The best fitness bracelets combine sleek design with smart daily activity monitoring features, including calls, Facebook notifications and messages. High-performance fitness bracelets must be water-resistant, allow a battery life of at least 7 days and offer the best value for money. Top fitness bracelets cover a wide market, from beginner models that don't even need to be loaded, to more advanced models that can even keep track of your oxygen levels during sleep.
The best fitness bracelet is the Fitbit Charge 3 . It's lightweight, has a long battery life and provides notifications for your smartphone, all in addition to tracking health and fitness indicators. Moreover, the price is affordable. We also have some alternatives for anyone who is not really convinced by the Fitbit Charge 3 , whether you are looking for something more advanced in terms of features, prefer a more sporty model or have a small budget.
We analyzed more than 100 smartwatches and fitness bracelets, and with the lines between the two categories becoming more and more blurred, these are the gadgets that stood out in our tests. For a wider selection of wearables with complex wrist features, check out our article on the best smartwatches .
The Best Fitness Bracelets in 2021
Fitbit Charge 3 – Nea Pleasant Recommendation
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro – Android Users
Apple Watch 5 – IPhone Users
Garmin Vivosport – Running / Sport
Fitbit Inspire HR – Cheap / Low Budget
Samsung Galaxy Fit – Low Budget Alternative
Charge 3 is the best fitness bracelet, if we take into account the quality and functionality it offers, in exchange for a low price. It has an elegant look, with a buttonless design, which makes the bracelet look thinner than it actually is. The size is ideal, not too big for a woman's wrist and not too small for men. The concave shape embraces the wrist and is so light that you don't even feel like wearing it.
The bracelet has a touch screen in shades of gray and a haptic feedback button that serves as a "home" and "back" button. Charge 3 has a full range of fitness tracking, including heart rate monitoring throughout the day, counting all steps taken, SmartTrack for workout recognition and even menstrual cycle tracking for women, all with the option to be added as an option to the dashboard . All of these values can be viewed in the Fitbit app, which still has the best interface for tracking your health and exercise.
The portable device also has an automatic stop function that interrupts your exercise when you encounter an intersection or need to tie your slippers. On the smart notification side, the Charge 3 service can receive and answer text messages, answer or reject calls, and even receive social media and email notifications.
Gear Fit2 Pro from Samsung is the best fitness bracelet for Android users. An elegant and lightweight fitness tracker with a large number of smartwatch capabilities, storage and music streaming options, built-in GPS and water resistance, the Fit2 Pro is an invigorating and cost-effective presence in the fitness bracelet market.
The 1.2-inch Super AMOLED screen with 320 x 320 resolution is especially useful when viewing daily measurements of steps taken, calories burned, number of floors up and down, and other typical fitness data. Fit2 Pro even shows a Google Maps map after a run or bike ride via the built-in GPS, showing the exact route taken. When you listen to music, either stored directly on your watch or via Spotify, the interface is easy to navigate, even while you're on the go.
The smartwatch features add extra versatility, the bracelet being able to send notifications for Facebook and Twitter, phone calls and text messages. Although the device supports iOS, only Android users have the option to reply to messages via the gadget.
The minimalist and comfortable design of the Gear Fit2 Pro perfectly complements the large number of fitness tracking features, allowing it to stand out easily in an increasingly crowded market.
The Apple Watch has been at the top of our list of the best smart watches for some time, so it should come as no surprise to see the latest model back in the top spot. It is by far the best smartwatch and a device that offers the same wonderful design as the Apple Watch Series 4, but also brings a handful of new features.
Like its predecessor, the Apple Watch 5 comes in two sizes: 40 mm and 44 mm. We recommend the body made of 100% recycled aluminum, but if you want something more special, there are variants in stainless steel, titanium and ceramic.
The new feature for the Series 5 is the permanent display. You no longer have to lift your wrist to bring the screen to life. The Apple Watch Series 5 runs the WatchOS 6, which brings a variety of new apps, a dedicated app store to help you find them, and a few new, fully customizable watch faces to take advantage of that permanent display.
Fitness features have also been improved, so in addition to GPS, heart rate sensor and electrocardiogram, there are activity trends that show you progress and warn you if you become less active, the option to track cycles for women and a new noise app that can warn you when you risk hearing damage. The house is resistant to swimming, and pre-built training plans include cycling, swimming, yoga, hiking and more. All this combines to make the Apple Watch 5 a comprehensive fitness tracker, easy to use and extremely accessible, with lots of motivational alerts.
A new S5 processor powers the 5 Series watch for super smooth performance and higher efficiency than the S4. If there's one downside it's battery life, something that's not unique to the Apple Watch. The 18 hours of use mentioned are approximately correct, although it can be extended for a few more hours with limited use, plus there is an energy saving mode that turns everything off except the clock. It is also quite expensive, especially if you opt for a more durable case and cell support.
No matter how much you spend, the functionality is the same and all Series 5 models come with 32 GB of internal storage, compared to the 4 Series where we had a maximum of 16 GB. Whatever you choose, enjoy knowing you're wearing the best smartwatch available right now and one of the best Apple products.
Garmin Vivosport is the best fitness bracelet for sports. An attractive option for multi-sport athletes who prefer a lightweight bracelet at the expense of a larger smartwatch. Its selling point is the integrated GPS, a feature not often found in a fitness band and an easy-to-read color display. The tracking device also has a heart rate monitor, sleep tracking and automatic workout tracking.
Designed for the outdoors, Vivosport is water resistant up to 5 atmospheres, making it perfect for running in the rain and swimming in the pool. Runners will appreciate the dedicated features – including personal record monitoring, a virtual pacer, Auto Pause, Auto Lap and Walk / Run mode. You can synchronize your wristband with the Garmin Connect app to see detailed values and track progress over time. The app also offers weekly challenges where you can compete with other Garmin users if you need additional motivation to reach your goals.
The Vivosport tracker is integrated into the bracelet, so you can't change the bands as you can with the Fitbit Flex 2 . However, Garmin offers several color and size options for Vivosport including Fuchsia Focus in a small / medium band, Limelight with a large band and Slate in all 3 variants – small / medium and large.
The Fitbit Inspire is a top choice when it comes to the best cheap fitness bracelets. Ideal if you are looking for a fitness tracker on a tight budget. You can use the tape to track your steps, workouts, sleep, weight, water consumption and stress level (unique feature for the HR model). It is one step ahead of other affordable fitness bands that have limited tracking features and a simplistic display. Speaking of the display, the Inspire HR has a perfect size for a sleek device.
It's large enough to allow you to view incoming alerts and exercise statistics, but small enough not to look rough on your wrist. The tracking device is so compact and light that you will hardly feel its presence. The Inspire model uses quick-change straps, allowing you to change the look of your device in an instant. Do you want to go out to dinner? No problem. Just change the sports arm with a metal one and you're ready to go out.
Fitbit launched Inspire as a series that includes both Inspire entry-level and Inspire HR . The most important difference between Inspire and Inspire HR is the wrist-based heart rate monitor found on the HR model. This feature adds about 100 lei to the price of the device and allows advanced measurements such as resting heart rate and stress management. With prices below 400 lei, there is no reason not to recommend either Inspire HR at 400 RON or Inspire at 300 RON for someone who wants to pursue their fitness with minimal investment.
Samsung Galaxy Fit excels in the basics, making it an exceptional choice for the casual athlete looking for a reliable tracker.
The first thing you notice is Fit's bright, colorful 0.95-inch AMOLED screen. Although small, the use of colors in the closed screen with Gorilla glass makes it easy to distinguish metrics while exercising. Fit has a touch screen interface that is responsive and easy to navigate. We wish we could touch the screen to wake up the tracker, but this is not achievable, a negative aspect from our point of view. You can lift your wrist slightly or press the side button if you need to illuminate the screen.
Fitness tracking is another aspect of the Galaxy Fit . There are over 90 different workouts you can add to your watch and six that you can watch automatically. Automatic detection was one of our favorite features. It allows you to start exercising without facing the clock. It shows you data such as distance, pace and elapsed time. We also appreciate the inactivity notifications that easily reminded us to get out of our chair and spend some time moving.
With a fairly low price, the Samsung Galaxy Fit is not only the best fitness watch for Android users; it is also one of the best value for money of the moment; which is why we find this model in most articles with the theme of top fitness bracelets.
Questions and answers
Whether or not it is worth buying a fitness bracelet depends largely on whether it will improve your health. Will you solve doing more sports when you wear it? Will you eat better or sleep better at night? If a tracker can motivate you to make these positive changes when no other tool can, it's a good buy.
But maybe you don't need a fitness tracker to motivate you. Maybe you can get similar results from a free fitness app. You may even find that a low-tech method, such as going to the gym with a friend, is just as effective. In this case, there is no need to spend money on a fancy gadget.
However, if you decide to spend money on one of these devices, make sure you get real value from it. Wear it every day so you can get an accurate picture of how active you are. Be honest when entering details such as height, weight and daily diet.
And finally, focus on long-term trends, not everyday numbers. Instead of worrying if you can do up to 10,000 steps today, watch if you exercise more in general than you did a few weeks or months ago. If so, this is something to celebrate.
The difference between smart watches and fitness bracelets comes down to whether you want a wearable designed to help you communicate more easily and receive notifications, or one that keeps track of your exercise and health.
The biggest strength of smart watches is their ability to connect notifications on your smartphone, such as text messages, calls, emails, directions, calendar appointments, and social media, in a comfortable and stylish. The best models allow you to easily view and respond to notifications, dictate text or email responses, or send "smart" responses, and the majority should at least deal with the basics of fitness, and of activity tracking.
Smartwatches are driven by their operating system – so choosing one that is well-developed, such as Wear OS (made by Google) or watchOS (made by Apple) means you're more likely to see updates and useful apps that can help improving functionality.
At a basic level, a fitness bracelet can give you insight into your day-to-day activities, such as tracking the number of steps taken and the number of steps taken, counting calories, or quantifying sleep quality. More advanced devices support certain types of exercise or sports, such as running, cycling, swimming or golf. Others offer multi-sport tracking – so you can track your entire workout from the treadmill to the pool. Some offer more advanced tracking sensors, such as heart rate monitors and some basic smart notifications, such as text or email. Those with a built-in GPS are able to work independently of your phone, which means you can leave it at home during a running or gym session.
Fitness bracelets are precise enough to be useful to most people for most purposes. But it also varies depending on what you are trying to measure. Almost all fitness bracelets include steps and distance traveled, as well as heart rate. In general, they also provide an estimate of your energy intake or calories burned and can estimate the quality of sleep.
"The measurement of the steps tends to be quite accurate," says Cadmus-Betram, an assistant professor of kinesiology and epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For most people, the number is pretty good, but check the number of steps on two different fitness bracelets or compare them to your smartphone's estimate and you'll see the differences.
Heart Rate Monitoring
"Devices that measure heart rate tend to be pretty good at measuring resting heart rate, but they have much more variability when measuring heart rate during exercise," says Cadmus-Bertram. Fitness bracelets can be quite far from the real heart rate when doing sports. When you are sweating, they often fail to fully record your heart rate. There have been several different studies showing that fitness trackers and smart watches are good enough to measure resting or recovering heart rate, but become less accurate as the intensity of exercise increases.
Burned Calories Count
"Burned calories are very difficult to estimate," explains Cadmus-Bertram. The best fitness bracelets measure your body movement and combine it with height, weight, sex and age. Sometimes you may be asked a few lifestyle questions during installation and this data may be thrown into the mix. If you want to lose weight and want to count the calories burned as part of a diet and exercise effort, then the following fitness can help you.
Despite all the potential inaccuracies, there is also a lot of evidence that fitness trackers can encourage you to be more active and healthier, provided you use your device to set goals and monitor your progress. which you do. You have to work to get good habits, but you also need the right device.
Fitness bracelets can measure your blood pressure, which is the blood pressure in your arteries, related to your heart rate and the elasticity of your arteries. Wearing a smart bracelet with a BP monitor is important to detect heart problems and get a clear picture of your heart health.
Many fitness bands collect oscillometric data in the morning and evening. This automatic blood pressure measurement consists of an electronic pressure sensor that calculates systolic and diastolic blood pressure estimates. Other models of fitness bracelets with blood pressure monitors use a PPG or photoplethysogram.
A PPG is a heart rate sensor that uses a heart rate monitor. This sensor illuminates the skin and measures any change in light absorption. In addition, it uses ECG readings which are then given to computers for algorithms. However, fitness bracelets do not have an inflatable cuff, and the readings are not as accurate as the sphygmomanometer that is used in the doctor's office. Even so, if you follow the user guide as directed, they may be accurate enough for casual use.
When it comes to heavyweight wearables, Garmin and Fitbit are easily in the elite group. We analyzed some of the key areas of hardware, functions, applications and of course fitness tracking to see how the two manufacturers of fitness bracelets and smartwatches compare.
It's hard not to point more casual users – people who just want a better idea of their day-to-day business – to Fitbit. The app is easier to understand, Fitbit devices are stellar fitness trackers and, for the most part, they are more stylish. But there are plenty of options in the Fitbit range if you want to go more or less advanced with fitness tracking. Ionic is there for your smart GPS smartwatch needs, while Inspire HR is there if you just want a simple fitness tracker.
This does not mean that Garmin should be accounted for by more casual users. Vivosmart 4 is a decent entry-level tracker if you need a Fitbit alternative. Although, Garmin shines with the help of GPS watches. Seriously, there's something in Garmin's line for all types of advanced users. In addition, the Garmin app gives you as much information as possible – graphics, charts, whatever you call it – as you can after each workout. If you want to integrate into your fitness track and need the minimum details, we recommend Garmin.
However, no matter what ecosystem you choose, we believe you will be fine, both Fitbit and Garmin offer a wide range of devices, services and applications that should have no problem meeting the needs of most people.