Best Fitbit Alternative Watch Reviews

Updated November 29, 2020

Fitbit has become a default way to refer to a fitness tracker you wear on your wrist, but in fact Fitbit is just one of the companies that make these trackers.

If you’re looking for a similar product, there are plenty of alternatives to Fitbit for you to choose between.

We’re guessing that you’ll want your Fitbit equivalent to have similar if not the same functions and features, but that’s not to say that a Fitbit alternative will be a Fitbit knockoff – many Fitbit type devices have their own style and appeal.

To help you select the best alternative to Fitbit, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best Fitbit type watches.

Our brief may have been to find a Fitbut substitute, but we think we’ve found some options to rival or even beat the original. We’ve also given you a run-down of features to look for in Fitbit like devices.

Top Fitbit Alternatives

#PREVIEWProduct
1
Best For Higher Budgets
1Samsung Galaxy Active Smart Watch
Samsung - Galaxy Active Smart Watch
Best For Higher Budgets
Samsung Galaxy Active Smart Watch
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2 Withings - Pulse HR Health & Fitness Tracker Withings Pulse HR Health & Fitness Tracker
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3
Best For Low Budgets
3Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker
Xiaomi - Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker
Best For Low Budgets
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker
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4 Amazfit - GTS Fitness Smartwatch Amazfit GTS Fitness Smartwatch
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5 Garmin - Vivosmart 4 Fitness Activity Tracker
Best Overall
Garmin Vivosmart 4 Fitness Activity Tracker
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6 Honor - Band 5 Fitness Tracker Honor Band 5 Fitness Tracker
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1. Samsung Galaxy Active Smart Watch

Highlights
  • Simple design with unisex appeal
  • Can automatically detect up to 6 exercises and track up to 39 more
  • Analyses sleep patterns
  • Can be synced with a compatible smartphone
Best For Higher Budgets
Samsung - Galaxy Active Smart Watch

We like the clean and simple lines of this Samsung watch, with a sleek face and choice of strap colours.

You can choose between a range of displays and it’s easy to use the touchscreen to move between menus and functions.

This smartwatch will automatically detect up to 6 exercises and track up to 39 more, including those you’d expect like running, cycling and swimming.

It also helps you to keep an eye on your overall health, by tracking your sleep patterns and your heart rate.

You’ll even get a real-time alert if it detects a high or low heart rate, so you can manage it proactively.

Charging is wireless, and the amount of time you’ll get from one charge depends on how you’re using the watch – the 90 hours of low usage will drop down to just 15 hours using the watch to track outdoor activities with GPS.

There are also a limited but useful range of third-party apps such as Spotify, and you can sync this watch with a compatible smartphone to see notifications on screen.

Overall it looks good and performs well, so this smartwatch is a smart choice.

Specifications

Material:
Silicone
Case Diameter:
40 mm
Watch Strap:
20 mm, Silicone
Battery Life:
Low usage: up to 90 hours ; Outdoor workout time with GPS: up to 15 hours

Pros

  • Touchscreen controlled
  • Will send a real-time alert if a high or low heart rate is detected
  • Customisable watch face with choice of displays
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • Fairly limited storage (4GB)
  • No rotating bezel for those who prefer that method of control

2. Withings Pulse HR Health & Fitness Tracker

Highlights
  • Able to track more than 30 activities
  • Can connect to GPS via your smartphone to map and share workouts
  • Scores your sleep based on sleep patterns 
  • Continuously measures your heart rate and gives a report after exercise

If you’re looking for a well-priced device that will give you a good snapshot of your workout activity, this Withings model could be a great option for you.

The design is basic but functional, with a long, rectangular face that sits neatly on your wrist to give you a large display, and a simple strap.

You can select from over 30 activities, from swimming to ping pong.

You’ll definitely want to connect to your smartphone to get the best from this device, as this will allow you to receive notifications but, most importantly, to map and share your exercise sessions.

You’ll get a good overview of your distance, elevation and calories burned so you can track your effort and any improvements.

The heart rate tracker will also give you a report on the time you spent in different heart rate zones (such as intense or peak) during the session.

We liked looking at our sleep score each morning, which is based on the time spent in deep or light sleep.

There’s also a Smart Wake-up function that will choose an optimal point during your sleep pattern to wake you up by gently vibrating.

Specifications

Material:
316L stainless steel back, hardened polycarbonate top
Size:
Case Width: 18.16 mm Case Height: 44.4 mm Case Thickness: 10.45 mm
Movement:
Digital
Watch Strap:
Silicone
Battery Life:
Up to 20 days between charges

Pros

  • Streamlined design with tall narrow face
  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Battery can last up to 20 days between charges
  • You can select the call, text or event notifications you want to receive on your wrist

Cons

  • Doesn’t have built-in GPS
  • Measures the duration of a swim session, but not strokes

3. Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker

Highlights
  • Full colour touch display
  • 6 workout modes (treadmill, exercise, outdoor running, cycling, walking, swimming)
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Monitors sleep patterns
Best For Low Budgets
Xiaomi - Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker

This Xiaomi fitness tracker offers incredible value for money and it may not have as many functions as other trackers, but it still packs a punch.

The design is, admittedly, nothing to write home about – a tall narrow screen set in a silicone band. The screen is, however, full colour and touch controlled making this simple to operate.

There are six different workout modes, so it’s not as wide a range as some but if your main activities are the most popular – such as running, cycling, walking and swimming – you’ll find you’re covered.

Connecting the tracker to your smartphone via Bluetooth means you can use the Mi Fit app to track all your data.

This device will also measure your heart rate, and monitor your sleep so you know the amount you’re getting and whether it’s light or deep sleep.

If you’re an exercise fanatic you may prefer a more sophisticated tracker, but if you’re someone looking for a low-budget way to keep an eye on your daily activities, this is perfect.

Specifications

Material:
Thermoplastic polyurethane
Size:
Screen size: 0.95”
Movement:
Rotor
Watch Strap:
18 mm
Battery Life:
Up to 20 days between charges

Pros

  • Incredible value
  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth to show notifications on your wrist
  • Sedentary reminder to remind you to move after a period of inactivity

Cons

  • Limited range of programmed activities
  • Short charging cable is a bit awkward

4. Amazfit GTS Fitness Smartwatch

Highlights
  • Large, always-on display screen
  • 12 sports modes including running, walking, cycling and swimming
  • Heart rate tracker 
  • Measures quality of sleep and sleeping patterns

The large OLED display screen is a real asset of this Amazfit smartwatch, as it gives you a vibrant display of the data you need.

Despite the generous screen size, the design feels in proportion, helped by the slim metal body which is under 10mm.

The activity tracker has 12 sports modes which cover the most popular forms of exercise such as running and cycling, and can sync with your smartphone to give you a good overview of your activity including your route, pace, distance and heart rate.

The heart rate monitor will let you keep an eye on your BPM throughout the day, giving you an insight into your overall health and stress response.

There’s also a sleep tracker to record your sleeping patterns and quality of sleep.

It would have been nice to see a greater choice of display options as there are only two face designs to choose between, and the number of third party apps is also limited.

But, the battery life is good (up to 14 days) and we like the slim and lightweight design.

Specifications

Material:
Aluminium alloy, polymer
Size:
43.25 x 36.25 x 9.4 mm
Watch Strap:
20 mm, Silicone
Battery Life:
Approx 14 days between recharges with typical usage

Pros

  • Slimline case
  • Water resistant to 50m
  • 14 day battery life
  • Can sync to your smartphone to display notifications

Cons

  • Very limited ability to use third party apps
  • Small choice of display options

5. Garmin Vivosmart 4 Fitness Activity Tracker

Highlights
  • Dedicated timers for walks, runs, strength training, yoga, swimming and more
  • Pulse Ox sensor to estimate blood oxygen saturation
  • Display auto-adjusts to ambient light levels
  • All-day stress tracking and relaxation breathing timer to support overall wellness
Best Overall
Garmin - Vivosmart 4 Fitness Activity Tracker

This Garmin Vivosmart 4 has a compact and slimline design, making it a good choice if you want an inconspicuous fitness tracker to wear everywhere.

It has the usual features such as activity trackers for a variety of exercise types such as running, swimming and yoga, and offers some attractive extras too.

For example, the strength training activity tracker will capture exercises, reps and sets making this more useful than tracking time alone.

Sync the device to your smartphone to review all your data and to use your phone’s GPS to track outdoor activities.

We rated the stress tracking feature that will keep an eye on your stress level and can send you a reminder to relax, and a timer that will guide you through a relaxation breathing exercise.

The ‘body battery’ can also give you insight into your body’s energy reserves during the day, helping you plan when’s a good time to rest or exercise.

Some wearers have queried the accuracy of data and particularly the sleep tracking, but there’s enough on the ‘pros’ list to get our recommendation.

Specifications

Material:
Polycarbonate, Aluminium
Case Diameter:
6.6 x 17.7 mm
Watch Strap:
15 mm, Silicone
Battery Life:
Up to 7 days between charges

Pros

  • ‘Body battery’ monitoring gauges energy reserves to help plan your day
  • Can sync with your smartphone’s GPS to track walks and run
  • Strength training activity tracker will capture exercises, reps and sets
  • Up to 7 days battery life

Cons

  • Users report discrepancies with the sleep tracking data
  • No built-in GPS

6. Honor Band 5 Fitness Tracker

Highlights
  • Multiple sport modes
  • Records period of REM, deep and light sleep to analyse sleep quality
  • Continuous heart rate monitoring and heart rate warnings
  • Swim stroke recognition (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly)

You may not have heard of the manufacturer Honor yet, but it’s an offshoot of the better known Huawei.

This is a budget fitness tracker so as you might anticipate it doesn’t have quite as many features as some other devices, but you’re getting value for your money.

The design is very simple, with a slim silicone strap housing the body.

The AMOLED screen means the vibrant colours in the nine possible face designs really stand out (even more face designs are available through the app).

But onto the main subject – fitness tracking. The step count seemed to be pretty accurate, and there are options for running, rowing, swimming and more.

One thing we found a bit strange was that there’s a mode for indoor cycling but not outdoor, which could be an issue if that’s an important activity for you.

Keen athletes might find the tracked data is too basic, but it’s fine for a general overview.

You’ve also got a sleep tracker, but to get the most from this you’ll need to view the information through the Huawei Health app.

Specifications

Material:
Silicone
Case Diameter:
43 x 17 x 12 mm
Battery Life:
Up to 14 days between charges

Pros

  • Pair with a smartphone to receive notifications on the display screen
  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Full colour AMOLED touchscreen
  • Can help locate your phone and take phone pictures remotely

Cons

  • Has to be plugged in to power on
  • Notification display can be temperamental

Watches Like Fitbit Buying Guide

Technology

Within the compact design that fits neatly on your wrist, fitness trackers squeeze in an impressive amount of technology. 

At a basic level, fitness trackers need to measure your motion, using a 3-axis accelerometer to track movement in every direction. Some will also use a gyroscope to measure your orientation and rotation. 

The data which is collected from these can be used to show the number of steps or activity you’ve completed, plus data such as calories burned. 

There can be some variance here, simply because every body is slightly different so your stride or stroke won’t be the same as the person next to you. 

Then there’s the sensor which measures your heart rate.

There are a few ways of doing this, such as using an optical sensor which shines a light onto your skin and measures your pulse through it. 

Another sensor you’re likely to find is an altimeter to measure altitude – this is what allows you to see elevation gain on a run, or the number of flights of stairs you’ve walked up and down. 

Design

The nature of the product means that fitness trackers are most likely to be worn by people with an active lifestyle, or at least people who aspire to be more active. 

That means that the design is going to need to be robust and able to stand up to some knocks and bumps.

Many fitness trackers are simple and functional in design, often with a plain rectangular face that gives a large display area to see key data at a glance. 

These tend to be set on a silicone strap, which is comfortable to wear, robust and can be used in water. 

Other trackers are designed to look more like a traditional watch with a round face, so they can blend in whether you’re wearing them to dinner, to the office or out on a run.

Features

There are some key features you’ll want to look out for in fitness tracker devices, which elevate them from simple watches that provide the time to a useful monitor of your health. 

Here are some of the most sought-after features.

Heart Rate Monitor

The majority of fitness tracker devices will have a heart rate monitor. This is typically a small sensor on the back of the case which sits against the skin. 

The monitor can keep an eye on your heart rate throughout the course of the day, helping you to proactively manage it. 

Some trackers have alerts that will let you know if your heart rate is high or low. 

A rise in your heart rate, for example, can signify that you’re stressed and you could take steps such as practicing breathing exercises to slow it back down. 

It’s also useful to see how your heart rate is affected by physical activity, and this is another way you can measure your improvement.

Battery Life

The many features of a fitness tracker can really drain the battery, especially if the device has inbuilt GPS to track outdoor activity such as running routes.

A watch may be able to last multiple days with low usage but less than a day of intense use. 

This makes battery life an important consideration for people who plan to put the tracker through its paces, as you’ll need to factor in downtime for your device to recharge. 

Activity Tracking

Key to the usefulness of a fitness tracker is the ability to measure your daily activities. 

This could be basic activity such as walking to the train station for your commute or moving around your home, or specific workouts and exercise sessions. 

Trackers will have a varying number of activities that they will recognize or be able to accurately track, such as running, cycling and swimming and more and this is important because different workouts need to be measured in different ways. 

The activity tracking feature of a device could give you information on distance, elevation gain, calories burned or strokes swum, depending on your workout. 

Health Tracking

In addition to tracking activity, some fitness trackers can also help you monitor other aspects of your health. 

We’ve already talked about heart rate monitoring, and another popular feature is sleep monitoring. 

This allows you to see how much sleep you’re getting and the quality of that sleep. 

This is key to health as both your body and mind rest and refresh themselves during sleep, and a lack of quality sleep can impact your overall wellbeing. 

Water Resistance

If you’re a keen swimmer and swimming is your main exercise, you’re definitely going to want to choose a tracker which is water resistant and can measure your activity in the water. 

Even for non-swimmers, the more you wear your fitness tracker, the more information you can get about your daily activity, so it’s useful to choose a device you don’t have to worry about remembering to take off in the shower or if you’re running in the rain. 

Better Than Fitbit?

Fitbit undoubtedly have gained a reputation for their fitness trackers and have a solid range to choose from. 

But there are other brands which are performing just as well or even better in this market. 

Our advice would be don’t get distracted by the manufacturer – think about the features and functions that you will actually use and base your selection on that. 

It’s easy to be persuaded by a long list of features, but if you don’t use any of them you could possibly save money by choosing something simpler. 

Pricing Range

As we mentioned before, there’s a lot of technology crammed into a fitness tracker. 

This makes it all the more surprising that we were able to find a cheap Fitbit alternative for an incredibly low price, in fact less than US$25. 

A cheap model is a low-risk way to test whether a fitness tracker is going to be a useful gadget for you. 

Moving up on the price scale, you’ll start to encounter the more recognized names such as Garmin and Samsung, and it’s easy to spend US$300 on the top of the range models.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is Comparable To a Fitbit?
A:

Many other brands can offer similar features and performance to a Fitbit.

A good place to start is to consider the features that are really important to you, whether that’s a device which can recognise a wide range of activities or one that has inbuilt GPS.

Once you know this and have an idea of your budget you’ll be able to narrow your search.

As a shortcut, some good brands to look out for at a comparable price to Fitbit are Garmin and Samsung, or at a cheaper price point you could consider Huawei and Xiaomi.

Of course, don’t forget to check out our reviews as well!

Our Verdict

There are some great fitness trackers on the market which offer just as many functions and features as Fitbit.

We were seriously impressed by the performance of our ‘Best for low budgets’ choice, which is the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker.

It offers a good range of features that should satisfy those of us who aren’t avid athletes, and for a bargain price.

Our ‘Best Overall’ was the Garmin Vivosmart 4 Fitness Activity Tracker. OK, it doesn’t have built-in GPS, but there’s a lot else going for it, from a Pulse Ox sensor to stress tracking.

Then our ‘Top of the Range’ pick had to be the Samsung Galaxy Active Smart Watch.

It’s stylish, intuitive, can track up to 39 different activities and syncs with a compatible smartphone to show notifications, so you’ve got a wealth of information right there on your wrist.

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