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Some fitness trackers can be costly, but a few less expensive options have many of the same features. Many trackers, for example, measure calories and heart rate and offer reminders to get up and move around.

This article explains how fitness trackers may benefit health and lists some budget trackers that a person might consider.

A quick look at the best cheap fitness trackers

Medical News Today includes reputable, well-received devices, and a range of price points and features.

Additionally, MNT looks at some of the following:

  • Health claims: MNT includes companies that make no questionable health claims.
  • Trust: MNT includes companies that operate transparently regarding their products, services, and leadership. Also, those companies have certifications from reputable, third-party organizations where relevant.
  • Business standards: MNT will choose companies that follow safe and ethical business and marketing practices.
  • Reputation: MNT will choose companies with no warnings from governing bodies, unresolved lawsuits, and positive standings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for tracking everyday health: Fitbit Inspire 2

  • Battery life: up to 10 days
  • Water resistance: up to 50 meters (m)
  • Fitbit Premium membership: optional, $13.98 per month
  • Pro: offers fitness, health, and exercise tracking
  • Con: limited color options
  • List price: around $100

Fitbit is a health and fitness company, and its stated mission is to inspire people to live more healthily and be more active.

Learn more about Fitbit trackers here.

It says that the Fitbit Inspire 2 can track activity and sleep levels, calories burned, and heart and breathing rates. A person can log their food intake and make use of guided breathing sessions, as well as more than 20 exercise modes, including swimming.

A person can check their daily readiness score, which shows whether they are ready to work out or should take time to recover.

The tracker also offers motivational tools and reminders, such as stretching and taking 250 steps every hour. A person receives recognition when they do this.

The Fitbit Inspire 2 can also track a person’s menstrual cycle and allows them to report symptoms.

The band is water resistant for up to 50 m and has a battery life of up to 10 days.

A customer receives a free 12-month Fitbit Premium membership, which otherwise costs $13.98 per month. Fitbit Premium allows people to view more in-depth fitness and health metrics, such as a snore score.

Its price and features allow the majority of people to track their daily exercise, making it an ideal choice for anyone who wants a basic tracker on a budget.

Best for personalized activity goals: Garmin vívosmart

  • Battery life: up to 7 days
  • Water resistance: up to 50 m
  • Pros: no subscriptions, offers fitness and health tracking
  • Con: only stores the last 7 activities
  • List price: around $130

Garmin is a technology company that provides GPS navigation to the automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and fitness markets.

The Garmin vívosmart fitness tracker displays measures of activity such as step count, calories burned, and distance. It vibrates every hour to alert the user to move, and after a few minutes of walking, the inactivity timer resets.

To promote engagement, the tracker assesses a person’s current activity level, then assigns them a personalized daily goal. It adjusts the goal after the user reaches certain activity milestones.

The free Garmin Connect app uploads activity information automatically and awards users with virtual badges. People can also track their progress on the app. The tracker connects to bike speed sensors and heart rate monitors to provide additional data.

According to Garmin, a single charge can last up to 7 days, and the tracker is water resistant up to 50 m.

Its goal features and exercise repetition counter make this Garmin a potential choice for anyone who wants to take full control of their basic health and fitness monitoring on the go.

Best for athletes: Coros Pace 2

  • Battery life: up to 20 days
  • Water resistance: up to 50 m
  • Pros: up to 60 hours of battery life, includes health tracking
  • Con: some customers state it does not sync automatically
  • List price: around $200

Coros is a performance sports technology company that aims to help athletes train to their best abilities. It markets its products to people who enjoy the outdoors and lead active lives.

The Coros Pace 2 is a GPS sports watch inspired by Olympian athletes. It provides the user with power metrics, training analysis, and recovery recommendations to help them optimize their workouts and training.

Features include interval, structured, and strength training, heart rate monitoring, and sleep analysis.

It also includes a muscle heatmap that shows the user the number of exercise sets they performed against each muscle group. This may be especially intriguing to professional and amateur athletes to ensure they target all their muscles weekly.

The battery can last for up to 20 days with regular use or up to 60 hours in GPS mode. The tracker is water resistant for up to 50 m.

Best affordable fitness tracker: Wyze Watch 47c

  • Battery life: up to 9 days
  • Water resistance: up to 2 m for 30 minutes
  • Pros: inexpensive, has health tracking
  • Con: does not have GPS
  • List price: around $40

Wyze is a smart technology company that aims to sell affordable homeware and wearables.

The Wyze Watch 47c is one of the most affordable fitness trackers available online. It monitors heart rate, steps, sleep duration, depth, and position.

The battery can last up to 9 days and becomes fully charged in 2.5 hours.

This product has an IP of 68 and is water resistant for up to 2 m for 30 minutes.

This tracker is also compatible with the Wyze ecosystem, allowing people to turn on or control other Wyze devices in their homes or office.

Best for kids: Fitbit Ace 2

  • Battery life: up to 5 days
  • Water resistance: swim-proof
  • Pro: child-friendly tracker that promotes exercise
  • Con: no GPS support
  • List price: around $73

The Fitbit Ace 2 suits children aged 6 years and over. It aims to encourage children and their families to build regular exercise into their days.

The tracker automatically sets a daily activity goal of 60 minutes and sends regular reminders to move during the day. It also has virtual badges, trophies, and fun challenges.

The Fitbit Ace 2 is highly customizable, with a variety of watch faces, bands, avatars, and cover photos.

Adults can set it up with a family account, which allows them to see a child’s activity levels and approve connections that they make. A special kid’s view allows younger users to see their data and customize their trackers.

This product’s sleep tracker aims to help children develop healthy sleep habits with bedtime reminders and automatic sleep tracking.

It has a 5-day battery life and a swim-proof design.

Best for blood oxygen data: Amazfit Bip U

  • Battery life: up to 9 days
  • Water resistance: up to 50 m
  • Pros: customizable watch faces, over 60 sports modes, and health tracking
  • Con: limited color options
  • List price: around $60

This fitness tracker measures blood oxygen levels to show the impact of workouts on the body. It also monitors heart rate and sleep phases and quality.

People can use it to track more than 60 types of exercise, including outdoor running, treadmill workouts, yoga, and baseball.

The tracker is water resistant for up to 50 m and has a battery life of up to 9 days.

Best for swimmers: Huawei Band 4 Pro

  • Battery life: up to 12 days
  • Water resistance: up to 50 m
  • Pros: long battery life, GPS support
  • Con: some reviewers report syncing problems
  • Price: around $66

The Huawei Band 4 Pro may suit people looking to improve their swimming technique. It has functions for both pool and open water tracking.

This tracker uses artificial intelligence to track heart rate. It also provides average Swim Golf, or SWOLF, scores, which can indicate how efficient a person’s swimming technique is.

It has a battery life of up to 12 days and is water resistant for up to 50 m.

Best for sport modes: Amazfit Band 7

  • Battery life: up to 18 days
  • Water resistance: up to 50 m
  • Pros: 120 sports modes, health tracking
  • Con: some customers state the sleep tracking feature is inaccurate
  • List price: around $50

The Amazfit Band 7 comes with 120 sports modes and basic fitness tracking that include heart rate, blood oxygen, stress, and menstrual cycle.

It has an 18-day battery life, which is longer than many other budget-friendly trackers. Additionally, it is water resistant up to 50 m, making it suitable for use while swimming.

This tracker is also compatible with Amazon Alexa.

Best for lifetime support: Whoop 4

  • Battery life: no information available
  • Water resistance: up to 10 m for 2 hours
  • Membership: around $30 per month
  • Pros: wide range of color options, personal coaching
  • Con: requires a monthly membership
  • List price: from around $30

This device offers continuous metric tracking and custom personal insights. The insights include strain coaching to avoid overtraining and sleep coaching which aims to wake people up when they reach optimal recovery.

Instead of purchasing the fitness tracker outright, people purchase a subscription for $30 per month. The company offers free device upgrades when applicable and lifetime support and warranties.

This tracker is water resistant for up to 10 m for up to two hours. The company does not state its battery life.

Best for Android phones: Huawei Band 6

  • Battery life: up to 14 days
  • Water resistance: up to 50 m
  • Pros: offers fitness and health tracking and GPS
  • Con: not compatible with iOS
  • List price: around $62

This fitness tracker is compatible with Android devices. It is not compatible with iOS.

In addition to tracking fitness metrics, it also features blood oxygen detection and stress and sleep monitoring.

Other features include a barometer for air pressure detection, a built-in speaker, and a microphone.

It features single-time blood oxygen detection, continuous heart rate tracking, stress, and sleep monitoring. It has a battery life of up to 14 days and is water resistant up to 50 m.

The following table compares the fitness trackers in this article.

Battery lifeWater resistanceSubscription costList price
Fitbit Inspire 2up to 10 daysup to 50 m$13.98 per montharound $100
Garmin vívosmartup to 7 daysup to 50 mnot availablearound $130
Coros Pace 2up to 20 daysup to 50 mnot availablearound $200
Wyze Watch 47cup to 9 daysup to 2 m for 30 minutesnot availablearound $40
Fitbit Ace 2up to 5 daysswim-proofnot availablearound $73
Amazfit Bip Uup to 9 daysup to 50 mnot availablearound $60
Huawei Band 4 Proup to 12 daysup to 50 mnot availablearound $66
Amazfit Band 7up to 18 daysup to 50 mnot availablearound $70
Whoop 4no information availableup to 10 m for 2 hours$30 per monthfrom $30
Huawei Band 6up to 14 days50 mnot availablearound $62

Fitness trackers measure activity levels, monitor health data, and have various motivational features.

Research found that these trackers take sufficiently accurate measurements. A 2018 study, for example, notes that fitness trackers can reliably measure heart rate, steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, and sleep duration.

However, these trackers cannot measure all body movements, so their capacities are limited.

Other common features include rewards, fitness milestone badges, and challenges. Some find that motivational cues, social support functions, and general health information are among the most helpful features.

When shopping for a fitness tracker, a person might consider the following:

  • The types of exercise tracked: Some only track exercises such as running and walking. Others measure activity levels from a wide range of sources, such as indoor and outdoor running, cycling, swimming, basketball, baseball, and even climbing hills.
  • Health insights: Most products show health metrics, such as step count and calories burned. Others track sleep quality, menstrual cycles, and body fat percentage.
  • Battery life: Most people prefer products that they have to charge infrequently. A person might consider whether they need a GPS function as this can drain battery life.
  • Water resistance: Products often indicate this with a rating in meters or an ingress protection (IP) code. This code has two digits, and a higher code indicates a better resistance to water and protection against dust and dirt. This can be useful for people who swim or play outdoor sports.
  • Price: Prices vary significantly. Some trackers link to fitness software that requires monthly subscription payments.
  • Connectivity: If a person wants to sync their fitness data, they should look for a tracker compatible with their other devices, operating systems, and software. Some companies offer apps that sync this data.

Physical activity can benefit everyone. It can improve overall well-being and promote growth and development.

Exercise provides many benefits to physical, cognitive, and mental health. It can improve sleep, for example, and reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.

A fitness tracker may encourage a person to get more exercise.

Research from 2020 suggests that using this type of device can lead to:

  • a higher daily step count
  • more moderate and vigorous activity
  • a higher overall energy expenditure

In a 2019 study, researchers compared the effects of fitness trackers and standard interventions on levels of physical activity. They found that fitness trackers led to more significant improvements in all measures of exercise, compared with traditional interventions.

Separate studies have found that fitness trackers may increase physical activity levels in older and sedentary adults.

Here we answer some common questions about these products.

Do fitness trackers work without a phone?

Some fitness trackers can work without a phone. These provide information on a digital screen.

However, most trackers that sync with a phone offer more features, such as historical metric tracking.

How important is GPS in a fitness tracker?

GPS and location data can improve tracking by measuring distance and speed more accurately.

However, GPS often decreases battery life. People who use GPS features should be aware they may need to charge the tracker more often.

What are the different types of fitness trackers?

There are various types of fitness trackers available.

Fitness trackers are wearables, and wrist trackers are some of the most popular forms. Fitness watches, which function as fitness trackers with some phone features, are also widely available.

There are also some budget options with minimal features. People should consider which features they need before making a purchase.

Fitness trackers show levels of physical activity and health metrics. They also have various motivational features.

Many different models are available, and some are very expensive. However, some less costly options have many of the same features.