Activity trackers, which started out as humble pedometers for step counting, have evolved into powerful wrist-worn training partners.
Now even those more advanced trackers that offer sleep analysis and heart rate monitoring can be bought for under $100/£100, and we’ve curated a list of the best among them.
Track steps, calories burned, heart rate, distance travelled and sleep with this latest generation of activity trackers. What they all have in common is they can help anyone go from unhealthy to fit and have an affordable price tag too.
- Not worried about the price? Check out our best fitness trackers list
- Looking for something even stronger? Here's our best running watch ranking
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, personalized 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. Buy this if you're looking for an affordable yet impressive fitness tracker that doesn't constantly try to distract you from your fitness.
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-long battery with a screen
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 Xiaomi 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. 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 with lots 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
6. Honor Band 3
Basic tracking on a budget
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: OLED | Thickness: 10.5mm | Battery: 30 days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Waterproof | Connectivity: Bluetooth
Another super affordable wristband we recommend is the Honor Band 3. The highlights include accurate sleep and swim tracking as well as an impressive wrist based heart rate tracker too.
It doesn't do much to stand out from the rest of the crowd and there's no GPS on board, but the Honor Band 3 does have great battery life to make up for it.
You may struggle to find places to buy the Honor Band 3, but if you can find it for an affordable price it may be a great option as your next fitness tracker.
Read our Honor Band 3 review
7. TomTom Touch Cardio
One of the more affordable HR fitness trackers
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: Black and white, OLED | Thickness: 11.5mm | Battery: Up to 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 Cardio 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 Cardio review
8. 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 anodized 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
9. Huawei Fit
Huawei’s fitness tracker screams 'me, too!' in a crowded room
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: E-ink | Thickness: 11.2mm | Battery: 6 months | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Water resistant | Connectivity: Bluetooth
The Huawei Fit is a simple device and one of the easiest to use on this list, but if you're looking for a traditional step tracker without too many features packed in you'll likely appreciate this option from Huawei.
It looks attractive on your wrist and also comes with a heart rate tracker, as well as a waterproof design so you can wear this in the shower.
Sadly it's only available in some markets and isn't on sale in the UK at the moment, but we'll be sure to update this guide if Huawei decides to release it around the world.
Read the full Huawei Fit review
10. Misfit Shine 2
Something quite different
Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: None | Thickness: 8mm | Battery: 6 months | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Water resistant | Connectivity: Bluetooth
Another odd one to round out our list of the best cheap fitness trackers, the Misfit Shine 2 doesn't feature a display and puts its design ahead of the health tracking features on offer.
It's a good looking device that's light and small, but it'll be able to track your steps, sleep and more, as well as offering limited notifications through to your wrist. It even has a smart button that you can use to control smart home devices.
This doesn't provide the most in-depth data of all the fitness trackers on this list, but it does offer one of the best designs if you want something slim and fashionable.
Read the full Misfit Shine 2 review
- Not on a budget? Check out the best fitness trackers money can buy