Best fitness trackers in 2022: Top activity bands from Fitbit, Garmin and more

Whatever your goals are, the best fitness trackers are good tools for getting more active, getting more sleep, and getting more insight into your overall health. They can help you track your progress and offer guidance on how hard you should be pushing yourself, too.

As exercise-oriented wearables, fitness trackers can measure your heart rate, read your blood oxygen levels, accompany you swimming and tell you if you’re well-rested. When you’re not working out, some fitness trackers can be used to pay for groceries, play music, answer texts, and much more.

With so many devices, choosing one of the best fitness trackers or fitness watches for your needs can be tricky. We put dozens to the test, spending hours on running, biking, swimming — even sleeping — to see which excel, and which couldn’t make it past the starting block.

What are the best fitness trackers?

The best fitness tracker on the market right now is the Fitbit Charge 5. It features built-in GPS and extensive health tracking, as well as sports improved sleep tracking, and wireless payment support. Plus the design is swim-proof and has a bright touchscreen display that responds instantly to swipes and taps. It also has some features usually reserved for more expensive trackers, an ECG heart rate monitor being one.

Looking for something with more features? The Garmin Venu 2 plus has 25 different workout modes and all of the run-tracking features you’ve come to expect from Garmin, plus the ability to store up to 650 songs on the watch, make and answer calls from your wrist, and summon Siri or Google Assistant. 

The best fitness trackers you can buy today

1. Fitbit charge 5

The best fitness tracker overall


Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 0.86 X 0.58 inches AMOLED touchscreen

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: Yes

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 7 days/5 hours with GPS

ECG monitor: Yes



Bright, always-on display+

Fast connecting GPS+

Addition of an ECG monitor


Lack of buttons on the Fitbit makes usability frustrating-

No Spotify compatibility

The Fitbit Charge 5 is Fitbit’s latest tracker and it has a number of exciting features usually reserved for more expensive devices, such as an ECG heart rate monitor. During testing, we found that the bright, always-on color touch screen is a massive improvement to that of the Fitbit Charge 4 — it is easy to read in bright sunlight and is great to use during a HIIT workout or on a hike, although we found the lack of physical buttons made it a little fiddly to navigate around when running. 

The Fitbit Charge 5 also has Fitbit’s ‘Daily Readiness Score’ feature, which gives you an idea of how ready you are for a big workout, based on three different metrics — fitness fatigue (activity), heart rate variability (HRV), and recent sleep. 

If you’re looking for a tracker that looks beautiful against your wrist, is easy to read in the bright sunlight and has some impressive features for the price tag, this is a good buy. Also, if you’re using a Fitbit Charge 3 or older, the upgrade is worth it for the color screen alone. If you want to save money, the fitbit charge 5 was the best fitness tracker before the Charge 5 was released, and is likely to be on sale. 

2. The Amazefit Band 5

The runner-up best cheap fitness tracker


Size: 1.9 x 0.7 x 0.5 inches

Display: 126 x 294 pixels

Battery life: 15 days

Swim-proof: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes


Heart rate sensor: Yes




Lightweight, comfortable design+

Actionable sleep tracking


Display is hard to see in sunlight

The Amazfit Band 5 is a $50 fitness tracker that promises many of the marquee features found in this year’s premium smartwatches, but at a fraction of the price. It has blood oxygen (SpO2) reading, stress monitoring, high heart rate alerts, Amazon Alexa built-in, sleep tracking and several other tools found in high-end offerings.

In our testing, the fitness and sleep tracking on the Amazfit Band 5 were good, not great, but respectable for the low cost while still offering more than other trackers of its price. Better yet, the 15-day battery life meant we didn’t need to worry about charging it all the time.

3. Fitbit sense

The best fitness tracking smartwatch


Sizes: 40mm

Battery Life (Rated): 6 days

GPS: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Swim-Proof: Yes

Heart Rate Monitor: Yes


Mobile Payments: Optional, Fitbit Pay

Compatibility: iOS, Android




Long battery life+

Comprehensive fitness/health features


No Spotify storage

The Fitbit Sense is the company’s top-shelf smartwatch that comes with more advanced health and wellness features that the Versa line. During our testing, we found that the Fitbit Sense helped us gain a better overall view of our overall health. 

Not only does the Fitbit Sense have an FDA-approved ECG sensor and blood oxygen reading, but it also has the ability to measure electrodermal activity and skin temperature, too.

As one of the best fitness trackers, the Sense works with both iOS and Android, and comes with on-board GPS, a native app store, Alexa and more. No longer is Fitbit just a brand with products for tracking our steps: Fitbit devices like the Fitbit Sense make for excellent smartwatches, too.

4. Garmin Forerunner 255

Best fitness tracker for runners


Sizes: One size, with adjustable strap

Battery Life: 6.5 hours w/music / 30 hours w/out music

GPS: Yes

Sleep Tracking: Yes

Swim-Proof: Yes

Heart Rate Monitor: Yes



Two sizes available+

Accurate GPS+

Multisport/triathlon modes+

Two variants — music and nonmusic+

Improved battery life+

Garmin Elevate V4 sensor


No touchscreen-

Lacks Garmin’s Training Readiness score

Garmin makes the best sports watches you can buy, and the Forerunner 255 is one of our favorites. The newly launched mid-range Garmin running watch has onboard music storage (if you choose the music version), allowing you to leave your smartphone at home when you head out on a run. It also calculates your V02 max score and offers a recovery advisor to let you know how long to rest between runs.

During testing, we were impressed with the lightness of this watch and how easy it was to use on the run. We appreciated that the Forerunner 255 has the addition of triathlon and multisport modes, allowing you to track all of your training in one session. The 255 also comes in two different sizes — 42mm and 46mm, we tested the smaller watch and found it extremely neat and lightweight on the wrist. Like a lot of the other Garmin Forerunner 255 you can also download Garmin’s training plans onto the watch, helping you run and race smarter. 

The Forerunner 255 saw Garmin add some of it’s more premium features to the mid-range watch, but if you’re on a budget, now is a good time to invest in the Garmin Forerunner 255, which is likely to be heavily discounted following the launch of the Forerunner 255. If you’re looking for a bargain, this is a fantastic watch to shop.

5. Garmin venu plus 2

The best Garmin smartwatch on the market


Sizes: 43mm

Battery Life (Rated): 9 days (8 hours GPS)

GPS: Yes

Sleep Tracking: Yes

Swim-Proof: Yes

Heart Rate Monitor: Yes



Stunning AMOLED display+

Reliable fitness tracking and Garmin Coach+

Call quality is better than expected+

Fantastic battery life


Recovery advice could be better-

Not enough third-party apps

The Garmin Venu 2 was already a stellar fitness-tracking smartwatch, but it got a massive improvement this year with the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. With the latest version of the Venu line, Garmin added voice assistants and on-voice calls to keep up with some of it’s biggest competitors. The result? The smartwatch just got even smarter. 

While still having 25 different workout modes and all of the run-tracking features you’ve come to expect from Garmin, during testing, we found the Venu 2 Plus also gives you the ability to store up to 650 songs on the watch, make and answer calls from your wrist, and summon Siri or Google Assistant. 

At $449, this isn’t the cheapest smartwatch on the market, but if you want a connected watch that still has all the workout tracking power of a Garmin, you can’t go wrong. 


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.