Best fitness trackers in Australia
We've found the top 6 fitness trackers you can buy in Australia right now, based on expert hands-on testing and real customer reviews.
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Best fitness trackers for 2020, ranked
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Fitbit Versa 2
- Garmin Vivosmart 4
- Fitbit Inspire HR
- Apple Watch Series 3
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
How did we pick this list?
We've combined our own reviews of fitness trackers along with the review ratings from major reputable sites and consumer feedback to determine our listing of the very best fitness trackers you can buy.
All choices are independently made based on our combined 60+ years of reviewing experience and are not based on commercial relationships.
A fast, accurate and affordable fitness tracker
Why we chose it
There's near uniformity in the fitness tracker reviewing and using community that Fitbit is the brand to beat and it was chosen by consumers as the best fitness tracker brand in the 2019/2020 Finder Retail Awards. Nearly all that acclaim lands at the feet of the affordable, simple and yet highly effective Fitbit Charge 4.
It's lauded for the accuracy of its GPS tracking, a feature that not every fitness band in its price range includes, as well as how well it tracks your pulse during exercise. Fitbit does an excellent job of gamifying your exercise routines to encourage you to keep on moving as well. On the downside, the display on the Fitbit Charge is relatively basic, with a monochrome only display that some users found intermittently difficult to wake from sleep.
A simple watch-style tracker
Why we chose it
If you want to track your steps but you don't like the "wristband" look of most standard fitness trackers, your other option is a watch-based fitness tracker. The Fitbit Versa 2 scored well with reviewers and users for handling the basics of heart rate reading and step tracking well, alongside its simple watch functions. The trade-off for that is that you don't get GPS tracking for your exercise efforts outdoors and it switches the display off pretty quickly to preserve its battery life. Some users also found it hard to get to grips with its interface thanks to its small display.
A stylish fitness tracker
Why we chose it
Garmin's Vivosmart 4 isn't its newest tracker, but it's one that scores well in online reviews, largely due to the stylish design of its band, which dodges that issue of wearing something that looks either too fussy or too "tech" inspired. Its status as an older device also makes it one that you can often score for a lower price than similar newer bands. Reviewers did note that its smaller size while keeping it inconspicuous did present challenges around accuracy of run tracking and interacting with its display after a heavy workout.
A simplified and intuitive tracker
Why we chose it
Fitbit's Inspire HR gets that suffix for the inclusion of a heart rate tracking feature – if that's not important to you it also comes in a standard edition for a little less – and it won plaudits for its simple light fit, as well as the quality and speed of its heart rate sensing. If you're looking for a band to wear 24/7 it's also a good fit with up to 5 days of battery life to use. Downsides for the Inspire HR include the lack of an onscreen battery indicator, a small display and the fact that if you take a breather in your running workout, the Inspire HR doesn't detect that and pause your workout tracking.
Find out more in our full review of the Fitbit Inspire HR.
5. Apple Watch Series 3
An affordable and very smart watch with good fitness tracking
- Good value for money if you also want smartwatch features
- Huge range of band options
- Good heart rate tracking
- iPhone only
- Battery life is ordinary compared to dedicated fitness bands
- Newer Apple Watches have more fitness-dedicated features
Price (RRP): A$299Buy at KoganBuy at The Good GuysBuy at Bing Lee
Why we chose it
While Apple has shinier and newer Apple Watch models such as the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE that it would like you to buy, it still offers the older Apple Watch Series 3 for consumers on a tighter budget. Considering that you get what is still one of the best smartwatches along with fitness tracking features including the upcoming Apple Fitness+ on board, it's a bit of a bargain because Apple has dropped its price nicely to make the newer models seem more attractive. You can style it as you like – Apple charges a lot for its own bands but there's a lot of third-party options available for a lot less – and its heart rate tracking works well. However, as a fitness band its battery life is quite ordinary and there's no sleep tracking or blood oxygen tracking as you get with the newer Apple Watch Series 6 model.
Read more in our full review of the Apple Watch Series 3.
A great fitness companion watch
- Automatically tracks a wide range of fitness pursuits
- Rotating bezel is easy to operate even when you're working out
- Good battery life for a smartwatch
- Big and chunky
- Some health features are only available in South Korea
- Lower battery life than a simple fitness band
Price (RRP): $649Buy at Amazon Buy at KoganBuy at Catch
Why we chose it
Samsung's latest smartwatch offers a rich playground of fitness features, most of which kick into gear even without user intervention, which is neat. It sees the return of the very easy-to-use rotating bezel found on earlier Samsung smartwatches, one of our favourite user interface systems on any wearable ever. For a smartwatch, its battery life of two to three days is actually quite good – although of course conversely that's not great compared to some smaller, simpler fitness bands. It's also on the bigger and chunkier side, which won't suit everyone, and features such as the inbuilt ECG and blood oxygen sensing weren't activated in Australia at the time of our review.
For more information, check out our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
Best fitness trackers ranked
- We've compared reviews from everyday consumers and professional technology writers to compare the best fitness trackers.
- Our editorial team has a combined 60+ years of experience writing about tech and reviewing the latest devices.
- The fitness trackers on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not based on commercial relationships.
How to compare fitness trackers
A fitness tracker can make it easier to more accurately measure the impact of your exercise, as well as providing an easy and comfortable way to quantify your exercise and encourage you to do more.
Some of the earliest fitness trackers were little less than pedometers with Bluetooth connections and not much more, but as the category has expanded and improved we've seen a range of fitness tracking methods, health sensors and more come into the space.
In coming up with our list of the best fitness trackers, we've considered approaches from all angles and taking into consideration that many folks want more or less from their fitness tracker. Here's what we've considered – and what you should – when choosing the best fitness trackers:
- What fitness activities do I want to track? Some trackers consider walking and running type activities only, while others encompass all kinds of workouts, both indoors and outdoors.
- Band or watch? Most people think of fitness trackers purely in band terms, but there can be benefits to a watch-style tracker because of the information it can convey and the style it brings. That's a very personal choice in most cases, but some watch-style trackers also incorporate larger sensors or more exercise tracking types thanks to their larger displays.
- Do you want or need sleep tracking? Not every band will track your sleep activity, but it can be a very useful metric as part of an overall evaluation of your fitness.
- Which app do you want? The big names such as Fitbit and Garmin have whole communities built around sharing their app data, while big tech companies like Apple and Samsung have their own apps that serve as effective databases of your ongoing fitness data. You can't typically transfer that data between apps easily, so it's often easiest to stick with a brand if you want to keep your long-term data accessible.
- How long will the battery last? For simple trackers, especially those with small screens or no screen, you might get weeks, but some smartwatches or trackers with larger displays might only manage a day or two. You should also consider how they recharge. Custom recharging cables can be faster, but can leave you stymied if they're lost or you travel without them.
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