Budget Deals – The Best Cheap Fitness Tracker for 2016
We’ve probably reached and even passed peak fitness tracker craze, but believe it or not, there are still many people who don’t have one. This could be for a number of reasons: maybe they just don’t want all the specifics about their activity, or maybe the technology scares them off, or maybe they don’t feel like wearing a device 24/7 like its a shackle to the fitness tracking overlords. Probably, though, they’re still looking for a cheap fitness tracker, because they just don’t want to spend a hundred bucks or more on a gadget and commit to doing something new that they’ve never really tried before.
A Cheap Fitness Tracker – Track for Less
If you’ve been holding out on buying a fitness tracker because of cost, there’s good news: you can actually purchase a pretty decent fitness tracker — one that will keep tabs on your activity and sync with your smartphone and maybe even do a few other things for you — for well under $100, and in many cases, well under $50.
In fact, you’ve got several options when it comes to picking out a cheap fitness tracker! Here are, in no particular order, ten of our favorite affordable trackers.
1. Xiaomi Mi Band
The big appeal of the Xiaomi Mi Band is its price: at around $13, it’s pretty much a no-brainer if you’re thinking of getting started with fitness tracking but don’t want to spend more than the cost of an inexpensive dinner out.
What do you get for your money? Quite a lot, actually: it tracks your steps, tracks your sleep, allows you to set a goal (and tells you how close you are to reaching it), and even gives you smart notifications in the form of a buzz, since there’s no display. The app is basic, but it gets the job done. And again, it’s only $13. Why wouldn’t you give it a shot?
It may help to think of the Xiaomi Mi Band as the gateway drug to more in-depth tracking. This is probably not the device for a long term commitment, but it will get you started with tracking and help you decide if you like it or not. Spoiler alert: you’re probably gonna like it.
Once you get into looking at step and sleep data, you’ll probably want to know about how many calories you’re burning and how far you’re traveling, and you’ll want to upgrade soon. Plus, there are a few gripes about the accuracy of the Mi, but really, for $13, you probably can’t be too picky. For what it is, the Xiaomi Mi Band is a good first step into the cheap fitness tracker arena.
2. Pivotal Living Band
The Xiaomi Mi Band may be the best known cheap fitness tracker, but at $12, the Pivotal Living Band is even cheaper, if not the cheapest fitness tracker and perhaps a bit more impressive.
Yes, you read that correctly: $12.
It’s hard to believe, but for that price, you get a remarkably robust little device. It measures steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned, plus sleep. It also has a stopwatch, a silent alarm, goal setting, and an activity reminder if you’ve been on your butt for too long. Oh, and there’s a small display to give you just the basic numbers; the surprisingly great app has your data in more comprehensive form. It’s all in a wristlet that looks more or less like any other lower-end tracker.
So what’s the catch? Well, there’s not really any catch. Sure, the company has had some complaints of syncing issues, but many users have no issues at all with their Pivotal Living Band. There are also some questions about its accuracy, but as with the Xiaomi Mi Band, trackers this cheap are more for entertainment purposes and for seeing if fitness tracking is really something you like. For 12 bucks, the Pivotal Living Band is a great budget tracker.
3. Misfit Flash
Full activity and sleep tracking in a sporty yet elegant package for under $30? That’s what you get with the Misfit Flash. It measures steps, distance, and calories, and it can also keep track of your sleep duration and quality. Even better, it never needs charging, as it’s powered by a button cell battery that lasts about six months. It’s also highly water resistant.
The Flash comes with a wristband, but it can really be worn anywhere as a clip: lapels, pockets, socks, wherever. What’s more, Misfit’s focus on clean, simple design isn’t limited to their more expensive trackers. The cool round Flash, which comes in six colors, features 12 tiny LEDs that illuminate to show you how close you are to meeting your daily goal; the app can tell you how much longer you’ll need to walk or run to meet your goal.
If the Flash’s $29.99 price tag is still too steep for you, consider the Misfit Flash Link. Priced at just $19.99, the Link is like the Flash without the wristband, plus it has all sorts of programmable smart button features. If you prefer to wear your tracker as a clip, the Link is a serious contender. And finally, if you’re a cyclist who’s in the market for a cheap fitness tracker, check out the Misfit Flash Cyclist Edition. At $49.99, it clips onto your shoes to measure all sorts of bicycle-related data.
4. OUMAX Fit T3
OUMAX may be a lesser known manufacturer of fitness trackers and smart devices, but its Fit T3 tracker is an impressive little device. It can handle all the basics: full activity tracking, full sleep tracking, and even a touchscreen OLED display. There’s also an alarm clock, goal setting, and smartphone notifications.
The Fit T3 retails for $69.99, but Amazon has it for $40 less than that. So, for $29.99, you can purchase a full-fledged fitness tracker in one of three colors. You won’t get the name recognition that you’d get with a Fitbit, Jawbone, or many other trackers, but if that doesn’t bother you, the OUMAX Fit T3 is a great first tracker.
5. Jawbone Up Move
Jawbone keeps releasing newer and more ambitious wristbands with more expensive features like continuous heart rate monitoring and NFC payment capabilities, and meanwhile, their low-priced Up Move clip tracker keeps on being great for a fraction of the cost.
Yes, it’s no frills: it measures activity and sleep, and it has a minimalist display that shows you activity or sleep mode plus progress toward your goal. You also get an in with the excellent Jawbone app, which gives you graphic readouts of all your data plus smart coaching, food logging, and a social component too.
As far as looks go, the Up Move isn’t as sleek looking as, say, the Misfit Flash, but it’s the same idea: a small button of a tracker that can go in a clip (included) or a wristband (about five bucks each). It’ll set you back $49.99 — more than many of the other trackers on this list, but if you specifically want a Jawbone tracker, you won’t find one for less. The “Up Move under $50 fitness tracker” is splash proof, compatible with all sorts of third party apps and devices, and has a replaceable battery that should last about six months.
6. Polar Loop
One of the more substantial-looking fitness trackers on our list, the Polar Loop is the least expensive Polar device you can buy; it costs $59.95. That isn’t to say that it’s bare bones, though. On the contrary, the Loop measures everything you’d expect — full activity and full sleep — and it allows you to customize your daily goal for activity and helps you meet it. It may tell you to jog for 20 minutes, or walk for 30, and all that information is right on your wrist in the device’s 85 LEDs.
But let’s get back to looks. The Loop isn’t especially masculine or feminine looking; it’s just a solid colored bangle (in black, blue, or purple) with some metal accents, and as mentioned, the 85 LED display can show you your activity numbers or the time of day. The Polar app offers smart coaching pointers, which is helpful if you’re a bit more serious about your fitness. Plus, if you go for Polar’s H7 chest strap heart rate monitor (for $79.99), the Loop and the Polar app will integrate your heart rate data for zone training.
Additional Reading: Polar Loop 2 vs Fitbit Charge HR
7. Fitbug Orb
Fitbug is an apt name for this bargain tracker because it’s just so darn cute. Like some of the other devices on our list, it’s a little button tracker, but the groove in the center makes the whole thing look like a cat’s eye. It pops in a wristband or a clip (both included) so you can wear it however you’d like to measure distance, steps, calories, and sleep. One big advantage that the Fitbug Orb has over other trackers is that its app will set smart goals based on what you want to do, like lose weight or improve your overall fitness.
The app also has recipes and nutritional advice to help you on the calories in side as well as the calories out side. The orb has a long lasting coin cell battery, and it can sync wirelessly to your mobile device or computer. It comes in black, white, and pink, and retails for a very reasonable $49.95.
8. Fitbit Zip
Fitbit has the biggest name recognition in the fitness tracker galaxy, and if you want one of their well-regarded and ultra-popular trackers, you’ll pay a little extra for the name alone. Still, their most basic tracker, the Fitbit Zip, is a cute little clip-on that will give you the basics for the relatively affordable price of $59.95. Yes, that puts it toward the pricier end of our cheap fitness tracker spectrum, but that’s how it goes with name brands. If you want a cheap Fitbit, this is it.
The Zip looks like a pedometer for the 21st Century, and that’s sort of what it is. It tracks steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and active minutes. There’s no elevation tracking (you need to step up to the hundred dollar Fitbit One for that), and no sleep tracking at all, but if you’re just casually interested in how much you’re moving and hoping to be a little more healthy, the Zip will give you what you’re looking for.
The battery life is an impressive six months, there is a small yet functional display, and it comes in four cool colors. Plus, using a Zip gives you a connection to the useful Fitbit app, where you can see all of your data, log food intake, and more.
9. Razer Nabu X
The Razer Nabu X made a big splash when it was first revealed at CES 2015 for a number of reasons, not the least of which was its $49.99 price tag. It’s a fitness tracker that measures steps, distance, calories, active minutes, and sleep, but it’s also a highly customizable smart band that can add a ton of convenience to your life.
There’s no display on the Nabu X, but there are three tiny LEDs that can illuminate in three different colors. Using the app, you can program each light and color to mean a certain thing, like an incoming phone call from a specific contact. It also has Razer’s proprietary Pulse technology, which allows you to share Facebook and Twitter information with other Razer users in close proximity; it’s a fun feature for more tech-savvy users.
The Razer Nabu X comes in black, white, and a bright alien neon green, it’s splashproof, and it can go up to seven days between charges.
10. MOOV NOW
Forgive the odd spelling and all-caps styling on the MOOV NOW. For $59.99, this is a real powerhouse of a fitness tracker. It’s actually best suited for tracking novices who are more serious about their fitness — who run, power walk, swim, cycle, or intentionally do more than just everyday strolling. The MOOV NOW does have regular tracker capabilities in that it will keep tabs on steps, sleep, and so on, though the details you’ll see in the app are fairly basic. That’s because the MOOV NOW is concerned with more important things, like helping you get a decent workout.
There’s lots of coaching on the app, including audio cues that can help you run or swim better and can also guide you through several interval workouts. You do need your phone within range to get the audio cues, though, but that’s okay, since the device can also use your phone’s GPS for accurate distance information. If you buy two MOOV NOW devices (one for each wrist), you can take advantage of a really intense cardio boxing workout.
The MOOV NOW looks pretty cool, with its webbed and watch-like aesthetic. There’s no display, but the useful app more than makes up for that. And, with a six month battery, you won’t have to worry about going out with a dead tracker.
If you think you can’t get a decent fitness tracker for a low price, we have a list of ten great options to convince you otherwise. There’s just one caveat, though, and it’s this: you can’t expect expensive features on an inexpensive tracker. So, while you will get activity and sleep monitoring, you absolutely won’t get heart rate monitoring or built-in GPS, and you probably won’t get capabilities like contactless payments either.
Still for around $50 (and in many cases, much less), there are some excellent choices. If you want to give tracking a try, or if you’re on a tight budget, we’d highly recommend checking out a cheap fitness tracker.