Best cheap fitness trackers for fitness fans on a budget

fitness

(Image credit: Future)

If you’re looking for health and fitness motivation on a budget, then the best cheap fitness trackers are a cost-effective option. You don’t need to splash the cash in order to track your fitness activities – such as running or a fitness class, as cheaper versions can be similar to the more expensive versions – helping you to also analyse other health metrics such as sleep and heart rate.

If you’re a pro runner or cyclist and want to look at your stats in detail then invest in a specific watch, such as one of the best running watches or best smartwatches – as they’ll have more advanced metrics and features such as onboard GPS or pairing apps. However, if you’ve just begun your health and fitness journey and would just like a clearer picture of your health these cheaper versions are a great option.

It’s best to pick the right fitness tracker for your needs, as some will lack features such as sleep tracking, but can give you a clearer picture of your general health – or the other way around. Other features which can be found on cheap fitness trackers include built-in GPS, SpO2 sensors and heart rate monitoring.

It’s our job to regularly test the best budget-friendly fitness trackers – giving you our opinions on their pros and cons, so you can make your own decision on what works for you. And while cost is important when it comes to picking the right fitness tracker, make sure you pick the one that works for you and your goals. 

The best cheap fitness trackers 2022

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

fitness

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a stylish fitness tracker, and when paired with the free Fitbit mobile app, it’s fantastic value (Image credit: Joseph Delves)

1. Fitbit Inspire 2

The best cheap fitness tracker for all activities

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: 10 days

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+

Premium design

+

Lots of tracked metrics

Reasons to avoid

No contactless payments

No on-board GPS

A new addition to our roundup, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is the best cheap fitness tracker you can buy today. Although there are other activity bands with more modest price tags, the Inspire 2 offers the most bang for your buck. Not surprisingly, it’s also one of the best Fitbits overall.

The Inspire 2 measures steps and heart rate throughout the day, and the Fitbit Inspire 2 also tracks heart rate variability and stress, how long you spend in different heart rate zones during workouts, and your breathing rate. It can guide you through breathing exercises, score your cardio fitness level, and track your sleep stages each night.

The Fitbit Inspire 2 doesn’t have its own built-in GPS chip, but it can piggyback on your phone’s GPS to accurately track and map runs, walks and bike rides as long as they aren’t too far apart. You can check these out later in the Fitbit app and even sync them to other apps like Strava.

To make it even better value, this cheap fitness tracker comes with a free one-year subscription to Fitbit Premium, which gives you access to instructor-led workouts, meditation sessions, and nutrition plans. It’s worth noting the Fitbit Inspire 3 is coming out very soon, so this device may be replaced after a full review.

Read our full Fitbit Inspire 2 review

fitness

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)

2. Huawei Band 7

The best cheap fitness tracker not available in all markets

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: 14 days

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+

Big screen

+

Lots of tracked metrics

+

Blood oxygen SpO2 monitoring

Reasons to avoid

Not available in US

No on-board GPS

Thanks to Huawei’s problems in the States, it’s tough for folks over there to get hold of the Huawei Band 7, which is a shame: it’s an undeniably impressive fitness tracker at an impressively low price. 

With step tracking we found to be just as accurate as an Apple Watch, a nice big 1.47-inch AMOLED screen, and a thin body less than 1cm thick, it’s a slender piece of kit, but still packs lots of great fitness tools. TruSleep 2.0 tracks sleep states and offers a more detailed breakdown of phases of sleep, comparing favorably to Apple -although at the time we tested, Apple’s updated sleep functions hadn’t launched. 

It’s even got SpO2 sensors and training metrics to aid blood pressure management. It’s a really good (and crucially very cheap) fitness tool, if you can get your hands on one. Heartily recommended. 

 Read our full Huawei Band 7 review

fitness

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 has one of the best screens we’ve seen on a budget fitness tracker, which makes it easy to see all your health and workout info at a glance (Image credit: Future)

3. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6

Best cheap tracker for health and wellness

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: 14 days of low use

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+

Lightweight

+

Excellent display

Reasons to avoid

No on-board GPS

Occasional data inaccuracies

The latest addition to Xiaomi’s excellent line of cheap fitness trackers, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is packed with features you’d usually expect to find in a much more expensive device, making it a great value. Its AMOLED touchscreen is bright, vibrant and responsive. In addition to the standard activity and heart rate tracking features, it also offers stress monitoring and a pulse-ox sensor for measuring blood oxygen saturation.

The biggest downside is that it lacks onboard GPS. While it can use your phone’s GPS receiver to track runs and other outdoor cardio sessions, our tests overestimated the distance travelled quite significantly. Not a problem for casual workouts, but if you’re training for a race, you’ll be better off with a device like the Fitbit Inspire 2.

Read our full Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 review

fitness

The Honor Band 5 tracks a wide array of sports, making it a good choice if you like to mix up your training with a variety of different activities (Image credit: Future)

4. Honor Band 5

The cheapest superb option you’ll find

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: 14 days of low use

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+

Improved sleep tracking

+

Expanded exercise roster

Reasons to avoid

Screen sometimes unresponsive

Notifications temperamental

The Honor Band 5 performs well across the board and is a solid choice if you enjoy more than just the usual cardio workouts. It’s waterproof to 5ATM, so naturally, swim tracking is included, alongside running, cycling and cross-training. Of course, given how cheap this is, you might want it just as a pedometer, and the Honor Band 5 works well there, too, with accurate step tracking.

The Honor Band 5 also includes a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking, providing more detail on your slumber than the Honor Band 4 did. Plus, you can get up to a week of life out of it with everyday use, so you won’t need to take it off to charge at night. The screen can be sluggish, and the design is nothing special, but with everything else the Honor Band 5 offers, coupled with its low price, it’s a worthy inclusion in this list.

Read our full Honor Band 5 review

fitness

It might not have on-board GPS, but the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 is still a great fitness tracker for the money, with particularly impressive heart rate tracking (Image credit: Mike Sawh)

5. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5

Best cheap fitness tracker for swimming

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: 14 days of low use

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+

Bright, vibrant display

+

Strong heart rate performance

Reasons to avoid

Setup is a little fiddly

No NFC outside China

Although now superseded by the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6, which is currently sitting pretty at number three in this listing, the Mi Smart Band 5 features a new, brighter screen, 24/7 activity tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, 11 different sport modes, and the ability to record outdoor cardio sessions by connecting to your phone’s GPS.

The crisp color display (one of the best you’ll find on a device this size) also shows notifications, weather reports and app notifications. Plus, you can use it to control music playback on your phone with a tap and a swipe.

While full onboard GPS is more convenient and setting up ‘connected GPS’ on your phone is a little clumsy, the incredibly low price of the Smart Band 5 means we don’t feel short-changed. Despite its high-quality touchscreen display and impressive range of features, Xiaomi has managed to keep the price down and make the Mi Smart Band 5 feel much more expensive than it is.

Read our full Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 review

fitness

Garmin doesn’t just make premium running watches, it also builds excellent fitness trackers like the Vivofit 4, which has particularly impressive battery life (Image credit: TechRadar)

6. Garmin Vivofit 4

Non-rechargeable fitness tracker with the longest battery life

Specifications

Compatibility: iOS and Android

Display: Transflective 8-colour MIP

Thickness: 9.4mm

Battery life: 1 year

Charging method: 2 x SR43 user-replaceable

IP rating: Swim-proof

Connectivity: Bluetooth

Reasons to buy

+

1 year battery life

+

Color screen

Reasons to avoid

No GPS or heart rate

Uninspiring design

The key addition to the entry-level Vivofit 3 is the always-on color display that’s visible in sunlight. This is remarkably achieved without sacrificing the year-long battery life of the stellar third edition. Basic stats like steps, distance, calories and sleep are covered, while there’s also automatic activity detection thanks to the Move IQ system. 

Thanks to the Garmin Connect app, you can customize the display while setting timers and alarms directly from the wrist. Best of all, the Vivofit 4 is also 20 per cent cheaper than the Vivofit 3’s 2015 launch price. Of course, you’ll miss out on premium features like heart rate tracking and GPS, but that’s expected at this price.

Read our full Garmin Vivofit 4 review

fitness

The Honor Band 5 Sport is a lightweight fitness tracker that won’t slow you down, though its lack of heart rate monitoring is a drawback (Image credit: Future)

7. Honor Band 5 Sport

A cheap fitness tracker built for runners

Specifications

Screen: Yes, black and white

Heart rate tracker: No

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: 14 days

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+

Granular running data

+

Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

Basic screen

No heart rate or GPS

The Honor Band 5 Sport is cheap, even by affordable fitness tracker standards. In fact, you could buy it for the price of a takeaway, and doing so would be much better for your health. You get a surprising amount for your money, too, including up to two weeks of battery life between charges, accurate run and step tracking, and eco-friendly credentials, thanks to a strap made of recycled plastic bottles.

It also includes the novel ability to attach the tracker to your shoe and measure more unusual things, such as your stride length, ground contact time, and more. This makes the Honor Band 5 Sport especially good for runners and basketball players.

That said, not all of these metrics were accurately tracked, with jumps and foot strike pattern proving particularly inaccurate in our tests. There’s also no GPS or heart rate monitor, limiting its capabilities as an all-around fitness tracker. That arguably leaves it a little niche, but given how little the Honor Band 5 Sport costs, it’s hard to complain too much.

Read our full Honor Band 5 Sport review

fitness

The Amazfit Bip is a superb little smartwatch with a focus on fitness tracking, and impressed our reviewer with its cheap-and-cheerful design (Image credit: Future)

8. Amazfit Bip

A great value fitness tracker with an amazing battery life

Specifications

Compatibility: iOS and Android

Display: LCD Color

Thickness: TBC

Battery: 45 days

Charging method: Proprietary wired

IP rating: 68

Connectivity: Bluetooth

Reasons to buy

+

Incredible value

+

Nice design

+

Good app

Reasons to avoid

Awkward UI

Light on supported workouts

The Bip is a competent but straightforward fitness watch we referred to in our full review as “the layman’s Apple Watch”, and we stand by the nickname. In terms of a super-rich experience and high performance, it can’t compete with Apple – that’s a fact. But for its extremely budget-friendly price tag, the Amazfit Bip is a competent fitness tracker with a few nifty tricks up its sleeve – most notably the fact that it can last more than 30 days on a single charge.

If you’re after a simple wearable that can push notifications from your smartphone, wake you up with a dedicated alarm, track your workouts with built-in GPS, and more, the Bip makes a strong case for itself. Gift-wise, it’s an excellent buy for anyone in the market for a cheap and cheerful fitness device. Its simple set-up makes it a good choice for complete fitness tech beginners. 

Read our full Amazfit Bip review

fitness

One of the nicest-looking cheap fitness trackers, the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 comes with a great quality display and all the basic tracking features. (Image credit: Michael Sawh)

9. Samsung Galaxy Fit 2

Rechargeable fitness tracker with long battery life

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: Up to 21 days (low usage)

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+

Comfortable to wear and improved screen

+

Up to 21 days with low usage

Reasons to avoid

Questionable heart rate accuracy

No form of GPS support

A superb upgrade from the Galaxy Fit and the Galaxy Fit E, the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is one of the best-looking cheap fitness trackers, with a great color touch display and non-removable silicone band. It might not outclass the Garmin Vivofit 4’s one-year battery life, but Garmin’s offering uses a non-rechargeable battery that you eventually have to replace.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Fit 2’s rechargeable battery gives you up to 21 days of battery life with low usage (with heart rate and auto workout tracker turned off). However, it is worth noting that it gets cut down to under 15 days with features like continuous heart rate monitoring and regularly workout-tracking activated. 

During our testing, daily battery drop-off was around 10% with notifications turned on, the screen at 50% brightness, and us doing a 45-minute workout. Still, that’s not exactly a deal-breaking, and if you’re looking for a durable option with the key features for step counts, sleep, and workouts, this one’s an ace.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review

fitness

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 may be ideal for everyday use, but it’s an excellent intense workout tracker with a unique Body Battery tracking feature. (Image credit: Future)

10. Garmin Vivosmart 4

Best cheap fitness tracker with a Body Battery metric

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: 7 days

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+

Long-lasting battery

+

Body Battery metric

Reasons to avoid

Small screen

Screen unresponsive at times

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 might not be the latest entry in the Vivosmart line, but it still holds its own against the sea of fitness trackers, especially if you’re seeking something economical. During our testing, we found it an excellent everyday wear tracker thanks to its heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring capabilities and wellness features.

It’s an excellent budget option for serious athletes with its swim-friendly elements, automatic rep counting ability, and specifically, Body Battery Energy monitor. This extra nifty frill uses heart rate variability (HRV), sleep quality, stress levels and activity to calculate how worn down you are – a helpful insight you can use to decide whether you should keep that workout going or call it a day. 

Read our full Garmin Vivosmart 4 review

How to choose the best cheap fitness tracker

There are several things to consider when choosing a fitness tracker, but it gets trickier when you’re trying to find a cheap one. That’s because you’re working with a smaller budget, which means you can’t exactly go for the best money can buy. Luckily, quite a few affordable fitness trackers will see you through most of your health, fitness, and wellness needs.

Be sure to consider what type of activity you enjoy most. For example, if you’re into cycling or running, you should get a cheap fitness tracker with a built-in GPS module. That’s necessary to track your route and speed accurately. If you’re training for an arduous multi-day hike up a mountain or a marathon, something that can monitor your body’s energy level.

Make sure you have a list of stats you require, especially for everyday use, and pick the best cheap fitness tracker that offers them. You might have to sacrifice some, but not too many, since many of these trackers are feature-filled. Battery life is also something to consider, as are display, resolution, and design.

How we test the best cheap fitness trackers

Testing cheap fitness trackers mainly involves using them in our day-to-day for a week or more. That’s the best and most efficient way of seeing how much data they gather, how accurate they are, how well they perform, and how comfortable they are on our wrists. 

Naturally, we put them through different fitness and wellness activities, from different workouts to things like breathing exercises and sleep. That way, we can test aspects like the heart rate monitor’s accuracy and responsiveness, GPS accuracy, and build or ruggedness. We’ll also measure the heart rate and exercise metrics against a control smartwatch during physical exercise. 

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar’s sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)

With contributions from

  • Michelle Rae UyBuying Guides Editor
  • Sarah Finley

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