How to shop for a Fitbit
Fitbit was one of the first brands in the fitness tracking space when it came out with its pedometer. Since then, its devices have evolved with the needs of its customer base, enabling it to maintain one of the top positions in a growing market for fitness trackers and smartwatches. There are good options from other brands such as Suunto, Apple and Garmin, but Fitbit continues to deliver high quality products that excel in a few key areas:
User-friendly is everything when it comes to any technology, but especially a device you intend to use every day. Fitbit has found success as a brand thanks to its user-friendly interfaces and superior activity and sleep tracking.
What makes Fitbit such a successful brand – and worth the money – is that all of its devices, regardless of price point or type (tracker versus smartwatch), come with all the basic features you want in a health and fitness – tracker. This includes the ability to automatically track sleep and activity, which in my opinion is the best thing about the brand.
Then, all models track pace, distance, and calories burned during your workout and calculate your heart rate training zones, including fat burning, cardio, and top. For sleep, you get not only the total hours you have slept, but the time you have spent in deep and REM sleep, plus the percentage of time you have spent during your resting heart rate.
With some models, these statistics are easier to access than others – namely Sense, Versa 2 and Versa and 3, because their larger screens are easier to read in an instant. But even with the smaller, narrower faces on the Charge 4, the numbers are very large, which is really nice to have. Inspire 2 is definitely the hardest to see statistics quickly out of.
The Fitbit app itself, accessible via your phone, is easy to navigate and clearly shows steps, miles, active zone minutes, daily calorie burn, mindfulness days, workouts and activity per hour. It also reminds you to take 250 steps per hour. In addition, you can track your menstrual cycle, food and water intake and weight (although these require more manual entries).
Add-on features with easy access
Fitbit now also offers a Premium membership through which you get access to guided meditations, video training, goals and challenges and more in-depth health insights, especially for your blood oxygen measurements, heart rate variation and breathing.
All of these features are available through the Fitbit app, so this is mostly just a plus for Fitbit as a brand. However, most of the new Fitbit devices come with a free trial, after which it is $ 10 / month or $ 80 / year, and the upgrade unlocks special features for some devices. Sense includes, for example, a six-month free trial of Premium, which also offers special mindfulness and communication features through the watch’s special electrodermal activity sensor. Inspire 2 comes with a one-year free trial. Versa 3, Versa 2 and Charge 4 all come with a 3-month free trial.
Superior battery life
Each Fitbit in the line has premium battery life that lasts several days, even with automatic activity and automatic sleep tracking turned on, so you do not have to worry about charging it every night.
Officially, the battery for all featured Fitbits lasts from six days up to 10 days, depending on the device and your usage. In my experience, Versa 2, Versa 3 and Sense last an average of six days on a single charge, Charge 4 for seven days and Inspire 2 a full 10 days.
Versatile customization options
To begin with, there are the devices themselves: the Fitbit series are a range of smartwatches and other wearables, all with different features and price points, so you can choose the one that best suits your style and health goals.
Then Fitbit offers plenty of options for customizing the look of your device. Each watch or tracker comes with a basic strap, but all have different colors and material straps you can buy for customization, from stainless steel mesh to a professional look to expressive prints to more breathable sports straps. The only watch on our list that does not offer a sports-specific band is the Inspire 2.
You can also customize the dials, both for aesthetics and readability, and to customize shortcuts on the devices and what appears on the main page of the app. Sense and Versa 3 have the most dial options; you can even download third-party designs or use your own photos that you cannot do with the other models.