Best fitness tracker 2018: the top 10 activity bands on the planet

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A fitness tracker is the perfect way to monitor your activity and health effortlessly and with unmatched accuracy. Think of it as an electronic finger on the pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, quality of sleep and step count.

Today's fitness band market is stuffed with fantastic devices, most of which can do a pretty good job at the basics of tracking. But frankly, we're only interested in the best, and you should be too.

We won't be looking at all the techiest wristwear here - check out our best smartwatch guide for that, which includes the Apple Watch 4, Ticwatch Pro and Samsung Galaxy Watch

You also won't find the Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit Versa here either, which despite the brand name are both titled smartwatches and are priced accordingly. 

This guide will show you the best of the best activity trackers money can buy and show you how each ranks in terms of stand-out features, specs, price, design, the quality of the software you'll be using on your phone and much more. 

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Moov Now

Moov Now
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1. Moov Now

Our favorite fitness tracker right now

Screen: No | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: Six months | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Great battery life
Cheap price
Limited features
No screen

The Moov Now is officially our favorite fitness band in the world right now. It's cheap, offers everything you'll want in an everyday tracker and there's a phenomenal six month long battery life.

The Moov Now isn't just designed for step tracking though - it comes with boxing and rep-based training, as well as a swimming mode on top of run coaching and sleep monitoring features. That's a lot to get stuck in with.

You won't get GPS or some of the more complex fitness tracking features that others on this list offer, but if you're looking for a great everyday tracker that doesn't cost a lot of money the Moov Now will suit you perfectly.

Read the full Moov Now review

What's next? The Moov Now was first released back in 2015, so the device is due a refresh. That said, we haven't heard any rumors of a new device coming from Moov.

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Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
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2. Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro

Samsung comes in a close second place

Screen: Yes, 1.5-inch AMOLED | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: 3 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Awesome design
Offline Spotify support
Clumsy setup processor
Expensive for fitness tracker

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro hasn't made hefty changes to the company's wearable line since the Gear Fit 2, but there are a few improvements to an already great tracker that sits it in second place.

The Gear Fit 2 Pro has a gorgeous design that looks fantastic on your wrist and as it's sporting a big, beautiful AMOLED display you'll be able to see all of your stats nice and clearly.

It also comes with GPS built-in so you can leave your phone at home while you go for a run as well as a top-notch heart rate sensor that should give you one of the most accurate readings possible from a wrist based tracker. Plus it will track your swimming too.

Read the full Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro review

What's next? We don't know exactly when we'll see the Gear Fit 3, but we expect Samsung to launch a new tracker before the end of 2018 with new fitness tech built in.

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Huawei Band 2 Pro

Huawei Band 2 Pro
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3. Huawei Band 2 Pro

A slim, capable wearable with impressive battery life

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 21 days standby | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasonable price
Accurate step counting
Clunky app
Lacks innovative design

In third place is the Huawei Band 2 Pro. a sleek little fitness tracker that manages to pack a decent amount of features into its diminutive frame, and for an impressively small amount of money. 

The Band 2 Pro has heart rate monitoring, VO2 max, GPS, step and sleep tracking and a seriously impressive battery life. The slim screen means that this tracker will work just as well with running gear as it will with a business suit, although the slim screen isn’t going to be as easy to read as some of the competition.

If you’re looking for a device that’s going to give you totally precise metrics, this isn’t it. But if you want an affordable entry-level device for your first foray into the world of fitness tracking, this is a great place to start.

Read our Huawei Band 2 Pro review

What's next? So far we haven't heard any hard and fast news of a Huawei Band 3 Pro, but if it's going to happen we may see it launch toward the end of 2018.

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TomTom Spark 3

TomTom Spark 3
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TomTom Spark 3

TomTom Spark 3
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4. TomTom Spark 3

Music, fitness tracking and on-wrist navigation

Screen: Yes, Monochrome | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: Two weeks | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Phone-free music
GPS navigation
Maze-like menu system
Mediocre sound quality

The TomTom Spark 3 is our fourth favorite fitness watch and offers a lot of great features for your wrist, including music without your phone.

You can upload music directly to the TomTom Spark 3, so you won't need to take your phone out with your Bluetooth headphones while on a run.

Plus on top of that, the Spark 3 offers up GPS tracking, a heart rate monitor and route navigation, making this the perfect wrist companion to wear while running around areas you don't really know and discovering new places.

Read the full TomTom Spark 3 review

What's next? The company behind the Spark 3 doesn't seem to be pushing ahead with new trackers right now, so we can speculate there won't be a TomTom Spark 4 anytime soon.

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Amazfit Bip

Amazfit Bip
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5. Amazfit Bip

Looks like a smartwatch, but it's more fitness tracker

Screen: Yes, black and white | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1 month | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Stylish design
Excellent companion app
Auto-pause feature doesn't work
Finicky UI

This may look more like a smartwatch than any of the other devices on this list, but as it runs its own software and has a very big focus on fitness we've decided to include it in our list of the best fitness trackers.

The Amazfit Bip design has been influenced by the Apple Watch (there's no denying that) and it comes packed with tons of features including GPS, an accurate heart rate tracker, multi-sport tracking, sleep tracking and VO2 Max features too.

If you're looking for a more watch-like design than everything else on this list, the Bip will be up your street. It's lightweight too and other highlights include the always-on display and strong battery life that should last around a month depending on your usage. 

If this all sounds good, you'd be hard pressed to go wrong with the Amazfit Bip. It's worth noting the fitness tracker isn't available in all markets at the moment though and you may struggle to find the Bip where you live.

Read the full Amazfit Bip review

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Garmin Vivofit 4

Garmin Vivofit 4
(Image: © Garmin)
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6. Garmin Vivofit 4

The latest entry from Garmin - and its cheapest

Screen: Yes, color LCD | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 1 year | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Super-long battery life
Small but color display
No GPS or heart rate
No phone notifications

The Garmin Vivofit 4 is one of the best fitness trackers the company has ever created, and that now means it sits in this prestigious list alongside some other fantastic tracking products.

We particularly like the super-long battery life of the Vivofit 4, which means you won't need to recharge your device for a whole year. That means you can wear it all day, then all night for sleep tracking and not have to worry about recharging it.

You'll miss out on phone notifications by buying this tracker, but you do get the benefit of an always-on color display, accurate fitness tracking features - just note these are more limited than some other trackers on this list - as well as access to an in-depth app to break down your stats on your smartphone.

Read the full Garmin Vivofit 4 review

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Garmin Vivosport

Garmin Vivosport
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7. Garmin Vivosport

The sportier Garmin

Screen: Yes, color touchscreen | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Small for GPS tracker
Good battery life
Bland design
No swim modes

It's not as stylish as most of the Fitbit products, but there's a reason the Garmin Vivosport appears in this list before products from the latter company. 

This is cheaper than most Fitbit products and it comes with GPS built-in too. We found the Vivosport offers a solid seven days battery life from a single charge, even when using the GPS features.

Although it's waterproof, it wont' track your swimming easily but the Vivosport excels for other kinds of workouts and is great for tracking your jogging and cycling. Plus we found the heart rate tracker to be accurate too.

Read our full Garmin Vivosport review

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Polar M430

Polar M430
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8. Polar M430

A running watch with all-round fitness skills

Screen: Yes, Monochrome | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 20 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Good battery life
Reliable and accurate
Not the best looking
Annoying charging lead

The Polar M430 has a lot of things going for it, including GPS, a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking skills, along with good battery life. For the most part it’s also reliable and accurate, which is something not all fitness trackers can claim.

The M430 is designed primarily for runners, and can monitor the likes of your pace, distance, speed and cadence, but with all of the above, plus daily general activity tracking, it’s a strong choice for tracking most kinds of exercise and activity.

Given all the tech packed in, the Polar M430 also has a reasonable price tag. It’s not the best-looking fitness tracker, but it’s comfortable and functional.

Read the full Polar M430 review

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Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit Charge 2
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9. Fitbit Charge 2

The best Fitbit tracker money can buy

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: 4 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Big screen
Comfortable strap
Limited phone notifications
No GPS

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the best Fitbit tracker you can buy right now. It's more expensive than some of the other options from Fitbit, but if you're looking to go jogging this is a great choice that won't cost you as much as a traditional running watch.

It connects with the GPS on your phone, has a large screen to display your data, a heart rate tracker and new fitness features we've only previously seen on the Fitbit Blaze.

It may not be the cheapest device on the list, but this is the best Fitbit tracker money can buy.

Read the full Fitbit Charge 2 review

What's next? The Fitbit Charge 3 is now official and up for pre-order. It's set to land on your wrist at some stage in October 2018. You may want to wait before picking up a Fitbit Charge 2 to see what we think of the new tracker in our upcoming full review.

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Xiaomi Mi Band 3

Xiaomi Mi Band 3
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10. Xiaomi Mi Band 3

By far the cheapest tracker here

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: Around a month | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Very cheap
Slimline design
Poor screen visibility in direct sunlight
No integrated GPS

One of the most affordable trackers you can buy at the moment is the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 , and it'll still offer a lot of the top-end fitness tech you'll be looking for from a wrist-based band.

There's a heart-rate monitor, step counting, sleep tracking and more on this tracker, but it doesn't come with GPS so you won't be able to keep an eye on your location when working out without your phone.

It has a slimline design and feels light on your wrist, plus there's a larger display than there was on the Mi Band 2, so you'll be able to easily see your stats when on the move.

Battery life is impressive on the Mi Band 3 as it lasts up to a month from a single charge. If price is your main concern when looking for a fitness tracker, the Mi Band 3 may be perfectly placed for you.

Read the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 review