The best budget fitness trackers 2018

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Activity tracking is cheaper than you think: Huawei, Fitbit, Xiaomi and more…

So you want a fitness tracker but you don’t want to spend big on a Fitbit Charge 2 or a Garmin Vivosport. Thankfully, there are some decent options out there. Whether it’s imports from China or the budget lines of Fitbit and Nokia, you’ll be able to find all types of style – some with screens, some without screens and all for different prices.

These devices are our choices for the best affordable trackers currently on the market, for (around) $80 or less. None are perfect, so be sure to read the full reviews so you know exactly what compromise is on offer.

And make sure you also take a look at our guide to the best fitness trackers money can buy and read our guide on how to pick the perfect fitness tracker.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2

The best budget fitness trackers

The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is as about as cheap as it gets, but don’t be put off by the price because it’s a solid little tracker. In terms of activity monitoring, the Mi Band 2 tracks time, steps and heart rate information. And in a Xiaomi first, the Mi Band 2 also offers inactivity alerts and will vibrate for incoming calls and texts. It’s pretty basic on the smart features front, but as a collective, there’s no budget tracker than can beat its spec sheet.

Feature check: Steps, sleep, heart rate, notifications

$27.99, mi.com | Amazon

Huawei Band 2 Pro

The best budget fitness trackers

Despite Huawei also offering a regular Band 2, this isn’t available in either the UK or US. Instead, you’ll have to shell out a little more cash for the Pro option, but what you get in return is a more feature-rich package at what is still a reasonable price.

Not only does the Pro include the likes of in-built GPS, heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring and coaching for breathing and running, but this is also one of the only options on this list that’s adept in the water thanks to its 5ATM water rating. For those who like to keep tabs on notifications, you’ll get bumps for calls, texts and inactivity, too.

Feature check: GPS, 5ATM, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitoring, notifications

$69.99, huawei.com | Amazon

Garmin Vivofit 4

The best budget fitness trackers

Garmin’s most recent and basic fitness tracker is a bit of a throwback. Steps, sleep and calories are the metrics here. There’s no heart rate or workout modes, though you will get credit for being active thanks to MoveIQ.

The new Vivofit is also pool friendly, so don’t be afraid to take it for a swim. Even better, you’ll get a year of battery life, so you can forget about needing to keep a charger around. All that with an always-on screen. With the Vivofit 4, you’re getting a simple, no frills fitness tracker.

Feature check: Steps, sleep tracking, calories, swimming

$79.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Fitbit Flex 2

The best budget fitness trackers

Boasting a slightly lighter package to the Huawei offering above is Fitbit’s only waterproof fitness tracker, the Flex 2. This device doesn’t have a screen, with notifications and goal progress instead fed through the five LED lights and a number of different combinations.

There’s no GPS or heart rate, though swimmers are catered for through 5ATM water resistance with dedicated swim tracking, and sleep monitoring is also available. It’s worth noting, too, that this is one of the more customisable options on this list, with Fitbit offering a range of sporty and metal bands, as well as pendants.

Feature check: 5ATM, swim tracking, sleep monitoring, activity tracking, notifications

$59.95, fitbit.com | Amazon

Amazfit Arc

The best budget fitness trackers

With a heart rate monitor and strong battery life, the Arc is a solid budget offering and comes from the company that also builds Xiaomi’s trackers. While it offers a wide range of features, it doesn’t provide the depth of many of its more costly alternatives. Still, it’s a good choice for anyone looking for something that ticks all the basic boxes and won’t be left longing for more analysis.

Feature check: Heart rate, steps, sleep tracking, calories, distance

$69.99, amazfit.com | Amazon

Misfit Flash

The best budget fitness trackers

Like the Misfit Shine, the Flash can track sleep and steps, be worn almost anywhere (including on the wrist), and tell when you’re cycling and swimming. Like its predecessor it comes in a range of colours, has a replaceable watch battery that lasts six months and syncs with the same app. It can also be used as a smart button to take control of smartphone smart home tech as well. So what’s the difference? The Misfit Flash is chunkier and made of plastic instead of aluminium.

It’s worth keeping in mind that although Misfit itself no longer sells the Flash, those interested can still pick it up from places like Amazon.

Feature check: Steps, distance, sleep, smart button

$44.99, misfit.com | Amazon

Misfit Flare

The best budget fitness trackers

The Flash is no longer available from Misfit, but the Flare certainly is, and also comes in at a healthy price. The tracking module is moulded onto the band so it won’t fall off, it’s small, weighs just 8.5g and won’t draw attention to itself. Plus it acts as a remote and smart home button once you set it up. It’s more expensive than the Flash and only has one LED so can’t tell the time, but it does look a lot more stylish.

Feature check: Steps, distance, sleep, smart button

$59.99, misfit.com

Nokia Go

The best budget fitness trackers

Tracking steps, distance, calories and sleep, the Nokia Go (previously Withings) can be clipped to your clothing or worn on the wrist. The basic looking display does have its upsides: the eight-month battery life from a single coin cell battery is highly impressive and means no charging. The Go is water resistant up to 5 ATM (around 50 metres), and that does mean you can take it swimming. It also has the ability to automatically track swimming, but you’ll only get duration and calorie burn data. All of your data is now stored in the Nokia Health Mate app, which offers streamlined surroundings to check in on your progress.

Feature check: Steps, sleep, calories, swimming

$49.95, nokia.com | Amazon

Polar Loop 2

The best budget fitness trackers

Polar’s fitness tracker sequel adds smartwatch-style features and beefed up build quality, and has notifications for Android and iOS users. The second generation activity tracker will display smartphone notifications for incoming calls, messages and calendar alerts, as well as measure distance, steps, sleep and calories. It even politely vibrates if you’ve been sitting down too long.

Feature check: Distance, steps, calories, sleep

$69.95, polar.com | Amazon

Fitbit Zip

The best budget fitness trackers

This is Fitbit’s least capable fitness tracker, but it’s still a useful bit of kit – there’s no sleep tracking and no way to measure elevation, but steps, distance and calories are all covered, and the Zip has wireless syncing capabilities, too. Add to that the rock-solid Fitbit software and platform and it’s an appealing choice for anyone who wants to keep things simple on a budget.

Do be aware that the Zip is a little low on stock on Amazon currently, so its prices are sky high for it right now.

Feature check: Steps, distance, calories

$59.95, fitbit.com | Amazon

Goqii

The best budget fitness trackers

The Goqii is a wearable that’s a little different. Yes, it’s a fitness tracker that can track steps, distance, active time and sleep. It can also do some basic notifications and has WhatsApp support. What sets it apart though is there’s a three-month subscription that gets you access to a real fitness trainer. They can look at your data from your device and coach you on what you need to do to improve.

You also earn Karma points for every 390 steps you take (inspired by Gandhi’s 390km journey), which can be used to donate to various social causes within the companion app.

It’s supposed to only be available in India, but you can pick it up via Amazon.

Feature check: Steps, distance, coaching

$39.99 (3-month plan), goqii.com | Amazon

Archon Touch

The best budget fitness trackers

Only available in the UK for now, the Archon Touch fitness tracker comes at a bargain basement price. You get steps, calories and sleep tracking plus a tiny screen which you can use to summon your stats, and swipe through using your finger. There are some smart features too, with snippets of messages and incoming call details flashed on the screen. It’s not pretty or elegant, but it is usable at a very low price.

Feature check: Steps, distance, calories, notifications

£34.99 | Amazon

(wareable.com, https://goo.gl/ZKwFKm)

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