Need a companion for your fitness journey and don’t know where to look?
The best fitness trackers can be a bit hard to track down these days, pun intended, especially when there are a lot of great options available.
We know because we have been hunting for the top fitness trackers for almost 3 weeks now, and there are a ton of amazing ones out there.
Best Fitness Trackers 2018
One major point we would like to clarify here; we are not going to look at Smartwatches with fitness features.
|Battery||Sleep Tracker||Heart Rate Monitor|
|1st Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro|
|2nd Huawei Band 2 Pro|
|3rd Moov Now|
|4th Fitbit Flex 2|
|5th TomTom Spark 3|
Easy To Use
|6th Garmin Vivosport|
|7th Nokia Steel HR|
Good Health Programs
|8th Garmin Vivofit|
Year Long Battery Life
Sure, there are some compelling smartwatches out there that can double as a great fitness tracker but, if you are serious about tracking your physical activities.
We recommend investing in a dedicated tool like one of the best fitness bands mentioned above.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro - Our Pick
Stylish design, great features, and the huge AMOLED screen make Gear Fit 2 Pro our favorite tracker.
It took a lot of testing and at least one fist fight to get the best fitness tracker of 2018 down. There are certainly some aspects of the tracker that are lacking, but if you are looking for an overall great tracking experience, you cannot go wrong with Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro.Check Price on Amazon
One of the first things you will notice is the screen; it’s big, it’s beautiful and most of all, it’s AMOLED. This means you can check out your stats at a glance and with ease.
The design is also pretty great, I’ve certainly turned some heads at the gym, and the same heads didn’t even bother when I was wearing other trackers.
The inclusion of a built-in heart rate tracking makes it one of the best fitness trackers with heart rate monitor easily. You can also leave your phone at home because there is a built-in GPS in the Gear Fit 2 Pro. The fitness band can also receive all the Smartwatch notifications you may need and even reply to emails and text with preprogrammed messages. It won’t be wrong to consider it the best fitness tracker watch of 2018 either.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro combines the great fitness tracker with some smartwatch features to provide you a well-rounded experience. There were several factors that gravitated us towards this fitness tracker; one of the biggest ones was the design. It looks really beautiful when worn and also one of the most comfortable fitness trackers around.
This means not only you can take it for swimming but also take the morning shower without the need to take it off.
Subtle touches like this make a lot of difference, especially when you’re working really hard, it’s really great to have some acknowledgment, even though it’s from your fitness tracker.
If you are really into trying out multiple sports or multiple ways to stay fit, Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro has you covered on almost all fronts. One of the best things about this fitness tracker is the automated yet highly encouraging messages that pop up periodically during your workout.
While the fitness tracker is not a smartwatch, there are certain features that do close the gap. The music features are adequate with the ability to control tracks on your phone via Bluetooth.
The watch features a rather dull slim design that is highly functional but not innovative. However, the low price point of the tracker makes all the flaws pale significantly. Huawei Band 2 Pro features heart rate monitoring, GPS, sleep monitoring as well as step tracking.
The Band 2 Pro also comes with a long-lasting battery, it can easily last you up to 20 days on a charge. The waterproof band makes it easier to take a dive anytime and go for a swim as well.
However, if you can forgive some tracking abnormalities, the Huawei Band 2 Pro is a compelling choice.
The waterproof fitness tracker from Huawei has a surprisingly accurate GPS and a touch base interface. Huawei is sticking to the basics when it comes to the design of their fitness tracker. While the previous iteration of Huawei’s fitness band series featured a circular face, this time around the company is opting for a slimmer look.
To be honest, we are not big fans of this design but it works, so there are no technical complaints here.
The watch is made of silicon, plastic, some stainless steel and curved glass; an overall good combination of materials, especially for the price.
If you want to switch between different activities you can either flick your wrist or press the touch-sensitive section of the screen. In our testing, both of the methods worked fine.
However, if you don’t want to break the bank and still get most of the features that you may need on a fitness tracker, this is the best overall choice you can make.
Moov Now - Best Waterproof Fitness Tracker
Wear it on your hands or ankles, Moov Now will do accurate tracking at a budget price.
If you are a little low on funds and want to get a competent fitness tracker, then Moov Now is the best option hands down. It’s not only inexpensive but also offers a lot of functionality for its price.Check Price on Amazon
Moov Now has a very strict name, it’s something that your gym teacher would have yelled at you from across the field.
However, the actual tracker itself is very helpful and mild.
I was half expecting it to yell at me when I stopped for a breather during my run but thankfully it didn’t.
Jokes aside, Moov Now is a remarkable piece of technology, in a world where every fitness tracker needs to have a screen, this one completely opts out of having one. While many other fitness trackers need at least a weekly charge, this one has months of battery life.
That’s it, there are no fancy screens, dials or buttons. This fitness tracker also weighs almost nothing and feels extremely light on your wrist. It’s really hard to notice it, especially when you have used other fitness trackers for a while.
The disc itself is almost plasticky, which also contributes to the low weight of the tracker.
The lightweight tracker is also great for sleeping; you’ll feel it by hearing your sleeping patterns because it rests so lightly on your wrist.
That’s right, the tracker can last you 6 months on a charge. The battery alone makes it one of the best budget fitness tracker around.
The fitness band comes with a swimming mode and sleep monitoring, so you are covered on almost all bases.
That’s not all though, it is one of the best waterproof fitness trackers that you can take for swims as well.
During workouts, the fitness tracker does its job without interrupting you at all.
However, you can kick it up a notch with a companion app and the digital coach if you feel like doing it. Overall, this waterproof fitness tracker is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of fitness tracking without paying a lot.
Their budget offerings are as compelling as their more expensive offerings and Fitbit Flex 2 is no different. If you are looking for a simple fitness tracker that gets the job done, Fitbit Flex 2 is one of the best ones you can get right now.
There is no screen on the band, so you won’t get distracted while running. There are only status LEDs that track your daily goals and that’s about it.
However, the 5 included LEDs can be set up to go off whenever you receive a message or a call. The subtle notification system is a welcome addition. There is a vibration system in place too, that nudges you to move if it detects no movement from you.
It is a very comfortable and lightweight tracker that is also water resistant. It’s been a while since the original Fitbit Flex was released; the new version of the Flex retains the same style but has more customizations and is water resistance in a smaller band.
The real processing is done by a one-inch cylinder that sits neatly between the rubber straps. One of the biggest advantages of this design is the ability to swap out straps.
There are 4 colors available for you to choose from and Fitbit has packs of other colors for sale as well.
The LEDs light up to tell you how close you are to your daily steps goal as well as when you get notifications.
The tracker comes with very basic tracking skills and is accurate enough for most exercises.
It is also capable of automatically recognizing different exercises. It is one of the most rudimentary fitness trackers around; there isn’t even an altimeter to gauge how many flights of stairs you have climbed, but this was to be expected at this price point.
To our pleasant surprise, TomTom Spark 3 turned out to be a nifty fitness band that does all the things you expect from a good fitness tracker.
The tracker also has GPS, so you don’t need to worry about any stats being missing when you return to your smartphone.
Heart rate monitor, route navigation andTomTom Spark 3 may not be the most popular fitness trackers on the list but it is certainly one of the best ones around. The tracker supports 24/7 activity tracking, multiple sports, heart rate monitoring, route exploration with GPS and music playback without needing a smartphone. The tracker is perfect for those who like to wander off the beaten paths and explore. TomTom Spark 3 makes it easier to download and follow new routes.
Then you can pair the watch with a pair of Bluetooth headphones and you don’t need a phone to listen to your tunes. This is one of the biggest pros of owning a TomTom Spark 3.
It features a grayscale screen that may look a little bland, it is also not a touchscreen. There is a 4-way controller available which is easy to use even during running sessions.
Tracking your workouts is very straightforward, push right, and wait a few moments for the GPS signal.
That’s all there is to it, looking down the GPS signal takes around about a minute, which is right on par with the competition.
TomTom Spark 3 is for those who love to run outdoors; all of the features make it interesting and easy to follow new routes.
Garmin Vivosport is a different kind of beast, it looks like a standard fitness tracker with a minimalistic design but packs features that rival our top pick; the Samsung Gear for 2 Pro.
If you want top-of-the-line features in a not so fleshy package, this is the fitness tracker made for you. It has GPS, an altimeter is waterproof and comes with a heart rate sensor. It is also the most accurate fitness tracker on the list, sure, it still doesn’t come close to being scientifically accurate.
Garmin Vivosport comes with a colored display. These are some of the best features one would need in a fitness band.
Sure, Samsung and Huawei’s bands can do the same but they are nowhere near as accurate as the Garmin band. Another great feature of the band is its ability to control music playback on your phone via Bluetooth.
Checking weather and switching tracks can also be handled with a few taps.
It’s not the lightest fitness tracker but is certainly not bulkier or huge.
On the front you’ll find a color display, it’s not the prettiest thing to see but it is really practical. The transflective memory in pixel screen (we are not making these terms up), can display a static image without killing the battery. The display also gets brighter as more sunshine hits it which makes it easier to read it outdoors.
We certainly hope that you are not looking for a style statement because Garmin Vivosport won’t be able to capture any attention at all.
However, if you’re after a fitness tracker that does accurate GPS tracking and fairly adequate heart rate tracking, this is a band made for you.
It is not a smartwatch by far but it does feature a beautiful analog watch. This is the biggest catch of Nokia Steel HR, the elegant look with an accurate heart rate monitor makes it one of the best-looking trackers around.
The fitness band is capable of detecting exercise automatically and has dedicated running and swimming tracking records.
All of this combined with a 25-day battery life makes it a compelling purchase for those seeking the best fitness tracker with heart rate monitor.
It doesn’t look like a fitness tracker at all and to be fair it doesn’t want to look like one either.
It is the strange marriage between old-school analog wristwatch and modern fitness tracking features, thankfully, the whole package works beautifully in Nokia Steel HR advantage. Aficionados of analog wristwatches will certainly fall in love with the beautiful design of this fitness tracker.
The circular watch face houses another small circle that incorporates the fitness tracking side of Nokia Steel HR. First things you’ll notice that there is no seconds hand on the watch, however minutes an hours hands are present. Keeping track of time is very easy on this fitness tracker.
The limited fitness features can be a negative thing for a lot of consumers.
The fitness tracker is capable of tracking runs, walks, and swimming.
The heart rate monitor is also quite accurate, although not as accurate as an actual chest band monitor.
Garmin Vivofit - A Year Long Battery Life
Tired of jiggling your smartphone in your pockets while on a run? Or just hate charging your fitness band, Garmin Vivofit is made for you.
If you’re tired of lugging your smartphone in your pocket whenever you go for a run, you need to check out Garmin Vivofit fitness tracker.Check Price on Amazon
Garmin Vivofit doesn’t need to be connected to a smartphone or an app to do basic tracking for you; this means that you don’t even have to carry your phone with you whenever you go out for a jog.
There is a small screen on the band which is more than enough for providing you essential information. Tracking time of the day, steps completed in your daily goal, distance traveled and steps taken can easily be monitored on it.
Despite having a simplified way of tracking physical activity, the band is still capable of automatic workout tracking as well as inactivity alerts.
The screen is tiny when compared to other fitness trackers but it gets the job done. The tracker is also water resistant so you can take it for a swim as well.
The display also uses monochrome LCD and is of very low resolution: this is the price you pay for a longer battery life.
One slight advantage of owning a Garmin Vivofit is that you can do basic tracking without the need for a phone.
Although a point to be noted here is that the fitness tracker will reset your step count after a day.
That’s All Good but Who Are You?
That is an excellent question, you wouldn’t just take recommendations from someone who has no idea about fitness tracking or technology. Unfortunately, I’m not as fit as I would like to be but I’m pretty familiar with technology.
I am Bilawal, a software engineer, and an aspiring fitness “person”. I’ve been writing about technology for almost 6 years now and have a good grasp on how fitness trackers work.
I’m not going to brag about how I run marathons because, frankly I don’t, but I do go to the gym 3 times a week. I’ve been using a fitness tracker for almost 2 years and have grown accustomed to checking my stats. For the sake of this fitness tracker guide, I’ve consulted few fitness experts and nutritionists, most of whom use a fitness tracker.
Why Should I Get A Fitness Tracker?
Another great question! You are on a roll today. The difference between a fitness tracker, a GPS Smartwatch, and a smartphone is subtle but very effective. You can easily get an app for your smartphone and carry it around while on a run, you can just as easily use your Smartwatch to track your running stats. But we all know that Jack of all trades is a master of none; this certainly holds true for smartwatches these days. And to cut to the chase, you cannot take your smartphone into a pool and track your swimming stats, well you can technically do that but a fitness tracker is by far easier.
If you are going to take your physical fitness seriously and are going to dedicate a substantial amount of time to physical exercise, getting a fitness tracker is a no-brainer. Streamlining your process, counting calories and steps become so much easier when you have someone else doing it for you. If you get a fitness tracker that doesn’t need to be tethered to a smartphone, you can focus on your workout instead of worrying about your phone flying out of your pocket. I’m pretty sure that no one else will talk about this, but if you are strapping your shiny smartphone on your biceps and running around a shady neighborhood, chances are you’re going to get mugged. A simplistic fitness tracker is not only inconspicuous but also fairly inexpensive.
Are Fitness Trackers Accurate?
Yes, fitness trackers are pretty accurate but they are by no means scientifically accurate. The basic tracking a fitness tracker does is adequate and won’t be giving you wild results. Fitness trackers are better in accuracy than smartphones; plus if you need to do daily tracking, you’ll have to carry your smartphone around all the time.
However, a point to be noted here is that the fitness trackers are nowhere near the replacement of a medical device. They do track heart rate very well but it is still far from being accurate. Without a chest band heart rate monitor, none of the fitness trackers on the best fitness trackers of 2018 list are capable of tracking heart rate accurately. So, if your major concern is to monitor your heart rate daily, for medical purposes, we do not recommend getting a fitness tracker. However, if you are only looking for a nifty band that tracks your movement throughout the day and helps you with your fitness goals, you can’t go wrong with a fitness tracker.
What about the Pedometer?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, fitness trackers are not as accurate as an actual pedometer. There is a scientific explanation for that; fitness trackers measure your steps by the movement of your arm/wrist. It doesn’t actually measure your steps, so there can be some discrepancies in the results. Not everyone has the same arm movement, the wrist movement is also impacted by the terrain or the inclination.
However, the results are not wildly inaccurate and can be used to determine your physical performance with acceptable accuracy. If you’re strictly looking to make your running or swimming speed, you will shortly be better off getting the aid of scientific tools. If fitness is your main goal, the best fitness trackers of 2018 are more than capable of providing solid results.
Buyer’s Guide – Selecting the Best Fitness Band
The process of selecting the best fitness tracker of 2018 was fairly simple, it started off with me doing online research. Checking out different manufacturer websites, bugging popular tech gurus on Twitter, and reading multiple reviews about different trackers is how I spent almost 3 days. There are literally hundreds of fitness trackers available these days and I wasn’t going to order them all, my editor would have fired me on the spot. So, I selected the top 15 that had universal praise and great reviews. As some of them were ordered directly from the manufacturer, it took a little while to get them all in the office for testing.
After that, it was a simple process of wearing one tracker for a full day that included a morning running session and gym after work. A lot of different factors were gauged during the testing: the chief among them was the comfort, if a fitness tracker is not sitting comfortably on your wrist, you might as well get another one. Thankfully, all of the fitness trackers were fairly comfortable with what they, of course, there was an initial breaking in period of around an hour. One major tip here is to avoid having metallic bands on your fitness tracker, we are fairly certain that no fitness tracker comes with metallic bands but it’s better to avoid them than chafe your wrists during intense workouts (especially doing curls). Here are a few factors that we tested out to select the best fitness trackers of 2018:
Comfort is really important if you are going to wear a fitness tracker for an extended period of time.
So the straps, bands, clasps of your fitness tracker should be fairly easy on the wrist, and in some cases ankles. Thankfully, manufacturers pay a lot of attention to comfort when designing their fitness trackers and of all the fifteen we tested none of them were uncomfortable.
We also asked our family members to try the trackers for a day just to have a wider pool of wrists to test out the comfort and there were no complaints.
The second most important thing on a fitness tracker is its ability to display information without much effort from the user.
Sure, not all fitness trackers come with displays but all of them have clever ways of relaying information to the user. Subtle vibrations, LED lights and even monochrome screens are more than enough to tell you when you reach your daily goals.
However, if the interface is too clunky and there is no alternate way to access information, it may become a pain to check out how many steps you’ve taken.
The battery timings may not be as important as other factors because you’re not going to work out 24/7, it is still one of the most important things to take note of when purchasing a fitness tracker.
Battery really comes into play if you are into extreme sports or camping, a fitness tracker that only lasts 3 days won’t be enough for the whole trip so you’ll need to invest in something a little bit more resilient.
Of course, there are physical trade-offs of getting longer battery life as well.
The tracking on all of the fitness trackers we tested was not as accurate as an actual pedometer.
The heart rate monitoring is also very flunky, to say the least when it comes to results. I’ll go as far as to say that the heart rate monitoring is nowhere near the actual chest band the doctors’ use. However, it’s a convenient way to know how great your cardio session went.
Thankfully, all of the trackers that we tested were good at tracking steps, reps, and strokes.
Price is a really important concern for the vast majority of consumers.
This is also true when you’re getting a fitness tracker. Thankfully, there are some great options for almost everyone. If you have paid careful attention to include budget offerings as well as high-end ones to satisfy your needs. We’ve taken great care to select the trackers that give the best bang for your buck, although some are not exactly inexpensive.
This one was simple, we didn’t simply check whether a fitness tracker had GPS but also how accurate it was.
We try to take trackers that are compatible with both iOS as well as Android.
While some trackers may not need a companion app, most of them do and it’s a big part of the experience. If the app is clunky and unresponsive, you’ll have a lot of headaches down the road.
The best fitness trackers of 2018 do come with some really well-done apps and won’t be giving you any problems at all.
Closing Words – Wrapping it up
This seems to be the perfect time to get a fitness tracker, there is a lot of variety, the prices are reasonable and multiple companies are making them.
So what do you think about the fitness trackers featured on this list?
Or fitness trackers in general? Let’s start a “healthy” discussion.