Best budget fitness tracker

Woman running while wearing one of the best budget fitness trackers
(Image credit: Fitbit)

The best budget fitness trackers are a great way to progress your health and fitness goals without spending a fortune. Rise in demand has made these devices even more affordable and feature-rich over the last few years — a lot of the best fitness trackers (opens in new tab) now have sleep and stress tracking as standard, even the cheaper ones.

If you’re looking for a budget fitness tracker then, aside from price, some other things to consider are battery life, design, screen size and whether there is inbuilt GPS or music playback. You’ll also want to see if the tracker you have your eye on needs an accompanying app, as these often come with a monthly subscription charge. 

The good news is the market is full of budget fitness trackers to meet every price bracket, so read on to find our pick of the best, along with the pros and cons of each.

Best budget fitness trackers

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Fitbit Inspire 3

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Fitbit Inspire 3

The best budget fitness tracker for most people

Specifications

Screen size: 1.55” color AMOLED
Water resistance: 50M
GPS: No
Battery life: 10 days
Sleep tracking: Yes
Heart rate monitor: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Long battery
+
Sleep and stress tracking
+
Receives notifications and call alerts

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen might be too small for some to read
-
No inbuilt GPS
-
Most useful features require Fitbit Premium subscription

With a big color AMOLED screen, the Inspire 3 can track steps, workouts, heart rate and sleep. It can also tell you how much time you spend in each heart rate zone (opens in new tab), personalized to your age and fitness level. Similar to the Apple Watch’s Activity app, it has a metric called Active Zone Minutes that encourages you to reach daily movement goals. We enjoyed how it tracks passively in the background giving you useful insights into your health and fitness habits.

As with so many of Fitbit’s products, it’s the battery life – 10 days – that’s most impressive on the Inspire 3. While this will depend on usage, and go down significantly if you use the always-on display mode, it’s still great to not have to charge the tracker too often.

The Inspire 3 doesn’t have the same quick-release buttons as the Charge 5, so swapping bands is a little bit fiddly. It’s also lacking GPS but you can use your phone to track routes and distances on hikes and runs. Comes with six months free Fitbit Premium membership so you can enjoy extra features and content.

User reviews

Reviewers give this fitness tracker 4.2 out of 5 on Amazon, with 57% giving it a full five stars. One positive review said it was “reliable and discreet” with accurate sleep tracking and with an impressive battery life. Another said: “This has inspired me to get fitter. Feel so much better having used this for two weeks.” One negative review said the Inspire 3 buzzed a lot when wet, and another said the screen was too small to read at times..

  • This model is currently being reviewed. Once we have finished our testing process, we  will update this guide accordingly. 

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 close up of screen on workout mode

(Image credit: Sam Hopes)
Best budget fitness tracker for monitoring different sports

Specifications

Screen size: 1.62” AMOLED
Water resistance: up to 50 meters
GPS: Yes
Battery life: 14 days
Sleep tracking: Yes
Heart rate monitor: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced health monitoring (blood oxygen, sleep and stress)
+
110+ sports modes
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen response is clunky
-
Teething issues with sleep analysis feature
-
Some metric tracking is inaccurate

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 is proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune on health and fitness tracking, nor do you have to sacrifice fancy features either. We were impressed by the sheer number of features on this Fitbit lookalike, although the screen can be unresponsive, especially when wet/sweaty.

The band tracks blood oxygen, sleep and stress – impressive for a product at this low price – and we love the ‘relax reminders’ that prompt us to do a guided breathing meditation when stress levels reach above a certain number. If you’re a swimmer, it’s water resistant up to 50 meters, although we found the screen hard to use during and post-swim.

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 has an impressive battery life and is a comprehensive health and fitness tracker at a budget-friendly price. It has a ludicrous number of activity tracking options too, with over 110 different sports modes.

User reviews

This budget fitness tracker gets 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with a respectable 80% giving it the full five stars. Fans of the tracker love the “great battery life” and screen brightness. Negative reviews said the touchscreen wasn’t so responsible when it was wet (after swimming or a sweaty workout), and others cited issues with the accuracy of the sleep tracking and steps counter.


Garmin Vivosmart 5

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Garmin Vivosmart 5

Best budget fitness tracker for in-depth health insights

Specifications

Screen size: 19.5” x 10.7” x 217mm OLED
Water resistance: 5 ATM
GPS: No
Battery life: 7 days in smartwatch mode
Sleep tracking: Yes
Heart rate monitoring: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Automatic activity tracking
+
Impressive sleep tracking
+
Comes in two sizes (s/m)

Reasons to avoid

-
No inbuilt GPS
-
No on-board music storage
-
Very light and comfortable

If you’re the kind of person who loves a huge amount of data, and don’t mind the Vivosmart 5’s utilitarian design, then this could be the budget fitness tracker for you. Lightweight, easy to use and with heart rate and SpO2 sensors, it has a crisp OLED screen, but it’s still monochrome rather than color.

You can look at your stats free of charge in the brilliant Garmin Connect app, where there are also guided workouts to try, plus running and cycling training programs. We were particularly impressed by the automatic sleep tracker. Every morning you get a mini sleep report including a ‘sleep score’ to help you understand how much rest you’re getting. But note, it doesn’t track naps – so if you like a snooze this could mess up your nightly sleep data.

Garmin says the watch has a seven day battery life – but most people getting report five days when they've been using it for regular workout tracking. 

The Vivosmart 5 doesn’t have inbuilt GPS, so you’ll need a Bluetooth connection to your phone to track your route and pace when training outside. It has an on-board accelerator that can gauge distance and pace, but we’d only use this as a rough estimate. This watch is all about the stats, so if you’re a numbers nerd you’ll love it.

User reviews

The Garmin Vivosmart 5 gets 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 60% giving it a full five stars. Positive reviews praised the battery life, with one calling it "the best fitness tracker in the market." Another happy user said: "What really amazed me was the accuracy and detail of sleep data." Negative reviews said it was “clumsier than Vivosmart 4 in terms of size, materials and functionality." Another said they found it hard to read without glasses.

  • This model is currently being reviewed. Once we have finished our testing process, we will update this guide accordingly.

Huawei Band 7 fitness tracker being tested by Live Science contributed Lloyd Coombes

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
Best budget tracker for fitness newcomers

Specifications

Screen size: 1.47” color AMOLED
Water resistance: 50M
GPS: No
Battery life: 10 days
Sleep tracking: Yes
Heart rate monitor: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
96 workout modes
+
Long battery life
+
Call and message notifications

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks inbuilt GPS
-
No third party app support
-
No music playback or storage

Feature-rich, with 96 workout modes the Huawei Band 7 is a solid fitness tracker that does big things for a small price. Design wise it’s also very similar to the Fitbit Inspire 3, it’s linked to the impressive Huawei Health app that is intuitive and easy to use. 

From blood pressure management to weight, the app can set you customized training metrics to help you reach your goals. Beginners to fitness will find it a great entry-level tracker to get them motivated to progress and get stronger and healthier. If you own an iPhone, your stats will be sent to Apple’s Health app so there’s one place for all your data.

Sadly there’s no Bluetooth playback or music storage so if you like listening to a playlist or podcast on a run you’ll need your phone. It doesn’t have GPS either, but its step counting and distance tracking is surprisingly accurate.

User reviews

Amazon reviewers give the Band 7 4.4 out of 5, with 66% giving it five stars. Fans of the tracker said it was a good Fitbit alternative, good value, easy to set up, with hundreds of watch faces to choose from. Negative reviewers complained about connection issues and one person said the calorie and sleep tracking was “completely inaccurate." 


Honor Band 6

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Honor Band 6

Best budget fitness tracker for display

Specifications

Screen size: 1.57” color AMOLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
GPS: No
Battery life: 14 days
Sleep tracking: Yes
Heart rate monitor: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive battery life
+
Sleep and stress tracking
+
Big display

Reasons to avoid

-
No GPS
-
Inconsistent SpO2 tracking
-
Only recognises 10 exercises

The Honor Band 6 has enough tracking tools, a big colorful screen and impressive battery life to make it a savvy entry-level fitness tracker.

The continuous heart rate monitor seems fairly accurate and the information is used to drive the Band’s stress and sleep monitoring. Like a lot of stress trackers, this feels a bit inconsistent. The sleep tracker is more effective, automatically charting the different sleep stages and giving you a ‘sleep score’ every morning. 

Battery life is where the Honor Band 6 really excels – 14 days for regular use and about 10 for heavy usage. We love that the custom charger fits into any USB-A port magnetically (why can’t all trackers do this?!). Plus it only takes an hour for a full charge – or the fast charge technology will give you an extra three days of juice in just ten minutes.

User reviews

With 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon (71% giving it five stars), the Honor Band 6 is excellent value for money according to reviewers. One said: “The battery life is AMAZING and it’s a great watch for what I need it for.” Negative reviews cited issues with the sleep tracker recording a sleep cycle when they were just sitting still watching TV or reading. Another said the connected GPS for bike rides was appalling and it didn’t indicate any watts or power in the reading.

  • This model is currently being reviewed. Once we have finished our testing process, we will update this guide accordingly.

Amazfit Bip 3 Pro being tested by Live Science contributor Lloyd Coombes

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
Best budget fitness tracker for smartwatch credentials

Specifications

Screen size: 1.69” TFT display
Water resistance : 5ATM
GPS: Yes
Battery life: 14 days
Sleep tracking: Yes
Heart rate monitor: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and comfy
+
Blood oxygen (SpO2) and stress tracking
+
Built in Amazon Alexa

Reasons to avoid

-
No music storage

Like all the best fitness trackers (opens in new tab), The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro is lightweight, comfortable to wear (even during sleep) and has a simplistic design that’s easy to use. The sleep tracker on this band comes with lots of actionable tools, although the accuracy does vary.

We like that it doubles as a smartwatch, packing in tools like ‘find my phone’ and displaying notifications on its easy-to-read screen. While it doesn’t have in-built music storage, it does allow you to navigate your tunes from your wrist (when your phone is connected) and you can control your camera, although we’re not sure how useful that would be.

People who menstruate can use the watch to track their cycles and monitor fertility, which is a nice touch, and it’s in-depth sleep tracking actually tells you how well you’re managing the different stages of sleep (light, deep and REM.) 

If you want absolute accuracy for distance tracking, you’ll need to try one of the best running watches (opens in new tab) — but we think most people will be impressed with the in-built GPS on this model. All in all, it’s a good package for this price. 

User reviews

The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro gets 4.3 out of five stars on Amazon, with customers praising its wide range of health tracking features, lightweight design and battery life. Negative reviews cite issues with pairing the watch with cell phones.


Amazon Halo View

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Amazon Halo View

Best budget fitness tracker for sleep tracking

Specifications

Screen size: 1.84” x 0.75” x 0.47” AMOLED
Water resistance: 50M
GPS: No
Battery life: 7 days
Sleep tracking: Yes
Heart rate monitoring: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Color touchscreen
+
Decent battery life
+
Comes with free 12 month Halo Membership

Reasons to avoid

-
No GPS
-
Inconsistent heart rate readings
-
Need an Amazon account to set up

The Halo View is a great budget fitness tracker that measures physical activity, SpO2, heart rate, sleep and skin temperature, all for under $80. The accompanying app opens up access to a ton of features to help you progress in your health and fitness journey too. You'll need a Halo membership to access this, but Amazon will give you 12 months for free when you buy a watch. Design wise, it looks a lot like the Fitbit Inspire 3, but is $20 cheaper.

Some reports indicate that the Halo View band can accidentally come away from the tracker, so make sure its secured tightly before any gym sessions. Amazon says the View has a seven-day battery life, but most users report a five-day average.

This watch comes with a built-in skin temperature sensor (very unusual in a wearable of this price) which is activated when you're asleep. This can show you when you're running hotter or colder than usual. The watch is also able to report on sleep quality, duration, stages and efficiency — it's brilliant to see this much detail in a cheaper model. Combined with the temperature sensor, the watch is able to really help you pinpoint what could be disturbing your rest. 

If you’re on a low budget and have never had a fitness tracker before this band is great value and a good place to start, particularly as it comes with a year’s free Halo Membership. After 12 months it will automatically renew ($3.99pm) but you can easily cancel it and use the Halo View as a basic tracker. 

User reviews

This tracker gets 3.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 48% giving it five stars. Fans of the device say it’s a massive improvement over the Halo, with the addition of the screen being a game changer. They said: “The text messaging feature is awesome”, although they cited some issues with syncing. Negative reviews said the touchscreen didn’t work well in water, and data was hard to read due to the screen size.


Fitbit Charge 5

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
Best budget fitness tracker for stress management

Specifications

Screen size: 0.86” x 0.58” x 1.04” AMOLED
Water resistance: 5 ATM
GPS: Yes
Battery life: 7 days
Sleep tracking: Yes
Heart rate monitor: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Crisp display, even in sunlight
+
Comes with 6 month subscription to Fitbit Premium
+
Plenty of trackers and sensors

Reasons to avoid

-
Thin design not for everyone
-
Lack of on-board music control
-
Notification text hard to read

Drum roll please, in our opinion this is the best Fitbit (opens in new tab) you can buy right now, with options for stress and sleep tracking, mindfulness sessions and health and fitness data you didn’t even know you needed. 

It feels like the Swiss Army Knife of fitness trackers, with in-built GPS, heart rate and step monitoring, as well as ECG app and new electrodermal activity (EDA) tracker. This will allow you to check for atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) while the EDA test looks at sweat secretion — a marker of stress. Once you’ve worked out your stress levels, you can help reduce them with the library of mindfulness sessions. 

We love how easy it is to read, even in sunlight, which is a good thing as there are no physical buttons. Sadly there’s no option for music playback and it’s quite reliant on its accompanying app if you want to get the most out of it, but other than that we struggle to fault this extremely impressive and affordable wearable. It's slightly more pricey than the other options in this list, but also has a wider range of features.

User reviews

This tracker gets 4.3 out of 5 stars on Best Buy. It scored highly for battery life, durability and comfort with positive reviews praising the ECG feature, vibrant color screen and how easy it is to use. Negative reviews said some of the watch faces were ‘cartoonish’, cluttered and made it hard to read data, while others complained that tracking was inaccurate – a problem we also encountered.


How we test the best budget fitness trackers

We test the models in this guide by using them to track workout sessions, sleep and daily activity. We then compare this data to high-end, accurate models to see how well these cheaper products match up. Once we've spent two weeks with the models, we evaluate them on design, performance, features and value for money and give them an overall score.

What to look for in a budget fitness tracker

When looking for a budget fitness tracker there are a few things to consider. Firstly, battery life is often a deal breaker. Fitbit is renowned for creating trackers and smartwatches with amazing stamina, and many of its competitors are now catching on (some of the above options even outlast the famous Fitbits). Battery life will go down depending on usage, so if you’re tracking sleep overnight, as well as regular workouts, expect to charge your device more often.

Is GPS included? Many trackers can pair with your phone to track routes and distance, but if this is important to you, it might be worth paying a few extra bucks to get inbuilt GPS (bear in mind this will also zap the battery).

Another factor is will the device track all the sports and activities you want? And how easy is it to use and access the data? Smaller screens mean the fitness tracker will be lightweight, but you might struggle to read the stats.

Maddy is a freelance journalist and Level 3 personal trainer specializing in fitness, health and wellbeing content. She has been a writer and editor for 22 years, and has worked for some of the UK's bestselling newspapers and women’s magazines, including Marie Claire, The Sunday Times and Women's Health. Maddy loves HIIT training and can often be found working out while her two young daughters do matching burpees or star jumps. As a massive foodie, she loves cooking and trying out new healthy recipes (especially ones with hidden vegetables so the kids eat them).