Wearable tech is booming, which means there’s more choice than ever before when it comes to buying a gadget to track your exercise routines. Long gone are the days where you had to spend big to land yourself a feature-packed wearable – we’ve spotted plenty of affordable trackers that can help you keep in shape.
Whether you’re tracking a long-distance run or keeping an eye on your sleeping schedule, the cheap fitness trackers we’ve rounded up below will give you a clear sense of your overall health. We’ve covered fitness trackers from big-name brands including Garmin, Honor and Xiaomi.
See also: The 8 best running machines for home
Are cheap fitness trackers worth it?
Definitely – if you pick the right one. Look online and you’ll see most cheap fitness trackers can monitor the same type of activities that pricier alternatives can. A top-end Watch can manage automatic sleep tracking, for example, but so can various sub-£50 fitness trackers.
You’re likely to miss out on premium features such as GPS and third-party app support if you stick to cheap trackers, but even so, you’ll still be presented with a daily overview of your fitness progress.
Cheap fitness trackers for kids
You have lots of options if you’re buying a fitness tracker for children. One of our favourites is the Garmin Vivofit Jr, which is specifically designed for a younger audience. We go into more detail further down the page.
For parents, ‘Leapfrog’ may ring a bell. The same company that makes its own range of learning games for kids also sells a colourful fitness tracker, the LeapFrog LeapBand activity tracker. Aiming to keep kids active, this fun gadget rewards jumping, dancing and running with new virtual pets.
Best cheap fitness trackers for 2019
1. Garmin Vivofit 3
Garmin is one of the biggest names in wearables. It has released a whole family of cheap fitness trackers and smartwatches over the years.
If you’re shopping for a track under the £50 mark, make sure you take a look at the discounted Garmin Vivofit 3. This feature-packed digital fitness coach can track steps, calories burned, distance travelled and more through its handy LED display.
To take full advantage of the Vivofit 3, you’ll need to download the free Garmin Connect app on your Android or Apple smartphone. The app gives you a detailed look at your daily activities, and the built-in Garmin Coach will set you personalised training challenges and routines to keep you motivated.
There’s a social perk to choosing Garmin, too. If you have friends or family on the Garmin Connect app, you can challenge them to a contest to see who can stay the most active over a certain time. You might find that battling it out with your mates pushes you to work out harder than you would otherwise.
Verdict: A top pick for fitness fanatics on a budget. The Garmin Vivofit 3 is a breeze to use and it’s complemented by a detailed smartphone app.
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2. Xiaomi Mi Band 3
This lightweight and oh-so-comfy fitness tracker from Xiaomi comes with an OLED touchscreen and an adjustable strap. Its makers promise a battery life lasting “up to 20 days”, so you needn’t worry about plugging it in every evening before bed.
To help you on your way to smashing your fitness goals, the Mi Band 3 is ready to track heart rate, calories burned, steps taken, distance covered and sleep. It connects to both iOS and Apple smartphones and is able to display incoming notifications from popular apps including WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. You can even reject incoming calls with one quick swipe on the display.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 partners up with the Mi Fit mobile app. Mi Fit lets you set customised daily goals, and you can see how your weight has changed over time.
We’re pleased to report that the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is rocking a water-resistant design, so it should cope well with a jog in the rain.
Verdict: Another great, cheap fitness tracker. The Xiaomi Mi Band combines accurate step-tracking with handy notifications that let you interact with your smartphone apps from your wrist.
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3. Honor 4 Band
The Honor Band 4 is proof that you can buy a sleek, stylish fitness tracker without spending three figures. It has a full touch screen colour display made of 2.5D glass and monitors sleep habits, heart rate and even swimming strokes.
A tough shell means the Honor Band 4is water resistant “up to 50 metres”, able to automatically recognise swimming strokes, swimming speed and distance covered in the pool. If you like swimming laps, this could be the ideal fitness tracker for you.
Like the Xiaomi Mi Band 3, this cheap fitness tracker from Honor can show some of your smartphone notifications on its display, such as incoming calls and text messages. You can also use the wearable to track down the location of your smartphone if it’s out of view.
According to Honor, the Band 4 will last “up to 17 days under normal use”, which gives you plenty of time to hit the gym between charges.
Verdict: Arguably the best-looking fitness tracker you can buy for under £50. It pairs those slick looks with top-notch battery life.
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4. Garmin Vivofit Jr.
Shop around and you’ll find this discounted Garmin tracker on offer for less than £50. As the name implies, the Vivofit Jr. is designed for kids, decorated with funky, eye-catching colours. It uses chore trackers to encourage “a lifetime of healthy habits”.
The Vivofit Jr. is protected against bumps and scrapes thanks to a robust, stain-resistant exterior. It’s swim and shower safe, being water-resistant “up to 50 metres”. You don’t charge this fitness tracker with a cable. Instead, it uses a replaceable coin cell battery that Garmin promises will last up to a full year.
A personalised watch face on the Vivofit Jr. can display your child’s name, which is a nice touch. Parents get sent a summary of their little one’s progress towards achieving their 60-minute daily exercise goal. You’ll also have reports on steps taken and time spent asleep.
Verdict: The best fit if you’re shopping for your little one. This child-friendly fitness tracker is just as feature-packed as the regular Garmin Vivofit.
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5. LETSCOM Id115 Fitness Watch
The cheapest fitness tracker in our list comes courtesy of LETSCOM. For less than £20 you can grab a wearable that monitors step count, distance, calories burned, active minutes and sleep. The tracker can sort ‘deep sleep’ from ‘light sleep’, so you’ll know how your exercise affects your snoozing.
Once you’ve synced this fitness tracker with your Android or iOS smartphone, you’ll be able to check incoming calls at a glance. Custom alerts will also let you know when you’ve spent too long spent idle, and a vibration motor inside the tracker means it’ll buzz when your alarm goes off.
According to its makers, the LETSCOM fitness tracker will last “5-7 days” between charges. Not bad at all considering the price tag.
Verdict: you’ll struggle to find another fitness tracker with this many features at this price. If you have a casual interest in fitness and want something basic, this is a good option.
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