Best fitness tracker 2020: the top 10 activity bands on the planet
If you're after the best fitness tracker as we enter a fresh new year, then you're in luck: we've got all the best fitness wearables rounded up here, all of them able to help you get the data you need to stick to your resolutions.
Think of these options like an electronic watchdog for your health, putting a finger on your pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, checking your quality of sleep, counting your steps and (most of the time) even more.
Some folks even call them smart bracelets, mostly because activity bands now look as good as traditional jewelry, but they're also so light you'll barely notice them on your wrist.
Before you go any further, know that we aren't evaluating all the highest-end tech wristwear in this list. For that you'll want our best smartwatch guide, which includes top-end products like the Apple Watch 5, Fossil Sport and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.
You also won't find the Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Versa or Fitbit Versa Lite here either, which, despite their brand name, are all smartwatches and are priced accordingly - although they do feature on our best Fitbit guide.
Right now this guide is designed to show you the best of the best that your money will get you. We'll show you how each ranks in terms of stand-out features, specs, price, design, the quality of the software you'll be using on your phone and much more.
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1. Fitbit Charge 3
Take charge of your fitness with the best tracker
Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: Six days | Compatibility: Android/iOS
-No onboard GPS
-Not a color screen
More refined than the Fitbit Charge 2, the Charge 3 is one of the company's most accomplished devices. It has a more lightweight design than the last-gen, and it looks better on your wrist. It's our number one all-round fitness tracker since the price has dropped slightly recently, and it offers a lot of insight into your overall health.
The display is bigger and clearer than a lot of other fitness trackers on this list, but it's still a black and white screen.
There's no onboard GPS, like some other trackers on this list have, but it's waterproof and offers a full fitness suite including a heart rate tracker. You can track GPS by pairing your phone with the tracker too.
You have to spend a bit extra on this than other fitness trackers you can buy in this same list, but if you enjoy the whole Fitbit app and experience and would also like access to notifications and Fitbit's fantastic sleep tracking, you'll want to opt for this as it's one of the company's best trackers ever.
2. Garmin Vivosmart 4
It tells you how much energy you do (or don’t) have
Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS
Our highest ranked Garmin product in the best fitness tracker list is also one of the most accomplished in its range of health bands.
This device isn't made for serious athletes like a variety of other products from the Garmin brand, but instead this is for those who want to be able to track the odd bit of exercise and have an attractive band to do it.
The screen is bigger on this version than other Garmin products, and it has a battery that should last you around a week depending on how much exercise you'll be doing.
There's also an innovative feature called body battery that helps you learn when exactly is the best time to exercise depending on how much energy you have. This is great for those who are just as interested in their recovery and general wellbeing as they are clocking up the miles.
3. Huawei Band 3 Pro
Both style and substance on a budget
Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 14 days standby | Compatibility: Android/iOS
+Great battery life
+Good looking color screen
-GPS can be slow to lock
-No 'breathing' feature
Taking over from the Huawei Band 2 Pro is the Huawei Band 3 Pro. This is one of the best fitness trackers you can buy if you're on a strict budget, and it has some amazing features considering how much it costs.
The Band 3 Pro comes with GPS onboard, it has a water resistant design (which means you can take it swimming) and there's a 0.95-inch color screen to display all of your stats on your wrist.
We've found the heart rate monitor to be accurate, and while the GPS could be quicker at locking on we also found it to be precise. If you're looking for an affordable entry-level device for your first foray into the world of fitness tracking, this is a great place to start.
4. Fitbit Inspire HR
Inspiration to get off the sofa
Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 5 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS
+Lots of tracked metrics
-Lacks swim tracking
-No contactless payments
This isn't the most capable fitness tracker in our best of list, but it does a lot considering its price and you'll get access to all of Fitbit's top-end services.
The Fitbit Inspire HR unsurprisingly offers a heart rate tracker alongside a variety of other fitness tracking capabilities.
It isn't as capable as the Fitbit Charge 3 as it lacks swim tracking or Fitbit Pay integration, but that's understandable as this is much cheaper.
It features a slimmer and more comfortable design than a lot of other trackers you can buy, so if you're after a Fitbit that won't be heavy on your wrist you may want to consider the Inspire HR as your next fitness band.
5. Garmin Vivosport
The sportier Garmin
Screen: Yes, color touchscreen | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS
+Small for GPS tracker
+Good battery life
-No swim modes
t's not as stylish as most of the Fitbit products, but there's a reason the Garmin Vivosport appears in this list before products from the latter company.
This is cheaper than most Fitbit products and it comes with GPS built-in too. We found the Vivosport offers a solid seven days battery life from a single charge, even when using the GPS features.
Although it's waterproof, it won't track your swimming easily but the Vivosport excels for other kinds of workouts and is great for tracking your jogging and cycling. Plus we found the heart rate tracker to be accurate too.
6. Honor Band 5
One of the cheapest options on the list
Screen: Yes, color touchscreen | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS
+Decent sleep tracking
-Screen sometimes unresponsive
The Honor Band 5 was a serious step up from the Band 4, with improved fitness features in many areas, as well as a color touchscreen to view all your information on.
One of the most useful features is the sleep tracking, that gives you advice to maximise your sleep time, as well as simply monitoring it like many other fitness trackers do.
The Honor Band 5 is also one of the most affordable fitness trackers on the market, so if you want an exercise monitor or sleep counter that isn't also a bank-breaker, this is where to look.
7. Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Xiaomi's budget fitness tracker
Screen: Yes, color touchscreen | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Connected GPS | Battery life: 20 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS
-Doesn't auto-stop tracking
-Only connected GPS
The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is run-of-the-mill affordable fitness tracker, in that it has a slimline design, a smallish color screen with a capacitive button, and a selection of workouts to track.
It has a few great perks for fitness buffs though, like its 20-day battery life, useful heart rate monitor and easy-to-view screen, so if you're looking for a new heart rate monitor there are far worse devices you can buy.
8. Amazfit Bip
Looks like a smartwatch, but it's more fitness tracker
Screen: Yes, black and white | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1 month | Compatibility: Android/iOS
+Excellent companion app
-Auto-pause feature doesn't work
This may look more like a smartwatch than any of the other devices on this list, but as it runs its own software and has a very big focus on fitness we've decided to include it in our list of the best fitness trackers.
The Amazfit Bip design has been influenced by the Apple Watch (there's no denying that) and it comes packed with tons of features including GPS, an accurate heart rate tracker, multi-sport tracking, sleep tracking and VO2 Max features too.
If you're looking for a more watch-like design than everything else on this list, the Bip will be up your street. It's lightweight too and other highlights include the always-on display and strong battery life that should last around a month depending on your usage.
9. Garmin Vivofit 4
One of Garmin's cheapest
Screen: Yes, color LCD | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 1 year | Compatibility: Android/iOS
+Super-long battery life
+Small but color display
-No GPS or heart rate
-No phone notifications
The Garmin Vivofit 4 is one of the best fitness trackers the company has ever created, and that now means it sits in this prestigious list alongside some other fantastic tracking products.
We particularly like the super-long battery life of the Vivofit 4, which means you won't need to recharge your device for a whole year. That means you can wear it all day, then all night for sleep tracking and not have to worry about recharging it.
You'll miss out on phone notifications by buying this tracker, but you do get the benefit of an always-on color display, accurate fitness tracking features - just note these are more limited than some other trackers on this list - as well as access to an in-depth app to break down your stats on your smartphone.
10. Honor Band 5 Sport
Honor's latest wearable
Screen: Yes, black and white | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 14 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS
+Granular running data
+Long battery life
-No heart rate tracking or GPS
You've read about the Honor Band 5 above in this list, but this version of the tracker is even cheaper than the device above. It comes with a slightly cheaper looking design and missing a few features to make up for it.
There's no heart rate tracking or GPS tech here, but it's far cheaper than a lot of the other trackers you'll find on this list.
We found the running data to be useful on this tracker, plus the battery life can last for up to two weeks from a single charge allowing you to pump it up once and forget all about it.
Best fitness tracker at a glance
2.Garmin Vivosmart 4
3.Huawei Band 4 Pro
4.Fitbit Inspire HR
6.Honor Band 5
7.Xiaomi Mi Band 4
9.Garmin Vivofit 4
10.Honor Band 5 Sport