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Fitness trackers are undoubtedly one of the most useful tech accessories as they're great for both professional athletes who want to track their progress and results with greater accuracy, along couch potatoes who just need some movement motivation to get some daily steps in - and everyone in between.

Read more: Best fitness trackers for your wrist: Expert tested and reviewed

While a great tool, these wrist wearables can often come with hefty price tags that seem to cost an arm and a leg. While not the newest, fastest trackers on the market, like the Apple Watch Series 9, there are a wealth of budget-friendly trackers available that are more than capable of tracking steps, heart rate, and generally upgrade your everyday training to help you gain a better sense of body awareness. After testing loads of fitness trackers, these are our tried and true picks for the best ones on the market, starting with our top pick overall, the Fitbit Inspire 8.

Best budget fitness trackers: Our top picks

Fitbit Inspire 3 - 18
Fitbit Inspire 3
1. Best budget fitness tracker overall

Fitbit finesse for less

The Fitbit Inspire 8 is a great fitness tracker that pairs excellent software and app with a range of accurate sensors. The whole package should satisfy both enthusiasts and those who just want to know how many steps they take a day.

  • Great app and software
  • Excellent battery life
  • Accurate and detailed tracking
  • Subtle form factor
  • Small display
  • Touchscreen could be more responsive

Fitbit is one of the longest-running (yes, pun is intended) and most well-known fitness accessories brands. The Fitbit Inspire 3 is the result of years of refinement on both the software and hardware sides. It looks sleek and understated, which is always welcome for a fitness tracker that you might want to wear 24/7 - it easily blends in to most looks.

Fitbit Inspire 3 - 6-1

The Inspire 3 has all the features you'd expect from a budget tracker as you'll find the standard activity, step, and sleep tracking interfaces. Additionally, the band also comes equipped with a heart rate sensor and offers SpO2 monitoring and 21 different workout modes. However, Fitbit Inspire 3's main standout and focus is on accuracy. Be it tracking your running, starting your activity tracking automatically, or accurately measuring your sleep, Inspire 3 rarely misses the mark and is probably the most accurate tracker you'll get for the price. That said, great tracking and price tag doesn't sacrifice the robust battery life, which you can expect to get you around 10 days on a full charge.

Finally, one of the other reasons to choose the Fitbit Inspire 3 over the competition is its friendly UI mobile app. You get your usual steps, calories and heart rate scores there, but Fitbit goes into quite a lot of other details as well. Your metrics are broken down into insightful details, you also get access to community challenges and adventures - everything to get you moving even more.

xiaomi band 8 interface
Xiaomi Band 8
2. Best Xiaomi budget fitness tracker

A newcomer, but a frontrunner

Xiaomi Band 8 continues Xiaomi's tradition of offering a lot in their budget fitness trackers. The new band has a refreshed look and even better sensors, and still maintains a reasonable price.

  • Incredible battery life
  • Tracks 200+ activities
  • Great performance and screen
  • Some tracking modes are surface-level
  • Software is still lacking

If you think about Xiaomi, one of the first things that comes to mind is the legendary price-to-performance ratio that the company offers in its devices. This might have changed for its flagship phones over the years, but some Xiaomi accessories still punch well above their price. The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 is undoubtedly one of those products.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 came to the market with customization in mind, making changing straps easier than ever - a great feature for all lovers of accessorizing. Besides that, it’s the standard Xiaomi pill, this time with a faux-metallic finish, a stellar 60 Hz AMOLED screen, vibrant colors and hundreds of fun themes and wallpapers to choose from.

Xiaomi Band 8 is not just for show. It comes equipped with an optical heart rate sensor and SpO2 tracking, 6-axis motion sensor, and sleep tracking. The last one might not be as accurate as the Fitbit at the top of the list, but remember that the Xiaomi Band 8 is half the price.

xiaomi band 8 in hand - watchface

What's more, for that price you get a tracker with one of the best battery lives on the market. The device charges to full in an hour, and you get around 16 days of tracking out of a charge. With how lovely the screen is and how many tracking options there are, it’s almost a miracle.

Speaking of tracking activities, the device can record over 200 different types of exercise. You have multiple types of running or cycling, as well as more exotic activities - dancing, climbing, and everything in between.The Xiaomi Band 8 is not yet officially available on Xiamoi's e-store front in the US, but you can already buy it on Amazon.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review: Greatness on a budget? photo 7
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
3. Best budget fitness tracker under $50

Tracking on the ultra-cheap

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is a great fitness tracker that offers various activity tracking options and a wide range of sensors for a fraction of a price of competitors.

  • Great price
  • Solid tracking and many activity options
  • A lot of sensors for the price
  • Software is sub-par
  • A bit plasticky

Xiaomi Smart Band 6 was the biggest leap in Xiaomi's fitness tracker to date. While its predecessor, Band 5, looks a bit dated today, Band 6 still looks sleek and modern, with a great almost bezel-less AMOLED screen and a well-known pill design. It does what a good fitness tracker should - blends in with any outfit choice.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review: Greatness on a budget? photo 1

It also offers a great variety of tracking sensors. Most cheap fitness trackers at the time stopped at a heart rate sensor. Xiaomi Band 6 of course offers that, but it also has SpO2 tracking ability, allowing you to check your blood oxygen levels. Of course, there are also algorithms that measure your sleep or stress levels. Overall, accuracy is pretty good, and great even, when you consider the price.

You also get the Xiaomi trademark of cramming as many activity tracking options as you can into fitness trackers. This one offers over 100 activities to track, from multiple types of running, to more niche options like rock climbing. You’ll most likely find your favorite sport here. What’s more, Xiaomi Band 6 offers 14 days of battery life, so you can track not only a lot of activities but do it for long periods away from the socket.

best fitness trackers photo 10
Garmin Vivosmart 5
4. Best budget fitness tracker for Garmin enthusiasts

Garmin quality without the hefty price tag

If you're looking for that Garmin magic without hurting your wallet, the Vivosmart 5 is the way to go. It gets you into the Garmin ecosystem with its accurate tracking and detailed monitoring, and does so with a nice, minimalist design.

  • Minimalist design
  • Great intro into the Garmin Connect app
  • Packed with advanced tracking features
  • Rivals in that price point tend to have GPS
  • Pulse OX drains battery rapidly

Fitbit might be a household name when it comes to fitness trackers, but there is only one kind of accurate, pro-level tracker: Garmin. The company offers a slew of sports accessories, each one focused on providing the best, most accurate tracking possible.

Usually, this comes at quite a steep price. However, if you want to ease yourself into the Garmin ecosystem, there is a way to do it without breaking the bank - it's the Garmin Vivosmart 5.

The cheapest fitness tracker from Garmin does not bother with the flashy colors that Xiaomi offers - it has a monochrome screen, it's very slim and has one goal in mind - not to bring any attention to itself. With Garmin however, it’s not about the looks, but rather the quality, and the Vivosmart 5 delivers, offering heart rate tracking and a PulseOx sensor. Additionally, the wearable offers sleep tracking and a slew of Garmin-specific metrics, like it's staple Body Battery feature.

garmin vivosmart 5 review photo 4

These are available in the stellar Garmin Connect app, which might even be a bit overwhelming at first, as it offers a much more detailed look into your activities than other apps. However, it’s not without reason one of the most highly regarded fitness apps - you'll find every metric imaginable here, and the Garmin Vivosmart 5 is the cheapest way to get into such detailed tracking.

When it comes to tracked activities, Garmin Vivosmart 5 cannot compete with the likes of Xiaomi Band 8 or Band 6. You get just the basics - Walking, Running, Cycling, Strength Training etc. There might not be anything fancy or niche here, but what there is, Garmin tracks with superb accuracy. What’s more, it offers great battery life to boot - up to seven days on a single charge, provided you don't use PulseOx 24/7. If you do, it reduces this number quite a bit.

Amazfit GTS 2e review photo 18
Amazfit GTS 2e
5. Best budget fitness tracker with a smartwatch look

A last-gen all-rounder

Amazfit GTS 2e is the fitness tracker to get if you want to look stylish when exercise, and still do it on a budget. Plus, you're not losing out on all the tracking options while you're at it.

  • Great looks
  • Solid all-rounder
  • Responsive offline assistant
  • Heart rate accuracy can be finnicky
  • Battery life isn't as advertised (but it's still good)

A great thing about smart bands and fitness trackers is that they do not really go out of date as quickly as some other tech accessories. That's why buying last-gen is a great idea - you still get almost every current feature, often for a fraction of the price.

Amazfit GTS 2e is the device to buy, if you're looking for an affordable all-rounder with a lot of tracking features and surprisingly decent software.

It's a popular fitness tracker-smartwatch combo, making it even more useful than a standard smart band. You also get a smartwatch-like design, so the device looks great on your wrist even when you're not actively exercising.

The GTS 2e packs a lot of tech in its small and sleek body. You do get the now-standard heart rate and SpO2 sensors, but this tracker also includes a standalone GPS module, allowing you to accurately record your exercises outside without the need to take your phone with you as well. You also get a temperature sensor, as well as sleep tracking.

Amazfit GTS 2e review photo 15

Matching its look, you can also expect some smartwatch functionality as the Amazfit GTS 2e allows you to control your music or set up reminders and receive your notifications. You also get a handy offline assistant, which is particularly handy for adjusting settings.

Battery life is also good, with 14 days in smartwatch mode (but 7 days with heavy usage). Considering the inclusion of a GPS module, it’s a great score. You'll be able to use that battery to track a wide range of activities. The more basic ones get much more detailed metrics, while niche activities usually just let you know the duration of your workout and your heart rate.

Fitbit Charge 5 product images photo 22
Fitbit Charge 5
6. Best budget fitness tracker with GPS

Track as you track

Fitbit's Charge 5 provides the most features, awesome app and excellent tracking performance. It's a bit pricier than the rest, but it easily outclasses the competition with features and tracking accuracy.

  • Great heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking
  • Buil-in GPS
  • Superb design and screen
  • Great software and app
  • Could have more exercise tracking options
  • No music control

Fitbit is a great, versatile brand with a lot of options of trackers to choose from. Even though Fitbit Inspire is our top choice for a cheap option, one of its main competitors is Fitbit's own Charge 5. It is a bit more pricey than the Inspire 3, but you get quite a lot more features for your money.

The design of the Charge 5 is great, It gets a nice, AMOLED screen with vibrant colors enclosed in a premium-feeling stainless steel case. Of course, you also get interchangeable straps, so you can match them to your outfits - be it a more smart outfit, or something on the casual-side.

How to download your Fitbit data and delete your Fitbit account photo 4

However, the areas where the Charge 5 really shines are the activity and health-tracking capabilities. This fitness tracker offers a lot of what the best devices of this kind can do: heart rate tracking with ECG sensor, sleep tracking, great and accurate workout tracking, as well as built-in GPS to allow you to go out without your phone and still get accurate results.

Plus, to top all of these sensors and features off, Fitbit's app is great and offers not only an easy-to-use UI but also in-depth information about your workouts and daily activities. It's a great middle ground between detailed and usable, making it perfect for both casual users, and those more advanced fitness enthusiasts or dedicated athletes.

Of course, there is also the new Fitbit Charge 6. You can learn all about the differences between the new and the older model here, but it is a great upgrade. However, it also means that Charge 5 will get some nice discounts, so it's not bad news for the older model at all.

Huawei Watch Fit 2 photo 5
Huawei Watch Fit 2
7. Best budget fitness tracker with smartwatch features

Beautiful look and interaction

Huawei Watch Fit 2 is a great fitness tracker for people who also want to check out that smartwatch lifestyle.

  • Lots of features for the price
  • Offers route import and navigation
  • High-quality screen and good looks
  • Huawei AppGallery lacks big name apps
  • Doesn't work great with iOS devices

Huawei Watch Fit 2 is a surprisingly versatile device that has something for both smartwatch enthusiasts and fitness tracker lovers.First, you have the looks. Watch Fit 2 looks like a proper smartwatch, with a nice, big and vivid screen, and a rectangular, aluminum case. It certainly isn't understated, but if you want to look good when running, and accessorize after your workout, this might be the device for you.

The Huawei Watch Fit 2 also offers the full smartwatch experience when it comes to the OS. It runs HarmonyOS, which makes it possible to download apps onto the watch. What’s more, it also means you can run navigation on the device as well as upload your own routes - a great feature to have on a fitness tracker.

Huawei Watch Fit 2 photo 10

The sensors are also capable and plentiful as the Huawei Watch Fit 2 features the standard heart rate and 24/7 SpO2 monitoring and also offers built-in GPS and 97 workout modes, ranging from different running modes to various niche activities. You also get some animated workouts, making your gym sessions a breeze.

Overall, the device offers a great middle ground between a workout-specialized tracker and a proper smartwatch. If you're in the market for both, that might be a great choice on a budget.

The bottom line: What is the best budget fitness tracker?

Fitbit Inspire 3 - 18
Fitbit Inspire 3
Editor's Choice

Fitbit finesse for less

The Fitbit Inspire 8 is a great fitness tracker that pairs excellent software and app with a range of accurate sensors. The whole package should satisfy both enthusiasts and those who just want to know how many steps they take a day.

  • Great app and software
  • Excellent battery life
  • Accurate and detailed tracking
  • Subtle form factor
  • Small display
  • Touchscreen could be more responsive

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is the best cheap fitness tracker because it has a great feature set, an accessible app, and a decent price to boot. Fitbit's Charge 5 is our premium pick because it offers the luxury of a built-in GPS and ECG sensor, while still maintaining great software and a reasonable price tag. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 represents the best value, as it offers a plethora of sensors and activity tracking options for a fraction of the price of the competition.

Which budget fitness tracker is best for you?

With many options on the market and different exercise preferences it can be hard to choose which budget fitness tracker is best for you. Therefore, here are some things to consider when making your buying decision:

Activity range: If you just want a cheap device to track your daily steps and sleep cycles, you probably should be fine with the more basic ones, such as Xiaomi’s offerings. However, if you're looking for something a bit more accurate as a way to check up on your training, you might want to look into Fitbit or Garmin's offering, as their sensors tend to be a bit more finely tuned.

Sensors: Nowadays, even the more basic trackers come equipped not only with heart rate sensors, but also measure your blood oxygen, track your sleep and stress levels, and even can help track your menstrual cycle. Sometimes you need something a bit more specialized - for example a built-in GPS, or maybe an ECG sensor. If that's the case, you can easily find a great device under $150 which will feature these sensors.

Aesthetic: You can wear your fitness tracker only when doing sports, and then its looks do not really matter. However, more often than not these devices stay on our wrists for the whole day and night to measure heart rate and track our sleep. If that’s the case, you should decide whether to go for a minimal, understated look of a thin and slick band or go all out and choose something styled more like a smartwatch to make it one of your cool-looking tech accessories.

What are the most important features on a cheap fitness tracker?

What are the features in your future fitness tracker that you should look for? Here are some of the most important ones! Remember that it’s not really necessary to have all of them, but you should choose the ones that are important to you, your lifestyle and the activities that you’re doing.

  • Activity tracking: Each device will track different activities, but you should expect all to do the basic walking, running and cycling, with a few (or a lot, in some cases) more thrown in for good measure. Note that it’s not only about how many activities a tracker can record, but also how accurately it does that, and with what level of detail.
  • Heart rate sensors: The most basic sensor (after the gyroscope that measures your steps) for fitness trackers is the heart rate sensor. That’s the stuff that measures your heart rate, and allows the device to estimate how many calories you're burning and how intensive your training is. All the trackers have one, but some are more reliable than others.
  • Blood oxygen sensor: Blood oxygen sensors (called SpO2 sensor or PulseOx for Garmin devices) allows you to see how much oxygen is being moved through your veins. This is a great marker to measure how intensive training was, making it necessary for all the more advanced tracking measurements, but it also plays a great role in your sleep tracking. Keep in mind that fitness trackers can offer 24/7 blood oxygen tracking, but some only do it on request or once every few minutes, and can't track your blood oxygen 24/7.
  • GPS: Fitness trackers have two ways of recording the route of your workout. They either use tethered GPS - that is they connect to your phone’s GPS - or have their own GPS module. The first option is much cheaper, but requires you to have your phone on you while working out. The second is more costly and drains your device’s battery faster, but allows you to work out without your phone, with just the tracker on your wrist.
  • Other sensors - temperature, ECG, etc: Sometimes you need a tracker that has some specialized tracking capabilities. Some of them offer temperature sensors that might help with tracking your health and menstrual cycles. Some have an ECG sensor that allows you to keep track of the health of your heart. These might drive the price of the device up a bit, but you can still find them even in some cheaper fitness trackers.
  • Screen and design: The design and the screen of your tracker are important to some, while almost pointless for others. If you care about your tracker aesthetics and want to wear it as an accessory, you should look for something that looks good and has a great selection of wallpapers to make it pop. If you just want it to track your activities accurately - the looks of the tracker will probably be the last thing you’ll be looking for.

How much should I pay for a budget fitness tracker?

Of course "cheap" is a relative word, and depending on a person it can mean quite a lot of different price points. Additionally, something can be cheap for what it is but still cost quite a lot, or expensive for what it is, but still cost just around $10.

That's why, when it comes to cheap fitness trackers, we've decided to stick to a solid price point of under $150. That way we can include budget options that give you a great bang for your buck, but also some a bit more expensive devices that instead offer more specialized sensors or a much better software experience.

That way, on the list you'll find both very cheap (and still capable) devices, as well as a bit more expensive trackers that should satisfy more exprienced athletes.

Should I get a fitness tracker with a built-in GPS module?

Built-in GPS is a nice feature if you don't want to take your phone with you when exercising, but it's not necessary at all. Most trackers that don't have a GPS use GPS tethering - they connect to your phone and get GPS data straight from it. That way you can get accurate routes without a built-in GPS module.