The Best Activity Trackers for $50 or Less

You Don't Need to Spend a Bundle to Get a Valuable Workout Companion

Misfit

On the market for a fitness tracker? A good place to start is this article, an introduction to this wearable product category, which should give you a sense of the top features and help familiarize you with some of the terminology you’re bound to encounter when comparison-shopping. (You'll find even more info here).

From Fitbit to Jawbone and Misfit to Withings, there are plenty of choices for the fitness-conscious among us who’d like some insight into our exercise habits.

Luckily, the options come at all points on the price scale, too. 

Keep reading for a look at some of the best budget-minded activity trackers around. All of the products listed below are available for purchase for $50 or less. Note that you’ll need to spend a bit more to get more advanced features such as heart-rate monitoring and personalized workout recommendations, these wearables should be a good place to start for any first-time user.

Misfit Flash

Currently available for $28 on Amazon, the Misfit Flash is a sporty wristband that monitors your calories burned, distance traveled and steps taken, presenting information in chart form on its companion smartphone app for iOS and Android. The device comes in seven different colors, and for those who prefer a more discreet look, there’s a $20 clasp for attaching the Flash to clothing or sneakers.

I like that the Flash packs so much functionality into a relatively inexpensive package; the tracker is water- and splash-resistant, and it tracks a variety of sports beyond running, including cycling; yoga; soccer; tennis; basketball and dance.

Plus, you can press the device to see a visualization of your progress toward a daily activity goal.

Jawbone UP Move Tracker

Going for $40 (and occasionally less) on Amazon, this clip-on tracker boasts the modern, sleek design that's become a Jawbone signature. Like the Misfit Flash, the UP Move includes a visual indicator of your daily activity progress, and it wirelessly syncs with your smartphone to display up-to-date stats in the app.

Speaking of the app, it includes a food-log feature, letting you scan barcodes to keep tabs on your caloric intake and more.

Xiaomi Mi Band

Made by the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, this band might not be as well known as the others mentioned above, but it's received positive reviews all around, and its feature set is strong. I'm especially impressed that a device this cheap (about $19) includes a "smart alarm," which promises to time your wakeup at the optimal moment in your sleep cycle. 

Other notable features include water-resistance and sleep monitoring (related to said smart alarm feature). You also get step counting along with support for a few other activities, including sit-ups and jump rope. There's also a "smart unlock" option, which bypasses the lockscreen on your phone when it's close enough to the Mi Band.

Note: Several customers on Amazon have complained about receiving fake Mi Bands from certain vendors, so I'd recommend reading the reviews if you plan to purchase this device through the site. This link appears to offer the genuine device, but it never hurts to double-check!