Which Fitbit Should I Get?

December 10, 2018

1:13 pm

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.

Fitbit Charge 3
– Best Fitbit Overall

$149

Buy the Fitbit Charge 3 on Amazon

Fitbit Alta HR
– Good Value Fitbit

$129

Buy the Fitbit Alta HR on Amazon

Fitbit Flex 2
– Best Cheap Fitbit

$99

Buy the Fitbit Flex 2 on Amazon

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.

Fitbit Versa
$149

Buy the Fitbit Versa on Amazon

Fitbit Ionic
– $269

Buy the Fitbit Ionic on Amazon

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
Fitbit Charge 3 Fitbit Ionic Fitbit Alta HR Fitbit Versa fitbit flex 2 Fitbit Ace Fitbit Zip
Built-in GPS
Waterproof
Smartphone
Notifications
Music
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
Price $149 $199 $129 $199 $59 $99 $59
Buy Now Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon

Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 3Best 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

Fitbit Charge 3

Buy the Fitbit Charge 3 on Amazon

Pros

  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Built-in smartwatch features
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No on-board GPS
  • No pressable buttons

Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit IonicBest 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.

Fitbit Ionic

Buy the Fitbit Ionic on Amazon

Pros

  • Outright smartwatch functionality
  • Water-resistant
  • 4-day battery

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky design

Fitbit Alta HR

Fitbit Alt HRBest 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.

Fitbit Alta HR

Buy the Fitbit Alta HR on Amazon

Pros

  • Advanced fitness tracking features
  • Very slim

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Mainly limited to fitness
  • Hard to read screen in the sun

Fitbit Versa

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.

Fitbit Versa

Buy the Fitbit Versa on Amazon

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Less expensive than most smartwatches
  • 4-day battery life

Cons

  • 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).

Fitbit Flex 2

Buy the Fitbit Flex 2 on Amazon

Pros

  • Classic, minimalist look
  • Lots of accessories

Cons

  • Very small tracker; easy to lose
  • No display

Fitbit Ace

fitbit ace blueBest for Kids

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.

Pros

  • Great for kids
  • Customizable bands and watch faces
  • Designed to get them active

Cons

  • Expensive for a kids model
  • Obviously limited functionality compared to other models

Fitbit Zip

Fitbit ZipBest 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!

Pros

  • Very long battery life
  • Inconspicuous and unobtrusive

Cons

  • Minimal functionality
  • Few features

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.