Best fitness tracker 2017: the top 10 activity bands on the planet

A fitness tracker is the perfect way to monitor your activity and health effortlessly and with unmatched accuracy. Think of it as an electronic finger on the pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, quality of sleep and step count.

Today's fitness band market is stuffed with fantastic devices, most of which can do a pretty good job at the basics of tracking. But frankly, we're only interested in the best, and you should be too.

We won't be looking at all the techiest wristwear here - check out our best smartwatch guide for that, which includes the Apple Watch 3, LG Watch Style and Samsung Gear S3. You also won't find the Fitbit Ionic here either, which despite the brand is more of a smartwatch and priced accordingly.

This guide will show you the best of the best activity trackers money can buy and show you how each ranks in terms of stand-out features, price, design and the quality of the software you'll be using on your phone.

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

1. Moov Now

Our favorite fitness tracker right now

Screen: No | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: Six months | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Great battery life
Cheap price
Limited features
No screen

The Moov Now is officially our favorite fitness band in the world right now. It's cheap, offers everything you'll want in an everyday tracker and there's a phenomenal six month long battery life.

The Moov Now isn't just designed for step tracking though - it comes with boxing and rep-based training, as well as a swimming mode on top of run coaching and sleep monitoring features. That's a lot to get stuck in with.

You won't get GPS or some of the more complex fitness tracking features that others on this list offer, but if you're looking for a great everyday tracker that doesn't cost a lot of money the Moov Now will suit you perfectly.

Read the full Moov Now review

Image 1 of 7

Image 2 of 7

Image 3 of 7

Image 4 of 7

Image 5 of 7

Image 6 of 7

Image 7 of 7

2. Samsung Gear Fit 2

Samsung comes in a close second place

Screen: Yes, 1.5-inch AMOLED | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: 3 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Works on Android and iOS
Impressive value
Lacks alarm function
Barometer issues

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 has made hefty changes to the company's wearable line both inside and out and the result is a device that does a whole lot for your money.

The Gear Fit 2 has a gorgeous design that looks fantastic on your wrist and as it's sporting a big, beautiful AMOLED display you'll be able to see all of your stats nice and clearly.

It also comes with GPS built-in so you can leave your phone at home while you go for a run as well as a top-notch heart rate sensor that should give you one of the most accurate readings possible from a wrist based tracker.

Read the full Samsung Gear Fit 2 review

Image 1 of 4

Image 2 of 4

Image 3 of 4

Image 4 of 4

3. TomTom Spark 3

Music, fitness tracking and on-wrist navigation

Screen: Yes, Monochrome | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: Two weeks | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Phone-free music
GPS navigation
Maze-like menu system
Mediocre sound quality

The TomTom Spark 3 is our third favorite fitness watch and offers a lot of great features for your wrist, including music without your phone.

You can upload music directly to the TomTom Spark 3, so you won't need to take your phone out with your Bluetooth headphones while on a run.

Plus on top of that, the Spark 3 offers up GPS tracking, a heart rate monitor and route navigation, making this the perfect wrist companion to wear while running around areas you don't really know and discovering new places.

Read the full TomTom Spark 3 review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

4. Polar M430

A running watch with all-round fitness skills

Screen: Yes, Monochrome | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 20 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Good battery life
Reliable and accurate
Not the best looking
Annoying charging lead

The Polar M430 has a lot of things going for it, including GPS, a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking skills, along with good battery life. For the most part it’s also reliable and accurate, which is something not all fitness trackers can claim.

The M430 is designed primarily for runners, and can monitor the likes of your pace, distance, speed and cadence, but with all of the above, plus daily general activity tracking, it’s a strong choice for tracking most kinds of exercise and activity.

Given all the tech packed in, the Polar M430 also has a reasonable price tag. It’s not the best-looking fitness tracker, but it’s comfortable and functional.

Read the full Polar M430 review

Image 1 of 4

Image 2 of 4

Image 3 of 4

Image 4 of 4

5. Huawei Band 2 Pro

A slim, capable wearable with impressive battery life

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 21 days standby | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasonable price
Accurate step counting
Clunky app
Lacks innovative design

In fifth place is the Huawei Band 2 Pro. a sleek little fitness tracker that manages to pack a decent amount of features into its diminutive frame, and for an impressively small amount of money. 

The Band 2 Pro has heart rate monitoring, VO2 max, GPS, step and sleep tracking and a seriously impressive battery life. The slim screen means that this tracker will work just as well with running gear as it will with a business suit, although the slim screen isn’t going to be as easy to read as some of the competition.

If you’re looking for a device that’s going to give you totally precise metrics, this isn’t it. But if you want an affordable entry-level device for your first foray into the world of fitness tracking, this is a great place to start.

Read our Huawei Band 2 Pro review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

6. Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin drops GPS but comes in at fifth place

Screen: Yes, Monochrome | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 6 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Six day battery life
GPS and heart rate monitor
Design is lacking
Data could have more depth

In fifth place is the Garmin Vivosmart 3, which is on the more expensive side of the fitness trackers listed but offers almost everything you'll want from an exercise tracker.

With a six-day long battery life, a heart rate monitor and fitness age feature, this is a device created more for gym-goers than runners.

The Vivosmart HR+, the device Garmin released before this tracker, came with GPS built-in but this newer version has dropped the feature and it's a big shame for anyone who wanted to take this watch running.

Even so, you should definitely consider the Garmin Vivosmart 3, especially if you're looking for a band that can do high-end fitness tracking with an almost week long battery.

Read the full Garmin Vivosmart 3 review

Image 1 of 4

Image 2 of 4

Image 3 of 4

Image 4 of 4

7. Garmin Vivofit 3

A new entry from Garmin

Screen: Yes, LCD | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 1 year | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Super-long battery life
Always-on display
No phone notifications
Not the most attractive tracker

The Garmin Vivofit 3 is one of the best fitness trackers the company has ever created, and that now means it sits in this prestigious list alongside some other fantastic tracking products.

We particularly like the super-long battery life of the Vivofit 3, which means you won't need to recharge your device for a whole year. 

You'll miss out on phone notifications by buying this tracker, but you do get the benefit of an always-on display and some great fitness tracking features. 

Read the full Garmin Vivofit 3 review

Image 1 of 4

Image 2 of 4

Image 3 of 4

Image 4 of 4

8. Fitbit Charge 2

The best Fitbit tracker money can buy

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: 4 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Big screen
Comfortable strap
Limited phone notifications
No GPS

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the best Fitbit tracker you can buy right now. It's more expensive than some of the other options from Fitbit, but if you're looking to go jogging this is a great choice that won't cost you as much as a traditional running watch.

It connects with the GPS on your phone, has a large screen to display your data, a heart rate tracker and new fitness features we've only previously seen on the Fitbit Blaze.

It may not be the cheapest device on the list, but this is the best Fitbit tracker money can buy.

Read the full Fitbit Charge 2 review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

9. Fitbit Blaze

A solid wearable, but it won't set the world alight

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 5 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Stunning battery life
Interesting fitness features
Lacking in notifications
Strange design won't suit everyone

Want a fitness tracker that looks more like a watch? You'll likely like the look of the Fitbit Blaze - it's one of the best fitness watches on the planet. 

The first tracking watch from Fitbit is a strange looking device, but suits a lot of people and comes with automatic fitness tracking features that make it possible to just jump into an exercise and wait for the results to roll in right away.

With good battery life and a plethora of extra features compared to most other Fitbit devices, this may be the best tracker for you.

Read the full Fitbit Blaze review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

10. Fitbit Surge

Fitbit's GPS-toting 'superwatch'

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 3 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Built-in GPS
Classic watch clasp
Dated design
Weaker battery life

This isn't the most popular Fitbit device on the market, but the Surge is the first and only GPS watch from the company and may suit you if you plan to go on long runs often.

The Fitbit Surge doesn't have the best battery life of the trackers in this list, but it is one of the most feature-packed, with real-time workout stats, heart rate tracking and more.

If you're looking for the most powerful Fitbit out there, go for the Fitbit Surge.

Read the full Fitbit Surge review