Fitness tracker tests reveal best and worst everFind out what makes the best, and worst, device

07 November 2016

fitness trackers batch

The Samsung Gear S2 was tested in our latest batch of fitness trackers.

Our latest round of fitness tracker testing has revealed a device that scores an impressive 71%, plus one with a disappointing 47%.

We revamped our fitness tracker test programme in the summer of 2016, and the latest batch of four devices to go through our new and improved testing included our highest-performing Which? Best Buy fitness tracker yet, with a score of 71%.

Our tough tests have proved that not all devices are up to scratch, though. Common issues are inaccurate activity tracking, uncomfortable bands and difficult-to-use menus or apps. One of the devices we've just tested scored just 47% - the lowest of any fitness tracker in our tests. It overstated calorie burn by more than 40% - meaning you could mistakenly think you’ve burnt enough calories for that extra snack – and understated distance travelled by around 30%.

The very best fitness trackers, on the other hand, will be a breeze to use and will accurately track your activity. They'll be discreet and comfortable to wear too. The two Best Buy fitness trackers from the latest batch were impressively accurate, and managed to track steps taken during walking and running without error.

Just want to see the best devices from our tests? Head over to our Best Buy fitness trackers.

The new fitness tracker test programme

As part of our ongoing aim to ensure testing reflects how people actually use their devices, we honed our fitness tracker testing in the summer of 2016. We test every fitness tracker in a range of different scenarios to find out how they perform – from day-to-day use as well as both in and out of the lab. 

Our test participants walk on a calibrated treadmill at 4.8km/h for 10 minutes and run at 9-10km/h for 10 minutes, as well as going through a routine of daily tasks, including unloading a dishwasher and walking while carrying shopping. This means we can compare how well each fitness tracker logs steps taken and distance travelled.

You can trust that a Best Buy fitness tracker will provide accurate activity data, be comfortable to wear and have useful features, such as heart-rate monitoring or smart notifications. The worst will give wildly over- or understated data, have uncomfortable wristbands and lack features that make them useful.

Just in: new fitness tracker reviews

To see full reviews of the latest models from our tests, click on the individual links below:

(Prices correct at 1 November 2016.)

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