Don’t break the bank trying to secure a fitness tracker for yourself. You can purchase one that gets the job done reliably, with great added features for well below $100. Choosing one of these can save you money over an Apple Watch, and you can still get a lot of the same essential features for working out.
Beware: Our biggest complaint about fitness trackers in the $100 & under range is that you cannot buy one with built-in GPS yet. We expect this to change in short time. Right now one of the cheapest fitness trackers that we would recommend with built-in GPS is the Fitbit Charge 4, which can be bought for just under $150.
What Fitness Tracker Features Are We Hunting For?
These are a few of the things that you’ll want to keep in mind when you are shopping for fitness trackers.
Heart Rate Sensors – This is one of the most important sensors to look for. Keep in mind that this can affect battery life because it does use extra power. Not all heart monitors are created equal.
Blood-Oxygen Sensors – Some of the more expensive devices now have blood-oxygen monitors. These sensors use optical technology to look at the color of your blood. Using this data, the tracker can compute your blood-oxygen level.
Battery Life – You can expect 1 day+ of use from all of these trackers under heavy use conditions, and many can last for 1 week or more with regular use and all sensors enabled. If you see a battery life claim of 1 year etc, this means that the tracker is not using a rechargeable battery. These use a small replaceable disk battery that is about the size of a nickel. It is cheap to replace and a great option if you want to go this route, but this also implies there will be limited features and functionality in your tracker.
App Quality – A great app can give you great data and present it in lots of ways. A low-quality app can be annoying and render your device close to useless. If your tracker has a nice display you might find that you seldomly use the app at all.
Fitness Tracker Price vs Value – These trackers run from the $20 range up to the $99 limit of this list. In some cases you’ll find some startlingly great value and in others you’ll wonder why it cost 3x as much as other options. Don’t assume that more expensive = better when you are shopping in this $100 & under range.
Samsung Galaxy Fit 2
- Android and iOs Compatible
- Increased Battery Life (159 mAh Battery)
- Quality Display
- Easily Interchangeable Straps
- No Built-In GPS
- Poor Heart Rate Accuracy
- Side Button Removed
Samsung claims 14 days of battery life with the heart rate monitor turned on and this one of the reasons that this tracker is high on our list. It can last up to 21 days on low usage. Water resistance is a standard 50 meters (the same for almost all trackers on this page). The Fit 2 will also work with most Android and Apple phones. You will just need Android 5.0 or later or iOs 10.0 or later.
What has changed since the original Galaxy Fit 1? The price is cut in half, screen size increased, and new design introduced with the side button removed. The battery power has been increased from 120 mAh to 159 mAh. Weight is trimmed by 2 grams. 2 MB of onboard storage is added (not available for music) while RAM stayed the same at 1.5 GB.
We give the Samsung Health app a thumbs up rating. This is a mainstream app that is well-developed and usually free of bugs. You will also need the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app. This is where you can control the settings on your device like watch faces, alarms, notification settings etc.
Does the Galaxy Fit 2 track running distance with GPS? Yes, but this is not built into the wearable, so you will need to have your phone with you to track your distance. The heart rate monitor and other features will still work if you do not bring your phone with you.
- Lightweight, Minimal, Innovative Design
- Advanced Swim Tracker
- 6-Month Battery Life
- No Built-In GPS
- No Heart Rate
- No Display
- No Clock
- Moov App
The Moov Now fitness tracker is a bracelet and anklet that has a few advantages over other trackers, but also some serious downsides that we have pointed out here. This has more movement sensors than some of the other trackers and this allows for better tracking of activities like swimming. One of the major downsides to this tracker is that is does not have any GPS tracking onboard (phone required). The battery is non-rechargeable and is expected to last about 6 months before needing replacement. The actual device is a small disk, about the size of a watch case, and it can be easily removed from the wristband/anklet so that the band can be washed.
These have been on the market since 2015 and this is a very simple tracker. There is no display or clock, no vibrations or notifications, and you will need to have your phone with you in order to track distance via GPS because this is not built into the tracker. These cost just under $100 when they were new and right now you can buy them for about $60 on Amazon.
Withings Pulse HR
- Stainless Steel Case Back
- Heart Rate & Notifications
- Battery Life (legit 20 days+)
- No Built-In GPS
- Only Available in Black
- Higher Cost ($99)
- Smaller display
- App Settings, Watch Faces
This one covers the basics with a heart rate monitor and notifications from your phone, but its features do not go far beyond that. It has a lithium ion battery with a max life of 20 days that the community is verifying. This tracker is the most expensive one on this page at $99, but it doesn’t really have many additional features when compared to trackers that cost half as much.
It still does not have built-in GPS so you will need your phone with you if you want to track your distance while running, walking or cycling. We do like the stainless steel back on the case, but for a workout band this type of premium feel is not as important. This does make it a bit more appealing if you plan to wear your tracker all day. It still boasts a silicon band like most of the other options that you see on this page, but it has a matte finish on the front of the case that is unique to this fitness tracker.
While the price to value ratio is not great here, the Withings Pulse HR has a unique matte finish look, solid quality, a heart rate monitor and killer battery life, so we are happy to recommend this fitness tracker to the right user.
Garmin Vivofit 4
- 1 Year Battery Life
- Always-On Display
- Automatic Activity Tracking
- Find My Phone Feature
- Two Sizes
- No Heart Rate Monitor
- No Built-In or Connected GPS Tracking
- Small Display
The most outstanding feature of this fitness tracker is its 1 year battery life. However, this is achieved because it lacks a heart monitor and a lot of other additional features that you might find in a different tracker. The only notable sensor here is the accelerometer which is used to detect movement like walking, running, or lack of movement – which is how it tracks your sleep. This is more like a small digital watch that also tries to keep track of your movement habits. It is not known to be incredibly accurate and it does not track a lot of different activities.
However, it still can be a useful and cool little gadget with some utility value. It does has an alarm timer with an audible sound and a “find my phone” feature. It can also get weather updates while you are nearby your phone. This is not the cheapest option on the list. It is retailing for just under $70 on Amazon.
This tracker does claim to track distance while walking. This is not done via GPS (not built-in or by connecting to your phone). Rather, this tracks your steps with the accelerometer and tries to estimate distance traveled. This will not be as accurate as real GPS.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 (and Band 3, 4)
- Women’s Health Tracking
- 14 Day Battery Life (125 mAh)
- No Built-In GPS
- Heart Sensor Accuracy is Poor
- Cheap Silicone Band
We don’t discuss a lot of Xiaomi or Huwei products on Alpha Gnome, but this one is cheap enough that we have decided to add it to this list. The price and value is the main selling point here. This one is around $35 on Amazon and the Mi Band 3 can now be purchased for less than $25!
This low-cost fitness tracker has some great features that are a step above some of the simple trackers that you will find in this price range. It introduces a larger display and notifications, but you will still need to have your phone with you if you want to use GPS tracking. You can control your music from the tracking band, but will also need to have your phone in order to listen to music. You will also be missing some of the more advanced sensors that you will find in the newer Apple Watches and other higher-end trackers if you buy one of these.
The core of the tracker can be removed from the strap so that you can swap out different colors. Overall we believe this is a small, lightweight tracker that is worth the money.
Why buy the Mi Band 5 instead of the Mi Band 4 or 3? Additions and improvements include: 24-hour sleep monitoring with increased accuracy, breathing exercises, women’s health tracking, stress level monitoring, addition of the magnetic charger.
Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR
- 24/7 Hear Rate Monitoring for HR Version
- Smart Notifications
- No Built-In GPS
Fitbit makes two versions of this activity tracker; the Inspire and the Inspire HR. The HR stands for heart rate and the optical heart rate sensor is the main difference between these watches. This sensor is essential for a great fitness tracker, but it does take up a lot of battery power and adds to the cost of the device.
Both models will store up to 7 days of activity data before needing to be synced with your phone. Syncing is automatic when you are within appox. 6m of your phone. There are 15 different activity modes right now. Here you get up to 10 days of battery life (claimed) and standard water resistance of 50m like the rest. As is the case with many trackers, this means that you get at least 1+ days of heavy constant use and you should be able to wear it in the shower without it getting ruined. You can expect it to die before day 10 and be ruined once you get about 5 feet below the water surface.
Fitbit Inspire 2
This is the newest model in the Fitbit Inspire line. What is new about the Inspire 2 vs the original? All models are now coming with a heart rate monitor included, and the claimed battery life has doubled from 5 days to 10 days. Other features have been added like swim tracking and more.
The design has also been updated and this has a more contemporary and stylish look than its predecessor. The side button has been removed and replaced with a small pressure sensitive indent on the side.
Amazfit Band 5
- Price (Less Than $35)
- Heart Rate and Blood-Oxygen Sensors
- 125 mAh Battery
- Full Color Display
- Alexa Enabled
- No Built-In GPS
- No Text Replies
The heart rate monitor works 24/7 and they claim 15 days of battery life with this enabled and 25 days with minimal use. Additional features include sleep monitoring, health assessment, women’s health tracking, stress monitoring and breathing exercises.
Does the Amazfit store music locally onboard the device? No, but this can control music on your phone from the band which can be useful while working out. The blood oxygen sensor can measure the oxygen saturation levels in your blood and notifications can be set up to vibrate the device when you receive a text.
These are also the main features of bands that cost 2x or 3x the price of the Amazfit, so this is a great low-budget addition to our list. You might notice that this fitness band is similar to the Mi Band 5, with a similar price, features and look? It is not the same, but it is made by the same supply chain and the same companies.
Is the amazfit Band 5 Made by Amazon? No! You might think so, but it is not an Amazon product.