Last updated on January 7th, 2020
When it comes to working out or your daily cardio, these days it’s beneficial to be able to track your progress. In order to track your progress, you’ll need a fitness tracker. Lucky for you, we recently tested a bunch of fitness trackers that are very affordable. I will admit since this review is for the best budget fitness trackers, we can’t promise that the quality of these watches will be as good as the big brand watches.
We conducted this review in the same way as when we tested the big name brands of fitness trackers. First, we started the waterproof test. All of the watches we are going to show you today are 100% waterproof up to a safe depth of 12 feet.
Each watch also has heart-rate monitoring. Every watch performed absolutely great when it came to accurately monitor both resting and active heart rates. In addition, the user interface on the watch itself is crisp and clear so you can easily read what’s being displayed.
Lastly, we also tested the overall durability of each watch as well. Two of our top five are excluded from this but the other three have a few flaws that can’t be ignored. The biggest con of all would be the low-quality bands that these watches have. They’re pretty much just soft plastic-wrapped with lightweight rubber. They’re fine for the price, but they could get uncomfortable in the long run.
If you’re NOT on a budget and you’re open to spending a bit more on a better fitness tracker, check out our review of BIG BRAND watches.
What Is A Fitness Tracker?
Fitness trackers are a wrist-worn device that can detect your walking steps, running distance, monitor heart rate, sleep patterns, and swimming laps. Honestly, though, they can do a lot more than this as well, those are just the basics.
In the current market, fitness trackers have many different names, to be honest. We call them fitness trackers but others will call them: fitness trackers, activity monitors, fitness bands, and many other names as well. They all do the same thing, they track and monitor your overall fitness statistics.
Fitness trackers have gotten “smart” these days and many of them include apps as well. In relevance, regular smartwatches can also do things that a fitness tracker can do as well. The Apple Watch is a perfect example of this.
Fitness trackers are great for anyone who likes to keep a close tab on their physical life. We’ve even seen kids wearing them as well. The heart rate monitors on these watches can be very useful for kids as well.
Think about this situation, if you have a child with an anger problem, a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor can greatly decrease the chances of them having an episode. How? When the child starts to get angry, the watch will start to beep (per setting) as soon as it detects the heart rate is rising faster than it should be. This ultimately indicates that they need to cool down in order for the heart rate to go down.
Overall, there a lot of great uses for a fitness tracker and we’ll talk about them more in-depth in the next section.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Fitness Tracker?
Personal Accountability – You’re not competing with anyone when you’re wearing a fitness tracker. It’s not connected to social media or anything so you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s results except for your own. With a fitness tracker, you can motivate yourself to beat your past records and ultimately come out on top of your fitness and health goals! You get to be responsible for your own results.
Tailored Goals – Most fitness trackers have fitness goals, tips, and realistic goals that you can set for yourself. For example, if you’ve never run a 10k before, it wouldn’t make sense to jump right and run a 10k now, would it? Instead, you can set up your watch to monitor your progress for a 5k first and work your way up to a 10k. Some of these watches even have programs that will get you off the couch and have you running a 5k or 3.1 miles in a matter of 8 weeks!
All-In-One – Fitness trackers are basically an all in one monitoring tool. They’re equipped with numerous features that will ultimately help you reach your fitness goals. Some even have Bluetooth capability which will allow you to sync your data to an app right on your phone.
Incentives At Work – Have you noticed in recent years that workplaces are starting to promote health & fitness? For good reason too! Your fitness tracker can greatly help with showing off your latest record that you broke or to show your boss how serious you are about workplace fitness incentives. If you’re part of one of these programs at work and don’t have a fitness tracker, you’re missing out!
Fitness Tracker Features
Sleep Tracking – In earlier times, tracking your sleep was pretty tough. You used to have to go see a doctor and get hooked up with wires and electrodes just to determine whether you’re in REM or NREM sleep. This is no longer the case. Fitness trackers can now detect your movement in your sleep and can determine your overall quality of sleep as well!
Pedometer – With a pedometer, you’ll be able to track how many steps you have taken throughout the day. This can be useful when you’re going for walks on your lunch break at work, or even after work. In addition, you can try and beat your own records which will motivate you to go further each time!
Heart Rate Monitor – This is one of the most useful features that these fitness trackers have. Easily track your heart rate so you can tell when you need to start cooling down from pushing yourself too hard. In addition, they’re great for kids and the elderly as well.
Calorie Burn Tracking – As you’re working out of jogging, you’ll be able to see an estimate of the number of calories you have lost. This can be extremely useful for people who are trying to shed some weight. This feature will motivate you as well because you’ll naturally want to beat your own records which will push you harder and harder.
Distance Tracking – Are you a runner, jogger, or walker? The distance tracking features will allow you to track your distance via GPS integration. This feature is great for people losing weight or people who are training for a 5k, 10k, or even a marathon! You’ll be able to work yourself up to running or jogging the distance that you have your goals set at.
Top 5 Best Budget Fitness Trackers
1. Fitbit Inspire
Fitbit Inspire is a friendly fitness tracker for every day that helps you build healthy habits. This encouraging companion motivates you to reach your weight and fitness goals and even enjoy the journey with calorie burn tracking, goal celebrations, sleep tracking & guidance, Reminders to Move and up to 5 days of battery life.
This fitness tracker was clearly our all-time favorite among our picks because Fitbit has built a name for themselves and they’re the number one brand for fitness trackers. This watch gives you a lot of bang for the buck. If you’re on a budget but still want a good fitness watch, this is the one you’ll want.
- Track all-day activity, including steps, distance, hourly activity, active minutes and calories burned.
- Automatically track your sleep & set silent alarms that wake you by buzzing on your wrist.
- Enjoy up to 5 days of battery for daily progress without constant charging. Varies with use & other factors.
- Automatically and conveniently record workouts like walks, swimming, and bike rides with SmartTrack.
- The on-screen dashboard, intuitive touchscreen & backlit display make the Inspire tracker easy to use & love.
2. Garmin Vivosmart
Monitor your all-day heart rate without needing a chest strap, using Garmin’s Elevate wrist heart rate technology. It helps you gauge your effort for cardio workouts and because it’s tracking your heart rate provides more accurate calories burned information.
Taking the stairs is harder, vívosmart HR will track that extra effort thanks to an integrated barometric altimeter. It will also measure activity intensity through Intensity Minutes, so users can then monitor their progress against weekly goals.
The vívosmart HR automatically syncs with your smartphone throughout the day to save your stats to our free online community. Simply download Garmin Connect Mobile to your phone or log on to Garmin Connect via your desktop, where you can save, plan and share your activity and beat yesterday in your daily step count. Connect with other users to challenge and compete.
For detailed calorie tracking, you can create an account at MyFitnessPal and link it to your Garmin Connect account. This allows you to compare calories consumed to total calories burned, which vívosmart HR records throughout the day.
- The sleek band is comfortable to wear all day, and the always-on display shows your stats, even in sunlight.
- Displays steps, distance, calories, heart rate, floors climbed and activity intensity.
- Receive text, call, email, calendar, and social media alerts.
- Reminds you to stay active with a move bar and vibration alert.
- Tracks heart rate to provide an accurate measure of calories burned.
- Displays any type of notification from your smartphone such as calls, texts, social media, music, games, and more.
3. Akuti Fitness Tracker HR
- The Y1 smart fitness tracker accurately records your daily activity, tracks walking distance, calories burned and monitors your heart rate with comprehensive analysis.
- Only 2 hours to fully charge and lasts up to 5 days.
- Has everything you need in a tiny fitness tracker: heart rate monitor, step counter, stopwatch, reminder, calorie counter, and sleep monitor.
- Supports multiple sports modes: walk, run, hiking, cycling.
- Multiple band color selections with adjustable anti-lost straps, suitable for wrists from 4.7 to 7.8 inches. The easy-to-read bright and colorful LCD display fits your style for every season.
- Supports a wide selection of Android and iOS mobile devices, install the App “JYouPro” in your phone and pair the device from it. From this app, you’ll be able to check your personal health data that is captured by your watch.
4. Lintelek Unisex Fitness Tracker
- Track all-day step counter, including 14 activities to capture more precise heart-rate data, calorie consumed, distance and other stats even when disconnected with your phone.
- The built-in USB design makes it easy to charge this fitness tracker.
- This fitness tracker not only can monitor your sleep quality but also monitor your heart rate data, which allows you to monitor health status as well. Silent alarms will wake you up without disturbing others too.
- This watch is a 0.96-inch OLED color screen activity tracker with an adjustable dual-color band, which is designed for 5.4 to 8.3 inches wrists.
- Apart from appearance, it has connected GPS, and 5 modes adjustable brightness as well.
5. GoKoo Fitness Tracker
- With this fitness tracker, your can monitor your basic health statistics or individual goals.
- This watch has a heart rate monitor, sleep monitor, activity tracker, calorie counter, various sport modes, pedometer, and much more.
- This fitness tracker gives you a different visual, it has a 1.14-inch IPS color screen.
- Easily remove the bracelet strap to charge your fitness tracker with USB. No charging cable or dock is needed.
- This watch has an IP67 waterproof rating and is completely dustproof and waterproof.
Whether you’re looking to lose some weight or you want a fitness tracker to keep tabs on your heart, the above fitness trackers are your best options under $100. If your budget is low for a fitness tracker watch, we would honestly suggest the Fitbit that we have in our number one spot.
The Fitbit will be your best option out of these five because it’s a big band name and big brand names usually always outperform the smaller brand names.