Fitbit reviews 2020

Fitbit reviews 2020 DEFAULT

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.” That’s where we come in. We’ve boiled down the options into simple picks that should match most people’s activity levels and styles.

Best Fitbit

As a hybrid smartwatch, the Fitbit Charge 3 offers the best features of fitness trackers and devices like the Apple Watch in a single, affordable device.

In addition to step tracking, continuous heart-rate monitoring, and sleep tracking, the Charge 3 offers water resistance up to 50 meters, automatic exercise tracking, silent alarms, and the ability to display your phone’s notifications on its sizeable OLED screen. An NFC-enabled special-edition Charge 3 supports Fitbit Pay as well.

fitbit charge 3 exercise

Even with these advanced features, you can expect 7 days of battery life on average.

The one caveat about this superb Fitbit is the risk of encountering a defective unit. We’ve had the unfortunate experience of two Charge 3 units quitting on us early on, though we believe most users won’t have any problems—our third Charge 3 unit has survived for months now.

Having trouble deciding between the Fitbit Charge 3 and the Inspire HR? Read our article comparing the two trackers against each other.

Best Fitbit for value

When it comes to value, basically any Fitbit can fit the bill. But all things (and MSRPs) being equal, our pick for the best value is the $160 Versa Lite. It’s not just that it’s $40 less than the Versa 2 and just $10 more than the monochromatic Charge 3, it also includes many of the features most people will look for in a smartwatch: a color screen, long battery life, excellent fitness and sleep tracking, and 50M water resistance.

Add to that a growing library of apps and clock faces, as well as a slick fashion sense, and you’ve got a lot of watch for the money. We can debate the merits of upgrading to the Versa 2 all day, but for straight value, the Versa Lite takes the crown.

Best Fitbit under $100

Most people interested in a fitness tracker just want a device that records steps, sleep, and heart rate accurately and displays the information in a straightforward way. The  Fitbit Inspire HR provides that and more in a slender, stylish hybrid device.

The Inspire HR is essentially a streamlined version of the Charge 3. In addition to basic tracking, you get automatic exercise tracking, silent alarms, reminders to exercise, water resistance up to 50 meters, and the ability to read your phone’s notifications on your phone.

fitbit inspire hr clock

As a more affordable option, battery life is smaller than Charge 3’s—just several days. This device also lacks the ability to track stairs climbed and oxygen saturation in your blood. You can’t access notifications after you’ve cleared them from the Inspire HR’s screen, either. Unlike on the Charge 3, they’re gone for good.

But these trade-offs in exchange for $50 in savings are fair. The Inspire HR gives the fitness-minded the essentials needed in a hybrid tracker with worthwhile extras thrown in too.

Best Fitbit if you wear a watch

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 3 and Alta HR siblings, the Flex 2 is water resistant and offers swim tracking.

fitbit flex 2

If 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

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.

fitbit ionic workout

All 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

The $200 Fitbit Versa 2 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 2 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.

fitbit versa today

It also has similar smartwatch-like features. In addition to notifications for calls, texts, and calendar alerts on your phone, the Versa 2 packs in a bright OLED color display, the ability to store and play 300+ songs from the device, Spotify and 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 2 a stronger option over the Ionic is its size and price. It’s smaller, weighs less, and costs a hundred dollars less than its sibling, and it still provides four days of battery life. You can save even more cash if you go with the Versa Lite version that drops a few of the features aimed at hardcore athletes. Overall, if your smartwatch needs are fairly light, this tracker is a solid, affordable alternative to a more expensive Apple Watch or Android Wear device.

All our Fitbit reviews

In 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.

Sours: https://www.macworld.com/article/230713/best-fitbit-we-help-you-choose-the-right-one-for-your-lifestyle.html

Best Fitbit in 2021: Choose the right fitness tracker

Choosing the best Fitbit for you all depends upon your needs and budget. Fitbit's devices are some of the best fitness trackers you can buy, but range from the $70 Fitbit Inspire to the $329 Fitbit Sense, so it's important to know what you're looking for.

All of Fitbit's devices automatically track activities, steps, and sleep. They're all water-resistant, come with female health-tracking, and all can receive notifications from your smartphone. And all of them also connect with Fitbit's excellent app, as well as connect to a huge community of other Fitbit users, whom you can challenge to reach fitness goals. 

Some Fitbits have characteristics of the best smartwatches, including advanced features, such as heart rate monitoring, mobile payments, access to an app store, color displays, even built-in GPS and on-screen workouts. Our roundup of the best Fitbit deals right now can help you score the one you want at a discount, too. 

See all of the best Fitbits below.

What is the best Fitbit?

After running, biking — and sweating — with the company's devices, we think the best Fitbit overall is the Fitbit Sense. It's the most impressive Fitbit yet, merging top-shelf smartwatch features (including FDA-approved ECG readings and a stress management tool) with the fitness tracking you love about this brand.

The Fitbit Charge 4 is a great choice as well. In addition the GPS, the Fitbit Charge 4 has a number of other important features, including a new fitness metric called Active Zone Minutes. According to a number of major health organizations, you need to get your heart really pumping for at least 150 minutes each week. The Charge 4 is designed to keep track of that and let you know when you need to get out more. 

The Fitbit Charge 4 is a slim device that has a grayscale OLED touchscreen that displays your heart rate, steps, stairs, sleep, and more. You can swap out the bands on the Charge 4 to customize the look of your device, too. The Charge 4 is also water-resistant to 50 meters and can track laps in a pool. If you're looking for more information on whether a Fitbit is water-resistant, see our guide on is Fitbit waterproof?

The Fitbit Charge 4 has recently been replaced by the Fitbit Charge 5, which has a colour AMOLED touchscreen, an ECG and an EDA sensor and a new metric called "Daily Readiness Score". Right now, these aren't available on the tracker but will be coming soon. 

The best Fitbits you can buy today

1. Fitbit Sense

The best Fitbit overall

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.58-inch OLED

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: Yes

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 6 days/5 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+Attractive+Long battery life+Comprehensive fitness/health features

Reasons to avoid

-No Spotify storage

The Fitbit Sense is the company's premium smartwatch that comes with more advanced health and wellness features that the Versa line. Not only does it have an FDA-approved ECG sensor and blood oxygen reading, but the Sense has the ability to measure electrodermal activity and skin temperature, too.

As one of the best Fitbits, best smartwatches and a winner of a 2021 Tom's Guide Award for Health and Fitness, the Sense works with both iOS and Android, and comes with on-board GPS, a native app store, Alexa and more. No longer is Fitbit just a brand with products for tracking our steps: Fitbit devices like the Fitbit Sense show what it means to take a holistic look at our health. 

Read our full Fitbit Sense review.    

2. Fitbit Charge 4

The best Fitbit for fitness tracking

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.57-inch OLED touchscreen

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: Yes

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 7 days/5 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+GPS built in+Accurate fitness tracking+Mobile payments

Reasons to avoid

-No onboard music storage

Not only does the Fitbit Charge 4 have GPS built-in — a first for Fitbit's fitness trackers — but it has a new metric, called Active Zone Minutes, that gives you a better indicator of your overall health. The Fitbit Charge 4 also has Fitbit Pay, so you can use it as a contactless payment device at participating locations. And, for those who use Spotify, the Charge 4 now has controls for that music service, though you still can't load music onto the device itself.

The Charge 4 was comfortable to wear, and its GPS was accurate when we took it on runs. It's also pretty good at measuring sleep, and thanks to its SPO2 sensor, is able to warn you if you're at risk for conditions such as sleep apnea. The Charge 4 will last up to 7 days, but that number drops to 5 hours when using GPS. That's not as good as the best GPS watches, but good for a fitness tracker. Our Apple Watch 3 vs. Fitbit Charge 4 face-off explains why it's the most capable fitness trackers you can get for the price.

Read our full Fitbit Charge 4 review. 

The Fitbit Charge 5 is Fitbit's latest tracker and it has a number of exciting features, usually reserved for Fitbit's more expensive trackers, an ECG heart rate monitor being one. The bright, always-on color touch screen is a massive improvement — it is easy to read in bright sunlight and is great to use during a HIIT workout or on a hike, although we found the lack of physical buttons made it a little fiddly to navigate around when running. 

The Fitbit Charge 5 will also be able to give wearers a "Daily Readiness Score", which is based on three different metrics — fitness fatigue (activity), heart rate variability (HRV), and recent sleep. This isn't currently available on the tracker but will be rolling out later this year. At the moment, the ECG monitor also isn't available on the tracker.

If you're looking for a tracker that looks beautiful against your wrist, is easy to read in the bright sunlight and has some impressive features for the price tag, this is a good buy. Also, if you're using a Fitbit Charge 3 or older, the upgrade is worth it for the color screen alone. 

Read our full Fitbit Charge 5 review

4. Fitbit Inspire 2

The best Fitbit for first-time activity trackers

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: No

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: Grayscale OLED touchscreen

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: No

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 10 days

Reasons to buy

+Affordable+Comfortable, lightweight design+Comes with free year of Fitbit Premium

Reasons to avoid

-No on-board GPS

If you're new to fitness tracking, the $99 Fitbit Inspire 2 is the ultimate entry-level activity band and the best Fitbit for you. For a third of the cost of the company’s smartwatches, the Inspire 2 gets basic health metrics, automatic workout tracking and accurate sleep insights. It also comes with a free year of Fitbit Premium.

Fitbit rates the Inspire 2 battery life for 10 days, which makes it the longest-lasting Fitbit. There's no GPS or music storage, so you'll need your phone nearby for working out. But it does have Active Zone Minutes, which is a feature on Fitbit's pricier options that monitors the time you spend in the fat burn, cardio or peak heart-rate zones while exercising.

Read our full Fitbit Inspire 2 review.

5. Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit's best fitness tracker under $100

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: No

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.57-inch OLED touchscreen

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: Yes

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 7 days

Reasons to buy

+SpO2 sensor+Water resistant+Nice design

Reasons to avoid

-Lacks on-board GPS

The Fitbit Charge 3 was previously our top pick as the best Fitbit, but it's been supplanted by the Fitbit Charge 4, which has GPS and a few other features. But that doesn't mean the Charge 3 still isn't a good device, and it's now $30 less than the Charge 4. 

Designed for those who want to keep healthy and stay in shape, but aren't going to be running marathons, the Charge 3 has a fairly large, grayscale touchscreen display that shows your heart rate, distance traveled, and notifications from your smartphone, if connected. The Charge 3 is also swim-proof, and can track your laps in the pool. 

The Charge 3 comes in three sizes, so it should fit most wrists (Fitbit has a sizing chart on its site). In addition, the Charge 3's strap is removable and Fitbit, as well a a number of third parties makes straps in different colors, patterns, and materials. The Fitbit Charge 3 also has an SpO2 sensor that will be used to diagnose breathing disturbances while sleeping and week-long battery life. It still requires a smartphone to connect to GPS, but it's still a good Fitbit for the money — while supplies last.

Read our full Fitbit Charge 3 review.

6. Fitbit Versa 3

The best Fitbit midrange smartwatch

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: OLED touchscreen

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: Yes

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 6 days

Reasons to buy

+Larger display than Versa 2+Great battery life+On-board GPS

Reasons to avoid

-Can only enable one voice assistant at at time

The best Fitbit midrange smartwatch is the Fitbit Versa 3, the next-generation of the Fitbit Versa 2. The Versa 3’s standout upgrade is on-board GPS. Now, even when you leave your phone at home, the Versa can (finally) track your location during outdoor exercise. A curvier, larger display is welcome, too. 

Plus the Versa 3 has gained a great motivational workout feature, Active Zone Minutes. Introduced with the Charge 4, Active Zone Minutes monitors the time you spend in the fat burn, cardio or peak heart-rate zones while exercising. Your goal is to earn the AHA’s and WHO’s recommended 150 Active Zone Minutes each week.

Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review.

7. Fitbit Luxe

The most fashionable Fitbit yet

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: No

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: AMOLED color touchscreen

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: No

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 5 days

Reasons to buy

+Lightweight, attractive design+Color touchscreen+Great for basic fitness and sleep tracking+Has Fitbit’s stress management tools

Reasons to avoid

-Empty List

The $150 Fitbit Luxe looks to make fitness tracking a fashion statement. While we've seen smartwatches offer lifestyle models as alternatives to their sporty counterparts, the Fitbit Luxe is the first activity band we’ve seen in a long while that’ll pass as wrist candy.

Unlike some of the best Fitbit models, the Fitbit Luxe introduces elevated, jewelry-inspired elements with a color touchscreen and stainless steel casing with metallic finishes. It looks even better paired with a “special edition” link bracelet from Fitbit’s partner designer brand. We wish it offered GPS and contactless payments for the price, but it's still the most attractive fitness tracker we've seen in a while.

Read our full Fitbit Luxe review.

8. Fitbit Versa 2

The best Fitbit with smartwatch features

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: No

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.34-inch, 300 x 300 color touchscreen

On-board music: Yes

Mobile payments: Yes

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 4 days

Reasons to buy

+Good battery life+Colorful display+On-screen workouts

Reasons to avoid

-No built-in GPS-Alexa works inconsistently

If you've ever wanted Alexa on your wrist, the Fitbit Versa 2 is the best Fitbit for you. This second-generation Versa has Amazon's assistant built in, which lets you do such things as control smart home devices, look up the weather and news, and a lot more.

It comes with advanced sleep-tracking features, which, when combined with the Versa 2's ability to monitor blood oxygen saturation levels, could help alert you to conditions such as sleep apnea. You can also download up to 300 songs to the Versa 2 itself, as well as from Pandora and Deezer, so you can leave your phone at home if you want to listen to some tunes. Sadly, the Versa 2 lacks on-board GPS, so you will need to tote your phone if you want that feature. Check out our Fitbit Versa 2 vs. Fitbit Charge 4 face-off for more on the advantages and disadvantages to the brand's smartwatch, as well as everything we know about its possible predecessor, the Fitbit Versa 3. 

Read our full Fitbit Versa 2 review

9. Fitbit Ionic

Best Fitbit with GPS

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS: Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 349 x 250 color LCD

On-board music: Yes

Mobile payments: Yes

Swim tracking: Yes

Battery life: 4 days

Reasons to buy

+Built-in GPS+Onboard music storage+Mobile payments

Reasons to avoid

-Chunky design-Not many apps

With built-in GPS as well as a large, colorful touchscreen, the Fitbit Ionic is the best Fitbit for those who want a device with all the bells and whistles. The Ionic is the only one of Fitbit's devices with GPS, onboard music storage, and mobile payments, making this truly a device that lets you leave your smartphone at home when you want to go out and exercise. 

The Ionic also supports Fitbit's small app store, which lets you add such things as Starbucks and additional watchfaces. Plus, the Ionic's display can also show on-screen workouts, handy for those times when you don't want to have to look at another screen to know if you're doing your yoga poses correctly. Our biggest criticism of the Ionic is its design; it looks more like a first-generation smartwatch than a fully capable fitness tracker, and its size makes it bulky on smaller wrists.

Read our full Fitbit Ionic review

Sours: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-fitbit,review-3203.html
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  • We plan to test the new Fitbit Luxe, a “fashion-forward fitness and wellness tracker,” once it’s widely available. The company says preorders will ship in late May 2021.

  • We plan to test the new Fitbit Luxe, a “fashion-forward fitness and wellness tracker,” once it’s widely available. The company says preorders will ship in late May 2021.

    The Luxe has a color display and a jewelry-like look with a stainless steel casing and available bracelet-style accessories, as well as all-day activity tracking, real-time pace and distance, and stress-management scores based on heart-rate data.

    We’re evaluating Garmin’s Venu line of GPS smartwatches built for all-day activity tracking. The recently debuted Venu 2 (45 mm)—as well as the smaller (40 mm) Venu 2S—focuses on new features over the original Venu such as fitness age, sleep score, additional activity profiles (HIIT, indoor climbing, hiking), and a longer battery life (up to 11 days). The more affordable Venu Sq has a rectangular touchscreen. We plan to test both the Venu 2 and the Venu Sq.

    We’re also testing the Apple Watch Series 6, Wirecutter’s upgrade pick among Apple Watches, to evaluate its merits as a fitness tracker.

April 30, 2021

A wearable fitness tracker can help you monitor your steps, strides, sleep, and more. Since 2015, we’ve spent more than two total months running, walking, swimming, cycling, sleeping, and, in short, living with 28 fitness trackers day and night to assess their accuracy, ease of use, and comfort. Although no tracker perfectly recorded every metric it attempted to, we’re confident that the easy-to-use and long-lasting Fitbit Charge 4 is the best option for most people who want to use a fitness tracker to monitor their movements and take steps toward improving their health.

Of all the trackers we’ve tried, the Fitbit Charge 4 is the most intuitive to use, and it’s among the most accurate for measuring steps and heart rate (although accuracy isn’t everything). It reliably detects, nearly always correctly identifies, and automatically begins to record your workouts—running, walking, biking, swimming—after about 10 minutes of activity. The touchscreen display is bright and clear, and clearly labeled icons allow for unfussy menu navigation. The straightforward, concise app lets you parse daily activity data with ease and allows for linking to a robust network of other Fitbit users (which might help keep you motivated). There are more than 20 activity modes, including a new outdoor-workout mode for sports that aren’t step-dependent (like cross-country skiing or kayaking). Within the app, you can also determine which smartphone notifications you’d like to buzz on your wrist. The Charge 4 features an altimeter (which tracks floors climbed) and built-in GPS (which allows for real-time pace and distance data without requiring a phone connection). This model tracks the duration and perceived quality of your nighttime sleep, and it even records naps (not all trackers do). Its battery life stretches for up to seven days.

Battery life: up to seven days (or up to five hours when in continuous GPS mode)
Sleep tracking: yes, including naps over an hour
Water-resistant: yes, 50 meters
Heart-rate monitor: yes
GPS: built in

The Fitbit Inspire 2 has a slimmer, sexier profile than the Fitbit Charge 4. The touchscreen display is bright and vibrant. Like the Charge 4, the Inspire 2 has no mechanical button—squeezing the sides of the screen will wake it up or return it to the home screen. The Inspire 2 does not have built-in GPS (which the Charge 4 does); it measures pace and distance on a walk or a run when connected to your phone’s GPS (meaning you’ll need your phone with you). On a 1.4-mile walk along a measured loop, the Inspire 2 fell behind the Charge 4 on both distance and step-count accuracy, and it was less precise when recording all-day step count. It did perform solidly in our heart-rate tests. Unlike the Charge 4, the Inspire 2 doesn’t have an altimeter, so it can’t track floors climbed. But like the Charge 4, this model offers more than 20 goal-based exercise modes, and it tracks sleep stages (though alarms are programmable only in the app; with the Charge 4, they’re programmable on the device). You can wear the Inspire 2 on your wrist or on your clothes with a clip (sold separately). The tracker boasts a hefty, 10-day battery life—outdoing the battery life of our top pick by three days.

Battery life: up to 10 days
Sleep tracking: yes, not including naps
Water-resistant: yes, 50 meters
Heart-rate monitor: yes
GPS: when connected to a phone

If you’re especially active and you want to keep in-depth records of all your workouts, consider the Garmin Vívoactive 4S. It’s a sporty, advanced fitness tracker with an emphasis on—you guessed it—exercise. The 4S is the smaller of Garmin’s two Series 4 offerings (it has a 40-millimeter screen, versus the Vívoactive 4’s 45-millimeter screen). It’s refined and highly wearable—the 4S is bigger than the two Fitbit models we recommend, but it’s smaller than other watch-like trackers from Garmin and Polar (another brand we tested). Its color touchscreen is clear and responsive (though more muted than those of a few color-screen competitors). And buttons beside the screen make it easier to toggle among workout modes or to start and stop workouts. Overall, the Vívoactive 4S is a step closer to a GPS running watch than the Fitbit trackers we recommend.

Battery life: up to seven days (watch mode), up to five hours (music mode plus GPS)
Sleep tracking: yes, not including naps
Water-resistant: yes, 50 meters
Heart-rate monitor: yes
GPS: yes

Everything we recommend

Why you should trust us

For earlier versions of this guide, we interviewed such industry experts as Jill Duffy of PCMag and Ray Maker of the website DC Rainmaker. Later, we spoke with cardiologist Matthew Martinez, MD, chair of the American College of Cardiology’s Sports and Exercise Council and director of Atlantic Health System Sports Cardiology at Morristown Medical Center, about heart-based biometrics and calorie calculations. We also checked in again with Clinton Brawner, PhD, a clinical exercise physiologist at Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit, to continue our years-long dialogue about heart-rate monitoring during workouts. We also touched base with Susheel Patil, MD, clinical director of the Johns Hopkins Pulmonary Sleep Medicine Program, to ask some questions regarding sleep tracking.

Amy Roberts is a certified personal trainer, running coach, and regionally competitive runner. She covered activity trackers for Wirecutter for more than three years, watching them evolve since she got her first Fitbit (the One clip-on tracker, now discontinued) in 2013. She also co-wrote our guide to GPS running watches.

Wirecutter senior staff writer Ingrid Skjong is a certified personal trainer and a lifelong runner who has completed five marathons, dozens of half-marathons, numerous shorter races, and a few triathlons. She writes about all things fitness, from Peloton to yoga mats.

Who this is for

Fitness trackers can give you a better idea of how and how much you move your body throughout the day and night. They’re for people who want to set goals to increase daily movement, exercise more often, and improve sleep habits. These trackers (and their apps) are also for people who want a place to log their diets, hydration, and even menstrual cycles—to gain a broader picture of their health. The differences among these trackers are principally in the number of sensors (and therefore features) they offer and (most important) how easy they are to use.

The lines that separate GPS running watches and smartwatches from dedicated fitness trackers are blurrier than ever. GPS watches can now track your activities all day and your sleep at night. Smartwatches can now capture your movement with automatic activity detection and built-in GPS. Some people may still prefer a dedicated fitness tracker for several reasons, though. For starters, fitness trackers are much less bulky to wear than GPS running watches, and they usually cost a lot less. Unlike smartwatches, they can run for up to a week between charges (whereas you generally need to charge a smartwatch daily). And the latest generation of trackers go well beyond just counting steps and recording workouts: They include more smartwatch features than before—from interactive notifications to third-party apps—and additional sensors to provide more-granular detail on movement and sleep.

We want to stress that these trackers are not a replacement for a medical device. If you have concerns about the appropriateness of a new exercise routine or suspect that you may have a sleep condition, see your doctor. And if a high heart rate is a health concern for you, don’t rely on an activity tracker to help manage your condition.

How we picked and tested

Our best fitness tracker picks side by side, including the fitbit charge 4, fitbit inspire 2 and the garmin vívoactive 4S.

Since the first iteration of this guide, in 2013, we’ve put more than 30 trackers through their paces, choosing new candidates for subsequent updates based on new releases, historical testing data, and customer and editorial reviews. Most of the trackers we’ve tested over the years have been wrist wearables, mainly from the biggest players, Fitbit and Garmin (though there are, of course, others in the game). But not everyone wants to wear a bracelet, and the old, clip-style trackers have almost disappeared. So we also tested a few non-wrist options.

Throughout our testing, we aim to answer the following questions:

How easy is it to use and live with? Because these are devices you’re meant to wear all day, every day, we put a lot of emphasis on comfort, wearability, and user-friendliness—of both the device and its companion app. In living with each one, we considered:

  • Is the device comfortable to wear all day and to sleep with all night?
  • Are the device’s menus easy to navigate? Can you decide which workout types (walking, running, cycling, swimming) and data (step count, calories burned, distance traveled) you want to see?
  • Is the app inviting to use?
  • Do smartwatch features work well?
  • Does the battery last as long as promised?
  • Does the device struggle to sync with a phone?
  • Is the tracker waterproof or at least water-resistant, or do you have to take it off before showering or swimming?

How well does it track activities? To gauge how accurately the trackers recorded all-day step count, we wore the devices in pairs, one on each wrist, for two days straight (switching wrists on the second day). And we compared their step-count readings with the results from an Omron pedometer that we knew to be reliable.

We also tested how well the devices recognized activities and how those results appeared in the apps. We took at least one walk and one bike ride of 15 minutes or longer with each tracker, since most devices need 15 minutes or so of activity to trigger a recording. We noted everything we did each day, and we compared the activity the trackers recorded against that written log. We also wore the devices to bed and compared their results against our actual going-to-bed and waking-up times (for sleep duration).

Since most of the devices we tested have built-in heart-rate monitors, we noted the resting heart rates they recorded to see if those figures jibed with what we knew ours to be.

How well does it record workouts? For all of the devices, we tested how well they estimated distance traveled by walking a mile on a treadmill; the devices all use algorithms to estimate stride length, which they multiply by the steps counted. (We also compared their step counts for that mile’s walk against those of our trusty pedometer.) For the devices with built-in GPS—as well as those that can borrow the GPS of a paired smartphone—we walked marked laps in two New York City parks. For our late 2020 and early 2021 round of testing (without access to a treadmill, due to the pandemic), we walked a known loop in Central Park and walked (or ran) a few known distances to see how they compared to the control measure.

For any device that tracks active heart rate during a workout, we performed two separate tests on the treadmill: a five-minute steady-state run at an easy pace, and a six-minute walk-jog-run of two minutes at each pace. We compared heart-rate readings from the device against readings from an older-model Garmin with a chest strap, at 30-second intervals and for two minutes of recovery. For our late 2020 and early 2021 testing, since we didn’t have access to a treadmill, we performed the tests outside, missing the pace specificity that the treadmill provides but approximating the conditions the best we could.

During all of the treadmill and outdoor tests, we noted how easy (or difficult) it was to read the data display mid-workout.

How accurate is your tracker’s step count?

Fitness trackers collect and present all kinds of data, including the number of steps you walk in a day, the kinds of activities you do, the intensity of your workouts, and how well you sleep. But how accurate are they? It depends. Although fitness trackers tend to measure some activities well, they measure others quite poorly—including all-day step count. (On that note, the often-lauded touchstone of 10,000 daily steps seems to be arbitrary at best, though moving more throughout the day is rarely a negative.)

Any device that you wear on your wrist is actually tracking the swinging of your arm, which—when you are walking or running—pretty closely matches what your legs are doing. But humans do a lot more than just walk and run, and these devices can and do perceive any movement your arms make (say, while you’re folding laundry or clapping your hands) as “steps.” In our tests, most of the devices inflated the number of steps we took by 15% to 30%, compared with results we got using our pedometer. Conversely, if your legs are moving but your arms aren’t (for instance, when you’re pushing a grocery cart or a stroller), you might get shortchanged.

You can’t trust “all-day distance covered,” either. We often hear people proclaim, “My [insert wrist-worn device here] says I walked 10 miles today!” But these totals are based on step counts (which we know to be unreliable) multiplied by stride length—another imperfect estimate that the device makes. (You can measure and set your stride length in the device’s app, which will help somewhat.)

These devices can and do perceive any movement your arms make (say, while you’re folding laundry or clapping your hands) as “steps.”

We measured our overall step count with each tracker over the course of two days, wearing the wristband devices on our non-dominant hand to give them the best shot at accuracy. The percentages in the first column of the table below show the daily average of how much each tracker differed from our pedometer’s count. We also wore each tracker for a mile-long walk on a treadmill (again, wearing the wristband devices on the non-dominant hand). The percentages in the second column show how far off each tracker was from our pedometer’s counts on the treadmill. The third column shows how far off each tracker was in measuring the distance (1 mile) that we walked during the treadmill workouts. For our latest round of testing, in late 2020 and early 2021, we didn’t have access to a treadmill, so we walked a 1.4-mile measured loop in New York’s Central Park. Results from this approach are marked with an asterisk in the table below.

How much trackers over- or underestimated step count and distance

Many wrist-worn fitness trackers inflate all-day step counts, in part because they count certain arm movements as “steps.” Asterisks here denote tests done on a 1.4-mile measured loop in New York City’s Central Park.

Despite their accuracy shortcomings, fitness trackers’s measurements do show trends from day to day and week to week, which is useful if you’re trying to be more active. And many devices do automatically recognize and record activities (say, a bike ride or an elliptical session at the gym) reasonably well, if not perfectly. Still, with any tracker, if you want the very best log, use a dedicated workout mode to record your session.

There are also some other measures you should approach with caution. You shouldn’t use the device’s measurements of your active heart rate for training purposes. A tracker’s GPS accuracy (whether the tracker has its own onboard GPS or uses your smartphone’s GPS) is okay but not perfect (GPS rarely is). More-advanced metrics, like breathing rate and blood oxygen saturation, are best viewed as guides and not replacements for medical assessments. Approach calorie counts with similar care, since most of the devices provide a tally of total calories burned that’s based in part on an estimate of your basal metabolic rate. The key word here is estimate.

Our pick: Fitbit Charge 4

A fitbit charge fitness tracker with its screen displaying the time and step count.

The Fitbit Charge 4 (the newest version of our long-running picks from Fitbit’s Charge series) remains our top recommendation for daily activity tracking, thanks to its ease of use, sufficient accuracy, and intuitive app. In our tests, it automatically and accurately detected activities (such as walking versus running). And it bested many of the others when counting steps or measuring distances or heart rates. The touchscreen display, which works along with a haptic “button” on the device’s side, was intuitive to use, allowing us to scroll through menus and make adjustments quickly and easily on the device itself. This model’s app was the easiest to navigate of any we tested, and it was also the most useful. The Charge 4 tracks sleep solidly, too, managing to collect data from naps as well (not all trackers do).

The Charge 4’s activity-tracking features performed well in our tests, quickly and automatically picking up our walks, bike rides, and more after we put in about 10 minutes of movement. (We confirmed with the company that those initial minutes of activity are folded into the final duration.) As with all Fitbit models, with this one you have to check the app to discover what activities your tracker has recorded: The device itself doesn’t list them; they populate the app’s exercise tab. (Your overall daily statistics, like steps, heart rate, and floors climbed, show up on the tracker). As with most trackers, the Charge 4’s daylong step counts ran high in our assessments. (One morning, it showed we had taken 25 steps before we even got out of bed.) On a controlled walk of a measured outdoor loop, however, it undercounted our steps by only one stride. The Charge 4’s heart-rate monitor performed solidly, particularly during interval sets of walking, jogging, and running. (We typically conduct controlled step-count and heart-rate tests on a treadmill, but due to the pandemic, we took them outside.) The Charge 4 records floors climbed with an altimeter, so hills and climbs are recorded.

The Charge 4 has an easy-to-navigate interface. Video: Michael Murtaugh

New to the Charge 4 is a feature called Active Zone Minutes. It is intended to track activity via time spent in three different heart-rate zones (fat burn, cardio, peak), to give you an idea of how hard you’re working. If you don’t reach one of those three, the metric is recorded as “below zones.” The zones are determined by age and resting heart rate. You can enter a custom maximum heart rate in the app using the standard equation (220 beats per minute minus your age), but there are more-accurate ways to calculate that number. You’ll get notifications during exercise as you move in and out of the specific zones. Depending on your workout, this can result in a lot of buzzes; you can turn off the feature within a specific activity mode, such as running, walking, or cycling. Recorded workouts in the app will display the percentages of the workout spent in each zone. Given the margin of error with most wrist-based heart-rate data, it’s best to view the numbers as guides. (It’s advisable to use a chest-strap heart-rate monitor to get the most accurate results.)

The combination of the responsive touchscreen and the side haptic button (that is, not a mechanical button but an inductive sensor that reacts to pressure) makes the device intuitive to navigate. You can set the narrow, grayscale display to any of more than 20 watch faces in the app. The interface is smartly laid out, with simple, scrollable menus that use both labels and icons; some other trackers we tested show only icons, which can be less than clear. To turn on battery-saving “screen wake,” which renders the screen dark until you raise your wrist, press and hold the side button and select the feature. (You can also choose a manual setting, which requires a screen tap each time you want to view. But we found it convenient to have the screen come alive with a lift.)

Fitbit has the best app of any tracker we’ve tested. It’s highly user-friendly, and it connects you to a large and active social network, which may help motivate you to meet your goals.

The Charge 4 has more than 20 exercise modes, including a new outdoor-workout mode, for sports like cross-country skiing and kayaking. These modes include a programmable interval timer (which is useful for interval training) and a swimming function (because of the pandemic, we were unable to access a pool but will test this as soon as possible). For most activities, you can set a goal for time, distance, calories, or heart-rate zone minutes.

The Charge 4 has three GPS options to create maps during outdoor workouts and to provide your real-time pace and distance: built-in (which doesn’t require a phone connection but does reduce battery life), phone (which uses your phone’s GPS capabilities and uses less battery power than than the built-in mode), and dynamic (the tracker chooses the GPS mode based on the location of your phone and whether or not it’s moving with you). The Inspire 2, our runner-up pick, requires a phone for GPS tracking. Like those of other trackers, the Charge 4’s GPS performed unevenly for us. (Read more.)

The Charge 4 offers customizable, encouraging reminders designed to help you hit your daily goals. The basic reminder is based on taking 250 steps per hour, and it will remind you 10 minutes before the hour if you haven’t reached that (you can turn it off in the app). The app goes into further detail, graphing how many hours in the day you met that goal and breaking down stationary versus active time.

Charge 4 fitness tracker's screen displaying the following text message: want to go to laguna today?

Fitbit has the best app of any tracker we’ve tested. It’s highly user-friendly, and it connects you to a large and active social network, which may help motivate you to meet your goals. (We found apps from other companies to be less effective on both counts.) We never felt forced to hunt for details, and we rarely struggled to find a data point. That intuitiveness and clarity can go far if you’re eager to review your data and look for patterns that could help inform lasting, healthy changes. You can use the app to log your food, water, and caffeine intake, and those who menstruate can track their monthly cycles as well. Tips and information on metrics pepper the app. You can also track your mindfulness activities, which include guided breathing drills (accessible on the tracker) and audio meditation sessions (in the app). Health Metrics are new to the app—breathing rate (breaths per minute), heart-rate variability (the variation of time between heart beats), and resting heart rate (all of these are taken during stretches of sleep lasting three hours or longer). In the app, this trio of metrics comes with a “not intended for medical purposes” notice; these types of metrics should be viewed as guides, versus diagnostic tools. An upgrade to Fitbit Premium—which offers additional content like video workouts—promises more in-depth analysis (namely a 30-day view). Fitbit Premium is available for a 90-day free trial, and is $10 per month thereafter.

Three screen captures of the fitness metrics in the fitbit mobile app.

Fitbit’s app was the easiest to use of all those we tested, and it connects you to a bustling social network.

Three screenshots of the fitness metrics on the Garmin app.

Garmin’s app is less intuitive to use; at times we had difficulty finding our information. The social network is also less active than Fitbit’s.

You can choose which app notifications appear on the display, and you can clear the notifications individually or all at once, which is convenient. (Dismissing notification after notification can get very tedious very quickly.) If you use Android, you can reply to text messages with any of five set messages and five emoji (which you can change in the app). If you use iOS, there are no options to respond to texts.

The Charge 4 has robust sleep tracking and seemed accurate when measuring our time asleep, including naps. The Fitbit app offered advice on ways to improve sleep habits, a nice extra. (If you want to focus more thoroughly on sleep, a sleep-tracking app—or even a device dedicated to sleep—may be of interest.) Sleep stages (awake, REM, light, deep) are displayed nightly and are based on heart rate and movement via the accelerometer. They won’t register for shorter naps (the tracker needs at least three hours to pick them up). And they are more of an estimation (versus a medical-grade statistic), using heart rate variability, which shifts as you go from one stage to the next. The app also calculates and logs a nightly sleep score (on a scale from 0 to 100).

Sleep mode—which you can set manually or schedule—turns off “screen wake” for the night and dims the screen. You can also mute notifications and dim the screen during bedtime via the do not disturb mode (though sleep and do not disturb modes can’t be activated at the same time). Alarms are programable on the device and will buzz on your wrist; they can be turned off or snoozed. Thirty minutes before the alarm is set to go off, a “smart wake” alarm finds an optimal time for you to wake up, based on your estimated sleep stage. The alarm vibration is robust even on the “normal” setting; the “strong” setting makes an audible buzzing noise, which could disturb a light sleeper who is in the same bed.

We had no issues syncing the device to our testing phone (an iPhone). The Charge 4 allows for contactless payments (via Fitbit Pay) and control of Spotify from the tracker, though we didn’t try either.

Fitbit says the Charge 4’s battery lasts up to seven days on a charge. After wearing the tracker for two days and two nights, we found that 68% remained—but this was also after using GPS, which does drain the battery. We also like that the battery meter shows as a percentage and as an icon. Icons alone (as on some trackers) can be tricky to decipher.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Charge 4 can record more than 20 different types of activity, but you can see no more than six activity modes at once on the device. If your typical routine involves more than that, you’ll find yourself swapping workout types in and out to make sure all is recorded. Though we haven’t tested it in the pool yet, the tracker limits you to setting a time goal for swimming—you can’t set one for distance (our upgrade pick, the Garmin Vívoactive 4S, lets you do this).

Though the Charge 4 often acquired a GPS signal within 30 seconds or less, on several occasions it took more than a minute to connect in dynamic mode (and occasionally did not do so at all). Along a given route, the trace tended to be a little jumpy. The Charge 4 overshot the control distance of one run by 1.25% and fell under by 5.03% on another. It came in 2.14% over the distance on our measured 1.4-mile walk test (a strong showing among its competitors). At least once, the built-in GPS lost connection completely, recording only half a run (though this can be expected with almost any GPS-enabled device). Using built-in GPS does drain the battery; a 2½-mile walk used nearly 20%.

We found the standard plastic band that comes with the Charge 4 to be a bit stiffer than those of some other models we tested (the Inspire 2’s band is softer and slimmer). You can buy additional bands and swap them out quite easily, but they’re not cheap: A more comfortable fabric one runs about $35.

The Charge 4 garners largely positive user reviews. In rare instances, reviewers who gave it only one star have described it as generally “buggy” or suffering from larger problems, like all-out bricking. Fitbit customer service has always been very good about replacing faulty devices under warranty. But once that coverage expires, there’s not much that can be done. This is true of almost all fitness trackers.

Runner-up: Fitbit Inspire 2

A fitbit inspire 2 fitness tracker with its screen displaying the time and steps count.

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is smaller and lighter than our top pick, the Fitbit Charge 4, and it has fewer features (missing additions like an altimeter and contactless payment). But if you want a sleek, simple-to-use tracker, this is a nice, low-profile choice that still delivers plenty. (Fitbit retired its Inspire and Inspire HR, our former runner-up pick, in 2020, replacing them with the Inspire 2.)

Along with its all-day heart-rate monitoring and resting-heart-rate data, the Inspire 2 offers sleep-stage tracking, connected GPS for real-time pace and distance for select workouts (the Charge 4 has built-in GPS capabilities), and more than 20 exercise modes (the same as the Charge 4). That’s in addition to basic all-day activity tracking, automatic activity recognition, and reminders to move. The Inspire 2 lacks the altimeter the Charge 4 has, so it can’t credit you for climbs. By choosing the Inspire 2 instead of the Charge 4, you’re also giving up quick-text replies for Android devices.

Scrolling through the Inspire 2’s menus. Video: Michael Murtaugh

The Inspire 2’s backlit grayscale OLED touchscreen is bright and clear, though we still found it a bit tough to see in especially bright sunlight. (The Charge 4’s visibility was consistently solid.) The included silicone band is a bit softer and more comfortable than that of the Charge 4. Instead of pressing a button to manually wake the screen or return to the home screen, you squeeze the sides of the device and then scroll through the menus. (Unlike the Charge 4, which includes vertical and horizontal swiping to access modes and menus, the Inspire 2 is all vertical.) The Inspire 2 promises a battery life of up to 10 days—three days longer than our top pick. After two days of continuous wear and activity in our tests, the battery dropped to 81%, versus 68% for the Charge 4 in the same timespan (though this was with the use of its built-in GPS, which siphons energy).

A fitbit inspire 2 displaying the following text message: all my people in the crowd, let me see you dance.

Like that of nearly all wrist-worn devices, the Inspire 2’s step count isn’t totally accurate. It performed well in our controlled outdoor walk for step count, coming in just 0.46% under the control (just behind the Charge 4). But its all-day step-count average was about 12% higher compared with the control than the 4’s. As we’ve explained, devices you wear on your wrist track your arm swings, not your actual steps, so they tend to inflate the number of steps you take, sometimes significantly. For instance, the Inspire 2 seemed to rack up lots of “steps” while we folded laundry one day. It registered fast walks with a stroller as bike rides and a workout heavy on kettle-bell swings as a swim. But it automatically acknowledged and accurately recorded other activities—a 30-minute run, a 21-minute walk—with little issue. We weren’t able to swim with the Inspire 2. It has no stroke-detection feature (the Charge 4 doesn’t have that either), but it does allow for setting the pool length for accuracy. It also performed solidly in our heart-rate tests.

As with the Charge 4, the Inspire 2’s sleep tracking reports what it labels as “light,” “deep,” and “REM” sleep; it also reports your time awake and total time asleep, and provides a sleep score. It does not, however, register naps. You need to “sleep” (trackers use your heart-rate and movement patterns to pick up on sleep) for an hour to trigger auto-detection and data. And you need to do so for more than three hours to receive info on sleep stages. If you want to record a shorter snooze, you can add it manually from the sleep screen in the app. Unlike the Charge 4, which allows you to set alarms on the tracker itself, the Inspire 2 requires you to set alarms in the app (though you can turn them off or snooze them from the tracker).

Three white fitbit bands next to the inspire 2.

Few fitness-tracker apps operate as nicely as Fitbit’s app, which you use for all of the company’s wearables, including our picks. Even if you use it only on a more-casual basis, we think the simple app interface makes for a pleasant experience. You can choose from about 20 faces (the same as with the Charge 4) to customize the look of your display.

You can wear the Inspire 2 on your wrist or in a clip (sold separately for $20) on your clothing. In comparison with the Charge 4, the Inspire 2 lacks a few other bells and whistles, such as a weather app, and the ability to use Fitbit’s contactless payment system and control a Spotify account from the tracker.

Upgrade pick: Garmin Vívoactive 4S

Our best fitness tracker for fitness enthusiast, garmin vívoactive 4S, displaying the steps count and date on its screen.

Fitness enthusiasts who are focused on precisely tracking specific workouts in addition to their everyday activities may find the Garmin Vívoactive 4S to be a more practical, streamlined alternative to a GPS running watch. The Vívoactive 4S monitors the basics (steps, heart rate) and the not-so-basics (stress, respiration); it also offers numerous activity modes and a hefty array of exercise instructions, as well as the ability to create customized workouts.

Its color touchscreen is clear and responsive, though it has a slightly muted palette compared with the color touchscreens on other trackers we tested. Two buttons beside the screen allow you to easily toggle among workout modes (top) and general settings (bottom), as well as lap and back functions. Those buttons also add to this tracker’s running-watch-like feel. With inactivity alerts and goal celebrations, though, this Garmin model better fits the fitness tracker mold.

The Vívoactive 4S has a color touchscreen. Video: Michael Murtaugh

The Vivoactive is one of the most accurate trackers we found when it came to steps and distance. And it did well on heart rate, too, performing at the top in our two active treadmill tests—a good sign for on-the-go accuracy. On the workout front, the 4S has more than 20 exercise modes (roughly the same number as the Fitbit Charge 4), including running, biking, yoga, swimming, and climbing; it also syncs to a host of Garmin-generated workouts (Razor Sharp Abs, After-Work Yoga) in the Garmin Connect app. Once you’ve uploaded a workout to the watch, you can play it back, complete with animated demonstrations and a rep counter. We tried a few, and even though nothing beats solid verbal or tactile coaching cues when you’re learning or performing an exercise, the tiny cartoons can be a helpful guide. (You can also create a custom workout in the app and play it back on the watch, but without animation.)

We found the Vívoactive 4S’s activity auto-detection to be a bit uneven. The tracker picked up a 30-minute run just fine but designated a 26-minute, 1.4-mile fast walk as a run. It also recorded two “bike rides,” which were actually walks with a stroller. This isn’t the only tested tracker that mistook our pushing a kid for pedaling a bike. So if you stroller-walk often, know that your step counts will most likely be skewed.

The Vívoactive 4S encourages you to move but also promotes resting in equal(ish) measure. It monitors time asleep (“deep,” “light,” and “REM”), time awake, and respiration; in our tests, its sleep times seemed to line up with what we logged. Like our other picks, it doesn’t automatically register naps. A feature called Body Battery purports to know when you should rest.

If you like controlling a good chunk of your life from your wrist, this may be the device for you. It offers many smartwatch-like features, such as Garmin Pay, the company’s contactless payment system (which we did not try). The Vívoactive 4S also allows you to download playlists or individual songs from the likes of Spotify Premium and Amazon Music and listen through paired headphones. We didn’t have access to either service, but we were able to control podcast playback on our phone from the watch—a handy feature when we were mid-workout. The battery fell to 48% after two days of continuous use; predictably, training, using the music and GPS modes, and, say, putting the screen on the brightest setting will siphon energy.

What about privacy and security?

Health apps and wearables collect a raft of data, which isn’t regulated or legally protected in the same way that other health data (say, from a visit to a doctor) is (by HIPAA). And companies that are negligent with the data they collect don’t seem to incur financial penalties. If you’re intrigued by a device, but privacy questions give you pause, you’re not alone. As part of our research, we reached out to the companies behind our picks and asked them to respond to a series of questions addressing what we think are important privacy and security considerations. “Rule of thumb: lack of response to specific questions about protecting user data is a red flag,” John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, told us in an email. “A company that cares about security should want to reassure users that they are in good hands.” Here’s what the companies told us.

How our picks compare

What is required to sign up?

Fitbit: Name, email address, password, date of birth, gender, height, weight.
Garmin: Name (can be just first name or a nickname), email address, and password is required to generate a new account. When you add a device to your account, the app asks for height, weight, gender, and birthdate.

What user data does the app collect?

Fitbit: Device collects data that helps estimate metrics like steps taken, distance traveled,
and calories burned, as well as heart rate and sleep stages. (When the device syncs with the
app, data from the device transfers to Fitbit servers.) Geolocation information (which can be
denied or turned off in settings). Some Usage information and details on the devices and
applications used to access services.
Garmin: When uploading activities from the device to the app, info collected includes activities and activity data (steps, distance, pace, heart rate, sleep, etc.). If sharing with third-party apps (like My Fitness Pal), info including calories consumed. If location-based services like weather is chosen, the physical location of the device. When syncing, info including IP address, time, date, and geographic location.

What permissions does the app ask for?

Fitbit: Bluetooth access (for phone pairing), contacts (to find friends on Fitbit), location
(mapping workouts and activities), camera (if adding a profile photo). Permissions can be
controlled in the settings of the Fitbit app.
Garmin: Bluetooth access (for phone pairing), location (tracking workouts and activity), camera (if adding a profile photo).

Is data encrypted at rest and in transit?

Fitbit: Yes. Uses technical, physical, and administrative controls. Data is encrypted using at
least AES-128 (advanced encryption standard) and other protocols like TLS (transport
layer security and DTLS (datagram transport layer security).
Garmin: Yes. Uses a variety of industry standard safeguards, personnel, and processes and evaluates its approach to security continuously.

Is data that’s collected by the device or app shared with third parties for marketing purposes?

Fitbit: No. Data sharing does occur in specific situations, including when a user requests it,
to partners or providers that help provide product and services (third-party customer support,
billing), and if required by law.
Garmin: No. Data sharing does occur in specific situations, including when a user asks Garmin to share data with third parties, with third parties that provide services (order fulfillment, etc.), and when required by law in legal contexts.

Is data that’s collected by the device or app used internally for marketing or other purposes? If so, is it de-identified?

Fitbit: No. Users aren’t targeted with third-party ads. Fitbit advertises its own products and
works with advertising partners that might use cookies and other technologies to provide
their services.
Garmin: No.

Can you opt out of data sharing?

Fitbit: Yes. Via account settings and tools, users can manage personal information associated
with their account. (For instance, rescind access of third-party applications that were once
connected to a device or limiting how information is visible to other Fitbit users.)
Garmin: Yes. Users can opt out of receiving notifications from Garmin, unsubscribe to marketing emails, choose what information other Garmin users can see (via account privacy settings), or delete (or not provide) additional details like location, preferred activities, gender, birthdate, height, and weight. Users can manage their data (view, delete, export) on the Garmin website and can access information including account details and permissions consent history.

Does the company participate in third-party security audits and/or bug bounty programs?

Fitbit: Yes. Fitbit utilizes in-house security oversight, third-party assessments, and a public
bug bounty.
Garmin: Customers who believe they’ve identified a security issue can report it via a submission form on the Garmin site or via a public PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) key and a third-party encryption site.

Company privacy policy

Should you get an Apple Watch instead of a fitness tracker?

A person wearing an apple watch that is displaying fitness metrics on its screen.

The Apple Watch has evolved into a one-stop shop, of sorts, for health and activity tracking. But, along with its higher price, the Apple Watch’s battery life gives us pause. The projected 18 hours on the new Apple Watch Series 6 falls far below that of most designated fitness trackers, which often stretch for days (our top pick can go for up to five days without a charge). With the Apple Watch, a daily charge is required. The Series 6 unveiled a handful of new health-related features, including a blood-oxygen sensor (which is not FDA-approved and is meant only for general, non-diagnostic use). An ECG option (which we tried on the Series 5) checks for irregularities in heart rhythm and is FDA-approved. The Health app aggregates all health and fitness data from the watch. You can share workouts with friends and set up competitions. The watch syncs seamlessly to connected fitness equipment like the Peloton Bike+ and the Mirror.

Apple debuted the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE in September 2020. (Wirecutter’s resident Apple expert, senior staff writer Nick Guy, reviewed them both here; we will test them in a fitness context soon.) We conducted our latest tests on the now-discontinued Series 5 with watchOS 7 (we used the same assessments as we had for fitness trackers and GPS running watches), as well as on the still-available Series 3 and discontinued Series 4. If you already have an Apple Watch, it will work well as a fitness tracker. If you want only a fitness tracker, you can get a very good one—the Fitbit Charge 4—for a lot less money than an Apple Watch.

The Series 5 debuted an always-on display—a feature that serves workouts well. (No more tapping the screen to view heart-rate, distance, and other on-the-move data.) It also adapts to outdoor light, brightening automatically. We were pleased to see that some of the quibbles we had with the Series 3 and Series 4 had been rectified on the Series 5; for example, previously the Apple Watch occasionally detected specific workouts incorrectly and showed erroneous spikes in heart rate.

If you already have an Apple Watch, it will work well as a fitness tracker.

The Apple Watch measures activity differently than other trackers, encouraging you to close a trio of rings each day—a visually engaging way to keep tabs on things. Instead of focusing on step counts, it sets minimum exercise goals (30 active minutes) and aims to get you on your feet at least once an hour for 12 hours of your day. It also allows you to set a goal of “active calories,” which is how it keeps track of your total daily movement. (To arrive at this figure, it estimates your basal metabolic rate and mixes in the movement it detects and your heart rate.) These goals are customizable. If you dig into the interface, though, you can find your step counts. For us, those numbers tended to be on the high side (on three occasions, the counts were 5% to 23% over). In a 1.4-mile measured walk, it registered 1.3% under the control step count and 3.6% above the distance.

The watch triggers a timed workout mode for certain activities—walking, running, swimming, rowing, using the elliptical machine—whenever it detects anywhere from three to 10 minutes’ worth of that activity. This feature worked well for us. On a few occasions, the Series 3 and Series 4 models determined that we were on an elliptical machine when we were really walking carrying an umbrella or a water bottle. We did several walks holding a water bottle with the Series 5, and we found that the glitch seems to have been patched: It registered our movement as an outdoor walk. (It also auto-detected an actual elliptical session just fine.)

Launching a workout mode (you have about 20 to choose from) gives you more accurate data. We tested the Series 5 indoors, for walking and running; it consistently came in ahead of the distance, measuring our 1-mile treadmill walk as 1.07 miles. (Both of our Fitbit picks also overestimated our indoor walking and running distances in our testing.) To record outdoor runs, an Apple Watch uses either its onboard GPS or the GPS from your phone, the latter of which saves battery life. (The Apple Watch ideally secures a GPS signal when you launch the Workout app; it doesn’t give a confirmation when it locks on a signal.) Our results were within the margin of error expected with GPS tracking (our 1.4-mile GPS walk came in at 3.6% above the distance). In the pool, the Series 5 watch nailed our total distance and detected stroke types perfectly, producing some of the most seamless swim tracking we experienced.

The active-heart-rate monitoring is where we saw a marked improvement in the Series 5 over the Series 3 and 4 Apple Watches. On both our treadmill heart-rate tests, as well as on outdoor runs, the Series 5 readings were consistent and fairly accurate in comparison with those on our older-model Garmin chest strap. (The watch performed near the top of both of our active-heart-rate tests.) Unlike with the Series 3 and Series 4 watches, we didn’t experience any odd spikes. It struggled a few times to detect our heart rate, both in workout mode (outside and inside) and via the general heart-rate screen, but cinching the watch tighter helped.

Apple’s privacy policy is straightforward, and its security standards are on a par with Fitbit’s. And Apple is clear about the permissions you grant and the data you share.

The Apple Workout app facilitates workouts on the watch, and the Fitness app allows you to parse workout and activity data on your phone. Apple launched Fitness+, its subscription-based workout-streaming service, in fall 2020; we will test it soon. It features a variety of workouts by a variety of trainers, as well as guided audio walks, for $10 per month. Apple Watch also introduced a built-in sleep app in fall 2020; it is simple to set up and emphasizes adhering to a sleep schedule. But it reports relatively pared-down sleep metrics (time asleep, average time asleep, and average time in bed, with no sleep stages). See Wirecutter’s review of this and other sleep-tracking apps.

What to look forward to

We plan to test the new Fitbit Luxe—a “fashion-forward fitness and wellness tracker”—once it’s widely available. (The company says preorders will ship in late May 2021.) In addition to all-day activity tracking, real-time pace and distance, and a stress-management score based on heart rate, the Luxe has a color display and a jewelry-like look with a stainless steel case and available bracelet-style accessories.

We’re also evaluating Garmin’s Venu line of GPS smartwatches, which are built for all-day activity tracking. The recently debuted Venu 2 (45 mm)—as well as the smaller (40 mm) Venu 2S—focuses on new features over the original Venu such as fitness age, sleep score, additional activity profiles (HIIT, indoor climbing, hiking), and a longer battery life (up to 11 days). The more affordable Venu Sq has a rectangular touchscreen, more than 20 sport modes, and a version that supports onboard music storage. We plan to test both the Venu 2S and the Venu Sq.

We’re also testing the Apple Watch Series 6, Wirecutter’s upgrade pick among Apple Watches, to evaluate its merits as a fitness tracker.

In addition, we plan to test the Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch, which has an always-on display, built-in GPS, and a promised six-day battery life. Its advanced health-related features include an SpO2 sensor (which monitors blood-oxygen levels) and the ability to measure heart-rate variability (HRV) and skin temperature variations overnight.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/the-best-fitness-trackers/
Fitbit Charge 4 Review: 9 New Things To Know

Many people associate the best Fitbits with the best fitness trackers, mainly because the California-based fitness company is the largest player in that market by a huge margin. By getting a Fitbit, you know you'll get a decent fitness wearable for a good price.

You can get cheaper trackers, but Fitbit has a well-deserved reputation for the quality of what it sells in terms of build and app support. Below is the list of all the best Fitbit watches, bands and trackers, reviewed and ranked by T3's resident Fitbit experts.

Back in the day, Fitbit started with basic pedometers that clipped onto sports bra straps or waistbands; it's now moved up through a variety of bands to produce sophisticated devices that track everything from runs via GPS to workouts via heart-rate monitors to even menstruation – via user diary entries rather than any sensor, admittedly.

Having said that, most Fitbits aren’t just for step counting these days. They can be useful when running, at the gym or in your home gym, but you need to know which one to buy to suit your needs. Get fit for 2021 using the best Fitbits.

Looking for a device to track sleep? Some Fitbits can help you with that, but there are also dedicated sleep trackers available, not to mention the best running watches that can also analyse sleep quality, among other things.

Lastly, although we tried to explain as clearly as possible which Fitbit below is good for what purpose, we also have a dedicated guide on how to choose the right Fitbit for you. The same goes for price: all entries have dedicated, automatically-updated price widgets, but in case you would like to see even more deals have a look at our cheap Fitbit deals roundup.

Check out the best Black Friday deals NOW!
Want to buy a new Fitbit? We're certain you'll find plenty of Fitbit deals on Black Friday, admittedly the biggest shopping event of the year. If there will be decent Fitbit deals, you'll find them in our Black Friday hub. Just click on the link above and you will be instantly taken to T3's Black Friday Hub where you'll find them all. View Deal

Best Fitbits, in order of preference

(Image credit: Fitbit)

1. Fitbit Versa 3

The best Fitbit overall

Specifications

Quoted battery life: 5+ days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Ambient light sensor: Yes

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

NFC payments: Yes

Bluetooth: Yes

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Female health tracking: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Improved GPS and heart rate tracking+Attractive design+Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Lacks features from Fitbit Sense – but we don't think that matters

Fitbit Versa has long been the best smartwatch-styled Fitbit, but Versa 3 adds some long-demanded features and makes everything from the Versa lineage a bit slicker. 

Most importantly, there is improved heart-rate tracking accuracy during intense exercise, built in GPS – which is also pretty accurate, though it is not the fastest to connect – and the option of an always-on screen. For those of us who found Fitbit's old 'flick your wrist to activate screen' approach infuriating, that last one is great news.

With those additions, plus support for active zone minutes, which rewards you for more intense workouts, this is a much better Fitbit for those who are a bit more serious about their fitness goals. 

However, Versa 3 is also great for those who want a stylish and slick smartwatch for notifications and contactless payments, but don't want to pay for an Apple Watch – or don't use iPhones.

Also consider: Fitbit Sense is even nicer than the Versa 3 and adds some interesting features such as stress tracking and an ECG. However for most people we suspect these extra features really will be 'interesting' rather than particularly useful, and they do also mean the Sense is £100 or $100 more expensive than the Versa 3.

(Image credit: Fitbit)

2. Fitbit Charge 4

The best Fitbit fitness band – now with built-in GPS!

Specifications

Quoted battery life: 5+ days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Ambient light sensor: Yes

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

NFC payments: Yes (Versa and special Edition only)

Bluetooth: Yes

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Female health tracking: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Solid cardio tracking+Phone notifications+GPS built in+Strong battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Not terribly chic-No always-on screen

Hot off the production lines, the waterproof and compact Fitbit Charge 4 is the newest Fitbit and its best ever fitness band. I prefer the more smartwatch-style Versa 2,  but if you're after a band, they don't come better than this. 

The inclusion of GPS and 'Activity Minutes' – a tracking system for more intense exercise than just taking steps – brings it in line with Garmin's bands. However Fitibit's app is noticeably better than the Garmin one and the Charge 4 is also more affordable than many of its arch rival's bands.

Notifications are better handled than on the Charge 3 and it feels a bit slicker all round, in fact. However, the fact that you cannot set the screen to always on, even during a workout, remains a PITA. Sort it out, Fitbit!

To see how this Fitbit compare to our number one choice, then check out T3's Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Fitbit Charge 4 comparison feature.

(Image credit: Fitbit)

3. Fitbit Versa 2

Particularly if you don't need GPS, this 'oldie' is still worth considering

Specifications

Quoted battery life: 5+ days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: Via connected phone

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Ambient light sensor: Yes

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

NFC payments: Yes (Versa and special Edition only)

Bluetooth: Yes

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Female health tracking: Yes

Reasons to buy

+A wearable you'll want to wear+The full range of Fitbit features

Reasons to avoid

-GPS is via your smartphone only

If we were to describe one Fitbit as the best Fitbit, we'd pick the Versa 3. But that leaves a discounted Fitbit Versa 2 as arguably the best value Fitbit, so long as it's at the right price.

Other than lacking the Versa 3 and Charge 4's built-in GPS – although you can link it to your phone and use the GPS therein, which should be more than adequate for most users – Versa 2 has the full gamut of Fitbit features. There's heart-rate tracking, the option to access an overall fitness score, basic step and distance tracking, access to Fitbit's motivational social network, an app store and the ability to play music direct from the watch via Spotify. 

Versa 2 has a mute version of Amazon Alexa, which obeys your commands in the usual way, but replies to queries via text only. It’s an improvement, frankly. It's also waterproof and features tracking of your swims too, which is good news for swimmers. 

Those wanting workout motivation might like the on-wrist video workouts of the Versa 2. You do quickly find that trying to watch a virtual personal trainer who sits on your wrist is not the easiest way to learn new exercises, mind you.

You also get basic smartphone features – a smattering of apps, notifications and contactless card payments – but with much better battery life than most smartphones. Even if you make full use of the fitness tracking features and heart-rate monitor, you will get 5 days life out of the Versa quite comfortably, which is a lot more than Apple Watch, for instance.

On the downside, the Fitbit Pay system is barely supported in the UK. But you're in luck if you're with Santander and Revolut, which we have at least heard of, Danske Bank, Starling Bank or 'boon. by Wirecard' whatever the hell that is. Otherwise, we would not recommend cutting up your card just yet.

That aside, Versa 2 is an excellent product. Perhaps most importantly, it looks good. That's more than can be said for the Ionic, Blaze and Surge, which were Fitbit's previous stabs at smartwatch-type wearables. Fitbit has also honed and refined the Versa since its launch, adding features such as blood oxygen tracking during sleep.

Also consider: As well as the standard Fitbit Versa 2 there’s also a Versa 2 Special Edition. It’s functionally identical but looks nicer, with a more pleasing strap.

To see how this smartwatch compares to our number one choice, be sure to check out T3's Fitbit Versa 2 vs Fitbit Versa 3 comparison feature.

(Image credit: Fitbit)

4. Fitbit Inspire 2

Best cheap Fitbit fitness tracker

Specifications

Quoted battery life: up to 10 days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: Via connected phone

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Water resistance: Yes, up to 50 metres

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Slim design+1-year Fitbit Premium subscription included in the price+Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Only connected GPS

Aimed at more casual users, the Inspire 2 makes it easier to log and monitor activities, even if you are not tracking them as workouts, thanks to the Active Zone Minutes feature. The Fitbit Inspire 2 fitness tracker can help build healthier habits with features like goal-based exercise modes (over 20 of these included on the device), advanced sleep tools, 24/7 heart rate tracking, menstrual health tracking, food and hydration intake monitoring, along with your weight, plus daily encouragement right on your wrist.

All that said,, probably the best thing about the Fitbit Inspire 2 is that it comes with a one-year free trial of Fitbit Premium, included in the price. So, not only the Fitbit Inspire 2 is way cheaper than the Charge 4, it also includes a service that would otherwise cost you as much as the tracker itself. Did we mention the Inspire 2 also has an up to 10 days battery life, the longest Fitbit has to offer?

To see how this model stacks up against a more expensive Fitbit, then check out T3's Fitbit Charge 4 vs Fitbit Inspire 2 comparison feature.

5. Fitbit Charge 3

Nearly all the features of the Versa, in a more traditional fitness band form

Specifications

Quoted battery life: up to 7 days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: Via connected phone

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Ambient light sensor: Yes

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Female health tracking: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Compact, well made and not unattractive

Reasons to avoid

-No built-in GPS-Dodgy, capacitive 'button'

Much the same as the Charge 4 but older, slower and lacking GPS and Activity Minutes – for some reason, Fitbit is not bringing that to its older bands – Charge 3 may be worth considering if you see it at a low price. Which you probably will. 

The Charge 3 is the perfect choice if you want heart-rate monitoring and access to Fitbit's app. GPS tracking of runs, bike rides etc is possible via your phone's GPS – the Charge 4 piggy-backs on your phone's navigational abilities and feeds the results into the Fitbit app.

You get notifications and – in the limited edition version only – Fitbit Pay, but there's less emphasis on smartphone features here, with notifications but not much in the way of apps. Which is fine by us, since even on its 'proper' smartwatches, the Fitbit app store is about as well stocked as a Soviet Union supermarket.

6. Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit for runners and riders

Specifications

Quoted battery life: up to 5 days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: built-in

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Screen material: Gorilla Glass

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

NFC payments: Yes

Bluetooth: Yes

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Reasons to buy

+The most powerful Fitbit in terms of fitness features+Handy notifications

Reasons to avoid

-Half baked app selection-On-wrist video coaching not a great idea

The Ionic is, again, like the Versa, but with two major differences. First is that GPS is built in, so your phone is not required when running, cycling, hiking, etc. The other is that it looks fairly horrible. However on the plus side, it is a fair bit bigger than the Versa and so better suited to more manly/larger wrists.

Fitbit Ionic adds a lot of running watch functionality, far more successfully than the old Fitbit Blaze and Surge. Runs are auto-detected, and tracked via GPS, and there's also heart rate tracking that works relatively well during high intensity workouts.

If you want a running watch, we'd recommend a Garmin over it, and if you want a smartwatch with running/cycling/gym-friendliness, we'd suggest an Apple Watch Series 4. If, however, you are a runner, walker or cyclist, require something more watch-like in appearance and simply must have a Fitbit, then this is the one to go for. That seems like a fairly narrow niche to us, but it's still an excellent product in most ways, even if the looks are a bit of an acquired taste, to put it diplomatically.

(Image credit: Fitbit)

7. Fitbit Inspire HR

Slimline Fitbit fitness tracker

Specifications

Quoted battery life: up to 5 days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: via connected phone

Cardio Fitness Level: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

NFC payments: No

Bluetooth: Yes

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Very slim+Good battery life+Pulse tracking included

Reasons to avoid

-Struggles to keep pace during intense workouts

This recent addition to the Fitbit range is the replacement for the Alta HR. it's practically indistinguishable from the Charge 3 in terms of features – pulse tracking, 5-day battery, waterproof, it's able to tap your phone's GPS to track runs etc – but noticeably slimmer.

The good thing about this is… it's slimmer and a bit more discreet than the Charge 3. The down side is that it struggles a bit more than the Charge 3 to follow your heart beat when you are sweating and working out intensely. With more of a proper button, it feels a bit better than the Charge 3. We'd say it's aimed more at women but it is essentially unisex. Lots of replacement straps are available.

(Image credit: Fitbit)

8. Fitbit Ace 3

A Fitbit designed for the little ones

Specifications

Quoted battery life: up to 5 days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

NFC payments: No

Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Great battery life+Soft, super durable strap+Responsive touchscreen+Makes exercise and healthy habits fun

Reasons to avoid

-Not many games-Black and white screen

The Fitbit Ace 3 builds upon another great tracker – the Fitbit Ace 2 – by adding better battery life and some next extra features for more accurate tracking to become the best kids smartwatch. While it packs a punch feature-wise, the watch also looks great, and because there are no specific character or movie tie-ins, it offers longevity. It may even be acceptable to teenagers (maybe).

The Ace series of fitness trackers have always been great to motivate kids with funny animations/competitions and thankfully, Ace 3 does this pretty well too: for example, a little disco ball drops down on the screen to celebrate 10,000 steps walked in a day, to the delight of most sub-10-yo children.

Should you set up a family account in the Fitbit App, you can keep tabs on your child's activity while the kids can delight themselves in collecting virtual badges on their profile. Fun for the whole family indeed.

9. Fitbit Alta HR

Old version of the Inspire HR

Specifications

Quoted battery life: up to 7 days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: via connected phone

Auto exercise recognition: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Bluetooth: Yes

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Discreet design+Week-long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Tap-sensitive screen isn't sensitive enough

The Fitbit Alta HR is essentially a slimmed-down Fitbit Charge 2 (see below) and predecessor to the Fitbit Inspire HR. It's probably aimed more at the ladies, and while heart rate monitoring is built in, there's no way we'd use it to track pulse activity during intense exercise. 

Call, text, and calendar notifications are here, but there's no waterproofing, and no access at all to GPS, even via your phone. All the other usual key Fitbit selling points are in place however, with access to the app and social stuff, simple operation and week-long battery life. 

There's no way we'd get this over the Inspire HR unless it's at an ultra-low price.

(Image credit: Fitbit)

10. Fitbit Inspire

Basic step counter with few bells or whistles

Specifications

Quoted battery life: up to 5 days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: via connected phone

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

NFC payments: No

Bluetooth: Yes

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Waterproof+Affordable+Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Doesn't do a lot

This is the same as the Inspire HR  but without the 'HR' (heart-rate tracking) bit. You also can't access your phone's GPS with this one. So what you're left with is your classic step counter band, like your mum wears. If you are quite sedentary and want to get moving, this might be worth considering although it's also worth considering that someone like Xiaomi will do you a similar, if less stylish band for a lot less…

(Image credit: Fitbit)

11. Fitbit Alta HR

For those who like a classic Fitbit for a lot of money

Specifications

Quoted battery life: up to 5 days

Heart-rate tracking: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

GPS: via connected phone

Waterproof: Yes

Touchscreen: Yes

Water resistance: up to 50 metres

Bluetooth: Yes

Smartphone notifications: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Striking design+Week-long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Tap-sensitive screen isn't sensitive enough-Not a tremendous value

Sours: https://www.t3.com/us/features/best-fitbit

2020 fitbit reviews

The best Fitbit 2021: all the latest Fitbits tested

If you're looking for a new Fitbit, you've come to the right place – we've put the whole range of watches to the test to bring you a definitive list of the very best. We've put all these Fitbits through their paces in real world conditions, during workouts and everyday life, so you know exactly how each one feels to use, and the data you can expect to receive each day.

Some of these Fitbits are sleek wristbands that simply monitor your daily steps, heart rate, respiration, sleep patterns and workouts, while others are fully-fledged smartwatches that also let you play music, make contactless payments and download apps.

In July 2021, the Fitbit Luxe took the title as our number one rated Fitbit. The best fitness tracker is one that you're happy to wear all day, and with its crisp OLED display and premium design, the Luxe fits the bill perfectly.

There's now another option too: the Fitbit Charge 5, which is a fitness tracker built for anyone who's starting to take their workouts seriously. it has a sleek new design with a metal case and smooth silicone Infinity Band, plus on-board GPS, and the stress-tracking and ECG sensors of the Fitbit Sense. 

The best Fitbits

1. Fitbit Luxe

Fitbit's new fashion-forward fitness tracker is also its best

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: No

Battery life: Up to 7 days

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+Super accurate heart rate monitoring+Crisp, vivid AMOLED display+Modern, stylish design

Reasons to avoid

-No on-board GPS to track runs

The Fitbit Luxe is the company's smartest, sleekest fitness tracker to date, and the best Fitbit you can buy today. 

The Fitbit Luxe looks great, but doesn't sacrifice features for style. It monitors steps, sleep, stress levels, heart rate, respiration and workouts, and also features a blood oxygen saturation sensor that will be enabled with a future firmware update.

All these stats are shown on a super clear and bright AMOLED display, which displays your daily stats in full color with smooth animations. It has a premium stainless steel case, and comes with either a soft silicone band or a gold-toned stainless steel bracelet by jewelry designer Gorjana.

The more you wear your Fitbit, the more you'll get from it as it builds up a more complete picture of your health, lifestyle and habits, and the Luxe is one that you won't want to take off.

2. Fitbit Charge 5

The best Fitbit if you're gettign serious about sports

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: Yes

Battery life: Up to 7 days

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Reasons to buy

+On-board GPS+EDA stress monitor+Bright, crisp display

Reasons to avoid

-No music controls-ECG not available at launch

The Fitbit Charge 5 takes the best features from all of the company's other devices and rolls them into one sporty package. You get on-board GPS for tracking runs, walks and bike rides without carrying your phone; an EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor to measure changes in stress levels, an ECG app, and a bright AMOLED display that makes it a pleasure to use.

The Charge 5 is a fitness tracker built for people who are starting to take their workouts seriously, but aren't yet prepared to invest in a dedicated running watch or swimming watch. There's a great range of workout tracking modes (you can select your five favorites for quick access), and heart rate monitoring is particularly accurate. In our tests, it was as responsive as a premium sports watch.

It's not quite perfect; unlike the Fitbit Charge 4, there's no way to control your Spotify playlist or other music from your wrist, and the ECG app wasn't available when the Charge 5 first started shipping in September 2021. Those aren't huge quibbles though (hopefully the ECG sensor will be enabled soon), and 

3. Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit's premium smartwatch, now with GPS

Specifications

Screen: Yes

Heart rate tracker: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Activity tracking: Yes

GPS: Yes

Battery life: Up to 6 days

Compatibility: Android/iOS

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/best/the-best-fitbit
TOP 3: Best FitBit 2020

Best Fitbit 2021: Compare new Fitbit smartwatches and trackers

There's such a selection of Fitbit smartwatches and fitness bands, choosing the right device feels mindboggling. That's why we've set up this feature, to try and compare Fitbit models.

New Fitbit devices like the Fitbit Sense and Charge 5 have reached another level of features and health tracking, so now it's a choice about how much data you want to collect.

Fitbit devices range between simple steps and sleep tracking at one end (Fitbit Inspire), to full tracking of your heart vitals, sleep stages and even body temperature stress levels at the other (Fitbit Sense). And now the Fitbit Luxe puts those top features in a sleeker package.

You'll also need to weigh up whether you want a fitness tracker or smartwatch form factor.

There's no wrong or right answer here.

Read on for our guidance based on years of reviews and testing.

Fitbit watches vs bands

But if you already have a watch that you love to wear, you might want to choose a Fitbit band so you're not wearing two wrist watches.

Some people also just don't get on well with watches, and prefer something slimmer. And the Fitbit Inspire can be clipped on, so there's no need to wear something on the wrist at all.

Then there's features. A lot people think about a Fitbit in terms of 10,000 steps a day - but now they're all about heart rate tracking and analysis, resting heart rate and sleep monitoring too. But if you're an active person, or really hungry for in-depth data – you'll be looking at specific trackers in the range. Read on for our comparison and reviews.

Update: We updated this article in October 2021 to include the Fitbit Charge 5 review

Fitbit comparison: find your perfect features

Fitbit Charge 5

Best Fitbit 2021: compare Fitbit smartwatches and trackers

The most advanced Fitbit tracker


Fitbit Charge 5 features: Heart rate | ECG | Stress tracking | Temperature | VO2 Max | GPS | SpO2 sensor | Steps | Sleep tracking | Guided Breathing | Workout modes | Women's health tracking


The Charge 5 is Fitbit's flagship tracker, and follows the Fitbit Luxe by introducing a stainless steel case and AMOLED display, which makes it far more wearable, and pleasing on the wrist.

The Charge 5 screen size is 11% bigger than the Charge 4, and the device itself is 1mm taller but over 1mm thinner.

But it's packed with sensors that makes the Charge 5 a mini-smartwatch in its own right.

It brings ECG and the EDA stress sensor from the Fitbit Sense, the first time these have been seen on a fitness tracker form factor. That joins GPS alongside the standard set of advanced sleep, stress score, Active Zones Minutes and all day heart rate tracking.

There's skin temperature and the new Daily Readiness score, which assesses how well rested you are before recommending workouts. Both of these are cleverly calculated from personal baselines, tailored to your personal physiological profile.

We've now had time to review the device – and recommending it does come with caveats. If you want the chunkier, more male-friendly form factor, or the ECG then it's a no-brainer, it brings Fitbit's platform to your wrist in sleek and wearable package.

But the GPS accuracy is problematic, which undermines a huge part of its USP. And if you're not interested in ECG, then is it worth paying more for?

For a lot of people, the Fitbit Luxe is a smarter buy. It's a question of personal design preference and interest in those advanced features.

Read our full guide to the Fitbit Charge 5.

Buy Charge 5 on Amazon


Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense - the best fitbit

The best health watch


Fitbit Sense features: Heart rate | ECG | Stress tracking | Temperature | VO2 Max | GPS | SpO2 sensor | Steps | Sleep tracking | Guided Breathing | Workout modes | Women's health tracking


If you're choosing a Fitbit, but looking for a little more detail than just your daily step count, the Fitbit Sense is the device for you.

It's a fully fledged health watch, with every bell and whistle you can imagine. In fact, it's provides more data about your wellbeing than any rival on the market.

Stress tracking, mindfulness via an electrodermal activity sensor, ECG, temperature monitoring all join blood oxygen, 24/7 heart rate, top sleep tracking and, of course, your step count.

There's also GPS, loads of workout modes, and it will kick your data out to platforms like Strava if you hook them up.

Fitbit has put an added focus on its Fitbit Premium, so subscribers to the $79.99 a year service will get even more data.

Premium reveals a whole dashboard of new raw data called Health Metrics across all devices – but Sense leverages the most. You get temperature and resting heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen saturation, and heart rate variability all shown in one screen.

If there's a downside it's that there are a lot of graphs, but not a lot of information about what's happening under the hood, so we'd advise getting yourself clued up on the key metrics.

At the moment Fitbit Sense has some annoyances - and the on-watch experience is a little laggy, and the wrist-raise is too slow. Hopefully these get fixed up, because you do get around six days of battery life, a seriously rapid fast charge. And Fitbit Pay is on board if your bank supports it.

Read our full review of the Fitbit Sense.

Price when reviewed: £299.99

Buy from Amazon

Fitbit Luxe

Fitbit Luxe

Best Fitbit for women


Fitbit Luxe features: Heart rate | VO2 Max | SpO2 sensor | Step tracking | Sleep tracking | Guided Breathing | Workout modes | Skin temperature | Women's health tracking


There's a new Fitbit in town and it's bringing some much-needed style to the party. The Fitbit Luxe introduces a stainless steel case and a color AMOLED display, both of which is a huge visual step up from the Charge and Inspire.

It's actually something you might want to wear. And while the look and feel is Luxe, the price tag is not. It retails for £129.99 – which is the same as a standard Charge 4.It comes in white, black and orchid (pink) options and there's a special edition with gold link bracelet. It's not exclusively for women, but quite obviously marketed that way.

Best Fitbit 2021: compare Fitbit smartwatches and trackers

Above: Charge 5 vs Luxe

In terms of features there's nothing exclusive to Luxe, but plenty of top features filter down the Fitbit range. It's not as advanced as the Charge 4 (there's no GPS, for example) but trumps the Inspire range with its SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen.

There's also a new drive towards mindfulness, and it will keep tabs on stress using a daily stress score. That feature is actually rolling out across Fitbit devices. That's on top of sleep, heart rate and steps – everything you expect from Fitbit.

In short, the Luxe puts the best parts of the Fitbit experience in a nicer, sleeker and more stylish package. What's not to like about that?

Read our full Fitbit Luxe review.

Buy Fitbit Luxe on Amazon

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3 - from our review

The best Fitbit smartwatch


Fitbit Versa 3 features: PurePulse 2.0 HR sensor | GPS | SpO2 sensor | Swim tracking | Sleep tracking | Fitbit Pay | Notifications | App Gallery | Alexa | Music storage | Women's health tracking


While the Fitbit Sense has stolen the show as the company's flagship smartwatch, the Versa 3 is here for those that don't want to pay big money for features like ECG and stress.

The Versa 3 is a solid update to the previous version, adding GPS for outside tracking of workouts.

It also gets the upgraded PurePulse 2.0 HR sensor, which should be more reliable but still struggles at very high intensity.

As a smartwatch and fitness tracker, the basics are the still same – with heart rate, steps, sleep tracking all done within the Fitbit app. The SpO2 sensor is now live, too, adding insights into Estimated Oxygen Variability, as well as Sleep Score, Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights.

And Fitbit Premium users will get breathing rate, heart rate variability, oxygen saturation and resting heart rate in the new Health Metrics dashboard.

You still get Alexa is chief among these, where a button press will summon Amazon’s voice assistant for alarm setting, timers, and quick check-ins on your goal progress – if you like that sort of thing.

Check out our full review of the excellent Fitbit Versa 3.

Price when reviewed: £199.99

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Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2

The best basic Fitbit fitness tracker


Fitbit Inspire series features: Step tracking | Waterproof | Swim tracking | Heart rate (Inspire HR) | Sleep tracking (Inspire HR) | Screen and notifications | SmartTrack | Interchangeable bands


The launch of the Fitbit Inspire 2 is a minor update to the Inspire HR, but a better screen and the new Active Zone Minutes feature make it a no-brainer at the same price.

The slimline, dainty activity bands are perfect for smaller wrists, yet they still manage to boast a relatively big touchscreen display. What's more, they're also waterproof, offering some basic swim tracking – making it more versatile that its predecessor, too.

It covers the usual fitness tracking bases, with the Inspire HR unlocking features like Sleep Stages, guided breathing and training with heart rate zones. You also get the goal-based exercise modes from the Charge 4 and SmartTrack tech to automatically recognise when you're working out.

There's notification support here, but that's as far as the smartwatch features go. There's no third-party app support, either, but you do get a decent handful of watch faces to choose from.

It's a feature-packed fitness tracker that, crucially, doesn't come at a great expense. This is now Fitbit's cheapest tracker range, whether you go for the Fitbit Inspire or the Inspire HR.

Combined with Fitbit's great companion app that also unlocks additional features, like women's health tracking, you're getting a great overall fitness tracker that won't break the bank.

Check out our comprehensive Fitbit Inspire 2 review.

Price when reviewed: £89.99

Also see: Fitbit Inspire HR review | Fitbit Inspire review

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Fitbit Ace 3

Fitbit Ace 3

The best Fitbit for kids


Fitbit Ace 3 features: Step counting | Swim-proof design | Sleep tracking | Activity | Challenges


The Fitbit Ace 3 is aimed at kids aged six and up, with the latest generation featuring a modular design that utilizes a bumper to keep the display a little more protected as kids run around and play.

The Ace 3 puts move reminders at its core, reminding kids to get those 250 steps per minute on their way to 60 minutes of active time per day.

It's still a monochrome display, so no color options here. And the main features are still step tracking, sport monitoring and sleep insights. There’s no heart rate monitor, but it does boast swim-proof 5ATM water resistance.

There are also bedtime reminders and silent alarms to help parents get a settled sleep schedule and there are also timers and race the stopwatch features built into the watch.

Thee larger tracker also means a boost in battery life and it will now last 8 days between charging, up from 6 days on the previous generation.

Price when reviewed: £69.99

Buy from Amazon


Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4 on wrist from our review

Black Friday deal potential


Fitbit Charge 4 features: Heart rate | VO2 Max | GPS | SmartTrack | SpO2 sensor | Steps | Sleep tracking | Guided Breathing | Workout modes | Stress tracking | Skin temperature | Women's health tracking


The Charge 5 is now live, and by all metrics a better tracker than the Charge 4. But it's jumped in price, and there's a high chance there will be some tasty deal action on the Charge 4.

And it still offers plenty to like. GPS offers tracking of runs and cycles from the wrist, and the Charge 4 also has an SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen, will monitor VO2 Max, resting heart rate, and boasts Fitbit's brilliant sleep tracking smarts as well.

It's swim-proof with 5ATM water resistance, and will track and tag data from 20 sports, from HIIT and yoga to general workouts (although just basic calorie, HR and duration data).

The Fitbit Charge 4 certainly sets out its stall as a great device for those who like to workout, do HIIT, living room workouts, gym classes and the odd run. If you're a 10,000 steps a day person it's overkill, and committed runners will crave more detail on progression. But it's a fine update to the Charge 3, although we do wish Fitbit has worked on the screen, which looks pretty dated these days.

It's also one of the best Fitbit devices for sleep tracking. It has Sleep Stages, Sleep Insights, Sleep Score and Estimated Oxygen Variability - all metrics that far outweigh the rest of the competition.

The design certainly lags the Charge 5 with its monochrome display. But if you can grab a deal on the Charge 4, there's plenty to like.

Wareable verdict: Fitbit Charge 4 review

Price when reviewed: £129.99

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This article was first published in December 2015. However, we update it frequently to reflect the newest Fitbit devices, making sure that we've tested the latest and greatest devices available to buy.

FitbitFitness trackersBuying guides


Sours: https://www.wareable.com/fitbit/what-fitbit-tracker-should-you-buy

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