Fitness trackers are now one of the most popular pieces of lifestyle tech on the market. It’s common to see sports fanatics, soccer moms, and students alike sporting smartwatches, activity trackers, or pedometers. While workout enthusiasts may be willing drop big bucks on wearable with lots of features, a lot of people only need a basic activity tracker or step counter to deliver the data on their day-to-day fitness and activity. Luckily there are many affordable and cheap fitness trackers available that have all the basic activity tracking features most consumers need. Many people worry that if they want an affordable fitness tracker they’ll be stuck with a clip-on pedometer that can’t do more than count your steps. In reality, there are plenty of cheap fitness bands available with lots of great features.
One of the concerns that comes up when shopping for low-budget activity tracker options is whether the items you’re considering are good quality or just a cheap knock-off that won’t deliver the performance and the features you need. We looked at the most popular affordable fitness trackers on the market today that sell under $50 and found the ones that offer the most bang for your buck. We focused on cheap fitness trackers the basic features that most people use like step counting, move reminders, smartphone syncing, and battery life. If you’re looking for a fitness tracker with a specific feature or designed for specific exercises or activities, we have other articles that explore those in depth. For now, check out our recommendations for the best cheap fitness trackers. Our comparison chart is next, scroll down to read the in-depth reviews for each tracker.
Cheap Fitness Trackers Comparison Chart
5 Best Cheap Fitness Trackers
Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Fitness Tracker
One of the most recently cited brands that comes up when experts discuss cheap fitness trackers under $50 is Xiaomi. Many are unaware of this Chinese company that is well known in Asia for making affordable and budget technology products. Their Mi Band is now available in its newest version, bringing all the basic functionality most people look for in an activity tracker and adding some features that are hard to find in budget trackers.
This wrist-based activity tracker has a new design and an improved pedometer algorithm for more accurate tracking. However, the biggest upgrade for the Mi Band 2 is the wrist-based heart rate sensor, which allows for more accurate tracking of exercises and calories burned. This new version also features idle alerts: the band vibrates when you have been sitting too long so you know to take a short break and walk around. The 20 day rechargeable battery is fantastic in comparison to many other wristband trackers.
The band features an OLED display, so if you don’t like having to pull out your phone to see your stats, you’ll be pleased. By tapping the button it will cycle through time, step count, and heart rate. The built-in auto workout tracking means you don’t have to futz with settings to record your activity. Just wear the band and go. If you want more data, you can access the Mi Fit app at any time to monitor speed and heart rate. This tracker also automatically records your sleep, tracking light and deep sleep based on your heart rate.
Available colors: black (but replacement bands in a variety of colors are available)
Good for: Office workers who want to be more active, runners who want to monitor speed and heart rate
Tracks: steps, heart rate, running speed, sleep duration and quality
Notable features: LED display, time, heart rate monitor, move reminders, auto-work out tracking, auto sleep tracking, splash resistant, Bluetooth syncing, compatible with Android 4.4+ and iOS 7+, Android only: phone text and call alerts, 20 day battery life
3DTriSport Walking Pedometer
If you’re hunting for a budget activity tracker has you flustered by features and apps you’re not interested in, then the 3DTriSport is for you. At it’s simplest it’s a pedometer, but it’s better than those generic clip-ons you can buy at a local pharmacy. This tracker features tri-axis 3D sensor technology to accurately count your steps. Not only will this pedometer track your steps clipped on your belt, in your pocket, or in your bag, you can also wear it on the included wristband while you walk or run.
This pedometer also tracks 30 days of step and calorie history–which is one of the longest we’ve seen for pedometers that don’t need to sync to a smartphone. This helps keep you motivated and on track to reach your fitness goals. All of the stats are displayed on the screen. This is a great option if you’re shopping for your parents or grandparents and want an easy way for them to track their steps.
Available colors: pink/magenta, grey/black, white, black
Good for: people who walk or jog for exercise, no fuss step counting, seniors who don’t want to use an app for tracking
Tracks: steps, walking distance (miles or kilometers), exercise time, calories burned
Notable features: Tri-axis 3D sensor, 30 day step history memory, belt clip or wristband, miles or kilometer tracking
Check out more pedometers and step counters.
Towabo Fitness Tracker Wristband
Towabo is another brand you’ve probably never heard of but is very popular with buyers on Amazon. With the lack of name recognition and color options comes a cheaper price point and one of the higher rated fitness trackers under $50 on Amazon. That doesn’t mean the Towabo Wristband is lacking activity tracking features. It hits on all the big features that people look for in a budget activity tracker: step counting, sedentary reminders for when you’re inactive too long, sleep tracking, and stats easily displayed on the band’s OLED display. This activity tracker also features a wrist-based heart rate monitor, which gives you more accurate activity and exercise tracking as well as better sleep quality tracking.
If you’re comparing this with the Mi Band 2, one of the bigger pros for the Towabo is that iPhone users will be able to take advantage of the vibrating alerts on the band (Mi Band only supports Android). Supported alerts include text messaging, call, QQ, Wechat, Facebook, and Twitter. And the other big benefit over the Mi Band is this wristband is waterproof. The Towabo does cost more, so you should base your purchase off what type of smartphone you have and whether the waterproof feature is important to your lifestyle.
While the Towabo lacks customizable bands and features for tracking a variety of exercises, it’s a great tracker for many users. It’s good for seniors who are tech savvy enough to sync to their smartphone or people who want to add a little bit of fitness to their life and easily monitor their step counts.
Available colors: black
Good for: office and desk workers, people who walk or jog for exercise
Tracks: steps, heart rate, calorie burning, sleep
Notable features: OLED display with touchscreen, time display, wrist-based heart rate monitoring, sedentary alert, auto light up when you lift your wrist, vibrating alarm clock, waterproof, 4-5 day rechargeable battery, free smartphone app, Bluetooth 4.0 syncing, message alerts, compatible with Android 4.3+ & iOS 8+
LETSCOM Activity Tracker Band
This is another little-known brand that is selling well on Amazon and pleasing customers looking for affordable fitness trackers. Like other bands we’ve reviewed so far, the LETSCOM band hits all the main features a good budget fitness tracker should have. It records your steps, calculates calories burned, and delivers all this data to their free iPhone and Android app so you can monitor your progress. Their newest model also includes 24/7 heart rate monitoring which delivers better data than a simple pedometer can provide. Built-in USB charging means there’s no special charging cable you have to keep track of and the 4 day battery life is comparable to other affordable wristband options. This smartband is only water resistant (sweat and rain proof), so if you need a waterproof tracker, you should consider the Towabo instead.
What does the LETSCOM bring to the table that the other activity trackers don’t? It has a bunch of additional features that you may find useful. Once it’s synced with your smartphone you not only receive call and message alerts (text message, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, and Wechat), it can also control your music (great for when you’re in the middle of a workout or run and out of reach of your phone) and be used to take pictures remotely (no more arms length selfies!). Your phone will alert you if you lose your bracelet and the bracelet can help you find your phone if you misplace it. Some users won’t need these extra features, but the band is so competitively priced with other fitness trackers under $50 that it’s worth buying the LETSCOM if you want these features.
Available colors: black, blue, orange
Good for: office workers, people who workout while listening to music
Tracks: steps, distance, calories burned, sleep quality, heart rate
Notable features: OLED touchscreen, time & stat display, program for left or right hand, move reminders, goal completion alerts, heart rate monitoring, auto sleep tracking, vibrating alarm, water resistant, 4 day rechargeable battery, built-in USB charging, Bluetooth 4.0 syncing, app for Android 4.4+ & iOS 7.1+, call and message alerts, remote camera shooting, music control
Frequently Asked Questions About Budget Activity Trackers
Do I need to buy an expensive fitness tracker?
The answer to this depends on your lifestyle, what kind of exercise you do, and what kind of tracking you’re looking for. Cheap fitness trackers usually have enough features for basic step counting, calorie burn tracking, and sleep tracking. This is great for desk workers who want to be more active to counter-act a sedentary lifestyle or people who walk or jog for exercise. More and more of the budget activity trackers on the market also include heart rate monitoring for more accurate exercise and sleep data. These affordable options make great gifts for parents, grandparents, kids, and teens who want some basic activity tracking but aren’t necessarily tech savvy or need the frills offered by expensive brands like Fitbit.
These affordable activity trackers are also a great entry-level fitness band for people who aren’t sure if they’ll get any benefit from having their steps and sleep tracked. Many people find once they have a device tracking their daily activity and reminding them to move and be active that they automatically start making changes to their life to meet the goals set by the tracker. This helps people lose weight, make better food choices, and live a healthier lifestyle overall.
If you’re a swimmer, runner, cyclist, or spend a lot of time at the gym, you may want to invest in a fitness tracker for your types of exercises. If you don’t care about exercise specific trackers, you may get enough data from cheap fitness trackers or a Jawbone UP fitness band.
Should I be worried about buying a tracker by an “unknown” brand?
Not necessarily. Many companies like Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, and Sony spend a lot of money on advertising to increase sales and awareness of their brand. Those increased advertising budgets add on to the cost of the individual trackers and don’t necessarily mean they are a better quality than comparable “no-name” devices. Instead, you should take into consideration what features are important to you in a fitness tracker and then do research reading articles like this and the reviews on Amazon to decide whether the band or clip you’re interested in is a good quality. You can save major money by ignoring name brands and looking at what customers think of each wearable.
How much should I spend on an activity tracker?
With the number of trackers available today, there are plenty of options in a variety of price ranges. You should consider your personal budget and the features you need when deciding how much to spend. If you only need basic tracking (steps, calories, sleep, smartphone syncing), you will easily find a tracker you like in the $20 to $50 range. You may even be able to find some advanced features like wrist-based heart rate monitoring and waterproof fitness bands when looking for activity trackers under $50.
If you want more advanced tracking like workout, swimming, running, and cycling specific tracking, you may need to consider fitness trackers under $100 or up to $200. If you want more advanced features like wrist-based GPS, you may need to spend more than $200.
If you want more features but still want to save money, you can try a few different things. Often you’ll find name brand fitness trackers available for cheaper prices on Amazon. You may also be able to find refurbished activity trackers on Amazon for a fraction of the price of a brand new one. A certified refurbished fitness tracker is one that has been returned to the manufacturer for some sort of defect or problem. These may be tech issues or cosmetic issues. The manufacturer then repairs or replaces the defective part, tests it under the same conditions it uses for new trackers to ensure it is working properly and meets all of their quality standards. It’s then sold to consumers at a discount with the same warranty and protections as a new fitness tracker. Some people don’t like to take the risk, but those who do are often pleased by the quality and the money saved.
Still searching for an affordable fitness band? Check out the best fitness tracker under $100.