Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written before about the best workout gear according to professionals, the home-gym equipment worth the investment, and the most reliable sports bras and leggings, here we went deep on the best fitness trackers and sports watches on Amazon to actually help you start tracking your progress with those 2018 goals. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
The Best Fitness Tracker for $30 and Under
4.4 stars, 1,071 reviews
“This fitness tracker does more than some costing twice the price, plus it has two bands and a two-year warranty. There are name-brand fitness trackers that just the replacement band costs what this entire tracker costs!!! Set up and pairing was easy. It is done through the app, which was available in the Google Play Store.
Some of the cool things this tracker allows you to do is locate your phone if you misplace it. This tracker also allows you to set specific mileage, sleep goals, activities duration, calories, and also records them for the week and gives you a readout. It will also alert you if you are getting a phone call or a message on a wide range of apps. This tracker also allows you to view the readout either vertically or horizontally: Those functions can be set up on your phone and relayed to your tracker via the Bluetooth connection. In the sleep mode, it has Lift the Wrist and a heart-rate test. It is IPX7-level waterproof, which means you can wear the bracelet in rainy and stormy weather. It also resists one-meter-depth water and splashes in daily use, but I would not advise swimming, bathing, or showering with it on.”
The Best Fitness Tracker Between $30 and $50
4.3 stars, 704 reviews
“I don’t need to tell you how great fitness trackers are, this is, too, with a twist. The twist is that the main piece of the watch comes out and becomes a USB dongle. From there, you can plug it into any USB port for data transmission or to charge. The watch itself is high-quality. The band feels comfortable for hours on end, and weightless. You really forget you have it on. The menus on the watch are very easy to navigate and setup all the options you want. This thing has a ton of features and extras that many don’t. The app is new and updated and tracks all your information over time to keep you in the know. From the app, you can also fine-tune the watch to do whatever you want. It’s a very nice fitness tracker and app, and you won’t be disappointed with it, especially for the price.”
The Best Fitness Tracker Between $50 and $100
4 stars, 2,816 reviews
“I’ve had mine for about three months now and I’m very pleased. The quality and durability of the band are excellent. I’ve banged it around a bit and went swimming with it multiple times, so it is waterproof. The heart-rate monitor is pretty accurate, as are the steps. My suggestion would be to calibrate your stride length yourself using the accompanying app. I purchased this mainly for running and use it in conjunction with the Nike running app. At first, the distance on my band and the Nike app were very different, but I trusted the Nike app more because it uses GPS. So I went to a track for measured distances to calibrate my steps’ distance and haven’t had a problem since. I think the feature that sets this apart from Fitbits and everything else is the smartphone notifications and music control. My girlfriend has a Fitbit she purchased for about the same price as this, and she is very jealous of the notifications. In addition, I really enjoy the app. I like looking at all my data, which it compiles very neatly into graphs and charts. As long as you know what you’re looking for, this is very useful. You can also pair this with the My Fitness Pal app, which I’ve done as well, to track your eating habits. The only thing I’d wish they would add is a way to track weightlifting workouts.”
The Best Fitness Tracker Between $100 and $150
4.2 stars, 13,534 reviews
“Oh, where to begin! Let’s see — well it came in lovely, easy-to-open packaging. Opening up the box felt like I was arousing my Charge 2 from his slumber in his comfy, plastic bed. The band is now longer, so if the large size from the old Charge was a bit big for you — go for the small with the Charge 2! Setup could not have been easier. The entire process from taking it out of the box to having it fully synced and functional was less than ten minutes. Whoa.
On to features … I like lots of features, and the Charge 2 has ALL the flipping features you could possibly want. The connected GPS looks like a pretty neat feature, and it’s a nice extra to include! I’m not much of a runner myself, being bite-size, but you can still track location for other things like walking, biking, and hiking. Then there’s call, text, and calendar notifications. You can also change bands now, so if you wear out your current band (like I did with my old Charge — bubbling issues anyone?) or just want a different look, you can switch them whenever your little heart so desires. Oh! And there’s lots of screen options that you can choose from like a dial watch, extra bold print, and having time/date/steps/heart rate all together (which is what I ended up choosing) — and that’s just to name a few!”
The Best Fitness Tracker With a Slim Body
4.2 stars, 2,411 reviews
“I switched from my Charge HR to this and I am very happy about it. First is its sleek design — I like how it’s neither bulky nor thick; at a quick glance, it could be mistaken for a bracelet.
Second is, it has all features that my old Charge HR has minus the stair count (which I don’t miss, because it’s inaccurate anyway). Oh, and I can check battery status directly on it instead of depending on the app to view it’s battery status. Lastly, the band is replaceable! (Replacement bands to be purchased separately.) I can change it up when it gets worn out or if I just want to switch the color to match my outfit. Only downside I have with it is, it’s not waterproof, so just be careful not to submerge it in water, although it’s been splashed with water and it’s been okay.”
The Best Fitness Tracker You Don’t Have to Charge
4 stars, 2,553 reviews
“Love, love, love this watch!! I brag about it all the time to people. What’s better than a fitness band that tells you the time, has a timer that tracks your steps, calories, and miles for that time frame, has a backlight, measures your sleep, is completely waterproof (swimming, rain, and shower tested — it’s perfect!), and never has to be charged?! It’s the best thing I’ve purchased all year. I’ve had it for five months now, and I never go anywhere without it. The price is fantastic, the fact that it has a watch battery that lasts a year, and comes with two different sized bands (no having to guess before you purchase!) sealed the deal for me. The watch band has a locking mechanism, so there’s no worrying about losing it. The side button is a little tricky if you want to sync it to the app, but it just takes some practice to figure out how to press and hold it to get to the right screen.
As far as accuracy goes, I’d say it’s pretty close to being spot-on. I’ve worn the watch and carried my phone with me while at work and the step counters usually are around the same. I don’t need to know exactly how many steps I’ve taken down to the exact number, I just wanted this because it gives me a general idea and keeps me motivated to reach my goal every day. The Garmin Connect app is easy to navigate, shows you all the information you could want to know about your day, and can be synced with other apps like My Fitness Plan. If given the choice between this and something like a Fitbit, I’d pick this ten times over!”
The Best Android Fitness Tracker
4.3 stars, 1,223 reviews
“This watch offers everything that I’m looking for — vital measurements, sports fitness, wireless payment, and all the great features and perks from Android Watch 2.0. It comes with a 1.2-inch screen made with scratch-free gorilla glass. The screen is very well lit and can be read even under direct sunlight and at an angle. Also, I don’t have to be concerned about moisture or dust getting into the watch. The built-in GPS allows activity-tracking software to record location, distance, speed, etc. during activities. It works very well for me, as I’m a cyclist with multiple bikes and don’t have to move my cycling computer from one bike to another. Got to give credit to the long battery life. The battery lasts for a good two days under normal use. I also strongly recommend downloading the free Huawei Health app that works seamlessly with the watch. The app nicely lays out the stats collected from the watch in real time, so one can see all the data in a single screen. One can also view the stats consolidated daily/weekly/monthly/yearly, so you can see the trends throughout the different periods. All in all, I highly recommend to anyone who wanted an all-around well-built Android watch.”
The Best Clip-on Fitness Tracker
4 stars, 9,817 reviews
“Love this little guy. Nice and small. I personally just carry it in my pocket. Seems to be pretty accurate in the amount of steps. Works well with the Fitbit app where you can keep track of your steps, distance, food intake, weight, and more. Hold competitions with other friends that have a Fitbit as well. Great motivation to get your steps in, fun little unit, and I love the size. It does not do some of the things that the watches or other bigger units do, such as stair count. But honestly, that’s fine with me. Would buy again!”
The Best Fitness Tracker for Hard-core Fitness Buffs and Triathletes
4.4 stars, 117 reviews
“Best choice on any activity-measuring tool I’ve bought yet. It replaced three other programs and devices, yet is more accurate and dependable than any of the others. I like the way I can incorporate all my important metrics into one screen, from food intake to all aspects of performance to heart-monitoring to even more. Worth it. Recommend it. I am a triathlon athlete who is busy with life, family, and work, and this tool helps a lot.”
The Best Fitness Tracker for Runners
4.2 stars, 1,170 reviews
“I adore this watch. It is so well-designed and easy to use. My friends and I all comment that this watch is so much better than an Apple Watch for someone who exercises. It keeps track of steps very well and tracks my running very accurately and easily. It also tracks the miles on my running shoes and my sleep patterns. I like that it also shows my text messages on the watch face. I could go on and on about this watch; it is great. I saw that the price went down substantially since I bought it. I would suggest you buy a screen cover, as if I didn’t have the cover I would have ruined the watch a few times.”
The Best Fitness Tracker for Children
4.1 stars, 752 reviews
“My almost-4-year-old is running around the house like a happy maniac right now … and I am a little jealous that my Fitbit fitness tracker isn’t as cute or as much fun as this LeapBand. The little animal avatars are adorable, and the fitness challenges are really engaging for my daughter (with music, sound effects, cheering, etc.). There seems to be a lot of variety to them, too — some examples: skip to something yellow (and then it plays music and cheers your child on), do a silly chicken dance (and then it makes clucking sounds to music), jump like a kangaroo (and then it makes funny ‘boing’ noises). Each of the challenges is only around 15 seconds or so.
I’m actually surprised by how much my daughter loves them and loves ‘earning’ jewels and hearing the device cheer for her. On some screens, when you click the star button, it tells you the time — but also gives some context (‘It’s 9:23 pm … (yawn sounds) … you must be sleepy!!’), so she’s learning a little about telling time. It is very light on her arm, which I was worried about. I’m happy with the purchase and would have been in heaven to have had something like this as a kid.”
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