Best budget fitness tracker 2024: Hit your fitness goals without breaking the bank

Best budget fitness trackers
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You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on a shiny new smartwatch to reap the benefits of fitness tracking — you can monitor your stats just as effectively with the best budget fitness trackers. These smart wearables boast great performance, a wealth of smart features and stylish design, yet they cost far less than some of the top-shelf models. 

True, the best budget fitness trackers may not offer the high-octane performance and military-grade durability typical of best Garmin watches, but they still feature most of the key metrics like heart rate, body composition, sleep tracking and step count. When used consistently, even the most affordable wearables can help you make positive changes to your lifestyle. 

However, picking the right model can be a difficult task, even for the most data-driven consumers. The market is flooded with low-cost fitness trackers of dubious quality, and frustrated users often abandon them not long after the purchase. But that is where we step in. 

To help you make the best choice possible, we have tried and tested countless budget fitness trackers on the market. We put each and every model through its paces, taking note of their battery life, design, features, ease of use, and many other aspects. Here's our ultimate roundup of the fitness trackers that won't break the bank.

But if you are looking for wearables with a more premium feel, check our general guide to the best fitness trackers. And if you are a keen runner, our guide to the best running watches can offer you some great advice.

The quick list

The best budget fitness trackers we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust Live Science Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best ones for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best budget fitness tracker overall

Best overall: This sleek fitness tracker offers excellent value for money.

Specifications

Screen size: 1.55-inches AMOLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
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
Buy if

✅ You want excellent sleep and stress tracking features: Its measurements are accurate and easy to understand.  

✅ You need something small and compact: It is lightweight and unobtrusive.

✅ You want long battery life: This fitness tracker can last up to 10 days between charges.

Don't buy if

❌ You struggle with small and fiddly displays: It has a relatively tiny screen.  

❌ You want to use it mainly outdoors: It does feature GPS or on-watch maps. 

What the users say

Fitbit Inspire 3 scores 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 70% 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. Negative reviews said the Inspire 3 buzzed a lot when wet, and that said the screen was too small to read at times.

The Fitbit Inspire 3 takes the top spot thanks to its compact design, excellent battery life and a multitude of tracking features. If you are looking for excellent value for money, this colorful band should land on your radar.  

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, 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. During our Fitbit Inspire 3 review, 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 is the battery life – 10 days – that is 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 is still great to not have to charge the tracker too often.

The Inspire 3 does not have the same quick-release buttons as the Charge 5, so swapping bands is a little bit fiddly. It is 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.

Best budget fitness tracker for sports activities

Best for tracking workouts: Excellent fitness tracker for price-conscious gym goers.

Specifications

Screen size: 1.62-inches AMOLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
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
Buy if

✅ You want exceptional battery life: This trooper can last up to two weeks on a single charge.

✅ You are looking for a cheap multisport watch: This humble band can track more than 100 different activities.

✅ You want to track your periods: It allows you to monitor your menstrual cycle. 

Don't buy if

❌ You want exceptional accuracy: Its sleep and workout tracking features may lack precision.

❌ You are a swimmer: The screen loses responsiveness upon contact with water and sweat.

What the users say

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 scores 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 67% of users giving it a 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.

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 is proof that you do not have to spend a fortune on health and fitness tracking, nor do you have to sacrifice fancy features either. Its design makes it nice to look at, too. During our Xiaomi Smart Band 7 fitness tracker review, we were impressed by the sheer number of features on this Fitbit lookalike. For example, you can use it to track your menstrual cycle - a feature previously reserved for some of the more premium players, such as the Apple Watch. However, we also found that its screen can become unresponsive, especially when wet or 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 are a swimmer, it is 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. 

If you are a budget-conscious fitness fanatic and you are willing to compromise on accuracy and screen design, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 will be right up your street.

Best budget fitness tracker for health tracking

Best for health tracking: Garmin's in-depth health insights for a fraction of the price.

Specifications

Screen size: 0.76-inches x 0.42-inches OLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
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
Buy if

✅ You are data-driven: It provides a wide range of in-depth health and fitness stats.   
✅ You want something small and discreet: No rugged or bulky design.

✅ You can stretch your budget: At $150, it is one of the most expensive trackers in this guide.

Don't buy if

❌ You want to use it mainly outdoors: No GPS or on-watch maps.
❌ You want exceptional sturdiness: This watch is not as durable as some of the more premium Garmin watches.

What the users say

The Garmin Vivosmart 5 gets 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 59% 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."

If you are the kind of person who loves a huge amount of data, and do not 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 is 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. During our Garmin Vivosmart 5 review, 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 are getting. But note, it does not 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 report five days when they have been using it for regular workout tracking. 

The Vivosmart 5 does not have an inbuilt GPS, so you will 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 would only use this as a rough estimate. This watch is all about the stats, so if you are a numbers nerd you will love it.

Best budget fitness tracker for smartwatch credentials

Best smartwatch credentials: An affordable fitness tracker than doubles as an extension to your phone.

Specifications

Screen size: 1.69-inches 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
Buy if

You want something light and comfortable: No rugged or bulky design.

✅ You want long battery life: It can last up to 14 days on a single charge.

Don't buy if

You want highly accurate workout tracking: It may lack some of the precision seen in more premium trackers. 

You want exceptional durability: This watch may not pull its weight as an outdoor watch.

What the users say

The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro gets 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 61% of users giving it a full five stars. Positive reviews praise this smartwatch for its wide range of health tracking features, lightweight design and battery life. Negative reviews cite mostly issues with connectivity.

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

During our Amazfit Bip 3 Pro review, we liked that it doubled as a smartwatch, packing in tools like ‘find my phone’ and displaying notifications on its easy-to-read screen. While it does not 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 are not sure how useful that would be.

Women can use the watch to track their cycles and monitor fertility, which is a nice touch, and its in-depth sleep tracking actually tells you how well you are managing the different stages of sleep (light, deep and REM.) 

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

Best budget fitness tracker for sleep tracking

Best for sleep tracking: Getting a good shut-eye does not have to cost the earth.

Specifications

Screen size: 0.86-inches x 0.58-inches 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
Buy if

✅ You want advanced health tracking features: It can track your sleep, stress levels, heart rhythm and more.
✅ You need something small and unobtrusive: It features a light and compact design.

✅ You want long battery life: This fitness tracker can last a week between charges.

Don't buy if

❌ You struggle with small displays: It may be difficult to read.
❌ You want media playback: It does not store music.

What the users say

Fitbit Charge 5 scores 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 63% of users giving it full 5 stars. This fitness tracker is praised for its battery life, durability and comfort, and many positive reviews mention the accuracy of the ECG feature and how easy it is to use. Negative reviews said some of the watch faces were ‘cartoonish’ and made it hard to read data, while others complained that tracking was inaccurate.

Drum roll please, in our opinion this is the best Fitbit you can buy right now, with options for stress and sleep tracking, mindfulness sessions and health and fitness data you did not even know you needed. At nearly $150, it is one of the most expensive models in this guide, but this neat wearable offers excellent value for money — and let us explain why.

The Fitbit Charge 5 feels like the Swiss Army Knife of fitness trackers, with in-built GPS, heart rate and step monitoring, as well as an 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 have worked out your stress levels, you can help reduce them with the library of mindfulness sessions.

During our Fitbit Charge 5 review, we loved how easy it was to read, even in sunlight, which is a good thing as there are no physical buttons. Sadly there is no option for music playback and it is 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. As we mentioned before, the Charge 5 is slightly more pricey than the other options in this list, but also has a wider range of features.


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.


FAQs

What should you 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 Biddulph

Maddy has been a writer and editor for 25 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 is also a fully qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer, specializing in helping busy women over 40 navigate menopause. 

With contributions from