AS THE SAYING goes, “the best gear is the gear you’ll actually use.” Nowhere does this apply more than with your fitness tracker, which you need to wear constantly to monitor your step count, heart rate, and sleep quality. Studies might be mixed on their benefits, but fitness watches have longer battery life, better software, and more stylish designs than ever before. We've tested dozens over the past three years to bring you these picks.
It's worth noting that Apple recently debuted the Watch Series 6 and Watch SE, which we're testing at the moment alongside new Fitbit, Samsung, and Garmin watches. Looking for more options? Check out our guides to the Best Smartwatches and Best Running Gear.
Updated September 2020: We added new trackers and watches, such as the Oura Ring.
The question I most often field is: Should I get a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or Garmin? If you're asking that question, you probably don't need Apple's or Garmin's advanced capabilities and are best off with a basic Fitbit. With every major tech company trying to eat their wearable lunch, it's remarkable that Fitbit's trackers remain affordable, attractive, and comfortable, with an easy-to-use app and a huge, devoted community. The Charge 4 is its best yet, with features like built-in GPS that I've seen only in much more expensive trackers.
The Charge 4 also has some smart upgrades, like a Zone Minutes metric that encourages newbies to explore high-intensity exercise and an "outdoor workout" category for rambling hikes and golf games. Fitbit also has the best sleep-tracking hardware and software that I've used. It's just too bad you can't access some of its best features without an $80-per-year Premium subscription.