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Fitness trackers: £30 Nuband and £470 Garmin reviewed – should you spend more?

We've uncovered a new Best Buy in a batch of wearables for every budget - including Huawei, Misfit and Suunto

The latest set of wearables to hit our test labs includes models from Huawei, Garmin and Misfit, and spans a range of prices. The cheapest model on test costs just £30, while the most expensive is nearly £500. How do they compare?

We know you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get an accurate activity tracker, and our cheapest ever Best Buy will set you back around £30. But what will you get if you spend more? Here we take a look at the latest models on test – read on to find out what they can do.

Fitness watch and activity tracker Best Buys – see which models impressed in our tests

Garmin Forerunner 935

At the top of the Forerunner range is the Garmin Forerunner 935. At £470, it’s one of the most expensive fitness watches we’ve tested. It’s advertised as a running and triathlon watch, but it can also track such diverse pursuits as trail running, skiing and more. There’s a heart-rate monitor for tracking your heart-training zones, and it will even give you recommendations for your recovery after exercise.

So does money buy you accuracy? You can find out by reading our full Garmin Forerunner 935 review.

Garmin Vivomove HR

It looks like a traditional watch, but the Garmin Vivomove HR has a few extra features hiding under the stylish round bezel that make it a hybrid smartwatch. The small OLED touchscreen lets you view activity-tracking metrics and a smattering of smart notifications. Cleverly, the clock hands move out of the way of the screen when you use it.

At £170, does it have the smarts? Head over to the Garmin Vivomove HR review to find out if it’s a case of style over substance.

Huawei Band 2 Pro

For £80, this tracker has an impressive list of features. Built-in GPS will let you track your run without needing to lug your smartphone along for the journey, and the heart-rate monitor could help you track improvements in your health and fitness over time. Huawei claims you’ll get 21 days of battery life per charge, too.

Could this be the mid-price activity tracker for you? Read our full Huawei Band 2 Pro review to find out.

Misfit Vapor

Misfit claims the Vapor combines smart features with fitness tracking, including a heart-rate monitor. But does it deliver, or is it just blowing smoke? You can find out more about this smartwatch by reading our full Misfit Vapor review.

Nuband Active+

The Nuband Active+ activity tracker costs just £30, and you can often find it on offer for even less. It doesn’t have any advanced fitness features, such as built-in GPS or a heart-rate monitor, but it can track steps, distance and calories burned.

We know this basic activity tracker is cheap, but is it cheerful? Click the link to see how the Nuband Active+ fared in our tough accuracy testing.

Suunto Spartan Wrist Trainer HR

The Spartan Trainer Wrist HR fitness watch has activity tracking, built-in GPS and a heart-rate monitor. It’s competitively price for a fitness watch, particularly when compared with high-end Garmin devices, but is it any good?

We put it through our rigorous fitness testing, which includes swimming and a woodland run. Dive in to our full Suunto Spartan Wrist Trainer HR review to find out if this is your new fitness watch.

What do you get if you spend more?

Our tests have proved that price is no indicator of accuracy, and we’ve found some great cheap Best Buy devices as well as expensive Don’t Buy duds.

Spending a little more generally means you’ll get a greater number of features, such as built-in GPS or a heart-rate monitor, plus a smattering of smart functionality.

Spend a lot more, and you should get an advanced device that’s packed with sensors and able to track a multitude of exercise and sports. Some high-end models will let you create training plans, and even suggest ways to improve your performance or get the most from your recovery. A high price and impressive specifications are no guarantee of quality, though, so make sure you read our reviews before shelling out.

If you want to find out more about how much to spend, read our guide on how to buy the best fitness watch or activity tracker.

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