December 10, 2018
If you’re after a fitness tracker, then Fitbit is the biggest name in the game. But with a wide range of activity trackers and smartwatches, which Fitbit is best for you? Our expert guide helps you decide.
Getting in shape has never been so easy. The rise of the fitness tracker has meant that budding runners and fitness buffs alike can gain a clearer picture of their health, without having to overhaul their daily routine.
At this stage in the game, Fitbit has become synonymous with smart self-care – and there are plenty of models for you to choose from. Unfortunately, deciding which one to go for is actually pretty tough, even when comparing them side-by-side.
Luckily for you, your friends at Tech.co have you covered. We’ve compiled a wide range of Fitbit’s most popular devices, and listed all their features – including pros and cons – to make sure your choice won’t just be a shot in the dark. Plus, with prices ranging from $50 to $300, you’re going to need all the help you can get.
In This Guide:
Best Fitbit Activity Trackers
If you’re looking for a device primarily to track your steps, running or other exercise, and aren’t too fussed about reading text messages on the screen, smartwatch-style, then the models below are the best Fitbits to go for.
Leading the pack is the Fitbit Charge 3 – this is the newest model in the range, and packs in some of the best features. It’s even water-resistant to 50 meters, so it’s perfect for the beach or pool. However, if you’re looking for a Black Friday saving, you may find better deals on some of the older Fitbits.
Best Fitbit Smartwatches
Though Fitbit is best known for its fitness trackers, as with the models above, it produces a couple of good quality smartwatches, too – the Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Versa.
What’s the difference between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker? Good question. Both will track your steps, your sleep, and usually your heart rate. But a smartwatch has a larger screen and better integration with your smartphone, letting you read messages and emails and change the music that’s playing through your phone.
The downside? Smartwatches are a bit chunkier on your wrist, compared to a slim fitness tracker.
Which is the Best Fitbit?
There is no single Fitbit that’s perfect for everyone. Depending on the size, features, price, or battery life, any number of Fitbit models could be the one for you. You just have to make sure you have all the information to make the right call.
And that’s where we come in! To make life easier for you, we’ve directly compared a selection of Fitbit’s fitness trackers, smartwatches, and unique alternatives, below.
Take a look at the table below for the basics, and continue on for a more detailed description of each product.
|Fitbit Charge 3||Fitbit Ionic||Fitbit Alta HR||Fitbit Versa||Fitbit Flex 2||Fitbit Ace||Fitbit Zip|
|Battery Life||7 days||4 days||7 days||4 days||5 days||5 days||6 months|
|Weight||1.06 oz||1.76 oz||0.81 oz||1.34 oz||0.64 oz||0.52 oz||0.32 oz|
|Display||0.72 in||1.42 in||1.4 in||1.43 in||N/A||1.4 in||1.49 in|
Fitbit Charge 3
Best for Busy Fitness Buffs
The Fitbit Charge 3 has been dubbed Fitbit’s “most advanced tracker yet”. In addition to tracking heart rate, sleep cycles, calories burned, and all the other fitness tracker standards, the Charge 3 will send calendar reminders and call notifications, so you can stay connected in and out of the gym. It’s basically a smartwatch in fitness tracker clothing. Plus, it’s essentially waterproof (water resistant up to 50 meters), which never hurts when you’re shelling out a few extra bucks. Features include:
- 24/7 heart rate monitor
- Goal-based exercises
- Sleep tracking with stages
- 7-day battery life
As the newest lineup to the Fitbit fitness tracker lineup, the Charge 3 is understandable a bit more expensive than a lot of the devices on this list. But with all these features and functionalities for staying healthy, it’s certainly worth the extra cost.
For more on the Charge 3, see our full roundup of its features
- Water resistant to 50m
- Built-in smartwatch features
- Long battery life
- No on-board GPS
- No pressable buttons
Best for Smartwatch Fans
The Fitbit Ionic isn’t a fitness tracker disguised as a smartwatch: it’s just a straight up smartwatch. As the most expensive model on this list, that should have been expected. It comes with a wide range of fitness tracker features, as well as a few bells and whistles you can find on popular smartwatches. These include:
- Music storage
- Bluetooth headphone compatibility
- Wallet-free payments
- Access to popular mobile apps
- Mobile notifications
- Quick reply functionality
From a fitness standpoint, the Ionic matches the rest of the lineup and then some, tracking sleep stages, cardio fitness level, and heart rate. It has built-in GPS, is water-resistant, and provides personal coaching for a little extra inspiration. The Ionic also comes with “female health tracking”, designed to help women learn more about their menstrual cycle, ovulation and fertility. This is available to users age 13+ in the US, and also comes with in-app advice from health professionals, health predictions and related Fitbit Community groups.
- Outright smartwatch functionality
- 4-day battery
- Bulky design
Fitbit Alta HR
Best Great Value Tracker
Though it’s more limited than a smartwatch model, the Fitbit Alta HR is one of the best standalone fitness trackers out there. As Fitbit’s slimmest device to feature a heart monitor, you’ll be able to work out without feeling like you have an annoying growth on your wrist. Plus, with the PurePulse heart monitor, you’ll be able to gain a fuller understanding of your own health. Other fitness tracking features include:
- Accurate tracking for calories burned
- Heart rate zones and trends
- Automatic exercise recognition
- Advanced sleep tracking reports
We have to admit that the Alta HR actually does have some smartwatch functionality, similar to the chunkier Fitbit Charge 3, in that it provides call, text, and calendar alerts. But that won’t get in the way of your workout too much. The Alta HR is one of the more expensive fitness trackers on this list, but with all these features, it’s worth the extra pennies.
- Advanced fitness tracking features
- Very slim
- A bit pricey
- Mainly limited to fitness
- Hard to read screen in the sun
Best Affordable Smartwatch
OK, there is one more smartwatch on this list, but trust us – it’s worth it. The Fitbit Versa is a more affordable, more popular version of the Ionic, and for good reason. Between the sleeker design, lighter feel, and smaller price tag, it’s no wonder the Versa has become the go-to smartwatch for Fitbit fans. Features include:
- Personal coaching
- Fitbit Dashboard
- Female health tracking
- Guided breathing sessions
The Versa also comes with common smartwatch functionalities – such as wallet-less payments, call and text notifications, and access to popular apps – while reviews have insisted the device has a faster interface than that of the Ionic. It doesn’t have the built-in GPS of its more expensive counterpart, though, which is worth considering when deciding between the two.
- Less expensive than most smartwatches
- 4-day battery life
- No GPS
Fitbit Flex 2
Best for Basic Fitness Tracking
If you’re looking for a classic fitness tracker without all the fluff, you’ve found it. The Flex 2 brings the classic, screen-less Fitbit look into the modern age with a minimalist design built for your lifestyle. Despite being the most affordable fitness tracker on the list, the Flex 2 still comes with a lot of handy features, including:
- Automatic exercise recognition and sleep tracking
- All-day activity tracking
- Silent alarm
- Call and text notifications
- 5-day battery life
And in addition to being swim and shower proof, the Flex 2’s minuscule tracker (weighing less than an ounce) is easily removable from the band, so you can put it in bangles, pendants, or other interchangeable accessories (also provided by Fitbit).
- Classic, minimalist look
- Lots of accessories
- Very small tracker; easy to lose
- No display
If your kids want to get in on the active lifestyle fun, the Fitbit Ace can help. This fitness tracker is specifically designed for children to track their exercise, inspire them to be more active, and reward them for meeting their fitness goals. The durable design, combined with the fun, changeable bands, make the Ace the perfect device to get your child interested in something other than sitting on the couch. Features include:
- Activity tracker
- Achievement celebrations and badges
- Fun, customizable clock faces
- Connected family app
- Competition functions with friends
- Bedtime reminders
Between the serious fitness tracking features and the fun flourishes, the Ace is the perfect solution for inspiring kids to get out and be active. And, considering the CDC recommends kids get at least 60 minutes of active play per day, it might be a good idea to grab this fitness tracker as soon as possible.
- Great for kids
- Customizable bands and watch faces
- Designed to get them active
- Expensive for a kids model
- Obviously limited functionality compared to other models
Best for People Who Hate Watches
Not everyone likes the feeling of a fitness tracker on their wrist, which makes the Fitbit Zip the perfect alternative. This handy fitness tracker can be clipped to your shirt, your pants, your sports bra, or pretty much anywhere during the day without getting in your way. Features include:
- All day activity tracking
- Wireless syncing
- Daily stats
- 6-month battery life
Obviously, as it’s not attached to your wrist, the Zip is missing some key functionality. But as you can see, it still provides some basic features for improving your active lifestyle. If you’re looking to try out a Fitbit before spending a bundle, the Zip is one of the least expensive devices out there, so get on it!
- Very long battery life
- Inconspicuous and unobtrusive
- Minimal functionality
- Few features
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