A Fitbit is a wearable activity tracker. The goal of wearing a Fitbit is to help you become more aware of your daily activity levels and take the appropriate steps to improve your fitness level.
Fitbits come in all different shapes, sizes, functions, and price points. With many different configuration options, getting lost in the fitness wearable tracker techno-babble is easy. We’ll help you pick a Fitbit that meets your needs. Let’s take a look at the six best FitBits to stay healthy.
- #1 Best Overall: Fitbit Inspire 3
- Best Design: Fitbit Luxe
- Best Activity Tracker: Fitbit Charge 5
- Best for Kids: Fitbit Ace 3
- Best Smartwatch: Fitbit Sense 2
- Best Budget-Friendly: Fitbit Versa 4
#1 Best Overall: Fitbit Inspire 3
The Fitbit Inspire 3 offers essential fitness tracker functionality at a very attractive cost.
The Inspire 3 provides the core functionality that a fitness tracker should generate. Heart rate tracking provides an easy-to-access display of your current heart rate. A happy heart is a heart that’s exercised sufficiently.
The Inspire 3 automatically tracks your resting and active heart rates. Your active heart rate is divided into peak, cardio, and fat-burning categories. Depending on your exercise goals — which Fitbit can help you create — you’ll spend more (or less) time in each zone as you exercise.
The Fitbit Inspire 3 has a ten-day battery life, so you’re not tethered to a wall outlet for constant recharging. The ten-day battery life before recharging is the longest between recharges for any Fitbit tracker.
Yes, other fitness trackers have more features than the Inspire 3, but do you need more? The best features are the features that you’ll use daily.
Check out the Fitbit Inspire 3 on Amazon.
|It provides a ten-day battery life before recharging is required.||The Inspire 3 lacks GPS tracking.|
|You can wear the Inspire 3 during swimming activities.||Other Fitbit models have more features.|
|It provides heart rate information at a glance.|
Best Design: Fitbit Luxe
- Vibrant color display
- Sleep tracking and Sleep Score in the Fitbit app
- Get an alert when you reach your target heart rate during exercise
- 24/7 heart rate tracking
- Stress management features
- One size
The Fitbit Luxe is all about fashion, making it a good option if you want a simple Fitbit that collects basic movement activity and looks great on your wrist.
The Luxe targets consumers seeking a little more bling than the standard Fitbit tracker. The Fitbit Luxe is available with a black band and graphite bezel.
The Fitbit Luxe is available with an Orchid band and Platinum Stainless Steel bezel, with a Lunar White Band and Soft Gold Stainless Steel bezel, or (here comes the serious bling) with a Gorjana Soft Gold Stainless Steel Parker Link Bracelet and Soft Gold Stainless Steel bezel. The upgraded band will set you back an extra $100.
The performance specifications of the Luxe aren’t as good as the Inspire-3. The battery life is five days, compared to the Inspire 3 ten-day battery life. The Luxe lacks a higher or lower heart rate monitor, barometer, or temperature sensor that is found in the Inspire 3.
The Fitbit Luxe is designed to look more like a fashion accessory than a wearable fitness tracker. The Luxe is thinner than the Inspire 3, providing a lower profile on the wrist. In terms of fashion, the Fitbit Luxe is a smashing success.
Find the Fitbit Luxe on Amazon.
|The Fitbit Luxe looks more like a gold bracelet than it looks like a fitness tracking device.||The Luxe is more expensive than the Inspire 3 and has fewer features.|
|The user can select a black, gold, or silver bezel.||It has the shortest battery life (five days) of any Fitbit tracker.|
Best Activity Tracker: Fitbit Charge 5
- Daily Readiness Score that reveals if you’re ready to exercise or should focus on recovery
- Daily Stress Management Score showing your body’s response to stress
- Band Size: Small: Fits wrist 5.1"- 6.7", Large: Fits wrist 6.7" - 8.3" in circumference
- Track your heart health with high and low heart rate notifications and ECG app
- Tracks SpO2, heart rate variability, skin temperature variation, and more
- Real-time pace and distance without your phone using built-in GPS
The Fitbit Charge 5 is a great activity tracker with all the Inspire 3 and Luxe features, plus a few more tacked on.
The Charge 5’s functionality is approaching the level of a smartwatch, but it’s smaller in dimensions and easier on the wallet.
The primary upgrades included in the Fitbit Charge 5 are GPS, route tracking, heart rhythm monitoring (ECG) for atrial fibrillation, EDA scans, and Fitbit Pay. The GPS application allows you to track your outdoor activities and review a map of your route and performance metrics.
Be aware that activating the GPS will rapidly deplete the Fitbit’s charge to about 20% every hour. Use it when needed and then turn it off.
The Charge 5 also has a separate app for your phone that allows for ECG collection. You can save the ECG and send it to your doctor for evaluation. It’s a helpful feature if you’re trying to collect heartbeat rhythm data when an irregular heartbeat occurs.
You can take a look at the Fitbit Charge 5 on Amazon.
|Including an ECG is a big benefit for anyone who has questions about their heart health. You can share collected ECGs with your doctor.||The color display screen on the Charge 5 can be set to always on or on with a tap or flick of the wrist.|
|Fitbit Pay is a nice feature when it’s time to pay for goods or services. Tap your Fitbit and be on your way.||The Charge 5 has a lot of windows to scroll through.|
|The color display screen on the Charge 5 can be set to always on, or on with a tap or flick of the wrist.||The Charge 5 has no buttons; the interface is all performed via the touch screen.|
Best for Kids: Fitbit Ace 3
- Black/Racer red
- 8 days of battery
- All-day activity tracking shows how healthy habits add up to a healthier life
- Water-resistant to 50 meters
- Kids can earn virtual badges and fun on-screen celebrations when they reach their goals
- A family account lets parents manage their kid’s Ace 3 and their own watch or tracker from one easy place
- For kids 6+
The Fitbit Ace 3 is targeted at children ages six and above, and it’s smaller than other Fitbits but provides plenty of information for the parents.
It’s no secret that children are becoming increasingly sedentary. The effects of sedentary lifestyles are playing out before our eyes with increased rates of childhood diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
The Fitbit Ace 3 provides parents a window into the quantity of their child’s daily movements. The child can look at the Ace 3 and see how many steps they took or how long they played, ran, or bicycled. The parent can sync the child’s Ace 3 with their Fitbit application and track their child’s activity level. The parent determines which windows appear on the child’s Fitbit.
The Fitbit Ace 3 is a great motivator to help encourage children to be physically active. When activity goals are met each day, like 2,000 steps or five minutes of hopping, a fireworks display on the Ace 3 encourages the child to keep doing what they’re doing.
Check out the Fitbit Ace 3 on Amazon.
|It encourages children from a young age to pay attention to how much they’re moving each day.||The Ace 3 lacks GPS. If you want to know your child’s physical location, this is the wrong device.|
|Parents control how much information their children receive through the Ace 3 and how much (if any) information they share through their Fitbit application.||The Ace 3 has no heart rate monitoring.|
|The battery should last approximately eight days before requiring recharging.||The Fitbit may be more of a toy to a younger child and cause the parent headaches.|
|The Ace 3 has kid-friendly colors, like bright yellow or blue.|
Best Smartwatch: Fitbit Sense 2
- ECG app
- 24/7 heart rate
- Blue Mist/Pale Gold
- One size
- Small and large bands included
- With tools to manage stress and sleep
The Fitbit Sense 2 is Fitbit’s flagship smartwatch and it has features you won’t find on a Fitbit tracker or the less expensive Fitbit Versa 4 smartwatch.
All of the features available on the Fitbit trackers are part of the Sense 2. There are many similarities between the Sense 2 and the Versa 4 Fitbit smartwatches. If you’re a few feet away, you won’t be able to discern the distance between the two smartwatches.
Like the Fitbit Charge 5, the Sense 2 has an EDA function. The Sense 2 has a continuous Electrodermal Activity (cEDA) sensor. The sensor collects data from your skin and analyzes the data to calculate your stress level.
The Fitbit tracker Charge 5 performs EDA when you place your thumb and forefinger on the sensors. The Sense 2 provides a daily stress-managed score.
The Sense 2 provides ECG readings on demand. It’s a nice feature to give your doctor a real-time monitor of what’s happening with your heart.
Lift your wrist to your mouth and start a Bluetooth phone call or send text messages. The Sense 2 is pairable with Alexa to control Alexa-connected devices through your Smartwatch. Remember that the more things you connect to your Sense 2, the faster the battery will be depleted. The Sense 2 has a projected battery life of six days.
Find the Fitbit Sense 2 on Amazon.
|A bevy of fitness features will keep you motivated to exercise and keep track of your daily steps, stairs, bicycling, and many other activities.||The Sense 2 lacks a Wi-Fi connection.|
|Amazon Alexia is available to use with your connected devices.||It doesn’t have access to Google Assistant.|
|The price point of the Sense 2 is within $100 of the Apple Series 9 Smartwatch.|
Best Budget-Friendly: Fitbit Versa 4
The Fitbit Versa 4 is roughly $100 less expensive than the Sense 2 Fitbit Smartwatch and has all the features you’ll find in a Fitbit tracker.
The Versa 4 has an EDA sensor but not a cEDA sensor. If continuous stress management tracking is essential to you, the Sense 2 is a better option. The Versa 4 does allow for tracking stress levels and, hopefully, stress reduction. When you place a thumb and forefinger on a sensor, your stress level is calculated.
Fitbit has specified a battery life of six days before the Versa 4 battery requires a recharge. When the battery begins to run low on power, the intensity of the notification vibrations decreases, the screen brightness lowers, and the GPS is deactivated. Compared to the daily recharging of an Apple Smartwatch, six days between charges is spectacular.
The Versa 4 doesn’t have an ECG feature, but it does have heart rate monitoring — the heart monitoring data displays during and after your workouts.
You can find the Fitbit Versa 4 on Amazon.
|The Versa 4 is around $100 cheaper than the Sense 2. If you don’t need the ECG or cEDA function, the Versa 4 is a great option.||The Versa 4 doesn’t allow the user to download any third-party applications.|
|The battery life is projected at six days, which is outstanding for a Smartwatch.||It doesn’t have ECG or cEDA features.|
|Limiting third-party applications keeps the Versa 4 free of downloads that may impact the Smartwatches’ performance.|
How to Pick the Best Fitbit: Step-by-Step
A Fitbit monitors the daily physical activities that we engage in, like walking, running, or working out. The Fitbit reminds us throughout the day to get moving or congratulates us on achieving a daily goal, like walking 10,000 steps. The ultimate goal of a fitness tracker is to enable us to be more active.
What we want from our fitness trackers may differ from person to person. Let’s take a look at the critical considerations for selecting a Fitbit.
- Battery life
- ECG capability
- EDA features
- GPS maps
- Alexa connectivity
- Cardless payments
Let’s discuss this in more detail.
A key consideration of a fitness tracker is the battery life. A simpler Fitbit with fewer features will consume less power. Consuming less power will stretch the time between recharges. As Fitbit owners ourselves, we prefer longer times between recharges. The Fitbit trackers and smartwatches should recharge within two hours.
Electrocardiogram capability is a good feature if you have known heart issues or if you or your doctor have concerns. The ECG capability allows you to capture a heart episode while it’s occurring. You can save the ECG and send it to your physician. If you don’t have heart issues or concerns, this feature may be fun to look at once or twice but only be used sometimes.
The Electrodermal Activity (EDA) aims to help you chill out. EDA quantifies your stress level by monitoring the perspiration in your fingertips. To effectively use EDA, you’ll check your stress level, perform a relaxation or meditation session, and recheck your stress level. If you can relax, your stress numbers will be lower the second time you check them. You’ll learn how to destress through short, guided exercises.
The theory of cEDA is the same as EDA, but EDA continuously monitors the perspiration rate on your wrist instead of sporadically on your fingertips. You can review the stress level from the entire day when the day concludes. You’ll perform relaxation sessions (three minutes) during the day to help you relax.
A Global Positioning Satellite will keep tabs on where you’ve been when you activate the GPS function. If you always carry your phone with you during outdoor activities, there may not be a need for this feature. A Fitbit with GPS is a good option if you want to ditch the cell phone and hit the road for an unencumbered handheld electronics session.
A GPS-enabled Fitbit may be a good option if you want to review your walks or runs after exercise. The GPS (when you activate it) will track your location during your walk, run, paddling, snowshoeing, or other activity.
Fitbit smartwatches can connect to Google’s Alexa. If you’re a fan of smart devices, a Fitbit Smartwatch is what you need to control your devices from the comfort of your couch. If you carry your phone with you or are within speaking distance of a Google Nest hub, the Alexa connectivity may be less valuable.
You can use Fitbit Pay for cardless purchases if you have the Sense 2 or Versa 4. Instead of using your phone to make a purchase, you’ll use the Fitbit on your wrist.
Again, if you carry your phone with you all the time, this may not be a value-added feature. If you head out for activities without your phone, Fitbit Pay will allow you to make payments.
What to Know Before Buying a Fitbit
A Fitbit provides you with fantastic data concerning your daily activities. How many steps do you walk? How much do you sleep, drink, and eat every day? A Fitbit and the associated cellphone applications allow you to go as deep into the rabbit hole as you choose.
We recommend looking hard at how to interact with technology at your home. A smartwatch may be a good choice for an immersive Fitbit experience with all the bells and whistles. Recognize that if you’re a current old-school watch-wearing person (respect!), you’ll give up that watch for your new smartwatch.
A Fitbit tracker is a solid choice if you want to track how far you walk and exercise and don’t care about Alexa, stress applications, or ECGs.
Using a Fitbit: What It’s Like
In our experience, the novelty of a Fitbit wore off within a month or so. What didn’t wear off was the hourly reminders to get up and move. It works; we move more when we’re wearing a Fitbit. More than one workout has occurred because we want our Fitbit “numbers” to look good.
We connect with friends and family through the Fitbit application and have weekly races to see who has the most steps. Noting that someone hasn’t been moving too much gives us an excellent reason to reach out and see how things are going.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©ZikG/Shutterstock.com.