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Find Ratings

What's behind our fitness tracker Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 27 models in fitness trackers to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    This is based mainly on ease of use, step count accuracy, heart-rate monitor accuracy, and versatility. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Ease of use
    A composite score of ergonomics, ease of interaction, syncing, pairing, and readability of the display in bright light, and low light.
  • Ease of interaction
    Ease of accessing core functions, performing key tasks such as: accessing messages, calendars, alarms, etc., interacting with the device menu and app interface, taking activity measurements, reading activity results from the display, responsiveness of touchscreen or other control interaction methods.
  • Ease of pairing
    An assessment of the steps necessary for pairing the tracker with another device for the first time.
  • Heart-rate monitor accuracy
    How accurately did the fitness tracker measure our testers actual heart rate.
  • Step count accuracy
    How accurately did the fitness tracker count our testers actual steps.
  • Water resistance
    How resistant the watch is to submersion in water, as tested by subjecting the device to a water pressure equivalent to the depth the manufacturer claims the fitness tracker can withstand.
  • Readability in bright light
    Readability in bright light such as a sunny day.
  • Readability in low light
    Readability in low light such as at night.
  • Versatility
    Indicates features that increase a fitness tracker's utility or capabilities. These include how many sensors it has, if time can be displayed on the tracker, GPS tracking, and other useful features.


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Recommended fitness trackers

Recommended fitness trackers are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop

Fitness tracker buying guide

If you're looking for a way to fine-tune your workout, monitor the quality of your sleep or simply nudge yourself up off the couch on those lazy Sunday afternoons, a fitness tracker (sometimes also called an "activity tracker") is a valuable tool. According to the market research firm NPD Group, one in 10 American adults already owns one. But keep in mind that the tracker itself is a lot like a gym membership. It can't help you if you don't use it.

That means it's important to choose one that is going to fit into your lifestyle and motivate you in a way that will be effective. It also means you should pick one that you'll enjoy wearing. There are literally dozens of options on the market, ranging from the dead simple to use to the truly sophisticated. They come in enough colors, shapes and sizes to make your head spin. Before you begin shopping for the ideal option, take a moment to decide on your goals. Are you hoping to propel yourself into a more active lifestyle? Are you looking to raise your game? Or are you planning to attend the Olympics--as a member of the U.S. team?

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