The wearables space which started out as in form of pedometers for step counting has evolved into activity trackers which are powerful when it comes to keeping track of your activities and fitness.
Right now, there's a huge development happening in the activity tracker space with more and more advancements like sleep analysis, heart rate monitoring and even blood pressure monitoring.
These latest generation activity trackers can help one track steps, calories, distance travelled and monitor heart rate and sleep. However, what they all have in common is they can help anyone go from unhealthy to fit. Plus, now, they have an affordable price tag too. We filtered out the fitness bands that can get the job done, without hurting your pocket.
- Not worried about the price? Check out our best fitness trackers list
1. Moov Now
A tracker tuned to you
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: LED | Thickness: TBC | Battery: 6 months | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Swim-proof | Connectivity: Bluetooth
The Moov Now wearable is one of the best movement trackers out there thanks to its 9-axis accelerometer - the same one used in missile navigation systems. As a result it can not only track your daily steps, calories and the like, but also other movements. That means guided, personalised training feedback.
The Moov Now can measure running impact, gym repetitions and swimming strokes, so you can work out with a virtual personal trainer that knows exactly how well you’re doing and can tell you how to improve. It’s also waterproof and lasts a good six months before the watch battery needs swapping out.
Read the Moov Now review
2. Huawei Band 2 Pro
A slim, capable wearable with impressive battery life
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: OLED | Thickness: TBC | Battery: 21 days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Swim-proof | Connectivity: Bluetooth
The Huawei Band 2 Pro is our second favorite cheap fitness tracker in the world as it offers a lot of decent features for relatively little money.
Fitness band features include your standard step and sleep tracking but it also comes with a heart rate monitor, VO2 Max sensor, GPS for when you're out running and it offers some good battery life too.
There's a very slim screen on the Band 2 Pro unlike the Moov Now above, but interacting with it is a little difficult and while it does show some notifications it's not always easy to read them. As an affordable fitness tracker though, there's a lot to love about the Band 2 Pro.
Read the Huawei Band 2 Pro review
3. Garmin Vivofit 4
A year of life and a handy app
Compatibility: : iOS and Android | Display: Transflective 8-colour MIP | Thickness: 9.4mm | Battery: 1-year | Charging method: 2 x SR43 user-replaceable | IP rating: Swim-proof | Connectivity: Bluetooth
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.
Read the Garmin Vivofit 4 review
4. Xiaomi Mi Band 3
There's a lot to love here, especially the price
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: OLED | Thickness: 10.5mm | Battery: 20+ days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Waterproof | Connectivity: Bluetooth
Want the cheapest fitness tracker on this list? It's here and it's called the Mi Band 3, and it's not a completely useless device. In fact, the Mi Band 3 can do a lot considering how much it costs.
It comes with a battery life that should last around a whole month depending on how much you'll be using it, and there is tons of fitness tech built-in. There's no GPS, but it comes with a heart rate monitor and tracking tech for your daily step and workouts too.
It's not the most attractive fitness tracker you can buy, but it has a slimline design and it's light so you won't really notice you've got this on your wrist. The screen can show you stats for your workouts, and it's much bigger than the one on the Mi Band 2.
If budget is your main concern in your search for a fitness tracker, it's hard to go wrong with the Mi Band 3 from Xiaomi.
Read the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 review
5. Jawbone UP3
A genuinely stylish option
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: LED | Thickness: 12.2mm | Battery: 7 days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Splash resistant | Connectivity: Bluetooth
The Jawbone UP3 looks good, like really good. And there are plenty of colors and styles to pick from for your ideal model. Each features motion-sensing smarts to track steps, calories burned and various exercises automatically. But it’s the sleep tracking that Jawbone excels at.
The UP3 will track light, deep and REM sleep variations after automatically kicking into sleep mode as you nod off. It also tracks resting heart rate, which can help to give a more accurate picture of health as it changes.
What’s really useful is actual feedback in the app, with links to relevant scientific articles that could help offer ways to improve your sleep. Since it lasts for seven days on a charge and you rarely need to take it off.
Read the Jawbone UP3 review
6. Lenovo HX03F Spectra
Huawei’s fitness tracker screams 'me, too!' in a crowded room
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: TFT-LCD | Thickness: - | Battery: 10 Days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Water resistant | Connectivity: Bluetooth
The Lenovo HX03F Spectra is very affordable for the build quality and features it offers. The 0.96-inch display is bright, and can be easily viewed under direct sunlight. Also, the touch response is quite fast.
It has all the necessary sensors, including an optical heart rate sensor, which is rare at this price range. On top it offers features like Multi-Master Interface switching, anti-sleep mode and some innovative reminder types.
It supports both iOS and Android, where it takes minimal time and effort to pair and sync.
7. Fitbit Flex 2
A simple option that works well
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: LED | Thickness: 6.8mm | Battery: 5 days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Swim-proof | Connectivity: Bluetooth
There’s a reason Fitbit was one of the first breakthrough activity tracker makers and is still going strong today - it works. And in the case of the Fitbit Flex 2 it works well, has a lot of features for a low price.
The Flex 2 will do all the usual step, distance and calorie burn tracking using its motion sensor smarts, but it goes further. You can also track sleep and even do exercises that the band will automatically detect and track. Everything syncs wirelessly to the smartphone app and offers clear feedback to help you make health progress.
The Flex 2 is also swim-proof, comes in different styles and uses LED lights and vibrations to notify you about calls and texts from a connected smartphone. All that and it should last five days before needing a charge.
Read the Fitbit Flex 2 review
8. TomTom Touch
A basic tracker with some advanced features
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: Black and white | Thickness: 11.5mm | Battery: 5 days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: IPX7 splashproof | Connectivity: Bluetooth
Perhaps one of the more innovative devices on this list, the TomTom Touch is a fitness tracker with a built-in body fat scanner that should be able to give you a clearer picture of your fitness than most other trackers.
Press the button on the top and it will do a scan of your body fat to work out the ratio of flabby bits compared to what you should have.
It also comes with all the other tracking tech you'd expect, including a heart rate monitor and step counter to make sure you're doing your best to keep fit and healthy.
Read the full TomTom Touch review
9. Misfit Ray
Style and substance all in one
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: LED | Thickness: 12mm | Battery: 6 months | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Swim-proof to 50m | Connectivity: Bluetooth
The Misfit Ray is an affordable yet very attractive activity tracker that should appeal to anyone wanting to make sure their wearable enhances their look.
There are plenty of muted color options to pick from and each features the same anodised aluminum central device with LED lights. There’s also a smart button that can be set to control aspects of your smart home, for example.
The swim-proof wearable uses replaceable batteries for a charge-free six months of constant use. That includes step and sleep tracking plus vibration alerts for calls, messages, reminders and alarms.
Read the Misfit Ray review
10. Misfit Flash
One of the least flashy fitness trackers you can get
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: No screen | Thickness: TBC | Battery: 6 months | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Swim-proof to 50m | Connectivity: Bluetooth
If price is your main focus, you may want to opt for the Misfit Flash. You can get this tracker for so little money now we were surprised while writing this guide.
We originally gave the Misfit Flash a three star review, which isn't very good, but since the price has dropped we think this tracker is a lot better value now and worth picking up if you're looking for something very simple to track your steps.
It won't be able to do a lot of what the other trackers on this list can do though, so if you want much more than a glorified pedometer you should look elsewhere.
Read our Misfit Flash review
- Not on a budget? Check out the best fitness trackers money can buy