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Best budget fitness trackers in SA

Best cheap fitness trackers
(Image credit: Honor, Fitbit and Huawei)

Because getting healthy shouldn't cost you here are the best fitness trackers you can get without dropping loads of cash. 

In general fitness trackers are far more affordable than sports watches, which means there are loads to choose from, but we've focused our list to just the best options available. And you don’t have to sacrifice much at the budget end of the market either, with many of our selections – such as the Huawei Band 3 Pro and Fitbit Inspire HR - packing some combination of GPS, heart rate monitors, sleep tracking, and more.

The products on our list are an impartial line up of the best cheap fitness trackers we've tested, so you can be sure they’re good.

To help you make a choice we’ve included an overview of their good and bad points, along with their key specs and features,  and you can click through to the full reviews to find out more.

Best cheap fitness trackers at a glance:

  1. Fitbit Inspire HR
  2. Huawei Band 3 Pro
  3. Xiaomi Mi Band 4
  4. Garmin Vivofit 4
  5. Samsung Galaxy Fit e
  6. Garmin Vivosmart 3
  7. Samsung Galaxy Fit

Best cheap fitness trackers

(Image credit: Fitbit)

1. Fitbit Inspire HR

Inspiration to get off the sofa

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 5 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Premium design
Lots of tracked metrics
Lacks swim tracking
No contactless payments

This is the first time a Fitbit device has made its way into the top five in our best cheap fitness tracker list for a long time. The new Fitbit Inspire HR is a great fitness tracker overall, but it isn't the most affordable device in this list.

Although you'll pay extra than you would for a lot of the other devices surrounding it here, Fitbit has created a overall easy to use package with a very attractive design.

It doesn't feature GPS, which a lot of the other trackers on this list do offer though. Instead you'll get access to Fitbit's app, an accurate heart rate monitor and a variety of workouts directly from your wrist.

Read the full Fitbit Inspire HR review

Huawei Band 3 Pro

(Image credit: Huawei)

2. Huawei Band 3 Pro

Both style and substance on a budget

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 14 days standby | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Great battery life
Good looking color screen
GPS can be slow to lock
No 'breathing' feature

The Huawei Band 3 Pro is one of our very favorite cheap fitness trackers. Considering its low price, there's a lot to love about this health band.

It comes with GPS on board, an accurate heart rate tracker, a waterproof design and there's even a color screen to display all of your stats. That's not a combination of features you'll get from every tracker on this list.

If you're after a fitness-first device, the Huawei Band 3 Pro should be good for you with its accurate GPS and heart rate monitor but there isn't much more here to get excited about. That said, at this price you can't really ask for much more.

Read our Huawei Band 3 Pro review

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

4. Xiaomi Mi Band 4

One of the cheapest around

Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: AMOLED | Thickness: N/A | Battery: Up to 20 days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Waterproof | Connectivity: Bluetooth

Very cheap
Slimline design
Doesn't auto-stop tracking

This is the cheapest fitness you'll find on our list, and for that reason it's one of the best choices for your wrist. It's not a completely useless device, as often trackers can be around this price, as it can accurately check a variety of workouts while looking good.

It comes with a battery life that should last just under a month depending on how much you'll be using it, and there is lots of fitness tech built-in. There's no GPS, but it comes with a heart rate monitor and tracking tech for your daily step and workouts too.

Unlike previous versions of the Xiaomi Mi Band, this one comes with a color display for the first time. That allows you to install some vibrant watch faces and make your tracker look better than as if it just had a black and white screen.

It's not the most attractive fitness tracker you can buy, but it has a slimline design and it's light so you won't really notice you've got this on your wrist.

Read the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 review

(Image credit: Garmin)

5. Garmin Vivofit 4

A year-long battery with a screen

Compatibility: : iOS and Android | Display: Transflective 8-colour MIP | Thickness: 9.4mm | Battery: 1-year | Charging method: 2 x SR43 user-replaceable | IP rating: Swim-proof | Connectivity: Bluetooth

1 year battery life
Color screen
No GPS or heart rate
Uninspiring design

The key addition over the entry-level Vivofit 3 is the always-on, color display that’s visible in sunlight. This is remarkably achieved without sacrificing the year-long battery life of the stellar third edition. Basic stats like steps, distance, calories and sleep are covered off, while there’s also automatic activity detection thanks to the Move IQ system. 

Thanks to the Garmin Connect app you can also customize the display, while setting timers and alarms directly from the wrist. Best of all the Vivofit 4 it also 20 per cent cheaper than the Vivofit 3’s 2015 launch price. Of course you’ll miss out on premium features like heart rate tracking and GPS, but that’s to be expected at this price.

Read the Garmin Vivofit 4 review

Samsung Galaxy Fit e

(Image credit: Samsung)

8. Samsung Galaxy Fit e

The first from Samsung

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: Around a week | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Doesn't cost much
Accurate activity tracking
You'll need two apps
Battery life can vary

Samsung never used to make affordable fitness trackers, and considering the Galaxy Fit e is the company's first attempt it has ranked pretty well in this list.

You won't get GPS on this tracker, but it comes with a lot of other features you'll want including activity tracking, a water-resistant design and a strong battery life that should last a whole week.

There's a heart rate monitor and a variety of other fitness tracking features you'll want to make the most out of too. 

Read our Samsung Galaxy Fit e review

(Image credit: Garmin)

9. Garmin Vivosmart 3

A lot of smarts considering the cost

Compatibility: iOS and Android | Display: Black and white | Thickness: 9.8mm | Battery: 5 days | Charging method: Proprietary wired | IP rating: Water resistant | Connectivity: Bluetooth

Counts reps
Automatic activity tracking
Wake movement sensing isn't always great

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 may have since been launched, but that just makes the Vivosmart 3 suitable for our best cheap fitness tracker list as the price has dropped down - and continues to. 

It's not the most affordable activity tracking band on this list, but it's one of the best looking and it'll show all of your stats on its small display including your rep count and other exercises too.

There's no GPS on this tracker, so this is very much designed for the gym go-er rather than a runner plus the Garmin app is second to none offering you all of your stats in an easy to read format.

Read the full Garmin Vivosmart 3 review

(Image credit: Samsung)

10. Samsung Galaxy Fit

Not quite fit enough

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7-8 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Color screen with solid brightness
Good battery life
Bad distance tracking
No GPS or connected GPS

The Samsung Galaxy Fit isn’t as cheap or good value as the Samsung Galaxy Fit e, but it still scrapes into this list thanks to week-long battery life and a bright, colorful touchscreen.

The Samsung Galaxy Fit also includes a heart rate monitor, which is a fairly standard feature now even at the entry level, but still not guaranteed. It can track a range of activities, including running, swimming and cycling, and it’s smart enough to automatically start and pause tracking.

There’s sleep and stress tracking too – the latter of which isn’t quite a standard fitness tracker feature just yet. However, the Galaxy Fit is held back by the lack of even connected GPS, along with poor distance tracking and a fiddly strap.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Fit review