Fitbit Review | How This Watch Can Change Your Life
Published by David Williams
As an engineer, David loves technical product comparison and analyzing the data to assess top products.
Table of Contents
In your fitness journey, a good starting point is to find a dependable fitness tracker. That’s because it can be challenging to track your fitness progress accurately without one. A fitness tracker is a hand wearable device that helps you stay on top of your physical activity by monitoring metrics like steps taken, distance covered, and calories burned.
There are many fitness trackers, but one of the most popular brands is Fitbit. This wrist-worn device tracks your fitness activity and provides you with guidance and motivation to help you reach your fitness goals.
But is Fitbit the right fitness tracker for you? In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the features and benefits of this popular fitness tracker to help you choose the best Fitbit for your needs. But first.
What is Fitbit?
Fitbit is a company that produces fitness trackers and other wearables to help people live healthier lives. The brand was founded in 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman, and it has since become one of the market’s most popular fitness tracker brands. Google now owns it.
Fitbit offers various fitness trackers for different needs and budgets. These trackers come in the form of a smartwatch that keeps track of your health and fitness goals and provides guidance. It also helps people with:
- Sleep tracking
- Heart rate monitoring and tracking
- Tracking blood oxygen saturation levels in your body
- Store and listen to music
- Contactless payments through the Fitbit pay
- Receive text notifications and calls
- GPS tracking when exercising
The brand also offers a mobile app that provides more activity tracking insights. The Fitbit app works with the Fitbit smartwatch to give you a complete picture of your fitness progress. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
How Much Does a Fitbit Cost?
The prices of the Fitbit smartwatches are in the mid-range compared to other fitness tracker brands available in the market. You can get an activity tracker starting from $79 up to $399. It may also go up depending on the customization you want for your activity tracker.
Fitbit prices are as follows:
- Fitbit Ace 3: $79
- Fitbit Inspire 2: $99
- Fitbit Luxe: $129
- Fitbit Charge 4: $129
- Fitbit Charge 5: $149
- Fitbit Versa 2: $149
- Fitbit Versa 3: $229
- Fitbit Sense: $299
Since all Fitbit models provide different features, the pricing of each model also varies. For example, Fitbit Charge 4 is cheaper than Fitbit Charge 5 because it’s only best at fitness tracking and doesn’t have features like Built-in GPS tracking and music storage. Fitbit Inspire 2 offers longer battery life than the other Fitbit models, making it a bit more expensive.
The Fitbit Luxe is unique because it’s the only model that helps with swim tracking but is still in the midrange pricing. The most affordable Fitbit is the Ace 3, which is best for kids as it comes with a kid-friendly design and features.
The top two most expensive models are the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3. The Fitbit Sense offers high-tech features like skin temperature tracking, an ECG app, and an electrodermal activity sensor. On the other hand, the Fitbit Versa 3 is an upgrade from the Fitbit Versa 2 and provides more advanced features like a built-in GPS and music storage.
Generally, Fitbits smartwatches look great on the wrist. They have a sleek and modern design that will suit both men and women. They aren’t too flashy either, making them a perfect match for most outfits.
While most have a sporty look, they are not too techy and do not give off an intense “I’m working out” vibe. You can definitely wear Fitbit all day, every day, without feeling self-conscious. Fitbit’s smartwatches are also lightweight and comfortable, even during intense workouts.
Most Fitbit smartwatches like the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Luxe have a slim rectangular design and can get worn alongside your regular wristwatch. Partly, that’s what makes them unique. But the likes of Fitbit versa 3, versa 2, and Fitbit sense have a more traditional watch face design.
The Fitbit Ace 3 is a kids-designed smartwatch with a fun and colorful design. The band is also interchangeable, so you can mix and match it with different colors to add some fun and personality to the tracker.
Additionally, most Fitbit devices do not have a side button or crown-like other smartwatches. Instead, they have a touchscreen display that is responsive and easy to use, making them more user-friendly. However, for those that have, like the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Charge 4, the button line is clean and sophisticated and does not look cheap.
Fitbit devices are accurate when it comes to tracking your daily steps, distance, and calories burned. The health and fitness tracker has a technology calibrated to recognize and track different physical activities.
Regarding heart rate monitoring, the fitness trackers are also pretty accurate. For example, the Fitbit charge 5 performs the best, measuring within +/- 5 bpm of the ECG readings at 95% at rest. However, they tend to have errors when doing intense workouts.
When measuring calories, the fitness trackers are generally accurate. However, several factors can affect their accuracy. According to a 2017 study, Fitbit trackers overestimate the calories you burn during exercise by about 27%. (1)
It may seem like a lot, but it’s actually the best fitness tracker compared to its close competitors. But the estimates of calories burned were more accurate in higher-priced Fitbit trackers.
Apart from heart rate monitoring, the fitness trackers are also pretty accurate at sleep tracking. They use 3-axis accelerometer data technology to track your sleep patterns and give you a detailed sleep score of how well you slept. The tech uses a heart rate monitor to measure variability and algorithms to estimate deep, light, and REM sleep cycles.
The best Fitbit smartwatch has a sleep tracking accuracy of about 69% in any given 30 minutes sleep window. That’s according to a paper by Fitbit scientists published in 2017. While it may not be 100% accurate due to several factors, it’s still among the most accurate fitness tracker when it comes to sleep tracking. (2)
Away from sleep tracking, these activity trackers are also pretty accurate in measuring distance. The devices use a technology that factors your stride length, number of steps, and GPS data to estimate the KM or miles you have covered.
However, this accuracy may differ depending on the connected GPS strength. A weak signal may affect the accuracy of the distance covered. For example, if you are running in a built-up area with lots of tall buildings, the GPS signal may get interrupted, and this will affect the accuracy of the distance covered.
Generally, the activity trackers are accurate enough for most people. But if you are looking for a device that is 100% accurate, then you will get disappointed.
What is the Fitbit Battery Life?
Generally, any Fitbit tracker has better battery life than most smartwatches on the market. The average battery life of a Fitbit tracker is about six days. Most will only require charging about two times per week, which is pretty good.
Ultimately, the battery life will depend on your activity tracking features. For example, the battery life will be shorter if you regularly use built-in GPS, smartphone notifications, or always-on-display. Professional athletes who use all exercise modes during training may need to charge their devices more often.
On the other hand, if you only use your tracker for basic activity tracking, the battery life will be longer. You can even stretch the battery life up to several days if you only use your activity tracker intermittently.
The battery life also varies from one Fitbit model to another. For instance:
Fitbit Battery Life
|Fitbit Type||Battery Life|
|Fitbit Sense||6+ days|
|Fitbit Versa||4+ days|
|Fitbit Inspire 2||10 days|
|Fitbit Ace 3||8 days|
|Fitbit Ionic||5 days|
|Fitbit Flex 2||5 days|
|Fitbit Charge 5||7 days|
|Fitbit One||2 weeks|
|Fitbit Flyer||6-hour playtime|
|Fitbit Zip||6 months|
As far as functionality goes, Fitbit trackers are some of the best fitness trackers on the market. They monitor all the essential things you want to track for your fitness and exercise. It includes steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, active minutes, and sleep patterns.
That’s not all. The trackers also have cool advanced features like heart rate monitoring, smartphone notifications, a spo2 sensor, and built-in GPS. These features make the Fitbit tracker a great all-around fitness tracker that can do more than just the basics.
The heart rate monitor is handy for tracking your calorie burn and exercise intensity. The spo2 sensor is excellent for monitoring your blood oxygen saturation levels during exercise. And the built-in GPS is perfect for those who want to track their runs and bike rides without carrying their phones. (3)
Fitbit also provides a mobile app to let you set goals and get detailed reports such as sleep score, daily readiness score, and exercise summary. It’s a great way to stay on track and motivated with your fitness goals.
The functionality doesn’t end there. You will also get video training sessions such as guided breathing sessions and on-demand workouts in your health tracking activities. These video training sessions are perfect for those who want to get fit but don’t have the time or money for a personal trainer.
Of course, all these are available via the Fitbit premium, which means you have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription. But it’s way more affordable than having a personal trainer.
Some Fitbits also offer contactless payments through the Fitbit pay, so you can leave your wallet at home and pay for things with just your tracker. It’s an excellent feature for those who are always on the go and don’t want to carry many things.
The swim tracking features ensure that Fitbits are water resistant. However, that’s not to mean that they are waterproof. The models that are water resistant include the Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Ace 2, Fitbit Versa, Fitbit Ionic, and Fitbit Inspire.
Like a true smartwatch, Fitbits have voice assistant activation compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. You can use the voice assistant to set alarms & timers, get answers, and control smart home devices.
Lastly, they have an always-on display feature that lets you see your stats even when the tracker is inactive. It’s a good feature for those who want to see their progress at a glance without having to activate the tracker physically.
Fitbit trackers offer a variety of colors, as well as a range of wristbands. It makes it easy to find a tracker that suits your style. There are also several special edition trackers that get released from time to time. These include the Fitbit Alta HR rose gold, the Fitbit Charge 4 Black/Granite Reflective, and the Fitbit Blaze Gold.
The variety doesn’t stop there. You can also find a Fitbit for every budget. Even the best Fitbits don’t cost as much as some top trackers on the market.
Why is Fitbit Great?
Overall, Fitbits are some of the best fitness trackers on the market. They offer a great range of fitness features and are perfect for those looking for an all-around tracker.
While activity tracking might not seem like much, it can help you stay consistent. For example, if you want to make sure you’re getting your 10,000 steps in each day, a Fitbit can help you track your progress and ensure you’re on track. That way, you can make the necessary adjustments.
Not every day, you’ll wake up feeling motivated to go for a run and cover that 3miles distance. But with a Fitbit, you can see your progress, which might give you the extra push you need to keep going.
Fitbits can also act as great stress management tools. The guided breathing sessions serve as stress-tracking tools and help you relax and de-stress.
The sleep tracking features can also act as stress management tools. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can lead to a whole host of problems. But with a Fitbit, you can track your sleep and make the necessary changes to ensure you get enough rest.
The bottom line is that a Fitbit is a good investment for anyone who wants to improve their health tracking. There’s a model for everyone, and the features are second to none. Whether you’re looking for an all-around tracker or one specializing in specific activities, Fitbit has you covered.
Of course, like any activity tracking device, there are some downsides. Even the best Fitbits will have some flaws. Some of the cons of using a Fitbit include:
- Obsession: While fitness tracking gives you motivation, awareness, and competitiveness, it can also drive all your attention to it and how it performs. You might get too wrapped up in the numbers and lose sight of everything else.
- Data Overload: There’s such a thing as too much data. The best Fitbits provide various exercise modes where you can track everything from your steps to your heart rate to your sleep. While it can be great for some people, others might find it overwhelming.
While even the best Fitbits have some cons, they shouldn’t dissuade you from considering one. Generally, the pros far outweigh the cons, and a Fitbit can be a great addition to your health and fitness journey.
Fitbit should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a fitness tracker. With models for every budget and need, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you. Ensure you’re getting the most out of the tracker by setting goals and taking advantage of the various features.
Click to read the comparison between fitbit and apple watch.
- Shcherbina, A., Mattsson, C. M., Waggott, D., Salisbury, H., Christle, J. W., Hastie, T., Wheeler, M. T., & Ashley, E. A. (2017, May 24). Accuracy in wrist-worn, sensor-based measurements of heart rate and energy expenditure in a diverse cohort. MDPI. https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4426/7/2/3
- Feehan, L. M., Geldman, J., Sayre, E. C., Park, C., Ezzat, A. M., Yoo, J. Y., Hamilton, C. B., & Li, L. C. (2018, August 9). Accuracy of fitbit devices: Systematic review and narrative syntheses of quantitative data. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107736/
Contributors, W. M. D. E. (n.d.). Blood oxygen level: How to increase it. WebMD.