Best Fitbit Alternatives iMore 2020
Fitbit was a pioneer when it came to one of the first companies to design wearable health and fitness tracking devices. Though it remains a beloved favorite, there are countless other companies out there, creating new and excellent alternatives to Fitbit. If you're looking for a device that truly offers it all when it comes to smart tech, abundant features, and premium health and fitness tracking, our favorite is the Apple Watch 5. It is truly at the top of its class when it comes to high-tech features like 24/7 heart rate and ECG monitoring, multi-sport fitness tracking, and built-in GPS and cellular so you can make calls, texts, and read emails from the slopes to the waves without your phone.
- Best Overall: Apple Watch 5
- Best Value: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
- Best Budget: Xiaomi Mi Band 4
- Best Built-in GPS: Garmin Forerunner 735XT
- Best Waterproof: Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
Best Overall: Apple Watch 5
The latest and greatest smartwatch from Apple, the Apple Watch 5 is truly in a class of its own. It features a fresh design with an always-on retina display so you can always see the time and the information that matters without raising your wrist. Cases are available in a range of materials, including 100% recycled aluminum and, for the first time, titanium. You can customize your watch further with any compatible band of your choosing.
When it comes to health, this watch monitors your heart rate and lets you know if something is wrong. It's also one of the few watches that can monitor your ECG anytime, anywhere. It's capable of generating an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. It helps you keep track of your menstrual cycle and taps you if noise levels rise to the point that could impact your hearing. You can add complications like Breathe, Heart Rate, and Noise to your watch face and keep them top of mind throughout your day.
When it comes to fitness, the Apple Watch is great at measuring all of your multi-sport stats. You can set workout-specific goals, see full summaries when you're done, and track how you're trending over time in the Activity app on your iPhone. Apple Watch even works for wheelchair users, with two specific wheelchair workouts. It's water-resistant up to 50 meters and was designed with swimmers in mind. The Pool Swim workout automatically records splits and sets and can recognize your stroke. The Open Water Swim visualizes your route on a map and both track active calories, distance, and overall pace.
Runners can get pace and cadence alerts, and in addition to counting flights of stairs and providing elevation gain in an outdoor workout, it will give you your current elevation. It's compatible with most gym equipment so you can keep track of metrics like heart rate, speed, and calories, and can connect to hundreds of different fitness apps to track your progress and help you reach your goals.
One of the unique features of this watch is that you don't have to bring your phone with you to stay connected. Built-in cellular lets you go with just your watch. It also features a built-in compass so that you can navigate directly from your watch face. You can use the Maps app to know exactly what direction you're facing.
This watch is pricey, but we think that it's well worth the investment for all of the features and tech that you get. Because this watch features an always-on retina display (that sucks up the battery), you will need to charge it every day.
- Always on retina display
- 24/7 heart rate + ECG
- Multi-sport tracking
- Health tracking
- Built-in cellular
- Short battery life
Take a bite out of this apple
High-tech smartwatch that features 24/7 heart rate + ECG, advanced fitness and health tracking, and built-in cellular.
Best Value: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
This watch features a thin, durable, lightweight, and swim-ready design that comes in a variety of colors and interchangeable bands so you can really make it your own. It has a great battery life that will last for days on a single charge. You can get call, text, and calendar notifications when synced with your smartphone, and it's compatible with Samsung, Android, and iOS.
When it comes to fitness tracking, it can automatically detect up to six exercises and can track 39+ exercises when manually selected. It features sleep tracking to help you analyze your sleep patterns and cycles and ultimately get better rest. It also offers heart rate monitoring that will send you real-time alerts if it gets too high or too low.
On the downside, even though the manufacturer claims this watch can go for days on a single charge, many users report short battery life and having charging issues.
- Great value
- Health and fitness tracking
- Swim proof and durable
- Battery life
- Charging issues
Great bang for your buck
Durable watch that is a great value features heart rate monitoring, high-tech health and fitness tracking, and is swim-ready.
Best Budget: Xiaomi Mi Band 4
This budget-friendly fitness tracker gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It features heart rate monitoring, heart rate alerts, sleep monitoring so you can get a better understanding of your cycles and ultimately get better rest, and idle alerts to keep you moving. Its activity tracking can recognize six different workouts: treadmill, exercise, outdoor running, cycling, walking, and swimming. It also counts your steps, your distance, and calories burned.
This fitness tracker features an AMOLED display for sharper blacks and more vibrant colors, and it's lightweight and durable. It's water-resistant up to 50 meters so you can track your swimming and wear it in the shower. It comes with an 18mm adjustable strap, a rechargeable battery, and a battery life of up to 20 days.
Keep in mind that this is simply a fitness tracker, not a smartwatch, so that you won't get smart features like call, text, or email notifications. It's also fairly basic in its abilities, but we think that for the price, it gets the job done and does an excellent job at what it's supposed to do.
- Heart rate monitoring
- Health & fitness tracking
- Great battery life
- No smart features
Basic fitness tracker
Budget-friendly fitness tracker that offers heart rate monitoring, health and fitness tracking, and has a great battery life.
Best Built-in GPS: Garmin Forerunner 735XT
This is a GPS running watch with great multi-sport features. It offers a wrist-based heart rate so you can run freer on race day and advanced running dynamics like VO2 max and more. It also has smart notifications, automatic uploads, and compatibility with Connect IQ for custom watch faces and apps. When used with heart rate, this watch can estimate your VO2 max and predict your race times. You can improve your form with running dynamics data such as ground contact time balance, stride length, and vertical ratio.
It pairs well with the affiliated app: Garmin Connect. Garmin Connect is a free online community where athletes can save, plan, and share their activity. It will keep track of your personal records and give you digital insights tailored to your stats and habits, like cues to move and healthy tips. You can connect with other users to challenge and compete, and it's available on your desktop or compatible mobile device.
On the downside, this watch is pricey, but we highly recommend this product to runners and anyone looking for a high-tech built-in GPS. Some users also complained of the software updates being unreliable and that the heart rate monitor isn't always super accurate.
- Great built-in GPS
- Running + multi-sport watch
- Advanced running dynamics
- Garmin Connect
- Software updates unreliable
- Heart rate monitor isn't super accurate
Best Built-in GPS
Designed for runners
A runner's multi-sport tracking watch that features a high-tech, built-in GPS and advanced running dynamics.
Best Waterproof: Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
When it comes to tracking your workout stats in the water, the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro is ready. It is swim-proof and ready for any type of wet activity. It will keep working and track your progress in the pool, the rain, and even the shower. You can turn on the Water Lock Mode to keep tracking your workout no matter what touches the screen. It's water-resistant up to 50 meters and can track your strokes and your laps in the pool.
You can put your workout playlists right on your wrist via Spotify. You can store up to 500 tracks, including your own MP3s. Samsung partnered with Under Armour to give you apps that help you track multiple exercises, balance your diet, and challenge your friends. You can also capture routes with built-in GPS tracking and get an all-day look at your health with continuous heart rate monitoring.
On the downside, the battery life on this watch isn't great. Many users complained of it being too short.
- Waterproof up to 50M
- Store up to 500 tracks via Spotify
- Multi-sport tracking + built-in GPS
- Battery life
Swim, rain, and shower ready
Waterproof watch up to 50m tracks your workout progress in the pool and rain. It features multi-sport tracking and a built-in GPS.
We understand wanting to explore the various alternatives to Fitbit, which is why we comprised this list. Some of these products are smartwatches, and some are basic fitness trackers. Still, all are exceptional at fitness tracking, health monitoring, and providing you with premium and abundant high-tech features.
The Apple Watch 5 takes the cake as our best overall because it's truly in a class of its own when it comes to premium health and fitness tracking. It is state of the art and features an always-on retina display, 24/7 heart rate and ECG monitoring, noise monitoring, menstrual tracking, multi-sport tracking, built-in GPS, and an integrated cellular system so you can make calls and send texts from anywhere with just your watch (no phone required). No matter what your budget is or what your needs are, you'll find the perfect Fitbit alternative on this list of the best Fitbit alternatives.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Nicolette Roux is a master fitness instructor and health coach from sunny Los Angeles. She has worked with some of the top names and brands in the fitness industry and is no stranger to smartwatches and fitness trackers. She fully endorses every product that made this list and firmly believes that using one will keep you active, healthy, and will help you reach your fitness goals.
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