4 Top Budget Fitness Trackers to Get You Motivated

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Aiming to actually keep up an exercise regimen this summer? A fitness tracker can do more than simply show how many steps you've taken or calories you've burned. It can provide motivation. According to reviews of even the most basic fitness trackers, users find that simply wearing the device pushes them to move a little more -- take the stairs, walk the dog, or hit the gym. High-end activity trackers and smartwatches can costs hundreds of dollars, but Cheapism.com has homed in on four top fitness trackers for less than $50. Each one shows progress toward daily goals and wirelessly syncs with a mobile app to provide a more in-depth and long-term view of activity.


The Fitbit Zip is the budget model from the fitness-tracking specialists at Fitbit. Available in several colors, the device clips onto clothing or sits in a pocket. A small screen displays basic stats. The Zip syncs with iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices via the Fitbit app. Users can also wirelessly sync their data to a computer with an included USB dongle and log in to Fitbit's online dashboard. The software is the biggest draw, according to online reviews. It's the same interface used across Fitbit's entire line of devices, which cost up to $250. Users can log meals, specify workout activities, and get a more complete look at their stats.


The LifeTrak Move C300 is worn on the wrist and doubles as a watch. The major selling points for this device: a heart rate monitor, rarely seen at such a low price point, and a waterproof design. Factoring in heart rate can greatly improve the accuracy of calorie counts compared with devices that depend on age, sex, and weight to make an estimate. The Move C300 syncs with iOS and Android apps, and the screen is large enough that users say they can easily see the time and date, their heart rate, and progress toward daily goals with only a glance.


The Misfit Flash follows the popular Misfit Shine with a similarly stylish design and a lower price. The Flash is a small disc in a choice of seven colors. It can be worn on a wristband like a watch or in a clip-on holder, or simply placed in a pocket. Reviewers appreciate that it's waterproof and includes sleep tracking, which is automatically activated. A circle of LED lights display progress throughout the day; for detailed stats, the tracker must be synced to an iOS or Android mobile device.


The Jawbone Up Move is another versatile device that can be slipped into a wristband or a clip or put in a pocket. The Up Move is Jawbone's most basic tracker -- it isn't waterproof and it doesn't have a screen, instead displaying progress with a series of LED lights. In spite of the device's limitations, reviewers have high praise for the iOS and Android app. Its Smart Coach feature gives personalized advice based on activities and even diet (for users who import their meals). The Up Move also tracks how long and how well the wearer sleeps.