11 Best Fitness Trackers for Small Wrists

Fitness trackers have come a long way since the first wireless heart rate monitors were introduced.

Not only were those early devices big and bulky, they had to be used in conjunction with a chest strap and did nothing but display your heart rate.

If you wanted to time your workouts, you had to wear a second watch on your other wrist!

In comparison, modern fitness trackers are like mini-computers, capable of not just measuring your heart rate (wirelessly, no less!) but tracking how many steps you take per day, calculating how many calories you’ve burnt, and displaying the length speed, and duration of your workout.

Some even have built-in GPS, so you can use them for mapping your route and for navigation.

While these technological advancements are incredible, the downside is that many fitness trackers are big and bulky.

If you’ve got small or even medium-sized wrists, your fitness tracker may look out of place. If it’s too big, a large fitness tracker could even impede natural wrist movements.

Thankfully, there are plenty of slim and compact models that are less intrusive. In this guide, we review the 11 best fitness trackers for smaller wrists.

11 Best Fitness Trackers for Small Wrists

Samsung makes great tech products, and this activity tracking smartwatch is no exception. Available in three sizes, including a diminutive 40mm, this slim fitness watch has some great features but is also discrete and stylish.

Pros

  • Clear, easy to read color screen
  • Voice-controlled interface
  • Touchscreen controls
  • Long-life battery
  • Built-in optical heart rate sensor
  • Wireless charging
  • Sleep and stress tracking
  • Supports Samsung pay
  • Compatible with third-party apps, including Strava and Spotify
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Water-resistant and not fully waterproof
  • Some issues over calorie counting accuracy

2. Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch is ideal for anyone with an iPhone as many of its features only really work with iOS and not Android.

That said, this smartwatch has some great features, and you can add apps via the Apple App Store.

Available in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm, the Apple Watch Series 5 is slim, compact, and ideal for smaller wrists.

Pros

  • Easy to read, customizable display
  • Built-in GPS
  • Very accurate built-in heart rate sensor
  • Interchangeable straps
  • It can be used to make and receive calls and texts
  • Supports Apple Pay
  • Waterproof
  • Apps can be added via the App Store
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Not the best battery life
  • Display not the easiest to read in bright sunshine
  • Only works in conjunction with an iPhone

3. Garmin Fēnix 5S Plus

The Fēnix 5 is one of Garmin’s most popular smartwatches and fitness trackers. Packed with dozens of features and functions, this watch really does it all.

The S Plus model is smaller than the standard version, making it ideal for slimmer wrists. This is a very stylish watch!

Pros

  • Large, clear, full-color display
  • Customizable display options
  • Built-in optical heart rate and oxygen uptake sensors
  • Built-in GPS
  • Navigation and topographical mapping modes
  • Music storage mode
  • Compatible with third-party music apps like Spotify and Deezer
  • Interchangeable/replaceable strap
  • Compatible with heart rate chest strap

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Button controls, and not a touchscreen

4. Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker

Fitbit was one of the first companies to make accessible, well-priced activity trackers, and many of their products are perfect for people with small wrists.

The Inspire HR is slim and light but still has all the features you need to get fit and make the most of your workouts.

Pros

  • Slimline design
  • Easy to read display with backlight for nighttime use
  • Built-in optical heart rate sensor
  • Activity and sleep tracking
  • 15 activity modes
  • Heart rate chest strap compatible
  • Waterproof to 50m
  • Available in five colors
  • Five-day battery life

Cons

  • Display not very detailed
  • GPS is only available when linked to a smartphone

5. Garmin Forerunner 45S

At 39mm, this is the smallest fitness tracker that Garmin makes. But, despite the small watchcase size, the display is large and easy to read, and it has all the features you’d expect from a Garmin product.

Pros

  • Well-priced
  • Stylish, slimline design
  • Large, easy to read, full-color screen
  • Built-in optical heart rate sensor
  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart rate chest strap compatible
  • Very long battery life
  • Loaded with multiple sports and activity tracking apps, and more can be added
  • Interchangeable straps
  • Detailed activity/fitness reports via Garmin Connect app
  • Compatible with many third-party apps

Cons

  • Not the most intuitive fitness tracker to use
  • Some functions are hard to find/access

6. Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker

This Fitbit is a little larger than some of the models on review, but it’s still slimmer and more streamlined than many others.

Well-priced, this is a good product for runners, walkers, and cyclists and will provide lots of helpful information about your workouts.

Pros

  • Streamlined design
  • Straightforward operation
  • 15 activity tracking modes
  • Built-in optical heart rate sensor
  • Touchscreen controls
  • Customizable display
  • Sleep tracking mode
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • GPS only works when connected to a smartphone
  • The display is not very detailed

7. Garmin Vívoactive 4S

The standard size Garmin Vívoactive 4S measures a whopping 45 mm and is much too large for people with slender wrists.

This version comes in at a more reasonable 40 mm and is more slimline too. Like all Garmin activity trackers, this model is chocked full of state-of-the-art features, and it looks good too!

Pros

  • Stylish, understated design
  • Large, full-color display
  • All the usual Garmin features, including activity tracking, heart rate, calories, stress, and sleep
  • Detailed activity and fitness reports via Garmin Connect app
  • Compatible with many third-party apps
  • Very long battery life
  • Interchangeable strap
  • Heart rate chest strap compatible
  • Supports Garmin Pay
  • Coaching and workouts via Garmin Coach

Cons

  • Some display glare issues in bright sunshine

8. Polar A370 Fitness Tracker

Polar was one of the first companies to start making wireless heart rate monitors.

This slender fitness activity tracker uses optical sensors to measure your heart rate, but it’s also compatible with a chest strap heart rate monitor.

This slimline tracker is ideal for runners and general exercisers with smaller wrists.

Pros

  • Large, color, easy to read display
  • Slimline design
  • Tracks activities and sleep
  • Third-party app compatibility
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • GPS only works when connected to a suitable phone
  • Strap not removable/replaceable

9. Garmin Venu

4.6/5

While the Garmin Venu is not the smallest activity tracker on review, it is one the slimmest.

This very light watch is packed with valuable features, and the display is one of the best in the Garmin range. This is a stylish activity tracker with a great battery life.

Pros

  • Large, easy to read, full-color display
  • Built-in optical heart rate sensor
  • Built-in GPS
  • Supports Garmin Coach
  • Third-part app compatibility
  • Long battery life
  • Supports Garmin Pay
  • Loaded with multiple sports and activity tracking apps, and more can be added
  • Interchangeable strap

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Larger than some of the other products on review

10. Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health Tracker

Unlike all the other activity trackers on review, this product is NOT a watch. Instead, it’s a piece of jewelry that can be worn as a pendant or bracelet.

There are no buttons to press and no display, but it still tracks your movements and sleep.

Pros

  • Unobtrusive design
  • Made for women and women’s health
  • Easy to use
  • 6-month battery life
  • Works automatically – no settings to change or modes to activate
  • Tracks sleep, activity, and stress levels
  • Waterproof
  • Vibration alarms to encourage you to move more

Cons

  • Information can only be displayed via an app
  • Not the most accurate activity tracker

11. Garmin Instinct Solar

Despite its old-school digital watch design, the Garmin Instinct Solar fitness watch is relatively compact, albeit slightly on the thick side.

It’s packed with lots of useful features and is especially good for outdoor activities. This fitness tracker is tough, rugged, and, best of all, gets its power from the sun.

Pros

  • Easy to read LCD display
  • Very long battery life
  • Built-in GPS
  • 30+ activity tracking modes
  • Built-in optical heart rate sensor
  • Compatible with heart rate chest straps
  • Available in five colors
  • Very tough and rugged
  • Very accurate GPS system
  • Easy to use
  • Highly water and dustproof

Cons

  • Data fields are pretty small
  • No music storage
  • You cannot add extra apps/modes
  • Strap only comes on one size

Buyers Guide

Consider the following before parting with your hard-earned money and buying a fitness tracker…

Price ranges – you can buy an activity tracker for less than $100, more than $1000, and everywhere in between. Budget-priced activity trackers don’t have as many features, are usually less accurate, and have shorter battery lives.

But, if you are an occasional exerciser or don’t need precise activity feedback, these may not be disadvantages.

On the flip side, more expensive fitness trackers are typically packed with features and last a long time between charges. However, you could end up paying for features and modes you never use and don’t need.

Decide why you want a fitness tracker, develop your wish list of features, and then set your budget. That way, you should have no problem finding the right product for your needs.

Sizes – some fitness trackers are bigger and thicker than others. If you’ve got small hands or slender wrists, a large fitness tracker could look out of place and could even be uncomfortable.

A lot of trackers are available in two sizes but still offer the same functions. Make sure you check the tracker’s size and look for pictures of them being worn to get an idea of how the watch will look on your wrist. 40 mm or less is a good size for people with smaller wrists.

Strap size – most fitness trackers, have adjustable straps suitable for all wrist sizes. Just cinch the strap in so it fits snugly but not too tightly.

Some models come with two traps, one large and one smaller, so you can use the one that fits best. You may also be able to buy an aftermarket strap if you want a shorter one. Either way, you should have no problem getting a strap that fits even the slimmest wrist.

Display size – the bigger the watch, the larger the display will be. That said, some fitness trackers have larger displays than others. It all depends on how much of the watch front is the display screen and how much is the watchcase.

A bigger display screen is generally easier to use, and you’ll be able to more information about your workout.

That said, if you’ve got great eyesight, you’ll probably have no problem with a smaller display. Users with less than perfect vision may benefit from a larger display.

Heart Rate Monitor – most activity trackers have built-in optical heart rate sensors. They detect the blood flow through the back of your wrist to measure your pulse and heart rate.

Optical heart rate sensors are reasonably accurate, but that accuracy depends on things like the number of optical sensors, the position of your wrist, how well the watch fits, the presence of moisture, and the activity you are doing.

If you want 100% heart rate accuracy, look for activity trackers compatible with wireless heart rate chest straps, usually sold separately. This measures the electrical activity of your heart and is as accurate as an EKG.

Additional features – modes, apps, and features vary from model to model. GPS (global positioning system) is helpful if you want to accurately track your workouts or use your tracker for mapping or navigation.

Other useful features to look for include sleep monitoring, different activity tracking modes, navigation, weather station, music storage, third-party app compatibility, waterproofness (as opposed to water resistance), and things like altitude and air pressure.

Needless to say, very few people need all these features, so think about what you need your tracker to do, and then look for the product that best meets your requirements.

Battery and Charging – activity tracker batteries can last anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks or more. It depends on the quality of the battery, how power-hungry the apps/modes are, and how often/long you use your tracker.

Most will provide at least a few days of use in standard watch mode before needing to be charged. However, in use, you may be limited to 20-40 hours before needing to charge.

Most activity trackers are charged via USB cable, but there are wireless charging options, and some even have solar charging.

Bottom Line

While you probably don’t NEED a fitness tracker to get fit and lose weight, they’re a valuable addition to your workout armory. Using a fitness tracker makes it easier to monitor your progress and work toward your goals. They can be very motivating, and it’s often interesting to see the various metrics of your workout, such as calories burned or peak heart rate.

Some activity trackers can take you through workouts, such as interval training, and you may even be able to race yourself by replaying a previous activity.

All these amazing functions invariably mean that most fitness trackers are pretty big. After all, there is a lot of tech to cram into what is essentially a wrist-mounted computer. Because of this, a lot of people find fitness trackers intrusive, ungainly, and even uncomfortable. But, to get the most from a fitness tracker, most are best worn 24/7.

The good news is that there are plenty of slimline designs that are ideal for people with smaller wrists and hands.

Use the information in this guide to find the best fitness tracker for small wrists. While most are bigger and thicker than the average fashion watch, there are still some slimline models that are light, slender, and less bulky. Visit the Fitness Equipment Reviews homepage for more expert product reviews & fitness resources. 

Patrick

Patrick

Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

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