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Fitness trackers can be a helpful tool for monitoring your health and fine-tuning your fitness routine.

In fact, many of them are designed for specific sports and offer a variety of features, including sleep tracking, integrated heart rate monitors, and water resistance.

However, picking a product that’s right for you can be challenging, as so many choices are available.

The products in this article were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Features. Products include features like activity tracking, GPS navigation, smartphone integration, and heart rate monitoring.
  • Customer reviews. The fitness trackers below have mostly positive customer reviews.
  • Price. The products in this list provide a great value for the price.

Here are 10 of the best fitness trackers for 2021.

Best overall

Apple Watch Series 6

  • Price: $$$
  • Color options: space gray, blue, rose gold, silver and white, gold and navy blue, and graphite and black

Thanks to its sleek design, long battery life, and numerous fitness-related features, the Apple Watch Series 6 takes the top spot as the best fitness tracker on the market.

In addition to recording your daily activity metrics and trends using the Fitness app, the device monitors your blood oxygen levels, heart rhythm, and sleep cycles.

What’s more, the watch has a GPS that’s independent of the phone for tracking your steps, route, speed, distance, and more.

The watch is also water-resistant up to 164 feet (50 meters) and boasts a large, crisp display for easy readability.

Interested in having your texts or calendar events show up on your watch? The Apple Watch makes it easy to mirror your watch and iPhone so that you never miss a notification.

Another added benefit is that you can make calls and send texts from the Apple Watch.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to use the Apple Watch app on your phone to make any changes to your watch display, including changing the clock face, adjusting your notification preferences, and adding apps.

The Apple Watch Series 6 offers up to 18 hours of battery life per charge, which the company claims takes into account regular use, such as checking the time, swiping through apps, and even exercising for 60 minutes while listening to music.

Cost is the most obvious downside of the Apple Watch.

However, the other main drawback of the Apple Watch is that its sleep tracking feature isn’t as detailed or robust as other trackers. Therefore, if improving sleep is at the top of your priority list, you’ll want to check out other devices, such as the Oura Ring.

Best for running

Garmin Forerunner 245

  • Price: $$
  • Color options: black, berry, white, aqua, and slate gray

Featuring GPS navigation, smartphone connectivity, and advanced performance analytics, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is a great choice for runners.

This top-notch fitness tracker provides feedback on your current training status and offers custom workouts and adaptive training plans to help ramp up your run.

It also uses a wrist sensor to track your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), and V̇O₂ max — a measure of cardiorespiratory fitness.

The device may also help you improve your form by providing detailed information on your stride length, balance, cadence, and vertical oscillation — the amount that your torso moves up and down with each step.

The watch also offers the Garmin Coach feature, which provides personalized guidance and training plans from an expert running coach.

In addition to running, the Garmin Forerunner 245 includes features that are tailored to other forms of cardio workouts, including swimming, cycling, hiking, and more.

To receive notifications, you can pair the watch with your phone using the Garmin Connect app.

Plus, if you have an Android phone, you can quickly respond to calls and texts using preconfigured responses, such as “on a run.”

The battery is said to last up to 7 days, but that’s with minimal usage. With music, GPS, and wrist monitoring running simultaneously, you can expect it to last closer to 6 hours.

You can also try dimming the backlight if you find that your watch is quickly running out of juice.

Best for cycling

Polar Vantage M

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • Color options: black, black copper, and white

The Polar Vantage M is ideal for cyclists seeking a sports watch that’s slim, lightweight, and less expensive than its competitors.

The watch boasts over 130 sport profiles available to download, including one that’s tailored to cycling.

In addition to measuring your heart rate, the watch keeps tabs on your speed, distance traveled, time elapsed, calories burned, and changes in altitude as you ride.

Additionally, in the background, the Polar Vantage M records your GPS trace, which can be synced with apps like Strava for a detailed report of your training session.

Other notable features include V̇O₂ max tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, personalized training plans, and guided breathing exercises.

In addition to cycling, the watch works well with a variety of activities, including running and swimming.

It also boasts a long battery life of up to 30 hours per charge when used in training mode.

When paired with the Flow app, you can receive text and phone notifications on your tracker, though you can also use the “do not disturb” setting during your ride.

However, unlike other smartwatches, you’ll still need to use your phone to take a call or respond to a text message.

Best for swimming

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

  • Price: $$
  • Color options: black and red

If you’re frequently swimming laps, you’ll want to consider the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro.

Water-resistant up to 164 feet (50 meters), this smartwatch is one of the few options on the market that provides continuous heart rate monitoring while you swim.

Swimmers will also appreciate the device’s automatic stroke recognition and pace monitoring.

Furthermore, the device provides valuable insights into your performance by calculating your SWOLF score — a measure of your efficiency that’s based on how long it takes you to swim a certain number of strokes.

While most users rave about the watch’s accuracy for swimmers, some complain that it’s not the best fit if you’re doing laps in pools smaller than 25 yards (22.9 meters).

The device is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones and works well with fitness and nutrition apps like Map My Run and MyFitnessPal.

You can also receive text and phone notifications and reply with preset responses.

The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro offers built-in music storage and GPS. However, as it doesn’t track the elevation or number of stairs climbed, it’s not the best option for hikers.

Similarly, some reviewers find the watch to be uncomfortable to wear while sleeping.

According to the company, the battery can last up to 15 days from a single charge, though that’s with minimal use.

Best for lifting weights

Garmin Vivoactive 3

  • Price: $$
  • Color options: black with stainless steel, black with slate, white with rose gold, and white with stainless steel

One of the less expensive Garmin watches, the Vivoactive 3 is a durable device with plenty of features for weightlifters.

As with others on this list, the Vivoactive 3 offers integrated GPS tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, and built-in music storage. It also includes 15 preloaded sports apps for tracking activities like running, swimming, cycling, yoga, and more.

It also allows you to keep an eye on your fitness level by monitoring your V̇O₂ max.

However, what makes it particularly appealing to weightlifters is the ability to design custom workouts for most strength-training exercises, including squats, bench presses, rows, and more.

Once you’ve created your workouts, you can download them to the watch so that the device can keep track of your reps, sets, and rest time while you sweat.

The watch is also lightweight, weighing just 1.4 ounces (39.7 grams), and features a slim design, making it comfortable to wear whether you’re at the gym or out on a run.

When it’s fully charged, the Garmin Vivoactive offers a battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode.

Best value

YAMAY Smart Watch Fitness Tracker

  • Price: $
  • Color options: black, gray, green, green-gold, mint green, pink, purple, violet, and dark purple

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the YAMAY Smart Watch is a great pick, as it’s practical, high quality, and easy to use.

The device tracks your daily steps, calories burned, distance traveled, heart rate, and sleep cycle.

What’s more, it easily pairs with your smartphone, allowing you to control your music or check alerts from your wrist. However, you’ll still need your phone to make calls and respond to messages.

Other notable features include 14 sport modes, a stopwatch and countdown feature, and a menstrual health tracking option, which keeps tabs on your cycle length and the date of your last period.

Data is stored in the VeryFitPro app, which is compatible with most iPhones and Android devices. However, users with Samsung Galaxy J series phones have reported issues with using the app.

When fully charged, the device can last up to 7–10 days, depending on how often you’re using it.

Best rated

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Activity Tracker

  • Price: $
  • Color options: black, granite, and rosewood

With built-in GPS, continuous heart rate monitoring, and over 20 exercise modes, this high quality activity tracker is a favorite among fitness enthusiasts.

Compared with other products, the Fitbit Charge 4 offers several unique features, including Activity Zone Minutes, which alerts you when you reach your target heart rate and allows you to set weekly activity goals.

Using the Fitbit app on your phone, you can also monitor a variety of health metrics, such as your breathing rate, heart rate variability, temperature, SpO2 (also known as oxygen saturation) levels, menstrual cycle, and daily stress management score.

Additionally, you can wear the device at night to track your sleep. In the morning, the app provides a sleep score for a quick snapshot of your overall sleep quality.

As with many other fitness trackers, the Fitbit Charge 4 can be synced with your phone, allowing you to receive calls, texts, and calendar notifications on your wrist.

According to the company, the battery should last up to 7 days per charge.

Best for monitoring blood pressure

Omron HeartGuide

  • Price: $$$
  • Color options: silver with a black strap

The Omron HeartGuide is the first smartwatch to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for monitoring blood pressure levels.

While it doesn’t look much different from other smartwatches, the Omron HeartGuide features a unique inflatable cuff inside of the wristband for monitoring your blood pressure level.

To activate this feature, simply hold your arm at chest level and press a button to start the recording.

The data from the cuff is then synced with an app called HeartAdvisor, which provides detailed insights into your readings and tracks your levels over time.

In addition to blood pressure, the device monitors your activity level, sleep patterns, and calories burned. You can also receive notifications from your phone, including texts, incoming calls, emails, and calendar events.

The battery life depends on how frequently you’re measuring your blood pressure levels, though the company states that most users can expect to charge their device 2–3 times per week.

One potential downside of this model is that it’s only waterproof up to a depth of 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) for no more than 30 minutes. Therefore, you may want to take it off before jumping in the pool.

The Omron HeartGuide is also quite expensive, though it may be partially covered by insurance for people with certain medical conditions.

Best for monitoring heart rate

Garmin Vivosmart 4

  • Price: $
  • Color options: gray with rose gold, black, berry with gold, and blue with silver

Another solid option from Garmin, the Vivosmart 4 features a built-in pulse sensor, along with daily stress tracking, sleep monitoring, and preloaded activities.

It stands out from others for including a wrist-based pulse ox sensor, which measures your blood oxygen saturation levels both during the day and while you’re sleeping at night.

While it doesn’t offer its own GPS tracking, the device can connect to your smartphone’s GPS for recording outdoor activities.

The Vivosmart 4 is also relatively affordable and available in four colors. Plus, you can choose to receive calls, texts, and other notifications directly on your device.

One thing to keep in mind is that the screen is a bit small. However, you can easily view your data on your smartphone using the Garmin Connect app.

The Vivosmart’s battery is said to last up to 7 days on a full charge.

Best for sleep tracking

Oura Ring

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • Color options: gold, silver, black, and stealth

The Oura Ring stands out from others on this list, as it’s the only ring-shaped device.

Weighing less than the average wedding band, the Oura ring is lightweight and comfortable to wear. It’s also more stylish than the average smart tracker.

As with most trackers, the Oura ring keeps tabs on your activity levels, steps, and number of calories burned.

However, where the device really shines is its ability to provide detailed insights into your sleep habits.

When worn at night, the Oura Ring measures your resting heart rate, heart rate variability, number of breaths per minute, body temperature, movement, and time spent in light, deep, and REM sleep.

Together, this data is used to create a sleep score, which includes tips for improving your sleep quality over time.

While it doesn’t track your workouts in real time, you can connect your Oura app to your Apple Health or Google Fit account. You can also enter your workout information manually.

The Ring is water-resistant up to 328 feet (100 meters) and has a battery life of 4–7 days.

Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:

Apple Watch Series 6Garmin Forerunner 245Polar Vantage MSamsung Gear Fit2 ProGarmin Vivoactive 3YAMAY Smart Watch Fitness TrackerFitbit Charge 4 Fitness Activity TrackerOmron HeartGuideGarmin Vivosmart 4Oura Ring
Price (MSRP)$399$300$300$300$250$50$100$499$130$399
Battery lifeup to 18 hoursup to 7 daysup to 30 hoursup to 15 daysup to 7 daysup to 10 daysup to 7 daysup to 3 daysup to 7 daysup to 7 days
Waterproof rating5 ATM5 ATM10 ATM5 ATM5 ATMIP685 ATMIP685 ATM 10 ATM
Smartphone compatibleyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Main features tracked
•activity level
•fall detection
•heart rate
•menstrual cycle
•multisport fitness tracking
•sedentary time
•heart rate
•menstrual cycle
•multisport fitness tracking
•recovery time
•stride length
•training load
•training status
•V̇O₂ max
•heart rate
•multisport fitness tracking
•running index
•swimming-specific tracking
•training load
•V̇O₂ max
•heart rate
•heart rate
•menstrual cycle
•multisport fitness tracking
•V̇O₂ max
•heart rate
•menstrual cycle
•breathing rate
•heart rate
•menstrual cycle
•blood pressure
•energy level
•heart rate
•multisport fitness tracking
•V̇O₂ max
•breathing rate
•heart rate variability

Note that the prices above are based on the current market list price (MSRP) and may vary by retailer.

With so many fitness trackers available, it can be challenging to find the product that’s right for you.

Be sure to note which features are important based on your needs, such as heart rate or blood pressure monitoring, GPS navigation, sleep tracking, water resistance, or smartphone compatibility.

Some products are also designed for specific types of activities, including running, walking, swimming, or cycling, so look for a tracker that suits your needs or offers several sport-specific options.

If you plan on using your fitness tracker for swimming or other water-related activities, it’s important to pay attention to the water rating.

Here are common ratings used for wearable devices:

  • IPX7: withstands brief exposure to up to 3.3 feet (1 meter) of water for up to 30 minutes
  • IP68: water-resistant up to 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) for up to 30 minutes
  • 5 ATM: withstands water pressure equivalent to up to 164 feet (50 meters), including swimming and snorkeling
  • 10 ATM: withstands water pressure equivalent to up to 328 feet (100 meters), including swimming, snorkeling, diving, and high speed water sports

While smartwatches are the most popular, you may want to consider other types of trackers, such as bands, rings, or sensors.

It’s also important to consider if you’d like most of the data to display directly on the tracker itself, or if you’re fine with interpreting results and data on an external app.

Finally, fitness trackers vary in price, so be sure to keep your budget in mind and pick a product within your price range.

Fitness trackers are a simple, convenient way to measure your activity stats and monitor your health.

When shopping for a fitness tracker, consider factors like the type, available features, sport-specific options, and price.