The Best Fitness Trackers and Watches for Everyone

Like every piece of gear you wear on your body day in and day out, fitness trackers are incredibly personal. Not only do they have to be comfortable and attractive, but they must also accommodate your lifestyle and when and how you like to work out. Did you just buy a Peloton, or can you only squeeze in a lunchtime walk? Studies are mixed on their benefits, but there’s never been a better time to find a powerful, sophisticated tool to help you optimize your workouts or just get in a few more steps every day.

We’ve tested dozens over the past four years to bring you these picks. Not quite what you’re looking for? Check out our guides to the best smartwatches or best running gear.

Updated March 2021: We removed older picks and added new trackers, like Amazon’s Halo.

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  • Photograph: Fitbit 

    Best All Around

    Fitbit Charge 4

    The question I most often field is: Should I get a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or Garmin? If you’re asking that, you probably don’t need Apple’s or Garmin’s advanced capabilities and are better off with a basic Fitbit. With every major tech company trying to eat their wearable lunch, it’s remarkable that Fitbit’s trackers remain affordable, attractive, and comfortable, with an easy-to-use app and a huge, devoted community. The Charge 4 is its best yet, with features like built-in GPS that I’ve seen only in much more expensive trackers.

    The Charge 4 also has some smart upgrades, like a Zone Minutes metric that encourages newbies to explore high-intensity exercise and an “outdoor workout” category for rambling hikes and golf games. Fitbit also has the best sleep-tracking hardware and software I’ve used. It’s just too bad you can’t access some of its best features without an $80-per-year Premium subscription.

  • Photograph: Garmin

    Also a Great Pick

    Garmin Venu Sq and Sq Music Edition

    For several years, one version or another of Fitbit’s Versa line has occupied this spot. But now that Garmin has its own entry-level, square-shaped tracker, the Venu Sq edges out the latest Versa 3. It combines Fitbit’s accessible price point with Garmin’s accurate and granular fitness data. While many of its competitors have been touting blood-oxygen monitoring and sleep tracking as high-end features, Garmin has been including those for years, without charging an extra subscription fee. It comes in a variety of attractive colors, with a bright and responsive LCD touchscreen that has an always-on option.

  • Photograph: Letsfit 

    Best Budget Tracker 

    Letsfit Fitness Tracker

    Letsfit’s smartwatch is a knockoff of the Fitbit Versa, right down to the font on the watch face, but the differences are obvious to anyone who has used (and loved) a real Versa. The latch is made from cheap plastic; the tracked metrics on the watch face are rudimentary; the VeryFitPro app is unattractive and not a joy to consult.

    But it’s waterproof, and the pedometer is reasonably accurate. The battery life is about one week, and the band is soft and comfortable. If you want an even cheaper, simpler tracker, I like the comfortable, waterproof Xiaomi Mi Band 3, which also has a long-lasting battery. If you’re willing to spend a little more, look for older Garmin or Fitbit models that regularly go on sale for well under $100.

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