We’ve reviewed a whole host of fitness trackers but here are ten of the best, collectively covering the needs of all manner of athletes.
If you are looking for something with a little more functionality, why not check out our best smartwatches roundup too.
Fitbit Charge 5 - Best overall
- Pros: Top fitness features | GPS | Colour display
- Cons: Occasionally laggy | Some features missing
The Charge 5 is easily Fitbit's best tracker, which is enough to make it a safe choice for anyone looking for an activity band.
It covers all the basics - tracking steps, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, floors climbed, heart rate, swim-tracking and advanced sleep; not to mention it has most of the company's exclusive top-end exercise features too, including Active Zone Minutes.
Its built-in GPS and health measurements means it closely matches the more expensive Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch too.
Our only complaints are very occasional performance stutters and a few features that Fitbit has been slow to add, but those shouldn't put you off grabbing the Charge 5.
If you don't mind a monochrome display, you can also always check out the older Charge 4 and save some money.
Read our full Fitbit Charge 5 review
Xiaomi Mi Band 6 - Best value
- Pros: Good battery | Solid performance | Nice display
- Cons: Strap build quality | Sluggish raise-to-wake | Unreliable syncing
Xiaomi's Mi Band line threads the needle, in terms of features versus value in a way few other trackers can't, and that's equally true for the latest Mi Band 6 as it was its predecessors.
The company's latest budget fitness tracker isn't only affordable, it packs in a range of features; from basic step counting and heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking and app notifications, as before, along with new features that take the fight to fully-fledged smartwatches – like the Apple Watch – with blood oxygen tracking.
On top of the 30+ workout modes supported, five of those now come with automatic workout detection and the Band 6 is rated for swimming and other water-based activities too.
The underwhelming quality of the TPU bands is somewhat at odds with the quality of the tracker itself, but an expansive new 1.5in AMOLED touchscreen makes for a more premium and insightful user experience too.
You will not find better value for money, anywhere.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 review
Fitbit Sense - Best for well-being
- Pros: Top fitness and health features | GPS | On-wrist calls
- Cons: Some features require Fitbit Premium subscription
The Fitbit Sense adds a lot of health features at the top-end of the Fitbit range. You could call it the hypochondriac’s smartwatch, it’s so full of warning signs, but there’s a lot here that will help indicate serious health problems that you will have the chance to improve.
Mindfulness might seem a little kooky to some and a concern for those with too much time on their hands, but there is no denying that stress can affect us all, and managing it will quickly bring not just mental but long-term physical health benefits.
For all-round physical and mental health tracking, the Sense is the Fitbit with it all; provided you can swing the high price.
Read our full Fitbit Sense review
Withings Move ECG - Best design
- Pros: Elegant design | Well-rounded app | Great battery life
- Cons: Limited feature set | ECG not automated | No continuous heart rate
When it comes to design, the Withings Move ECG is so classic and simple that it could pass as an everyday watch. On the fitness tracking side, the companion Health Mate app does almost everything you need it to and more, whilst being backed-up, scientifically.
If you’re simply in love with the Withings Move's classic watch design, but want that little bit extra, this is the wearable for you.
Read our full Withings Move ECG review
Fitbit Versa 2 - Highly versatile
- Pros: Great fitness features | Alexa
- Cons: Older model | No integrated GPS | No calls on wrist
While the Versa 3 addresses its predecessor's biggest omission - adding in integrated GPS - it's not all that much of an upgrade, partly because the Versa 2 was already so good.
As such, provided you can find it at a discount, we'd still opt for the Versa 2 over its 2020 follow-up.
It covers all the aspects of a health and fitness watch; measuring steps, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, hourly activity, and sleep. It offers on-screen notifications from your phone, silent alarms, cardio fitness levels, workout and other exercise modes - such as swimming and weights - female health tracking and wellness features, plus music controls and even Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.
It also beats the cheaper Versa Lite as it comes with a better screen, onscreen workouts, an altimeter to track floors climbed, music storage, Spotify and Alexa functionality.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 2 review
Honor Band 6 - Feature-packed
- Pros: Large display | Rich feature set | Excellent battery life
- Cons: Limited range of supported exercises | No GPS or NFC
Honor's latest fitness tracker goes big on display and backs that 1.47in AMOLED panel up with 5ATM water resistance, great battery life and more.
It undercuts equivalent rivals from Huawei and Fitbit on price, and only really falls down on the number of activities it can track, with only ten dedicated workout modes.
The promise of 14-day battery life rang true in testing and premium features like SpO2 monitoring are present too.
Read our full Honor Band 6 review
Withings ScanWatch - Best health tracking
- Pros: Elegant design | Well-rounded app | Great battery life
- Cons: Some features still pending | No GPS | No continuous heart rate
Aside from a lack of GPS, Withings' ScanWatch is a compelling hybrid tracker, with a classic design and rich tracking capabilities.
The name relates to its ability to more accurately get a read on your heart health than any other tracker here, albeit for a premium that makes it more of a niche proposition.
AFib detection, an SpO2 sensor and the ongoing promise of sleep apnea detection via a future update are smart inclusions, while the small PMOLED display grants some degree of smartwatch-like functionality on top of its fitness-tracking skillset.
Read our full Withings ScanWatch review
Withings Move - Best battery life
- Pros: Clean design | Class-leading battery life | Great app
- Cons: Basic fitness tracking capabilities | Less stylish than other Withings watches
The Move is a slick fitness tracker from Withings that’s ideal for anyone who wants to keep things simple. It only does the basics – activity and sleep tracking, but no heart rate or GPS. That said, it does them well and the analogue form factor keeps things clean and easy to read.
18-month battery life is obviously a major selling point and the customisable designs are a big appeal too, you can tweak everything from the strap to the watch face and even the colour of the tracker dial.
A heart rate sensor would really seal the deal (which is where the pricier Move ECG comes in) but it’s an understandable omission for the price, and with waterproofing, sleep tracking and great app support, everything else about the Move is easy to love.
Read our full Withings Move review
Polar Vantage M2 - Best for metrics
- Pros: Rich fitness data | Hardy design | Week-long battery life
- Cons: Slow to sync | Clunky user experience | Price
If you're willing to spring for the high price, the Polar Vantage M2 offers up an astounding level of insight into your workouts.
It lasts a week on a charge, features a robust yet stylish design and monitors a range of 24/7 health metrics that other wearables simply omit; including cardio load status and recovery.
Integrated GPS and a simply dizzying amount of functionality afforded by the Polar Flow companion app, render the Vantage M2 an ideal tracker for those looking to get serious about their fitness.
Read our full Polar Vantage M2 review
Huawei Watch Fit - Great for guided workouts
- Pros: Sleek design | Virtual guided workouts | Great battery life
- Cons: App issues | Workout auto-detect issues | Inconsistent heart rate monitoring
Aside from affordability, the Huawei Watch Fit's standout feature is a series of pre-loaded guided workouts that you can do any time, anywhere, with minimal-to-no equipment.
It's large 1.64in AMOLED touchscreen display means it's easy to follow along and the Fit also boasts water resistance, an optical heart rate sensor, a premium design and long battery life, all for an impressively competitive price.
We just wish the auto-detect workout functionality was more consistent, along with heart rate tracking when swimming, which struggled.
Read our full Huawei Watch Fit review
Your buying guide to the best fitness trackers in 2021
Fitness trackers help you measure and log a myriad of activities each day; from a simple step count to weights sessions, swimming and more.
The biggest challenge when choosing one that suits your needs is that there are just so many to choose from and not all of them offer the same functionality or track fitness to the same degree or quality.
Brands like Fitbit dominate the conversation and while the company's wares are undoubtedly competent, there are lots of other trackers out there that excel in areas your average Fitbit doesn't.
There are also different types of fitness tracker to consider, influenced by factors that affect their designs and prices – two things that are no doubt high on your list when searching for the right wearable.
Some will want something that counts steps and doesn't require frequent charging, others might be in the market for a new marathon companion.
Do you want to be able to log your routes using integrated GPS or is tethered GPS (pulling location data from your phone in real-time) enough? Do you need constant heart-rate monitoring? Does your tracker need to be water-resistant? Is integration with other fitness services, like Strava, essential? These are all additional aspects to consider before buying.
Find out how we test wearables.