Health & Healing

Best Activity Tracker: Whoop vs Fitbit vs Garmin Forerunner vs Polar & More

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Best For…
Running, Hiking, And Swimming
Garmin logo
Forerunner 735XT
Walking, Cardio, Weightlifting, And Dieting
Fitbit logo
Fitbit Charge 3
View on Amazon
Read Review
Wyze logo
Analytics & Coaching
WHOOP logo
Compare All Products

Wearable tech companies are coming out with new gadgets to help you reach your weight and fitness goals. Instead of spending your money on a personal trainer, you can spend it on a small device that can help you determine the number of calories consumed and burned (and keep you motivated). Question is, who’s got the best tracker?

Article Overview

Best Activity Tracker By Category

These are our top picks for the best overall trackers – one for more active fitness and one more for lighter workouts and weight loss.

Best For Running, Hiking And Swimming: Garmin Forerunner 735XT Review

View on AmazonThe Garmin Forerunner 735XT Smart Watch (Black)

This fitness tracker features advanced running and swimming tracking and can even detect the type of stroke you are doing in the pool.

Its GPS capabilities make it an excellent choice for those of you who enjoy exercising outside. It will track your runs, hikes, and swims better than other fitness trackers without GPS capabilities.

If you’re a cyclist, you can use it with Garmin’s Vector cycling sensors to track your activity. It also features Garmin Connect, a free online community to stay motivated, compare stats with others, get audio prompts, access music controls, and share social media and an IQ store to download apps.



  • Water-resistant
  • Performs great when swimming
  • Switch between activities with the press of a button
  • Thin, lightweight band that is comfortable
  • The perfect band for cyclists, runners, swimmers, and triathletes
  • Great coaching and tracking altogether
  • Does not track stairs


Best For Walking, Cardio, Weightlifting, And Dieting: Fitbit Charge 3 Review

View on AmazonThe Fitbit Charge 3 Smartwatch (Black)

Fitbit is a great company that offers excellent fitness trackers. There are many trackers available from Fitbit, and the Charge 3 is the top tier option.

It’s perfect for tracking your steps, cardio workouts, weightlifting, swimming, and more. It also has extra features that other bands don’t offer (i.e., female health tracking). This is a good option for gym rats or those of you who workout at home.

We personally recommend Fitbit for its accurate tracking capabilities, vast number of features, quality customer service, and its ability to evolve and push the competition.

Here we review the Fitbit Charge 3, but for those wanting a Fitbit that’s more like the Apple Watch regarding features and look, there was the popular Ionic. Unfortunately, it was discontinued (with 2 million models recalled) due to a burning hazard.

If your main goal is to just track steps (walking) without all the smart watch bells and whistles, there are less expensive Fitbit options available, like the Inspire.



  • Excellent customer service
  • Reminds you to move throughout the day
  • Simplified heart rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio, and Peak)
  • See call, text & calendar notifications on OLED display
  • Track how long and how well you sleep and set a silent vibrating alarm clock
  • GPS is only available when connected to a smartphone


You can view all of Fitbit’s products on Amazon.

Best For Basics: Wyze Smart Watch

View on AmazonWyze Smart Watch (Black)

Wyze’s activity tracker is just one of the many smart gadgets they have in their growing internet of things (IoT) collection. They are price competitive, but their tracker doesn’t offer a lot of advanced options. For that reason, it is a good entry-level activity tracker.

The Wyze Smart Watch tracks heart rate, steps, sleep, and your fitness goals. It has a color touchscreen, a Smartphone app, and works with Amazon Alexa. And if you have other Wyze products (camera, lights, etc.), you can control them from your tracker. It’s water-resistant and has a long battery life. The Wyze is a good value, but you get what you pay for, so don’t expect much more than a medium-tech watch.



  • Color touchscreen display and ability to add a background photo on the home screen
  • Receive phone and app notifications
  • Water-resistant up to 164 feet and 10-day battery life
  • Dual-microphone works with Amazon Alexa
  • Integrates with other Wyze gadgets
  • Affordable
  • Bulky design and heavy
  • Doesn’t track as much as other activity trackers


Best For Analytics & Coaching: WHOOP Strap 3.0

WHOOP Strap 3.0View Website

Unlike other activity trackers where you pay for the band up-front and then get access to free data, the WHOOP Strap 3.0 band is free, but you pay for a monthly membership to manage your data.

The membership gets you access to advanced analytics about your fitness performance and sleep quality. In addition to precise heart rate, respiratory, and recovery metrics, it also provides detailed performance tracking and training optimization. They use your data to give comprehensive advice and analysis to improve your performance.

WHOOP Membership also allows you to connect with other WHOOP members to compete and join accountability teams. WHOOP life also allows you to record videos with data overlay to get feedback from a coach or social media. The band is getting a ton of hype, and several champion athletes are big fans. So If you are data-driven and looking to step up your athletic game, this might be worth the longer-term investment.



  • Proknit band technology absorbs sweat and displaces pressure; rubber grip prevents slip
  • 24/7 data, waterproof, and 5-day battery life
  • Expect numerous updates as new features are added
  • Sleep and strain coach, journal, and community
  • iOS, Android, and desktop apps
  • Monthly fee is expensive (adds up over time)
  • No digital display or notifications on the band


  • Black Strap is free with membership (other colors and accessories are available for an additional cost)
  • Data and analysis access is only available with a monthly fee:
    • $30/month or $24/month if paid annually
    • $18/month for 18-month membership
    • View all options

Honorable Mention: Polar M430 Review

View on AmazonPolar M430 Smart Watch (Black)

The Polar M430 performs well, but with big names like Garmin and Fitbit leading the pack, it’s hard to make a name for yourself.

Polar M430 counts your steps accurately, tracks your sleep, and you can even swim with it. So, what’s the downside? It is a chunkier band, which can make it uncomfortable, and the battery life is weak compared to others.



  • Can swim with it on
  • Comes in 3 colors: black, white and orange
  • Must purchase an attachment for heart rate monitoring for some activities
  • Battery life is only 8 hours with GPS and 30 hours without
  • Clunky design


Comparison Table

Garmin Forerunner 735XT Fitbit Charge 3 Wyze Smart Watch WHOOP Strap Polar M430
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Fitbit Charge 3 Wyze Band WHOOP Strap Polar M430
Price $345.00 $143.15 $30/month
Sleep Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Calories Burned Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Activity Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Distance Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Stairs Climbed Checkmark Checkmark
Steps Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Heart Rate Monitor Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Log Food/Drink Checkmark Checkmark
Goal Setting Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Battery Life Up to 11 days Up to 7 days Up to 10 days Up to 5 days Up to 30 hours of training time
Water Resistant Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Swim With It Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Silent Alarm Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Display Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Tells Time Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Altimeter Checkmark
iOS Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Android Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Caller ID Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
GPS Checkmark Only when connected to smartphone Checkmark
Smart Notifications Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Music Control Checkmark Checkmark
Payment Feature On special editions

This article used to review the following companies, but they have either been discontinued, recalled, or bought by another company.

  • Basis Peak
  • BodyBugg
  • BodyMedia
  • Fitbug Orb
  • Flyfit
  • Jawbone
  • Microsoft Band
  • Nike+ Fuelband
  • Skechers GOwalk

How To Choose An Activity Tracker

Make a list of what features are most important to you to help you narrow down what you’re looking for and find a good fit. While we do have our top recommendations, which is right for you is a matter of preference (and in this case fashion too).

Items commonly tracked include:

  • Hours and quality of sleep
  • Calories burned
  • Steps and distance walked
  • Heart rate
  • Stairs climbed
  • Time of day and length of your workout
  • App to track your data and history on your Smart Phone

Other nice features to have included water resistance, GPS, playing music, weather, etc.  That way, you can wear the tracker 24/7, and you don’t have to wear multiple devices to track your fitness and know what time it is.

They recharge using a cable (similar to how you charge your phone). And the great thing is, while the hardware stays the same, the software is continually improving, so you don’t have to keep upgrading your equipment.

Stay On Track With Your Fitness Goals

In addition to tracking your movement, you can also monitor your weight loss goals and get body fat analysis and more with a smart scale. And we cover some other ways to stay in shape in our guide to healthy living at home.

Kimberly Alt

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post. In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family. Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.
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