Best FitBit Fitness Tracker - Buyer's Guide
You are an active person that likes to move – but sometimes you lack a little inner drive? In this case, health and fitness trackers are excellent motivators. Modern activity trackers score with innovative technology and accompany you throughout the day with extensive functions.
Depending on the model and version, the smart devices count your steps and calories and monitor your sleeping rhythm. They also measure the pulse and heart rate and are therefore reliable partners when it comes to fitness and health. You can find out about your sporting progress at any time and benefit from the numerous features of the modern fitness tracker.
In this fitness tracking comparison, we would like to introduce you to 9 models from the Fitbit brand. The versions are equipped with a wide variety of features and support you when running, walking, swimming, or cycling.
In our fitness tracker comparison, you will find out which of the products is suitable for your individual needs and what you need to look out for in daily use. In our guide, we tell you a lot of interesting and useful things about fitness trackers and give extensive tips for your purchase decision.
The History Of Fitness Trackers
Exercise and fitness belong together. The great genius Leonardo Da Vinci held such a view as early as 1472. Although his drawing did not result in mechanical development, the depiction on the sketch from the 15th century is very similar to a pedometer as we know it today. The pedometer is, therefore, with a high degree of probability, an early form of the current fitness bracelets.
Around 300 years later, in 1780, it is said to have been the Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet who invented the first working pedometer. The principle was based on his idea that a clock could wind itself. Around the same time, in 1788, Thomas Jefferson also introduced a variant of the pedometer. Since neither he nor Perrelet patented his invention, it is unclear which of them is to be considered the inventor.
Over time, companies and private individuals with ingenuity researched and worked on further developments. In 1982, the Finnish company Polar Electronic made the breakthrough with the “Polar PE2000”. The PE2000 is proven to be the first fitness watch because it reliably displays measured circulatory data with a chest strap.
The American company Timex launched its first smart product in 1994. The device receives data, such as calendar appointments, from the computer via a link. Two years later, US President Bill Clinton permitted the use of GPS in the civil sector, which had previously only been reserved for the military. Many of the current fitness trackers calculate the data based on GPS.
In 2007, the current leader in the field of fitness trackers was created – the American brand Fitbit. Fitbit is the first company to use trackers that deliver measurement data around the clock and even monitor sleep. Over the years, the demands of the users grew, so rapid development was only the logical consequence. Numerous manufacturers now offer high-quality fitness trackers that are tailored to the different needs of users with extensive functions and features.
What Types Of Trackers Are There?
The market offers you a wide range of options for making an individual selection for your needs. As mentioned earlier, fitness trackers, sports watches, and smartwatches belong to the wearables category. Surely you are interested in what types of trackers are actually useful for you:
1. Fitness Trackers
Also known as fitness bracelets, these devices work in conjunction with smartphone apps to track your activity. The core competencies include counting steps, monitoring sleep, recognizing sports, and measuring heart rate. Some devices are equipped with an integrated GPS module to record the route.
With other trackers, the paired smartphone takes over this function. Almost all fitness trackers give you notifications and reminders. You can play music and transfer your favorite songs to your headset via Bluetooth. There are also models with a payment function.
2. Heart Rate Monitors
The training partners, also known as sports watches, offer you a much more detailed evaluation of your current fitness level as well as specific sports profiles. Additional motion sensors transmit exact readings when you use the watches while cycling, swimming, jogging, or rowing. Some heart rate monitors allow you to read the different meters in altitude using an integrated altimeter.
At the end of your workout, you will receive a detailed overview with an analysis of the training load and the recommended rest period. The watch also notifies you of appointments and calls. Depending on the version, the sports watch also allows you to save music in MP3 format and play it wirelessly on the appropriate headphones.
You usually control smartwatches via your smartphone. These models increasingly have extensive fitness functions as we know them from fitness trackers. Some manufacturers also allow you to make calls or text messages if you don’t have your cell phone with you – using eSIM.
The devices record activities and sleep and measure heart rate. With the GPS function, the functional watches also mark the jogging route and evaluate your movement around the clock.
What Is A Fitness Tracker And How Does It Work?
It has been proven that most people move far too little and sit too much. Whether in the office, on the bus, in the car, or on the couch – necessary activities are often simply left out. It is therefore not surprising that after a sumptuous meal, no proper calorie burning can take place.
But a lack of sleep or insufficient fluid intake also has a negative impact on health and fitness over time. Even if most people are well aware of the problem, they rarely change their way of life. A smart activity tracker supports and motivates you to be more active and therefore fitter.
Fitness trackers, also known as fitness bracelets, activity trackers, or wearables, are small and compact devices that you usually wear on your wrist. The smart products record and save all of the wearer’s daily activities.
Roughly the shape and size of a traditional wristwatch, fitness trackers are equipped with sensors and microprocessors. The devices thus record your various activities and store, monitor, and analyze them. While in the past it was mostly reserved for competitive athletes to record and evaluate training data, many recreational athletes now also use electronic training partners.
Every modern bracelet is equipped with a gyroscope that records the rotational movements. In addition, the faithful companions have an acceleration sensor that records your linear movements. The two functions allow the collection of all relevant data, which is evaluated using complex algorithms. Statistics are displayed directly on the device or via an app.
Over the years, there has been constant further development and optimization of the models. Additional functional sensors were also added. A Bluetooth interface, a GPS module, or heart rate sensors are mostly standard devices these days. The improvement in the equipment and the additional features, therefore, make it possible to call up a larger repertoire of different functions that are tailored to the needs and usage behavior of the wearer.
COMPARISON TABLE OF FITBIT FITNESS TRACKER
Let’s start our big comparison with the Fitbit Charge 3 health and fitness tracker. This intelligent product allows you to select more than 15 goal-based training modes. Depending on your individual needs, Charge 3 informs you about your performance level, including the following activities:
- Cross Trainer
- Circuit Training
Fitbit Charge 3 also measures your heart rate 24 hours a day, whether you’re exercising, in sleep mode, or asleep. For that, you have to wear the Charge 3 all the time.
Even if you treat yourself to a break, the Charge 3 continuously displays your step count and calorie consumption. In this way, you can easily read off all your activities and see whether you have met your daily target.
In addition, the Fitbit app allows you to call up all data via your smartphone because the tracker is compatible with Android, iPhone, and Windows thanks to Bluetooth.
Even during the night while sleeping, the smart fitness tracker is alert and allows you to understand the length and quality of your sleep. You only have to supply the Fitbit with new power after seven days, because that is how long the battery supplies the device with energy.
Once you’re on the road, you don’t have to sacrifice your comfort. Fitbit’s activity tracker tells you whether you’ve received a call or text message on your smartphone. And if you’ve missed the fact that you didn’t have enough activity for a day, the Charge 3 has an automatic reminder to keep you moving.
In addition to the watch, you will receive two bracelets in sizes S and L, a charging cable, and information about Charge 3.
Yes. A lithium polymer battery is included so you can start using the Fitbit Charge 3 health and fitness tracker right away.
Yes. There is a stopwatch and a countdown timer. You can operate both on the Fitbit Charge 3 via the display.
The Smart Notification feature allows you to receive and view notifications of incoming calls, messages, and notifications from apps.
Registration is required to use the functions properly. As soon as the account is created, all functions are available.
The Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch is the next product from the manufacturer that we would like to introduce to you. When you connect the Versa to your smartphone’s GPS, you’ll get instant information about the distance covered and the pace when jogging or cycling.
The smartwatch measures your heart rate 24 hours a day, tracks your steps all day, and even reminds you every now and then when you’re not drinking enough. In addition, you can expect other useful features:
- Sleep recording and sleep analysis
- Call and SMS notification
- Store and play up to 300 favorite songs
- Water-resistant to a depth of 165 foot
- Motion reminder
The Fitbit smartwatch records all training sessions using an app that is located on the monitor. First, select the type of training before you start recording. Even during sports activities, you can track your heart rate, mileage, or running time with a single click.
All data is easy to read, so you are well informed about your current fitness level and your performance progress. The battery performance remains constant for five days – only then does the smartwatch signal that an energy charge is required.
For your convenience, the Fitbit Versa 2 has other extras available. On the one hand, the watch offers special health tracking for women. The integrated app allows you to track your cycle and gain insights into upcoming ovulation.
There is also a pay function. To do this, you must store your credit card details with Fitbit and you can pay for your purchases wirelessly without a card. The voice assistant system Amazon Alexa is also integrated, so that you can call up news and the weather on your smartwatch, or set bedtime reminders and alarm clocks.
The size of the Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch display is 2 inches.
No. You can use any product to do this. However, the headphones must be compatible with your smartphone.
Fitbit offers a 2-year warranty on all trackers.
Both the Fitbit app and other compatible apps are free. You can download the applications from Google Play or iTunes.
The Fitbit Inspire health and fitness bracelet is the cheapest model that the manufacturer is putting into the race. The version is ideal for beginners because Fitbit has deliberately avoided excessive additional functions here. However, this does not mean that users have to make big cuts in their sporting activities. The Inspire has all the basic functions in its portfolio:
- 24/7 tracking of all activities
- Recording of sleep behavior and analysis
- Water repellent up to 165 feet
- Call and SMS notification
- Battery life of up to 5 days
Heart rate measurements cannot be carried out with the Fitbit Inspire. The bracelet is also not GPS-compatible and not compatible with a smartphone. However, the two features are offered by the HR variant. According to the manufacturer, the compact design and the resulting low weight allow for a high level of wearing comfort.
In addition to the two bracelets, which are included in the scope of delivery in two different sizes, a clip can also be used for the Fitbit Inspire. The alternative allows you to wear the fitness bracelet on your jacket or in your trouser pocket.
With the simple version, thanks to the automatic activity detection, the daily steps, and calorie consumption can be tracked. The data is recorded and can be called up at any time. The range of functions also includes the notification of calls, messages, and notifications. In addition, there is health tracking for women, which provides valuable insights into the cycle.
Buyers don’t have to do without the Inspire when swimming, because it is water-resistant to a depth of 165 feet. If you’re not active enough for a while, the bracelet encourages you to move a little more. The battery does its work in full for up to five days.
No. The GPS function of the smartphone must be used for this. However, the Inspire HR variant has built-in GPS.
Yes. According to the manufacturer, the bracelets of the Fitbit Inspire fitness tracker can be changed without any problems. They are also compatible with those of the Inspire HR.
No. According to the manufacturer, this is not planned for the future either.
The display size is 1.4 x 0.6 inches.
No. There is no altimeter installed in the model.
According to the manufacturer, the Fitbit Charge 4 is suitable for beginners and advanced users. It offers 20 goal-based sports modes – for example running, cycling, swimming, or yoga. The sports watch determines the heart rate, the oxygen saturation, the calories burned, the distance covered, and the altitude height climbed.
The Fitbit app provides an overview of all the functions of the sports watch and allows you to conveniently analyze vital signs on your smartphone. The quality of sleep, which the Fitbit watch automatically determines, can also be read out in the app. According to the manufacturer, the battery life is up to 7 days. The Bluetooth function for connecting to the smartphone has a range of up to 30 feet.
Other useful features of the Fitbit Charge 4 are:
- Built-In GPS
- Spotify control
- Waterproof to a depth of 165 feet
- Available in black, rosewood, and granite color variants
Yes, according to Amazon customers, the GPS function can be deactivated. As a result, the sports watch achieves a longer battery life.
No, according to Amazon customers, the watch does not support wireless charging.
Yes, according to Amazon customers, the Fitbit can also be used without a smartphone with a limited range of functions.
No, according to Amazon customers, the Fitbit watch cannot be used to write text messages.
The Fitbit Versa 3 fitness tracker is a classic smartwatch with GPS and a Bluetooth function, which according to the manufacturer is compatible with the operating systems iOS 12.2 and higher or Android 7.0 and higher. According to the manufacturer, it can be easily coupled with the Fitbit app to check statistics and progress.
The fitness tracker offers continuous heart rate measurement for accurate recording of calorie consumption and is intended to help optimize training. According to Fitbit, the most important training data and a lot of other information are displayed on an always-on display with so-called AMOLED technology.
The smartwatch offers music storage and has an integrated music player to play and save music and podcasts from well-known streaming services such as Spotify. The fitness tracker has the integrated language assistant Amazon Alexa, for example, to control other smart home devices or set up reminders by voice command.
According to the manufacturer, the integrated lithium-ion battery offers a runtime of up to six days and has a practical quick charge function. In addition, the smartwatch offers numerous functions that would go beyond the scope of an article. These include, among other things:
- Health section: Oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, skin temperature measurement, sleep stages recording and sleep index, smart alarm clock, sleep mode, snoring and noise detection, mood logs, stress management index
- “Fitness” area: daily form index, active zone minutes, cardio fitness level
- Smart Zone: Wrist Calls, Phone Finder App, Do Not Disturb Mode
The Fitbit Versa 3 fitness tracker measures 1.6 x 1.6 x 0.5 inches (length/width/height) and weighs 0.70 oz.
Yes, according to the manufacturer, the smartwatch is water-repellent to a depth of 165 feet.
The smartwatch is available from the manufacturer in sizes S and L.
According to Fitbit, the fitness tracker can be used in temperature environments from -4 to +140 degrees Fahrenheit.
It continues with the Fitbit Alta HR bracelet. The tracker has the conventional basic functions:
- Count steps
- Show calorie consumption
- Showing the route
- Automatically monitor and record your sleep stages
- Touch display
Based on the different movements, the Fitbit bracelet registers whether you are walking, jogging, moving on the cross trainer, or cycling. The device does not record the route – this works via the Fitbit app and the GPS on your smartphone.
You can also receive reminders to motivate you to exercise more. In addition, this model keeps you informed through notifications of calls and SMS. The Alta HR bracelet is compatible with various iOS, Windows 10, and Android smartphones.
In addition to the basic functions, the Alta-HR also offers PurePulse technology here, with which you can measure and monitor your heart rate. The Fitbit app also allows you to enter what food you have eaten throughout the day. In this way, you can see for yourself whether your diet was balanced and nutritious or less healthy.
In addition, women also have the opportunity to keep an eye on their cycle. Do not swim, dive or shower with the wristband on – it is not waterproof. The battery has a runtime of 7 days. This is longer than most comparable products.
No. A complete switch off is not possible here.
The battery is charged via a conventional USB connection.
No. You would have to use your smartphone to do this.
In principle not, since the Alta HR also takes the measurements without the smartphone. However, daily synchronization with the mobile phone is recommended.
According to Fitbit, the Inspire 2 is a no-fuss fitness tracker that tracks active zone minutes, continuously measures heart rate, and offers a host of other features. This includes, for example, recording resting and breathing rates, calculating cardio fitness levels, or all-day activity tracking with a recording of steps, distance and calories burned.
The device monitors the sleep phases and gives tips for a more restful sleep. It also informs about incoming calls, messages, or appointments on the smartphone if it is close enough.
The Inspire 2 offers over 20 training modes to get real-time statistics on different activities and workouts. The SmartTrack function enables the training to be recorded automatically.
The fitness tracker is water-resistant to a depth of 165 feet. According to the manufacturer, it can therefore be worn in the shower or in the swimming pool without any problems and automatically records the duration of the training while swimming. Other functions are:
- Stress management: A scale from 1 to 100 shows how the body deals with stress. Personalized, guided breathing exercises are designed to help with relaxation.
- Cycle Tracking: The Fitbit app tracks periods, documents symptoms, and shows women their ovulation calendar and cycle pattern (not intended for contraception or medical use).
- Move Reminders: Friendly reminders to move are designed to motivate you to take 250 steps per hour. Reaching 250 steps is rewarded.
The fitness tracker has a silicone strap and a plastic buckle with a pin buckle. It is available in black, rose or white. The Inspire 2 can be used with the free Fitbit app, which the manufacturer says is compatible with most common smartphones. Synchronization is therefore possible with Apple iOS 12.2 or higher and Android 7.0 or higher. This requires a Bluetooth or Internet connection.
Yes, when the fitness tracker is connected to the GPS on the smartphone, you can track distance and pace while cycling, hiking or running right on your wrist.
As Fitbit states, the Inspire 2 saves the daily totals for the last 30 days and the detailed movement data every minute for the last 7 days. The heart rate values in training mode are therefore saved every second, otherwise every 5 seconds.
Yes, according to Amazon customers, this is possible.
Yes, according to Amazon users, it is possible.
The Fitbit Luxe is a narrow, filigree fitness tracker and according to the manufacturer is very comfortable to wear. The bracelet is made of skin-friendly silicone and is available in several colors. Alternatively, the manufacturer offers interchangeable straps made of leather and metal for separate purchases.
The Fitbit Luxe is compatible with iOS and Android and works with the associated Fitbit app. All data recorded by the tracker is stored and evaluated in the app. In this way, the user receives information on the number of steps taken, the length and quality of sleep, and their stress level. The stress management index in the app indicates how the body deals with stress on a scale from 1 to 100. The higher the value, the more relaxed the user is.
According to the manufacturer, the tracker provides comprehensive personalized evaluations and statistics that provide information on how activity, heart rate, stress, and sleep influence each other. It should be possible to make smart decisions for your own health.
For height, weight, hydration, and swim training, you can choose and personalize the feature from either the Fitbit app or the fitbit.com dashboard.
The alarms can be set up directly on the Fitbit Luxe fitness tracker.
The battery life is around 5 days.
Yes, in the Fitbit app area, click on the menu item "Account" and under "Goals" you will find the information "Nutrition and body".
The Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker comes with small and large wristbands, which the manufacturer says are not compatible with other fitness trackers. The activity tracker has an integrated battery with a running time of 7 hours, for which a charger is included. According to Fitbit, the case is water-resistant to a depth of 165 feet.
The Fitbit tracker Charge 5 is compatible with the operating systems Android 8.0 or higher and iOS 13 or higher and can be connected to Android smartphones quickly and easily thanks to “Google Fast Pair”.
Fitbit’s Charge 5 fitness tracker is packed with features for smarter workouts, better health, and more restful sleep. These include, among others:
- Smart training: Integrated GPS, daily form index, movement reminders, continuous heart rate measurement, automatic activity tracking, training intensity map, and a total of 20 training modes
- Health: Stress management index, EDA scan app, EKG function, integrated skin temperature sensor, cycle tracking, and heart rate zone detection
- Sleep: Sleep index, sleep stage tracking, smart vibrating alarm, and do not disturb mode
According to Fitbit, other smart functions of the Charge 5 include smart notifications, an always-on display mode, and “Fitbit Pay” for quick payments with the bracelet.
The Charge 5 fitness tracker measures 1.45 x 0.89 x 0.44 inches (length/width/height).
The Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker is available in steel grey/platinum, moon white/stainless steel soft gold and black/stainless steel graphite.
The fitness tracker weighs 1.02 ounces.
Yes, according to Fitbit, the fitness tracker is able to measure health values such as blood oxygen saturation, including SpO2.
Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Fitbit Fitness Tracker
Now you have already received an insight into the world of fitness trackers in our comparison. Even if the final purchase decision is up to you, we would like to give you the most important criteria below.
Before you buy the tracker, it is important to find out which aspects you should take into account and which functions the smart all-rounders should fulfill:
The technical equipment is of fundamental importance – however, it depends on your personal needs. Even if you are just beginning your sporting mission, there is certainly nothing wrong with considering a multi-function product. Once you get the fitness fever, you will surely want to use everything that the manufacturers offer:
- Distance measurement
- Calorie calculator
- Pulse measurement
- Route recording
- Smart notification
- GPS module
- Bluetooth interface
- Connectivity to smartphones with operating systems Android, iOS, Windows
- Motion reminder
- Call, SMS, and WhatsApp notifications
Most fitness bracelets are dependent on cell phones. Many fitness wearables work with iOS and Android operating systems. Therefore, before you buy, check whether the fitness tracker is compatible with your smartphone – otherwise you will not be able to use the functions of your device.
Although the majority of activity trackers save the data for a certain period of time, the steps or your sleeping behavior are only displayed via an app.
The download and the synchronization take place via a Bluetooth interface. Most trackers have Bluetooth 4.0. Therefore, make sure that your mobile device is also equipped with at least the standard.
The battery life depends on how you use it. If you use your tracker intensively and have activated all functions, the runtime will be reduced. Manufacturers usually give an average of five to seven days. Depending on the product, the charging time is around one to two hours.
Charging is recommended using a certified charging cable directly on the USB port of the computer or tablet. The cables are usually included in the scope of delivery. The quality of the batteries is consistently high, so you can use your fitness bracelet again quickly.
A key aspect when buying the activity tracker is the wearing comfort. Most manufacturers use silicone for the bracelets. The plastic is extremely elastic, has been proven to be kind to the skin, and repels water and sweat.
The properties enable comfortable wearing without pressure points – even with intensive use. In terms of workmanship, the bracelets impress with their robustness and durability.
With a few exceptions, fitness trackers have a display. The display has become an important element and allows you to access a wide range of information directly on your device.
Almost all modern bracelets use OLED or LED technologies to ensure that the data is easy to read, the colors are well represented and the contrast sharp.
Whether it’s raining or sweating – the fitness bracelet must be protected against moisture and dirt if it is used continuously. This is the only way to ensure that they function properly over many years.
You can see this using the so-called IP code, which always consists of the letters IP and two digits. While the first number tells you how good the protection against the ingress of foreign bodies is, the second number tells you to what extent there is good protection against the ingress of moisture.
Put simply, this means for you: the higher the number, the greater the protection factor.
Who Are Fitness Trackers Good For?
Fitness bracelets are generally suitable for anyone who wants to be motivated to exercise more by modern trackers and who wants to keep an eye on their daily activities. But fitness trackers are also important partners for ambitious athletes.
If you are one of those people who only want to monitor their daily steps and read the calories burned – then simple trackers without special features are perfectly sufficient. The sporty companions allow you to recognize your individual progress and motivate you to stay active.
In addition, if you want to reduce your weight, monitor and analyze your heart, and sleep, it is advisable to choose bracelets with the appropriate equipment. High-quality products have a variety of additional functions that you can make good use of for your personal area.
What Are The Pros&Cons Of A Good Fitness Tracker?
As with almost all products on the market, there are elementary advantages with fitness trackers, but they are offset by less positive criteria. We have summarized the advantages and disadvantages for you and presented them clearly:
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