What's the best activity tracker? The best fitness band or activity tracker is the Fitbit Charge HR, closely followed by the Fitbit Charge. If you're looking for a cheap activity tracker, the Xiaomi Mi Band is a top alternative. Check out more top fitness bands in our best activity trackers chart below.
We review 2016's best fitness activity trackers available to buy in the UK right now. Keep track of your steps, distance, calories and even sleep with one of these fitness monitors. Best activity trackers. Best fitness bands. Best pedometers. Best GPS watches. They're all here.
Latest entries: MyZone MZ-3 and Moov Now
Activity trackers or fitness monitors are one of the hot new gadgets to have in 2016. Like high-tech pedometers, they can count your steps and then estimate distance and calories burned, once you tell them your age, height and gender.
Best Activity Tracker 2016 UK: Buyers' guide
You can use fitness trackers to monitor your activity, but the general idea is that they spur you on to exercise more, helping you to get fitter and/or lose weight.
Some, but not all, have a display which shows this information, and they’re either worn on your wrist like a watch or clipped onto your clothes.
First, you can see a more detailed view of your activity, such as when you were most active during the day. You might also be able to see extra information, including very active minutes and sleep patterns, depending on the particular tracker and software.
Second, you can use the app or website to compete with friends (not every tracker offers this, though). Pitting yourself against others is even more motivational than the data from the tracker itself, since you won’t want others to beat your steps tally.
Third, you can see historical data, allowing you can see how well you’re doing, and whether you’re improving or slacking off.
A basic activity tracker will record your steps, distance covered, calories burned and active minutes. It might also have a clock so you can tell the time. The clock may be a series of LEDs, so it may be an approximation rather than the exact time.
More advanced models add one or more of the following: sleep tracking, a built-in vibrating alarm, a barometer (for measuring height climed), on-demand heart rate measurements, session recording (for running or other sports). The most advanced now have continuous heart-rate tracking, negating the need to wear a separate (and uncomfortable) chest strap.
Few are completely waterproof (the Polar Loop being good for swimmers), but virtually all will withstand sweat and rain.
Some also have built-in GPS. Without it, you'll need to take your phone with you on a run to accurately record distance and where you went. GPS is notoriously hard on batteries, so expect hours - not days- of battery life when using an activity tracker's GPS.
Batteries last anywhere from a few days to several months depending on their power source and the type of tracker you opt for.
As well as the hardware, software (the app) is a crucial piece of any activity tracker. For some, it will be more important than the hardware. Why? The software often provides extra features, such as the ability to compete with friends, track food and drink intake, monitor you weight and more. Conversely, the app can be severely limited, poorly designed or worse.
Some apps are more motivational than others, and this can be the difference between merely recording what little exercise you do and actually improving your fitness and health. Two of the best apps are Jawbone and Fitbit's.
Best Activity Tracker 2016 UK: Prices
The cheapest trackers worth buying – the Jawbone Up Move and Fitbit Zip – can be found for as little as £35-£40, with the most expensive (such as the Withings Activite) costing around £300.
See: Which Fitbit is best.
The Best Activity Trackers 2016 UK
19. Garmin Vivofit
- Reviewed on: 15 April 14
- RRP: £99 inc VAT
The Vivofit is a great activity tracker, but there's still some work to be done on the software side of things. Also consider the Polar Loop.
Read our Garmin Vivofit review.
- Reviewed on: 21 September 15
- RRP: £200 inc. VAT
A full-featured watch for runners, the Epson Runsense SF-810 will be the perfect companion for those serious about shaving times of long-distance runs. It is limited only to that function, and it isn't cheap. But battery life is great.
Read our Epson Runsense SF-810 review.
- Reviewed on: 11 September 15
- RRP: £199 inc. VAT
We like the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio, although it is far from perfect. It is built to last, and comfortable to wear, without being stylish. Critically, the built-in GPS and heartrate monitors are great, and battery life is good. But connectivity options aren't all that good, and it isn't cheap. But if you are sports mad, it is a good choice.
Read our TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio review.
- Reviewed on: 19 February 15
- RRP: £320 inc VAT
The Withings Activité is a stunning watch, the most attractive we've seen by a long shot. The design and build is exquisite and you can quickly glance at your daily steps progress. Other information is provided by the app and we like the sound of an eight month battery life. While it's good to know Android support and tracking for swimming is on the way, the Activité isn't a sure buy. The price is high and there are a few things missing such as a heart rate monitor, elevation tracking and any form of backlight.
Read our Withings Activité review.
15. FitBit Zip
- Reviewed on: 16 January 14
- RRP: £49.99 inc VAT
The FitBit Zip is ideal if you want to join the life-logging brigade but can't or won't spend £80 upwards on an activity tracker. It's basic, but unless you really want sleep tracking or the stair-tracking features of Fitbit's other trackers, it's a bargain.
Read our FitBit Zip review.
- Reviewed on: 26 November 14
- RRP: £49.95
I've enjoyed my time with the Misfit Flash, and I'm going to continue using it, however I'd hesitate to recommend it over some of its rivals, including the Fitbit One, which sits at the top of our activity tracker chart. For £50, though, it's got a decent set of features, a simple and intuitive app and the potential to get better over time if Misfit releases an update or two to include better analysis and calorie counting capabilities. Plus, being waterproof is a real boon, and the automatic sleep tracking is great for those who're interested in monitoring their sleeping patterns on a regular basis.
Read our Misfit Flash Activity Tracker review.
13. Jawbone Up Move
- Reviewed on: 26 November 14
- RRP: £39.99 inc VAT
For under £40, the Move is superb value. Although it doesn't track certain activities or height climbed, its great sleep tracking makes up for that. Soon you'll be able to buy the Up3 which will have considerably better sleep tracking but at this price, the Move is the best-value activity tracker around.
Read our Jawbone Up Move review.
12. Jawbone UP2
- Reviewed on: 29 June 15
- RRP: £89 inc. VAT
Leaving aside the somewhat feminine look of the grey-and-silver model I really like the UP2. It is comfortable to wear and robust. And it is well priced. Most importantly, the new UP app builds on the success of its predecessor, and is a great way of quantifying and improving your health. This is not a sophisticated runners watch, or a smartwatch. The lack of GPS or an on-device display attest to that. But for those who want a pedometer that can track all sorts of exercise without making them look like a Tech Liberace, the Jawbone UP2 is a great package.
Read our Jawbone UP2 review.
11. Honor Band Zero
- Reviewed on: 12 January 16
- RRP: £45.98 from GearBest (plus import duty)
For under £50 you can't really go wrong with the Honor Band Zero if all you need is a basic watch with some smartwatch and activity-tracking functionality. With notifications of calls, texts and more, plus basic activity- and sleep tracking, the Zero offers more than the most basic of activity trackers, but less than fully featured smartwatches. If you are going down the Chinese route, this watch isn't quite as good value as the excellend Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse, which also has a heart-rate tracker, but it does have a screen on which to provide notifications.
Read our Honor Band Zero review.
10. Xiaomi Mi Band
- Reviewed on: 3 March 15
- RRP: £28.99 inc VAT
At £28.99 the Xiaomi Mi Band is an excellent-value, lightweight fitness band with outstanding battery life. It's as accurate as any other fitness band, and we particularly like its sleep monitoring, vibration alarm and phone call notifications. The Mi Band companion app is very easy to use, but falls down only in its integration with other fitness and social apps.
Read our Xiaomi Mi Band review.
- Reviewed on: 2 December 15
- Buy for 22.04
With a tougher band addressing our issues with the original, and a new heart-rate sensor bringing it into line with rival activity trackers, you quite simply won't find a better-value fitness band than the Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse. It still falls down on social interaction, apps and its use of a proprietary charging cable, but given the price we can accept these shortcomings.
Read our Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse review.
8. Basis Peak
- Reviewed on: 5 May 15
- RRP: £170
Overall, we think that the Basis Peak is a great fitness and sleep tracker. The amount of data it processes provides you with a holistic overview of your fitness and sleeping habits. The accuracy of the tracker itself is great – we tried to fool it into thinking we were walking by shaking our wrists, which is a trick that many fitness trackers fall for, but not the Basis Peak! Sure, the optical heart rate sensor can become a bit irritating at times but that’s one small drop in an ocean of good features. If you’re looking for a comprehensive fitness and sleep tracker, the Basis Peak is a good – even if slightly expensive – option to take.
Read our Basis Peak review.
7. Moov Now
- Reviewed on: 2 February 16
- RRP: £59.99
The Moov Now is one of the most interesting activity trackers we've tried. It puts workouts and coaching first and the basic activity and sleep tracking second, and that's obvious, but not necessarily a bad thing. The voice coaching itself is motivating, but it's the levels, achievements and personal bests that'll keep you coming back for more. It's a shame that the activity and sleep tracking is so limited, so if that's what you're looking for in an activity tracker you'll want to look elsewhere, but for runners and cyclists of any level and for people who enjoy quick workouts at home, £59.99 will go a long way here.
Read our Moov Now review.
- Reviewed on: 17 December 14
- RRP: £99 inc VAT
The Fitbit Charge is a superb activity tracker wristband beats other fitness wristbands by showing the stats right there on your wrist, and – combined with the excellent Fitbit app and dashboard – offers real motivational tools to get you fitter, healthier and maybe a little lighter. Our one concern (and the reason we scored it half a star lower) is its wriststrap that isn't as secure as that of the superior Fitbit Charge HR.
Read our Fitbit Charge review.
- Reviewed on: 2 February 16
- RRP: £199 inc. VAT
It is very difficult to score the Band 2, because it is such a specific product with a unique feature set. But let's unpack it: it is definitely good value, as the combination of sensors and features is much greater than any comparable product at this price. And it is well made if not the last word in elegance, nor with perfect battery life. If you are looking for a GPS runner's or cyclist's watch it is a good one at a good price, and it also offers the productivity and sleep tracking. And if you want a smartwatch you will like what the Band 2 does, but you may hanker after the ability to compose and send messages. Simply, I don't. I like to wear my dumb watch, and I like for my phone to stay in my pocket rather than on my wrist. So for me the Band 2 is a winner.
Read our Microsoft Band 2 review.
4. MyZone MZ-3
- Reviewed on: 3 February 16
- RRP: £129.99 inc VAT
The MZ-3 has engaged me from the outset and as I am currently training for this years London Marathon it has consistently challenged me to work harder to achieve my personal goals even when I would have rather stayed on the sofa. If you are of a competitive nature then this device not only plays to it but draws you in to the never ending cycle of increased effort to grab those MEPs and reach your fitness goals. I have even found myself strapping on the MZ-3 during my commute and increasing my walking pace to add on more points. If you're looking for a device that tracks your actitivy throughout the day and even through the night then the MZ-3 probably isn't for you. However, you can partner it with a smartwatch (such as an Android Wear model) in order to enjoy the additional activity tracking benefits not found in the MZ-3 itself. It's fair to say that the goals of the MyZone in comparison to other fitness wearables are simple but fantastically effective: to challenge you to continually improve your effort and - as a result - enjoy the benefits of being fitter. If you're serious about getting fit then the MZ-3 is must-have.
Read our MyZone MZ-3 review.
3. Fitbit One
- Reviewed on: 22 January 14
- RRP: £80 inc VAT
The Fitbit One is accurate, has great battery life and tracks pretty much everything you'd want it to. The proprietary charging cable is a pain, but it's a minor quibble about what it otherwise an excellent activity tracker.
Read our Fitbit One review.
2. Fitbit Surge
- Reviewed on: 25 November 15
- RRP: £199.99 inc. VAT
The Fitbit Surge is an activity tracker for the serious fitness enthusiast. We’re not saying a more casual user wouldn’t appreciate its good looks and features, but the level of functionality and price put it properly in the market for the power user. The larger, swipeable display is a revelation of on-wrist stats. If you wish to wear a tracker and your regular wristwatch then the Surge may be too large, and you should consider other more minimalist bands. The everyday user who wants a tracker to push them to exercise more is catered for with the Fitbit Flex and Charge. If you’re just interested in the heart-rate monitor you could consider the cheaper and very capable Fitbit Charge HR, but if you want to see dedicated heart-rate stats during performance-based workouts, and map your routes with built-in GPS the Fitbit Surge has it all.
Read our Fitbit Surge review.
- Reviewed on: 9 September 15
- RRP: £119 inc. VAT
The Fitbit Charge HR activity tracker wristband offers a lot of real-time fitness stats right there on your wrist, which is an advantage over the rival Jawbone Up24 that doesn’t have a display or the altimeter and heart-rate trackers of the Charge HR. The Charge HR is only £20 more than the Fitbit Charge, and offers both continuous heart-rate monitoring for the more active user and a better-designed strap and buckle. As such we think the Charge HR is a compelling option to its less expensive sibling – and a minimalist (and cheaper) alternative to its bigger brother, the Fitbit Surge.
Read our Fitbit Charge HR review.