Best Budget Fitness Trackers and Pedometers

Best Budget Fitness Trackers and Pedometers

As more and more people are getting smart about their fitness habits, the accessories or devices to help them to keep a track of their progress are growing as well. Today, you have choices between simple and minimal pedometers and sophisticated and high-functioning fitness bands.

In this article, we explore the accuracy and utility of simple pedometers. We compare them with fitness bands and smartwatches and find out whether they are better at doing what they are meant to or not.

The primary use of a pedometer is to track the steps of a person by detecting the motion of their hands and hips. On the other hand, a fitness tracker can tell when a person is awake and when they’re asleep. A fitness tracker can perform other tasks like counting calories and keeping track of how many days one has exercised each week.

Ozo Fitness – SC 3D Digital Pedometer (Clip-on plus Lanyard)

If you are looking for a stand-alone pedometer that needs no connectivity to your phone or other smart devices for data sharing, SC 3D Digital Pedometer is right here for you. It does a quite good job of tracking your steps and distance along with a lot of other functions at a decent price point.

Features Ozo Fitness – SC 3D Digital Pedometer

  • The SC 3D pedometer comes with a clock built-in along with automatic reset features.
  • It records and saves the last 30 days of all of your tracking including steps, miles, and calories burnt.
  • There are no fancy phone or computer apps to complicate the whole process of focusing on fitness.
  • You get features like a daily step target bar, a simple and easy view screen. The screen can display up to 999,999 steps.
  • SC 3D pedometer comes with a single CR2032 battery included that can last for almost 365 days without recharging.
  • You can either use it as a clip-on pedometer or use a lanyard.

Specifications for SC 3D Digital Pedometer

  • Battery life – 365 days
  • Colors Available – Black, Gray, Pink, and Blue
  • Form factor – Clip-on or lanyard
  • Bluetooth – No

Maymoc 3D Clip-on Pedometer

Maymoc 3D Pedometer is an inexpensive and accurate pedometer that can help you track your basic fitness goals without much of the tech fuss. It is lightweight and can be clipped on the waist or worn around the neck with the included lanyard. You can also put it in your pocket or bag for accurate tracking of your steps and distances.

Features of Maymoc 3D Clip-on Pedometer

  • Maymoc 3D Pedometer uses a state-of-the-art and latest 3D Tri-Axis Sensor mechanism to track all of your daily fitness activities like steps (walking and running), exercise time, calories burned, and distance with supreme accuracy.
  • It can store the last 30 days of your daily records which will help you to keep a track of your progress. You will in turn stay motivated to achieve your planned fitness goal.
  • With the easy-to-follow manual, the Maymoc 3D Pedometer is easy to set up and use. There are operation videos available to guide you through the whole process.
  • Maymoc 3D pedometer comes with a large and clear display that is easy to read. There are additional helpful features are clock and step goals.
  • A 12-month warranty has been offered with a Maymoc 3D pedometer for excellent customer satisfaction.

Specifications for Maymoc 3D Pedometer

  • Battery Life – 1 year with a CR2032 Battery
  • Colors available – Blue and Black
  • Can be used as – Clip-on or with a lanyard
  • Bluetooth – No

Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitness Tracker

Fitbit Inspire 2 is an elegant fitness tracker from Fitbit which is quite easy to use and comes with a load of features for comprehensive health monitoring. This fitness band is lightweight and compact, which means you won’t be bothered much about it being on your wrist while you carry on with your fitness-focused lifestyle.

Features of Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitness Tracker

  • Fitbit Inspire 2 can efficiently track your step counts, heart rate, calories burned, and active minutes.
  • Fitbit Inspire 2 is more than capable of tracking your sleep status, all while keeping you up to date on text and call notifications.
  • You can also set silent alarms that will use gentle vibrations on your wrist to wake you up.
  • With Fitbit Inspire 2, you get a sleek design, and awesome features like goal setting and readiness score.
  • Fitbit Inspire 2 comes with complimentary app access which makes it an affordable pedometer that anyone can put to their use.
  • The battery life is amazing and can last for almost ten days and the fitness band comes with an easy-to-use charging cable.
  • The built-in pedometer can be used to record a wide range of workouts, including walks, swimming, and bike rides.

Specifications for Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitness Tracker

  • Style: Wristband
  • Battery Life: 10 Days
  • Water Resistant: Yes (Up to 164 Feet)
  • Heart Rate Tracking: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes

Fitbit Versa 2

How about a gorgeous smartwatch to count your steps and calories? Enter, Fitbit Versa 2, the fitness champion from Fitbit. Unlike pedometers and mundane fitness bands, Fitbit Versa 2 is a complete package that offers a wide range of features apart from step counting and distance recording.

Features of Fitbit Versa 2

  • Fitbit Versa 2 comes with a built-in pedometer which is one of the finest pedometers available in the market.
  • Fitbit Versa 2 is more than capable of keeping a detailed record of your steps and distance.
  • It can also efficiently track your heart rate, calories, active minutes, floors climbed, hourly activity, and sleep status.
  • You can easily sync Fitbit Versa 2 with other devices—something that many pedometers are not able to do.
  • Fitbit Versa 2 is quite smart when it comes to connecting this smartwatch to a phone for call and text notifications.
  • You can also connect it to Amazon Alexa to control your other smart home devices with the sound of your voice.
  • Additionally, you can download Spotify or Pandora playlists directly to your watch to listen to your favorite playlist while working out.

Specifications for Fitbit Versa 2

  • Style: Smartwatch
  • Battery Life: 6 Days
  • Water Resistant: Yes (Up to 164 Feet)
  • Heart Rate Tracking: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes

Garmin Vivosmart 4 Fitness Tracker

It is simply impossible to keep a Garmin product from any list related to fitness trackers and smartwatches. Out of many amazing Garmin products, Garmin Vivosmart 4 stands out because it is a sweet blend of compactness, and features, and the most important thing is the price point. While most of the premium Garmin smartwatches try to burn a hole in your wallet, Vivosmart 4 is a pocket-friendly smartwatch.

Features of Garmin Vivosmart 4 Fitness Tracker 

  • Garmin Vivosmart 4 looks gorgeous and is built with an ultra-slim design.
  • Garmin Vivosmart 4 can do everything from monitoring your heart rate, steps, and distance to analyzing your sleep status with minute details.
  • Garmin Vivosmart 4 takes a deeper look into the sleep status with advanced monitoring of your REM cycle and other vital stages of your sleep pattern.
  • It is efficiently capable of gauging your blood oxygen levels by its wrist-based PPG sensor.
  • The pedometer on Garmin Vivosmart 4 is amazing as it counts your steps and distances with the help of cutting-edge accelerometers built-in along with the onboard GPS
  • This pretty smartwatch also allows setting timers for your activity, pushing your running to the next level.
  • When you connect the Vivosmart 4 to your phone, the Vivosmart 4 provides vibration notifications for calls and texts, as well as GPS tracking to help see routes. The battery lasts up to one week.

Specifications for Garmin Vivosmart 4

  • Style: Smartwatch
  • Battery Life: 7 Days
  • Water Resistant: Yes (Up to 164 Feet)
  • Heart Rate Tracking: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes

CAT EYE Velo 7

CAT EYE Velo 7 is for the cyclist in you! If you are looking for a high-performing cycling tracker with a larger screen for greater readability, you are reading about the right device. Cat Eye Velo 7 is basically an entry-level computer that can perform 7 functions. The name says it all.

Features of CAT EYE Velo 7

  • The seven functions that this tiny entry-level computer performs is tracking and calculating –
    • Current Speed
    • Maximum Speed
    • Average Speed
    • Trip distance
    • Total Distance
    • Elapsed Time
    • Clock for time
  • CAT EYE’s Velo 7 Speedometer easily clips into the front of their bike.
  • You will find the installation process simple as it takes around ten minutes or less.
  • Along with 7 vital functions, CatEye Velo 7 can sense when you stop at a red light, thus offering unmatched accuracy.
  • The battery lasts up to a whopping three years.
  • So, once Velo 7 is installed, the device keeps going for a long time, keeping all the worry of replacing it aside.
  • Velo 7 comes with additional features like auto start and stop, a programmable odometer, and a pace arrow.
  • You can enter the size of your tire for better tracking of your cycling performance
  • You can use a FlexTight universal bracket to mount it on your bicycle.

Specifications for Cat Eye Velo 7

  • Style: Bike Computer
  • Battery Life : 3 Years
  • Water Resistant: Yes (No Standard Provided)
  • Heart Rate Tracking: No
  • Bluetooth: No

iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer

Here is another awesome and affordable pedometer that uses the accurate 3D tri-axis sensor to detect and count steps. With its unique carabiner design, you don’t need a lanyard or a clip.

Features of iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer

  • The iGank Simple Walking Pedometer is an affordable pedometer that is suitable for both people and pets
  • It uses the 3d tri-axis sensor feature to detect and count steps. This simply increases the accuracy of the device.
  • You can clip it onto your belt loop, put it in a backpack, or just carry the device. The accuracy won’t be compromised when it comes to tracking your steps and distances
  • The iGANK pedometer’s battery lasts up to an amazing 12 months without recharging.
  • You can reset the iGANK pedometer each day (or each walk) by pressing the button on the back of the device.
  • This inexpensive pedometer comes with a large display and is quite easy to use
  • You also get a 2-year guarantee on an iGANK pedometer.

Specifications for iGank Simple Walking Pedometer

  • Style: Clip-On (Carabiner)
  • Battery Life: 1 Year
  • Water Resistant: Not Listed
  • Heart Rate Tracking: No
  • Bluetooth: No

Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer (with Clip and Strap)

Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer is the amalgamation of simplicity and accuracy among the pedometers available in the market today. You can clip it onto your pants or to a strap of your sling bag, and this piece of beauty will count all your steps along with registering distance covered and calories burnt throughout the day. All of this comes at a low price which makes Realalt 3DTriSport more tempting.

Features of Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer

  • The internal accelerometer relies on the latest 3D Tri-Axis sensor tech for counting steps, distances, and burnt calories.
  • Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer comes with a 10-step error prevention failure that discards registering of random steps from the erroneous motion of your wrist.
  • Since the device is built around a minimalistic and simple design, you will remain focused on your fitness goal without the interference of a smartwatch or a smartphone.
  • The LCD display is great when it comes to readability and you can see all the info displayed in large texts on the screen.
  • There are three buttons provided on the right side that allows you to cycle through all the available tracking features. You can also set and erase your daily and activity goals as per your liking.
  • The setup process couldn’t be simpler. It will take around 10 minutes for the whole setup process to conclude. Make sure you have all the information handy before you begin with the setup process as the setup mode exits after 10 seconds of inactivity.
  • The device doesn’t need recharging for an insanely long period. The battery is capable of running for almost a year without any fallback.

Specifications for Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer

  • Battery Life – 365 days
  • Bluetooth – No
  • Can be used as – clip-on
  • Colors available- many

What is the most accurate clip-on pedometer?

Clip-on Pedometers are simple yet efficient devices for tracking your step counts and distance traveled. They are inexpensive, do not need charging for almost a year, and can be used all the time without any fuss over connecting them to a smartphone or some other smart device.

The first and foremost thing that is sought while purchasing a pedometer is its accuracy. The rest of the features like calorie tracking, memory log, etc come later. You can check the accuracy of your pedometer by clipping it onto your waistband. Make sure it is lined up directly below your armpit. Now, walk 100 or 200 steps taking normal strides and with natural arm swings. Count as you move and at the end of the walk cross-check the count with that on your pedometer. If your pedometer is accurate it should be close to what you have counted ( give and take five or ten steps).

Some of the most accurate clip-on pedometers rated highly and reviewed positively by users on online marketplaces are:

  • 3D TriSport Walking 3D Pedometer
  • Ozo Fitness CS1 Easy Pedometer
  • Omron HJ-321 Tri-Axis Alvita Pedometer
  • iGANK walking pedometer
  • 3DFitBud Simple Step Counter Walking 3D Pedometer

Which is more accurate Fitbit or a pedometer?

When it comes to accuracy, the rivalry between simple pedometers and high-functioning Fitbit devices is quite a trendy one. Pedometers have one job which is to count your steps. The rest of the features are just bonuses. On the other hand, Fitbit smart bands are loaded with multisport features to track a lot of statistics about your health like heart rate, SpO2, step counts, sleep analysis, etc.

In a study conducted back in 2014, the Omron and Yamax Pedometers were studied for their accuracy. The result was quite an eye-opener as the Omron Pedometer showed a high step count accuracy of 99.6 percent and the Yamax showed an accuracy of 99.8 percent at different speeds and inclinations.

In another study in 2017, Fitbit Charge was pitted against Omron HJ 303 and a couple of other inexpensive fitness trackers. In this study, While none of the two stood at the top of the list when it came to accuracy, Omron HJ 303 was much more accurate than Fitbit Charge. This was concerning because Fitbit Charge is much more expensive than Omron HJ 303 pedometer. Another important finding of the study was that “waist pedometers are great when it comes to the accuracy of counting steps that wrist pedometers”.

But, over the years the sensors and features of Fitbit devices have improved significantly. It uses a 3-axis accelerometer which is a cutting-edge tech when it comes to detecting motion and counting steps. And, it is as accurate as pedometers when it comes to accuracy. Besides, Fitbit devices are hyperfunctional devices and you would derive a multitude of advantages out of it which will render the small accuracy gap futile and useless.

Where is the best place to clip a pedometer?

The positions for all the pedometers are not equal as there is no universality regarding this. So, if your pedometer is not placed at the right spot, it will miss out on registering an accurate step count.

To count steps accurately with your pedometer, you need to hang it vertically from your waist, aligned in a straight line with your armpit and knee. You can clip it to the tiny pocket of your jeans just below your waistband. This is often a great place for your pedometer for accurate tracking.

Since, fitness trackers and pedometers use 3D tri-axis accelerometer sensors for detecting and counting steps, wearing it on the wrist can be a viable option if it comes with a strap. The arm swings help the 3D accelerometer to detect walking motion. But, if you erroneously sway your hand while doing some other activity, your wrist-based pedometer can register fake or error steps.

Some experts and fitness buffs advocate that the ankle is the correct position to wear a strap-based fitness tracker as the chance of counting the error step decreases and the accuracy of the tracking increases tremendously. You can purchase straps to accommodate your pedometer and wear it on your ankle.

But, the best location for a clip-on pedometer is without a doubt your hip or waistband.

Best Clip-on Fitness Trackers and Pedometers on the Market

After thorough research over the internet and scraping through dozen of sites, here is the list of top clip-on fitness trackers and pedometers that I have compiled.

  • Omron HJ 303, HJ 325-EB, HJ-321
  • 3D TriSport Walking 3D Pedometer
  • Fitbit Alta HR
  • Ozo Fitness CS1 Easy Pedometer
  • Garmin Running Dynamics Pod and Foot Pod
  • Omron HJ-321 Tri-Axis Alvita Pedometer
  • Misfit Shine 2
  • iGANK walking pedometer
  • 3DFitBud Simple Step Counter Walking 3D Pedometer
  • Fitbit Zip

Clip-On Fitness Trackers – things to know before buying

Clip-on pedometers are designed to do one job – count steps (and distance). Since Pedometers have limited purpose, they are inexpensive and there is no corner-cutting when it comes to the accuracy and quality of the sensor.

Another thing that makes the absolute favorite of fitness enthusiasts is their compactness and lightweightness. Some of them can be integrated with smart devices like smartphones or PC for analysis of data and trends to get a bigger picture of the status of your health.

There are some premium options for pedometers from Fitbit and Garmin that come with onboard GPS which increases the overall accuracy and utility of the pedometer. It will also guide you during your treks and hikes.

There are certain factors that you should take into consideration while looking for a clip-on pedometer. Here are those factors explained in a much more comprehensive way –

  • Accuracy

Accuracy is the first thing you should look for in a pedometer. You need to do your research well in order to find out which is the most accurate pedometer. The accuracy is often determined by the quality and type of sensor that is installed in the pedometer. If the quality of the sensor is uni-dimensional, then it is likely to be less accurate. If a modern 3D Tri-Axial sensor is installed on it, it is likely to have good accuracy.

  • Style

Pedometers can be worn in a few different ways like hooked to a lanyard around the neck, clipped onto the waistband or your hip, or as a watch on your wrist. The style that suits one best will depend on what they’re planning on using the pedometer for and how often they plan to use it.

  • Battery Life

Most of the simple pedometers come with great battery life ( almost a year). If you want something like Fitbit or Garmin, the battery life is about 10 days with optimum usage. It is up to you to decide what works for you.

  • Special Features

Some pedometers only include the basics, such as tracking steps, activity time, and distance. But if you want to work your way to some higher-tech options; they may find special features like all-day heart rate tracking, SpO2 sensor, body battery monitoring, sleep analysis, etc.

Frequently Asked Question

Do Pedometers Work On Treadmills?

Yes, Pedometers work seamlessly on treadmills. There is no rocket science with that. The function of the pedometer is to count steps based on the side-by-side tilt of your body when you move. Once the pedometer senses that it will start counting your steps, regardless of the equipment or terrain.
In fact, a pedometer like 3D TriSport Walking 3D Pedometer has been praised by its users as one of the best pedometers to work on treadmills. Studies have suggested that these inexpensive pedometers are great at counting steps on a treadmill compared to a premium fitness band or smartwatch.
It is all because of the location where the pedometer is worn. The hip is a much better location for a step-counting device than the wrist.

How accurate pedometers are, and can I put them in my pocket?

Pedometers are robust when it comes to counting steps. You can put it in your pocket or in your bag and it will still count steps. The accuracy might be compromised compared to its best position (hip or waist). As has been shown by a new study, some pedometers may be less accurate in counting steps when they are kept in a pocket or in a bag. This is more likely to happen when the user is moving at a faster or slower speed compared to his/her usual or normal gait.
The study concluded that the pedometers which were placed on the waist, arm, and chest were in the accuracy bracket of 5 percent error. But the accuracy deviated to 7.3 percent for the ones that were put in a purse and 7.7 percent for those pedometers which were in the pocket.
If you are stretched between whether to buy a pedometer or something premium like a Fitbit or Garmin fitness tracker, you should take your time and analyze your need. If you want to purely count steps and calories and don’t like to have a source of digital distraction on your wrist all the time, a pedometer is a right choice for you. It is cheap, hassle-free, and evidently much more accurate when placed in the right spot.
But, if you are more of a social guy or girl and want all those fancy features with all the smart sensors, you can purchase Fitbit or Garmin. All of these decisions depend on your need. You shouldn’t simply purchase something as expensive as Fitbit device because someone you know has one.