Best Fitness Trackers And Watches 2023

A black, thin, Xiaomi fitness tracker with the time showcased in white and steps calculated on the display.
Credit: Nikita Kostrykin

A black, thin, Xiaomi fitness tracker with the time showcased in white and steps calculated on the display.
Credit: Nikita Kostrykin

The best fitness trackers and watches have helped grow the popularity of wearables exponentially in the last few years, especially as there's perhaps more of an emphasis than ever on our health. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. Fortunately, we've put together a list of amazing fitness wearables to help you find the right device for your lifestyle and training goals.

Like our list of the best running watches, our top picks are based on devices that offer features such as activity tracking, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitoring, and blood oxygen level tracking - all of which can help you stay on top of your health and fitness. Some even offer ECG readings and can even notify your emergency contacts and/or services in the event of a fall.

We haven't just focused on the technical features though. We know that fitness trackers and smartwatches need to fit your lifestyle and be comfortable to wear. That's why we've also considered factors such as style, battery life, ease of use, and app compatibility during our selection process.

So whether you're just starting your fitness journey or looking to take your workouts to the next level with an amazing Fitbit or Garmin device, for example, we've got you covered with our list. Who knows, you might just find that wearing one of these devices becomes your new favourite accessory!

Best fitness trackers and watches

  1. Fitbit Charge 6
  2. Garmin fēnix 7X
  3. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7
  4. Fitbit Inspire 3
  5. Apple Watch Series 9
Fitbit Charge 6 product image of a black fitness band with the time in green and white on the display as well as heart rate.
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Credit: Fitbit

1. Fitbit Charge 6

Best fitness tracker

Heart Rate Tracking: Yes - Sleep Tracking: Yes - GPS: Yes - Water Resistance: Up to 50m - Bluetooth: Yes - Quoted Battery Life: 7 days - Touchscreen: Yes - Mobile Payments: Yes

The Fitbit Charge 6 is arguably one of Fitbit's most advanced fitness trackers to date and no doubt one of the best wearables devices on the market, especially as it includes an ECG heart rate monitor and an always-on colour touch screen that is easy to read, even in bright sunlight.

It also provides you with a statistic known as your "Daily Readiness Score", which uses metrics like your fatigue, heart rate variability, and recent sleep to give you an idea of how ready you are to train. Plus, with a built-in GPS, you can easily track outdoor workouts from the device itself.

But perhaps the best thing about the Charge 6 is its integration with Google. YouTube music controls, turn-by-turn instructions on Google Maps, and Google Wallet support are all new additions and uprgrades from the Charge 5. Also, there are now over 40 exercise modes to choose from, depending on your training, helping you stay fit and healthy with this neat little wearable on your wrist.

So, whether you're hitting the gym or going for a hike, the Charge 6 is up to the task. With its band-like shape and compact size as well, you shouldn't get distracted or feel weighed down during your training or adventures either, thus making it an incredibly well-rounded pick.

Read More: Best fitness watches for men

Garmin fēnix 7X product image of a black smartwatch with the time in white on the display.
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Credit: Garmin

2. Garmin fēnix 7X

Best fitness watch

Heart Rate Tracking: Yes - Sleep Tracking: Yes - GPS: Yes - Water Resistance: 10 ATM - Bluetooth: Yes - Quoted Battery Life: Up to 37 days with solar - Touchscreen: Yes - Mobile Payments: With Garmin pay

The Garmin fēnix 7X is arguably the most well-rounded Garmin watch for outdoor enthusiasts and fitness fanatics around. It comes with a whole host of advanced tracking features that will help you stay on top of your progress, plus its preloaded TopoActive maps mean you can navigate your running route or hiking trails, for example, on the go while training outdoors.

One of the standout characteristics of this device though is its durability. The watch has been rigorously tested to U.S. military standards for thermal, shock, and water resistance. This means it can withstand even the harshest of outdoor conditions, and can even be used for swimming up to a depth of 100M.

If you're worried about running out of battery, fear not. This particular watch comes with a scratch-resistant Power Sapphire solar charging lens that uses the sun’s energy to extend its battery life. In fact, you can get up to 37 days' worth of charge whilst in smartwatch mode through solar charging, making it an incredibly reliable option for marathon runners and long-distance adventurers.

It is one of the more premium options in Garmin's range, however, we think the price tag is justified given its vast array of features. With preloaded activity profiles for trail running, swimming, running, biking, hiking, rowing, skiing, golfing, surfing, indoor climbing, and more, there's really not a lot to dislike about this amazing Garmin device for fitness.

Read More: Best fitness watches for women

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 product image of a black fitness tracker with the time in white on the display.
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Credit: Xiaomi

3. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7

Best budget fitness tracker

Heart Rate Tracking: Yes - Sleep Tracking: Yes - GPS: No - Water Resistance: 5 ATM - Bluetooth: Yes - Quoted Battery Life: Up to 14 days - Touchscreen: Yes - Mobile Payments: Yes

If you're just starting your training journey, or you simply don't want to break the bank on a fitness tracker at this stage in time, then we'd recommend checking out the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7.

Its incredibly competitive price mixed with its impressive range of features makes it great value for money in our opinion. For example, it can track your sleep performance, heart rate, VO₂ max. and can even monitor your SpO₂ all day long. This makes it an excellent option for those looking to keep on top of their health metrics daily.

Moreover, it supports over 110 different sports, and its 1.62'' AMOLED high-resolution display means you can closely monitor your burned calories, heart rate changes, and workout duration on the fly, especially as the display can be set to always-on.

It even features a 5ATM water resistance rating and an impressive 14-day battery life that we'd say is hard to beat for the price you pay. Therefore, the Smart Band 7 is an excellent budget fitness tracker to consider.

Read More: Best running watches under 100

Fitbit Inspire 3 product image of a black fitness tracker with the time in green on the display.
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Credit: Fitbit

4. Fitbit Inspire 3

Best mid-range fitness tracker

Heart Rate Tracking: Yes - Sleep Tracking: Yes - GPS: Via smartphone - Water Resistance: Up to 50m - Bluetooth: Yes - Quoted Battery Life: 10 days - Touchscreen: Yes - Mobile Payments: With Fitbit pay

The Fitbit Inspire 3 looks to be the ultimate device for those who are just starting to build healthier habits with a more active lifestyle and are in need of something a little more advanced to take their training to the next level.

It comes with all the usual health tracking capabilities, including sleep monitoring, 24/7 heart rate tracking, and blood oxygen monitoring, but also features more unique additions like skin temperature analysis that can give you a bit of a heads up when you're starting to fall ill.

One of the Inspire 3's best additions, however, is its bright AMOLED screen, which can be used to track your Active Zone Minutes, for example, along with other health metrics from the device itself. Active Zone Minutes is great as it monitors the time you spend in different heart-rate zones, which can help you tailor your workouts as you go to ensure they align with your fitness goals.

So, if it's a great health tracker you're after that monitors your steps, sleep, and can also notify you of incoming calls, then the Inspire 3 looks like a great bet. With its impressive features, it is an ideal choice for those who want to keep track of their health and stay motivated.

Read More: Best hiking watches

Apple Watch Series 9 product image of a black-strapped smartwatch with an analogue time in blue and white on the display.
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Credit: Apple

5. Apple Watch Series 9

Best fitness watch for everyday wear

Heart Rate Tracking: Yes - Sleep Tracking: Yes - GPS: Yes - Water Resistance: up to 50m - Bluetooth: Yes - Quoted Battery Life: Up to 36 hours in Low Power Mode - Touchscreen: Yes - Mobile Payments: Yes

Apple's expertise in designing exceptional fitness watches isn't surprising, given its track record in creating impressive smartwatches packed with fitness capabilities. As a result, the Apple Watch Series 9 stands out as a great option for everyday wear as it's a true testament to the heights a fitness watch can reach, especially now with its upgraded S9 SiP chip.

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Alongside being visually stunning, it boasts new intuitive double-tap gestures for ease of use and is water-resistant, making it a versatile companion for workouts, even in intense sweat-inducing sessions or underwater activities up to depths of 50m.

Its array of fitness-tracking features is extensive. From monitoring blood oxygen levels to providing ECG readings through its app, it offers a comprehensive overview of your fitness journey and aids in setting detailed future goals.

Moreover, it keeps you informed about critical health changes, like irregular heart rates, high or low heart rate notifications, plus it gives you a nudge when your cardio is low. These features collectively make it one of the best fitness devices for everyday wear available today.

Read More: Best watches under 1500

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

If you've encountered any questions along the way, don't worry! We've answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding fitness trackers and watches below...

What's the difference between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch?

Fitness trackers and smartwatches share some similarities, but there are also some key differences between the two as well.

A fitness tracker is a device that is designed primarily to track physical activity and health-related metrics such as steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, heart rate, and sleep quality. These metrics are then displayed on either a screen or via an accompanying app on a smartphone as fitness trackers tend to be small, compact, and more band-like than a smartwatch.

That said, some fitness trackers also include basic smartwatch features, such as notifications for incoming calls or messages, but they are generally focused on fitness and health tracking.

A smartwatch, on the other hand, is a more versatile device that can perform a wider range of functions beyond fitness tracking. In addition to tracking physical activity and health metrics, smartwatches typically include features such as GPS, music playback, voice control, mobile payments, and access to a variety of apps. Smartwatches tend to have more sophisticated displays than fitness trackers as well, with some models featuring full-colour touchscreens and the ability to display photos, videos, and other multimedia content.

What features should you look for when buying a fitness tracker or watch?

When buying a fitness tracker or watch, there are several features to consider that can help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health.

One of the most important features to look for is accurate activity tracking. A good fitness tracker or watch should track your steps, distance traveled, and calories burned throughout the day. Some models also include heart rate monitoring to give you a better understanding of your exercise intensity and overall cardiovascular health. You can even buy devices that have modes tailored toward tracking specific activities like running, skiing, or weightlifting to ensure you're informed on the key metrics for those activities.

Another important feature to look for is sleep tracking. This can help you understand the quality and duration of your sleep, which is important for overall health and well-being. Some models also offer insights and recommendations on how to improve your sleep, which is crucial as sleep has been linked to improved learning and decision-making as well as lowering the risk of cardiometabolic diseases.

Next up, you need to make sure the fitness tracker or watch you choose is compatible with your smartphone and any apps you use to track your fitness progress. This will allow you to easily view and analyse your data and progress over time.

Lastly, consider the battery life and water resistance of the device. Longer battery life will mean less frequent charging and a more convenient user experience. Water resistance is also important, especially if you plan to wear your fitness tracker or watch while swimming or participating in other water-based activities.

How much should you spend on a fitness tracker or watch?

The amount you should spend on a fitness tracker or watch depends on your specific needs and budget. They can range from double all the way up to triple digits, depending on their features and capabilities.

If you're just looking for basic tracking of steps, calories burned, and sleep, then an inexpensive option may suffice. However, if you want more advanced features like heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and smartwatch functionality, you may need to invest in a more expensive model.

It's important to consider what features you will actually use and how often you plan to use the device before making a purchase. It's also a good idea to read reviews and compare different models to find one that fits your budget and meets your specific needs.

Are fitness trackers and watches waterproof?

Fitness trackers and watches are available with a variety of water resistance ratings, but the specific level of water resistance can differ depending on the brand and model. These ratings are commonly expressed in metres or ATM (atmospheres) and signify the depth to which the watch can be submerged without incurring damage.

In most cases, fitness watches are equipped with either a 5 or 10 ATM resistance rating, indicating their ability to withstand submersion to depths of 50 or 100 metres, respectively. However, it's essential to carefully verify the precise water resistance rating before making a purchase to prevent any unintended mishaps when exposed to water.

For those who require even deeper waterproofing, there are specialised watches known as dive watches, typically featuring a resistance rating known as ISO 6425. These watches are specifically engineered for scuba diving and are capable of withstanding depths of 200 metres or more.

It's rare to come across a fitness tracker or watch that lacks any form of water resistance, as these devices need to endure sweat during physical activities. Nevertheless, make sure you do your research to select a wearable device with a water resistance rating that aligns with your specific needs.

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