Activity Tracker Showdown: Garmin vs Fitbit vs Jawbone vs Nike Fuelband vs Microsoft Band vs BodyBugg & More!

Garmin logo
Forerunner 735XT
Fitbit Surge logo
Fitbit Charge 2
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Jawbone UP MOVE logo
Jawbone UP2
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Wearable tech is a relatively new term, but recent new product introductions have made the category HOT with an ever-growing feature set designed to make these products more exciting and user-friendly. 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 activity gadget that can help you determine the amount of calories consumed and burned (and keep you motivated). In this article we will discuss and compare the top wearable gizmos on the market to help you choose the best activity tracker to assist in achieving your personal health and fitness goals. If you are considering an Apple Watch, you will want to read our Smartwatch Review.

Article Overview

How To Choose An Activity Tracker?

Before diving into this article, it’s important to know some of the basic things that fitness trackers can do. Once you know what they’re capable of, you’ll want to make a list of what’s 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 that are commonly tracked include:

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

Other nice features to have included are water resistance, GPS, playing music, weather and more. 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 constantly improving so you don’t have to keep upgrading your equipment.

Fortunately for you, we’ve got all the products listed individually, along with their features. We’ve also got a comparison table so you can see how they stack up against one another side by side. Ready, set go! Get excited to pick out the best fitness tracker for you!

Garmin Forerunner 735XT Review

Garmin Forerunner 735XT#1

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Garmin offers many activity trackers but for this article we’re going to focus on the Garmin Forerunner 735XT. This fitness tracker features advanced running and swimming tracking and can even detect the type of stroke you are doing in the pool. If you’re a cyclist you can use it with Garmin’s Vector cycling sensors to track your activity. It also features Garmin Connect which is a free online community to stay motivated and compare stats with others, get audio prompts, access music controls, and share on social media and an IQ store to download apps. Overall, this watch does a great job tracking fitness activity, which is why we’ve chosen it as our #1 pick for best activity tracker.



  • 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
  • Bigger face, and bulkier design compared to other models


Fitbit Charge 2 Review

Fitbit Charge 2#2
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Fitbit is a top contender in the activity tracker world and was our #1 pick for two years. So why did they drop in our rankings? First of all, we still think Fitbit is a great company that offers excellent fitness trackers. From our experience with Fitbit and our friends’, family members’ and readers’ we cannot recommend them as #1. Many users have had the Fitbit app erase their data from the day, the bands break easily and the devices stop working for no reason. Some users have no issues with these things but we know many people who have experienced this, including myself. However, Fitbit has the best customer service. They replace the product and stand by their mistakes. Unfortunately, we can’t rank them #1 because we feel that when you purchase a product you shouldn’t deal with and frustrations or returns. We reviewed the FitBit Charge 2, but for those looking for a FitBit brand product that’s more like the Apple Watch in terms of features and look, check out the new Ionic released in November 2017).



  • Excellent customer service
  • Swap to leather, metal or colored bands to change the look of your tracker
  • 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 smartphone
  • Screen quality could be better
  • Weaker vibration than the original Fitbit Charge


You can view all their family of products on Fitbit’s website.

Read our in-depth review of Fitbit

Jawbone UP2 Review


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If you’re looking for strictly a fitness tracker with no smart features, the Jawbone UP2 is your best bet. Smart features like caller ID and email/text notifications can be distracting for some and if you feel this way, then Jawbone’s UP2 may be the band for you. This activity tracker is one of the least expensive, inconspicuous bands on the market and tracks your steps, distance, activity and more. The band is simple to use, lightweight and attractive.



  • Great app performance
  • Comfortable to wear
  • 10-day battery
  • Smart Alarm™ silently wakes you at the optimal time in your sleep cycle
  • Good customer support
  • Comes in 5 stylish colors
  • No altimeter so step tracking may not be as accurate as it is on Fitbit
  • No display to give you immediate feedback
  • Band tears for some people
  • No GPS or heart rate monitoring


Comparison Table

Our comparison table can help you see which activity trackers have which features. Find out with one quick glance which one tracks sleep, distance, stairs climbed, calories and more. This will also help you see how we picked our winner, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT.

Activity Tracker1st Place: Garmin Forerunner 735XT2nd Place: Fitbit Charge 23rd Place: Jawbone UP2Fitbug OrbMicrosoft Band 2Moov NowPolar Loop 2
Activity Tracker1st Place: Garmin2nd place: Fitbit Charge 23rd Place: Jawbone UP2Fitbug OrbMicrosoft Band 2MoovPolar Loop 2
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonVisit WebsiteView on AmazonView on Amazon
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Price$349.00$117.52Check on AmazonCheck on Amazon$57.62$69.99
Calories BurnedCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Stairs ClimbedCheckmarkCheckmark
Heart Rate MonitorCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Log Food/DrinkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Goal SettingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Battery LifeUp to 11 days (depending on use)Up to 5 days10 days4-6 monthsUp to 48 hoursUp to 6 monthsAbout 3 days
Water ResistantCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Swim With ItCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Silent AlarmCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Tells TimeCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Caller IDCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
GPSCheckmarkOnly when connected to smartphoneCheckmark
Smart NotificationsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Music ControlCheckmarkCheckmark
Payment Feature
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Visit on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonVisit WebsiteView on AmazonView on Amazon

Rest Of The Pack

In addition to our top three picks, here is a full list of the other activity trackers on the market. Jump to the activity tracker review that you are looking for by clicking the name below.

Basis Peak | BodyBugg | BodyMedia | Fitbug Orb | Flyfit | Microsoft | Moov | Nike+ FuelBand SE | Polar | Skechers GOwalk

Basis Peak Review

As of September 16, 2016, there is a safety recall of all Basis Peak watches. The watches overheat and the company has recommended you not wear the watch. The company recommends that you return your Basis Peak watch and accessories for a full refund at your earliest convenience.

BodyBugg Review

BodyBugg was discontinued January 31, 2016, so we no longer recommend buying it since the devices do not work properly.

BodyMedia Review

BodyMedia was discontinued January 31, 2016. So we recommend you purchase a different activity tracker.

Fitbug Orb Review

Fitbit OrbView on Amazon

The Fitbug Orb comes from the UK and is one of the cheapest activity trackers available today. Fitbug helps motivate you by setting goals for you. This may be something you’re not fond of though because you may want to set different goals for yourself. You can use the Fitbug Orb 24/7 and with a battery life that lasts 4-6 months you’ll rarely have to charge it.



  • Don’t have to recharge it every night (4-6 month battery life)
  • Cheap
  • Accessories available to wear it different ways
  • Monitors sleep
  • Tracks food, activity, steps, calories and distance
  • Not the best at tracking your sleep
  • Can’t set your own goals, Fitbug does it for you
  • You must put the battery in, which can be tricky
  • No silent alarm


Flyfit Review

Flyfit was discontinued in 2017.

Microsoft Band 2 Review

Microsoft Band 2View on Amazon

The Microsoft Band 2 works as both an activity tracker and a smartwatch. The Band 2 works with Cortona on Windows Phone 8.1 so you can use your voice to take notes and set reminders with your band. This band has tons of features, but unfortunately is also one of the more expensive bands. It integrates with tons of other apps like Starbucks, Gold’s Gym, MyFitnessPal and Runkeeper. The touch display is easy to use and handy to see your progress throughout the day.



  • Tracks heart rate, calories burned and sleep quality
  • Has tons of features to track your activity level throughout the day including running, biking and golf
  • 11 sensors including UV monitor, barometer and GPS
  • Notifications appear on band for text, calls, voicemail, social media, email and calendar
  • Charge time is up to 1.5 hours
  • Works with Windows Phone, Android and iPhone
  • Water resistant
  • Tells time
  • Says, Microsoft Band estimates your steps, heart rate, and other data on Microsoft’s site so we fear it may not be the most accurate
  • 48 hour battery life (lower battery life if you use the GPS function)
  • On the more expensive-side


Moov Now Review

Moov NowView on Amazon

Moov Now is taking after the Fitbug Orb by adopting a disk shape. It can be worn multiple different ways including around your wrist and ankle. MOOV NOW gives you real-time audio coaching for running, cycling, cardio boxing, body weight management and more. The swim tracker even tracks stroke type, stroke count and lap analysis and recommends ways to improve. The Moov Now can also track sleep and has an app to view your data.



  • Waterproof
  • Form monitoring
  • Injury prevention
  • Performance tracking
  • Real-time interactive coach
  • Clip it onto your bike, dumbbell, golf club and other workout equipment
  • Works for multiple activities: swimming, cycling, running, cardio boxing, body weight workout, golf and yoga
  • 6-month battery life
  • No display
  • Doesn’t blend in well
  • No heart rate monitor


Nike+ FuelBand SE Review

After pioneering the fitness tracker arena, Nike has said goodbye and stopped making the Nike+ FuelBand.

Polar Loop 2 Review

Polar Loop 2View on Amazon

The Polar Loop 2 performs well but with big names like Garmin and Fitbit leading the pack it’s hard to make a name for yourself. Polar Loop 2 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 you must purchase an add-on to track your heart rate, which is just one more thing you have to carry around with you (and wear).



  • Can swim with it on
  • Use with Polar Flow App and website to get workout plans, motivation and guidance
  • Comes in 3 colors: black, white and pink
  • Must purchase attachment for heart rate monitoring
  • Battery life is only 2-3 days
  • Clunky


Skechers GOwalk Review

Another fitness tracker has left the building. Skechers GOwalk is no longer available and the app isn’t available in the app store, so even if you see this tracker available on Amazon, we recommend not purchasing it.

What’s Your Favorite Fitness Activity Tracker?

Now that you know about all the fitness trackers, it’s time to move your butt and get on the wearable tech train.

Do you own one of the activity trackers above and swear by it? Or is there one we missed that you’d like us to review?

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.
Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.

Leave a Reply

newest oldest most voted
Amy Stanford-Sparks
Jawbone no longer has customer service by either phone or email. They gave me the run around about replacing my torn band from October until the middle of November when they apparently shut their doors without telling anyone.
Gwendolyn George
Did you evaluate the Basis Peak?
Hello, I have the polar tracker (gift) it doesn’t have the HR, however is not really good for me because I do 3 hours hatha yoga practice so I need a tracker that can be able to monitor that (burning calories, monitor sleeping, HR, etc). I do not need complicated ones with lots of features, just simple and to be able to work properly. I don’t think the polar tracker I have is accurate (night sleep, steps…), please, can you recommend me one? Thank you for your time!
I’m interested in dropping my Fitbit but don’t know if any others have good, free websites to look at and analyze activity and sleep. The Pros and Cons do not review the websites.
Most of these aren’t even true calorie trackers. The Bodybugg one, while ugly as sin, actually tracks calories burned through sensors.
Do you have any updates for the Flyfit? There is a huge number of comments on its Kickstarter page saying that it’s a fraud.
Cara Teller
It has become very hard to find the Bodymedia and Bodybugg line because Jawbone bought them out just a while back. It definitely isn’t because they were a bad product because they were really great. If you loved this line of products that included the heat-flux technology so that it could measure your burn for non-cardio activities as well as while you are in motion, then you need to buy yours as soon as possible. They aren’t even for sale on the main Bodymedia page anymore (it shows Jawbone products now) or the 24hourfitness product pages. I love my BodybuggSP and I probably need to buy a backup model. To see the history of the brand and the other calorie counting armbands, check out this article at
I swear by my BodyMedia BodyBugg device. I’ve been using it since it came out on the market and my trainer recommended it to me to track calories. It is amazingly accurate. I highly recommend it to those who want to truly track your calories and movement.
Kevin Wendland
No Samsung Gear Fit? $100-$150 heart rate monitor, pedometer, notifications, quick reply for texts…been out for awhile now.
Withings Pulse O2 is a pretty good device even though it is not new anymore. Much better than the Jawbone 24 in everything from accuracy to sleep recording to customer support.
Have you considered Shine by Misfit Wearables? I just received mine. It’s sturdy, waterproof, syncs, and can be worn as a watch, pendant or all by itself via a nifty magnetized loop thingy. However, I’m bummed that it doesn’t integrate with my lifestyle app (Samsung’s S Health) where I can track exercise, heart rate, food, weight, sleep, stress, etc.