“If you are looking for the best fitness tracker for teens, then here is the handpicked list of activity trackers for tweens in 2021. “
The best fitness trackers for teens are the ones that help them to fight against the growing obesity rates in the US because it’s not just an issue adults are facing these days. In fact, obesity is affecting almost 20% of 2- 19-year-olds currently, according to the CDC.
Consequently, activity guidelines suggest that teenagers should get around 60 minutes of cardio every day. In particular, it’s good to get them involved in sports like football, basketball, or even dancing with the family to your favorite tunes! As a result, their heart gets a good workout.
Now, we know kids aren’t always keen on physical activity because, let’s be honest, technology is so enthralling it’s hard to rip them away from their screens.
So, how can you help your teenagers be more active? Simply invest in a fitness tracker because this device will help them learn about their body and fitness levels and encourage them to reach activity goals.
Altogether, this will significantly decrease their risk of health problems in their adult life. What’s more, if you too have a fitness tracker, you can motivate them further by taking the journey together!
So, here we have suggested some of the best fitness trackers for teens. A point to make here is that they are all compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones.
7 Best Fitness Tracker for Teens in 2021
- Fitbit Inspire 2
- Fitbit Luxe
- Garmin Lily
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Mi Band 6
- Mi Smart Band 5
- Letscom Fitness Tracker
Fitbit is famously known for its reliable and accurate fitness trackers. Currently, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is one of the more recent devices to hit the market in 2020 (August, to be exact). It’s an entry-level tracker, meaning it’s a perfect device for a teen as it’s geared toward those who are at the start of their fitness and health journey.
Inspire versus Inspire 2
In terms of the differences to the first generation, it’s more evolution than a full remake. For example, it has an improved design and new features to encourage new-to-fitness users to make healthier choices. Unfortunately, there’s no GPS, which can be an additional helpful feature for a parent with younger children.
The Inspire 2 isn’t much different from the Inspire HR, and they both come with either a white, black, or rose band. Compared to the predecessor, it’s slimmer, but not significantly. Also, Fitbit removed the physical button on the side of the reasonably small 0.7inch PMOLED touchscreen display.
Firstly, Inspire 2 was the first in the range to offer Active Minute Zones, a new feature that follows health guidelines for exercise. Meaning, it’ll help you reach goals each week, get a certain number of steps in, or hit given heart rate zones. Although this might be a little too in-depth for your younger children, it might get your older kids interested in how their bodies work. But you do get a year of free Fitbit Premium which opens up a range of activities, including instructor-guided ones, which may be useful. What’s more, there are meditation and breathing sessions to help them relax as well as hit their active targets.
Sensors and features
Additionally, there’s sleep tracking which will give you a sleep score to indicate the quality. As a parent, it’s handy to know if your teens have been staying up until the early hours, which might explain why they’re so lethargic!
Also, the Inspire 2 lacks a SpO2 sensor, so you can’t track blood oxygen levels. But, the lack of sensors and GPS mean you get a great battery life of up to 10 days, which is excellent for any Fitbit.
However, if the lack of GPS is a deal-breaker for you, don’t worry and keep reading.
Fitbit’s new watch is an affordable exercise tracker with smart technology. Fitbit has launched the Fitbit Luxe, a new slimline exercise tracker featuring a stainless-steel body, an AMOLED display, and a SpO2 sensor.
Recently photos of the Luxe, the new fitness tracker, leaked online, giving us our first look. In terms of style, it’s similar to last year’s Fitbit Inspire 2, with a similar narrow monitor and straight lines. Unlike the Inspire 2, the Luxe’s case is made of smart stainless steel rather than polymer, lending it a more upscale look, whereas the tracker’s frame is smaller for a more convenient fit.
Historically, fitness trackers and sports watches have become very useful, but we see an increasing range that is both trendy and functional.
This year, Garmin introduced the slim Garmin Lily, and Polar recently launched the Polar Ignite 2, which features regular silicone and Swarovski crystal-encrusted bands.
Fitbit has now followed suit. The standard version of Luxe features a silicone necklace. Still, a limited edition features a soft gold-colored connection bracelet from jeweler Gorjana, as well as other metals and woven bands.
The Fitbit Luxe, like the Versa 2, Versa 3, and Sense, will feature an AMOLED display, which can have more battery power than the PMOLED display on the Inspire 2. According to Fitbit, the Luxe would last approximately five days between charges.
In terms of exercise tracking, the Luxe will measure the pulse rate, respiratory rate, and sleep – and, unlike the Inspire 2, it will also have a SpO2 tracker and skin temperature monitoring in a potential app upgrade.
The tracker features over 20 fitness styles and Fitbit’s Smart Track feature, which automatically begins monitoring exercise if you fail to trigger it manually.
The Luxe receives call, text, and smartphone notifications but lacks an onboard GPS receiver; instead, the Luxe utilizes the GPS receiver on your phone to chart runs, hikes, and bike rides. It’s a decent system, but you can’t leave your phone at home during training sessions, in our experience.
The Fitbit Luxe will retail for different prices depending on which version you get. Don’t forget the exclusive edition of the Gorjana connection band in a soft cold color. This price puts it precisely between the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Versa 3.
It costs marginally less than the Garmin Lily, which has a comparable specification, launched earlier this year.
The Lily is a smartwatch targeted at women. It has a slim appearance, an appealing face, and a thinner band than any previous Garmin. Sadly, despite promoting the company’s female-focused features, it lacks certain core tools that we’d like to see on a modern watch at this price point.
Menstrual monitoring is present. More you can send an emergency response to a friend easily by continuously tapping the touchscreen. It’s a shame, though, that the Lily lacks onboard GPS, which has been a feature of Garmin’s range since their conception. There is still no NFC, meaning you can’t use Garmin Pay, which is a big letdown for a watch made for daily use.
The Lily believes you’ll always be with your smartphone; you can use it to control music.
Raising your wrist unlocks the display, but it does not always function as intended. You can change the watch’s motion response, but keep in mind that this will reduce battery life.
The Lily is a women’s smartwatch, but Garmin didn’t just ‘pink it and shrink it.’ It has also produced a whole new look.
The Lily Classic, which has an Italian leather wristband, and the Lily Sport, which has a silicone bracelet similar to those used on smartwatches and fitness trackers, are also available. Both come in three colors (neutrals, soft purples, and black), and the bands can be replaced.
The thickness of the band is one of the most noticeable variations between the Lily and a traditional exercise tracker. It’s much shorter (only 14mm) and narrower (designed for 110-175mm). Longer bands are available. And at night, it’s so cozy that you forget you’re wearing it.
The device has a good range of well-designed faces to choose from, but we’d like to see an analog alternative, mainly because more can’t be downloaded from Garmin Connect IQ.
Sporting watches, such as the Garmin Instinct and Polar Grit pair, are chunky and “manly,” but not the Lily. It is, instead, a feature-light smartwatch. The Apple Watch and Amazfit GTS, for example, are gender-neutral – attractive and modern, with a slender enough profile to fit under a sleeve. So is a gendered smartwatch actually needed?
If Garmin could combine the Lily idea (neat, lightweight, and appealing) with the sports-tracking severe intelligence shown in the Forerunner, it would be even more unique – even if the price would be so much higher.
The Lily has a 5ATM water resistance rating, which means it can be submerged for 10 minutes at depths of up to 50 meters. Meaning this is ideal for pool swimming and showering.
Fitness and health tracking
The Garmin Lily will monitor your deep, light, and REM sleep during the night and provide you with a report about how well you slept. A pulse oximeter measures SpO2 levels when sleeping is also available. Many similarly priced gadgets only record SpO2 during sleep, so the Lily could be a better option if you use it as a health measure.
There are heart rate warnings (both low and high), and the watch senses that the heart rate is unusual. If so, it’ll take you through a five-minute breathing exercise to slow it down.
As previously said, one of the Garmin Lily’s main flaws is its lack of onboard GPS. It does, however, have Connected GPS, which uses your phone’s navigation to assist you when you walk, drive, or cycle.
There are only seven sports modes to choose from, which is less than most Garmin’s but includes all popular ones. Riding both indoors and outside, weights, swimming, and cycling are options. This isn’t a device for specialized activities like alpine skiing or hiking, but the limited variety makes Sense.
The Lily will save up to 14 days of monitoring data.
Set up an emergency contact in the Garmin Connect app, and if you get into trouble, you can send a message to that person by repeatedly tapping the watch’s screen. Your contact will receive a text message containing your GPS coordinates, which they will then enter into Google Maps to locate you.
There’s also Livetrack, which helps a friend or family member track your whereabouts. It works well and generates a precise map for your contact to follow on their phone through Garmin Connect. Simply remember to turn it off when you’re done to prevent exhausting the battery.
All in all, a very female-focused watch!
Now, the Fitbit Charge 4 is an older Fitbit, but it’s still one of the best fitness trackers for teens. Even better for slightly older teenagers, it has Fitbit Pay, smart notifications, and alarms. Plus, it has decent 7-day battery life.
It has a rectangular 1-inch OLD greyscale touchscreen and an interchangeable band. If your teen is fashion-conscious, it comes in 4 different colors.
As for variation, Charge 4 will track many different sports, so you can keep your teen interested by doing various activities. On the whole, it’ll monitor steps, calories, and distance. Also, it has a constant heart rate monitor.
Sensors and features
What’s exciting about the Fitbit Charge 4 is its built-in GPS, which helps you navigate outdoor activities. More, it’s perfect for those outdoor adventure-type families who enjoy hikes, running, and cycling. As we said, GPS is also a nifty bonus for concerned parents who want to keep an eye on their kids and teens to ensure their safety.
Now, it won’t provide a wealth of in-depth data like a Polar, Suunto, or Garmin, but if you’re buying this for a teen, you won’t need it. It’s also cool that this model has an altimeter, so your teen will know how many levels of stairs they’ve climbed.
Especially handy is the fact this tracker is water-resistant to 50m. Meaning it’s OK in the shower, rain and will not be affected by sweat. Particularly durable watches are naturally going to be great for teens.
Finally, it comes with Fitbit Pay and music control for Spotify, making it a great smartwatch and one of the best fitness trackers for teens.
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 looks unremarkable at first sight but comes loaded with apps for health and fitness.
Its architecture is similar to last year’s Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5, with the notable exception of the display, which is brighter and sharper, making it easier to view your everyday stats at a glance.
On the features front, you have the option of all-day stress monitoring as well as getting a pulse ox tracker and breathing data.
The app tracks your heart rate very accurately, giving you the ability to fine-tune your fitness settings.
However, there are several drawbacks. The tracking turned out to be somewhat unreliable, but this isn’t a shock for a budget tracker. You should also keep the band sufficiently tight to avoid friction when long-distance running.
We see these as minor details, and if you want anything with more than basic step-tracking, we suggest the Mi Smart Band 6.
Design and features
- Quite similar to Mi Smart Band 5
- Brilliant display
- Waterproof up to 50m
It’s a mid-range exercise tracker with a small, long, plastic wristband, almost identical to its predecessor.
The display is very readable at a resolution of 152 x 86 pixels. There are various options so you can choose your favorite face and access your complications with one tap.
It’s water-resistant to 50m, but it’s best not to take this watch diving or snorkeling. Light showers at best.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 6 has several more features that are associated with a pricier wearable. This includes stress tracking breathing exercises and female cycle tracking.
There is no onboard storage for music on the Mi Smart Band 6. You will be getting text and phone notifications on your wrist, but sadly you can’t make calls. Also, there is no Alexa or Google Assistant because there’s no microphone.
The Mi Smart Band 6 records REM sleep cycles, measuring deep and light sleep accurately.
Xiaomi claims a 14-day battery life, but using any of the above a lot can reduce this down significantly.
There is GPS present, but some users have experienced some inaccuracies. Again, not too much of a shock with a budget tracker.
It has auto-pause, which pauses the tracker after just a few seconds of inactivity. You won’t lose track of your workout, say while you’re waiting at a crosswalk or while running.
Your total cardiovascular (heart and lung) health score, known as PAI, is given. Regardless of the numeric value, you can see an increase in your physical health as you progress in your fitness journey.
If you’re just starting and only want some basic or rough data, the Mi Smart Band 6 might be an effective training tool for you.
Another one of the best fitness trackers for teens is the Mi Smart Band 5 from Xiaomi. In fact, they’ve really excelled themselves in this upgrade from Band 4.
Firstly, it has a clear and bright display which is easily seen in various lighting conditions. The design is undeniably sporty.
You don’t get any physical buttons, and you navigate the display (a 1.1-inch AMOLED display offering 126 x 294 resolution) by scrolling.
Notably, it can be worn safely in the rain or in a shower, which is handy for the forgetful teens out there.
Secondly, there’s a decent HRM on board with a step counter and the ability to track different sports. Similar to the Inspire 2, there’s no built-in GPS, but you can sync it to your phone, which, as a parent, you may want to do anyway.
More, this offers simple data and the ability to record activity, perfect for teens and even tweens effortlessly.
If your teen has their own phone, they can connect it up for smart notifications, which they’ll love. Additionally, they can also control their music which is a massive encouragement for exercise! It’s compatible with both Android and iOS.
Second, to last is the battery life. Your teen can get up to 14 days between charges, which is one of the best on the market for a budget fitness tracker.
The Letscom Fitness tracker is another budget device, coming in at under $50. Making it a superb choice for any teen who is yet to appreciate how much things cost and are slightly haphazard.
This device has a 0.96-inch HD display with brightness control. Also, it comes in plenty of colors like green, pink, blue, purple, and black. While it looks similar to the Lintelek, the colors are more pastel-based.
Activity and fitness tracking
During exercise, your teen can see their heart rate at a glance. They can see what their heart did during the workout in the app that details maximum/average and resting heart rate when they’re done.
This can be assessed using any of the 14 exercise modes built-in, such as running, hiking, or biking. And, what’s really exceptional about this sub-$50 device is that it has built-in GPS to see the distance traveled during these sessions on a post-workout map.
All in all, it’ll keep an eye on calories, steps, and distance during the day with a handy vibration reminder if your teen hasn’t moved around in a while.
This device will tell your teen about their time spent awake and in light and deep sleep stages for peace of mind that your teen is getting enough good quality sleep.
If your teen has a smartphone, they can connect it and get their call, text, email, and social media notifications on their wrist.
You get all this with a wonderful 7-day battery life that only takes 2 hours to reach a full charge.
The best fitness trackers for teens depend on what features you’re looking for. If you want something that will last them a long while, get something made of silicone with a waterproof rating like the Garmin Vivosmart 4.
However, suppose you want to encourage your teen to get up and move about actively. In that case, we recommend you opt for a Fitbit tracker that comes with a free one-year subscription to Fitbit Premium, where you can utilize all the features and guided workouts, so your teen doesn’t have to go it alone or without any knowledge of where to start.
Perhaps GPS is an important feature, in which case, again, the Charge 4 is your best option.
Finally, suppose you’re after something that compromises a fitness tracker and a smartphone because they struggle to put theirs down. In that case, we recommend the Lintelek or Letscom, which does a decent job of both functions at a minimal cost.
Saneesh VS is a Registered Nurse by Profession and Wearable Tech Enthusiast by Passion. He loves to write about fitness, smartwatches, and fitness trackers. He also loves reading books on wearable tech, technology in healthcare, artificial intelligence, etc., which he has been writing for the past 5 years.