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The best cheap fitness trackers 2021: great budget activity bands

Woman wearing cheap fitness tracker
(Image credit: Lifestyle and Wedding ph / Shutterstock)

Each month, we test and review the best cheap fitness trackers around, to bring you a definitive guide so you can pick the right one for you.

If you're looking for a cheap fitness tracker, you're not limited to simple pedometers that just count steps. Today's budget activity bands offer a lot more, including all-day heart rate monitoring, dedicated workout profiles, sleep tracking, and even built-in GPS for tracking outdoor activities.

The products below are an impartial list of the best cheap fitness trackers, drawn from our in-depth reviews, so you can be sure they’re good – and to help you further round down the selections we’ve included an overview of their good and bad points, along with their key specs and features, making it easy to see which ones suit you – but make sure to click through to the full reviews to find out more.

You might be surprised just how many advanced fitness tools you can get for a modest price tag. Some of the best Fitbits around are surprisingly cheap, and there are even feature-packed Garmin watches available for a snip.

If you need some new footwear too, take a look at our roundup of the best running shoes, with options for all distances.

Fitbit Inspire 2

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a stylish fitness tracker, and when paired with the free Fitbit mobile app, it's fantastic value (Image credit: Fitbit)

1. Fitbit Inspire 2

The best cheap fitness tracker for all activities

Specifications
Screen: Yes
Heart rate tracker: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
GPS: No
Battery life: 10 days
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Reasons to buy
+Premium design+Lots of tracked metrics
Reasons to avoid
-No contactless payments-No on-board GPS

A new addition to our roundup, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is the best cheap fitness tracker you can buy today. Although there are other activity bands with smaller price tags, the Inspire 2 offers the most bang for your buck.

Not only does it measure steps and heart rate throughout the day, the Fitbit Inspire 2 also tracks heart rate variability and stress, how long you spend in different heart rate zones during workouts, and your breathing rate. It can guide you through breathing exercises, score your cardio fitness level, and track your sleep stages each night as well.

All this data is collected in the excellent Fitbit app, where you can also log your food and track changes in your health data over time.

The Fitbit Inspire 2 doesn't have its own built-in GPS receiver, but it can piggyback on your phone's GPS to accurately track and map runs, walks and bike rides. You can then check these out later in the Fitbit app, and even sync them to other apps like Strava.

To make it even better value, this cheap fitness tracker comes with a free one-year subscription to Fitbit Premium, which gives you access to instructor-led workouts, meditation sessions, and nutrition plans.

Huawei Band 3 Pro

The Huawei Band 3 Pro packs a lot of features into its small case, and is one of the cheapest fitness trackers with on-board GPS (Image credit: Huawei)

2. Huawei Band 3 Pro

A fitness tracker that delivers style and substance on a budget

Specifications
Screen: Yes
Heart rate tracker: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
GPS: Yes
Battery life: 14 days standby
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Reasons to buy
+Great battery life+Good looking color screen
Reasons to avoid
-GPS can be slow to lock-No 'breathing' feature

The Huawei Band 3 Pro is one of our very favorite cheap fitness trackers. Considering its low price, there's a lot to love about this health band.

It comes with GPS on board, an accurate heart rate tracker, a waterproof design and there's even a color screen to display all of your stats. That's not a combination of features you'll get from every tracker on this list.

If you're after a fitness-first device, the Huawei Band 3 Pro should be good for you with its accurate GPS and heart rate monitor but there isn't much more here to get excited about. That said, at this price you can't really ask for much more.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 has one of the best screens we've seen on a budget fitness tracker, which makes it easy to see all your health and workout info at a glance (Image credit: Xiaomi)

3. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6

Great fitness features for an extremely low price

Specifications
Screen: Yes
Heart rate tracker: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
GPS: No
Battery life: 14 days of low use
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Excellent display
Reasons to avoid
-No on-board GPS-Occasional data inaccuracies

The latest addition to Xiaomi's excellent line of cheap fitness trackers, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is packed with features you'd usually expect to find in a much more expensive device, making it great value.

Its AMOLED touchscreen is bright, vibrant and responsive, and in addition to the standard activity and heart rate tracking features you'd expect, it also offers stress monitoring and a pulse-ox sensor for measuring blood oxygen saturation.

The biggest downside is that it lacks on-board GPS, and while it can use your phone's GPS receiver to track runs and other outdoor cardio sessions, in our tests it overestimated the distance travelled quite significantly. Not a problem for casual workouts, but if you're training for a race you'll be better off with a device like the Fitbit Inspire 2.

Honor Band 5

The Honor Band 5 tracks a wide array of sports, making it a good choice if you like to mix up your training with a variety of different activities (Image credit: Honor)

4. Honor Band 5

A cheap watch that tracks a wide array of sports

Specifications
Screen: Yes
Heart rate tracker: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
GPS: No
Battery life: 14 days of low use
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Reasons to buy
+Improved sleep tracking+Expanded exercise roster
Reasons to avoid
-Screen sometimes unresponsive-Notifications temperamental

The Honor Band 5 performs well across the board, and is a solid choice if you enjoy more than just the usual cardio workouts. It’s waterproof to 5ATM, so naturally swim tracking is included, alongside running, cycling and cross-training.

Of course given how cheap this is you might mostly want it just as a pedometer, and the Honor Band 5 works well there too, with accurate step tracking.

The Honor Band 5 also includes a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking – and it provides more detail on your slumber than the Honor Band 4 did. Plus you can get up to a week of life out of it with normal use, so you won’t need to take it off to charge at night.

The screen can be sluggish and the design is nothing special, but with everything else the Honor Band 5 offers, coupled with its low price, it’s a worthy inclusion in this list.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5

It might not have on-board GPS, but the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 is still a great fitness tracker for the money, with particularly impressive heart rate tracking (Image credit: Xiaomi)

5. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5

One of the cheapest fitness trackers around, and a real winner

Specifications
Screen: Yes
Heart rate tracker: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
GPS: No
Battery life: 14 days of low use
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Reasons to buy
+Bright, vibrant display+Strong heart rate performance
Reasons to avoid
-Setup is a little fiddly-No NFC outside China

Although now superseded by the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6, which is currently sitting pretty at number three in this listing, the Mi Smart Band 5 features a new, brighter screen, 24/7 activity tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, 11 different sport modes, and the ability to record outdoor cardio sessions by connecting to your phone's GPS.

The crisp color display (one of the best you'll find on a device this size) also shows notifications, weather reports and app notifications, and you can use it to control music playback on your phone with a tap and a swipe.

While full on-board GPS is more convenient, and setting up 'connected GPS' on your phone is a little clumsy, the incredibly low price of the Smart Band 5 means we don't feel short-changed. Despite its a high quality touchscreen display and an impressive range of features, Xiaomi has managed to keep the price down and make the Mi Smart Band 5 feel much more expensive than it is.

Garmin Vivofit 4

Garmin doesn't just make premium running watches, it also builds excellent fitness trackers like the Vivofit 4, which has particularly impressive battery life (Image credit: Garmin)

6. Garmin Vivofit 4

A cheap fitness tracker with frankly incredible battery life

Specifications
Compatibility: iOS and Android
Display: Transflective 8-colour MIP
Thickness: 9.4mm
Battery life: 1 year
Charging method: 2 x SR43 user-replaceable
IP rating: Swim-proof
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+1 year battery life+Color screen
Reasons to avoid
-No GPS or heart rate-Uninspiring design

The key addition over the entry-level Vivofit 3 is the always-on, color display that’s visible in sunlight. This is remarkably achieved without sacrificing the year-long battery life of the stellar third edition. Basic stats like steps, distance, calories and sleep are covered off, while there’s also automatic activity detection thanks to the Move IQ system. 

Thanks to the Garmin Connect app you can also customize the display, while setting timers and alarms directly from the wrist. Best of all the Vivofit 4 it also 20 per cent cheaper than the Vivofit 3’s 2015 launch price. Of course you’ll miss out on premium features like heart rate tracking and GPS, but that’s to be expected at this price.

Honor Band 5 Sport

The Honor Band 5 Sport is a lightweight fitness tracker that won't slow you down, though its lack of heart rate monitoring is a drawback (Image credit: Honor)

7. Honor Band 5 Sport

A cheap fitness tracker built for runners

Specifications
Screen: Yes, black and white
Heart rate tracker: No
Waterproof: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
GPS: No
Battery life: 14 days
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Reasons to buy
+Granular running data+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Basic screen-No heart rate or GPS

The Honor Band 5 Sport is cheap even by cheap fitness tracker standards. In fact, you could buy it for the price of a takeaway, and doing so would be much better for your health.

You get a surprising amount for your money too, including up to two weeks of battery life between charges, accurate run and step tracking, and eco-friendly credentials, thanks to a strap made out of recycled plastic bottles.

It also includes the novel ability to attach the tracker to your shoe and measure more unusual things, such as your stride length, ground contact time, and more. This makes the Honor Band 5 Sport especially good for runners and basketball players.

That said, not all of these metrics were accurately tracked, with jumps and foot strike pattern proving particularly inaccurate in our tests. There’s also no GPS or heart rate monitor, limiting its capabilities as an all-round fitness tracker. That arguably leaves it a little niche, but given how little the Honor Band 5 Sport costs it’s hard to complain too much.

Amazfit Bip

The Amazfit Bip is a superb little smartwatch with a focus on fitness tracking, and impressed our reviewer with its cheap-and-cheerful design (Image credit: Amazfit)

8. Amazfit Bip

A great value fitness tracker with an amazing battery life

Specifications
Compatibility: iOS and Android
Display: LCD Color
Thickness: TBC
Battery: 45 days
Charging method: Proprietary wired
IP rating: 68
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+Incredible value+Nice design+Good app
Reasons to avoid
-Awkward UI-Light on supported workouts

The Bip is a really capable but really simple fitness watch that we referred to in our full review as "the layman's Apple Watch" and we stand by the nickname.

In terms of a super rich experience and high performance, it can't compete with Apple. Not at all. But for its extremely budget-friendly price tag, the Amazfit Bip is a competent fitness tracker that has a few awesome tricks up its sleeve - most notably the fact it can last more than 30 days on a single charge.

If you’re after a simple wearable that can push notifications from your smartphone, wake you up with a dedicated alarm, and track your workouts with built-in GPS, and more, the Bip makes a strong case for itself.

Gift-wise it's a great buy for anyone who is in the market for a cheap and cheerful fitness device. Its simple set-up also makes it a good choice for complete fitness tech beginners. 

Samsung Galaxy Fit e

The Samsung Galaxy Fit e has a reasonable array of workout tracking tools, but the two-year-old device is starting to show its age (Image credit: Samsung)

9. Samsung Galaxy Fit e

Samsung's first cheap fitness tracker is basic, but does the job

Specifications
Screen: Yes
Heart rate tracker: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Activity tracking: Yes
GPS: No
Battery life: Around a week
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Reasons to buy
+Doesn't cost much+Accurate activity tracking
Reasons to avoid
-You'll need two apps-Battery life can vary

Samsung never used to make affordable fitness trackers, and considering the Galaxy Fit e is the company's first attempt it has ranked pretty well in this list.

You won't get GPS on this tracker, but it comes with a lot of other features you'll want including activity tracking, a water-resistant design and a strong battery life that should last a whole week.

There's a heart rate monitor and a variety of other fitness tracking features you'll want to make the most out of too. 

Read our Samsung Galaxy Fit e review

Garmin Vivosmart 3

The Garmin Vivosmart 3 is starting to show its age, but it's still a great little fitness tracker, and you'll get a lot of extra value from the Garmin Connect mobile app (Image credit: Garmin)

10. Garmin Vivosmart 3

A lot of smarts considering the cost

Specifications
Compatibility: iOS and Android
Display: Black and white
Thickness: 9.8mm
Battery: 5 days
Charging method: Proprietary wired
IP rating: Water resistant
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+Counts reps+Automatic activity tracking
Reasons to avoid
-No GPS-Wake movement sensing isn't always great

The Garmin Vivosmart 3 has now been superseded by the more powerful Vivosmart 4, but it's stood the test of time well, and is still a perfectly good choice if you need a dependable budget fitness tracker. Its price has dropped substantially in recent months, so you should be able to pick one up very cheaply.

It's certainly not the most feature-packed fitness tracker, and its lack of GPS means it's better suited to gym workouts than outdoor cardio, but it does a good job tracking reps and its heart rate tracking proved reasonably reliable in our tests.

All your data will sync with the Garmin Connect app, where you can browse through the current day's stats, and track patterns over time. The app also includes workouts that you can follow along for free, and allows you to transfer data directly to third-party apps like Strava. It's a great tool, and adds a lot of extra value to this simple fitness tracker.