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Best fitness trackers to keep you active

Stay on track with a smart wearable.

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Fitness trackers help you keep tabs on your health and reach your fitness goals. You wear them on your wrist just like a watch, and they monitor loads of different stats. We’re talking important stuff like your heart rate and how many calories you’ve burned after a workout. Neat!

There are lots of fitness trackers out there, so it can be hard to know where to start when you’re shopping for one. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best fitness trackers and smart watches for certain sports and budgets. Whether you’re a swimmer, runner, body builder — or just want to avoid being a couch potato — these should keep you active.

Best all-around fitness tracker

Into lots of different sports? Don’t sweat it. There are plenty of fitness trackers that’ll keep up with your pace. For the best all-round fitness tracker, you want one that monitors your heart rate, steps/distance, and the calories you’ve burned. But special workout modes, long battery life, water resistance, and GPS tracking are worth looking out for too.

Fitbit’s Charge series is popular as they’re affordable, stylish, and easy to use. Their new Charge 6 can do all the above and more, with multiple sensors tracking everything from your blood oxygen to even your stress levels. And with up to 7 days battery life, you won’t have to worry about recharging halfway through a heavy workout. There’s also Bluetooth that lets you hook up to Google Maps and YouTube Music via your iOS/Android phone. This means you’ll never take a wrong turn and you can DJ your workouts from your wrist!

Best budget fitness tracker

Most fitness trackers are pretty affordable. Even the best cheap fitness trackers can help you keep on top of your workouts. And there are a few that have built-in GPS too — perfect for runners who want to accurately map out their routes.

Fitness trackers like the Fitbit Inspire 3 pack a serious punch for less than £100. There’s up to a whopping 10 days of battery life, you can use GPS when you connect it to your smartphone, and heart rate/blood oxygen monitoring lets you stay on top of your health and fitness progress. It can also track steps, distance, calories, and sleep if love looking at every detail. That’s a lot of bang for your buck.

The Huawei Band 8 is another rock-solid choice. For just £50, you get a bright 1.47” AMOLED display that shows loads of fitness data. It’s also super lightweight, so it’ll feel like you’re wearing nothing on your wrist as you lob that frisbee! With 100+ ‘TruSports’ workout modes that’ll keep you motivated for ages, the Band 8 lets you stay in the loop with app notifications, quick replies, and incoming calls from your smartphone too. Wow.

Best kids fitness tracker

Just like the rest of us, kids need to stay active. In fact, the NHS recommend they get at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a day. So, getting them a cool wearable will let you track just how much exercise they’re doing. Even if tearing them away from their video games can be a struggle!

The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Kids' Activity Tracker is a great shout for youngsters. It’s durable, so it’ll easily handle any bumps and scrapes. While there’s plenty of cool colours to pick from to show off to their friends.

The Garmin Jr. App (for iOS and Android) also lets you see your child's activity, sleep and more. Helping you to make sure they’re getting enough of both. And you can even assign them chores and set rewards! Then they’ll really have to earn their pocket money. But if you’re on a tighter budget, try the Fitbit Ace 3 instead. It can do a lot of what the Garmin does for a little less.

Best fitness tracker with GPS

Fitness trackers with GPS tech can track your activity and location at the same time. They accurately record data like distance, speed, and your route when you’re running, hiking, or cycling. Pretty cool, especially if you like digging into the data after your workouts.

There are tons of fitness trackers and smart watches with built-in GPS chips. From the popular Apple Watch to the Google Pixel Watch and even the super affordable Xiaomi Redmi Watch 2 Lite. If you want stellar precision though, make time for the Apple Watch Ultra 2 or Huawei Watch Ultimate. With dual-frequency/band GPS, they’ll help you find your way home when you're off the beaten track.

Best fitness tracker with blood pressure monitor

Over a billion people worldwide struggle with high blood pressure. So, detecting and monitoring it is important to make sure you get the right treatment. And fortunately, there are a few fitness trackers and smart watches out there that can do it.

Samsung Galaxy smart watches are some of the best for monitoring your blood pressure. And the latest gen Watch6 is really accurate. It does have to be regularly synced with a traditional blood pressure cuff to get the best readings though.

Best fitness tracker for swimming

Not all fitness trackers can survive a dip in the pool. So, if you’re a keen swimmer who wants to count their laps — you’ll need to keep an eye out for the best waterproof fitness trackers. And you don’t have to splash out on something expensive either!

If you’re on watertight budget, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 gets a high score. It’s water resistant up to 50 metres with a light and slim design too. So, it won’t be slowing you down as you go for that personal best. There’s also a ‘Professional Workout Analysis’ feature that gives you detailed stats and recommendations to improve your training. Not bad for around £50.

If you can stretch your budget, then check out the Suunto 9 Peak Sports Watch. This super-stylish smart wearable has a big display and it’s waterproof up to a whopping 100 metres. It even has special swimming training functions like 'Stroke Efficiency' (SWOLF) for perfecting your technique.

Best fitness tracker for running

Today’s fitness trackers are like having a personal trainer on your wrist. Especially if you’re into running! There are loads of options that’ll count your steps, record your heart rate, and help you train smarter with fitness programs that’ll encourage you along the way.

But if you’re an outdoor runner, GPS is one of the best features to look out for. These accurately measure your distance, speed, and route using signals from satellites. So, you can map out routes and get precise location-based data. Clever stuff.

A great choice is the Garmin Forerunner 255 Sports Watch. I mean, the clue is in the name! With an always-on, full-colour display and up to 30 hours of battery life in GPS Mode — you'll never miss an important notification or run out of juice mid-run. The ‘Race Widget’ gives you custom training tips so you can gain the edge in your next event. And there’s also ‘Garmin Coach’ to help you prepare for a 5K, 10K or half marathon race.

Best battery life fitness tracker

You’re looking at a personal best in your marathon practice run — when halfway through — your fitness tracker runs out of juice. Ouch. To keep all your fitness data logged during those long training sessions, get a fitness tracker that can go the distance.

Some smart watches that have built-in apps, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and multiple sensors can have a short battery life. With all those features fighting for power, this means that they usually need to be recharged every day or two. But more basic fitness trackers can last up to a few days.

If you’re after a big feature-packed wearable with incredible battery life, check out the Garmin Fenix 7. It has a ‘Power Manager’ that lets you choose which settings and sensors you want to use to save on battery life. In regular smartwatch mode, it can last up to 18 days. Or if that’s not enough, go for one of the Pro Solar versions and use the power of the sun to top up the battery. We’re talking weeks of continuous use!

Best fitness tracker for an iPhone

Lots of fitness trackers work with iPhone, but the Apple Watch is a no-brainer. It’s specifically designed to pair and sync up with an iPhone. And the three models in the range (SE, Series 9 and Ultra 2) cater for all budgets.

Apple’s smart watches come with loads of apps to supercharge your fitness routine. The Workout App features everything from cardio-focused fitness programs to strength training and even sports like tennis. While the Activity App lets you monitor things like how many calories you’ve burned.

The best Apple Watch models for fitness tracking are the Series 9 and top-of-the-line Ultra 2. These come equipped with a bunch of health sensors to keep you in tip-top condition. The ECG app monitors your heart's rhythm, electrical activity, and blood oxygen. And there’s also the Sleep App that can tell you how well you slept for the best post-exercise recovery. To learn more about Apple wearables, check out our best Apple Watch guide.

FAQs

What is the best fitness tracker?

This really depends on what you need. Think about your budget, the features you want, and whether you prefer Apple or Android. There are loads of fitness trackers that can help you to make the most of your workouts and reach your fitness goals. But as you can imagine, the high-end fitness trackers and smart watches come with more sensors and tech to boost your routine.

Which is better, Fitbit or Garmin?

Both brands make brilliant fitness trackers. If you’re on a budget, then Fitbit and Garmin gadgets make a lot of sense. They come packed with plenty of handy features at a fraction of the price.

For fitness tracking — especially for beginners — Fitbit are probably a better fit. They also come equipped with ECG (electrocardiogram) and skin temperature sensors that more health-conscious users may prefer.

Garmin fitness trackers are better if you want loads of data insights. They show more post-workout info so that you can really stay on track. Plus, they have handy safety features like ‘Incident Detection’ that uses your smartphone to send a message and your location to emergency contacts. If the worst happens!

Are fitness trackers accurate?

Modern fitness trackers are pretty accurate. But it really depends on the model and the stat you’re looking at. With calories burned, heart rate and sleep, it’s better to use the readings as a guide as they’re not always 100% accurate. They’ll still give you a good “ballpark” figure to go off though. On the other hand, step tracking is usually the most precise.

As you can probably guess, high-end fitness trackers come equipped with more advanced tech. And that means even more precise readings. This is only getting better with time too, so fitness trackers will become way more powerful and accurate going forward.

Any more questions?

Hopefully now you’ve got a good idea about which fitness tracker is the best for you. And if you’ve found the right one, why not kit it out with some of our smart fitness accessories too?

And if you want some more personal advice, pop down to one of our stores. Our tech experts are always up for a chat and can answer any burning questions you have.

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