Best Fitness Trackers 2016

We've tested dozens of fitness trackers, spending hours on the treadmill, running, biking, swimming — even sleeping — and found that the Garmin Vivosmart HR ($149.95) is the best overall choice for the money. It's comfortable enough to wear all day, continuously tracks your heart rate and automatically monitors your sleep without you having to lift a finger. Plus, it’s waterproof to 165 feet, so you can take it swimming, too.

We also really like the Fitbit Charge HR ($149.95), which offers many of the same features, but is only splash-proof. Fitbit also has the widest range of trackers available.

MORE: What's the Best Fitbit for Your Needs?

Those on a budget should consider trackers like the Misfit Shine ($40), which tracks your steps, sleep, and calories, but lacks a heart rate monitor.

If you're willing to spend $200 or more, other fitness trackers have special features such as GPS (great for runners who want to know their pace and distance) and smartphone notifications (texts, emails and more). We've also evaluated the latest running watches.

To help you select the right fitness trackers for your needs, we’ve evaluated all of the latest models based on design, performance and ease of use. Here are our top picks—both high-end and budget—for each category.

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How We Evaluate Fitness Trackers

For each new fitness tracker, we evaluate its hardware design and comfort. You need to be able to wear the device all day. We also evaluate the features, including movement detection (such as step counting and sleep monitoring), distance calculations and when applicable, heart rate and GPS accuracy. We test how well the device pairs with its companion app, and evaluate the experience of using the two together. We also look to see what features the device's app supports, such as coaching and diet tracking, and if it can sync data with third-party apps, such as MyFitnessPal. Lastly, we wear the device for several days to a week to test the manufacturer's battery life claims. 

MORE: Fitness Tracker Buying Guide

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  • I was given an UP 2 years ago as a Christmas gift. Started out really liking it until I discovered that it registered movement when I drove my car or rode my motorcycle making it difficult to accurately track my steps. So, stopped using it. I do not see this problem addressed in the reviews. How do these devices handle movement that is not step related?
  • Love my Misfit Shine: Waterproof, options for wearing location (I hate things on my wrist), attractive, subtle, syncs well with iPhone. No need to charge (watch battery good for 6 months). Sleep tracker. I've been using one continuously for 2 years.
  • been using one continuously for 2 years.
  • I have been using a Misfit Shine for 2 years and it's fantastic! The magnetic attachment for clothing and optional wrist (or necklace) offer flexibility for wearing. It is waterproof, so I can use it for my daily pool exercise and don't have to worry about being caught in the rain. It is lightweight, attractive, and does not need charging. The app works well. Can't recommend it highly enough. (None of the trackers you mentioned have the combination of attributes that Misfit offers!)
  • Just FYI, the Moov fitness tracker that you reviewed is not the newest version. I dont believe they even offer that any more. The newest edition is call Moov Now and has many more capabilities than the original Moov
  • 1434147 said:
    Fitness tracker bands come in many varieties, but the ‘best’ band is the one that suits your lifestyle. Here are our top picks by category. Best Fitness Trackers: Read more

    I watched a special that said the iPhone "health" app, is the most accurate tracker....a little hard to work out with your iPhone while your running.