Fitness trackers - they come in all shapes and sizes. The best fitness tracker is very much a personal choice, because everyone has different needs. For some people, a fitness tracker that just counts steps and crunches calories is enough. Others want heart-rate tracking, VO2 max tracking and GPS to track their running routes.
The bottom line is no matter how advanced you want a fitness tracker to be – no matter what features you find most valuable – you can have them. In this guide to the top 10 best fitness trackers in 2018, we’ll reveal the fitness trackers that are at the top of their game, so that you can stay on top of yours.
What we’ve done here is recommended fitness trackers that cover every need. We’ve got the best fitness trackers that do it all, fitness trackers that cover the basics, fitness trackers that are best for specific sports… you get the idea. Hopefully by the end of our list of the top fitness trackers, you’ll have everything you need to go out and buy the best one for you.
Right, let’s get on with it then!
In a nutshell: The best of Wear OS. An excellent fitness tracker.
If you’re looking for a blend of fitness tracker and smartwatch, you can’t beat the Polar M600. It runs the latest version of Wear OS and boasts a big feature list. It’s got GPS + GLONASS connectivity, wrist-based heart-rate tracking, a dedicated swimming mode (it’s also waterproof) and excellent battery life. It’ll easily give you 8 hours with GPS on and 19 hours when streaming music to your headphones over Bluetooth.
Unique to this device is the Polar Smart Coaching app. It’s a smart trainer that automatically recognises activity and lets you select workouts.
In a nutshell: A premium fitness smartwatch with absolutely everything you need.
If you’re intent on a fitness smartwatch to track your workouts, the upmarket Suunto 9 is the perfect companion. It’s got three battery modes offering 25 to 120-hours of runtime on a single charge, and packs GPS and heart-rate tracking into its muscular frame. The in-built GPS has a low power mode for marathons. This is a multisport smartwatch because it tracks fifteen different activities, but it’s definitely best-suited to cardio and HIIT.
With its durable frame, sapphire crystal, 100m water resistance rating and sharp display, the Suunto 9 is a top smartwatch and fitness tracker all-in-one.
Huawei Band 2
In a nutshell: Huawei has done it. This is the king of affordable fitness trackers.
With GPS, all-day heart-rate monitoring, Running Coach, Breathing Coach, Activity Coach and a 5ATM water resistance rating, the Huawei Band 2 is one the most complete budget fitness tracker on the market. It’ll track your heartbeat, pace, movement distance, speed, and direction down to a tee and help you work out smarter with Coach recommendations. It’ll also estimate your VO2 max and give you feedback for optimal recovery.
For the price, this fitness tracker is unbeatable. It automatically detects new activities and switches too, so you can wear it and forget about it.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3
In a nutshell: Fitness tracking basics don’t come much better wrapped up than this.
The Xiaomi Mi Band has been a top-tier (but very affordable) basic fitness tracker for several years. The latest model is the best yet. The Mi Band 3 adds a 0.78” OLED screen to an established feature set of an IP67 water resistance rating, 20-day battery life, a photoelectric heart-rate sensor (said to be more accurate than an optical sensor) and smart notification support for iPhone or Android.
You can use the excellent Mi Fit app or hook the Mi Band 3 up to Google Fit. Suffice to say, it’ll track your activities and workouts accurately.
In a nutshell: Covers the basics superbly. An excellent affordable fitness tracker.
The aptly named Moov Now is as good as a fitness tracker gets without a screen. It’s affordable and gives you an excellent feature set. This includes step tracking, boxing and rep-based training modes and a swimming mode. It’ll track your runs and your sleep and help you get more from your workouts. Wear it on your arm or your ankle. If you wear it on the latter, you get accurate stride and landing data when running.
The battery life is decent. It’ll last for up to 6 months and the Now is waterproof and dustproof. Basically, it’s as tough as nails.
In a nutshell: Crunches heart-rate data and estimates VO2 max. A very smart tracker.
Garmin sells a few fitness trackers with the Vivo name. We say avoid the Vivosmart and Vivofit and go for the more expensive Vivosport. This is a top-tier fitness tracker with wrist-based heart-rate tracking, GPS and a colour display. It’ll track your runs, cycles and swims down to a tee and it offers VO2 max and fitness age estimates to help you workout harder and smarter. Smart notifications seal the deal.
There’s lots to love about this fitness tracker. In our opinion, the best feature is the Chroma Display which is always-on and easily readable outdoors.
Fitbit Charge 2
In a nutshell: Excellent for cardio and HIIT. A solid choice.
The Fitbit Charge 2 is an outstanding fitness tracker. It’s easily one of the best fitness trackers on the market in 2018, with PurePulse heart-rate tracking, connected GPS (you use your phone to create the connection), SmartTrack auto exercise recognition, all-day activity tracking and a 5-day standard battery life. The screen is decent too - it’s a crisp OLED display with black and white graphics to save battery life.
You’ll love the Cardio Fitness Level feature and Guided Breathing Sessions Feature. This is a top fitness tracker for casual gym goers and athletes alike.
In a nutshell: The most advanced boxing and MMA tracker on the market.
If you wear gloves and/ or straps to train, Hysko is the tracker for you. It is unique in that it tracks your punches in real-time. It tracks punch power, velocity, ferocity and automatically detects different types of punches (so it knows the difference between a left hook, uppercut and straight jab). You wrap this punch tracker up and secure it to your hands. If anything, it’s useful just to track how many punches you throw in a session.
With no screen and no wristband, the Hysko isn’t ideal for everyone. But the unique insight it offers is invaluable for boxers and martial artists. You get two in a pack for both hands.
In a nutshell: Tracks your heart-rate and basic activities down to a tee.
The TomTom Touch is one of the best basic heart rate fitness trackers on the market. It packs an optical heart-rate sensor into its frame, supports smartphone notifications and has automatic activity detection. The 24/7 activity tracking is accurate. This is the perfect fitness tracker for cardio because it detects when you walk, jog, run, and logs your pace changes so you can understand where you get tired during your workouts.
It’s got an IPX7 water resistance rating, so it’s splash-proof only, and a 5-day battery life. The screen is a bonus and the band’s very comfortable.
Misfit Shine 2
In a nutshell: It looks like a watch and tracks the basics - it gets the job done.
If you dislike the appearance of rectangular fitness trackers, the Misfit Shine 2 offers something you might prefer. The tracker is a disc, so it looks like a watch. It has LED lights on its face to show your activity progress at a tap, and the anodized aluminium disc is swim proof. The battery is replaceable and offers up to 6 months of use. Other than that, this is a fashionable fitness tracker that covers the basics.
It’ll track your steps, distance, calories, and light and restful sleep. You can also setup vibration alerts for call and text notifications. There’s also a silent alarm for gentle wakeups.