Our guide of the best fitness trackers for smartphone notifications features the top devices with displays so you can see incoming calls, text messages, emails, and social media alerts without reaching for your phone.

Most fitness trackers offer smart notifications, but many of them just buzz you for incoming calls and text messages. In this guide we’re focusing on devices that bring the full notification package, i.e., calls, texts, emails, and social media apps.

Although Fitbits have got the style and some of best features for fitness tracking; they don’t exactly shine in the notification department. That’s why only the Fitbit Charge 2 is featured in this guide. Many sports watches also offer smart notifications, such as the Garmin FR 735XT.

The wearables featured in this guide are in chronological order – newest at the top..

The Best Fitness Trackers for Smartphone Notifications

Fitbit Charge 2

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The best-selling Fitbit Charge HR has returned in the form of the Charge 2. The new fitness band brings a new display, an updated feature set and fashion appeal thanks to its interchangeable straps which come in many different styles.

Release Date

September 2016.

Fitness Tracking

The Fitbit Charge 2 has a built-in heart rate monitor with decent accuracy and keeps track of your steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, and sleep quality. It also has a vibrating alarm and automatically recognizes activities such as running, walking, cycling, yoga, and more.

Smartphone Notifications

The Charge 2 vibrates when you receive incoming calls, texts, and calendar reminders which are displayed on the OLED touchscreen.

Additional features onboard the Fitbit Charge 2 include guided breathing exercises and cardio fitness levels. There’s no remote control for your music player onboard the Charge 2.

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Garmin Vivosmart HR+

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Garmin have been busy on the wearables scene over the last few years and have a ton of devices on the market. The Vivosmart comes with or without a heart rate monitor and GPS – the Vivosmart HR+ packs the lot, but also has the highest price tag.

Release Date

June 2016.

Fitness Tracking

The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ offers decent heart rate monitoring and a built-in GPS which means you get real-time speed and pace data along with accurate distance tracking and map reviews.

GPS aside, the Vivosmart HR+ tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, intensity, active minutes, and sleep quality. There’s a mixed bag of features for runners, such as virtual pacer and auto lap, plus automatic exercise detection.

Smartphone notifications

The Vivosmart HR+ vibrates when you receive an incoming notification, and has a 160 x 168 LCD monochrome touchscreen which shows incoming calls, texts, emails, social media alerts, and calendar reminders.

Additionally, you can use the Viviosmart HR+ to control your smartphone’s music player, radio, video player, voice recorder and also find your phone.

Water-Resistant

5 ATM – safe for swimming.

Battery Life

Up to 5 days normal of use; Up to 8 hours GPS tracking.

Mobile App

Compatible with Android 4.3 + / iOS iPhone 4S + / Windows 10 +.

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Samsung Gear Fit2

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The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is a feature packed fitness tracker with similar tech specs to most high-end smartwatches.

Release Date

June 2016.

Fitness Tracking

On board the Gear Fit2 is a built-in heart rate monitor and GPS. It will track your routes, steps, distance, calories burned, speed, pace, elevation, and sleep quality. It automatically recognizes sports and activities, including running, walking, cycling, indoor training bike, treadmill, yoga, piltates, squats, and more. The impressive wearable offers vibrating alarms, 15 sports modes, and it displays animations to show you how to perform the exercises correctly.

Smartphone Notifications

The Samsung Gear Fit2 features a very cool 216 x 432 Super AMOLED color touchscreen that curves around your wrist and is in a league of its own when it comes to fitness bands. The Gear Fit2 will buzz you and display notifications for incoming calls, texts, emails, social media apps, and calendar reminders.

Additional features include remote control for your smartphone’s music player and camera. And most importantly, it has a built-in standalone music player with 4GB of storage, so you can hook up some bluetooth headphones and jog along. The standalone music player and GPS make the Gear Fit2 a top option if you like to workout without your phone weighing you down. If only it was compatible with iPhones, had cellular calling and worked in the swimming pool it would be the ultimate fitness band.

Water-Resistant

IP68 – not safe for swimming.

Battery Life

Up to 4 Days of normal use; Up to 9 Hours GPS Tracking.

Mobile App

Compatible with Android 4.4 + Devices With a minimum of 1.5GB RAM.

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Garmin Vivoactive HR

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A step up from the Vivosmart HR+ (above), this fitness tracker has more features than Meat Loaf’s dinner plate.. It has a new-age watch-gadget fitness-thing design and is the successor to the non-heart rate-enabled Vivoactive.

Release Date

May 2016.

Fitness Tracking

The Vivoactive HR has a built-in heart rate monitor and GPS. It tracks your routes, speed, pace, distance, steps, calories burned, intensity, floors climbed, active minutes, and sleep quality. It also features automatic exercise recognition, vibrating alarms, the works. This Captain Kirk style wearable offers a ton of sports modes, such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, paddle boarding, rowing, and golf.

Smartphone Notifications

The Vivoactive HR vibrates when you receive an incoming notification, and has a 205 x 148 LCD color touchscreen which shows incoming calls, texts, emails, social media alerts, and calendar reminders.

Additional features include using the Vivoactive HR to control your smartphone’s music player, radio, video player, voice recorder, and find your phone.

Water-Resistant

5 ATM – safe for swimming. Includes advanced swim mode.

Battery Life

Up to 8 days of normal use; up to 13 hours GPS tracking.

Mobile App

Compatible with Android 4.3 + / iOS iPhone 4S + / Windows 10 +. Also compatible with Garmin Connect HQ which means you can download watch faces, apps, widgets, data fields, and more.

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Polar A360

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Polar, who are well-known for their GPS watches, have changed things up with the A360, equipping it with a flashy color touchscreen and optical heart rate sensor instead of GPS. It has interchangeable straps so you can swap between colors.

Release Date

November 2015.

Fitness Tracking

The Polar A360 heart rate monitor isn’t continuous, it’s designed to only track your BPM during workouts. If you’re into working out using heart rate zones, the A360 can be paired with the Polar H7 HRM chest strap which also includes VO2 Max. I can’t really see much point in the optical HRM to be frank.

The A360 tracks your steps, distance, calories, and sleep quality. It features a vibrating alarm and a training app with modes for running, walking, crossfit, strength training, swimming and more. No advanced swim metrics are onboard but you can track your calories torched in the pool.

Smartphone Notifications

The A360 has a vibrant LCD color touchscreen which can be activated with a twist of the wrist thanks to gesture recognition. The fitness band vibrates and displays notification excerpts for incoming calls, texts, social media apps, and calendar reminders.

Water-Resistant

Up to 30 meters – safe for swimming.

Battery Life

Up to 10 days.

Mobile App

Compatible With Android 4.3 + / iOS 7 +

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