The best cheap fitness trackers prove that you don't need to spend a lot of money to get a lot of mileage out of a smart fitness device. Even on a tight budget, you can still track steps, monitor your sleep, register activities like running, cycling, swimming and other sports, and more.
A cheap fitness wearable might not have as many health and fitness tools as the best smartwatches and best running watches (e.g. onboard GPS chip and a bigger screen), but today's budget activity bands offer a lot more than a simple wrist-mounted calorie counter.
They come with advanced fitness tools that can also be seen on premium models in their respective ranges, while still managing to keep the price down. These might include all-day heart rate monitoring, dedicated workout profiles, sleep tracking, and even built-in GPS.
We regularly test and review the budget-friendly activity trackers, which makes this an authoritative list of the best cheap fitness trackers for you. 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. Because of the low prices here, not all trackers will have all features: the onus is on you to pick and choose the tracker with the features you'll use most.
The best cheap fitness trackers 2022
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 more modest price tags, the Inspire 2 offers the most bang for your buck. Not surprisingly, it's also one of the best Fitbits overall.
The Inspire 2 measures steps and heart rate throughout the day, and 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.
The Fitbit Inspire 2 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.
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.
Read our full Fitbit Inspire 2 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
The Huawei Band 6 sets it apart from the sea of cheap fitness trackers by offering a 1.47-inch AMOLED display offering 194 x 368 resolution. That larger screen is definitely appreciated, but we've also found it during our tests to deliver vibrant picture quality and very responsive touch capabilities – a real upgrade considering that many of its rivals, like the Honor Band 5, are notorious for having an unresponsive screen.
Despite that big display, the Band 6 is lightweight and slim on the wrist, a boon to folks with a smaller frame and those who hate having anything on their wrists. Huawei gave it a 14-day battery life rating, but our testing yielded around 9 to 10 days of longevity, which is still fairly impressive. That's especially considering its suite of fitness and health tracking features, as well as its wide array of workouts.
Read our full Huawei Band 6 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
The key addition to 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, while there’s also automatic activity detection thanks to the Move IQ system.
Thanks to the Garmin Connect app, you can customize the display while setting timers and alarms directly from the wrist. Best of all, the Vivofit 4 is 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 expected at this price.
Read our full Garmin Vivofit 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. 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, something that can monitor your body's energy level.
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.