Activity trackers are ideal for any minor or major fitness goal. This includes training for a triathlon, losing weight and keeping fit. A fitness tracker acts like a personal trainer that you carry around.
The best way to ensure that your fitness goals are fulfilled is through tracking your daily activities and consistently measuring your performance . It is an especially great device for newbies in the health and fitness sector and people who do not exercise regularly to help them keep track of their progress and help set achievable goals.
#1 and #2 Best Fitness Trackers Under $100 (per Reviews.com*)
- The Garmin Vivofit 3 offers the most features of any fitness tracker we could find under $100. It’s smaller than most wristwatches and about as low-profile as a device with a built-in display can get. (That being said, the display is quite small.) It’s comfortable and customizable, with 17 different band options, including white, red, and even camo. Our testers appreciated Garmin’s intuitive physical interface, clean and user-friendly app, and integration capabilities with MyFitnessPal for nutrition tracking. Also unique in a fitness tracker under $100, the Vivofit 3 can track a range of different movements automatically with its MoveIQ algorithm.
Throughout testing, we had no issues with syncing or pairing (unlike the iFit Link, which we cut after it failed to log our workouts multiple times). Unlike many fitness trackers, the Vivofit 3 doesn’t sync automatically — you have to hold down its single button until the screen blinks “sync.” A few of our testers anticipated that they’d find this annoying, but were surprised to find it was simple enough they didn’t mind. One of our testers noted that after not pairing his tracker to his phone for about a month, the time on his tracker was off by about 30 minutes. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but some testers found its three-pronged clasp frustrating and finicky.
Unlike any of our other contenders, the Garmin Vivofit 3 uses a replaceable battery that’s good for about one year, rather than rechargeables that have to be plugged in once a week. Our testers all agreed that this was more convenient for round-the-clock, long-term tracking. It’s also the only basic fitness tracker we could find under $100 that can sync with an ANT+ chest strap heart rate monitor (not included) for zone training and more detailed information during workouts.
- The Vivofit 3 outperformed the similarly priced Fitbit Flex2 in every test from step-count consistency, to ruling out false-positives (counting false steps), but the two trackers are worth comparing in more detail. The Flex 2 is much smaller and flexible — skinnier than a Livestrong band with a bit more structure. For the smaller size, you’ll have to sacrifice the built-in display; instead you’ll get a series of five lights. Tap the Flex 2 and they’ll indicate your progress to your goal. Some of our testers preferred the bulkier Vivofit 3 for the screen; others appreciated the thinner Flex 2 and didn’t miss the display. We also had our testers try the Flex 2’s 22 karat gold-plated bangle; they wanted to love it but didn’t. It looked more like a gold-plated birdcage than a stylish piece of jewelry.
When you choose your tracker, you’re also choosing the corresponding app and fitness community. Going into this review, we didn’t realize how much that’d matter to us. The Fitbit app was our favorite overall, but we were still big fans of the Garmin Connect app. Our testers all said it looked clean and was only slightly less user-friendly than the Fitbit’s.
*For more information behind the research and how Reviews.com set out to find the best fitness trackers, click here.