To determine the best of the best, seven of our editors tested 10 different fitness tracker models. We asked each tester for their feedback on all aspects of the product, including comfort, design, accuracy, and overall ease of use.
Our editors wore the trackers on walks to and from work, at the gym, at yoga, on runs both outdoors and on a treadmill, elliptical, and even in the pool. For each of the below picks, our editors provided feedback on what they liked or disliked about the fitness tracker, their battery life, as well as their impressions on their feature sets and fitness tracking abilities.
Considering the fact that Fitbit makes and sells seven different fitness trackers, it’s easy to get them all confused. We recommend the Charge 4 most for its premium but stylish design, its extremely comfortable fit, and its outstanding weeklong battery life.
What separates it from the wide realm of fitness trackers is its ability to automatically begin tracking your activity. When I walked my dogs, it automatically logged my step count without requiring me to fuss with its touchscreen display. It knew when I was swimming laps in the morning, or when I was on a jog in the evening. That reliability and ease of use means something.
The tracker now features a built-in GPS, so you don’t have to take your phone with you on a bike ride, run, or hike. There’s even a new fitness metric on board, dubbed Active Zone Minutes, that recognizes when your heart rate is sustained or elevated so it can track how many minutes you’re active.
If you raise your wrist, its display illuminates to tell you the time and with just a flick of a finger, you can get a glimpse at the weather. The Charge 4 manages to find the perfect balance as to what a fitness tracker should be, without breaking the bank or getting too bogged down with features, apps, or complicated menus.
It does the essentials (heart-rate tracking, step counting, and workout tracking/logging) extremely well, but still is packed with plenty of customization options such as enabling the ability to receive text messages or change watch faces on it. What we like most is how it doesn’t get in the way. It’s comfortable, waterproof, and has interchangeable bands.
Plus, the majority of our testers preferred the Fitbit app to Garmin’s and Withings’. The data is easy to interpret, and it truly can help lead to healthy lifestyle changes. We loved the socialness of the app, too. You’re easily able to find friends who own Fitbit devices, challenge each other, set goals, and encourage them. That can make the difference and be the nudge you need in achieving your step goal.
This option is currently ranked as Wired’s top fitness tracker pick, for its accuracy, its sleep-tracking hardware, and its ease of use. You can use the tracker to make mobile payments right from your wrist, skip songs that you’re listening to on Spotify, and measure your blood oxygen levels. Overall, it’s an incredibly useful tool that’s stylish and will help hold you accountable to your goals.
Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Tracker