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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Fitbit Charge 3 prices deals

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2. Fitbit Charge 3

Take charge of your fitness

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: Six days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Light design
Big screen
No onboard GPS
Not a color screen

More refined than the Fitbit Charge 2, the Charge 3 has a more lightweight design that looks better on your wrist and is one of our favorite Fitbit products money can buy.

The display is bigger and clearer than a lot of other fitness trackers on this list, but it's still a black and white screen.

There's no onboard GPS, like some other trackers on this list have, but it's waterproof and offers a full fitness suite including a heart rate tracker. You can track GPS by pairing your phone with the tracker too.

You have to spend a bit extra on this than other fitness trackers you can buy in this same list, but if you enjoy the whole Fitbit app and experience you'll want to opt for this as it's one of the company's best trackers ever.

Read our Fitbit Charge 3 review

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Garmin Vivosmart 4

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3. Garmin Vivosmart 4

It tells you how much energy you do (or don’t) have

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Slim design
Long-lasting battery
Small screen
No GPS

Our highest ranked Garmin product in the best fitness tracker list is also one of the most accomplished in its range of health bands.

This isn't for serious athletes like a variety of other products from the Garmin brand, but instead this is for those who want to be able to track the odd bit of exercise and have an attractive band to do it.

The screen is bigger on this version than other Garmin products, and it has a battery that should last you around a week depending on how much exercise you'll be doing.

There's also an innovative feature called body battery that helps you learn when exactly is the best time to exercise depending on how much energy you have.

Read the full Garmin Vivosmart 4 review

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Huawei Band 2 Pro

Huawei Band 2 Pro
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4. 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? The company has now announced the Huawei Band 3 Pro, but we've yet to be able to review it properly. We hope to have one to test in the next few months.

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Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
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5. 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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6. Honor Band 3

Basic tracking on a budget

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

Swim and sleep tracking
Long battery life
Tracking is basic
No GPS

Now this is the budget pick for you if your number one concern is the cost in getting a new fitness tracker.

The Honor Band 3 looks more expensive than it is, but with an affordable price as well as sleep and swim tracking on it you'll find this a suitable option for your next fitness band.

There's no GPS and the app isn't anything to get excited about, but the low price will likely make up for that. It's worth bearing in mind there's a new tracker from Honor already on sale though...

Read our full Honor Band 3 review

What's next? The Honor Band 4 has been announced but we've yet to have time to test it out for our full 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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TomTom Spark 3

TomTom Spark 3
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TomTom Spark 3

TomTom Spark 3
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8. 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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9. 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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10. 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