The best cheap fitness trackers are a cost-effective way to track your steps, calories burned, sleep and workouts in 2023. You don’t need to splash the cash in order to track activities like running or a fitness class, and if you're just starting your fitness journey, you shouldn't actually need some of the metrics provided by more advanced, more expensive fitness watches.
Of course, if you’re already a proficient runner or cyclist and want to look at your stats in detail, then there are dedicated devices for you. The best running watches or best smartwatches usually have more advanced metrics and features then these cheaper all-purpose devices, such as onboard GPS or pairing apps. However, the trackers in this list are a great option for making small, sustainable lifestyle changes in 2023.
Some of these devices will lack features like GPS or blood oxygen monitoring, but can give you a clearer picture of your general health. Because of the low price point, not every tracker will have every feature, so you may find yourself picking and choosing the features you think you'll need, based on the activities you like to do.
It’s our job to regularly test the best budget-friendly fitness trackers - giving you our opinions on their pros and cons, so you can make your own decision on what works for you. And while cost is important when it comes to picking the right fitness tracker, make sure you pick the one that works for you and your goals.
The best cheap fitness trackers for 2023
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The Fitbit Inspire 3 has replaced its predecessor, the Inspire 2, as the best cheap fitness tracker you can buy today. Although there are other activity bands with more modest price tags, the Inspire 3 offers the most bang for your buck. Not surprisingly, it's also one of the best Fitbits overall, with a lot of the same Fitbit features like the Daily Readiness Score and Active Zone Minutes on the premium models.
The Inspire 3 measures steps and heart rate throughout the day, and the Fitbit Inspire 3 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.
The Fitbit Inspire 3 doesn't have its own built-in GPS chip, but it can piggyback on your phone's GPS to accurately track and map runs, walks and bike rides as long as they aren't too far apart. You can check these out later in the Fitbit app and even sync them to other apps like Strava.
Like other Fitbit devices, 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. It's not as good as the one-year Inspire 2 subscription, but the new features are probably just enough to justify getting the updated model.
Read our full Fitbit Inspire 3 review
Thanks to Huawei's problems in the States, it's tough for folks over there to get hold of the Huawei Band 7, which is a shame: it's an undeniably impressive fitness tracker at an impressively low price.
With step tracking we found to be just as accurate as an Apple Watch, a nice big 1.47-inch AMOLED screen, and a thin body less than 1cm thick, it's a slender piece of kit, but still packs lots of great fitness tools. TruSleep 2.0 tracks sleep states and offers a more detailed breakdown of phases of sleep, comparing favorably to Apple -although at the time we tested, Apple's updated sleep functions hadn't launched.
It's even got SpO2 sensors and training metrics to aid blood pressure management. It's a really good (and crucially very cheap) fitness tool, if you can get your hands on one. Heartily recommended.
Read our full Huawei Band 7 review
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 a great value. Its AMOLED touchscreen is bright, vibrant and responsive. In addition to the standard activity and heart rate tracking features, it also offers stress monitoring and a pulse-ox sensor for measuring blood oxygen saturation.
The biggest downside is that it lacks onboard GPS. While it can use your phone's GPS receiver to track runs and other outdoor cardio sessions, our tests 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.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 review
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 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, providing 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 everyday 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.
Read our full Honor Band 5 review
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. Plus, you can use it to control music playback on your phone with a tap and a swipe.
While full onboard 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 high-quality touchscreen display and 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.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 review
Fitbit Charge 4 is an older Fitbit which has come down in price, making it just about eligible to be a cheap fitness tracker. It doesn't have Fitbit's new features like Daily Readiness Score, Active Zone Minutes, ECG or EDA scanners, but you'll be hard pressed to find another fitness tracker in this price range with onboard GPS.
GPS is essential for correctly monitoring your runs, rides and swims outdoors, if you don't like to take your phone with you, providing a freedom not normally seen in fitness trackers. However, there's no onboard music storage on the Charge 4, so if you like to leave your phone at home, your runs will be without a soundtrack.
It's showing its age a little, but it's still a solid tracker with a week's worth of battery life, heart rate tracking, sleep tracking and access to the excellent Fitbit app.
Read our full Fitbit Charge 4 review.
The Honor Band 5 Sport is cheap, even by affordable 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 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-around 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.
Read our full Honor Band 5 Sport review
The Bip is a competent but straightforward fitness watch 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 – that's a fact. But for its extremely budget-friendly price tag, the Amazfit Bip is a competent fitness tracker with a few nifty tricks up its sleeve - most notably the fact that 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, track your workouts with built-in GPS, and more, the Bip makes a strong case for itself. Gift-wise, it's an excellent buy for anyone in the market for a cheap and cheerful fitness device. Its simple set-up makes it a good choice for complete fitness tech beginners.
Read our full Amazfit Bip review
A superb upgrade from the Galaxy Fit and the Galaxy Fit E, the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is one of the best-looking cheap fitness trackers, with a great color touch display and non-removable silicone band. It might not outclass the Garmin Vivofit 4's one-year battery life, but Garmin's offering uses a non-rechargeable battery that you eventually have to replace.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Fit 2's rechargeable battery gives you up to 21 days of battery life with low usage (with heart rate and auto workout tracker turned off). However, it is worth noting that it gets cut down to under 15 days with features like continuous heart rate monitoring and regularly workout-tracking activated.
During our testing, daily battery drop-off was around 10% with notifications turned on, the screen at 50% brightness, and us doing a 45-minute workout. Still, that's not exactly a deal-breaking, and if you're looking for a durable option with the key features for step counts, sleep, and workouts, this one's an ace.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review
The Garmin Vivosmart 4 might not be the latest entry in the Vivosmart line, but it still holds its own against the sea of fitness trackers, especially if you're seeking something economical. During our testing, we found it an excellent everyday wear tracker thanks to its heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring capabilities and wellness features.
It's an excellent budget option for serious athletes with its swim-friendly elements, automatic rep counting ability, and specifically, Body Battery Energy monitor. This extra nifty frill uses heart rate variability (HRV), sleep quality, stress levels and activity to calculate how worn down you are – a helpful insight you can use to decide whether you should keep that workout going or call it a day.
Read our full Garmin Vivosmart 4 review
How to choose the best cheap fitness tracker
There are several things to consider when choosing a fitness tracker, but it gets trickier when you're trying to find a cheap one. That's because you're working with a smaller budget, which means you can't exactly go for the best money can buy. Luckily, quite a few affordable fitness trackers will see you through most of your health, fitness, and wellness needs.
Be sure to consider what type of activity you enjoy most. For example, if you're into cycling or running, you should get a cheap fitness tracker with a built-in GPS module. If you just want a device to log your workouts and track your sleep, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is your best bet. It doesn't have GPS, but it can monitor your energy levels with its Daily Readiness Score, and use Active Zone Minutes to tot up how much activity, both active and passive, you're doing each week.
That's necessary to track your route and speed accurately. If you're training for an arduous multi-day hike up a mountain or a marathon, you might be better off with a proper fitness watch, or a tracker with GPS like the Fitbit Charge 4. If you frequently find yourself too tired to exercise, the Vivosmart 4's Body Battery metric can monitor your recovery and tell you the best time to work out.
Make sure you have a list of stats you require, especially for everyday use, and pick the best cheap fitness tracker that offers them. You might have to sacrifice some, but not too many, since many of these trackers are feature-filled. Battery life is also something to consider, as are display, resolution, and design.
How we test the best cheap fitness trackers
Testing cheap fitness trackers mainly involves using them in our day-to-day for a week or more. That's the best and most efficient way of seeing how much data they gather, how accurate they are, how well they perform, and how comfortable they are on our wrists.
Naturally, we put them through different fitness and wellness activities, from different workouts to things like breathing exercises and sleep. That way, we can test aspects like the heart rate monitor's accuracy and responsiveness, GPS accuracy, and build or ruggedness. We'll also measure the heart rate and exercise metrics against a control smartwatch during physical exercise.