Best Fitbit: We help you choose the right one for your lifestyle
As one of the biggest names in fitness trackers, Fitbit is an easy pick for recording your daily steps or sleep patterns. Selecting the best Fitbit model for your needs, however, isn’t quite as simple.The different Fitbit trackers have a lot of overlap in features, and so it’s not straightforward which one is the “best.” Moving up the scale in price doesn’t necessarily mean you get all the features of the cheaper trackers plus additional ones.That’s where we come in. We’ve boiled down the options into three simple picks that should match most people’s activity levels and styles.
Update 4/9/18: We’ve added a new category (“Best Fitbit for smartwatch fans”). You can read more about the winner, the Fitbit Versa, below.
Best Fitbit: Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit redesigned its popular Charge fitness tracker, adding a larger touchscreen OLED display, interchangeable bands, and new features like relaxation reminders and a cardio fitness score.
Most people who want a fitness tracker are best matched with a general, all-purpose device that records steps, sleep, and heart rate. The Fitbit Charge 2 does all that well, and offers more on top of it: In addition to basic step tracking, continuous heart-rate monitoring, and sleep tracking, you also get automatic exercise tracking, silent alarms, and reminders to exercise and to practice mindful breathing.The Charge 2 also offers a sizable OLED display that offers quite a bit of info at a glance. You can tap the display to toggle between step count, mileage, and calories burned. It also shows call, text, and calendar notifications. On average, you can expect 5 days of battery life with normal use. Caitlin McGarry / IDGTwo features the Charge 2 lacks are built-in GPS and being swim-proof, so dedicated runners and swimmers may need to choose a different tracker. (The Charge 2 does connect to your phone’s GPS if you bring both devices for a run, though.) It’s also somewhat bulky on smaller wrists, but you can at least dress it up by swapping the default sports band for more stylish options.Even with those shortcomings, the Charge 2 is great for those who want more data about their daily activities.Runner-up: Fitbit Alta HR
Fitbit Alta HR
Fitbit just made the slimmest fitness band with continuous heart rate monitoring. With expanded sleep features and week-long battery life, it’s a near-perfect activity tracker.
The Fitbit Alta HR is all but equal to the Fitbit Charge 2, both in feature set and price. Its main distinguishing feature is how slender it is—arguably, it’s more stylish than the Charge 2. In this compact form, you get basic step tracking; continuous heart rate-monitoring; workout tracking; notifications for calls, texts, and calendar alerts; automatic exercise tracking; sleep analysis; reminders to exercise; and a small boost to battery life over the Charge 2 (7 days instead of 5 days). It does, however, lack the Charge 2’s reminders to practice mindful breathing.Like the Charge 2, the Alta HR also doesn’t have dedicated GPS and it isn’t swim-proof. Still, its longer battery life gives it something to counter the Charge 2’s larger display, and its heart-rate tracking gives it a boost over the standard Alta.Best Fitbit if you wear a watch: Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit upgraded its basic Flex band with water resistance for swim-tracking, but its step counts require manual tweaking to achieve accurate automatic exercise-tracking.
If you’ve already invested in a watch, replacing it with a fitness tracker isn’t an option. The Fitbit Flex 2 is small enough that it can be worn unobtrusively next to a watch or on the opposite arm, as a pendant or a bracelet, or clipped to clothing if you buy a third-party case.Its feature set covers the basics: step tracking, call and text notifications, automatic exercise tracking, sleep analysis, and reminders to exercise. And while it lacks the more informative display of its Charge 2 and Alta HR siblings, the Flex 2 is water resistant and offers swim tracking. Caitlin McGarry / IDGIf you’re looking for a full-featured watch replacement, the Fitbit Ionic will be a better solution. (Keep scrolling for more info on the Ionic.) For those looking for an unobtrusive and cheaper entry into the Fitbit world, the Flex 2 is it.Best Fitbit with every feature possible: Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit’s new Ionic smartwatch is a smart fitness tracker but lacks intelligence as a smartwatch.
The Fitbit Ionic is the fitness tracker for those who want it all. As you’d expect, the Ionic offers step, sleep, heart-rate, swim, and automatic exercise tracking; reminders to exercise; and notifications for calls, texts, and calendar alerts.But this fitness tracker also has features you’d expect from a smartwatch: a big color display, the ability to store and play 300+ songs on the device, Pandora support, contactless payments, real-time stats for a handful of activities, and push notifications from apps. It even offers personal coaching for workouts directly on the watch. Doug Duvall/IDGAll of that functionality comes at a cost—the Ionic has a price tag that puts it in the same range as the Apple Watch and Android Wear watches. However, this fitness tracker has an advantage over smartwatches: its battery life. The Ionic will keep chugging along for up to four days, while most smartwatches last an average of a day. To sum up, if your focus is more on having the best fitness tracker that can also support a handful of smartwatch-like functions, then the Ionic is the device for you.Best Fitbit for smartwatch fans: Fitbit Versa
Fitbit’s $199 Versa smartwatch combines good looks and fitness acumen into a package that’s good enough to challenge the cheaper Apple Watch Series 1.
The $200 Fitbit Versa may lack the Fitbit Ionic’s large display and GPS support, but it’s the better Fitbit if you seek a fitness tracker and smartwatch in a single device.Like the Ionic, the Fitbit Versa tracks most everything: steps, sleep, heart-rate; floors climbed; and specific exercises like running and swimming. It can map runs, too, though not on its own—you’ll have to keep your phone with you, since the Versa lacks built-in GPS. All the information in the Fitbit mobile and desktop apps lives right on your wrist. Michael Simon/IDGIt also has similar smartwatch-like features. In addition to notifications for calls, texts, and calendar alerts on your phone, the Versa packs in a color display, the ability to store and play 300+ songs from the device, Pandora support, and access to a full app store. If you buy the special-edition model for an additional $30, you also get support for contactless payments via Fitbit Pay.What makes the Versa a stronger option over the Ionic is its size and price. The Versa is smaller, weighs less, and costs a hundred dollars less than its sibling, and it still provides four days of battery life. And if your smartwatch needs are fairly light, this tracker is also a solid, affordable alternative to a more expensive Apple Watch or Android Wear device.All our Fitbit reviewsIn case none of these Fitbit options resonate with you, we’ve linked to all of our Fitbit reviews below. We’ll keep the list and this article updated as Fitbit releases new fitness trackers.If you’re checking out other options in the meanwhile, you can also read our list of best fitness trackers to see our top picks across all brands—including the Apple Watch.
Reviewed by Dumi Mphande on
Rating: 8.7 out of 10
April 26, 2018
April 26, 2018