The simplest of motivators is sometimes all it takes to encourage you to get up and get active. The light buzz on your wrist from a cheap fitness tracker can be surprisingly compelling. This tiny bit of technology helps keep you fit, as you can better see how much activity you're actually getting in each day and strive to complete certain goals. And, most of these devices offer plenty more than just tracking your steps, so the detailed information it gives you about your activities will provide clearer targets to focus on improving.
Best of all, the cheap fitness trackers you find on the market continue to get better and better with each passing year. Now, there are affordable fitness trackers that have built-in displays to show your activity, the time, and even display notifications from your phone like a full-on smartwatch. And, of course, they'll still keep track of your steps. Some budget models even support GPS and heart rate monitoring.
There are an insane number of budget-friendly fitness trackers available these days, so we've helped narrow down your search. Our picks vary depending on different workout needs, styles, and prices. You're bound to find the one that works best for you.
TL;DR – These are the Best Budget Fitness Trackers:
- Fitbit Inspire 2
- Xiaomi Mi Band 6
- Huawei Band 4 Pro
- Withings Move
- Amazfit Bip U Pro
- Apple Watch SE
- Garmin Venu 2
- Amazon Halo
1. Fitbit Inspire 2
Best Budget Fitness Tracker
Fitbit continues to show its dominance in the field of budget fitness trackers yet again. It held this spot with the Fitbit Inspire HR, and now the Fitbit Inspire 2 improves on an already excellent option in the affordable space. The Fitbit Inspire 2 doesn't change much. Visually, it's nearly identical to its predecessor with the sleek, compact, and comfortable enough to sleep in form factor, but Fitbit has swapped the physical button of the Inspire HR for the capacitive touch buttons. This new touch screen technology makes it easier to swap activities, view progress, and find out other essential data.
The big upgrade of the Fitbit Inspire 2 comes in battery life, which has doubled that of the Inspire HR, it now offers 10 days of continuous use. Beyond that, you still get automatic exercise tracking, which also includes swimming. You can track your calories burned and hourly activity too. And, to ensure you're monitoring your health while you work out, you get 24/7 heart-rate monitoring. Since the battery lasts long enough for you to wear the Fitbit Inspire 2 night and day, it also supports sleep tracking, so you'll be able to better understand your sleep quality.
2. Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Ultra Cheap Fitness Tracker
The sleek and slim design of the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 helps you track your steps and a whole lot more for just about $50. Naturally, you’ll get the basic pedometer, but the tracking can keep up with a lot more exercises than that — we’re talking about 30 different sports modes from running and HIIT to kickboxing. With a water resistant design that can handle 5ATM of pressure, you can even take it swimming to track your laps and strokes.
In spite of its low price, the Mi Band 6 rocks a colorful AMOLED display and an epic battery life to keep the device running for up to 14 days. With 24/7 heart rate monitoring and a SpO2 sensor, you can better track your health. Plus, you can keep the band running overnight for sleep tracking data. You'll get a few smartwatch features too, like call and message notifications, music playback control, and even an option to use the watch as a remote camera shutter.
3. Huawei Band 4 Pro
Best Budget Fitness Tracker with GPS
The Huawei Band 4 Pro is about as affordable as you'll find in quality fitness trackers with GPS on offer. Even though this fitness band comes in well below $100, it still features a stylish design and even a full-color AMOLED display. That display lets you track your fitness and even view notifications with more vibrancy than a basic fitness tracker may offer.
Aside from the built-in GPS to map out your workouts, the Huawei Band 4 Pro provides 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking as well as a variety of sports modes including swimming. And, you can show off your style with the option to swap watch faces from the Huawei Watch Face Store. The Huawei Band 4 Pro also offers a competitive battery life. It can run for up to 12 days with most features disabled or for 5 days with most features turned on. If you want to go the long-haul with GPS on, it can run for seven hours.
4. Withings Move
Best Discreet Budget Fitness Tracker
If you're on the search for a capable fitness tracker that doesn't actually look like one, look no further than the Withings Move. There’s very little about its design to indicate it’s anything other than a classic wristwatch. That’s because there is an analog watch face instead of the bright digital display of a traditional fitness tracker. The third watch hand, which lies behind the other two hands for time, shows your fitness progress discretely without being as glaring as an LCD display.
Despite its seemingly simple appearance, the Withings Move delivers all the smart fitness tracking you need. It recognizes various exercises automatically, including running, swimming, and biking. It even comes loaded with a GPS that gives you a detailed route map after your session, and there's sleep tracking. Rather than seeing all your workout info on the watch itself, it’s piped over to your smartphone and into the companion app. And, one thing that makes the Withings Move extra smart is its 18-month battery life. It runs on a coin cell battery as you’d often find in a watch, and replacing it every year and a half will take a lot less effort than recharging a normal fitness tracker every few days.
5. Amazfit Bip U Pro
Best Budget Fitness Tracker with Health Monitoring
There is loads of capability packed into the Amazfit Bip U Pro, especially considering it's only $70. It might not be quite as feature-packed as a Fitbit Versa 3 or Apple Watch, but at a fraction of the price, it's a great budget pick for those who want a ton of health data.
The Amazfit Bip U Pro supports over 60 sports tracking modes, including lap swimming, which it can manage thanks to its 5ATM water resistance. In addition to your basic step tracking, the Amazfit Bip U Pro offers a built-in GPS and sensors that keep track of your heart rate 24/7 as well as monitor your blood-oxygen level, stress, and sleep. Taking all that data into consideration, the watch uses the PAI Health Assessment System to quantify your health data for simplified tracking. The Bip U Pro even offers a degree of smartwatch functionality with on-watch notifications and Amazon Alexa integration. And, with a nine-day battery life, the Bip U Pro's features keep up with you throughout a busy week.
6. Apple Watch SE
Best Budget Apple Watch
Not every fitness tracker has to be simply dedicated to fitness, and not every Apple Watch has to be painfully expensive. The Apple Watch SE is the most affordable in the Apple Watch lineup, but it's still loaded with tons of health tracking and other convenient smartwatch features.
With the Apple Watch SE, you'll get a capable smartwatch with 32GB of built-in storage to serve as a home for a load of apps. Plus, you'll be able to answer calls, respond to messages, and stream music, all from your wrist. The Apple Watch SE comes with plenty of fitness features too. It has an optical heart rate sensor, so you can keep track of your pulse during workouts. There's a built-in GPS and compass to ensure you don't get lost on a hike. Heck, it even automatically detects various workouts allowing you to focus on the exercise rather than fiddling around with the watch. Plus, you can take it for a swim thanks to water resistance up to 50 meters. And, if you find Apple's own fitness apps lacking, you can always download additional ones from the App Store.
7. Garmin Venu 2
Best Budget Fitness Smartwatch
If you're on the hunt for some serious health and fitness tracking, you can’t go wrong with Garmin. And, their Venu 2 happens to be our favorite for keeping track of all your different activities. You get loads of functionality to track tons of exercises, including swimming, cycling, and golf. In total, there are over 25 preloaded sports apps that work in conjunction with the GPS, heart rate monitor, and other sensors on the watch. You can even follow along with animated workouts, like pilates, HIIT, and cardio. Plus, it monitors your energy levels, giving you the ideal times to be active or rest.
On top of the ample fitness data, the Garmin Venu 2 lands you a modestly sized smartwatch with a bright AMOLED touchscreen display. An always-on mode is available. And, it can hit a lengthy 11-day battery life or eight hours with GPS on. This device also features all the other smartwatch features you’ve grown accustomed to, like receiving calls, texts, and social media notifications when paired with your phone. You can even make contactless payments and download up to 650 songs for easy listening.
8. Amazon Halo
Best Screen-Free Budget Fitness Tracker
If you are one of those people that absolutely hate the look of a traditional fitness tracker, then the Amazon Halo is for you. There is no screen on the band at all, and it appears to be just a simple fabric bracelet that comes in several color options. Though it's hardly as simple as it looks, this band has all the features that you’d find in your favorite fitness trackers plus a few additional add-ons available through a Halo membership.
With the Amazon Halo, you get all the basics like a heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, and pedometer. These metrics can all be seen on your smartphone or an Alexa-enabled device can give you a health summary. If you decide to upgrade to the Halo membership, you get a plethora of other features including body composition and a movement score that is calculated using the band and your phone’s camera. There is also a slightly invasive feature with the membership called Tone Analysis that helps you see how you sound to others thanks to the device’s built-in microphones. This feature can be turned off if you prefer. Overall, the simple design, affordable price, and convenient features make it an excellent fitness tracker option.
What to Look for in a Budget Fitness Tracker
When evaluating fitness trackers it's important to keep in mind they're not just about counting steps or keeping tabs on your sleep habits. The total experience includes the quality of the hardware, overall comfort, the software package, and how well it does the tracking that you bought it for in the first place.
As you spend more money, you get features like heart rate monitoring, GPS, OLED display as opposed to LCD, etc. Still, there are plenty of basic trackers that don't cost a lot of money and can provide you with an avalanche of health data.
Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam.