy. This makes it a great choice for runners and cyclists who want to track their routes and distances with precision.
The latest version of the Forerunner 265 also comes with offline music support and a gorgeous AMOLED display, which gives the device a more premium look and feel than its predecessors. The new user interface is also much quicker and more intuitive, making it easier to view your data and graphs during workouts.
In terms of what we like about the Forerunner 265, the improved display and user interface are major highlights. The device also offers impeccable workout data accuracy, which is ideal for those who want to gain next-level insights into their running, cycling, or swimming sessions. The battery life is also ahead of the competition, giving you the option to maximize the display or strip things back and gain a bit more longevity. And both on the watch and in the Garmin Connect app, there’s a rich central hub of information that provides details on your readiness to train, cumulative load, sleep performance, health metrics, and much more.
However, there are some limitations to the Forerunner 265 that we should point out. For one, it doesn’t offer the same breadth of advanced health insights as other fitness trackers, missing out on features such as ECG readings and skin temperature trends. Additionally, a lot of the same fitness tracking features are available on cheaper Garmin devices, meaning you’re mostly paying for the premium design. Finally, since many of the insights and data are geared toward training, the Forerunner 265 isn’t the best option for those who don’t run, cycle, or swim.
Overall, the Forerunner 265 is a fitness-tracking powerhouse that offers advanced features and insights for intermediate and advanced exercisers. While it may not be the best fit for beginners or those looking for more comprehensive health tracking, it’s a top-performing device that can help take your workouts to the next level.
Fitbit Charge 5
The Fitbit Charge 5 is a wristband tracker that boasts a range of impressive features. With a small but vibrant color touchscreen, it offers an easy-to-use interface for accessing your fitness data. One of its key selling points is the built-in GPS, which allows you to track your outdoor workouts without needing to bring your phone with you. The battery life is also impressive, with the device typically lasting around a week on a single charge.
The Charge 5 is also designed to be worn in the shower and in water depths equivalent to 50m, making it a versatile device for those who enjoy water-based activities. It can track steps, heart rate, and calorie burn, and offers a range of health features such as ECG and stress analysis via the EDA sensor.
One of the standout features of the Charge 5 is its aluminum case and AMOLED display, which make it the best-looking Charge device to date. The display is easy to view during workouts and all-day wear, and the device is really comfortable to wear during workouts and sleep tracking.
While the calorie burn, heart rate, and step tracking data largely proved accurate in review tests, the GPS accuracy proved unreliable in outdoor activities. Additionally, a Fitbit Premium subscription is required to access all features, such as Daily Readiness. The form factor may not be for everyone, as some with smaller wrists may find it too large, and the raise-to-wake and touch display are both slow to respond to prompts.
Overall, the Charge 5 is a great option for those who want a comprehensive health tracking experience in a wristband form factor. While it may not be the most accurate or versatile tracker of workouts, it offers a complete range of health features at a relatively affordable price.