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The top fitness trackers for improving your health with 24/7 data

If you don't want to wear a smartwatch, but want to collect 24/7 activity data to evaluate your lifestyle and improve your health and wellness, a fitness tracker is a reasonably priced alternative. Here are the best fitness trackers we could find.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on

Fitness trackers have taken the world by storm in recent years, and it is not hard to see why. In addition to tracking your workout, you can receive access to exclusive features and resources. Together, you can take your workout to the next level while improving your health along the way.

Also: The best smartwatches

If you work out regularly or want to get started, ZDNET's picks for the best fitness trackers can help. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • GPS
  • Fantastic heart rating monitoring
  • Simple to use
Cons
  • Minimal workout data
  • Lacks music controls
More Details

Features

  • Screen size: 1.04"
  • Compatible devices: Smartphones
  • Battery life: 7 days
  • GPS: Yes

Fitbit has long been known as one of the leading brands for fitness trackers, so it is no surprise that it leads the pack as the best fitness tracker overall that you can buy. The Fitbit Charge 5 boasts a modern style with a display that is a little over one inch and a battery life that lasts an entire week. There is calorie tracking for your workouts with additional features like tracking for Sp02, skin temperature variation, and heart rate variability. Use the map feature during your run to track your workout with GPS, as well as pace and distance recording. A Daily Readiness Score advises you on whether to work out or rest each day, while a daily Stress Management Score tells you your body's stress level and offers resources to help. Oh, and it's Bluetooth compatible, too, with built-in GPS connectivity. A six-month Premium membership is included with your purchase. 

Also: A month with the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Sleek design
  • Expanded monitoring
Cons
  • Currently available for December 2022 preorder
More Details

Features

  • Compatible devices: Smartphones
  • Battery life: 4 days

The Circular Fitness Ring skips the usual wristband and instead offers a fitness tracker that fits right onto your finger for no fuss.  Wake up at the perfect time with Smart Alarm and see how you slept with personalized sleep insights. This fitness tracker uses your sleep bio-signals to learn about your sleep and how to improve it based on personalized insights and suggestions. Keep track of your fitness activities at all times with the ability to track progress and personal trends, allowing you to improve your health and expedite your recovery time. Bio-signal tracking will analyze your immune system and deliver reports, so you know where your health stands. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Water-resistant
  • Activity and sleep tracking
  • Fashionable design
Cons
  • On the pricier end
  • Membership required for some features
More Details

Features

  • Compatible devices: Smartphones 
  • Battery life: 7 days
  • Water resistance: Up to 100m

Oura Generation 3 is a fitness ring made of titanium, offering a durable and lightweight fitness tracker that does not get in your way. You can receive up to seven days of battery life, and it also offers water resistance up to 100 meters. Use the Bluetooth connectivity and companion app, available on iOS and Android, to track your fitness and activity, measuring your heart rate through your fingers where readings are said to be most accurate. Data can help you determine when to work out and when to rest, as well as insights regarding your daily activity. Additionally, there are unique features like automatic nap and activity detection, SpO2 sensing, bedtime guidance, and period prediction. Regular software updates ensure your fitness ring is always current with the latest technology to improve your user experience. There is even an airplane mode to help simplify travel.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Weekly performance assessments
  • Waterproof
  • Haptic alarm feature
Cons
  • Lacks display
  • Some reports of skin irritation
More Details

Features

  • Compatible devices: Smartphones
  • Battery life: 5 days
  • Membership required

The Whoop 4.0 Fitness Tracker is all about exercise, using biometrics to track and deliver data like your skin temperature, blood oxygen, and heart rate. When it is time to wake up each day, enjoy the gentle ease of a haptic alarm that will use an optimal sleep schedule to wake you each day. Connect via Bluetooth, then enjoy waterproofing of up to 10 meters. It is comfortable to wear and customizable with SuperKnit bands. Whoop Body Wear is also available, featuring Any-Wear™ technology that allows you to wear the sensor in your clothing. However, keep in mind that a membership is required in order to use the Whoop 4.0 Fitness Tracker.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Water-resistant
  • Custom band faces
  • High-resolution display
Cons
  • Lacks GPS
  • Some app glitches
More Details

Features

  • Screen size: 1.62"
  • Compatible devices: Smartphone
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Battery life: 14 days 
  • Water resistance: 5 ATM

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 is a band-style fitness tracker that delivers 120 fitness modes and over 110 sports modes that you can choose from, tracking specific activities. For example, it will provide regular monitoring on things like your heart rate and blood oxygen levels. There is also SpO2 and sleep monitoring for a well-rounded fitness tracker. This fitness tracker will track your workouts and deliver a workout analysis to help you improve each day. Included is a 1.62" screen for greater visibility with 5ATM waterproofing that is made for swimmers. Bluetooth 5.2 technology is paired with a lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 15 days, the longest of any on our list. There are also other conveniences, too, like a stopwatch, alarm clock, timer, and find my phone feature. 

What is the best fitness tracker?

The Fitbit Charge 5 gets our vote for the best fitness tracker overall, thanks to its strong performance, excellent assortment of features, and a reasonable price tag. 

To see how it stacks up against the other picks on our list, here is an overview of the best fitness trackers.

Fitness tracker

Cost

Tracker type

Battery life

Fitbit Charge 5

$128.54

Wristband

7 days

Circular Fitness Ring

$284.00

Ring

4 days

Oura Generation 3

$299.00

Ring

7 days

Whoop 4.0 Fitness Tracker

$30.00

Wristband

5 days

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7

$51.98

Wristband

15 days

Which is the right fitness tracker for you?

To help you find the best fitness tracker for your needs, these are our expert recommendations.

Choose this fitness tracker...

If you...

Fitbit Charge 5

Want a well-rounded fitness tracker with varied features 

Circular Fitness Ring

Want a smart ring that is in tune with your health

Oura Generation 3

A wearable to track your sleep and health

Whoop 4.0 Fitness Tracker

Want a subscription-based fitness tracker with workout plans

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7

Have a limited budget for a fitness tracker

How did we choose these fitness trackers?

There are several factors we consider when choosing the best fitness trackers.

  • Fitness: The best fitness trackers can identify different types of activity, whether you are running, swimming, or resting.  
  • Features: From waterproofing to daily reporting and sleep tracking, we consider the number of features that each fitness tracker offers.
  • Battery: Battery life is a huge factor to ensure that your fitness tracker has the power to keep up with your activities.   
  • Cost: We look for models that suit a variety of budgets to help ensure that there is something for everyone. 

What is a fitness tracker?

A fitness tracker is a device you wear on your body to track your activities, whether it is walking around the house, going for a hike, or even sleeping. They can provide reports on your activities and health to help you improve your overall fitness and activity.

Do the best fitness trackers have apps?

Most of the best fitness trackers offer companion apps that allow you access to specific reporting, such as steps, rest, and sleep. These apps are typically available for both iOS and Android operating systems.

How much does a fitness tracker cost?

The cost of fitness trackers can vary significantly. The best fitness trackers range in cost from $30 to more than $300, depending on the model you choose. Many fitness trackers also allow you to customize the finish or style, also impacting the total price.

Are there alternative fitness trackers worth considering?

In our search for the best fitness trackers, we also found these excellent options.

For other ideas to improve your fitness, consider our picks for the best fitness rings, the best home gym equipment, and the best workout apps!  

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