The 7 Best Fitness Trackers of 2019

Getting in shape and keeping track of your activity is easier than ever

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The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Fitbit Charge 3 at Amazon, “Fitbit is the king of fitness tracking — and the Charge 3 is the company’s latest and greatest.”
  • Best Budget: Misfit Ray at Amazon, “Standout features include a battery that lasts up to six months, vibration-style call and text alerts, and, of course, tracking.”
  • Best Advanced Functionality: Fitbit Surge at Amazon, “Includes a heart-rate monitor that takes automatic measurements and GPS tracking.”
  • Best Fitness Tracker/Smartwatch Hybrid: Garmin Vivoactive HR at Amazon, “The Move IQ feature automatically detects activity including running, walking, biking, elliptical training, and swimming.”
  • Runner-Up, Best Fitness Tracker/Smartwatch Hybrid: Misfit Vapor 2 at Amazon, "The 4GB of internal storage means you can listen to music separately from your phone."
  • Best Traditional Watch Design: Withings Activite Pop at Amazon, “This fitness-tracking device ditches a typical chunky design for a more classic look.”
  • Best Bluetooth Functionality: Huawei TalkBand B5 at Newegg, “A unique hybrid that’s both a Bluetooth headset and a fitness tracker, the Huawei TalkBand B5 combines the two with excellent results.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit is the king of fitness tracking — and the Charge 3 is the company’s latest and greatest. This tracker has more smartwatch-like features than a typical Fitbit, making it a great choice for people who want a top-of-the-line fitness tracker.

Design-wise, the Charge 3 has a bigger screen than its predecessors. That means it’s easier to view and swipe through your stats, notifications, and settings. The bigger screen is also great for navigating Fitbit’s apps, which include apps for your workout, checking the weather, setting timers and alarms, and guided breathing exercises. The company expects to release more apps in the future.

The Charge 3 comes with seven days of battery life and is more water resistant than previous models. The tracker can survive in up to 50 meters of water, meaning that it can collect and track swimming data. It also comes outfitted with an accelerometer, a 24/7 heart rate monitor, and a SpO2 sensor for tracking blood oxygen levels. It can also track your sleep and menstrual cycle, and a new feature lets users set workout goals.

Best Budget: Misfit Ray

Misfit Ray. Courtesy of Amazon

Wearables company Misfit is being acquired by Fossil, which is already making strides with its own wearables lineup. Still, Misfit found time to release a new activity tracker and sleep monitor earlier this year, and it's definitely an option to consider.

Standout features and benefits include a button cell battery that lasts for up to six months, vibration-style alerts for calls and texts and, of course, tracking for steps, calories, distance and more, plus info on sleep duration.

This product also stands out for its unique modular design; the "brains" of the Misfit Ray are in the tube-shaped sensor, and you can swap out the band for straps with different finishes, or you can even buy a third-party necklace and wear it around your neck.

Best Advanced Functionality: Fitbit Surge

Fitbit Surge. Image courtesy of Amazon

Fitbit dominates the activity tracker (and even the larger wearable) space, so it's no huge shock that another product from the company appears on the list. While the Fitbit Alta discussed above may have broader appeal to more casual users, the Fitbit Surge is a great choice. I reviewed it late last year and enjoyed testing out its more advanced functionality, including a heart-rate monitor that takes automatic measurements and GPS tracking. The black-and-white touchscreen is also quite handy, as it allows you to swipe through your up-to-date stats throughout the day and even mid-workout.

This is definitely a more expensive option, but if you want to collect data on your heart rate and you can take advantage of the GPS tracking to map your runs and bike rides, it could definitely be worth the difference in cash. As an added bonus, you'll get extra-long battery life — the black-and-white display is low-energy, so you should be able to go a week between charges.

Best Fitness Tracker/Smartwatch Hybrid: Garmin Vivoactive HR

Garmin Vivoactive HR. Courtesy of Amazon.

Most consumer wearables at this point fall into one of these two categories: fitness trackers or smartwatches. Since both product types are usually worn on the wrist, it's no surprise that we're starting to see some hybrid devices. The Garmin Vivoactive HR is one such product, combining advanced activity-tracking features with smartwatch functionality that includes notifications from your phone.

On the activity-tracking side, this watch includes a heart-rate monitor (as the name implies) and it counts steps, calories, floors climbed and other stats and displays them on its color touchscreen. There's also a Move IQ feature, which automatically detects activity including running, walking, biking, elliptical training and swimming, and you can view how many active minutes you've logged compared to the standards suggested by national health organizations. There's also built-in GPS, so you can map your activity.

As far as smartwatch functionality goes, basically any notification you get on your phone can be displayed on the Vivoactive HR. Another advantage is battery life, which is rated to last several days. Overall, this option gets a slight edge over the similar Fitbit Blaze due to more features, including weather information and a variety of apps tailored to different activities. It won't be the right pick for everyone, but it's definitely an overachiever that could make sense for those who can maximize all its features.

Runner-Up, Best Fitness Tracker/Smartwatch Hybrid: Misfit Vapor 2

The Vapor 2 has emerged as a really nice hybrid between the categories of dedicated fitness trackers and smartwatches. This latest version has improved the heart-rate monitor, giving you a newer sensor to track your heart rate on Google Fit and other apps. They’ve also built GPS functionality right into the watch, meaning you can take it out for a run and track your route and location, without the need for a smartphone. There’s 4GB of internal storage on the watch, which means you can listen to music separately from your phone, as well. There are two size options, 41 and 46mm, which include 1.2- and 1.4-inch screens, respectively. The build is pretty sleek at about 11mm, and this configuration comes with a textured fitness band. It also includes some smartwatch-centric functions like NFC for Android Pay, iPhone or Android compatibility, and a swim-proof build up to 50m. It all amounts to a reasonably-priced smartwatch/fitness band hybrid that deserves a look if you’re in the market for a new fitness tracker. 

Best Traditional Watch Design: Withings Activite Pop

Withings Activite Pop. Courtesy of Amazon

Other devices on our list have the "sporty-looking activity tracker" game pretty well covered, so the final item on this list takes a slightly different approach. It's still a fitness-tracking device, but it ditches the typical chunky design for a more classic look. 

The Withings Activite Pop comes in black, blue, white or pink, and it looks like a pared-down wristwatch. Underneath the hood, though, it packs all the stat-counting power you'd expect from an activity tracker. Via the compatible Health Mate app, you can view calories burned, distance traveled, steps taken, and more. Plus, the watch face has a smaller hand devoted to displaying what percentage of your activity goals you've completed — a nifty at-a-glance feature.

If you don't like having to charge your activity tracker on a regular basis, you'll also appreciate that the Activite Pop has a button cell battery rated for up to eight months of use. 

Best Bluetooth Functionality: Huawei TalkBand B5

Huawei TalkBand B5
 Courtesy of Newegg.com

A unique hybrid that’s both a Bluetooth headset and a fitness tracker, the Huawei TalkBand B5 combines the two with excellent results. The 1.13-inch, 300 x 160 resolution AMOLED display shows readings for battery life, steps, time, weather and more. It also contains extras like Huawei TruRelax, a technology that helps you keep an eye on your heart rate trends and stress levels throughout the day. 

When you receive a call, the Bluetooth headset functionality takes over. The screen pops out of the band, revealing a tiny earbud on the back that you can pop into your ear. A triple-core audio chipset with HD audio helps conversations feel natural. Dual-mic noise canceling eliminates unwanted noise around you. When connected to a smartphone, Phone Finder can utilize the TalkBand to trigger the phone’s ringer (or vibration) when within Bluetooth range. The band can also serve as a remote shutter for a smartphone camera.