Best Fitness Tracker 2018 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews!
If you're into fitness then you definitely need a best fitness tracker in 2018!
Fitness Trackers are one of the hot wearable gadgets in the market. It's not only a fashion statement, but it's one of the few gadgets that you need if you're conscious about your health and want a healthy lifestyle.
Fitness trackers evolved incredibly fast in past few year, and they are no more just praised pedometers; they do a lot more than that.
In this article, we will not cover the techiest wristwear (smartwatch) as our team's head Erick has already covered it. Make sure to read this guide if you're confused between a fitness tracker or a smartwatch.
Need More Than Just a Tracker? then check our popular article: Best smartwatch 2018
Our team put these best fitness tracker 2018 models to the test and came up with shocking results that you might not find anywhere. We have the best fitness tracker for you that will meet your budget. Below, is the contents of table which will give you an excerpt of the article.
Best Fitness Tracker 2018
1. Moov Now
Screen: No | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Waterproof: Yes | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: No | GPS: Yes, using phone | Battery life: Six months
Moov Now is astounding fitness tracker for people who are tight on budget. Moov Now is a tracker that will coach you like a personal assistant, Moov now doesn't only offers step tracking, but it also has rep and boxing based training.
It doesn't have a screen. It comes with two straps, large and small, which are very elastic. So, if you don't have a big wrist, then you don't have to worry about the strap size. Once you wear this activity tracker band; it will not fall off your wrist whatsoever.
The Moov has a personal inbuilt coach for you that will coach you during training. Moov Now has Running, Cycling, Cardio boxing, Body weight training (Moov 7 Minute+) and the most advanced swim trackers inbuilt. The sensors are pretty strong when it comes to boxing; it shows the GForce produced during boxing.
To use the Moov, you've to install the Moov Now app on your smartphone. The app has all different workout activity segments from running, walking, cycling, sleeping, calories tracking to swimming step counter tracking.
This fitness tracker is waterproof which allows you to keep track of your swimming activity. Since it has no screen, therefore, you can only check your activity after getting out of swimming pool so it might be a little disappointing if you're a regular swimmer.
For the price, it is definitely the best activity tracker around 60$. It might not be the most technically impressive fitness tracker, but it gets the job done and good for people who don't want to break their bank on a fitness tracker.
This is the best budget friendly fitness tracker for keeping record of normal activities like steps taken. It's a good choice for people who are beginners and want to get familiar with fitness bands like how they work or if they actually worth it.
- Moov Uses a coin-cell watch battery which lasts around 6 months.
- Moov is a ridiculously cheap activity tracker on the market.
- The interface of the app is very smooth, clean and easy to understand.
- The audio of the tracker is very mechanical. It sounds too robotic that you might get annoyed.
- The workouts in the app get repetitive and boring.
- Moov has no screen which is a turn off if you've already used a fitness tracker with a screen.
2. Samsung Gear Fit 2
Screen: Yes, 1.5 inches curved full-color Super AMOLED display | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Waterproof: Yes | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | GPS: Yes, Through Phone| Battery life: 3 Days
Samsung never fails to impress us and their Fear Fit 2 is no exception. Samsung Gear Fit 2 comes with 1.5 inches AMOLED display; and three size variants - Large, Medium, and Small. If you want a wrist gadget that can act both as smartwatch and fitness tracker, then Samsung Gear Fit 2 can be your best bet.
It has a minimal design and comes with ab ergonomic strap. The strap uses the button fastening system which is something new when compared to other activity trackers on the market. The strap feels very comfortable and makes an excellent traction with the wrist throughout the day.
Grear Fit 2 doesn't have inbuilt GPS which is a big turn off for health enthusiasts and it might not even worth your look if you've been working out with fitness trackers having inbuilt GPS. Remember, it has a connected GPS feature.
The Gear Fit2 uses a broad range of tracking sensors to monitor your activity levels including steps taken, heart rate, calories burned and sleep quality. It also automatically recognizes the different varieties of physical activities such as cycling, running, working out on the elliptical, and more.
Gear Fit2 is water resistant, IP68 rating, in up to 5 feet for 30 minutes. It can withstand severe exercise conditions, so it stays running no matter how sweaty, or drizzly your workout gets.
You can connect it to the iOS and Android using Bluetooth. The trackers work fine from counting calories to steps counter and sleeping hours. However, in our opinion, the heart rate monitor is still not very reliable, at least compare to its competitors and heart straps.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 would have been our #1 pick if the battery time would have been at least 5 days. It doesn't stand next to its competitor Fitbit Charge 2 when it comes to battery life. If Samsung works on this part then their sale would get double overnight.
- The build quality of Samsung Gear Fit 2 is impressive.
- The trackers work fine when it comes to step counter, calories burned, and sleeping pattern.
- Vibrant display and sleek design at a very reasonable price.
- It doesn't have alarm vibrator which is a big no for a lot of people.
- The heart rate monitor is inaccurate; you can't rely on it during cardio related exercises.
- It has no GPS of its on; it only guesses based on steps taken.
3. Fitbit Charge 2
Screen: Yes | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows | Waterproof: No | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | GPS: Yes, Through Phone| Battery life: 5 Days
Fitbit is well-known for making best fitness trackers in the industry. If you already have one of the fitness trackers from them, then there's a good chance it's either Fitbit charge or Fitbit Charge HR - but now Fitbit has come with a new and impressive model which takes it to a new level.
Unlike its real competitor, Garmin Vivo HR+, it's better in design. Talking about its design, it has got a bigger and better display to its predecessors Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR which is a real plus for its value and price.
This improved Fitbit fitness band is very convenient to look at the notifications, and with the recent update, you get notifications from popular messengers like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger; not just regular sim card SMSs and Calls.
As compared to Charge HR it's bit bulky, but it doesn't make it a deal breaker since it justifies the added size because of the big screen. The one minor issue we faced is "display responsiveness" It's surely not the most responsive touch screen. However, it gets the job done without pulling out hair from your head.
The sensors have been improved; now it can track everything from steps taken to sleep time accurately. You can monitor everything in real time either you're working out in the gym or doing activities like running and cycling. However, its not waterproof so its a NO for regular swimmers.
The interface is straightforward and easy to use. The Charge 2 also provides a beneficial Cardio Fitness score which is based on VO2 maximum.
Yes, it doesn't have inbuilt GPS which might be a deal breaker, but it comes with accelerometer-based tracker which we find, in our testing, very accurate. It surprised us with its accuracy when we compared the actual results when it was connected with GPS of mobile.
- It has a better and bigger screen when compared its predecessors.
- It has 5 days battery life which is a good standard for any fitness band.
- The heart rate pulse and other fitness tracking sensors are very reliable.
- It doesn't have a GPS on its own; however, its accelerometer is very accurate.
- The big screen comes with big size; we always found (reviewer) ourselves on the last hole.
- The touch display has got better, but still, it's not very smooth and responsive.
4. Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Screen: Yes. Monochrome | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Waterproof: Water-Resistant | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 6 Days
Our list of best fitness tracker 2018 would not complete without Garmin Vivosmart HR+. It's very popular because it's a serious fitness band built for the serious fitness enthusiasts. If you're a serious athlete, then we would recommend you Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Garmin HR+ is more on the expensive side because it packs everything for an advanced fitness enthusiast. The sensors used for Garmin HR+ are very accurate as compared to any other fitness tracker we mentioned above.
With the battery life of 6 days, inbuilt GPS (you don't necessarily have to connect your smartphone), and heart rate monitor we don't find a reason that why would you left it on a table if you're a fitness freak and have a budget.
Garmin HR+ apparently doesn't have the best aesthetics, but it doesn't stop it to make it to the list. Garmin HR+'s display is very smooth unlike Fitbit Charge 2 and provides a full suite of notifications which includes email, call, text, social media alerts and more — all from your wrist.
It is water-resistant to 50m which means that you don't have to take it off before swimming and you can track everything while you're swimming. You'll find it more it convenient feature when you don't necessarily have to take it off before shower.
It has the always-on touchscreen; even if you're in the sunlight, it will show you the stats. Always-on screen is best for swimmers as well. The inbuilt-GPS, heart rate tracker, 6 days batter life, sleek and comfortable straps make it a professional fitness band for any fitness enthusiast to take the fitness to the next level.
- With the amazing 6 days battery life, it has domination over its competitors.
- The heart-rate tracker is very accurate when compared to other fitness bands.
- Excellent fitness tracking with in-built GPS; inbuilt GPSs are the most accurate even when compared to smartphones.
- It is certainly not the best looking fitness band in the industry.
- The app isn't very spontaneous which is a setback for such price-point.
- The central unit of tracker is little chunk, with the thickness of 192 mm.
5. Fitbit Surge
Screen: Yes | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows | Waterproof: No| Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 3 Days
Fitbit Surge is fitness band with a traditional look. The best part about Fitbit Surge is that it can be used both as a smartwatch and as a fitness band. It is and looks like a very sophisticated piece of machinery for a wristband.
Fitbit Surge is not the most popular wristband on the market because it doesn't justify its quality for its price. We are listing it because it can do everything and you can still wear in your office to use it as a smartwatch.
You can track your activities like steps taken, sleeping time, calories burned and heart rate record (using the in-built optical heart-rate monitor) very accurately. Unlike the Fitbit Flex, it's more durable; therefore, small parts don't get detached.
The surge has inbuilt GPS which is reliable and accurate; can be used for activities like hiking, trekking, and long-distance running without any issues. However, it consumes the battery power like crazy, more of that later.
Must Read: Best Hiking Apps For Outdoor Junkies
The surge has everything, but the main reason behind its poor hype is that for the price point it just doesn't justify itself. It's not waterproof, so you have to take it off before swimming and it has below average battery life. For this price point, we expect it to be at least water resistant and have a good battery life.
It's one of the most feature-packed fitness bands out there; you can keep track of heart rate, workout stats and everything at the real time. The display of the Surge is very impressive, its has more room and responds very quickly, unlike most cheap fitness bands.
- The surge has continuous heart rate monitoring and built-in GPS.
- The surge can be used as a smartwatch which will save you a couple of bucks if you're planning to buy a watch.
- It tracks distinct activities like hiking, yoga, and weight-lifting workouts.
- The price doesn't justify the product at any cost. Would have been better if it was around 200$.
- The battery life is very average. It lasts long for like 3 days with minimal usage of GPS.
- Sync problem has been reported by people when it gets used incisively.
6. Garmin Vivofit 2
Screen: Yes, Backlit Display | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows | Waterproof: Water Resistant | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1 year
Garmin Vivofit 2 is a trendy fitness tracking band that comes at a cheap price. Garmin Vivofit 2 replaced the original vivofit. It comes in two versions, one with heart rate monitor and another one without heart rate monitor. Obviously, there is a price difference between both, but it gives flexibility to the customers to get themselves the one they want.
Talking about alerts, Vivofit 2 provides audible alerts, i.e., if you don't move or become inactive then it gives a chirp. First, it gives chirp after 15 minutes of inactivity and the second chirp is makes when all the bars become full due to inactivity (one hour of inactivity). This feature makes you active and forces to walk or do some stuff.
Garmin Vivofit had two significant changes from the original version - Backlit Display and Audible alerts. The new backlit display is an always-on display which makes it stand out because in the original version consumers had issues watching content on the screen.
The Vivofit 2 now has an activity timer on the device. You just press and hold the button for a second, and the timer starts. When you’re done, you press the button and the timer stops.
Vivofit 2 doesn't have GPS which might not surprise you since it's not expensive. However, the Vivofit 2 is water resistant to 50 meters of water level, so you don't have to take it off before shower, swimming, and washing dishes.
It automatically syncs to the app and keeps track of steps, calories, distance and time of day on backlit display; monitors sleep. You can personalize your daily goals using this band which is impressive for its price.
It has a coin based removable battery which lasts around for a year without having to recharge it. After that, you can get a new one replaced. The battery time is really impressive at this price point.
- No charging is required since it's a user-replaceable coin battery; battery life is around one year.
- Audible alerts which remind you to stay active throughout the day by sounding an alert after one hour of inactivity.
- It has a backlit display which remains alive without going to sleep mode so that you can even use it in sunlight and in the darkness.
- There is no vibrator alert which is annoying to many fitness enthusiasts who wanna wake up early.
- After an hour of inactivity, it doesn't warn you to move or become active.
- There is no smart coaching insights or detailed guides in the Garmin Mobile app.
7. Fitbit Alta HR
Screen: Yes| Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows | Waterproof: No, Swat and Splash Proof | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | GPS: Connected GPS | Battery life: A week
Fitbit Alta HR is probably one of the most popular fitness trackers around. The Altra HR is not very different from the original version regarding design except it has got stainless steel around it. On display you've step counter, heart rate, estimated distant, estimated calories, and active minutes. Despite being a small screen, it still manages to show the contact number on the screen.
Technology wise, it has improved, and now it comes with optical heart rate sensor on the back with Fitbit peer pulse technology. Fitbit Alta HR uses Fitbit's proprietary charging cable that you can bring with you anywhere while traveling.
The original Alta claimed five days battery life, despite the new Alta HR having All-day heart rate tracking is claimed to have seven days battery life. And, to our surprise, it actually lasted for an exact week until the product officially died.
Now talking about the screen, double tap is required to turn on display, or you can use gestures for it. As soon as you rotate your wrist, the screen turns on. Like the majority of the trackers, it's challenging to see the data on the screen when you're outdoor.
It doesn't have GPS which didn't surprise us because we don't expect GPS on such a small tracker. Talking about accuracy, sleep tracker is not very reliable and accurate, but it's better than its competitors and other trackers like steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled seemed close to being accurate.
It has heart rate monitor which does the job nicely. We were able to see the difference while running and workout, but you do have to tap have to tap the screen to check it. The accuracy is quite good when compared to the famous polar tracker and underarm chest straps if not 100% accurate.
People choice's award definitely goes to the Fitbit Alta HR because everyone was getting made at us for not having it included in out the list, so we tested it out and it actually managed to make it to the list.
- The heart rate tracker was very close to the underarm chest strap.
- Fitbit Alta HR has vibrator alarm which does the job nicely, in our opinion.
- The battery life of Fitbit Alta HR is just incredible; it sets itself as an example of modern-day fitness bands.
- There is no option to tell Ultra HR that you're working out which sucks BIG TIME!
- It's not waterproof which is understandable for its size but for its price it doesn't justify it.
- The features it bring to the table are not worth the price which also limits the band to beginners only.
8. Misfit Shine
Screen: No, White LED | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows | Waterproof: Swimproof | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: No | GPS: No | Battery life: 4 Months
Misfit Shine is fashionable fitness tracker band for people on a small budget. During its launch, it was around 120$, and now it costs less than 40$ which is crazy cheap when compared to its previous price. If you want a fitness tracker under 50$ then Misfit Shine is the best band.
The Misfit doesn't have a display, but it does have white LEDs which glow up in different-different patterns to let you know about time, daily goals, and personalized goal activation. Though these LEDs are useful, but it fails to perform in a light environment, you can barely see any LED glowing up.
Now Misfit Shine supports Android OS as well which wasn't the case when they launched it. A lot of things have been improved, and tracking system is one of them. It doesn't only just count steps, but it also counts cycling, soccer, tennis, basketball, swimming and more in addition to steps, calories, and distance.
Misfit Shine is waterproof to 50 meters which is unbelievable for such a cheap priced fitness tracker. You can wear it for your next scuba dive or pool party. You can reach your goal by taking that new lap around the pool to check where your activity level stands.
Misfit does have a sleep tracker which Tracks total hours slept by splitting the data down into the deep and light sleep to gain insight into one of an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. You can set sleep goals and alarms to help you get a good night’s rest.
The build quality is impressive. The entire shell is made of aircraft grade aluminum, and it feels magnificent when you hold it or wear it - in contrary to wearing any other plastic bands which don't feel nice at all.
It comes with a replaceable battery which lasts for around 4 months, so you don't have to charge it often. Overall, it's a beginner fitness band for people who want to keep themselves active anyhow and keep a record of it; it's certainly not for intermediate or professional athletes.
If looking for more options under 50$, then check out this article on imore written by Luke Filipowicz.
- Built quality is outstanding; the band is very flexible and reliable to make a secure grip.
- Misfit Shine is waterproof to 50 meters; you don't have to take it off every other second.
- It automatically tracks your sleep and also has alarm feature to wake you up early.
- Lack of Integration with other popular apps like Runkeeper or MyFitnessPal
- Lack of smoothness. Since there is no button, therefore it takes the time to get used to the double tapping.
- It's not the most accurate tracker since it has no GPS, not even connected GPS
9. Fitbit Blaze
Screen: Yes | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows | Waterproof: No | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | GPS: Yes, Connected GPS | Battery life: 5 Days
if you need a tracker that looks like a smartwatch, then Fitbit Blaze is the best option, as of now. Fitbit Blaze is available in six colors and three sizes - small, medium, and large. Price differentiates according to the size and color you choose. Fitbit Blaze is also featured as best fitness smartwatch by us.
Fitbit has a small display, square shaped, which is bright and does a pretty good job of tracking the day to day activities without any problem. However, we don't like the thick bezels around the screen, not only it is waste of space but it also looks horrible especially with highlighted Fitbit logo on it.
The other problem we have with Fitbit blaze is responsiveness of the display. For some reasons, we had a bad experience with the responsiveness of display. Sometimes we had to tap thrice so that we could see the information. On the contrary, the display responds nicely to the gestures.
For tracking purposes, it doesn't fall any short. You can track activities like running, cardio, cross-training, biking and more. It effortlessly and automatically records workouts to your dashboard with SmartTrack. The FitStar workout app on your wrist gives step-by-step instructions and graphics to ensure you complete each move correctly.
It has heart rate monitor sensor; it works continuously until the battery officially dies. Like we said earlier, these heart rate monitor sensors are not very reliable as compared to underarm chest straps but quality sensors always able to keep it near to being accurate.
Fitbit blaze has its own OS installed on it, therefore, you get limited but this it has all the essential features you would look for in a fitness watch. You can check notifications on your watch that includes call, text, and calendar alerts.
The sleep tracker is available, and it automatically kicks in at night time to keep track of your sleeping activity. It automatically starts tracking how long you sleep every night and records your restlessness on a minute-by-minute timeline. The alarm option works nicely; it was able to wake us every morning.
- The Battery life is about 5 days with regular usage of GPS and other fitness tracking apps.
- For the price point, Fitbit blaze gives the competition any other fitness tracker on the market.
- The heart rate monitor is reliable unlike other cheap heart rate monitors in the fitness bands.
- Fitbit Blaze is ugly; as simple as that. The vessels around the screen are very annoying.
- Fitbit Blaze is not even water resistant which is a deal breaker for its price.
- The display is unresponsive; you can't see the notifications from popular apps like FB Messenger and Whatsapp.
10. Garmin Vivosmart 3
Screen: Yes, Backlit Display | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Waterproof: Water Resistant | Activity Tracking: Yes | Heart rate tracker: No | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1 year
Last but no the least, Garmin Vivosmart 3 makes it to the list. We were debating if we should or shouldn't list it since it might confuse people who are very new to fitness trackers. But, Vivosmart2 and Vivosmart3 have significant differences, so it worth the mention regardless.
Vivosmart 3 is a better version of vivo2 as in technology, and for a good change, the design is also changed. Basically, Vivosmart2 have a big screen as compared to the Vivosmart3. The Vivosmart 3 restricts you to see one function at a time, however, despite being small in size, the Vivosmart 2 shows you two features at a single glance - time and step counter.
Talking about battery, similar to Vivosmart 2, the Vivosmart 3 also uses removable CR1632 coin battery to power the wearables. The difference is, Vivosmart 2 uses 2 batteries to power up the tracker for a year whereas Vivosmart 3 uses a single battery for the same time span, i.e., 1 year. It doesn't make much difference but ends up saving some bucks.
Vivosmart 2 had no intensity minutes feature which is a setback for professional athletes. Vivosmart 2 and Vivosmart HR+ app shows intensity minutes distinctly. In case you don't know, intensity minutes splits out the difficult movements from the basic movements like walking and standing around to motivate users into being more active.
Vivosmart 3 has heart rate monitor which tracks the heart rate throughout the day. You would be able to see the difference in your heart rate during working vs. normal activities like walking. The App shows you your beats for the last hour, including the highest and lowest points.
Vivosmart 3 is definitely a better version overall from build quality and from a perspective of an athlete. Vivosmart 3 doesn't have GPS which sets it back for serious runners. But, overall, it will beat Vivosmart 3 any day.
If you want to know about the similarities and differences between Vivosmart2 and Vivosmart3 in brief then read this article on shufflerun.
- Vivosmart 3 comes with the bonus of stress tracking which makes it stand out.
- Vivosmart 3 has optical heart rate sensor which works better when compared to its competitors.
- Vivosmart 3 let you look at two features at a single glance which makes it more convenient when you use tracker regularly.
- It still doesn't have GPS which is probably the only reason HR+ has the edge over it.
- There was no need of reducing the screen size which is the biggest disappointment for us.
- You still can't see phone notification on Vivosmart3, but you still do get an always-on display.
Fitness Tracker Buyer's Guide
Though we have included the top-rate fitness bands but end of the day it all comes down the personal preference and one's lifestyle. A professional athlete would look for all possible features, but a businessman or a person who don't do much of an activity , running and body training, can settle down with a simple step counter feature.
If you're still confused then keep on reading this guide because it will help you to make up your mind. This is the only buying guide you'll need to read to make up your find. We have recommended the best tracker that will match your lifestyle and help you to achieve your fitness goals.
Do Fitness Trackers Worth Your Money?
The answer is "YES, " but the exception is always there. Fitness trackers will not make you fit sitting all day. You've to get up and put in all the work. It's just a tracker that will keep a record of your activity.
I'm (editor) a fitness freak. I always keep an eye on my day to day activity especially on calories because I've individual goals to achieve and It has helped me, our team and millions of people out there who actually use it.
If you're a number freak, then it will also motivate you to keep up to that number or improve that number. So, it's more like a personal assistant, but it's not a spectral band.
We have a team at the office, and each one of us wears it because we literally have to sit in front of the computer for hours, so fitness tracker helps us with alarm notification; tell us to move.
You don't necessarily have to get yourself an expensive tracker, especially when your goal is just to get an assistant on your wrist who only inform you time to time that you're not doing any activity for 15 minutes or an hour.
Wrapping it Up!
There are hundreds of fitness bands, but for our post, we broke down the list to best fitness tracker 2018 - top 10 model. Some of you might not like our recommendations for any personal reason like why we didn't include any Jawbone's product.
During our testing, each reviewer wrote down the pros and cons on the white board, and we came up with our own top 10 list. We were not surprised to see Fitbit, Garmin, and Samsung because they have built the reputation and always offer reliable products to their customers.
If you've any question or if you're still confused then comment down below, we will get back to you as soon as possible.