How to choose a fitness tracker Consider your training style, think about function versus fashion, analyze the charging options of the fitness tracker, find compatibility with your current devices and make sure that the tracker is of high quality. The most advanced portable devices also include integrated GPS for more accurate distance measurement. If your main activity is walking, hiking, or running, just about any brand will do. Not if you spend most of your time pedaling, using an elliptical machine, walking on a treadmill, swimming, or climbing mountains.
Choose a tracker that can record data on the specific activity or sport that you enjoy the most. Below, you'll find an individual breakdown of some of the main options available, such as the Fitbit Charge 5, the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Garmin Forerunner 265, as well as tips on how to choose the right one. The Fitbit Charge 5 surpasses its predecessors and the rest of Fitbit's wristband trackers, as it has an aluminum case and an AMOLED screen that make it the most attractive Charge to date. The Apple Watch Series 8 is one of the most complete portable devices on the market and offers beginner, intermediate and advanced trackers something to dive into and enjoy.
We've tested dozens of portable devices to help you find the one that best fits your lifestyle, whether it's a smartwatch for everyday use, a fitness tracker or a running watch. The lines that separate GPS running watches and smartwatches from specific activity trackers are more blurred than ever.
The most demanding fitness watchesprioritize durability, downloadable maps, step-by-step navigation and training programs integrated into the application. Samsung's latest generation doesn't change the Galaxy Watch 4 series' formula much, but this smartwatch can still offer an excellent fitness tracking experience.
Some fitness trackers also opt for integrated GPS, which means that the watch can be connected directly to GPS systems without using the phone. The Galaxy Watch 5 currently offers the best fitness tracking experience in a smartwatch — well, for Android users. Depending on the monitor you buy, you can use your device from one or two days (Apple Watch and most WearOS devices) to an average of about a week (most Fitbit and Garmin fitness bracelets). Fitness trackers monitor a variety of physical and biological activities, as well as health metrics, depending on the physical activities you perform and the goals you set for your well-being.
The most demanding fitness watches are more likely to prioritize durability, downloadable maps, step-by-step navigation, and in-app training programs. Fitness enthusiasts who focus on accurately recording specific workouts in addition to their daily activities may find that the Garmin Vívoactive 4S is a more practical and simplified alternative to a GPS running watch. If you prefer not to share personal data or aren't interested in the connected features of a fitness tracker, you might prefer a basic pedometer instead of a fitness tracker. We love what Suunto aims to achieve with the Suunto 3 Fitness watch, a training-oriented accessory that encourages you to follow a training plan and to add more exercise to your life.