Smartwatches have dominated wearable coverage in recent years, and there are fantastic options for those that do want all of the power that a smartwatch can offer. However, for many people, a fitness tracker might be a better fit. These devices will record all of your fitness data in a much smaller package than the average smartwatch. The key advantages you should be looking for in a fitness tracker versus a smartwatch are size, battery life, and cost. So if you think a fitness tracker might meet your needs, here are the best fitness trackers for Android and Google Fit on the market today.


Xiaomi Mi Band 4

Budget Google Fit companion

Last year’s Xiaomi Mi Band 3 was our previous budget recommendation and the Mi Band 4 has taken up right where it left off. It’s not a big departure from the previous version, but there are a few nice upgrades. The basic design remains a dead-simple silicone band that you snap the Mi Band 4 unit into. The screen has undergone the most significant change, bumped up to a 0.95-inch color AMOLED touchscreen from the previous 0.78-inch monochrome OLED. Below the screen is a circular capacitive button, replacing the dimpled button on the previous generation.

The Mi Band 4 and its default black silicone band are just pleasantly nondescript. It doesn’t stand out or scream that you have a piece of technology on your wrist. If you do want your Mi Band 4 to stand out, there are plenty of inexpensive 3rd party options available. They come in a variety of colors and materials that can make it more fashionable.

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The battery life of the Mi Band 4 thankfully remains fantastic despite the addition of the color display. Even with moderate exercise and heart rate monitoring, the battery should get you through 15-20 days between charges.

The charger is another nice upgrade from the previous version with an actual cradle to place the Mi Band 4 in rather than the clip. The associated app remains a featureful mess, but for pure health tracking purposes, you can still easily sync to Google Fit.

Where to buy the Xiaomi Mi Band 4:

If you’re interested in buying the Xiaomi Mi Band 4, there’s an International and a China-specific version, but no other choices to make there. You should typically find the international version for right around $50.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

Power-packed fitness tracking with GPS and music

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro fitness tracker with supported apps

Samsung is one of the few major Android OEMs that keeps finding some measure of success with its wearables. They produce a few of our favorite smartwatches too. The Gear Fit2 Pro captures a lot of what they do right in a slightly smaller and less expensive form factor.

The Gear Fit2 Pro has the familiar band styling of many fitness trackers, but it blows most competitors out of the water on features. With built-in GPS and music playback via downloaded local music or Spotify, this is the rare fitness tracker that can be used without dragging your smartphone along.

Thankfully given the wide range of features on the Gear Fit2 Pro, it has an amazing 1.5-inch curved Super AMOLED color display at 216 x 432. It makes everything easy to read and navigate. With that said, it still doesn’t come close to a full smartwatch, but the Gear Fit2 Pro does light duty with notifications from calls, texts, Facebook and Twitter. You can also program some quick responses to calls or texts.

Battery life is solid at 3 days between charges for normal activity, but tracking a marathon or long bike ride with GPS can drop it to 1-2 days. The Gear Fit2 Pro has continuous heart rate monitoring and will automatically detect a number of different exercises. Water-resistance is a real strength at up to 50 meters and the onboard altimeter keeps track of your elevation gains.

One downside is that it won’t sync with Google Fit, unless you use a 3rd party solution like Health Sync, which may be a dealbreaker for some.

Where to buy the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro:

At its original price of $199 I wouldn’t have put the Gear Fit2 Pro on this list, but you can find some real deals now. Typically it’s available at 40% off (~$120) on most of the four color and size variants. For one of the most fully-featured fitness tracker for Android, that’s a great price.

  • Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro – Large (Black): Amazon
  • Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro – Small (Black): Amazon
  • Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro – Large (Red): Amazon
  • Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro – Small (Red): Amazon

Fitbit Charge 3

Week-long battery life and an excellent ecosystem

Fitbit Charge 3 lineup

It would be impossible to make a list of the best fitness trackers and exclude Fitbit. While they dipped into the smartwatch market recently, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Presently the Charge 3 is the pinnacle of its fitness trackers.

The Fitbit Charge 3 offers continuous heart rate monitoring, an altimeter and assisted GPS (requires your smartphone). You can set goals for yourself in over 15 exercises to view live stats on the Charge 3. It automatically detects and records a wide variety of activities. It’s swimmer-friendly with water resistance up to 50 meters.

Notifications include calls, calendar alerts, texts, and customizable quick replies. A far cry from a full smartwatch, but it saves you from pulling your phone out of your pocket.

Battery life is roughly 7 days, making the Charge 3 excellent for sleep tracking. This is a strength for the Fitbit app too with detailed reports on your sleep and how to improve it.

Fitbit integrates with numerous 3rd party apps and services but doesn’t natively sync to Google Fit. You can use a 3rd party app, FitToFit, but these solutions are more tenuous. The Fitbit app can also handle logging meals and will integrate that into your calorie goals for the day.

A less discussed strength of Fitbit is the social aspect. You view a leaderboard with all of your Fitbit friends on it. You can set challenges for one another or with a group of friends. It’s not for everyone, but if you have a network of Fitbit friends this can be a powerful motivator.

There’s also a thriving ecosystem of bands for the Charge 3, if you want to switch things up there are hundreds of style and color options.

Where to buy the Fitbit Charge 3:

If you’re interested in buying the Fitbit Charge 3, Amazon or Best Buy are your best options. There’s one band option exclusive to Best Buy (Berry), but otherwise, all variants are available at both. Most important is to pay attention to the color of the Charge 3 itself, graphite or rose gold. Because whatever band you receive with the Charge 3, you can easily and affordably swap it out later.

The Charge 3 can typically be found on sale for around $120. The Special Edition with NFC for Fitbit Pay is an extra $20.


Garmin Vivofit 4

Garmin Vivofit 4 fitness tracker in black, white, and speckle color variants

Garmin is a significant force in the high-end fitness-focused smartwatch market, but the company has a solid affordable fitness tracker lineup as well. The Vivosmart 4 and Vivosport are interesting options in their own right, but the Vivofit 4 is their most unique offering.

Unlike every other fitness tracker on this list, the Garmin Vivofit 4 doesn’t have a rechargeable battery. That’s because it relies on two user-replaceable SR43 batteries, which last for about a year and cost less than $5.

And it doesn’t skimp on the fitness tracking, with steps, distance, calories burned and sleep tracking. Garmin’s Move IQ attempts to automatically detect and categorize your activity from the day. You get simple stats on the always-on color display and the Garmin Connect app has the detailed version. Garmin is also the closest to Fitbit in terms of deeper sleep tracking feedback and with Vivofit 4 never needing a charger you should never miss a night of tracking.

The Vivofit has a few other tricks up its sleeve with alarms, timers, weather and a find my phone feature. The Garmin Vivofit 4 is one of the best fitness trackers for Android because you can put it on and completely forget about it while it simply tracks your activity. Garmin again doesn’t support syncing to Google Fit, so you would need to turn to Health Sync if getting your data into Google Fit is critical to you.

Where to buy the Garmin Vivofit 4:

The price is another positive for the Vivofit 4, typically just below $70 it’s one of our cheapest options. Those with larger wrists should opt for the large variant, which only comes in black. Otherwise, you can choose between black, white or speckle. If you don’t love any of those options there are plenty of 3rd party bands available.

  • Garmin Vivofit 4 – Black: Amazon
  • Garmin Vivofit 4 – White: Amazon
  • Garmin Vivofit 4 – Speckle: Amazon
  • Garmin Vivofit 4 – Black (Large):  Amazon

Fitbit Inspire HR

Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR lineup

The Inspire HR offers similar functionality to the Charge 3 in a smaller and less expensive package. Those that are looking predominantly for simple fitness tracking should be well served by the Inspire HR. Basic functionality is quite similar with steps, heart rate, sleep, and automatic activity tracking.

So what are you giving up by going with the Inspire HR? You lose the Charge 3’s altimiter and battery life drops from 7 days to slightly less than 5. The on-device UI is slightly different as it only supports up and down swipes. Similarly, the higher end functions are reduced with no custom replies to notifications and no storage of previous notifications.

The Fitbit app experience is naturally identical with all of the same great data on activity and sleep. Additionally, you still have a thriving 3rd party market for bands that will let you switch up the look of your device. The main unit only comes in black and is plastic as compared to the aluminum of the Charge 3.

Where to buy the Fitbit Inspire HR:

The Inspire HR is too new for sales yet, but at $99.95 it’s still a $20 savings from the best deals you’ll find on the Charge 3. If you don’t care about heart rate monitoring you can save even more with the Fitbit Inspire, which is just $69.95.

Motiv Smart Ring

Motiv Smart Ring fitness tracker and Android app

If you hate the idea of something on your wrist or have an analog watch you love, the Motiv Smart Ring might be the answer for you. Motiv packed all of the typical fitness tracker sensors into a device that fits on your finger.

It will track steps, distance, activity, calories burned, resting heart rate, and sleep. Other than the lack of a display this really doesn’t skimp on functionality versus its wrist-based competitors. Obviously, you view all of your fitness data in the Motiv app, but it can also sync over to Google Fit. 

Battery life is roughly 3 days and it recharges in 90 minutes with the included USB chargers. Obviously more would be preferable, but given the size it’s pretty amazing and with the short recharge time it shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

Swimmers are safe with water resistance to 165 feet. The ring itself is made of titanium, so it can hold up to daily wear effectively. This all underscores the main selling point for the Motiv Smart Ring and that is that other than charging, this is a device that does its job and otherwise stays out of your way.

If you want to know a bit more; check out our full hands-on with the Motiv Smart Ring. Like the Garmin Vivofit 4, the Motiv Smart Ring is one of the best fitness trackers for Android because it brings something unique to the table.

Where to buy the Motiv Smart Ring:

The full price for the Motiv Smart Ring is $199.99, but unless you need it immediately I wouldn’t pay that. Particularly on Amazon, you can regularly find it for $174.99. Over the last few months, it has also been a lightning deal twice a month bringing it down even further. And as it can be a little confusing, when you order you are just receiving a sizing kit. After you receive the sizing kit you pick the size and color and they send you the actual ring.

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About the Author

Sean Riley

Sean is a contributor for 9to5Google. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk mobile photography, wearables, or basically anything in the world of tech.