Best Fitness Tracker 2017: 7 of the best activity trackers right now

Looking for the best fitness tracker for you? We’ve put together the ultimate guide to the best activity trackers and fitness bands on the market right here. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or an absolute fitness beginner, you’ll find what you need.

A good fitness tracker is an extremely convenient way to get quick, at-a-glance updates on your activity and encourage you to do more. And, if you’re already active, more advanced models are perfect for keeping tabs on your performance, and even improve your recovery.

A good fitness tracker will also work with a companion app to let you get an overview of your fitness. This way you can easily identify trends or areas for improvement. Many apps will have extra functionality, like the ability to log your food and water intake, too.

But if you’re expecting that wearing a fitness tracker will be a magic bullet to getting fitter and losing weight, you’ll be disappointed. You’ll still need to put in the hard graft and have a healthier diet to reap the rewards.

Similarly, if you’re an advanced athlete, make sure you take the time to understand some of the extra data and insights provided by your fitness tracker – otherwise you’re wasting a lot of potential.

If you’re not committed, your shiny new fitness tracker might soon find its way down the back of a drawer, never to be used again – but the better ones will keep you motivated and on the right track to succeed.

Related: What is HIIT?

How much should I spend on a fitness tracker?

If you’re just starting out, £80/$100 or less will get the features you need. These will cover the basics, such as counting the steps you take throughout the day and keeping tabs on your sleep at night.

For £100/$120 or more, you’ll find fitness trackers begin adding in heart rate monitors targeted towards more intermediate exercisers. At this price you tend to also see added smartwatch functionality, such as notification mirroring.

Spend around £150/$180 or more and you’ll find the advanced fitness trackers with GPS sensors and more fully fledged performance analysis. You’ll also start entering smartwatch territory, which means they can serve a dual purpose.

Related: What is VO2 Max?

What fitness trackers to keep an eye on?

There are some exciting upcoming fitness trackers that are worth keeping an eye on, with many being shown off recently at IFA 2017. There’s the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro, the follow up to the Gear Fit2, which we love (and you’ll find in this list of the best). Garmin also took the wraps off a whole wave of new devices including the Vivosport, Vivomove HR and Vivoactive 3.

Related: Fitbit Ionic review

Be sure to check back for full reviews as soon as we can put them through their paces to see if they can make this list of the very best fitness trackers.

This Week’s Best Fitness Tracker Deals


Withings Activité Pop at Amazon.com | Was $129 | Now $83

Moov Now at Amazon.co.uk | Was £59 | Now £45

Moov Now

1 of 7

Score

Key features:

  • Waterproof to 30m and dustproof
  • Real-time coaching with rep counting
  • Six-month battery life
  • Omni Motion 3D sensor
  • Wrist- and ankle-worn

The best fitness tracker for most people

When you consider everything you get with the Moov Now for its low price, it’s an astounding fitness tracker. Not only does it handle the basic activity and sleep tracking of its peers, it has a staggering number of coaching features thanks to its Omni Motion 3D sensor.

When used alongside its excellent Moov Now app, you get guided running, swimming and cardio exercise coaching (think cardio boxing workouts). The guided workouts have real-time coaching and a motion gauge to let you know you’re following along correctly.

The Moov Now uses a coin-cell watch battery, and you can also expect around six months of battery life before it needs replacing, which is great. This means you can throw it on and forget about it, especially as you can shower with it on without a problem.

For someone looking to not only track their activity and sleep but actually also get fitter and healthier, the Moov Now offers simply unrivalled value and gets my absolute recommendation.

Read the full Moov Now review

Score

Key features:

  • Interchangeable bands
  • Five-day battery life
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Altimeter
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Breathing exercises

Also consider: This all-round fitness tracker with heart rate monitor

Fitbit improved on its best-selling fitness trackers, the Charge and Charge HR. Now, heart rate monitoring comes as standard, which is a real plus. The Charge 2 also includes a much bigger display than its predecessor for much improved at-a-glance information.

This also means better smartphone notifications. With a recent update, Fitbit added the ability to get notifications from the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, alongside the usual SMS and Caller ID.

The bands on the Charge 2 are also now customisable, so you can dress it up or down depending on the occasion. The Charge 2 also provides a useful Cardio Fitness score, which is based on your VO2 maximum, which is a useful way to measure your fitness level.

The Fitbit Charge 2 has become one of our favoured fitness tracker for comparing readings whenever I test something new. That’s because we’ve grown to trust its accuracy. Its strength lies in its ever-improving app, which makes the data easier to understand.

The Charge 2 has also been updated with support for Fitbit’s Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights. These offer a deeper level of sleep tracking as well as providing guidance on getting a better night’s kip. This makes the Fitbit Charge 2 one of the best sleep trackers on the market.

Read the full Fitbit Charge 2 review

Score

Key features:

  • Rugged and water-resistant to 50m
  • Five-day battery life
  • GPS
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Smartphone notifications

Best advanced fitness tracker for everyday wear

The Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus packs in every sensor an advanced fitness enthusiast is going to want into a design that, while not the most inspiring, is more subtle and discreet than rivals. All of those sensors also proved as accurate as we would expect.

It’s also water-resistant to 50m, which not only means you can swim with it on, but it also means you don’t have to take it off to shower, which is more inconvenient than you might initially anticipate. With five-day battery life, it really is an advanced fitness tracker you can throw on and forget about, but ready for your next exercise session.

Garmin has included some other useful metrics, such as its ‘Intensity Minutes’, which will help to motivate you to work harder. Garmin’s Connect app could do with a design overhaul. While there’s plenty of data on offer, it can be tricky to initially make sense of it all.

Related: Best heart rate monitor

Read the full Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus review

Score

Key features:

  • 1.5-inch curved OLED touchscreen
  • Always-on display
  • GPS
  • Barometer
  • Smartwatch functionality
  • Water-resistant to 1.5m for 30 minutes
  • Three-day battery life

Also consider: An advanced fitness tracker with added smartwatch smarts

If you want a fitness tracker that can serve a dual purpose as a smartwatch, you would do well to consider Samsung’s Gear Fit2. It’s by far the company’s best fitness wearable to date.

It has a stunning 1.5-inch curved OLED touchscreen and runs on Samsung’s Tizen operating system, the very same seen in its Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch. This means you have access to a catalogue of apps and smartphone notifications.

But as for its fitness capabilities, all are present and correct, including GPS, a heart rate monitor and barometer to get you wanting to use the stairs. There’s also built-in storage to store music and you can pair Bluetooth headphones, so you really can leave your phone at home.

The Samsung Gear Fit2 falls a little short when it comes to training insight, and that gorgeous screen also impacts battery life, which amounts to only around three days, but it’s still fantastic overall.

Read the full Samsung Gear Fit2 review

Garmin Vivosmart 3

5 of 7

Score

Key features:

  • Water-resistant to 50m
  • Five-day battery life
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Barometric altimeter
  • All-day stress levels
  • Automatic rep counting
  • Smartphone notifications

Best mid-range fitness tracker

The Garmin Vivosmart 3 includes some useful extras to separate it from other similar rivals like the Fitbit Charge 2. One of the bigger advantages is its water-resistance to 50m, which means you don’t have to take it off to shower. Otherwise, the Vivosmart 3 includes all of the features you would expect from a mid-range fitness tracker that doesn’t included the added expense of GPS.

You can expect the usual all-day activity tracking and sleep tracking, alongside some useful extras such as the stress level readings. These help to give you a reminder to take it easy every now and then, and there are guided breathing exercises to help relax you, too.

Whether or not you’ll find the automatic rep counting for strength training useful remains to be seen, but it’s another differentiator. Otherwise, the Vivosmart 3 proves to be a comfortable and easy to use fitness tracker, especially when you consider the convenient smartphone notifications.

Score

Key features:

  • Discreet traditional watch design
  • Water-resistant to 30m
  • Replaceable straps
  • Eight-month battery life

Best for discreet activity tracking

Not everyone wants the world to know they’re looking to get healthier or keep tabs on their activity levels. In that sense, many of Withings’ fitness-tracking watches are the perfect fit. The Activite Pop is one of the less expensive models in the range, with the standard Activite costing three times more if you want far fancier materials.

The Withings Activite watches let you know how close you are to your steps goal via a sub-dial. A full revolution of the hands tells you you’ve hit 100% and it’ll also track your sleep.

On the surface, though, the Withings Activite watches just look like standard traditional analogue watches, meaning they won’t stick out like a sore thumb in more formal attire.

The Activite Pop only comes with rubber straps, owing to its lower price, but these are replaceable if you want something flashier. The rubber straps will at least fare better than leather in water, as the Activite Pop is water-resistant to 30m.

Not everyone wants the world to know they’re keeping an eye on their activity levels. For something that is both tastefully designed and discreet, the Withings Activite Pop is great.

Read the full Withings Activité Pop review

Score

Key features:

  • Discreet traditional watch design
  • Heart rate monitor
  • 25-day battery life (plus 20-day low-power mode)

Also Consider: Discreet activity tracking with heart rate monitor

Keeping an eye on your ticker is just as important as keeping tabs on your activity. Thankfully, wrist-worn optical heart rate monitors make this much more convenient.

The Withings Steel HR takes the company’s activity tracking expertise and manages to add in heart rate monitoring, too, all the while maintaining a discreet watch-like form factor.

There’s also a new digital secondary display, which can be used for basic smartphone notifications, so you know when you get a phone call or an email. Other useful features include its silent alarm.

There are two different-sized models available, in 36mm or 40mm diameters, which is a first for Withings. This means it’s easier to find a watch more suitable for your wrist.

If you’re looking for a discreet tracker with heart rate measurements, the Steel HR gets plenty right, including a stylish design and strong companion app.

Read the full Withings Steel HR review