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Best fitness trackers 2022

Garmin Epix 2 worn on person's wrist, showing weather on watch face
(Image credit: Andrew Williams)

The best fitness trackers do more than ever before. Whether it’s tracking your continuous heart rate, storing a running or cycling route to keep you on track, or providing information on your sleep patterns, the latest offerings are no longer just basic pedometers.

Full of smart tech features, contemporary fitness trackers study all kinds of data in order to provide users with information on how and when to train and recover for maximum fitness benefit. With long battery lives, water resistance, and light-but-tough build quality they can last as long as you need in all kinds of weather. 

Overall, finding the best fitness tracker to suit your needs is largely subjective. With so many models available from Garmin, Apple, Fitbit, and more it can be a daunting prospect to find “the one”. There are many trackers packed with intelligent technology, some that will read heart rate and track races, and others that provide insight based on our stats. Fortunately, we’ve done all the hard work for you by rounding up this buying guide to the best fitness trackers that suit a range of needs and budgets.

Many have on-board sound capabilities and can link up with music or audiobooks if required. If you’re going down this route be sure to check out our guide to the best running headphones too. Since their advent, fitness trackers have gained popularity quickly but they are often outpaced by the premium, but more costly, smartwatch. Not sure what the difference is? Find out why fitness trackers and smartwatches attract totally different groups.

Alternatively, users may need GPS built into their fitness tracker in order to track their race pace and achieve timed goals. If you’re wondering, “just how accurate are fitness trackers?”, read our article on the topic to find out more. However, if you want to concentrate on your running form you’ll be interested in our guide to the best running watches where we outline top picks for tracking heart rate, pulse oximetry, sleep, and stress levels.

Best fitness trackers

Apple Watch Series 7

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
Best fitness tracker overall

Specifications

Screen: 1.61in/1.9in 484 x 396 OLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
GPS: Yes
Compatibility: iOS
Battery life: 18 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Peerless smartwatch app library
+
Excellent heart rate accuracy
+
Supports lots of third-party services

Reasons to avoid

-
One-day battery life

The Apple Watch Series 7 is generally considered the default smartwatch, the obvious choice if you have the money to spend. That risks glossing over what makes it so special. 

This is the only watch series that has a committed enough following to foster a truly vibrant app scene. Digging around in the App Store to find fresh yoga, mindfulness and gym apps is actually worthwhile, although if you are happy to pay a subscription and like working out from home, do check out Apple’s own Fitness+ service. 

It plays video workouts on your TV or iPad, with on-screen stats recorded by the watch. The Apple Watch Series 7’s heart rate accuracy is also best-in-class – and its on-board GPS is reliable too. 

Apple’s baked-in fitness software is well-suited to casual fitness fans, while the near-peerless support for third-party platforms means the hardcore exercisers are catered for too. There’s only one big drawback, which is battery life. You need to charge an Apple Watch Series 7 every day, or every other day. 

This is far more upkeep than a fitness tracker that is not also a smartwatch. Many people will prefer living with a watch that does less, but lasts longer between charges. 


Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar

(Image credit: Andrew Williams)
Best for tracking depth

Specifications

Screen: 1.3in 260 x 260 MiP
Water resistance: 10ATM
GPS: Yes
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: 18 days

Reasons to buy

+
Superb feature depth
+
Very good HR accuracy
+
Comprehensive on-board offline maps

Reasons to avoid

-
May feel a bit heavy/chunky for sleep tracking
-
The display may look dull to some

A Garmin Fenix 7 is the best fitness tracker to get if you want the most comprehensive set of built-in exercise features available. These stand out when you bring other hardware into the mix.

The Fenix 7 series can connect to heart rate straps and foot pods, bike turbo trainers, and even Garmin’s bike lights. You can download continents’ worth of maps to the watch’s internal memory and plan hike, bike and run routes so you can leave your phone at home. 

It lets you download music and podcasts from some of the most popular music services, including Spotify and Deezer. And the MiP screen only becomes clearer in bright sunlight, so tracked outdoor sessions won’t kill the long-lasting battery. 

Its heart rate and GPS accuracy are great, and the presentation of stats like training load and VO2 Max seems tailored for the fitness enthusiast. 

A Garmin Fenix 7 may be a bit much if you just want to track 5km runs a couple of times a week. It’s not light and it’s not cheap. The bulk isn’t ideal for sleep tracking, so consider Garmin’s Versa 2 if you like the sound of Garmin’s style but would prefer something smaller. 

That said, Garmin’s watches are less intimidating than they once were. The Fenix 7 has a touchscreen and a quick swipe up from the watch face gives you a neat run-down of all your important daily stats. It has encyclopaedic features, but works well for casual all-day tracking too. 


Garmin Epix 2 worn on person's wrist, showing weather on watch face

(Image credit: Andrew Williams)
Best high-end watch

Specifications

Screen: 1.3in 416 x 416 OLED
Water resistance: 10ATM
GPS: Yes
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: 6 days (always-on)

Reasons to buy

+
Has a much punchier-looking screen than other Garmins
+
Best-in-class fitness software

Reasons to avoid

-
Very pricey
-
Shorter battery life than Fenix 7

The Garmin Epix 2 is much like the Fenix 7, but it swaps that watch’s practical but dated-looking MiP screen for a much brighter, sharper and prettier OLED. It adds colour and gloss, perfect if you want a serious fitness tracker with a smartwatch-style sheen. 

None of the core features are traded away. The Epix 2 software still has best-in-class depth and breadth, particularly handy for use without a phone. Downloadable maps, the ability to program routes on the watch itself and sync music to its internal storage: these make the Epix 2 feel more like a fitness computer than other trackers. Like other top-end Garmins, you can download additional apps too, although the library is limited. 

Should you buy this over the Fenix 7? It’s a bit nicer to use indoors, when just acting as a watch or giving you structured workout instructions in the gym. There is a battery life sacrifice, though. The watch lasts around six days with the screen lit the whole time. This rockets to 16 days in the mode that only lights the display when in use, but the Garmin Epix 2 just isn’t as enjoyable to use like this. 

We’re not going to complain too much about roughly a week between charges when that’s the best Fitbit offers, and it is leagues ahead of the Apple Watch. Cost is the only major issue here, with a starting price a lot higher than the Fenix 7. It’s tricky to justify when much cheaper watches have OLED displays that look just as good. Still, it’s a killer fitness tracker if you have the money to spend.


Fitbit Sense worn on a wrist with fence in background

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
Best for stress management

Specifications

Screen: 1.58in 336 x 336 OLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
GPS: Yes
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: 6 days

Reasons to buy

+
Nice, understated design
+
Bright display
+
Stress Score could be really helpful 

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than any other Fitbit 
-
No offline audio unless you’re on Deezer or Pandora 

The Fitbit Sense is our favorite model from Fitbit, thanks to its combination of features and sleek AMOLED display. It’s relatively well-priced, too, regularly discounted to $229.95/ £219. While you won’t get all the high-end features found on Garmin watches – there’s no downloadable maps and the GPS functionality isn’t as impressive – you do have some other tasty extras, such as the EDA scanner. This measures ‘stress’ by basically reading how sweaty your hands are – if the model senses that you’re feeling hassled, it will suggest some meditation practices.

The watch also comes with an ECG scanner, which offers some insight into your heart health and will give you alerts if your heart rate is unusually high or low. When we tested it out, we found that the heart rate monitor was fairly accurate when compared to the Apple Watch Series 7 model. 

Like a lot of other modern wearables, the Sense has a ‘Daily Readiness’ score that guides you on how much you should push yourself at the gym. Been working out too much and not sleeping enough? It’s likely the tracker will tell you to skip exercise and rest for the day. This score adapts as the tracker gets accustomed to your patterns.

We liked the overall design of the watch too; it’s not so clunky that it feels uncomfortable to wear during sleep. The large screen makes the display easy to read, even in sunlight, and we were impressed by the six-day battery life. Our only real issue with the tracker is that it doesn’t allow you to download and listen to music, unless you’re specifically using the Deezer or Pandora app. 


Fitbit Charge 5

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
Best for sleep tracking

Specifications

Screen: 1.04in OLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
GPS: Yes
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: 7 days

Reasons to buy

+
Has built-in GPS
+
Advanced health features like ECG and EDA
+
Small and light

Reasons to avoid

-
Some core features sit behind a paywall
-
Lacks the Spotify controls of other Fitbits

We reckon that the Charge 5 is the best Fitbit for most people. If you have your heart set on a Fitbit, you just have to decide whether you’d prefer this or the bigger, more expensive Fitbit Sense. 

This model is much smaller. It’s a band, not a watch. And you don’t get the downloadable apps available on Fitbit’s Versa and Sense — like Spotify, for example. If you want to go for a run and listen to music, you’ll have to use your phone if you’re using a Charge 5. 

However, the sheer amount of stuff Fitbit packs into the Charge 5 is impressive. It has full GPS, for phone-free route tracking. It has the EDA stress sensor Fitbit introduced in the Sense watch, and even an ECG sensor. This analyses your heart rhythm to check for abnormalities, using hardware completely separate from the optical heart rate reader on the back. 

It’s rare to see a fitness tracker this small that is so comprehensive in the stats it can gather, and Fitbit’s sleep tracking is among the best around. However, to see the Fitbit Charge 5 at its full strength you’ll need to sign up for Fitbit Premium. It costs $9.99/£7.99 a month and the watch includes a 6-month trial. While a Charge 5 works fine without it, fitness plans and even blood oxygenation readings sit behind this paywall. 


Whoop 4.0 band

(Image credit: Future)
Best for those with rigorous workout plans

Specifications

Screen: N/A
Water resistance: IP68/2M depth GPS: No
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: 4-5 days

Reasons to buy

+
A unique approach to wearables
+
Offers advice tailor made for committed athletes
+
Useful for fine-tuning exercise workloads

Reasons to avoid

-
High monthly costs
-
Accuracy still is not close to best-in-class
-
Lacks basics like step counts

The Whoop 4.0 bucks nearly every trend going. The wearable dismisses a shiny touchscreen in favour of a discrete “sensor suite”, the usual watch-like buckle is substituted for a woven, elasticated strap, and the step counter which won the likes of FitBit so many fans has been omitted entirely. 

Instead, what you get is continuous monitoring of an array of health metrics including heart rate, skin temperature and heart rate variability, as well as in-depth sleep tracking. This data is used to produce three digestible daily scores; strain, sleep and recovery. 

Having trialled the Whoop 4.0 for a month, we found this alternative approach had both benefits and drawbacks. The lack of a screen or in-built GPS isn’t well-suited to endurance activities as we were unable to track or check their pace during running sessions. However, the discreet, screenless design felt durable and showed no signs of damage after being smacked with a kettlebell or submerged during a wild swimming session. 

The simplified strain, sleep and recovery scores allowed us to train smarter at a glance (taking rest days when needed to boost our recovery) while the well-presented app provided plenty of in-depth data for stat fiends to sink their teeth into.

Also, when following the recommendations of the sleep coach on when to go to bed and how much sleep we needed, we were able to improve our recovery score and felt noticeably fresher the following day. 


Amazfit GTR 3 review: image shows Amazfit GTR 3

(Image credit: Emma Hall)
Best mid-range watch

Specifications

Screen: 1.39in 454 x 454 OLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
GPS: Yes
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: Up to 21 days

Reasons to buy

+
Looks quite expensive, but is not
+
Has Full GPS
+
Very long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No offline music support

The Amazfit GTR 3 is a fitness tracker that looks a lot like a smartwatch. It has a super-sharp 1.39-inch OLED screen similar to the display of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, which is a lot more expensive. 

Its outer casing is aluminium, and it has a rotary crown controller similar to the Apple Watch Series 7’s. The back of the watch face, which sits on your wrist, is plastic. But this just sums up what the Amazfit GTR 3 is all about. Amazfit tries to pack in features and higher-end style where you’ll notice it, and leaves out more expensive parts where you won’t. 

It has full GPS, provides blood oxygenation readings and has an optical heart rate reader with six light-sensing photodiodes. Amazfit packs in a dizzying 150-plus workout modes, menstrual tracking, Amazon Alexa support, 5ATM water resistance and fantastic battery life of up to 21 days (6 days if you use the always-on screen mode). 

The message is clear: the Amazfit GTR 3 does a lot, for not all that much money. It’s important not to expect stellar depth or accuracy, though. The heart rate sensor is not as good at tracking interval workouts as an Apple Watch or Garmin Instinct 2, and unlike the “Pro” version of the GTR 3, you can’t load this watch up with music for phone-free workouts. 


Image of Oura fitness tracker ring

(Image credit: Oura)

8. Oura (Generation 3)

Best fitness tracking ring

Specifications

Screen: N/A
Water resistance: 10ATM
GPS: Connected only
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: 4-7 days

Reasons to buy

+
It’s effectively a hidden fitness tracker
+
Very good sleep tracking
+
Great water resistance

Reasons to avoid

-
Subscription required
-
Not the best solution for outdoors exercise

Not every fitness tracker is worn on your wrist. The Oura, now in its third generation, is a ring. There’s no outward sign this is a tracker at all, as all the sensors sit on the inside. The outside is titanium, a light and tough metal.

You don’t do anything with the Oura as such, not physically. There are no buttons. You simply wear it and let the ring do its thing. This may appeal if you want to wear a normal watch and don’t fancy filling your wrist up with wearables. The Oura ring harvests an impressive amount of information for its size too. 

It records your heart rate all day and night, works out your heart rate variability, takes a note of your skin temperature, and can calculate your blood oxygenation level. The Oura counts steps too, of course. Passive activity tracking is its most impressive feature. Loads of wearables do this, recognising when you go for a run or walk, but the Oura also quietly snags location information from your phone to provide maps of your routes when you get back home. 

There’s no screen here, but the Oura approach is all about offering meaningful advice in the phone based on the data the ring collates. It’s actionable stuff like avoiding high-intensity exercise one day because your HRV is a bit low, or taking some time to actively unwind before bed. You do have to pay for this, though. Access to Oura’s software costs $5.99/5.99 Euro a month following the six-month trial included with the ring itself.

Editor's note: This item is currently in the process of being reviewed. Once it has been tested, this guide will be updated accordingly.


Image of Withings fitness tracker

(Image credit: Withings)

9. Withings ScanWatch

Looks like an analog watch, but has real fitness cred

Specifications

Screen: 0.54in 116 x 80
Water resistance: 5ATM
GPS: Connected only
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: Up to 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Classy analog watch design
+
Surprisingly broad health/fitness features
+
Supports Connected GPS

Reasons to avoid

-
No full GPS
-
Not the best option for stats obsessives

The Withings ScanWatch belongs to a special, and very much lovable, class of fitness tracker. It’s a hybrid, where activity smarts are built into a classic analog watch with moving arms. 

Classic hybrid watches typically only offer surface-level fitness information, but the Withings ScanWatch digs much deeper. It has a tiny little porthole screen built into the watch face, letting it display data live rather than making you open up the companion app on your phone. 

The ScanWatch records your heart rate 24/7, calculated blood oxygenation and — the real surprise — even has an ECG sensor. It seems flat-out unlikely to see an advanced health feature like this on what appears to be a classic timepiece, for the most part. 

A second physical dial at the bottom of the screen can be used to show you how close you are to meeting your daily goal, perhaps a step count. You can also start tracked activities like runs from the watch itself. While the Withings Scanwatch does not have its own GPS to map out walks, runs and rides, it can take location data from your phone over Bluetooth. 

You get much of the substance of a dedicated fitness watch in a sleeker, less techy-looking package. Battery life of up to 30 days is wonderful too. You do have to value the design, as more traditional runner’s watches at a similar price do more. But when has the appearance of a wearable not mattered?

Editor's note: This item is currently in the process of being reviewed. Once it has been tested, this guide will be updated accordingly.


Image of xiaomi fitness tracker

(Image credit: xiaomi)

10. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6

Best budget fitness tracker

Specifications

Screen: 1.56in 486 x 152 OLED
Water resistance: 5ATM
GPS: Connected only
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Battery life: 14 days

Reasons to buy

+
Bargain pricing
+
Long battery life
+
Bold screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Connected GPS only

Fitness trackers do not have to cost a fortune. A few companies produce ones cheap enough to be considered almost “pocket money” buys, and the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is one of the very best. 

How much you get for your money here is quite remarkable. The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 has a large lozenge-like 1.57-inch OLED screen. It’s sharp, colourful and bright enough to appear clear outdoors — far better than the relatively dim monochrome display of the more expensive Fitbit Inspire 2. 

The touchscreen interface is responsive too. You might expect glaring shortcomings at this price, but what limitations there are do not spoil the fun of using a Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6.

And the bad bits? The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 does not have GPS, but it can connect to your phone during runs for full stats and maps. You don’t get the guided workouts of a pricier fitness tracker either, and smart features pretty much begin and end with phone notifications. 

However, it does an awful lot for the price, including capturing blood oxygenation readings. Even the heart rate recording feature is responsive and reasonably accurate, although you don't get the same kind of performance here for interval workouts as in an Apple Watch Series 7. 

Editor's note: This item is currently in the process of being reviewed. Once it has been tested, this guide will be updated accordingly.


Andrew Williams is a freelance journalist based near London. He has written about tech for over a decade, contributing to sites such as WIRED, TechRadar, TrustedReviews, Wareable, Stuff, T3, Pocket-lint and many others. When he's not covering fitness tech, he writes about mobile phones and computing, as well as cameras. 

With contributions from