Best fitness bands to buy right now: If watch is not your thing

Beatrice J. Doty

We’ve been through a stressful last year wherein staying in shape – being active – took a serious back seat for many of us. Things don’t look very promising even today, but little strides back to normalcy have begun. It’s then time to consider health and fitness a little more seriously. When you get into some sort of routine – or if you’re already at some level in your fitness journey – you’d require a wearable to track the fitness and health parameters.

There are a plethora of wearable fitness trackers – bands and watches – to keep you abreast with how the body is responding at a given time of the day. So how do you pick what’s right for you? Your choice will depend on your fitness regime.

A rugged sports watch is a good bet if you’re into hiking and adventure sports; a gorgeous smartwatch with activity and health monitoring will look appealing; but if you’re into running, want a smaller display and slender wearable, the fitness band with built-in – or connected – GPS functionality is the best choice. Some non GPS devices also fit the bill and are in the list below.

A fitness band has a small display and connects to an app for more comprehensive data interpretation. This data may include steps count, calories burnt, sleep tracking, stress, heart rate and blood oxygen level monitoring (in some cases). For the active lot, these bands also have workout modes to provide detailed data about swimming, running, and other insights.

In addition to all the features, choosing the fitness band will depend on the design and its comfort for wearing all day long; its tracking accuracy; and how the battery performs in the real world. We have tried to evaluate these aspects and have thereafter compiled this guide for the best fitness bands to buy at this time. When you’re ready, read on.

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit arguably rules the fitness wearable segment. It has an extensive line of trackers, topped by the Fitbit Charge 4, which is also the finest fitness band there is. It has a larger display – in comparison to other options in the list – which is rectangular in shape and lets the users peek at the basic fitness data, time, and notifications from the phone.

What We Like:

– Built-in GPS
– Great display
– Week-long battery life
– SpO2 sensor

What We Don’t Like:

– Battery drains out quickly when using GPS
– Sluggish setup

Equipped with GPS for tracking your runs and heart rate monitor for increasing its effectiveness, the wearable even embeds a SpO2 sensor for tracking blood oxygen saturation levels. The workout mode tracks everything from steps and distance to exercise and swimming routines, while the band can be used to make digital purchased with Fitbit Pay onboard. When the night sets in, the Fitbit Charge 4 can track your skin temperature and once you snooze, it does in-depth sleep tracking. Buy it Now on Amazon.

Amazfit Band 5

Often counted out for its lesser-known brand name, Amazfit has had some interesting fitness trackers. The new Band 5 is not a Fitbit, but it is one of the most inexpensive bands, which despite the price is feature-packed. Outfitted with 1.1-inch AMOLED display, in addition to the fitness tracking, the Amazfit Band 5 comes with Alexa built-in. Talk to Amazon Alexa on the Amazfit band and control the lights, create shopping lists and do a lot more with your voice alone.

What We Like:

– Two whole weeks of battery backup
– Extremely inexpensive
– Built-in Alexa

What We Don’t Like:

– Compromised build quality
– App experience isn’t top-notch

The fitness band tracks heart rate, sleeping pattern, calories burned, and distance traveled with near accuracy and even has blood oxygen monitor that comes in handy during straining workouts or long runs. There is no GPS onboard but the band is water-resistant and has women health tracking feature to record female menstrual cycle and set reminders. Buy it Now on Amazon.

Huawei Band 4 Pro

Huawei Band 4 Pro with 0.95-inch AMOLED display, round-the-clock heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring, is still the Chinese OEM finest fitness trackers you can buy. The brand has just announced the Huawei Band 6 with 96 different exercise modes, female cycle tracking, stress monitoring, huge 14-day battery life and NFC option for mobile payments in the home country, yet the tried option for now is the Band 4 Pro.

What We Like:

– Pretty accurate health tracking
– Built-in GPS
– AMOLED touchscreen display

What We Don’t Like:

– Only 5-day battery life
– Battery dies out in only a few hours of GPS use

One of the most inexpensive bands to feature GPS built-in and capable of paring to both Android and iOS devices, the Huawei Band 4 Pro is classy from the word go. Its petit screen is surrounded by aluminum construction and it rolls with the option of tracking all your favorite sports activities – outdoor and indoor – with multiple sports modes. Buy it Now on Amazon.

Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin is second to Fitbit in the business, but largely the brand sticks to its watch-like form factor. The fitness band-style Vivosmart 4 is therefore slightly old on the block, it however retains the meat to compete with the best. The slim and attractive tracker with metal accents, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 ensures advanced sleep tracking.

What We Like:

– Sleek and lightweight
– Pulse Ox sensor for blood oxygen saturation monitoring
– Pairs to feature-rich Garmin Connect app

What We Don’t Like:

– No GPS
– Small display

It can track blood oxygen saturation, heart rate and has other fitness and health tracking tools dedicated at gauging runs, steps, swims and yoga sessions to name a few. With over a week’s battery backup, Garmin Vivosmart 4 lets you stay connected while being active. Check notifications, weather updates, and control your music from the wrist while the phone is stowed away. Buy it Now on Amazon.

Fitbit Inspire 2

Old-school in appearance, the Fitbit Inspire 2 fitness tracker is the successor to the company’s very popular Inspire HR. Retaining the 24/7 heart rate monitoring from the HR, the Inspire 2 differs with its touchscreen display and attention-grabbing 10 days of battery life. The Fitbit Inspire 4 takes care of all the basic fitness tracking including counting steps and calories burned, distance and also tracks the sleep with utmost accuracy.

What We Like:

– Great battery life
– Fantastic sleep tracking
– GPS connected

What We Don’t Like

– Slightly expensive
– Basic design could repel few customers

The outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy their run or workout without the phone and still remain in the grid with the connected GPS. It doesn’t have the SpO2 monitor; but with 20 kinds of workout settings to track other activities – beyond the basic ones – guided breathing exercises, menstrual health tracking, and notification alerts, the fitness band is a good buy. Buy it Now on Amazon.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5

One of the best-selling wearables, the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is the best value for money proposition. Successor to the device has already been unveiled in Mi Band 6 but before we can make sense of the AMOLED upgrade and other distinctive features between the two options, we will stick to the Mi Band 5 as one of the best low-cost fitness tracking bands to buy right now.

What We Like:

– Impressive battery life
– Low cost, great value
– Convenient magnetic charging

What We Don’t Like:

– No NFC for global version
– Almost same design as its predecessor
– Lacks SpO2 sensor

The Mi Band has a decent 1.1-inch AMOLED color display. It keeps track of all the core fitness features like the other counterparts in the list. It supports 11 different sports modes for running, steps counting, cycling, swimming and more. The water-resistant fitness band monitors heart rate around the clock and provides women with peace of mind by tracking and alerting them of their menstrual cycle. With long, 14-day battery life, Mi Band 5 tracks stress, guides with breathing exercises and monitors sleep accurately. Buy it now on Amazon.

Disclosure: SlashGear uses affiliate links, If you click on a link in this article and buy something we’ll get a small cut of the sale.

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