Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker

Best fitness trackers review

smartwatches

Best Fitness Tracker of 2019: Track Every Day Activity

Fitness trackers have become a must-have in today’s world and are an essential way to continuously monitor your activity and health with little to no effort. Most of the best and newest devices on the market keep tabs on all aspects of your daily activity without you even noticing, walks, steps, workouts, heart rate, stress and everything in-between with precise accuracy and then display all that data for you to view on your smartphone.

Think of them as an electronic finger on the pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, quality of sleep and step count.

The current breed of fitness trackers are all fantastic devices, most of which can do a pretty good job overall, but we only suggest to you on this shortlist the ones we think are the best.

If interested in more feature rich or sport-specific devices, check our shortlists for the best smartwatches in 2019 with offerings from Apple, Fitbit or Ticwatch and best sports watches in 2019 with offerings from Suunto, Garmin and more, where you will have a range of devices targeting more specific wristwear demands.

smartwatches

Best Fitness Tracker of 2019: Track Every Day Activity

Fitness trackers have become a must-have in today’s world and are an essential way to continuously monitor your activity and health with little to no effort. Most of the best and newest devices on the market keep tabs on all aspects of your daily activity without you even noticing, walks, steps, workouts, heart rate, stress and everything in-between with precise accuracy and then display all that data for you to view on your smartphone.

Think of them as an electronic finger on the pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, quality of sleep and step count.

The current breed of fitness trackers are all fantastic devices, most of which can do a pretty good job overall, but we only suggest to you on this shortlist the ones we think are the best.

If interested in more feature rich or sport-specific devices, check our shortlists for the best smartwatches in 2019 with offerings from Apple, Fitbit or Ticwatch and best sports watches in 2019 with offerings from Suunto, Garmin and more, where you will have a range of devices targeting more specific wristwear demands.

Build Quality95%
Performance94%
Design94%
Accuracy94%
Our Top Pick
Fitbit Alta HR Fitness Tracking wristband 

Not only is it accurate and easy to use, but it looks great too. Its battery life is solid and its customization options impressive. Just be wary about taking it out in the sun too often, you might strain your eyes with all that screen-struggling squinting.


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Build Quality95%
Performance94%
Design94%
Accuracy94%
Our Top Pick
Fitbit Alta HR Fitness Tracking wristband 

Not only is it accurate and easy to use, but it looks great too. Its battery life is solid and its customization options impressive. Just be wary about taking it out in the sun too often, you might strain your eyes with all that screen-struggling squinting.


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Some people have asked whether the Fitbit Alta HR is now a replacement for the Charge 2. My answer is: not really. They’re the same price and both have heart rate sensors. But you can stop and start exercises with the Charge 2, and you can’t do that at all with Fitbit Alta HR. The Fitbit Alta HR will automatically recognize if you go for a run, but it’s not something you can control, and it doesn’t display a timer during your activities.

So what can this Fitbit do? It does what a Fitbit does. It tracks your steps, your distance travelled (without GPS), your calories burned, and your sleep. It shows you notifications and incoming calls from your smartphone. What’s new about the Alta HR is that it has optical heart rate sensors built into the underside, so it records your heart rate throughout the day, and Fitbit will now show you more advanced sleep data in its app. This latter feature isn’t limited to just the Alta HR; it will work with any newer Fitbit that has heart rate sensors.

The heart rate sensors in the Alta HR aren’t supposed to replace a chest strap during intense exercise sessions, something that Fitbit has had to defend itself around after it was hit with a class action suit last year for what some consumers alleged was inaccurate heart rate tracking. Instead, the idea is that you can get a continuous reading throughout the day. But more beneficial is the addition of resting heart rate, provided you wear the Alta HR to bed.

Over a week, I became a little addicted to Fitbit again, wanting to get my steps up, trying to pay attention to the move reminders, actually checking the app every now and then to see how I slept or what my resting heart rate was that morning. I did miss real exercise-tracking features while I was wearing it and am still a lot more inclined to buy a wearable that has GPS and another advanced sports tracking. But the new Fitbit Alta HR told me just a tiny bit more about my activity than what I knew before, and that is what, at the end of the day, really matters.

Some people have asked whether the Fitbit Alta HR is now a replacement for the Charge 2. My answer is: not really. They’re the same price and both have heart rate sensors. But you can stop and start exercises with the Charge 2, and you can’t do that at all with Fitbit Alta HR. The Fitbit Alta HR will automatically recognize if you go for a run, but it’s not something you can control, and it doesn’t display a timer during your activities.

So what can this Fitbit do? It does what a Fitbit does. It tracks your steps, your distance travelled (without GPS), your calories burned, and your sleep. It shows you notifications and incoming calls from your smartphone. What’s new about the Alta HR is that it has optical heart rate sensors built into the underside, so it records your heart rate throughout the day, and Fitbit will now show you more advanced sleep data in its app. This latter feature isn’t limited to just the Alta HR; it will work with any newer Fitbit that has heart rate sensors.

The heart rate sensors in the Alta HR aren’t supposed to replace a chest strap during intense exercise sessions, something that Fitbit has had to defend itself around after it was hit with a class action suit last year for what some consumers alleged was inaccurate heart rate tracking. Instead, the idea is that you can get a continuous reading throughout the day. But more beneficial is the addition of resting heart rate, provided you wear the Alta HR to bed.

Over a week, I became a little addicted to Fitbit again, wanting to get my steps up, trying to pay attention to the move reminders, actually checking the app every now and then to see how I slept or what my resting heart rate was that morning. I did miss real exercise-tracking features while I was wearing it and am still a lot more inclined to buy a wearable that has GPS and another advanced sports tracking. But the new Fitbit Alta HR told me just a tiny bit more about my activity than what I knew before, and that is what, at the end of the day, really matters.

Build Quality98%
Performance95%
Design95%
Accuracy97%
Our Top Pick
Moov Now 3D Fitness Tracker

The Moov Now is seriously the cheapest fitness tracker you can get for such an extensive spectrum of activity tracking. It helps you improve by gradually increasing the workout intensity and mixes up the workouts so you don’t get bored of them.


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Build Quality98%
Performance95%
Design95%
Accuracy97%
Our Top Pick
Moov Now 3D Fitness Tracker

The Moov Now is seriously the cheapest fitness tracker you can get for such an extensive spectrum of activity tracking. It helps you improve by gradually increasing the workout intensity and mixes up the workouts so you don’t get bored of them.


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The Moov Now is a budget activity tracker comprising a stretchy rubber strap and a removable pod, which is powered by a CR2032 coin-cell battery that will keep it going for a ludicrous 6 months. Unlike more advanced fitness trackers which record your heart rate, your steps, your REM sleep cycles and your stress levels, the Moov Now uses its “Omni Motion” accelerometers to detect movement during exercise and sleep, and that’s all there is to it.

The true appeal of the Moov Now lies in its accompanying app, Moov Coach, which is available on both iOS and Android. This free app works with the Moov Now as well as Moov’s other fitness tracker, the Moov HR. You’ll need the latter if you want to make use of Moov Coach’s heart rate data tracking. Although the Moov Now can’t measure your pulse like the HR, it still provides detailed estimates on your sleeping patterns and deep-sleep cycles. Better yet it can be paired alongside a bunch of third-party heart rate monitors using Bluetooth.

As wearables go, the Moov Now looks pretty odd. It has an unusual design in that there’s no screen, just the colourful pod inside a stretchy silicone rubber strap. Every now and then we noticed people in public staring at it, probably trying to work out what was. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it looks bad, though it is just different, a unique looking bracelet. The Moov Now gets top points for comfort. Whether you’ve got it on your wrist or your ankle, its rubber strap is barely noticeable. Combined, the strap and tracker weigh a feather-light 9g, which explains why you can barely feel it. The tracker is also water, sweat, and dirt proof, so there’s no need to take it off unless you’re scuba diving.

The Moov Now excels at one, very important thing: it’s a fitness tracker that actually tracks the things that make you fitter. You get guided workouts for major activities that are well thought-out, or just good, broad tracking for daily activities. Six-Month battery life is immense, and if your goal is to spend more time in bed each night and move more each day, this little wearable is an affordable and accurate way to do it. There’s more Moov can do now with it, and fingers are crossed more activities are added and training plans are created too. The accuracy of the sleep tracking and the fiddly design are the only elements that niggle, but otherwise, this is the kind of fitness tracker that all brands should aspire to create.

The Moov Now is a budget activity tracker comprising a stretchy rubber strap and a removable pod, which is powered by a CR2032 coin-cell battery that will keep it going for a ludicrous 6 months. Unlike more advanced fitness trackers which record your heart rate, your steps, your REM sleep cycles and your stress levels, the Moov Now uses its “Omni Motion” accelerometers to detect movement during exercise and sleep, and that’s all there is to it.

The true appeal of the Moov Now lies in its accompanying app, Moov Coach, which is available on both iOS and Android. This free app works with the Moov Now as well as Moov’s other fitness tracker, the Moov HR. You’ll need the latter if you want to make use of Moov Coach’s heart rate data tracking. Although the Moov Now can’t measure your pulse like the HR, it still provides detailed estimates on your sleeping patterns and deep-sleep cycles. Better yet it can be paired alongside a bunch of third-party heart rate monitors using Bluetooth.

As wearables go, the Moov Now looks pretty odd. It has an unusual design in that there’s no screen, just the colourful pod inside a stretchy silicone rubber strap. Every now and then we noticed people in public staring at it, probably trying to work out what was. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it looks bad, though it is just different, a unique looking bracelet. The Moov Now gets top points for comfort. Whether you’ve got it on your wrist or your ankle, its rubber strap is barely noticeable. Combined, the strap and tracker weigh a feather-light 9g, which explains why you can barely feel it. The tracker is also water, sweat, and dirt proof, so there’s no need to take it off unless you’re scuba diving.

The Moov Now excels at one, very important thing: it’s a fitness tracker that actually tracks the things that make you fitter. You get guided workouts for major activities that are well thought-out, or just good, broad tracking for daily activities. Six-Month battery life is immense, and if your goal is to spend more time in bed each night and move more each day, this little wearable is an affordable and accurate way to do it. There’s more Moov can do now with it, and fingers are crossed more activities are added and training plans are created too. The accuracy of the sleep tracking and the fiddly design are the only elements that niggle, but otherwise, this is the kind of fitness tracker that all brands should aspire to create.

Build Quality97%
Performance97%
Design95%
Accuracy96%
Our Top Pick
Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Tracker

You get a ton of features (some new) wrapped up in a better design that’s waterproof and has week-long battery life. You’ll find cheaper trackers out there, but none at this design quality and with as many features, and remember that you should make that money back by catching fewer buses or walking rather than driving whenever you can.


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Build Quality97%
Performance97%
Design95%
Accuracy96%
Our Top Pick
Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Tracker

You get a ton of features (some new) wrapped up in a better design that’s waterproof and has week-long battery life. You’ll find cheaper trackers out there, but none at this design quality and with as many features, and remember that you should make that money back by catching fewer buses or walking rather than driving whenever you can.


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With a bigger, better screen in a lighter, waterproof form, the Charge 3 looks like a formidable upgrade without spoiling what those 35 million loyal users love about the best-selling tracker. The Charge 3 is more curved in places than the Charge 2. Made from aluminium, it’s also 20% lighter than the Charge 2. It sits on the wrist more snuggly to help improve heart-rate accuracy, but the heart-rate sensor isn’t as flush to the unit as it is on the Versa and Ionic Fitbit smartwatches. This is because Fitbit has crammed a lot of sensors into a much smaller product.

The unit is very lightweight. A notable change is an inductive rather than physical button on the left edge, marked only by an indentation. We found this new button worked just as well as the older physical button. You’ll still need to use the inductive button to go back in menus, but you can now tap icons like on any other touchscreen where before pressing and holding a physical button was less user-friendly. The display is built with Gorilla Glass 3 too, a decent level of scratch-and-shatter protection for such a small screen.

The vertical display is now 40% larger and fully touchscreen rather than only being able to react to taps. This allows you to scroll up, down and side to side through more detailed menus on a screen that can now display greyscale to improve animations (for instance, when you hit your 10,000 steps) and daylight visibility. The Charge 3 tracks steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, floors climbed, heart rate, and sleep.

The question is, should you upgrade? For many experienced Charge 2 users, just the water-proofing of the new Charge 3 will be reason enough to upgrade. No more checking the wrist as you dive into the pool or walk into the shower or vice versa. Battery life is much improved, too, from up to five days to an impressive seven and a two-year-old tracker will probably have a slightly drained battery anyway. The tracker and band designs are better, and the heart-rate monitor more accurate. The Charge 2 is still a great activity tracker, and you’ll find some online bargains, we’re sure, but the Charge 3 is a decent step up, and well worth the upgrade.

With a bigger, better screen in a lighter, waterproof form, the Charge 3 looks like a formidable upgrade without spoiling what those 35 million loyal users love about the best-selling tracker. The Charge 3 is more curved in places than the Charge 2. Made from aluminium, it’s also 20% lighter than the Charge 2. It sits on the wrist more snuggly to help improve heart-rate accuracy, but the heart-rate sensor isn’t as flush to the unit as it is on the Versa and Ionic Fitbit smartwatches. This is because Fitbit has crammed a lot of sensors into a much smaller product.

The unit is very lightweight. A notable change is an inductive rather than physical button on the left edge, marked only by an indentation. We found this new button worked just as well as the older physical button. You’ll still need to use the inductive button to go back in menus, but you can now tap icons like on any other touchscreen where before pressing and holding a physical button was less user-friendly. The display is built with Gorilla Glass 3 too, a decent level of scratch-and-shatter protection for such a small screen.

The vertical display is now 40% larger and fully touchscreen rather than only being able to react to taps. This allows you to scroll up, down and side to side through more detailed menus on a screen that can now display greyscale to improve animations (for instance, when you hit your 10,000 steps) and daylight visibility. The Charge 3 tracks steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, floors climbed, heart rate, and sleep.

The question is, should you upgrade? For many experienced Charge 2 users, just the water-proofing of the new Charge 3 will be reason enough to upgrade. No more checking the wrist as you dive into the pool or walk into the shower or vice versa. Battery life is much improved, too, from up to five days to an impressive seven and a two-year-old tracker will probably have a slightly drained battery anyway. The tracker and band designs are better, and the heart-rate monitor more accurate. The Charge 2 is still a great activity tracker, and you’ll find some online bargains, we’re sure, but the Charge 3 is a decent step up, and well worth the upgrade.

Build Quality98%
Performance97%
Design96%
Accuracy98%
Our Top Pick
Garmin vívosmart HR+ Regular Fit Activity Tracker

The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is hands down one of the best fitness trackers we’ve had the pleasure of using. Whether you really need all the data it provides is debatable, and GPS should be considered a luxury for anyone who takes their phone with them everywhere, but it’s a luxury worth having.


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Build Quality98%
Performance97%
Design96%
Accuracy98%
Our Top Pick
Garmin vívosmart HR+ Regular Fit Activity Tracker

The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is hands down one of the best fitness trackers we’ve had the pleasure of using. Whether you really need all the data it provides is debatable, and GPS should be considered a luxury for anyone who takes their phone with them everywhere, but it’s a luxury worth having.


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Garmin Vivosmart HR+, a device that puts substance over style. Featuring built-in GPS, a waterproof design and week-long battery life, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is a fitness-focused tracker designed for hardcore runners, swimmers and cyclists. If you’re after a device that resembles a classic timepiece, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is unlikely to be the right fit. The Garmin Vivosmart HR+is unashamedly a fitness tracker first and foremost.

The basic black unit I reviewed has a tiny rectangular 1.0 x 0.42-inch touchscreen that’s housed in a rubber strap. Too many trackers these days focus heavily on looking snazzy, and as a result, make too many compromises when it comes to functionality. Key offences include a lack of waterproofing and the absence of key sensors, such as a heart-rate monitor and GPS. The Vivosmart HR+, on the other hand, makes none of these compromises. Garmin has loaded the wearable with a heart-rate monitor, GPS, accelerometer, barometric altimeter and pretty much every other sensor that you could possibly think of.

It is also pretty darn rugged and has been designed to survive submersions at depths of up to 5 ATM (50 metres). This makes it one of a select few activity trackers with basic smartwatch functionality that can be worn 24/7. The only negative of the device’s design is that the main unit is fairly chunky, with a thickness of 192mm. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it could be a sticking point for fashion-conscious buyers or people with thin wrists. Placed on a friend’s slender wrist, the Vivosmart HR+ looked comically chunky.

However, if you’re a newbie, or casual jogger just looking for a quick and easy way to track your sleep, step count and distance travelled, the Vivosmart is overkill. If you’re a hardcore fitness fanatic, this is the wearable for you.

Garmin Vivosmart HR+, a device that puts substance over style. Featuring built-in GPS, a waterproof design and week-long battery life, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is a fitness-focused tracker designed for hardcore runners, swimmers and cyclists. If you’re after a device that resembles a classic timepiece, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is unlikely to be the right fit. The Garmin Vivosmart HR+is unashamedly a fitness tracker first and foremost.

The basic black unit I reviewed has a tiny rectangular 1.0 x 0.42-inch touchscreen that’s housed in a rubber strap. Too many trackers these days focus heavily on looking snazzy, and as a result, make too many compromises when it comes to functionality. Key offences include a lack of waterproofing and the absence of key sensors, such as a heart-rate monitor and GPS. The Vivosmart HR+, on the other hand, makes none of these compromises. Garmin has loaded the wearable with a heart-rate monitor, GPS, accelerometer, barometric altimeter and pretty much every other sensor that you could possibly think of.

It is also pretty darn rugged and has been designed to survive submersions at depths of up to 5 ATM (50 metres). This makes it one of a select few activity trackers with basic smartwatch functionality that can be worn 24/7. The only negative of the device’s design is that the main unit is fairly chunky, with a thickness of 192mm. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it could be a sticking point for fashion-conscious buyers or people with thin wrists. Placed on a friend’s slender wrist, the Vivosmart HR+ looked comically chunky.

However, if you’re a newbie, or casual jogger just looking for a quick and easy way to track your sleep, step count and distance travelled, the Vivosmart is overkill. If you’re a hardcore fitness fanatic, this is the wearable for you.

Build Quality98%
Performance97%
Design96%
Accuracy98%
Our Top Pick
Garmin Vivosport Smart Activity Tracker

It’s quite simply brilliant. It’s technical enough for a majority of keen runners including competitive club runners. It’s simple to use and features all the essential activity tracking features necessary to motivate and inspire you to a fitter better person.


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Build Quality98%
Performance97%
Design96%
Accuracy98%
Our Top Pick
Garmin Vivosport Smart Activity Tracker

It’s quite simply brilliant. It’s technical enough for a majority of keen runners including competitive club runners. It’s simple to use and features all the essential activity tracking features necessary to motivate and inspire you to a fitter better person.


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Like the Vivoactive 3, the Vivosport is a device that you shouldn’t want to take off when you leave the gym. It might not resemble a smart, traditional timepiece like its smartwatch counterpart but it can be used to track your everyday activity, including steps taken, staircases climbed, heart rate, stress level and even sleep. It will also log activities of longer than ten minutes automatically, without you having to remember to press start and finish. For more detailed insights into your workouts, you can use it to track running, cycling and gym workouts. Unfortunately, although it can be worn in the pool, there’s no swim tracking app. It does, however, display smartphone notifications on your wrist.

The Vivosport is a largely inoffensive rubber band. Protruding only 11mm from your wrist, it’s considerably less chunky than the Vivosmart HR+ by 4mm and this is partly due to the optical heart rate sensor now being totally flush with the casing. That makes it comfortable, too, and you’ll be able to wear it all day, every day. There are no buttons whatsoever on the Vivosport and despite this, its display has had a cut in size. Indeed, the Vivosport’s colour memory-in-pixel display is a mere 9.7mm by 19.3mm. It’s a tiny window of information on an otherwise plain band. No doubt this helps to boost battery life but it certainly makes using the band on your wrist a bit more fiddly.

As well as measuring your heart rate with higher frequency than the Vivosmart HR+ (it’s now recorded at 1-second intervals) the Vivosport’s main new feature is that it can measure your stress level via heart rate variability. “The goal is to make you aware when physical or emotional sources cause your stress level to rise so you can find a way to relieve the pressure,” the Garmin site explains. More often than not, I found the watch told me I was experiencing “medium” stress but it was difficult to know what I could really do armed with this information, especially considering many of those stressful moments were encountered sitting down at work.

Like the Vivoactive 3, the Vivosport is a device that you shouldn’t want to take off when you leave the gym. It might not resemble a smart, traditional timepiece like its smartwatch counterpart but it can be used to track your everyday activity, including steps taken, staircases climbed, heart rate, stress level and even sleep. It will also log activities of longer than ten minutes automatically, without you having to remember to press start and finish. For more detailed insights into your workouts, you can use it to track running, cycling and gym workouts. Unfortunately, although it can be worn in the pool, there’s no swim tracking app. It does, however, display smartphone notifications on your wrist.

The Vivosport is a largely inoffensive rubber band. Protruding only 11mm from your wrist, it’s considerably less chunky than the Vivosmart HR+ by 4mm and this is partly due to the optical heart rate sensor now being totally flush with the casing. That makes it comfortable, too, and you’ll be able to wear it all day, every day. There are no buttons whatsoever on the Vivosport and despite this, its display has had a cut in size. Indeed, the Vivosport’s colour memory-in-pixel display is a mere 9.7mm by 19.3mm. It’s a tiny window of information on an otherwise plain band. No doubt this helps to boost battery life but it certainly makes using the band on your wrist a bit more fiddly.

As well as measuring your heart rate with higher frequency than the Vivosmart HR+ (it’s now recorded at 1-second intervals) the Vivosport’s main new feature is that it can measure your stress level via heart rate variability. “The goal is to make you aware when physical or emotional sources cause your stress level to rise so you can find a way to relieve the pressure,” the Garmin site explains. More often than not, I found the watch told me I was experiencing “medium” stress but it was difficult to know what I could really do armed with this information, especially considering many of those stressful moments were encountered sitting down at work.