SOLVED: A Complete Comparison of Fitness Tracking Bands Under $175

We were interested in sourcing a few fitness tracking bands for staff Christmas presents, corporate client give-aways and our personal use.  Nearly all of our staff have used some sort of tracker in the past so we had some considerable experience with them but no one had bought a new one in the last two years.  Much has changed; most notably Chinese products and lower prices.

After watching and reading a few dozen reviews we decided that to the ONLY way to make an informed decision was to create our usual product evaluation grid.

What Is The Best Fitness Tracker of 2020?

As detailed as this comparison is there are still details for you to think about.  For instance, nearly all of these trackers come with different color bands, some have super cool charging ports and some of them show the edges of their screens more than others.

honor usb charge

Also, “best” for me is not “best” for you.  The point of this article is to provide you with all of the basic specification about these devices so you can then perform your own educated search on the two or three that fit your requirements.

Our staff are still arguing their aesthetic preferences but it is clear that the Amazfit Band 5 which has Alexa Voice Assistant is one heck of a competitor:

“…It feels like it’s pretty much a no brainer as to which budget band you should be going for…

The Amazfit has the extra SpO2 sensor and Amazon Alexa and promises a day more in battery life than the Mi Band 5. There’s doesn’t seem to be a huge reason to spend just a little less on the Mi Band, when just spending a little more will get you some pretty big features…”  SOURCE

 

How To Evaluate Fitness Trackers

We have 3 grids to show you.  Each one is has a list of features and competitors that gets reduced as you scroll down the page.

NOTE 1: You can copy/paste these fitness tracker feature comparisons into Excel if you want to manipulate them yourself

 

Manufacturer Amazfit Google Google Google Honor Honor Samsung Samsung Samsung Samsung Xiaomi
Model  Band 5 Fitbit Charge 4 Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitbit Inspire HR Band 5 Band 5i Watch Active2 Galaxy Fit Galaxy Fit-e Galaxy Fit2 Mi Band 5
USD Price  $50  $170  $130  $130  $55  $45  $300  $100  $70  $131  $55
Weight 12g 30g 30g 20g 23g 24g 42g 23g 15g 21g 12g
Screen Size 1.1″ 1.0″ 1.4″ 1.0″ .95″ .96″ 1.4″ .95″ .74″ 1.1″ 1.1″
Color Display Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Real Life Charge 9 Days 7 Days 6 Days 4 Days 6 Days 6 Days 2 Days 7 Days 4 Days 3 Days 10 Days
Heart Rate Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ECG No Yes No No Maybe Maybe Yes No Maybe Maybe No
SPO2  (Blood O2) Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No No
Perspiration Monitor No No No No No No Yes No No No No
Accelerometer (Stairs) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Elevation Tracking Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Pace Tracking Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sleep Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Activity Detection Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Step Count Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Distance Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
GPS – Route Tracking No Yes No No No No Yes No No No No
Calories Burned Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Swim Stroke Count Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Womens Health Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes No Yes
Voice Controls Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No
Camera Controls Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Phone Controls No No No No No No Yes No No No No
Add on Apps Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
IP68 Water & Dust Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ATM 50 Water Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cellular No No No No No No Option No No No No
NFC
(Payments)
No Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes
Compass No No No No No No Yes No No No No
Replaceable Band Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No No Yes
Apple iOS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Google Android Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Windows No Yes No No No Yes No No No No No
Comments Alexa Round

Why Include the Samsung Watch Active 2?

As you can see we did include two high end devices, the Samsung Active Watch 2 and the Google Fitbit Charge 4.

The Active Watch2 really does not fit because in addition to it being $300 it is the only fitness tracker with a round watch-like screen. We included it to give you (and us!) some sense of what the next category up in pricing would buy us and while the Watch 2 was nice it really was just too expensive for us to seriously consider.

How To Simplify The Evaluation?

To reduce clutter, we removed:

  1. the Samsung Active Watch 2 because it was too expensive
  2. the FitBit Charge 4 because without a color screen and the ability to control the phone, music…, it could not justify the price either
  3. All of the feature rows did not provide a difference between products (ie. all of them have a step counter and work with iOS and Android)

Simplified Smart Band Fitness Tracker Evaluation Grid:

Those three simplifications got us down to this grid which was much easier to understand.

Manufacturer Amazfit Google Google Honor Honor Samsung Samsung Samsung Xiaomi
Model – Click Link for Review Band 5 Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitbit Inspire HR Band 5 Band 5i Galaxy Fit Galaxy Fit-e Galaxy Fit2 Mi Band 5
USD Price  $ 50  $ 130  $ 130  $ 55  $ 45  $ 100  $ 70  $ 131  $ 55
Weight 12g 30g 20g 23g 24g 23g 15g 21g 12g
Screen Size 1.1″ 1.4″ 1.0″ .95″ .96″ .95″ .74″ 1.1″ 1.1″
Color Display Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Real Life Charge 9 Days 6 Days 4 Days 6 Days 6 Days 7 Days 4 Days 3 Days 10 Days
ECG No No No Maybe Maybe No Maybe Maybe No
SPO2 – Blood O2 Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No
Elevation Tracking Yes No No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Pace Tracking Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Activity Detection Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Swim stroke Count Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Womens’ Health Tracking Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes
Voice Controls Yes No No No No No No No No
Camera Controls Yes No No No No Yes Yes No Yes
Add on Apps Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes

From that we ruled out:

  1. The FitBits because they did not have a color display
  2. The Samsung Fit-2 and Fit-e because their battery life was too short
  3. The Screen Size and Color Display rows because they are all about 1″ colour displays
  4. The Swim Stroke Count, Pace Tracking and ECG because all of the remaining devices had the same entries

A Very Simplified Fitness Tracker Feature Comparison Grid:

All of those changes got us to this much more manageable list.

Click to expand the these product photos

Manufacturer Amazfit Honor Honor Samsung Xiaomi
Model – Click Link for Review Band 5 Band 5 Band 5i Galaxy Fit Mi Band 5
USD Price  $ 50  $ 55  $ 45  $ 100  $ 55
Weight 12g 23g 24g 23g 12g
Real Life Charge 9 Days 6 Days 6 Days 7 Days 10 Days
SPO2 – Blood O2 Yes Yes Yes No No
Elevation Tracking Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Auto Activity Detection Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Womens Health Tracking Yes No No Yes Yes
Voice Controls Yes No No No No
Camera Controls Yes No No Yes Yes
Add on Apps Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

What Did We Buy?

As we said at the start of this article, our staff are still banging it out but I do think we are going to give the Amazfit Band 5 a try.

Amazfit Band 5

We found the Band 5 online at B&H for just CDN$58 and USD$45 .  We ordered one to test and found that a B&H had put these on sale for just USD $35 so we asked them for an adjustment and without any hassle, the refunded us $10.  Good on B&H!

If you decided to buy a fitness tracking band online, do not forget to check the seller with the help of Spokeo reverse phone lookup to avoid online shopping scam.

Note that none of the companies or brands listed here have paid us, provided any products or given us any other incentives; this is an honest evaluation.

 

Questions or Comments?