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10 Best Fitness Trackers for 2021

Best fitness trackers: Top picks from Fitbit, Garmin & others

Best Fitness Tracker
  • If you take your fitness seriously, a dedicated tracker can give you the data you need
  • They give you important information such as heart rate, calories burnt and can also track your running routes
  • But not every tracker is made equal, so there may be some essentials you want to look out for
  • We found picks from Fitbit & Garmin to be the best, but others give them a good run for the money

Our Top Picks

The Best Fitness Watches

If you are determined to set some fitness goals and know what is going right (or wrong), it could be worth investing in a fitness & activity tracker watch.

We say investing, but you don’t always have to spend over the odds. However, one thing is for sure – there are so many on the market that it can be overwhelming to choose. You may even find that a running watch or smartwatch is better for your overall lifestyle.

The Fitbit Charge 4 is our best overall pick – it has everything you should need, with updates on the older models (such as added GPS and Fitbit Pay) so you can keep the phone at home.

We have reviewed dozens on the market to bring you the top picks, which balance functionality and cost perfectly. Whether you’re after a particular brand or specification, you will be able to find one which suits below.

The Essential Smart Fitness Watch Buying Guide

Common Fitness Tracker Features

Ideally, all fitness trackers should tell you how many steps you have done, which types of exercise you’ve done and how many calories you’ve burned.

GPS is common, but not in every single fitness tracker. If you want the utmost accuracy for pace and distance, it is a must, as well as if you want to track your route.

Phone apps can currently give GPS services for running, but a watch with this built-in means you can leave the phone at home, or even safe in your bag/pocket without the risk of dropping it.

Most will also monitor sleep, which is another huge contributing factor to our overall wellbeing. You may be asked to pop in information about calories and water consumed that day, too, which is good if you are changing your lifestyle as well as your fitness levels.

Fitness Tracker Extras

There are now features available such as blood oxygen level monitoring, and while they probably aren’t as accurate as having an ABG or pulse ox test, it is a good indicator that everything is okay.

In the past few years, we have realised that health and fitness are more than just exercise levels and body fat. If you want an overall picture of how your body is doing, also look for a fitness watch which monitors stress – it can let you know if you are stressed and need to take a minute out to do some breathing exercises.

Some also have compatible apps which can go well beyond just telling you about your fitness. From group session workouts to advice, it is basically a gym in your pocket.


The above battery information is just a guide. It is usually the maximum time a fitness watch battery will last without being over-used; features such as GPS can often really sap the energy.

Fitness trackers will need to be recharged. They often will tell you how much battery is left on-screen but some of the cheaper models may rely on your phone to tell battery levels. Some have developed solar charging recently, but you will often pay a lot more for these.


Your fitness tracker will need to connect to your phone to get the most out of it, such as displaying accurate data and recording the trends over time.

The two main phone operating systems are iOS and Android. Most will work with both, but some will only work with one, so check before you buy. If there is a chance you could change your OS in future, opt for one which can make the switch.

If you have a phone which uses Windows, this may be a bit trickier. They exist, but you’ll have less choice on your hands.

What You Need To Know About Fitness Trackers

How much should I spend on a fitness tracker?

You can buy a tracker for as little as £20, with prices going skyward of £200.

Where is the sweet spot? Well, some of those at the lower end work well – indeed,  budget pick under £50 has made our list – but there may be limitations on which phones they can connect to, how much they can tell the difference between varying forms of exercise, and how sturdy they are.

Those at the top end can seem extortionate, but you’ll likely get things such as longer battery life, better build and more intuitive sensors. They may even look a bit fancier.

If you are just wanting a basic guide on heart rate, steps per day and calories burned then you can save some money, but if you want it to be pretty exact, you will likely have to spend at least around the £100 mark and opt for a big brand.

Can I use a clip-on fitness tracker?

This could be easier for you depending on your lifestyle. However, it would be a lot less accurate, and would not be able to read things like blood oxygen and heart rate as easily.

This is fine if you just want to monitor step count but again, it would not be as accurate as being able to tell what a step is.