Top Fitness Trackers Under $50 to Get You Motivated

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A fitness tracker can do more than simply show how many steps you've taken or calories you've burned. With swimsuit weather on the way, it can spur you to exercise more intensely and more often. In online reviews, users say simply wearing one of these devices motivates them to get moving -- take the stairs, walk the dog, or hit the gym. High-end activity trackers and smartwatches cost hundreds of dollars, but has homed in on four top fitness trackers under $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.


The Fitbit Zip is the entry-level model from the popular fitness-tracking brand. Available in several colors, the device clips on to 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 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 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 site also offers the opportunity to join activity groups and issue challenges to friends and family. Fitbit sends weekly email progress reports and awards badges for various fitness milestones.


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 Misfit Link app can turn this simple fitness-tracking device into a remote control for a phone's camera and music, as well as a slide show tool.


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. Pair it with the Up Coffee app to monitor how much sleep those daily Macchiatos are costing.