Tracking your health and fitness is no longer just for data-obsessed nerds. Not only are there plenty of smartwatches available with advanced fitness-tracking sensors, but the good ol' fashioned fitness tracker is still alive and kicking — and the latest models offer some pretty high-tech features that can keep your body and mind in tip-top shape.
Wearing a smartwatch or fitness tracker won't instantly make you healthier or fitter; the sensors merely present collected data. And while each wearable interprets the tracked data a bit differently, the overall mission is the same: to provide you with more data so that you can make informed lifestyle decisions.
Whether it's your new year's resolution to improve yourself or you're in the market for an upgrade, we've rounded up the latest and greatest fitness trackers to get.
Garmin Vivomove Sport
Garmin has long been a go-to for fitness tracking, and the Vivomove Sport is a perfect example of why. Resembling a plain watch, the device features an OLED display that shows basic data like steps and battery, but under the hood it also has plenty of advanced features like calorie tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and even stress tracking. There are some features missing compared to the competition, like an ECG sensor and GPS — so if those are important to you, you'll need to look elsewhere. But if you want a stylish watch-like wearable that can track all the basics and more, the Vivomove Sport does so without broadcasting it to the world.
Fitbit Inspire 3
If you're looking for a solid fitness tracker on a budget, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is the way to go; its design is compact, and its price, at $100, doesn't break the bank. Aside from being inexpensive, the Inspire 3 has a bright display and can track the usual things like irregular heartbeats, steps, workouts, and more. The Inspire 3 also works with a Fitbit Premium subscription, which offers more personalized health and fitness data. And on top of that, the wearable has an impressive 10-day battery life, which outdoes most of the competition. Fitbit popularized fitness tracking, and even though it's owned by Google now, its hardware and service remain top-notch.
Apple Watch Series 8
It's no surprise that the Apple Watch Series 8 is on this list. Apple's smartwatch has been a one-stop health- and fitness-tracking wearable for years, and although the Series 8 doesn't add many new features (a new temperature sensor aids in sleep tracking, but it’s more for ovulation and cycle tracking), it's still the best one to get if you're deep in the Apple ecosystem. Seamless integration with the Fitness app and Apple's own Fitness+ service — experiences that are simple to use and explain tracked info in easy-to-understand activity rings and graphs — make the Apple Watch Series 8 tough to beat.
Oura Ring 3 Horizon
Want a fitness tracker that you don't wear on your wrist? The Oura Ring 3 Horizon is perhaps your best bet. The Horizon model drops the flat edge (now called Heritage) on past versions and bumps up the price by $50, but if you're willing to pay for its required subscription service, you'll get pretty much all the essential fitness tracking features and up to seven days of battery life — all in a ring form factor. Inverse’s Ian Carlos Campbell and Raymond Wong swear by their Oura Ring Gen 3 "Heritage".
Google Pixel Watch
Sure Fitbit sells its own Sense and Versa smartwatches, but they pale in comparison to Google's Pixel Watch, which marries everything you'd want in a Fitbit with the robustness of Wear OS 3.0. Google says the smartwatch has the most accurate heart rate sensor Fitbit has ever made, which means activity and sleep tracking is more consistent than on other Fitbits (we should note that there are a few missing workout modes.) If you've got a Pixel (like a Pixel 7 or 7 Pro) or any Android phone, the Pixel Watch's good looks and built-in Fitbit app are really appealing.
Withings ScanWatch Horizon
While most of the devices on this list either look like fitness trackers or typical smartwatches, Withing's ScanWatch Horizon at least masks its sensors in a package that more closely resembles a luxury watch. It's got an ECG and blood oxygen monitor and a plethora of health and fitness tracking features in any worthwhile wearable. The real highlight is its diving capabilities — it's water-resistant down to 100 meters.
Garmin Instinct 2 Solar
For the more adventurous out there, the rugged and long-lasting Garmin Instinct 2 Solar tops this list. This "adventure watch," as Garmin categorizes it, does 24/7 fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, stress tracking, respiration rate tracking, and more. But the one feature that sets the Instinct 2 Solar apart from the others is its solar panel which essentially allows its battery to last indefinitely (so long as you don't keep the GPS on all the time). It's a chunky device, but ask any serious runner why they've got a Garmin strapped to their wrist and they'll regale you about its more accurate tracking.
Amazfit Band 7
In the realm of budget fitness trackers, the Amazfit Band 7 is a ridiculously good value. Priced at $50 (and often on discount for less), this tracker boasts up to 18 hours of battery life, Amazon Alexa support, and 24/7 heart rate monitoring. That's on top of the workout and stress tracking. Look, Amazfit isn't toppling the Fitbits or Apple Watches of the world, and it's not trying to, because what it lacks in bells and whistles — like NFC and a built-in speaker — it more than makes up on price and core tracking. Sometimes simple is best.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Apple users should get the Apple Watch; Google Pixel users should buy the Pixel Watch; and unsurprisingly, the Galaxy Watch 5 is the best smartwatch/fitness tracker for Samsung users. With a sporty design, sharp OLED display, and a comfortable and lightweight feel, Samsung's latest smartwatch does practically everything an Apple Watch does with the bonus of a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor, which can be used to measure your body composition (body fat and skeletal muscle). Translation: are your workouts getting you closer to your desired body? It's far from perfect and there are smart scales that are more accurate, but the fact that you can measure your body to any degree right on your wrist is impressive enough for consideration (if you're into that sort of data).
Amazfit GTR 4
Real talk: most smartwatches are expensive. The Amazfit GTR 4 is $200. It's a stripped-down smartwatch (there's no NFC or ECG sensor), but that's okay because it’s stellar in terms of fitness tracking. This watch has over 150 sport modes and can auto-detect eight sports and several strength-training exercises. Fortunately, even at a lower price point than the competition, the Amazfit GTR 4 has a built-in GPS for geo-tracked runs. Battery life lasts up to seven days and Alexa comes as a pre-installed digital assistant. Did we mention it’s affordable?
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