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The best fitness trackers: Our top picks

Check out these fitness trackers to monitor your next workout

Man checking fitness tracker while jogging.

Until recently, the finer details that added up to physical fitness were often something of a guessing game. That’s all been changed by the advent of wearable fitness trackers. Designed to monitor and analyze everything from your heart rate and calories burned to how you’re sleeping and even your GPS location, the best fitness trackers keep an eye on your body to help ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workouts and wellness efforts.

Below you’ll find a list of the best fitness trackers for a variety of purposes. These recommendations include suggestions for a variety of fitness lifestyles and goals and represent the latest and greatest that money can buy.

Fitbit Charge 6

Best fitness tracker overall: Fitbit Charge 6

Right out of the gate, Fitbit established itself as one of the pioneers and leaders in fitness tracker technology. While each successive Fitbit generation has delivered a consistently outstanding performance, the new Fitbit Charge 6 has truly kicked things into high gear. While most fitness trackers are designed to suit a very specific niche, the Charge 6 covers all the bases, helping with stress management, sleep, calorie counting, heart health, sleep cycles, and a whole lot more. It’s also integrated with Google,  so you can control your Google Calendar and Gmail right from your wrist. It looks pretty slick to boot.

All black Garmin Forerunner 945 on a white backdrop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Best fitness tracker for runners: Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin pioneered the wrist-mounted GPS and has been perfecting it for decades, so it’s no surprise that for the core runner pounding out miles, it’s a solid option. The Forerunner 945 is the flagship of this running-specific line, and it comes packed with features that distance guys will find handy, from a slim design to heart rate, VO2 max, GPS, performance evaluation, evaluative recovery time, a 10-hour battery life in GPS mode, and even a coach-like function to supply you with fitness-building workouts. It even allows you to sync music. When it comes to the trial of miles, there’s no beating it.

Withings Steel HR Sport watch on a white backdrop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Best fitness tracker watch: Withings Steel HR Sport

To the naked eye, Withings’ Steel HR Sport passes as just another mechanical watch. But inside its sleek steel case is a fully modern machine, replete with GPS, heart rate, activity detection, and a massive 25-day battery life, that can be extended another 20 days by using the time and activity tracking features only. It also connects to your smartphone for data access and text notification on the watch’s digital screen. While the Withings Steel HR Sport includes a rubber band that’s ready to get wet, there are also leather options available from the company that further refine this already elevated tracker.

Someone wearing an Apple Watch Ultra 2, showing the Modular Ultra watch face.

Best Apple fitness tracker: Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 features the biggest and brightest display of any Apple Watch, and it takes everything you loved about previous Apple Watches and gives it…more. It’s got a massive battery life of 36 hours under normal use (72 in low power mode), more durability, and it’s water resistant up to 100 meters, so you can take it on your next diving adventure. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 also features a robust number of health functions, including heart monitoring,  activity-specific calorie monitors, multiple workout modes, and even fall detection. On top of all this, it comes equipped with all the computing power you’d expect from Apple.

Whoop 4.0

Best discrete fitness tracker: Whoop 4.0

It might not look like much, but the latest Whoop is one hell of a fitness tracker, and that’s kind of the point. While the device itself is minimalist and discrete, it transmits a crazy amount of information to an app on your phone. While it does everything you’d expect a modern fitness tracker to do, it excels in two areas. First, it monitors how much “strain” you put into each workout, learning progressively how much you’re pushing yourself and how much harder you can go.  Second, it has one of the best sleep-tracking programs you can find.

Coros Pace 3

Best high-performance fitness tracker: Coros Pace 3

When it comes to getting the most out of your extreme outdoor sports performance, the Pace 3 is an outstanding option for several reasons. It’s equipped with all the capabilities you could want it to have, ultra-accurate running trackers, and it’s super durable, capable of being worn while swimming or taking otherwise rough treatment. It even comes equipped with a barometric altimeter so you can accurately know your elevation when training. It’s also purported to be the lightest GPS-tracking watch on the market. Arguably coolest of all, however, is its muscle heat map, which shows you which muscles you’ve worked the hardest after training.

Frontier X Smart Heart Monitor

Best ECG fitness tracker: Frontier X2 Smart Heart Monitor

The Frontier X changes things up by having you wear the fitness tracker directly over your heart, providing continuous ECG monitoring that keeps you aware of your heart function and strain. Because it’s on your chest, it also provides more accurate measurements of your breathing rate and then it determines how much effort you’re expending accordingly. It’s suitable for all sports, including swimming — thanks to its IP67 waterproof rating. Thanks to its Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, it can also synch with many devices including Apple Watches, Garmin wearables, and Pelotons. The X2 Smart Heart Monitor can also connect to many fitness apps, including Apple Health and Google Fit.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2

What’s going on with the Apple Watch?

Earlier on, we named the Apple Watch Ultra 2 as the best Apple fitness tracker, and it holds that title even as Apple is being forced to deactivate one of the model’s most notable features. On Jan. 17, 2024, Apple announced that it would be eliminating the blood-oxygen measurement feature from the Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch Series 9. The announcement comes after Apple lost a patent infringement case over the technology late in 2023. The International Trade Commission ruled that Apple had infringed on patents held by medical technology company Masimo, and ordered Apple to stop selling the Series 9 and the Ultra 2. Apple is appealing the ruling, but it was initially supposed to stop selling the watches until the appeals court makes a decision. The ban was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 17. 2024, but it received permission to continue sales after taking steps to disable the feature. While users who had previously purchased an Apple Watch with blood-oxygen monitoring capabilities will still have access to that feature, anyone who buys a new watch going forward will be unable to access it. All of the Series 9 and Ultra 2’s other features will remain active.

Nate Swanner
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nate is General Manager for all not-Digital-Trends properties at DTMG, including The Manual, Digital Trends en Espanol…
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