With so many activity trackers popping out in the market, choosing one that works for you has become a daunting task. There are well-known activity tracker brands like FitBit and Garmin who continually lead the fitness industry but other tech companies like Huawei, Samsung, and Xiaomi are also catching up.

We have studied the most popular activity trackers to buy in 2021. This article is here to help you make the right buying decision, giving you the right fitness tracker according to functionality and budget.

It’s important to note that though the higher-end Apple Watch and the like feature activity tracking, they fall under the category of Smartwatches which function more as an extension of your phone. This guide is meant for wrist bands used mostly for tracking activity.

Best Activity Trackers at Glance

Fitbit Charge 4

Best Overall Activity Tracker

Specifications

  • Built-in GPS
  • HR tacker
  • Sleep tracker
  • 7-day battery life
  • All-day activity tracker
  • Touchscreen (not colored)
  • 50m waterproof

What truly sets this apart from its predecessor, the Fitbit Charge 3 and the rest of the fitness trackers on this list is the built-in GPS. There’s so much convenience in being able to leave your phone behind while still being able to track your distance. Along with that, it also features on-wrist payments called the Fitbit pay that allows you to make purchases without your credit card or cash on hand.

One of the best features of the Fitbit charge 4 when it comes to tracking fitness is the Active Zone. It tracks the time spent in specific heart rate zones to make your workout smarter and more efficient. Plus, it also has an intensity map that shows you your pace, distance, and effort you put into your outdoor workout. There are also more than 20 goal-based exercises to choose from so you never get bored working out. We recommend this activity tracker for those looking for convenience.

What sets it apart

  • Built-in GPS lets you leave your phone at home while tracking distance and showing you an intensity map
  • 20+ exercise modes to choose from
  • Integrated Spotify on-wrist controls
  • Active Zone feature helps you work out smarter and more efficiently
  • On wrist payment
  • Buzz’s past plateau feature tells you when you’ve been in fat burn, cardio, or peak heart rate zones.
  • Access to smartphone
  • Access to workout and nutrition programs
  • Get personalized insights in PDF that you can show to your physician

Cons

  • Expensive

Garmin Vivosmart 4

Best Alternative to the Fitbit Charge 4

Specifications

  • Connected GPS
  • HR tracker
  • Sleep tracker
  • 7-day battery life
  • All-day activity tracker
  • Built-in pulse oximeter
  • Touchscreen (not colored)
  • 50m waterproof

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Fitbit charge 4 but don’t want to compromise on function and quality, then the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is for you. Aside from its obviously more stylish aesthetics, it can do all necessary functions to track your fitness like the heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, pedometer, and more. The only tradeoff is in the GPS, this fitness tracker only has a GPS only when connected to your phone. Therefore, you can’t leave your phone behind when going for a run/walk.

This, however, is one of the 2 fitness trackers on the list with a built-in pulse oximeter that gauges how your body is absorbing oxygen and a VO2 max estimate that tells you your estimated fitness level relative to your age. This gives you more insight into your overall health in general.

In addition, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 features an innovative way to gauge your energy levels so you can plan when to do strenuous activity and when to rest. This activity tracker is highly recommended for fitness enthusiasts and amateur athletes.

What sets it apart

  • Body battery gauge your energy reserves so you can plan your day ahead
  • All-day stress tracking gives you an insight when you’re having a calm, balanced or stressful day
  • Relax reminder feature responds to elevated stress level and reminds you to take a moment to breathe
  • VO2 max estimate feature gives you an insight into your overall aerobic fitness level
  • Access to smartphone
  • Relatively cheaper but comes with better functions when it comes to tracking health and fitness
  • Slimmer design and more stylish overall look
  • Fitbit community allows you to get insight along with other people’s fitness level

Cons

  • GPS is not built-in, which means you have to have your phone nearby
  • Relatively smaller screen than the Fitbit Charge 4

Huawei Band 4 Pro

Best Value Activity Tracker

Specifications

  • Built-in GPS
  • HR tracker
  • Sleep Tracker
  • Built-in pulse oximeter
  • 50m waterproof
  • 12 days battery life
  • All-day activity tracker
  • AMOLED touchscreen (colored)

For a cost considerably less than both of the brands we reviewed earlier, while still being able to grab the best and most unique features of both of them, the Huawei Band 4 is easily the best value activity tracker on this list.

Not only that it has a built-in GPS like the Fitbit charge 4 that allows you to track your distance and pace without your phone, it also has a built-in pulse oximeter like the one from the Garmin Vivosmart 4 that allows you to get insight into your blood saturation levels.

In addition, it has a fully colored screen with a considerably longer battery life (12 days vs 7 days).

Of course, something always has a tradeoff. And for this one, neither of the activity zone, intensity map, and the body battery feature is included in the Huawei band 4 Pro. I highly recommend it for those looking for the best band on a decent budget.

What sets it apart

  • Colored screen
  • Built-in GPS allows you to track your distance without your phone
  • Huawei watch face store allows you to express your personality
  • Longer battery life than Fitbit Charge 4 and Garmin Vivosmart 4
  • Built-in pulse oximeter shows you blood saturation levels
  • Access to smartphone
  • Smart heart rate tracking notifies you when you exceed your maximum heart rate limit
  • Costs way less than both of the earlier mention bands while still having all the functions needed for a decent activity tracker

Cons

  • No special features similar to Active zone, intensity map, and Body Battery
  • The app is not as good as the ones from Fitbit and Garmin

Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Best Budget Activity Tracker

Specifications

  • connected GPS
  • 24/7 HR tracker
  • Sleep tracker
  • 14-day battery life
  • All-day activity tracker
  • AMOLED touchscreen (colored)
  • 50m waterproof

If you’re looking for a decent activity tracker on a tight budget, the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is able to do all the necessary functions of an activity tracker. It features AMOLED colored display with 20% more screen than its predecessor Xiaomi Band 4. Plus, it has a magnetic charging feature that makes charging more convenient.

Despite being one of the cheapest activity trackers on the list, it does not fall short of the accuracy of its functions. In addition, they added a unique new feature called women’s health tracking that measures women’s menstrual cycles and ovulation phases to get a clearer understanding of their bodies. It also has a remote shutter that allows you to take pictures through your phone camera from afar.

What sets it apart

  • AMOLED colored screen allows you to see clearly even in bright sunlight
  • Women’s health tracking feature
  • 11 Sports mode to choose from, including rowing
  • Magnetic charging
  • Very long battery life
  • Very cheap compared to other brands
  • My Fit App shows you great insights regarding your health

Cons

  • Not the best-looking band, looks very plain
  • NFC and smart assistant is not available outside china
  • No built-in GPS

Fitbit Inspire 2

Best Budget Fitbit Tracker

Specifications

  • Connected GPS
  • 24/7 HR tracker
  • Sleep tracker
  • 10-day battery life
  • All-day activity tracker
  • Touchscreen (not colored)
  • 50m waterproof

If it ain’t the best and while it’s relatively expensive as compared to the other bands aside from the top 2, why should you buy it?

Simply because of the Fitbit app. Unlike most of the apps that come with other brands, it’s safe to say that Fitbit is the best out there. They give you insights, step-by-step programs on how to improve your nutrition, sleep, and more They even give you free recipes. It’s like having a personal trainer/nutritionist attached to your wrist. Plus, you can get a personalized PDF report regarding your overall health to give you a better conversation with your doctor.

Not to say that it’s lagging in features. The Fitbit Inspire 2 is equipped with all the necessary features an activity tracker must-have. From pedometers to HR and sleep trackers. Plus, it also has an Active Zone similar to the Fitbit Charge 4 that measures your effort towards the required 150mins of exercise per week. This is perfect for those who want to experience the Fitbit app but doesn’t want to spend on the more expensive Fitbit Charge 4.

What sets it apart

  • Access to Fitbit app, the best fitness app today
  • Active Zone lets you work out smarter and more efficiently
  • 20+ exercise modes to choose from
  • Get personalized PDF insights on your overall health
  • Access to workout and nutrition programs

Cons

  • Relatively expensive compared to activity trackers from other brands with more advanced features
  • No built-in GPS

The Final Verdict

When it comes to choosing the best and most convenient, the Fitbit Charge 4 is our pick for the clear winner. However, it all depends on the budget and functionality you require.

Fitness TrackerFeaturesSee on Amazon
Fitbit Charge 4Best Overall | Built-in GPS, Fitbit pay, and active zoneBuy now
Garmin Vivosmart 4Best Alternative | Body battery gauge, VO2Max, and all-day stress trackingBuy now
Huawei Band 4 ProBest Value | Colored screen, Built-in GPS, and pulse oximeterBuy now
Xiaomi Mi Band 5Best budget | Women’s health tracking, 14-day battery lifeBuy now
Fitbit Inspire 2Best budget Fitbit | Active zone, Personalized PDF Insights of your healthBuy now

This list is made to narrow down your options to only the best, the proven, and the tested brands, but there are a plethora of fitness trackers available out there. In the end, the perfect activity tracker boils down to individual preference.

You might also enjoy: