There are now so many great fitness trackers on the market that choosing the best one can be mind-bogglingly difficult.
And it's no longer just a case of Fitbit v Jawbone. The right activity tracker for you will be based on your individual needs; whether that's step counting, sleep tracking or 24/7 heart rate tracking. There's something for everyone.
Essential reading: Best smartwatch round-up
The new tech and sensors on the latest bands blur the lines even further. From continuous heart rate monitoring like the tech that's found on the Fitbit Charge HR to smartwatch style notifications, there are a dizzying array of features to choose from.
We've completely reworked our round up of the best fitness trackers and added a new at-a-glance feature list to try and make it easier to spot the right band for you.
Stop press… new fitness trackers inbound
Garmin Vivoactive HR
The Garmin Vivoactive was a bit of a surprise hit last year, and now the GPS-packing sporty smartwatch is back with a slimmer design, a barometric altimeter to track elevation and the same optical heart rate monitor tech packed into the Vivosmart HR and Forerunner 235 running watch.
Read this: Garmin Vivoactive HR first look
The recently unveiled Alta is as basic a tracker as you're likely to find, but the focus here is on customisation and style. Steps, sleep and active time are the order of the day, but you won't get the heart rate data which powers the more advanced data of more powerful Fitbits.
Essential reading: Fitbit Alta review
Like the Alta, the Misfit Ray is landing in spring 2016 and it's all about the new, modular design. This sleek tubular tracker can measure steps and sleep and can be paired with a host of equally stylish accessories. It's the first device launched since Fossil snapped up Misfit, so we're expecting big things.
Early verdict: Misfit Ray first impressions
Best overall fitness tracker
The Fitbit Blaze is the company's best looking fitness tracker by a country mile, and while it's not bringing anything groundbreaking to the party, it's proof that Fitbit has not lost touch with what makes a good fitness tracker.
The new colour display is a step up from the Surge's monochrome affair, the software is easy for beginners to get to grips with and it still delivers good all-round activity tracking stats.
Hardcore fitness lovers will be disappointed by the lack of GPS or a heart rate monitor that's built for intensive training. But if you're looking for something that does what a fitness tracker should do best, it deserves to be top of the pile.
Feature check: Step tracking, sleep monitoring, 24/7 heart rate monitoring.
Read our comprehensive Fitbit Blaze review.
Best for notifications
Garmin Vivosmart HR
Given the company has now started to incorporate optical technology into its running watches, a heart rate monitoring fitness tracker from Garmin was an inevitability. Add to the bpm metrics a pretty nifty notification feature set and you can understand why we're so enamoured with the latest Vivosmart, which does a sterling job at a decent price.
Accurate steps and sleep, resting heart rate and decent notifications all wrapped up into a comprehensive (and complex) app make it a top alternative to the Fitbit Charge HR.
Feature check: Step and sleep tracking, 24/7 heart rate, smart notifications.
Take a look out our full Garmin Vivosmart HR review.
Best for simplicity
Previously our number one fitness tracker, we still think the UP2 is a great option, but as its rivals start to add more cutting-edge features it's found itself knocked off the top spot.
For under $100, it's still one of the best looking trackers that delivers accurate data and pretty much nails the basics. The UP software is extremely easy to use as well, but it's the data insights that really set it apart from the competition.
We'd still recommend this model over the UP3 because, for the money, it offers much better value than its more advanced bigger brother.
Feature check: Step tracking, sleep monitoring, smart alarm.
Think this is the one for you? Read our full Jawbone UP2 review.
Best for accuracy
Misfit Shine 2
When the Misfit launched the Shine back in 2012, it proved that you can count your steps from a fitness tracker that didn't look like an ugly piece of plastic around your wrist.
The Shine 2 remains faithful to those features and now adds a redesigned action clip, smartphone notifications and vibration alerts. Also, the battery life pretty much kicks the ass of any of the trackers on this page.
Where it really impresses though is data accuracy. When we put the Shine 2 up against a GPS running watch recently, there was 0.1km difference in the readings. If reliable data is your priority, then this is the one to go for.
Feature check: Step tracking, sleep monitoring, smartphone notifications, waterproof for swim tracking.
Sold on the Shine 2? Check out our full Misfit Shine 2 review.
Best for heart rate monitoring
Fitbit Charge HR
By using continuous heart rate monitoring the
Fitbit Charge HR offers more accurate feedback on your activity and overall health than many of its rivals. The OLED screen will show off your daily stats, as well as caller ID
from your smartphone, and the app is brilliant for beginners.
Feature check: Step tracking, sleep monitoring, all-day heart rate tracking, stopwatch mode for workouts, resting heart rate tracked over time.
Read our full Fitbit Charge HR review.
Best for sleep tracking
We talked and Jawbone listened. After receiving mediocre reviews for the Jawbone UP3, the San Francisco company went live with new firmware addressing a number of the key concerns – and automatic sleep tracking is now on offer. That's great news because the UP3 is incredibly in-depth when it comes to tracking your ZZZs. By monitoring a user's bpm, respiration rate, body temperature and galvanic skin response, it can give you your REM, light and deep sleep stats.
Feature check: Heart rate (resting and passive), steps, sleep.
Take a look at our revised Jawbone UP3 review.
Best for ecosystem
Under Armour Band
The Under Armour Band didn't exactly blow us away in our recent review, but it shows promise. Yes the screen is terrible and it didn't play nicely with its own UA HealthBox heart rate accessory, but there were upsides. The UA Record app is fantastic, and probably the best place to start recording your health data. If you're willing to put up with a mediocre experience today, you'll reap the benefits in the future.
Feature check: Optical 24/7 heart rate, steps, sleep, workout tracking.
Read our full Under Armour Band review.
Best for running
Microsoft Band 2
Design is what let down the previous Microsoft Band – and while the new device has benefited from a substantial rethink, it's still not the slickest or most comfortable activity tracker to wear. But the spec sheet is streets ahead of most of the activity band brigade, and it's running with GPS connectivity that impresses the most. We tested the Band 2 over several runs, against dedicated GPS running watches, and the biggest discrepancy was 190m on a 10km run.
Feature check: Accurate run tracking, steps, sleep, GPS sports tracking, 24/7 heart rate, golf, notifications.
Read our in-depth Microsoft Band 2 review.
Best for swimming
Moov Now is a small, round element that you clip into a strap to wear around your leg and pair with a smartphone. The aim of the game is advanced sports training plans, at which it excels, with actionable running, swimming and cycling data aimed at making you better at the sports you love.
The good news is that Moov Now – the second generation product – also works as a daily step and sleep tracker, making it a decent activity band when you're not busting out interval times.
Feature check: Steps, sleep, advanced sports coaching, run/bike tracking.
Want the full verdict? Then read our Moov Now review.
Best for a tight budget
While the Jawbone UP Move we've highlighted further down is a superb budget fitness band, so is its rival the Misfit Flash. Packing the exact same tech as the more expensive Misfit Shine/Swarovski Shine, the plastic Flash tracks steps, sleep and swims extraordinarily well and comes in a vibrant array of colours to suit all tastes.
Feature check: Steps, sleep, long battery life, swim-proof.
Read our Misfit Flash review.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse
Now available outside of China, the Mi Band Pulse is cheap and cheerful, yet somehow manages to pack heart rate monitoring onto the wrist for an astonishing price. Xiaomi has shifted over a million of its bands in China alone, possibly making this the ultimate fitness tracker.
Feature check: HR tracking, steps, sleep, smart alarms, incoming call alerts.
Here's our verdict: Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse review.
Best for multisports
This everyday sports wearable blends fitness and sports features with reliable notifications in a reasonably priced package. It's not exactly a looker, but don't let that put you off – the Vivoactive uses GPS to accurately track running, cycling and swimming with live pace and distances. It's not perfect – the screen is dull and the sleep tracking is awful – but as an easy to live with sports companion with access to Garmin Connect, this is a brilliant buy.
Feature check: Daily steps, GPS run/bike/golf tracking, notifications.
Check out our full Garmin Vivoactive review.
Best for bling
Misfit Swarovski Shine
A new addition from CES 2015, the Swarovski Shine could be the ultimate ladies' fitness tracker. Hidden behind that Swarovski crystal are all the tracking smarts you could ask for, and there's also a range of accessories from bracelets to necklaces. The tracker comes with a sports strap as standard to track running, cycling and swimming. Later in the year we'll see a solar powered version, offering infinite battery life, plus the purple colour shown above.
Feature check: Steps, sleep and calories.
Find out what it's like to live with in our Swarovski Shine review.
Best for style
Mondaine Helvetica No.1 Smart
Mondaine watches are gorgeous and the MotionX tech packed inside the company's first connected timepiece hasn't altered that fact. It's simply stunning, easily the best-looking piece of wrist-based wearable tech that we've come across. It could have fallen flat on its face if the fitness tracking aspects weren't up to scratch but Mondaine avoided that embarrassment by enlisting the Silicon Valley experts and, while it's expensive, you're paying for solid Swiss-made quality.
Feature check: Steps, sleep, long battery life.
Find out what it's like to live with in our Mondaine smartwatch review.
Slightly cheaper is a double header of Withings tech. The Withings Activité is the jewel in the wearable crown, packing step counting, distance checking and sleep tracking into a Swiss-made analogue watch that frankly looks glorious. It even comes with a sports strap for the pool, making it as adept for workouts as it is in the boardroom.
A word to the wise: the Withings Activité Steel has just been released, which brings a premium build at a lower price. Well worth considering.
Feature check: Steps, sleep, calories, alarm.
Check out our definitive Withings Activité review.
Withings Activité Pop
If you don't fancy splashing out in excess of three hundred notes for a tracker, the Withings Activité Pop could be the answer to your prayers. Packing the same smarts as its big brother, plastic replaces metal and China replaces Switzerland for this bargain tracker that will turn heads for all the right reasons.
Feature check: Step counting, sleep tracking.
Find out the Wareable verdict in our Withings Activité Pop review.
Best clip-on activity tracker
Jawbone UP Move
Not everyone wants to wear a tracker on their wrist, which is where the Jawbone UP Move comes into its own. Steps and sleep are catered for, and a tap of the button will set it into a dedicated tracking mode, which you can later assign to a dizzying list of sports from running to yoga and Zumba.
Feature check: Steps, sleep, basic sports tracking.
Read all about it in our full Jawbone UP Move review.