Best fitness tracker 2020: the top 10 activity bands on the planet

If you’re after the best fitness tracker as we enter a fresh new year, then you’re in luck: we’ve got all the best fitness wearables rounded up here, all of them able to help you get the data you need to stick to your resolutions.

Think of these options like an electronic watchdog for your health, putting a finger on your pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, checking your quality of sleep, counting your steps and (most of the time) even more. 

Some folks even call them smart bracelets, mostly because activity bands now look as good as traditional jewelry, but they’re also so light you’ll barely notice them on your wrist.

Before you go any further, know that we aren’t evaluating all the highest-end tech wristwear in this list. For that you’ll want our best smartwatch guide, which includes top-end products like the Apple Watch 5, Fossil Sport and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. 

You also won’t find the Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Versa or Fitbit Versa Lite here either, which, despite their brand name, are all smartwatches and are priced accordingly – although they do feature on our best Fitbit guide.

Right now this guide is designed to show you the best of the best that your money will get you. We’ll show you how each ranks in terms of stand-out features, specs, price, design, the quality of the software you’ll be using on your phone and much more.  

Fitbit Charge 3

(Image credit: Fitbit)

1. Fitbit Charge 3

Take charge of your fitness with the best tracker

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: Six days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Light design

Big screen

No onboard GPS

Not a color screen

More refined than the Fitbit Charge 2, the Charge 3 is one of the company’s most accomplished devices. It has a more lightweight design than the last-gen, and it looks better on your wrist. It’s our number one all-round fitness tracker since the price has dropped slightly recently, and it offers a lot of insight into your overall health.

The display is bigger and clearer than a lot of other fitness trackers on this list, but it’s still a black and white screen.

There’s no onboard GPS, like some other trackers on this list have, but it’s waterproof and offers a full fitness suite including a heart rate tracker. You can track GPS by pairing your phone with the tracker too.

You have to spend a bit extra on this than other fitness trackers you can buy in this same list, but if you enjoy the whole Fitbit app and experience and would also like access to notifications and Fitbit’s fantastic sleep tracking, you’ll want to opt for this as it’s one of the company’s best trackers ever.

Read our Fitbit Charge 3 review

Garmin Vivosmart 4

(Image credit: Garmin)

2. Garmin Vivosmart 4

It tells you how much energy you do (or don’t) have

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Slim design

Long-lasting battery

Small screen

No GPS

Our highest ranked Garmin product in the best fitness tracker list is also one of the most accomplished in its range of health bands.

This device isn’t made for serious athletes like a variety of other products from the Garmin brand, but instead this is for those who want to be able to track the odd bit of exercise and have an attractive band to do it.

The screen is bigger on this version than other Garmin products, and it has a battery that should last you around a week depending on how much exercise you’ll be doing.

There’s also an innovative feature called body battery that helps you learn when exactly is the best time to exercise depending on how much energy you have. This is great for those who are just as interested in their recovery and general wellbeing as they are clocking up the miles. 

Read the full Garmin Vivosmart 4 review

Huawei Band 3 Pro

(Image credit: Huawei)

3. Huawei Band 3 Pro

Both style and substance on a budget

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 14 days standby | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Great battery life

Good looking color screen

GPS can be slow to lock

No ‘breathing’ feature

Taking over from the Huawei Band 2 Pro is the Huawei Band 3 Pro. This is one of the best fitness trackers you can buy if you’re on a strict budget, and it has some amazing features considering how much it costs.

The Band 3 Pro comes with GPS onboard, it has a water resistant design (which means you can take it swimming) and there’s a 0.95-inch color screen to display all of your stats on your wrist.

We’ve found the heart rate monitor to be accurate, and while the GPS could be quicker at locking on we also found it to be precise. If you’re looking for an affordable entry-level device for your first foray into the world of fitness tracking, this is a great place to start.

Read our Huawei Band 3 Pro review

Fitbit Inspire HR

(Image credit: Fitbit)

4. Fitbit Inspire HR

Inspiration to get off the sofa

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 5 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Premium design

Lots of tracked metrics

Lacks swim tracking

No contactless payments

This isn’t the most capable fitness tracker in our best of list, but it does a lot considering its price and you’ll get access to all of Fitbit’s top-end services. 

The Fitbit Inspire HR unsurprisingly offers a heart rate tracker alongside a variety of other fitness tracking capabilities. 

It isn’t as capable as the Fitbit Charge 3 as it lacks swim tracking or Fitbit Pay integration, but that’s understandable as this is much cheaper.

It features a slimmer and more comfortable design than a lot of other trackers you can buy, so if you’re after a Fitbit that won’t be heavy on your wrist you may want to consider the Inspire HR as your next fitness band.

Read the full Fitbit Inspire HR review

Garmin Vivosport

(Image credit: Garmin)

5. Garmin Vivosport

Screen: Yes, color touchscreen | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Small for GPS tracker

Good battery life

Bland design

No swim modes

It’s not as stylish as most of the Fitbit products, but there’s a reason the Garmin Vivosport appears in this list before products from the latter company. 

This is cheaper than most Fitbit products and it comes with GPS built-in too. We found the Vivosport offers a solid seven days battery life from a single charge, even when using the GPS features.

Although it’s waterproof, it won’t track your swimming easily but the Vivosport excels for other kinds of workouts and is great for tracking your jogging and cycling. Plus we found the heart rate tracker to be accurate too.

Read our full Garmin Vivosport review

Honor Band 5

(Image credit: Honor)

6. Honor Band 5

One of the cheapest options on the list

Screen: Yes, color touchscreen | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Decent sleep tracking

Affordable price

Notifications temperamental

Screen sometimes unresponsive

The Honor Band 5 was a serious step up from the Band 4, with improved fitness features in many areas, as well as a color touchscreen to view all your information on.

One of the most useful features is the sleep tracking, that gives you advice to maximise your sleep time, as well as simply monitoring it like many other fitness trackers do.

The Honor Band 5 is also one of the most affordable fitness trackers on the market, so if you want an exercise monitor or sleep counter that isn’t also a bank-breaker, this is where to look.

Read our full Honor Band 5 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 4

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

7. Xiaomi Mi Band 4

Xiaomi’s budget fitness tracker

Screen: Yes, color touchscreen | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Connected GPS | Battery life: 20 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Very cheap

Slimline design

Doesn’t auto-stop tracking

Only connected GPS

The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is run-of-the-mill affordable fitness tracker, in that it has a slimline design, a smallish color screen with a capacitive button, and a selection of workouts to track. 

It has a few great perks for fitness buffs though, like its 20-day battery life, useful heart rate monitor and easy-to-view screen, so if you’re looking for a new heart rate monitor there are far worse devices you can buy.

Read our full Xiaomi Mi Band 4 review

Amazfit Bip

(Image credit: Amazfit)

8. Amazfit Bip

Looks like a smartwatch, but it’s more fitness tracker

Screen: Yes, black and white | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1 month | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Stylish design

Excellent companion app

Auto-pause feature doesn’t work

Finicky UI

This may look more like a smartwatch than any of the other devices on this list, but as it runs its own software and has a very big focus on fitness we’ve decided to include it in our list of the best fitness trackers.

The Amazfit Bip design has been influenced by the Apple Watch (there’s no denying that) and it comes packed with tons of features including GPS, an accurate heart rate tracker, multi-sport tracking, sleep tracking and VO2 Max features too.

If you’re looking for a more watch-like design than everything else on this list, the Bip will be up your street. It’s lightweight too and other highlights include the always-on display and strong battery life that should last around a month depending on your usage. 

Read the full Amazfit Bip review

Garmin Vivofit 4

(Image credit: Garmin)

9. Garmin Vivofit 4

Screen: Yes, color LCD | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 1 year | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Super-long battery life

Small but color display

No GPS or heart rate

No phone notifications

The Garmin Vivofit 4 is one of the best fitness trackers the company has ever created, and that now means it sits in this prestigious list alongside some other fantastic tracking products.

We particularly like the super-long battery life of the Vivofit 4, which means you won’t need to recharge your device for a whole year. That means you can wear it all day, then all night for sleep tracking and not have to worry about recharging it.

You’ll miss out on phone notifications by buying this tracker, but you do get the benefit of an always-on color display, accurate fitness tracking features – just note these are more limited than some other trackers on this list – as well as access to an in-depth app to break down your stats on your smartphone.

Read the full Garmin Vivofit 4 review

Honor Band 5 Sport

(Image credit: Honor)

10. Honor Band 5 Sport

Screen: Yes, black and white | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 14 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Granular running data

Long battery life

Basic screen

No heart rate tracking or GPS

You’ve read about the Honor Band 5 above in this list, but this version of the tracker is even cheaper than the device above. It comes with a slightly cheaper looking design and missing a few features to make up for it.

There’s no heart rate tracking or GPS tech here, but it’s far cheaper than a lot of the other trackers you’ll find on this list.

We found the running data to be useful on this tracker, plus the battery life can last for up to two weeks from a single charge allowing you to pump it up once and forget all about it.

Read our full Honor Band 5 Sport review

Best fitness tracker at a glance

  1. Fitbit Charge
  2. Garmin Vivosmart 4
  3. Huawei Band 4 Pro
  4. Fitbit Inspire HR
  5. Garmin Vivosport
  6. Honor Band 5
  7. Xiaomi Mi Band 4
  8. Amazfit Bip
  9. Garmin Vivofit 4
  10. Honor Band 5 Sport

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