Whether you’ve got serious fitness goals, are curious about your sleep patterns or simply want to be more mindful of movement, investing in a fitness tracker can help keep you accountable. There are tons of options on the market, but Fitbit is widely considered the gold standard for its wide range of options, well-designed apps and overall data accuracy.
But finding the right Fitbit for your needs can be tricky to decode. Do sleep stats matter to you more than swim ones? Do you want to cut costs or go full tilt with features? For both extremes and all the preferences in between, there’s a model that’s just right for you. Here, we breakdown the best Fitbit models based on your and your family’s lifestyle and fitness goals.
What are you looking for?
The Best Value Fitbit
Looking for the best bang for your buck? In 2019, Fitbit released the Inspire HR to the lower end of its offering (replacing the Alta and Flex) to answer that need. For $30 less (at time of writing), you could get the Inspire, Fitbit’s most affordable tracker for adults, but the extra expense goes a long way here. The HR model gets its name from the addition of heart-rate tracking to the standard suite of metrics: sleep, steps, calories and menstrual cycles.
Unlike the basic Inspire model, it also offers guided breathing sessions—perfect before bed or when the kids are acting up and you need a mini-meditation—as well as different exercise modes, the ability to classify sleep into stages and GPS tracking when synched up with your smartphone. If you’re looking for phone-free GPS, music storage or apps for weather, you’ll need to level up, but the Inspire HR is ideal if you’re looking for an everyday fitness tracker at an affordable price point.
- The streamlined design has a touchscreen display and noticeably slimmer look than other Fitbit models.
- In addition to counting the basics like activity and sleep, the Inspire HR adds heart-rate monitoring, which lets you track your BPMs while also allowing its other metrics more accuracy—a major step-up from the Inspire model for just $30 more.
- For a hit of mid-day mindfulness, the device prompts you for guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate.
- If you’re the type of person who won’t remember to charge your watch every night, the Inspire HR’s battery life will last at least five days.
- It may not be capable of storing music like the Fitbit Versa 2, but it does offer basic features like alarms, timers and notifications from your Android or iPhone.
I bought the Fitbit Inspire HR Fitness Tracker to help me lose weight and in one month I’ve lost 5 lbs. Keeping track of my exercise and food intake is really helping me stay accountable.
My only issue is the band. The silicone is reminiscent of the watches of the ’80s that made your wrist sweat. Other Fitbits have cloth bands and I know you can purchase to replace the silicone band, but I can’t find one for this model anywhere.
The Best Fitbit for Weightlifting
For hitting the gym, we prefer a smartwatch over a fitness tracker for extra functionality—and the Versa Lite, Fitbit’s most affordable smartwatch, is just right for the job. It packs all of the brand’s standard tracking abilities (sleep, steps, calories, etc.), 24/7 heart-rate monitoring and over 15 exercise modes (including weights, circuit training and intervals). Plus, it offers third-party apps and watch faces that are handy for sweat sessions (think: Tabata timers and guided workout programs). The large colour display makes it easy to quickly check your stats between sets.
If you want to be able to pay for things using your watch or store music on it, you’ll need to spend more (try to catch the one-step-up Versa 2 on sale), but the Versa Lite is a solid budget-friendly smartwatch for when you’re at the gym and on the go.
- The Versa Lite will track your workouts without the clunky heft of hardcore devices, so it looks just as good with your street clothes as it does in the gym.
- Its tracking capabilities include steps, calories, distance, sleep monitoring and an optical heart-rate sensor.
- It’s programmed with over 15 goal-based exercise modes, including weights, interval workouts, bootcamp and kickboxing. If you forget to manually log your workout, it can auto-detect your activity and log it for you.
- An upgrade from the standard fitness tracker’s black-and-white display, the Versa Lite has a large full-colour, touchscreen face that’s easy to see and use—even with sweaty fingers.
- Opting for a smartwatch allows you the ability to install third-party watch faces and apps for even more options. Exercise newbies, try the Gold’s Amp app for onscreen step-by-step workouts.
I’m trying to stay healthy and this surely has helped me keep my goals. It challenges me daily and I think it’s been the best present to myself, ever!
Some watch faces are free, but 98% of them are not, costing $2 each. I’m not going to pay $2 for a watch face when most apps are $0.99.
The Best Fitbit for Runners
When you’re hitting the pavement for long distances, the easier it is to switch songs or check stats, the better. That’s why we love the Fitbit Versa 2 for running. It has one of the best and brightest screens across all Fitbit devices, so you can take a quick peek without breaking your stride. Use the always-on setting for extra ease (though it’ll sap up your battery more quickly).
To keep your jams going as you jog, it can hold up to 2.5 gigabytes of music directly, and you can quickly skip through tracks right from your wrist (you can connect to and control your phone’s Spotify playlists, too). We also love that Fitbit Pay lets you leave your wallet at home, and the option for voice control via Alexa (though, expect text responses rather than audio). You’ll still need to keep your phone nearby for GPS tracking, but if you don’t mind tucking it into a pocket, you can save some cash with this otherwise great smartwatch.
- Like the pricier Ionic, the Versa 2 can store up to 300 songs. If streaming is more your speed, you can flip through your Spotify playlist without taking your phone out of your pocket or arm band during a run.
- The Versa 2 is the only Fitbit with built-in connection to Amazon’s Alexa, which allows voice control. Try, “Alexa, start my run,” to get going in a flash.
- The Versa 2 comes with connected GPS, which works with the GPS on your phone to show a map of your run once you’re done. P.S. You can then post it on Instagram for bragging rights.
- Find yourself desperate for a mid-run Gatorade? Leave your wallet at home and instead use Fitbit Pay to securely transmit your credit or debit card information straight from your wrist.
- The Versa 2’s AMOLED display is more colourful and visible in outdoor light than the Ionic’s LCD screen.
If you want a good way to track your activity, distance, sleep and heart rate, while having some fun extras on your wrist for an affordable price, then Versa 2 is perfect.
It does the job but the software that supports the watch is not impressive and occasionally the server goes down.
The Best Fitbit for Swim Tracking
Though most Fitbits are water-resistant for up to 50 metres, the Ionic gets top billing for its advanced swim-tracking skills. It takes note of your strokes, laps and distance, and can recognize that you’re swimming even if you forget to hit the start button. The sporty strap with tons of holes makes it easy to get a snug fit that won’t budge during your butterfly.
For exercising outside the water, it offers Fitbit’s most accurate heart-rate tracker as well as Fitbit Coach, a program that guides you through a step-by-step workout. The Ionic is the priciest Fitbit out there, but it’s worth it for athletes who want GPS that doesn’t rely on a nearby phone (which, of course, would be impossible for an open-water swim). Fitbit Pay and its on-device music storage are extra handy when you ditch your iPhone.
- The large high-resolution screen is scratch-proof and waterproof, allowing you to easily check the progress of your swim strokes and distance.
- The touchscreen is deactivated when you’re swimming—this is on purpose so that you don’t get false readings from the watch hitting the water as you stroke.
- The Ionic is the only Fitbit model with built-in GPS, which isn’t necessary for pool swims but is great for open water where it can be really hard to stick to a straight course. (Triathletes, it’s also great for running and biking.)
- The Ionic is Fitbit’s answer to the Apple Watch. From tracking your workouts and sleeping patterns to serving phone notifications and paying for coffee, this model does it all.
- This is one of the few Fitbit designs that allows you to load it up with music (though, there’s no Spotify synching like with the Versa 2) for a few pump-up songs before you hit the pool.
My primary exercise is swimming. The waterproofing has not failed and the statistics are quite useful at keeping me thinking about fitness and my exercise goals.
The only issue is that it doesn’t pair with my cell phone most of the time. Also, the charging cable is a pest, it doesn’t stay in place while charging.
The Best Fitbit for Sleep Tracking
If you’re looking to track your sleep habits, you’ll want a tracker that’s sleek enough to wear in bed but souped-up enough to deliver reliable data. Enter the Charge 3, which offers features that rival Fitbit’s smartwatch selection (including app compatibility, heart-rate monitoring and activity tracking) but in a more slender, seamless package.
When you wake up, the device syncs up with your phone for a report of how you slept, including a graph that illustrates your sleep cycles throughout the night and a general score that ranks your sleep quality out of 100. It also has a SpO2 sensor that measures your blood oxygen levels, which can help flag potential issues like sleep apnea (of course, talk to your doctor for a proper diagnosis). With all of this sleep data available, plus solid fitness tracking, you’ll want to wear the device non-stop—and its seven-day battery (the longest of any Fitbit) makes it that much easier to keep it on around the clock.
- Get a better understanding of your sleep quality with the corresponding app that breaks down how much rest you’re getting and in what stages you’re spending most of your shuteye (awake, light, deep and rapid-eye-movement sleep).
- It also helps you set up a sleep schedule with bedtime reminders to actively work toward a consistent routine.
- It has exercise-tracking modes along with heart-rate monitoring in a more lightweight design than the previous Charge 2.
- Out of all the Fitbit models, it has the best battery charge, lasting up to a week—an important factor to consider if you want to wear it both day and night.
- The Charge 3 isn’t a smartwatch, but it’s as close as a tracker gets. Its large screen makes it easy to read text messages, calendar reminders and caller ID, and you can program the device to receive notifications from any third-party app.
The compact and sleek design can be worn at night with minimal issues. It monitors my sleep patterns using an algorithm that breaks down your time into four sleep stages.
I like it, but the charger is so hard to work with. You will think you are charging it, and you aren’t. My other tracker was so much easier to read and charge, but it did not have all of the choices this one does.
The Best Fitbit for Kids
The second iteration of Fitbit’s just-for-kids tracker serves up major improvements over the original Ace, making it our favourite child-friendly device on the market. Many competitor devices feel especially young, but the Ace 2 has enough cool factor—and smartphone connectivity should your kid be so lucky—that nine-year-olds won’t scoff at it (it’s technically suitable for 6 years and up, according to Fitbit).
The funky-coloured bands are silicone, which is easy to clean and helps protect the watch’s screen, and the main component can fit into any Inspire bands if your tween decides they want something more sophisticated. The waterproof device tracks steps and activity, with fun customizable clock faces that show progress (we love the rocket that takes off as steps increase throughout the day). It also measures sleep and can give bedtime nudges so you don’t have to. Our favourite part: If you have a Fitbit too, you can set up a friendly step competition and send encouraging emojis through the app.
- The Ace 2 is a kid-friendly version of Fitbit’s Inspire for grownups. You can use bands for either (making for a smooth transition as your child gets older), but the Ace 2 offers pared-back functionality and playful features that are just right for tweens and tween-wannabes.
- The pool party–approved (a.k.a. waterproof) device tracks sleep, steps and active minutes, with a little buzz to prompt movement after prolonged periods of inactivity.
- The touchscreen display offers 19 different clock faces with fun avatars and graphics that animate as kids reach their goals.
- The easy-to-clean wristbands come in vivid colours and kid-friendly patterns while also lending durability to the device.
- If your child has a smartphone, they can get call notifications straight to their wrist and check out their sleep and activity reports in the Fitbit app. No phone? No problem—you can toggle your own app between Parent View and Kid View.
I got the Fitbit Ace for my son’s 9th birthday and he wears it all the time. He hates when he has to take it off to charge.
It does need time, like one to two hours, for set up and charging when you take it out of the box.
More Fitness Essentials
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