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Consider the ways you plan to use your fitness tracker before purchasing one. For example, outdoor runners and cyclists will get more use out of a device with built-in GPS connectivity. Users who are looking to measure only basics — such as steps and burned calories — might not need to splurge on a feature-rich model.
All fitness trackers require an app in order to connect to a compatible smartphone — typically an iPhone or an Android device. Applications are also necessary to manage the wearable's settings, including the smartphone notifications as applicable.
Shop the best fitness trackers on the market below, and find the device that best matches your needs.
Apple's third-generation smartwatch has cellular network connectivity, so you can leave your phone behind during your workouts. Like its predecessor, the Series 3 is waterproof up to 50 meters, so you can take it for a swim, too.
It also has a built-in GPS, so you can precisely keep track of your outdoor activities, plus there's an ultra precise heart-rate sensor. Casing options range from aluminum and stainless steel all the way to ceramic in the Edition models. There's an excellent selection of Apple-made and third-party bands to help you customize it.
Bottom Line: Strikes a perfect balance between design, available features, and ease of use.
The Fitbit Alta HR fitness tracker looks just like the regular Alta, except it features continuous heart-rate tracking, along with the already-familiar OLED touchscreen and swappable wristbands. In addition to tracking health data and delivering smartphone notifications, this wearable can also monitor your sleep patterns.
Its battery can last up to a week between charges. There are three case finishes to choose from — black, silver, and rose gold.
Bottom Line: A great option for buyers looking for a discreet, yet capable fitness tracker.
The Polar A370 is a fitness tracker that combines a solid host of features, understated design, and a user-friendly color touchscreen. It can deliver an array of fitness data, including the user's continuous heart rate, as well as notifications to a compatible smartphone.
The bands of the A370 are interchangeable, and they're available in several different colors.
Bottom Line: The most user-friendly fitness tracker by Polar.
The Gear Fit2 Pro fitness band by Samsung is dominated by a gorgeous, curved Super AMOLED touchscreen, making this fitness band incredibly user-friendly. The band's rich set of fitness-tracking features includes a GPS antenna, a heart-rate sensor, and a swimming-friendly water resistance of up to 50 meters.
The device has integration with a number of popular fitness apps. You can grab one in black or black/red.
Bottom Line: Samsung's most capable fitness tracker to date.
The recently announced Fitbit Versa is the company's best-looking, most user-friendly smartwatch to date. Its metal case is available with a silver, black, or charcoal finish. You can easily customize the watch via standard interchangeable bands.
Its fitness-tracking features include a built-in heart-rate sensor, a waterproof body to 50 meters, and the ability to offer guided workouts. The device has up to four days of battery life.
Compared to the pricier Fitbit Ionic smartwatch, the Versa lacks built-in GPS and an NFC chip for making contactless payments. A variant of the watch with NFC is available for $30 extra.
Bottom Line: The most user-friendly Fitbit to date.
The Garmin vívoactive 3 smartwatch by Garmin is a highly capable option with a large color screen that's easy to read at a quick glance. Key features of the watch include a built-in GPS for detailed mapping of the user's running routes, as well as the ability to deliver smartphone notifications.
You can also install apps on the watch from a dedicated marketplace, as well as make mobile payments with it. The vívoactive 3 smartwatch can last for up to a week between charges.
Bottom Line: If you're shopping for a Garmin fitness tracker, buy this one.
The Nokia Steel is a classic-looking stainless steel watch with a great set of fitness- and activity-tracking capabilities. They include continuous heart-rate monitoring via a built-in sensor, as well as the ability to automatically keep tabs on your exercises and your sleep patterns.
The elegant watch is water-resistant to 50 meters, so you can go swimming with it. Its stainless steel case is available in two sizes — 36 and 40 millimeters. You can choose between a silver or gold finish and a black or white dial.
Bottom Line: An elegant and well-priced option for casual users.
The Emporio Armani hybrid smartwatch blends classic looks and modern functionality, so it's a great gift for people who don't want another screen in their life. The water-resistant watch will connect to your smartphone via a sleek app, and it can track your activity and even send you discreet notifications. It'll also automatically set its time once it's connected to a phone.
Best of all, the smartwatch has up to six months of battery life! There are multiple colors and strap styles to pick from.
Bottom Line: Good for style-conscious casual users.
The Fitbit Ionic smartwatch is the company's most capable fitness tracker available today. It has a superb set of activity- and sleep-tracking features that include an accurate heart-rate tracker and GPS, as well as the ability to deliver guided workouts.
The device is fully waterproof, so you can go swimming with it. You can install apps on the smartwatch, make payments, and receive notifications from your smartphone as well. Fitbit also offers a number of interchangeable bands for the Ionic.
Bottom Line: Great fitness-tracking capabilities, but smartwatch functionality could be better.
The Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire is a fitness watch with the finish of a luxurious timepiece. It has a stainless steel case and band that are water-resistant to 100 meters, as well as a display covered by scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
The fitness-tracking features of the watch include a built-in heart rate sensor and GPS, plus the ability to track multiple sports and activities. The watch can also deliver notifications from your smartphone.
Bottom Line: Luxuriously built and hugely capable, but pricey.