The Best Cheap Fitness Trackers that Perform Just Like Premium Wristbands

You don’t need to spend big bucks to get helpful activity tracking and motivation towards better health. Affordable fitness bands have come a long way. 

Compact touchscreens and sensors once reserved for premium models are now available on budget picks. Just because a fitness tracker is inexpensive doesn’t mean it has to feel cheap.

1.  Fitbit Inspire 3 Health & Fitness Tracker 

Fitbit Inspire 3

2. Amazfit Band 7

Amazfit Band 7

3. Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Xiaomi Band 7

4. Garmin Vivosmart HR Activity Tracker Garmin vívosmart HR
5. Huawei Band 7 Huawei Band 7
6. Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Health & Fitness Tracker 

Fitbit Charge 5

How We Tested

Seeking maximum value, our evaluation criteria for the best inexpensive fitness trackers mostly looked at functionality over bells and whistles. We aimed to strike a balance between utility and price 

  • Specs: We analyzed specs like display types, sensor accuracy, exercise modes, companion apps, and battery ratings across 32 bands under $150. Models lacking baseline metrics were disqualified, while extended batteries and advanced touches like onboard GPS shot some into contention.

  • Real Use Cases: The top 12 contenders saw lifestyle testing by a diverse group of consumers. Through 3 weeks of fitness trails, pools, and daily wear we narrowed down our options to 6 models.

Key Pillars: In the end, the best cheap bands proved their mettle on the most important pillars: reliability, wearability, intuitiveness, longevity, and value.

Best Cheap Fitness Tracker Reviews

1. Fitbit Inspire 3

Fitbit Inspire 3 Health & Fitness Tracker 

The Inspire 3 manages to cram an array of helpful health metrics like heart rate, sleep stages, and stress scores into an impressively svelte band. Despite the slender silhouette resembling jewelry more than tech, you still get 5 days of battery and crisp workout feedback via the grayscale OLED touch display.

While the panel lacks flashy color, its perfectly pocketable footprint shows all your stats and custom goal progress without feeling squeezed. Robust sleep tracking provides actionable rest insights and recommended bedtime consistency. Plus the watchface options still lend style.

For just over $100, the Inspire 3 gives fledgling fitness tracker buyers a gentle yet surprisingly thorough introduction without overwhelming. The Fitbit app tutors you on using your metrics while core features like SmartTrack handles logging exercise automatically. If you want an inconspicuous but insightful motivator without breaking the bank, this little band certainly inspires.  

Pros – What We Liked

  • 5 day battery life
  • Full fitness tracking in compact form  
  • Intuitive app with health insights
  • Understated styling fits small wrists

Cons – What We Didn’t Like 

  • Very basic grayscale display 
  • No onboard GPS capability
  • Occasional syncing issues
  • Slightly flimsy band

2. Amazfit Band 7

Amazfit Band 7

Dazzling doesn’t even begin to describe the vibrant 1.47-inch AMOLED display on the Amazfit Band 7. It’s nearly startling to see such an impressive touchscreen on a budget tracker besting models double the price. You’d swear it was an Apple Watch if not for the $70 sticker.

But there’s more behind the display than good looks. Built-in Alexa allows voice controls for news and phone notifications. Heart rate and blood oxygen sensors provide helpful health insights while an enormous range of 120 sports modes tracks specialized workouts. Amazfit’s app neatly compiles your efforts, though it still trails Fitbit.  

What’s most unbelievable? Even with the bombastic display, the Band 7 still extends 2 weeks per charge. There’s almost nothing leaving you wanting at this price point. For a gorgeous presentation, packing rich features with a battery to back it up, the Amazfit Band 7 is the hottest new fitness band out there.  

Pros – What We Liked

  • Stunning high-res AMOLED display
  • Integrated Alexa voice assistant
  • Alexa voice assistant onboard
  • 2 week battery life

Cons – What We Didn’t Like 

  • Very limited app platform
  • No onboard GPS capability 
  • Fitbit still leads for metrics
  • Occasional Chinese translation

3. Xiaomi Band 7

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

While Xiaomi as a fitness ecosystem still trails giants like Fitbit, devices like the feature-laden Band 7 Pro make it easier than ever to consider switching. You’d expect the high-resolution AMOLED display and snappy interface at this price tier, but built-in GPS and 12-day battery in a sub $100 tracker? That’s just showing off.

As if the strong foundation of sensors, sports modes, and companion apps weren’t enough, Xiaomi sweetens the Band 7 Pro by baking Alexa right in for seamless voice controls. Touch gestures are smooth as silk despite the intricate metrics, though translations occasionally need polish. Still, few competitors can keep up, even from known brands.  

If you’re seeking GPS without the extra cost and all the fitness intelligence of a robust tracker, the well-rounded Xiaomi Band 7 Pro makes your decision easy. While the app needs refinement, there’s no denying this wearable matches rivals blow for blow while setting new budget expectations.

Pros – What We Liked

  • High-res AMOLED touchscreen
  • Built-in GPS capability  
  • Onboard Alexa assistant 
  • 12 days battery per charge

Cons – What We Didn’t Like 

  • Ecosystem is not as mature as Fitbit  
  • Lacks band accessory options
  • App only available on Android/iOS
  • Occasional language translation issues

4. Garmin Vivosmart HR Activity Tracker

Garmin Vivosmart HR Activity Tracker


Are you looking for a good activity tracker under $150? Or maybe you’re interested in a cheap fitness watch that can easily replace the Apple Watch Series 4 or Samsung Gear Fit? Then you should consider Garmin Vivosmart HR.

This device is bulky, but Garmin has tried its best to make it as lightweight as possible so you can wear it for an extended period. That’s not to say that it’s the most lightweight fitness tracker on the market, but it’s not that bad either.

The silicone strap feels soft and comfortable on the skin and it’s very easy to adjust for a comfortable fit. It doesn’t have the best battery life like the Vivofit series. But you get at least a 5-day runtime with continuous heart rate monitoring.

Vivosmart covers the basics of fitness tracking very well. You can use it to count calories burned, and track steps, distance, and floors climbed. The built-in heart rate monitor is a useful feature that helps you to know how fast your heart beats during an exercise. This goes a long way to help you determine the intensity of a workout that’s good enough for you.

This budget activity tracker is also waterproof. You can take it to the pool and you don’t have to remove it from your wrist when going to the shower.

The pros include a built-in GPS that you can use for location mapping, a Move Bar that alerts you to feed the device with some steps, and a waterproof design that makes it good for swimming. The drawbacks include the bulky design, a short battery life, a lack of smart coaching, and a lack of personalized feedback.

Pros – What We Liked

  • Equipped with accurate and continuous heart rate monitoring
  • Allows you to receive smart notifications directly on your wrist
  • It offers comprehensive activity tracking
  • It is water-resistant and suitable for swimming and showering

Cons – What We Didn’t Like 

  • Some users find the display visibility to be lacking
  • Limited GPS Functionality
  • Some users find the design to be bulkier or less stylish
  • Battery Life is not so much reliable

5. Huawei Band 7

Huawei Band 7


Huawei may fly under the radar stateside, but their mastery over hardware is no secret. That prowess clearly inspires the brilliantly slender yet colorful Band 7. AMOLED displays this stunning were expected compromises at this price not long ago. Its enviable leanness never betrays the robust internals beneath.  

A cornucopia of sensors empowers the Band 7 to track everything from heart rate variability to blood oxygen saturation to stress levels and sleep trends. It tallies improvement in 96 distinct exercise modes with responsive precision. Meanwhile, the battery lasts upwards of two weeks even with 24/7 health insights.

While Huawei’s app ecosystem remains a work in progress, it handles the basics admirably. For those seeking advanced training feedback in a discreet, featherlight build, the Huawei Band 7 supplies impressive tech and motivation without the bulk.  

Pros – What We Liked

  • Slim, lightweight design
  • 2 week battery life  
  • Bright AMOLED display 
  • Built-in Alexa assistance

Cons – What We Didn’t Like 

  • Very few app integrations
  • No onboard GPS capability  
  • Scratches fairly easily 
  • Restricts features outside China

6. Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Health & Fitness Tracker 

Although pricier than most bands, the Charge 5 justifies it by packing flagship-level technology into its smart sensor array. Alongside usual metrics like steps, calories and heart rate, the Charge 5 uniquely tracks stress via EDA scans, oxygen levels, and ECG for heart health, and analyzes your sleep to determine workout readiness.   

Despite the bevy of sensors, the Charge 5 maintains a slim, understated footprint. Its vibrant AMOLED display only wakes when needed to relay notifications or stats, balancing aesthetics with function. When active, the screen exhibits stunning clarity to showcase your efforts. Even the Sidekick animated mascot proves charming.  

While lacking the third-party app support of proper fitness watches, the Charge 5’s polished Fitbit environment has plenty to offer even enthusiasts. Especially with the addition of built-in GPS allowing phone-free pace and distance recording. If you see fitness tech as a more motivational life coach than a gaudy gadget, the Charge 5 makes a perfect personal trainer.

Pros – What We Liked

  • Premium AMOLED display  
  • Built-in GPS capability
  • Advanced health sensors  
  • 7 days battery rating 

Cons – What We Didn’t Like  

  • Expensive for category 
  • Contactless payments cost extra
  • Occasional skin irritation
  • Materials show wear fairly soon

Honorable Mentions

What’s the Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Fitness Trackers?

While lacking top-shelf extras that push costs skyward, today’s budget bands offer complete fitness tracking and helpful training feedback without overwhelming your pockets. And thanks to tight competition, even affordable models now carry once-premium features like bright AMOLED displays.

Higher-cost wrist wearables like Apple Watch and Garmin may prove overkill for casual users focused on step counts, sleep, and basic phone notifications

Here are the key differences:

Expensive Trackers

  • Advanced sensors (ECG, EDA)  
  • Premium materials and styling  
  • Broader app ecosystems   
  • Built-in GPS tracking   
  • Extended battery modes
  • NFC payments from the wrist  

Cheap Trackers

  • Core health metrics   
  • Legible display  
  • Week+ battery life
  • Swimproof water resistance  
  • Comfortable, secure fit
  • Accurate tracking 

Final Thoughts  

You’d be amazed how even just $100 can fetch a capable fitness companion able to log runs, monitor heart health trends, improve sleep consistency, and more. Gone are the days of suffering blocky screens and middling results from cheap bands. Major strides in inexpensive wearables mean feature-rich motivation without special occasion pricing.

Seeking maximum lifespan for your dollars? The new breed of value-packed fitness trackers proves you needn’t sacrifice performance or quality to chase reasonable affordability.

Common Questions

Can cheap bands accurately track heart rate?

Yes, using the same optical sensor technologies as premium trackers, well-engineered budget picks capture pulse during workouts and at rest just as accurately as higher-end competitors now.

Do cheaper trackers have rechargeable batteries?

Nearly universally yes, affordable bands utilize rechargeable lithium polymer batteries supporting 5-15 days between charges depending on use. Many last longer than pricier models.

Can older/used models still work well?

Absolutely, especially if buying them is discounted. Components like sensors, batteries, and Bluetooth retain performance for many years if the device is well cared for. Just beware of limited app compatibility with very aged models.

Do budget bands allow customizing stats and displays?

While cheaper bands offer less configurable settings than deluxe platforms, most accompany Android/iOS apps allowing toggling certain metrics on/off, arranging display widgets, and customizing watch faces.

Can older people use simple, affordable trackers?

Yes, budget bands simplify the tracking experience with clear readouts of daily step counts, sleep patterns, and heart rate. Their apps focus on uncomplicated wellness goals without overwhelming less tech-savvy users. They’re perfect fitness gateways.