Best fitness trackers 2017: the top 10 activity bands on the planet

Bright Williams
Updated 10:52 am ET, June 9, 2017

A fitness tracker is the perfect way to monitor your activity easily and with unmatched accuracy. Think of it as an electronic finger on the pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, quality of sleep and step count.

Today’s fitness band market is stuffed with fantastic devices, most of which can do a pretty good job at the basics of tracking. But frankly, we’re only interested in the best, and you should be too.

We won’t be looking at all the techiest wristwear here – check out our best smartwatch guide for that. If you’re looking for a fitness tracker recommendation though, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide will show you the best of the best activity trackers money can buy and show you how each ranks in terms of stand-out features, price, design and the quality of the software you’ll be using on your phone.

1. Moov Now

Our favorite fitness tracker right now

Screen: No | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: Six months | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Great battery life
Cheap price
Limited features
No screen

The Moov Now is officially our favorite fitness band in the world right now. It’s cheap, offers everything you’ll want in an everyday tracker and there’s a phenomenal six month long battery life.

The Moov Now isn’t just designed for step tracking though – it comes with boxing and rep-based training, as well as a swimming mode on top of run coaching and sleep monitoring features. That’s a lot to get stuck in with.

You won’t get GPS or some of the more complex fitness tracking features that others on this list offer, but if you’re looking for a great everyday tracker that doesn’t cost a lot of money the Moov Now will suit you perfectly.

Read the full Moov Now review

Samsung Gear Fit 2

2. Samsung Gear Fit 2

Samsung comes in a close second place

Screen: Yes, 1.5-inch AMOLED | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: 3 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Works on Android and iOS
Impressive value
Lacks alarm function
Barometer issues

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 has made hefty changes to the company’s wearable line both inside and out and the result is a device that does a whole lot for your money.

One of the most recent updates means the Gear Fit 2 will now work on all iPhone devices running iOS 9 and above software as well as Android phones.

It has a gorgeous design that looks fantastic on your wrist and as it’s sporting a big, beautiful AMOLED display you’ll be able to see all of your stats nice and clearly.

Read the full Samsung Gear Fit 2 review

3. Garmin Vivosmart HR+

Third place goes to Garmin

Screen: Yes, Monochrome | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 6 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Six day battery life
GPS and heart rate monitor
Design is lacking
Data could have more depth

In third place is the Garmin Vivosmart HR+, which is on the more expensive side of the fitness trackers listed but offers everything you’ll want from an exercise tracker.

With a six-day long battery life, GPS features and a heart rate monitor, it’s hard to find any reason not to buy the Garmin Vivosmart HR+. The design isn’t the most attractive on this list, but it’s still something you won’t be embarrassed to wear on your wrist while out running.

You should definitely consider the Garmin Vivosmart HR+, especially if you’re looking for a band that can do high-end fitness tracking with an almost week long battery.

Read the full Garmin Vivosmart HR+ review

4. TomTom Spark 3

Music, fitness tracking and on-wrist navigation

Screen: Yes, Monochrome | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: Two weeks | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Phone-free music
GPS navigation
Maze-like menu system
Mediocre sound quality

The TomTom Spark 3 is our fourth favorite fitness device and offers a lot of great features for your wrist, including music without your phone.

You can upload music directly to the TomTom Spark 3, so you won’t need to take your phone out with your Bluetooth headphones while on a run.

Plus on top of that, the Spark 3 offers up GPS tracking, a heart rate monitor and route navigation, making this the perfect wrist companion to wear while running around areas you don’t really know and discovering new places.

Read the full TomTom Spark 3 review

5. Fitbit Charge 2

The best Fitbit tracker money can buy

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: 4 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Big screen
Comfortable strap
Limited phone notifications

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the best Fitbit tracker you can buy right now. It’s more expensive than some of the other options from Fitbit, but if you’re looking to go jogging this is a great choice that won’t cost you as much as a traditional running watch.

It connects with the GPS on your phone, has a large screen to display your data, a heart rate tracker and new fitness features we’ve only previously seen on the Fitbit Blaze.

It may not be the cheapest device on the list, but this is the best Fitbit tracker money can buy.

Read the full Fitbit Charge 2 review

6. Garmin Vivofit 3

A new entry from Garmin

Screen: Yes, LCD | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Water-resistant | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 1 year | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Super-long battery life
Always-on display
No phone notifications
Not the most attractive tracker

The Garmin Vivofit 3 is one of the best fitness trackers the company has ever created, and that now means it sits in this prestigious list alongside some other fantastic tracking products.

We particularly like the super-long battery life of the Vivofit 3, which means you won’t need to recharge your device for a whole year.

You’ll miss out on phone notifications by buying this tracker, but you do get the benefit of an always-on display and some great fitness tracking features.

Read the full Garmin Vivofit 3 review

7. Fitbit Blaze

A solid wearable, but it won’t set the world alight

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 5 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Stunning battery life
Interesting fitness features
Lacking in notifications
Strange design won’t suit everyone

Want a fitness tracker that looks more like a watch? You’ll likely like the look of the Fitbit Blaze.

The first tracking watch from Fitbit is a strange looking device, but suits a lot of people and comes with automatic fitness tracking features that make it possible to just jump into an exercise and wait for the results to roll in right away.

With good battery life and a plethora of extra features compared to most other Fitbit devices, this may be the best tracker for you.

Read the full Fitbit Blaze review 

8. Fitbit Surge

Fitbit’s GPS-toting ‘superwatch’

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 3 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Built-in GPS
Classic watch clasp
Dated design
Weaker battery life

This isn’t the most popular Fitbit device on the market, but the Surge is the first and only GPS watch from the company and may suit you if you plan to go on long runs often.

The Surge doesn’t have the best battery life of the trackers in this list, but it is one of the most feature-packed, with real-time workout stats, heart rate tracking and more.

If you’re looking for the most powerful Fitbit out there, go for the Fitbit Surge.

Read the full Fitbit Surge review

Jawbone UP3

9. Jawbone UP3

Impressive design, oodles of features and sensors

Screen: No | Heart rate tracker: Yes, only for resting | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Impressive UP app
Good sleep tracking
Sensors under-utilized
Awkward charging mechanism

When it comes to fitness tracker style, not many players are on the same level as Jawbone.

The UP3 may have altered how the UP bands connect to your wrist, but it still manages to exude the same Yves Béhar flair as its predecessors.

Additionally, the fact Jawbone has managed to cram so many sensors into the body of the UP3, while somehow maintaining almost a week’s worth of battery life, is to be commended.

Read the full Jawbone UP3 review

10. Huawei Fit

Huawei’s fitness tracker screams ‘me, too!’ in a crowded room

Screen: Yes, monochrome graphic | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: No | GPS: No | Battery life: 6 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Discreet, traditional look
Spotty value for the cost
Limited functionality

Huawei’s fitness tracker is perhaps one of the simpler devices on this list, but the low price makes the Huawei Fit an attractive option for your next fitness band.

It comes with a waterproof design that’s attractive, as well as a heart rate tracker and sleep features that keep pace with some of the best trackers on the market right now.

The issues stem from a slightly spotty interface and a few limits in the exercise area when it comes to starting up workouts.

Read the full Huawei Fit review

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