The thought of making a New Year’s resolution — and sticking to it — can be daunting, especially if your goal is to start exercising regularly in the new year. Adding an activity tracker to your routine can provide much-needed motivation and encouragement while tracking fitness gains and meeting your goals.
These user-friendly activity trackers come in a variety of styles and sizes, and you can find an affordable option within your budget. Some activity trackers have smart notifications, GPS tracking, and other features, while others are more basic and offer essentials such as distance covered and calories burned.
Some activity trackers come with a heart rate monitor or can be paired with a heart rate monitor. Style is another consideration. You’ll find slimmer activity trackers that transmit data and workout information to a phone so that you can see your stats on a larger screen, while others feature a bigger screen for viewing data and other essentials at a glance.
Own your New Year’s resolution and fitness goals this year with an activity tracker that matches your lifestyle and budget. If the list below doesn’t have what you’re searching for, check out a wider selection of fitness trackers and activity trackers.
Shopping on a budget? Don’t miss the latest deals in wearable technology for savings on activity trackers and other fitness essentials.
1. Polar Loop 2 Activity Tracker
Polar Loop 2 lets you set individual daily activity goals, making it a solid choice for anyone who’s just starting out on a new fitness journey. Activity goals are personalized based on specific personal details and choice of activity level. The band is waterproof and is comfortable enough for 24/7 use. Other highlights include calories burned, activity feedback, and heart rate monitoring.
Don’t need the latest version? Consider the Polar Loop Activity Tracker.
- Offers daily activity goals
- Waterproof band
- Activity feedback
- No GPS
- Heartrate monitor not included
- Some complain of syncing issues
2. Jawbone UP MOVE Activity Tracker
If you’re looking for a small and inexpensive activity tracker, especially if you’re just getting started with a fitness routine, it’s tough to beat the Jawbone UP MOVE Activity Tracker. The small activity tracker can be found for less than $10, and comes in many different color combinations. You can use it to track activity along with sleep. If you’re not sure where to get started, or could use some help with your goals, consult the built-in smart coach feature.
- Very affordable
- Compact size
- Tracks activity and sleep
- Not waterproof
- Can only be used with a Bluetooth-enabled device
- Lacks a display
3. Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate & Fitness Wristband
The Fitbit Charge 2 is an upgrade over the original Fitbit Charge. Some of the most notable advantages of the newer model include a larger screen, the ability to swap out bands for a more personalized appearance, and a multi-sport mode. Charge 2 also offers Cardio Fitness Level technology, which compares your cardio health to others in the same age bracket.Both models provide basics such as heart rate monitoring, calories burned, and the total number of floors climbed. Each unit also tracks sleep quality.
- Multi-sport mode
- Bands swap out easily
- Cardio Fitness Level technology
- A bit bulky
- Limited smart notifications
- Some complain of syncing issues
4. TomTom Spark 3
The TomTom Spark 3 is available in multiple variations. In its most basic form, the TomTom Spark 3 offers a multi-sport mode and GPS tracking along with route exploration and 24/7 activity tracking. The TomTom Spark 3 Cardio comes with a built-in heart rate monitor, while the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music + Headphones version also includes Bluetooth headphones and storage space for up to 500 songs. The TomTom Spark 3 provides basics such as calories burned, active minutes, steps and distance covered, and sleep quality. It’s also waterproof up to 40 meters. The battery lasts up to three weeks without GPS and up to 11 hours with GPS.
- Available in several versions
- Base model includes GPS and 24/7 activity tracking
- Several users note inconsistent heart rate monitoring during upper body workouts
- Lacks phone notifications
- Screen can be tough to see in low light settings
5. Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch
If you’re looking for more than just a basic activity tracker, consider the Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch. The Ionic is one of the latest additions to the Fitbit family, and it offers some features and additions over the others. Some examples include a swim-proof construction, built-in GPS, and smart features such as the ability to make payments, store music and use popular apps with the watch. Exercise-specific features include on-screen workouts, continuous heart rate monitoring, multi-sport tracking and reminders to move throughout the day.
- Swim-proof construction
- Includes built-in GPS
- Has room to store music
- A bit bulky
- Some complain that transferring music is a tedious process
- High price tag
6. Garmin vívofit 4 Activity Tracker
The Garmin vívofit 4 is a relatively basic activity tracker that features a long-lasting battery life of over one year. The coin batteries can be replaced when they expire. Another bonus is the color display, which always remains on and is visible even in the sunlight. This activity tracker is available in regular and large sizes and can be worn when swimming and showering. Use it to track distance, calories and steps as well as to monitor your sleep. A personalized daily step goal helps keep you on the right track. The tracker automatically detects activity, and can be paired with a smartphone or other connected device for even more functionality.
- Battery lasts over a year
- Available in regular and large sizes
- Can be worn swimming and showering
- Limited color options
- No smaller band size
- A few mention a lag when syncing
7. LETSCOM Fitness Tracker
The LETSCOM Fitness Tracker is a budget-friendly option if you’re looking for a combination activity tracker and heart rate monitor watch. This watch features a waterproof construction and multi-sport modes for tracking activities such as outdoor and indoor running, yoga and spinning. GPS connectivity lets you connect with your phone to view data such as distance and pace. Other features include smart notifications, continuous wrist-based heart rate monitoring and sleep monitoring.
- Multi-sport tracking
- Continuous wrist-based heart rate monitoring
- Some mention inaccurate heart rate readings
- A few find the bracelet clasp hard to fasten
- Needs to be removed from band to recharge
8. Polar A370 Fitness Tracker
The Polar A370 Fitness Tracker features continuous wrist-based heart rate monitoring along with phone-assisted GPS connectivity. If you prefer to run without your phone, or you forget to bring your phone on a run, the tracker will keep track of your distance and pace based off of your wrist movements during a run. Another handy feature is the ability to customize various heart rate zones for each sport profile for more accurate results. This tracker offers smart notifications along with a running program, fitness test, and sleep monitoring. A built-in activity guide makes it easy to set daily activity goals and get tips on how to reach them.
Price: $154.00 – $266.40
- Available with and without a heart rate monitor
- Compact size
- Alerts when a personal record is set
- Battery drains quickly when using GPS
- Only shows two readings at a time
- Lacks Bluetooth syncing capabilities
9. Moov Now
Whether your goals for the new year include taking up swimming, getting into a regular walking or running routine, or simply training at your local gym a few times each week, Moov Now has features to help you achieve your goals and keep track of your progress along the way. For runners and other athletes in high-impact sports, a reminder to soften your landing can help reduce your risk of getting injured. Other highlights include a fitness level indication, wireless connectivity, and up to six months of battery life. The activity tracker even counts your reps during any workout that’s at least seven minutes long. There’s also real-time coaching to offer advice and feedback as you go.
Price: $56.42 (6 percent off MSRP)
- Motion reminder can help reduce injuries
- Fitness level indicator
- Battery lasts up to six months
- Cheap wristband
- Doesn’t track steps
- Several users note minor syncing issues
10. Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Activity Tracker
If you’re a budget-conscious shopper seeking overall value and bang for your buck, consider the Mi Band 2 Activity Tracker. This tracker features a large OLED display that lets you see a variety of stats at a glance. Just lift up your wrist to see the time, and tap the button to monitor your heart rate and steps. An updated pedometer algorithm ensures greater accuracy by eliminating any unnecessary movements. The tracker knows precisely when you’ve begun each workout thanks to a built-in motion sensor. Battery life is around one week per charge.
- OLED display
- Bluetooth 4.2 wireless connectivity
- Water-resistant wristband
- Only tracks steps, not activities
- Doesn’t track stairs climbed
- App could be improved
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