OUTDOORS

Best Cheap Fitness Tracker: Quality and Affordability in a Dial

cheap fitness tracker featured
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Do you want to stay in shape, but everything seems to cost way more than it should? You have to get the best equipment to reach your fitness goals, may that be a gym membership, suitable clothes or comfy sports shoes. But can you monitor your stats without spending a small fortune? Well, you’ll need the best cheap fitness tracker for that.

Getting and staying in shape should be accessible for everyone, and these fitness watches don’t cost a lot of money because they have the most basic functions. So if you want to plan your workouts, bump your activity level or get a better night’s rest you’re certainly covered.

So even if a product fits in the affordable range, that doesn’t automatically render it of poor quality, you just need to know what to choose. And we’re here to help with that.

We’ll start by offering the best buying tips, followed with a list of 8 amazing products. All that is briefly presented in the table below. Among the factors that influence your choice, the most important ones regard:

Product NameHeart RateWater ResistanceBattery LifePrice
PlustoreNoIP43, you can wash your hands with it5 - 7 days on standbyCheck price on Amazon
Egiant Activity Tracker BraceletYesLife waterproof10 days standby, 4 days operatingCheck price on Amazon
Garmin VivofitNoRainproof1 yearCheck price on Amazon
Trendy ProNoLife waterproof5 days on standbyCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Vivofit 3NoRainproof1 yearCheck price on Amazon
Ployer P9NoIP67, can be submerged for 30 minutes7 days on standbyCheck price on Amazon
HomogoNoLife waterproof7 days on standbyCheck price on Amazon
X-CHENGYesRainproof5 days on standbyCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

Budget

You might be after an inexpensive fitness tracker, but that means different things for everybody. The affordable range can stretch between $10 and $60, and that can bring an increase in quality, precision, and the number of functions.

However, we feel that even the less costly items can still be quality enough product if you’re after the most basic functions. But if you’re interested in a specific thing that will help you train better, we advise you to invest that amount as a guarantee of reaching a better fitness level.

Heart Rate Monitor

This option is essential for some people, especially for those who are extremely interested in monitoring their health periodically if they have heart issues. It’s also important for those who want to achieve a better fitness condition faster, by optimizing the intensity of their workouts.

heart rate monitor

Knowing your heart rate can help you get a better idea of the calories burnt too. However, having a heart rate monitor isn’t essential if you want just a pedometer watch which tells you when it’s time to move around a bit.

Main Functions

Most of the affordable fitness tracker will have the basic functions that include monitoring your steps, distance and calories burnt. They will also have a sleep function for keeping track of your rest.

Some items have personalized goal settings though and various sports modes. It’s a good idea to get those if you want to be extremely precise about your training. But even if you’re not interested in top training, it’s still a good idea to make sure the functions are easy to use.

Available Notifications

Most devices in this category will give you texts, calls, and notifications. If you want a specific alert that will help you train better, don’t just assume a specific device has it. Also, a price increase doesn’t necessarily entail you’ll get all the needed notifications and reminders.

Best Cheap Fitness Tracker: Quality and Affordability in a Dial

For instance, if you forget when it’s time to move, you need a sedentary alert. If you keep walking away without your phone, you need an alert for that. Just make sure these reminders are easy to read and to hear.

Battery Life

Depending on how frequently and intensively you’re planning to use this device, you need one with a longer battery life. The norm is a few days to a week on standby, but you should also ensure the battery doesn’t run out after just a few hours of use. That’s particularly important for the sleep mode when you don’t need to get up and recharge the battery in the middle of the night.

The recharging method is also important. You need a quick, simple recharging system, and a USB plug is best. However, check if the tracker needs to be disassembled first or not, that might prove inconvenient. The recharging time might be of some meaning to some people too, especially if you want to use it 24/7.

Waterproof Level

This tells you what activities you can use your tracker for. A high waterproof rating like IPX7 or IPX8 will ensure you can swim with the device. The majority of inexpensive trackers offer a minimal water resistance, so you can wear them when it’s raining or when you’re washing your hands.

Heart rate monitor for swimming

With that in mind, take a look at some of the top affordable fitness trackers below, and see if you find one that works for you.

Best Products on Today’s Market

We’ve selected products from a wide variety of affordable price ranges and with different features, summarizing their pros and cons so you can compare, contrast and make a wise purchase decision.

Plustore Fitness TrackerPlustore Fitness Tracker

Price: Approx. $15

Weight: 2 ounces

Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 0.7 inches

Specific features: 24/7 activity tracking, Android 4.0+ and iOS 8.0+ compatibility, 5-7 day average standby battery life, built-in USB plug, IP43 waterproof rating, smart touch button

Best use: Daily activities

Description: The Plustore Fitness Tracker is a multi-purpose gadget that keeps track of most stats that regard your daily activities. Along with a pedometer that counts steps and distance, you’ll get a calorie counter and a sleep monitor, as well as precise statistics.

However, there’s a very bright screen light that activates even while you’re sleeping each time you move, and that might wake you up.

You’ll also have alarms, call reminders and you can see the time. The 5-7 day average battery life is just for standby. Otherwise, if you’re using this device intensely, it will deplete quite fast, but you do have a battery life indicator. You can recharge it with the built-in USB plug without any issues.

We like that this gadget has an Android 4.0+ and IOS 8.0+ compatibility, so you can use it with most systems. The MoFit app is necessary for use, though it doesn’t have the best graphics on the market.

Regarding the design, its IP43 rating means this device is resistant to dust and debris, and it’s water resistant in the sense that you can wash dishes with it, but not shower or walk in a strong rain. We’re ambivalent about the smart button that activates all the stats.

This might be difficult to use because you need to learn how many pushes are required for each parameter, but after you learn that, it’s quite intuitive.

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Accurate enough
  • Wide compatibility

CONS:

  • Bright self-activating screen light
  • Unpleasant MoFit graphics
  • Operating button requires learning

Related: The Plustore Bluetooth Headphones are just what you need if you love to listen to your music while exercising. That’s an awesome motivator, plus you’re not hearing any distracting noises.

Check the price on Amazon

Egiant Activity Tracker BraceletEgiant Activity Tracker Bracelet

Price: Approx. $25

Weight: 1 ounce

Specific features: 24/7 heart rate monitor, daily exercises, multiple notifications and alerts, 0.91 inch OLED display, touch screen, built-in USB, Li-ion polymer battery, 4 days operating time, iOS 7.1+ and Android 4.4+ compatibility, plastic case, silicone band, life waterproof

Best use: Heart monitoring, cardio

Description: The Egiant Activity Tracker Bracelet is great in terms of accuracy when it comes to monitoring your heart rate on a daily basis. It’s not to be taken into account the same way you would a medical device, but it does work for fitness purposes and for cardio exercises.

Speaking of which, you’ll get various stats throughout the day. Form burnt calories and distance, to the number of steps and sleep quality, this device makes your training plans easier. However, the steps feature isn’t that accurate without a GPS, and the instructions aren’t that great either.

We love the multiple notifications and alerts you receive, including anti-lost, calls, messages, and sedentary alerts. The 0.91 inch OLED display with touch screen looks great and is easy to use. The Li-ion polymer battery lasts a lot, its operating time is 4 full days, and 10 days on standby, after which you can easily recharge it via its built-in USB port.

We appreciate the wide IOS 7.1+ and Android 4.4+ compatibility, as well as the sturdy design. This is a life waterproof device that’s resistant to raindrops, the plastic case is durable, and the wristband is made from a comfortable silicon. On the other hand, it tends to get undone, so you have to be careful not to lose your tracker.

PROS:

  • Sturdy design
  • Accurate heart rate
  • Long battery life

CONS:

  • Unreliable step counter without GPS
  • Poor instructions
  • Band tends to get undone

Related: If you don’t like how the wristband feels, or if you ever want to change it, you can always think of the MoKo Fitbit Flex 2 Band with Fastener Ring. This is made from a very soft TPU that feels comfortable around your wrist, and it has a fastener ring for easy adjustment.

Check the price on Amazon

Garmin Vivofit Fitness BandGarmin Vivofit Fitness Band

Price: Approx. $55

Weight: 0.96 ounces

Dimensions: 0.83 x 0.42 x 0.42 inches

Specific features: Black, move bar, 1-year battery life, easy-to-read display, personalized goals, sleep monitoring, supports Bluetooth Smart, Android, Apple and Windows 10 phones compatibility, water resistant

Best use: Fitness motivator

Description: The Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band is a great fitness motivator that comes in a stylish black color. That’s thanks to its move bar that gives you a sedentary alert each hour, continuing to light up each 15 minutes until you get moving. On the other hand, for the red bar to work, you need a constant connection to the Vivofit website.

Another reason why this is a great motivator is that you’ll be getting personalized goals so you can plan your activity better throughout the day. We like the wide compatibility of this thing. It supports Bluetooth Smart and has Android, Apple, and Windows 10 phones compatibility. However, there aren’t any sounds or vibration alerts.

This tracker has a long battery life, it stays on for a whole year without needing a battery change. But it’s also comfortable to use and it’s water resistant too. The display is easy to read, and you’ll get accurate calorie counts, a basic metabolic rate and a sleep monitor, though it’s hard to see during the night.

PROS:

  • Long battery life
  • Wide system compatibility
  • Personalized goals

CONS:

  • Display can’t be read when dark
  • No sound/ vibration alerts
  • Red move bar requires Vivofit connection

Related: If you need a more energizing color, the Henoda for Garmin Vivofit Bands offer tons of colors to choose from. Don’t forget the Henoda 10 Colors Silicone Fasteners, you’ll need that for your wristband.

Check the price on Amazon

Trendy Pro Fitness TrackerTrendy Pro Fitness Tracker

Price: Approx. $25

Weight: 0.6 ounces

Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches

Specific features: Tracks steps, distance, calories, sleep, multiple reminders and notifications, 0.86 inches OLED display, adjustable soft wristband, optional fitness goals setting, built-in USB, detailed instructions, Apple iOS 7.1+ and Android 4.5+ compatibility

Best use: Kids/ teens

Description: The Trendy Pro Fitness Tracker is a very helpful device that can be used for keeping track of all your activities during the day, measuring steps, distance and calories. You’ll even get useful information about your sleep thanks to the included sleep monitor. And you have the option to set your fitness goals and follow them.

This is the perfect thing to get your kid to keep them motivated and work out, especially because it resembles the Fitbit Alta. Besides, it’s great for all the tech-savvy, always-connected people who love getting the multiple reminders and social media notifications throughout the day, though you won’t get any text messages alerts.

The 0.86 inch OLED display is clear and easy to read, and we love how soft the adjustable wristband feels, though it’s not always snug for smaller wrists. The built-in USB makes recharging a breeze, and the detailed instructions are great for an easy use. The operating system compatibility is wide, supporting Apple iOS 7.1+, as well as Android 4.5+.

On the other hand, the app isn’t that great. It’s hard to install it, and it keeps deleting your stats every time you activate it again. The battery life is medium-short, and this tracker has a good water resistance to daily water exposure.

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Stylish design

CONS:

  • Lousy app
  • No text messages alerts
  • Wristband isn’t always snug

Related: If you want to fit this tracker to all your outfits, it’s as easy as buying the Additional Spare Bands for TRENDY PRO Fitness Tracker. You’ll get to choose from four spare wristbands, each in a vibrant color: purple, pink, blue and turquoise. They’re all soft and flexible, and can easily be adjusted according to your wrist size.

Check the price on Amazon

Garmin Vivofit 3 Activity TrackerGarmin Vivofit 3 Activity Tracker

Price: Approx. $62

Weight: 1.6 ounces

Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.9 x 0.5 inches

Specific features: Regular size, black, auto-activity sensor, 1-year battery life, silicone wristband, GCM compatible, move bar with audible alert

Best use: Cardio

Description: The Garmin Vivofit 3 Activity Tracker resembles the previous Garmin Vivofit model we’ve discussed, though there are some differences. There’s a slight price increase with this device, as well as a weight increase. However, the move bar that gives you the sedentary alert is audible this time, not just bright red.

This model comes in a regular size, and a professional-looking black color so you can wear it with different outfits and in different occasions. The silicone wristband is comfortable too.

We love the auto-activity sensor that fits different types of exercise, but you can view your stats online later. And unfortunately, this MoveIQ function courtesy of which you can use this tracker for different sports doesn’t work so well for cycling.

The 1-year battery life is amazing too, and we appreciate the GCM compatibility. This means you can download the free app to interpret your stats. You even get a lit display, which was problematic for the original Vivofit.

PROS:

  • Immense battery life
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile

CONS:

  • Can’t view stats on your wrist
  • Not for bike riding

Related: If you want a tracker that stands out but still fits all your outfits, you can always get the Garmin Vivofit 3 Bands.

Check the price on Amazon

Ployer P9 Smart WristbandPloyer P9 Smart Wristband

Price: Approx. $20

Weight: 1 ounce

Specific features: Red, 0.91 inch OLED, TPU band, sleep monitor, activity tracker, multiple alerts, sync sports data, IP67 rating, built-in USB plug, 7 days standby, 30 days money back guarantee, 1-year exchange policy

Best use: Swimming

Description: The  Ployer P9 Smart Wristband is the perfect affordable tracker for swimming thanks to its IP67 waterproof rating. That doesn’t only make it dustproof, but it also means you can submerge it into the water for 30 minutes at a time. Needless to say, you can also wear it when you’re showering or when it’s raining.

The red color looks really great, and the 0.91 inches OLED display is easy to read. The TPU material from which the band is manufactured feels really comfy, and it’s always nice to see a built-in USB plug for easy recharge. However, you’ll have to disassemble the tracker before charging, but the good news is it has a 7 days battery life on standby.

If you’re using it intensively, for syncing sports data, for instance, the battery depletes faster. Apart from that, this device will track all your activities during the day, monitor your sleep and give out useful alerts for calls, texts and sedentary periods.

The downside is that you need access to a computer to set it up. Other than that, we appreciate the user-friendly 30 days money back guarantee, along with the 1-year exchange policy that promises you’ll be happy with it.

PROS:

  • Great warranties
  • Comfortable
  • Multiple sports

CONS:

  • Requires a computer to set up
  • Requires disassembly prior to charging

Related: The Ployer Power Supply is great for charging most electronic devices, so you can consider getting one for an extremely affordable retail price.

Check the price on Amazon

Homogo Fitness TrackerHomogo Fitness Tracker

Price: Approx. $23

Weight: 1.5 ounces

Specific features: Daily activity tracker, multiple reminders and notifications, camera remote control, 0.86 inches OLED display, 7 days standby battery life, USB plug, iOS 7.1+ and Android 4.4+ compatibility, 12-month warranty

Best use: Running/ walking

Description: The Homogo Fitness Tracker is one of the most complex trackers when it comes to monitoring your sleep, seeing as it has 3 different sleep modes.

On the other hand, the app is disastrous for when you’re sleeping with this function on. The reason is that you need to frequently get up and move so that your last few hours of sleep can upload on the app.

Otherwise, the app works well with the other functions. You can measure your calories burnt and distance walked, but the step counting is inconsistent. The camera remote control is another plus here, as well as the wide iOS 7.1+ and Android 4.4+ compatibility.

You’ll get multiple reminders like the sedentary and sports target ones. You’ll also get all the necessary call and text notifications, even those from social media. And you can read them all on the wide, easy-to-read 0.86 inches OLED display.

The 7 days standby battery life is good, and you can easily recharge this device with the incorporated USB plug. We love the 12-month warranty, and you can rely on the durability of this comfortable, resilient tracker.

PROS:

  • 3 sleep modes
  • Comfortable band

CONS:

  • Mediocre app
  • Inconsistent step counting

Related: The Wuxian Bluetooth Headphones are amazing to motivate you while exercising. We love these for running because they cancel out noises and they have an ergonomic construction.

Check the price on Amazon

X-CHENG Fitness TrackerX-CHENG Fitness Tracker

Price: Approx. $50

Weight: 2 ounces

Dimensions: 9.27 inches length

Specific features: Black and green, heart rate, blood pressure monitor, movement tracking, rainproof, circular 1.18 inches OLED display, touch screen, USB plug, iOS 8+ and Android 4.4+ compatibility

Best use: Daily activities

Description: The X-CHENG Fitness Tracker is great for all your daily activities since it has an accurate movement monitor for all the steps, calories and distance tracking. The heart rate and blood pressure monitors are not that accurate, but we also love the precision of the sleep monitor and of the pedometer.

You’ll get plenty of message notifications, but not call alerts. The sedentary reminder is a nice addition, and so is the phone-finding option. The IP67 waterproof rating should make it great for swimming, but the manufacturer explains this is only a rainproof device that can also be used when washing your hands.

We love the design, with an easy-to-use touchscreen, a comfortable, adjustable wristband, and a legible circular OLED display. However, the 1.18 inches screen might be considered a bit large for some wrists.

The USB plug is great for fast charging, and we appreciate the wide iOS 8+ and Android 4.4+ compatibility, but the instructions are laconic at best.

PROS:

  • Good app
  • Good pedometer
  • Comfortable wristband

CONS:

  • Inaccurate heart rate and blood pressure readings
  • Poor instructions
  • No call notifications

Related: If you’re always up and about, you’ll need clothes that fit. So the X-CHENG Women Elastic Leggings are the perfect choice. They’re comfortable, resistant and moisture-wicking, so what more could you want?

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Are you more interested in a tracker for swimming like the Step Counters Ployer P9 Smart Wristband, or one that’s multipurpose like the Plustore Fitness Tracker? Is the battery life of the Garmin Vivofit 1 and 3 the feature that stole your heart, or is it the accurate heart rate monitoring offered by the Egiant Activity Tracker Bracelet?

So don’t keep us in suspense and tell us what you’ve chosen. Have you tried one of these products or other fitness tracking device before? What would you recommend other users?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.