Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (2024)

Table of Contents
Our top picks for the best fitness trackers Best fitness watch for casual users: Garmin vívomove Sport Garmin vívomove Sport The AP Buyline takeaway Best fitness tracker for runners: Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor The AP Buyline takeaway Best fitness tracker with body statistics: Casio G-SHOCK MOVE 5600 SERIES DWH5600MB-1 Casio G-SHOCK MOVE 5600 SERIES DWH5600MB-1 The AP Buyline takeaway Best budget fitness tracker: Fitbit Inspire 3 Fitbit Inspire 3 The AP Buyline takeaway Best fitness tracker for serious outdoor athletes: Casio G-SHOCK MOVE GBD-H2000 SERIES GBDH2000-1A Casio G-SHOCK MOVE GBD-H2000 SERIES GBDH2000-1A The AP Buyline takeaway Best fitness tracker for heart rate monitoring: Polar H10 Polar H10 The AP Buyline takeaway Best fitness tracker for iPhone users: Apple Watch Series 9 Apple Watch Series 9 The AP Buyline takeaway Best fitness smartwatch for Samsung phones: Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic The AP Buyline takeaway Best ring fitness tracker: Oura Horizon Oura Horizon The AP Buyline takeaway Best physical and mental fitness tracker: WHOOP 4.0 WHOOP 4.0 The AP Buyline takeaway What to consider when buying a fitness tracker Purpose and intent Ease of use Type of fitness tracker How we selected the best fitness trackers Accurate biometric data tracking Battery life Ease of use Water resistance Benefits of using fitness trackers Setting and achieving goals Tracking health metrics Sharing progress How accurate are fitness trackers? Frequently asked questions (FAQs) How long do fitness trackers last before needing a replacement? Can fitness trackers be worn while swimming or showering? Are fitness trackers accurate for heart rate monitoring? What is more accurate for steps, Garmin or Fitbit?

AP Buyline’s content is created independently of The Associated Press newsroom. Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we might earn commissions from our partners’ links in this content. Learn more about our policies and terms here.

Tracking my daily biometrics is an essential part of my day. I check my watch for my step count, track my workouts and determine how long I’ve spent in deep sleep each night. As a yoga instructor — and a fan of group fitness workout classes — I’ve found a smartwatch to be my preferred fitness tracker. However, whenever I go to the gym, I notice that many people have opted for different devices, so clearly, depending on your lifestyle, the best fitness tracker for you may be different.

Our top picks for the best fitness trackers

Best fitness watch for casual users: Garmin vívomove Sport

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (1)

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (2)

Garmin vívomove Sport

This sleek timepiece looks like a durable analog watch that tells time. However, it has a hidden digital display with nearly a dozen features to track sleep, hydration, respiration, location and workouts. “Garmin offers great data tracking without the complexity of an Apple Watch,” says Nate Osborne, CEO ofGreatisfit Global Fitness.

Specifications

  • Case size: One size.
  • Wrist size: One size fits 5-inch to 7.5-inch wrists.
  • Weight: Case only: 0.6 ounces (with silicone strap: 1.2 ounces).
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode, up to five days; watch mode, up to one additional day.
  • Display type: OLED.
  • GPS: Connected GPS.
  • Water resistance: 5 atmosphere (ATM).
  • Price on publish: $180.

What we like:

  • Tracks uncommon metrics, including hydration, respiration and fluctuating energy levels.
  • Sleek design can be worn from the office to the gym with ease.
  • Lasts longer than one day on a single charge.
  • Can take texts and calls.
  • Connected app is free.

What we don't Like:

  • Case only comes in one size.
  • Band only comes in one size.

The AP Buyline takeaway

The Garmin vívomove Sport is best for the casual user who wants to stay in tune with their daily metrics. While you’ll have to download a separate app to get a full view of your metrics, the brand’s connected app is free.

Get here: Garmin vívomove Sport

Best fitness tracker for runners: Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (3)

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (4)

Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor

“When paired with compatible devices, the HRM-Tri provides advanced running dynamics such as cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time, which are crucial metrics for improving running form and efficiency,” according to Krupa. Also, if you participate in triathlons, this is an option to consider. Krupa notes that this device “captures heart rate data while you are swimming, storing the data during the swim and forwarding it to your coach or data log.”

Specifications

  • Chest band size: One size fits 23.5 inches to 56 inches around.
  • Weight: 59 grams.
  • Battery life: Up to 300 days.
  • Display type: No display.
  • GPS: No GPS.
  • Water resistance: 5 atmosphere (ATM).
  • Price on publish: $81.

What we like:

  • Battery lasts for nearly a year without an additional energy boost.
  • Provides most essential biometrics for runners.
  • Sweat- and water-resistant for rainy day runs.

What we don't Like:

  • No GPS function.

The AP Buyline takeaway

Indoor and outdoor runners can efficiently track all necessary biometrics with the Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor. It’s a durable piece of equipment that lasts for nearly a year without a power boost.

Get here: Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor

Best fitness tracker with body statistics: Casio G-SHOCK MOVE 5600 SERIES DWH5600MB-1

This durable fitness tracker measures your heart rate, counts steps, analyzes workouts, checks blood oxygen levels and tracks how your body recovers while sleeping. It can handle a dip in the pool or a dusty trail run and still deliver essential body statistics.

Specifications

  • Case size: 2 inches long × 1.7 inches wide × 0.6 inches thick.
  • Wrist size: Fits 5.7-inch to 8.5-inch wrists.
  • Weight: 2.3 ounces.
  • Battery life: Solar powered.
  • Display type: Digital.
  • GPS: Distance correction by smartphone GPS.
  • Water resistance: Up to 200 meters.
  • Price on publish: $320.

What we like:

  • Built-in solar panels for limitless power.
  • Shock resistance can handle drops.
  • Displays total calories burned and breaks it down into fats, carbohydrates and proteins used during each workout session.
  • Helps you monitor changes in your heartbeat as you exercise.
  • Offers a nightly recap of how your body recovers from stress as you sleep.

What we don't Like:

  • There aren’t any bold colors to choose from.

The AP Buyline takeaway

Try the Casio G-SHOCK MOVE 5600 SERIES DWH5600MB-1 to receive statistics for your favorite exercise-specific activities, including a categorical breakdown of your calories burned in the Casio Watches app.

Get here: Casio G-SHOCK MOVE 5600 SERIES DWH5600MB-1

Best budget fitness tracker: Fitbit Inspire 3

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (7)

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (8)

Fitbit Inspire 3

For $100, this waterproof fitness tracker delivers a wide array of features to keep you on track with your wellness goals. It provides updates on everything from mindfulness sessions to your heart rate and even takes note of your active zone when you work out. According to Osborne, Fitbit trackers are “straightforward and user-friendly.”

Specifications

  • Case size: 0.5 inches.
  • Wrist band size: Two bands are included in the box. Medium fits wrists 5.1 inches to 7.5 inches and large fits wrists 6.3 inches to 8.7 inches.
  • Weight: 3.84 ounces.
  • Battery life: Up to 10 days.
  • Display type: AMOLED touchscreen display.
  • GPS: Connected GPS.
  • Water resistance: Up to 50 meters.
  • Price on publish: $100.

What we like:

  • Initial purchase comes with a six-month premium membership.
  • Offers all-day activity tracking, plus continuous heart rate monitoring.
  • Provides automatic reminders to get moving.
  • Available in bold and neutral colors.

What we don't Like:

  • To access the Fitbit premium workout classes, you have to pay for the premium membership past the first six-month trial.

The AP Buyline takeaway

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is a cost-effective fitness tracker that can also be used as an alarm clock, a phone and a reminder center. However, if you want to keep your premium subscription past the six-month trial, you’ll never stop paying for this watch.

Get here: Fitbit Inspire 3

Best fitness tracker for serious outdoor athletes: Casio G-SHOCK MOVE GBD-H2000 SERIES GBDH2000-1A

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (9)

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (10)

Casio G-SHOCK MOVE GBD-H2000 SERIES GBDH2000-1A

Give this fitness tracker a try for your next outdoor workout. Along with tracking your daily biometrics, this solar-powered watch also accurately counts your steps. It even includes a gyroscope that detects strokes and turns as you swim, while the GPS keeps track of where you are in the world.

Specifications

  • Case size: One size: 2.3 inches long x 2 inches wide x 0.7 inches thick.
  • Wrist size: Fits 5.7-inch to 8.5-inch wrists.
  • Weight: 2.2 ounces.
  • Battery life: Solar powered.
  • Display type: Digital.
  • GPS: GPS signal reception.
  • Water resistance: Up to 200 meters.
  • Price on publish: $399.

What we like:

  • Built-in solar panels for limitless power.
  • Shock resistance can handle drops.
  • Can display total calories burned, breaking it down into fats, carbohydrates and proteins used during each workout session.
  • Helps you monitor changes in your heartbeat as you workout, plus blood oxygen levels.
  • Nightly recap of how your body recovers from stress as you sleep.

What we don't Like:

  • The case design is very rugged. Not for someone looking for a sleek fitness tracker.

The AP Buyline takeaway

The Casio G-SHOCK MOVE GBD-H2000 SERIES GBDH2000-1A fitness tracker is for the athlete who’s not concerned with having a traditional-looking watch on their wrist. Prioritizing function, this digital watch offers incredibly detailed insights into your workout on the Casio Watches app.

Get here: Casio G-SHOCK MOVE GBD-H2000 SERIES GBDH2000-1A

Best fitness tracker for heart rate monitoring: Polar H10

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (11)

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (12)

Polar H10

“The Polar H10 chest strap is the gold standard among heart rate sensors for its accuracy and reliability. It's particularly favored by athletes and researchers,” says Krupa. “When used in conjunction with Polar’s training platforms, the H10 can help athletes track their training load and recovery status, assisting in optimizing training schedules and preventing overtraining.”

Specifications

  • Sizes: XS-S fits 22.8-inch to 28-inch chests. M-XXL fits 26-inch to 37.5-inch chests.
  • Weight: 2.1 ounces.
  • Battery life: Up to 400 hours.
  • Display type: No display.
  • GPS: No GPS.
  • Water resistance: Up to 30 meters.
  • Price on publish: $100.

What we like:

  • 16-day battery life.
  • Accurate heart rate metrics.
  • Firm buckle and nonslip silicone help it stay in place.
  • Can record a training session, connect to a smartphone or broadcast information to a variety of pieces of gym equipment.

What we don't Like:

  • Limited sizing. The largest size only stretches up to 37.5 inches.
  • No GPS functionality.

The AP Buyline takeaway

The Polar H10 is touted by experts for its ability to record and broadcast accurate heart rate information. But, if your chest is more than 37.5 inches around, you won’t be able to use this piece of equipment.

Get here: Polar H10

Best fitness tracker for iPhone users: Apple Watch Series 9

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (13)

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (14)

Apple Watch Series 9

Both experts agree that iPhone users should reach for an Apple Watch. “It's like having an iPhone mini on your wrist, which is perfect for staying connected while tracking your fitness,” says Osborne. According to Krupa, all Apple smartwatches from Series 6 and up “include enhanced optical sensors that provide more accurate readings than earlier versions, particularly for everyday fitness tracking and through features that monitor heart rate variability (HRV).”

Specifications

  • Case size: 1.6 inches or 1.8 inches.
  • Wrist size: 1.6 inches fits 5.1-inch to 7.8-inch wrists, 1.8 inches fits 5.5-inch to 9.6-inch wrists.
  • Weight: 1.6 inches is 1.3 ounces to 1.8 ounces. 1.8 inches is 1.1 ounces to 1.5 ounces.
  • Battery life: Up to 18 hours with normal use. Up to 36 hours in low power mode.
  • Display type: Retina LTPO OLED display.
  • GPS: Yes.
  • Water resistance: Up to 50 meters.
  • Price on publish: Aluminum case from $399, Stainless steel case from $699.

What we like:

  • Comes with three free months of Apple Fitness+, which includes guided workouts by trained professionals.
  • Dust resistance rating of IP6X for outdoor workouts.
  • 20 categories of workout types and additional subcategories to accurately record your workouts.
  • Physical and mental wellness reminders.
  • You can check your blood oxygen and beats per minute at any time.

What we don't Like:

  • When used normally, the battery doesn’t last for a full day.
  • To access the Apple Fitness+ workout classes, you have to pay for the premium membership past the free three-month trial.
  • Stainless steel case is significantly more expensive than aluminum case.

The AP Buyline takeaway

If you use an iPhone, an Apple Watch Series 9 is your most compatible match. While it does keep track of a wide range of biometrics, the battery lasts only 18 hours (slightly longer when it’s in Low Power Mode).

Get here: Apple Watch Series 9

Best fitness smartwatch for Samsung phones: Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (15)

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (16)

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic

Based on both experts’ recommendations on what to look for in a fitness tracker, the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is a solid option for Samsung users. This smartwatch’s traditional case design discreetly houses a host of fitness tracking features and it can monitor all of your essential biometrics. Plus, it offers a Sleep Coaching feature that helps you develop healthy sleep habits for your lifestyle.

Specifications

  • Case size: 1.7 inches or 1.8 inches.
  • Wrist size: Small/medium fits 5-inch to 7.5-inch wrists, medium/large fits 5.7-inch to 8-inch wrists.
  • Weight: 1.7 inches weighs 2.7 ounces, 1.8 inches weighs 3 ounces.
  • Battery life: Not listed.
  • Display type: Sapphire crystal glass.
  • GPS: Yes.
  • Water resistance: 5 atmosphere (ATM).
  • Price on publish: 1.7 inches from $400, 1.8 inches from $430.

What we like:

  • Over a dozen workout categories to choose from and you can add your own custom workout for accurate biometric tracking.
  • Dust resistant for outdoor workouts.
  • Provides tailored Sleep Coaching advice.
  • Built-in health app can track calories and food and water intake.
  • Case is made of stainless steel.

What we don't Like:

  • Samsung doesn’t offer a fitness platform for participating in guided workouts by trained professionals.

The AP Buyline takeaway

The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is a sleek smartwatch that doubles as a fitness tracker. It monitors a wide range of biometrics and can help you develop habits to achieve your fitness goals. But, you’ll have to source your own gym membership or fitness platform for workouts.

Get here: Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic

Best ring fitness tracker: Oura Horizon

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (17)

Oura Horizon

This small fitness tracker measures over 20 biometrics, day and night. Categories include sleep, focus, calories burned and stress level. It also offers a daily readiness score that helps you determine just how “ready” your body is for exercise and strenuous physical activities on a given day.

Specifications

  • Sizes: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 ounces.
  • Battery life: Up to seven days.
  • Display type: No display.
  • GPS: Not listed.
  • Water resistance: Up to 100 meters.
  • Price on publish: From $349.

What we like:

  • Small form is lightweight on the hand.
  • Water resistance can handle a lengthy swim.
  • Helps track and manage stress levels.
  • Ability to share your metrics with other users within the Oura Circles community.

What we don't Like:

  • It can be uncomfortable to wear during grip-heavy workouts.
  • While the first month of your membership is free, it will cost about $6 to continue to use the ring each month thereafter.

The AP Buyline takeaway

The Oura Horizon is a display-free fitness tracker. When paired with Oura’s dedicated app, it can help you deepen the connection between you and your daily biometrics. It comes in a range of gold- and silver-inspired finishes.

Get here: Oura Horizon

Best physical and mental fitness tracker: WHOOP 4.0

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (18)

WHOOP 4.0

This fitness tracker lets you track both your physical and mental health. Plus, it notes your daily biometrics and offers insights into how strenuous your workout is in real time. As for mental health, this display-free tracker monitors stress levels and offers a daily journal, via its app, with guided prompts to help you understand your mindset every day. Over time, you can follow the fluctuations of your mental state and even present this information to a trained professional.

Specifications

  • Device size: One size.
  • Weight: Not listed.
  • Battery life: Up to five days.
  • Display type: No display.
  • GPS: No GPS.
  • Water resistance: Up to 10 meters for two hours.
  • Price on publish: From $30 per month.

What we like:

  • You can purchase additional accessories to wear the WHOOP on your bicep or under your clothing instead of on your wrist.
  • Can help monitor and manage stress.
  • Monthly membership app includes a journaling feature to help track day-to-day mental and physical health.
  • Dust resistance rating of IP68.

What we don't Like:

  • Doesn’t perform well in deeper waters.
  • No GPS functionality.

The AP Buyline takeaway

WHOOP 4.0 is a great fitness tracker for detailed feedback on your daily physical and mental wellness, without intrusive notifications popping up on a screen throughout the day. However, if you love to frequently dive or swim deep underwater with your fitness tracker, this might not be the device for you.

Get here: WHOOP 4.0

What to consider when buying a fitness tracker

Just like a fitness journey, your choice of fitness tracker is unique. Any of the best fitness trackers will be more convenient for tracking daily metrics than a trip to the doctor’s office or using smart scales, but there are several factors that go into selecting the best fitness tracker for your individual needs.

Purpose and intent

“What is the purpose and intent of your fitness tracker?” asks Kyle Krupa, doctor of physical therapy, certified strength and conditioning specialist and founder of KRU PT + Performance Lab. This question is important to consider because you want to ensure that your fitness tracker won’t fly off or inaccurately measure your biometrics as you move or sleep. “Consider whether you need it for running, swimming, cycling or sleep,” says Krupa. “Where you place the monitor is going to make a difference in the accuracy of these metrics.”

Ease of use

Krupa suggests taking into account how you’d like to view your tracked metrics. Consider how compatible your chosen tracker is with your preferred device — smartphone, tablet or laptop — and whether or not you’ll need to download (and possibly pay for) an app to view your metrics.

Type of fitness tracker

An accurate fitness tracker is essential in achieving any fitness or workout goal you set. A large part of ensuring reliable results is having a fitness tracker that fits comfortably and won’t get in the way or fall off during your workout. Fitness trackers include watches, bicep bands, chest monitors and rings. Each type of device can accurately measure your metrics, depending on the workout you choose to use it for.

How we selected the best fitness trackers

Several factors were considered when compiling this list of the best fitness trackers.

Accurate biometric data tracking

All fitness trackers are designed to track personal biometric data. Biometric data includes measurable functions within your body, including heart rate, sleep time, calories burned and steps taken. The best fitness trackers accurately measure your biometric data to give you tangible insights into your body’s daily performance.

Battery life

For your fitness tracker to track your metrics, it needs to be powered on. Every fitness tracker’s battery life varies. Some last for less than a day, while others use solar power and do not need to be recharged.

Ease of use

If your equipment is difficult to use, tracking your fitness goals can be pretty futile. Fitness trackers that pair with a user-friendly app tend to be easier to use. They help you find and record your workouts and activities, without needing to call customer support for help.

Water resistance

From the shower to the swimming pool to a rainy day, a water-resistant fitness tracker is your best companion. Its ability to record data won’t be interrupted by a drop of water.

Benefits of using fitness trackers

“Fitness trackers serve several purposes,” says Krupa. Consider these three benefits in particular, depending on the specific device you choose:

Setting and achieving goals

In general, fitness trackers “help you set and achieve goals, making fitness a more manageable and measurable part of your life,” says Osborne. Most fitness trackers let you set daily goals and reminders to help create a path toward your fitness goals. “Setting daily goals and sending reminders motivates users to stay active and meet their fitness targets,” says Krupa. “By analyzing the collected data, fitness trackers offer personalized insights and recommendations, helping users optimize their workouts and improve their fitness routines.”

Tracking health metrics

According to Krupa, the fitness tracker you purchase should deliver metrics beyond how many steps you’ve taken. Some common categories include heart rate, sleep patterns and heart rate variability. “If interpreted correctly, these insights will influence future lifestyle choices and exercise routines,” he says.

Sharing progress

While all fitness trackers collect different pieces of biometric data, some of them also let you share that information with other users, including your favorite contacts. “Sharing achievements and progress with friends or a fitness community through the device’s app can provide a sense of accountability and additional motivation,” explains Krupa.

How accurate are fitness trackers?

“Fitness tracking devices that measure calorie count, heart rate and step count (through GPS) are generally accurate enough to measure daily outputs and monitor progress,” says Krupa. “Accuracy increases with user input and feedback, especially for heart rate variability measurements.” So, be sure to use your preferred fitness tracker regularly for the most accurate results.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How long do fitness trackers last before needing a replacement?

In general, fitness trackers will last as long as their battery lasts, according to Krupa. “However, technology advances may require the device to be replaced with a newer version with updated firmware for increased accuracy.”

Can fitness trackers be worn while swimming or showering?

“Yes,” says Krupa. “Any reputable device should be able to withstand water exposure from swimming and showering.”

Are fitness trackers accurate for heart rate monitoring?

“Heart monitors use optical sensors to measure blood flow through the skin,” says Krupa. “These are accurate for steady-state activities, such as jogging or walking, but can be less reliable during high-intensity workouts. Chest monitors will improve accuracy during exercise routines with abrupt wrist movement.”

In general, “If you are monitoring heart rate with the intent of heart rate zone training, keep in mind the formula for heart rate maximum (subtracting your age from 220) has a variance of +/- 10 beats per minute (BPM), which means that any heart rate monitor you choose will be accurate enough to keep you in your desired heart rate zone,” says Krupa.

What is more accurate for steps, Garmin or Fitbit?

“For rigorous outdoor activities and varied sports, a Garmin device will provide higher step accuracy because of its GPS integration and robust sensor technology, which detects multidirectional movement,” explains Krupa. “Fitbit is considered more user-friendly, which may improve compliance and daily use among the general fitness population.”

AP Buyline’s content is created independently of The Associated Press newsroom. Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we might earn commissions from our partners’ links in this content. Learn more about our policies and terms here.

Best fitness trackers for all your fitness and lifestyle needs (2024)
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