If you’re looking for the best fitness tracker for your needs, you may find yourself stuck in one of those infamous internet black holes. How do you know which activity tracker has the features you want at a price you can afford—and won’t feel like you’ve strapped a brick to your wrist?

Best GPS — Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin Forerunner 245 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Up to 7-day battery life
  • GPS monitor
  • Music controls
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Swim tracking
  • Color screen
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

Serious athletes will love the level of details that this device is able to provide. It doesn’t stop at tracking your stats. It also gives you detailed information about your performance. Gearing up for a race? The Forerunner 245 offers personalized training and recovery insight to help you prepare and reach your goals. Garmin takes safety seriously, which is why this device is equipped with incident detection. You’ll be able to share your location with pre-chosen contacts in case you get hurt or lost and need help. It’s also a great feature if you simply want to share your progress with others. The feature can be activated manually or automatically with built-in incident detection.

Best Smartwatch Combo — Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Altimeter
  • 4-day battery life
  • GPS monitor
  • Sleep tracker
  • Music player
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Color screen
  • Replaceable band
  • Compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows

The Pandora, Deezer, and Strava apps are some that are built right into the Ionic. It’s nice to have these right at your fingertips without having to manually add them—or worse, rely on your phone.

While it’s not the perfect standalone smartwatch, it still sports built-in GPS, near field communication (NFC), and music storage. Plus you won’t have to lug your phone along for a full exercise breakdown after you hit the gym. We’re also thrilled to see a Fitbit with built-in GPS, though this does weigh on the battery life, which is shorter than most other Fitbits. Still, there’s no better way to keep track of your backcountry ski tour than GPS. The Ionic also comes with personal workouts through the Fitbit Coach app, and these play in beautifully vivid color on the full-color screen.

Budget Heart-rate Monitor — Fitbit Inspire HR

Fitbit Inspire HR features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • 15+ exercise modes
  • Up to 5-day battery life
  • Connected GPS
  • Sleep tracking
  • Wearable while swimming
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Grayscale screen
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

The Fitbit Inspire HR is so compact and lightweight, you’re likely to forget you’re wearing it. This tracker also offers a more traditional buckle band as opposed to the peg-and-loop style. The bands are stylish and easy to switch when you feel like changing it up. You’ll need to swipe up to see additional stats and use the single button on the device to return to the home screen. Swipe down when you’re ready to start exercising. With all that said, there are some restrictions to having such a small screen. You’ll need to go to the app to set alarms and bring your phone with you to utilize GPS.

Best For Adventures — Garmin Vivosport

Garmin Vivosport features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Altimeter
  • Up to 7-day battery life
  • GPS
  • Sleep tracking
  • Stress monitoring
  • Rep counting
  • Wearable while swimming
  • Color screen
  • Compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows

One drawback to GPS-enabled activity trackers is the huge drain on the battery. Not so much with the Vivosport—we found it charged quickly and held that charge for days. That’s perfect if you’re getting off the grid for a few nights camping under the stars. We also found the Vivosport’s slightly larger screen was much easier to interact with than the Vivosmart 4’s. More of our swipes and taps registered the first time, so we weren’t left urgently swiping and tapping in frustration.

Best Screen — Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Altimeter
  • Up to 3-day battery life
  • GPS
  • Music player
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Color screen
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS

Speaking of storage, the Gear Fit2 Pro comes with a music player. If you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can sync the fitness tracker to your computer or phone and download those high-tempo, bass-dropping songs that keep you amped up during your workouts. Once it’s set up, you’ll be able to access your music offline without your phone nearby. We liked how responsive the Gear Fit2 Pro’s screen is. Quick taps and button presses let us access everything from the heart rate monitor to the music player—and the button placement felt less awkward than the Fitbit Charge 3’s. Because you can track every location, rep, and step without the Samsung app, you don’t need your phone to tag along to get accurate GPS reads of your cross-country trek.

Best Starter Tracker — Fitbit Versa Lite

Fitbit Versa Lite features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • 15+ exercise modes
  • 4-day battery life
  • Color screen
  • Sleep tracking
  • Wearable while swimming
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows

At first glance, it might be hard to tell a difference from the Fitbit Versa and the Versa lite aside from the color schemes. You’re still getting a waterproof device with a nearly identical design, display, and battery life. Fortunately, you won’t be missing too much in the way of tracking, which makes the Versa Lite an excellent starter tracker. You’ll enjoy all of the basics, such as activity and sleep tracking, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and female health tracking. The device doesn’t offer swim tracking nor does it have an altimeter.

Best Budget Tracker — Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 3 features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Altimeter
  • Up to 7-day battery life
  • Sleep tracking
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Grayscale screen
  • Replaceable band
  • Compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows

Straight out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice about the Charge 3 is the band. It comes with a watch-style buckle, which is a nice upgrade from the simpler snap clasps on other Fitbit models. The Charge 3’s touchscreen is pretty responsive; you’ll need to swipe up or down to check various stats. There are also two buttons on either side of the screen you can press. It’s a little awkward pressing these to access the apps and settings, but it isn’t something we couldn’t get over.

The band on the Charge 3 is replaceable and secures with a buckle, which is a nice upgrade from the Flex 2’s snap-style band. So if your dog decides the band is the next best thing to chew on, you’re not stuck sporting a fitness tracker decorated with your pup’s dental impressions.

Best Overall — Fitbit Versa

Fitbit Versa Features

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Altimeter
  • 4-day battery life
  • Sleep tracking
  • Music player
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Color screen
  • Replaceable band
  • Compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows

Swapping out the Versa band isn’t as easy as some other Fitbit models we’ve seen. You’ll need fingernails to push the tiny pin down and back to get the strap free. Even with fingernails, we struggled for a good five minutes to get it off. Aside from the band-swapping issue, the versa is the perfect blend of fitness tracker and smartwatch. You can check texts, calls, and notifications while eyeing the heart rate monitor as you jog down the sidewalk.

There’s not much you can’t track with the Fitbit Versa. In addition to the basic activity and sleep tracking, you’ll also be able to track steps, distance, calories, floors climbed, and swim laps.

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