Choosing the best Fitbit Product
Table of Contents
Fitbit has a wide range of fitness products, and if you have been slightly interested in the activity gadget world lately, you can’t have missed this manufacturer. The word Fitbit is almost synonymous with the words ‘activity tracker‘. If you are planning to get yourself a pure Fitbit product and is not interested in any of the other manufacturers, which has many great products too, I have written this article with short fitness tracker reviews for you.
You will better understand the difference between them and be better equipped to choose the best Fitbit product for you.
Update 2018: Fitbit has launched new fitness trackers since I wrote this article. I obviously need to rewrite the whole text, but in the meantime read about the new products here:
– Fitbit Ionic
– Fitbit Charge 2
– Fitbit Alta
– Fitbit Blaze
Fitbit also has a smart Wifi Smart Scale, which is a nice health gadget. It’s a great supplement to the wearable fitness tracker so you can really see that your training efforts work and prove to you that you lose weight. The scale syncs with your PC or smartphone for storage of statistics and history. It’s an awesome thing to see a graph showing that you are on the correct path to a better shape.
Now some cool info to know:
Who makes Fitbit?
First a tiny bit of history and facts. Fitbit is a US-based company with headquarter in San Francisco in California. It was founded in 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman. Their first product back then was the Fitbit Tracker which is no longer in stores, but it used the same technology as Wii controllers to monitor everyday activity.
The devices are built in Singapore and Batam in Indonesia to keep the low cost down. On Flickr, you can see several interesting pictures related to the design and build of these products.
Fitbit’s product range
The selection of products ranges from ordinary activity trackers that are designed to motivate ordinary people to move more up to increasingly advanced training tools for serious runners and athletes.
Most of the devices suit normal people with normal activity level except perhaps the highest levels. Fitbit themselves have divided their products into the categories Everyday Fitness Products, Active Fitness Products, and Performance Fitness Products.
Right now, there are four products in the Everyday category and one in each of the others. The cheapest and simplest one is on top in this article, and the more expensive ones are on the bottom – so scroll down for the really good stuff!
At the bottom, I have also made a nice Fitbit comparison table where I compare all the products so you easily can see which one has the feature you are looking for.
Now on to the short fitness tracker reviews:
Everyday Fitness Product Category
Here you will find the Fitbit Zip, One, Flex, and Charge. These products fit everyone and measure what you need to know on a daily basis without advanced functions like GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring. Some of them are worn as clips you can hide in your pocket or attach elsewhere, and some of them are wrist-worn activity bands. Even if you are not in the mood for training, these products will motivate you to at least get out of your coach and take a long walk or run an extra lap.
1. More about Zip – Wireless Activity Tracker
The Zip is a tiny product that has a resemblance to a Tamagotchi if you remember those from back in the days. It comes in many fun colors and has a display that tells you how many steps you have taken, the distance you have moved and estimated calories burned. It doesn’t contain more advanced features than that, but it’s the bare basic of what I think people should actually know about their daily movements. Small steps make big results in the end!
A tiny device like this can do a lot regarding understanding and get an awareness of personal mobility and health. Tools like this reward you when you move enough and even if you are not exercising on a daily basis yet, this thingy will boost your lust for activity. A smiley face on the display gives you feedback in a fun way.
Small steps make big results in the end!
Fitbit Zip is designed to be hidden away in your pocket or attached to your belt or bra with a clip. It is splash proof but doesn’t drown it in water. With the smartphone app, you can log food and check how well you are doing in comparison with friends and community.
This product is a cheap entry-level product for beginners and non-athletes that want to start up and get an understanding of how much they walk and be motivated to move just a bit more.
2. More about One – Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker
One is in essence just a better version of the Zip with a few more features built in. It too tracks steps, distance, and calories burned but also how many stairs you have climbed. This gadget measures your whole day and comes with sleep monitoring as well. During the night, it checks your sleep quality and it wakes you up in the morning with a silent wake-up alarm.
If you have a busy schedule and not much time for training and fitness, this 24 hours tracking device will remind you to move more and understand your sleep pattern. This will, in the long run, reduce stress and make you healthier. The data is visible on the display on the front of the unit and is also synced automatically to your tablet or smartphone with the Fitbit App installed. Here you set your new goals, check your results and earn rewards in the form of badges when you reach your targets. In the app, you can add which food you are eating to give you an overview of what to change.
Designed as a clip it can be kept in your pocket or attached to belt or bra. It comes in two different colors and is rain, sweat and splash proof.
The One is an entry-level fitness gadget that lets you track all day activity level including sleep quality for a decent price. Being rain proof, you don’t need to worry when moving in the rain.
3. More about Flex – Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband
The Flex is their first wristband (no clip) in the lower price segment. I have written more about this particular activity tracker here if you are interested. It comes in a variety of colors that will surely fit you and is not a clip like the previous two. This one is worn comfortably around your wrist and is and with a design that makes an even bolder statement that you wear it to really get in shape. It tracks your activity during the whole day with steps, distance, active minutes and an estimate of burned calories.
During your sleep, it works through the nightly hours keeping a close eye on your sleep quality. In the morning, it wakes you up with a silent alarm. The fitness band is waterproof and can handle water depths up to 10 meters. So if you are a swimmer and intend to use one of these gadgets in the pool, this is it.
It has no direct display you can read of statistics and numbers, but it has five small LED lights that light up when you get closer to your goals. One light equals 20% of your total goal. The rest of the data you’ll have to watch on your smart device or PC. With a Fitbit online membership, you can keep track of total activity, food, sleep, water, body mass and weight.
The perfect wrist-worn fitness tracker for starters. Even if it has no display, you will get hands-on information on how much you’ll need to move to reach your daily goals on the device itself. Perfect for people walking and jogging who don’t want too many technological features.
4. More about Charge – Activity and Sleep Wristband
The last of the everyday fitness category products is called Charge. Again it’s a more advanced version of the previous activity tracker. Fitbit has been very keen on producing new gadgets that take the best from their existing ones and make a new and improved version of it.
The main difference is that this one has a display. The OLED display is used as a watch when it’s not showing you the data it has collected from your steps, and distance, calories burned up, flight of stairs and total activity time. A fun feature is also that it can show you who is calling if the gadget is paired up to your smart phone – it’s called Caller ID.
The Charge comes in four colors and is rainproof, but not waterproof. The difference is that it can handle some rain but not be submerged in water. Read more about maintenance and product care here. As the other all day activity trackers, this gadget will automatically monitor your sleep and wakes you up in the morning with a silent vibration. It’s a superb feature that allows you to wake only yourself and not the entire house.
Automatic synchronization to a smart device gives you detailed information on your progress to fitness through the app. Earn rewards, share your statistics and compete with friends online are other nice functions.
The Charge is in the upper high segment of the everyday activity trackers, and if you can afford it I would definitely recommend this one just because of the sheer amount of features, awesome design, and you can wear it as a clock.
Active Fitness Product Category
In this middle category, there is only one product, the Charge HR, which I think is their best products when you compare price and functionality. It’s a slightly better version of the Charge since it includes built-in heart rate sensor.
5. More about Charge HR – Workouts + All Day Activity Tracker
This activity tracker was long awaited at the beginning of 2015. It’s the upgrade version of the Charge wristband for intermediate to pro users with built-in Heart Rate Monitor. I wrote an extensive article about the Charge HR earlier this year.
If you take the same information from the previous device, the Charge, and add the PurePulse Heart Rate monitor you have understood the HR version. It’s in the Active Fitness Category which means that if you are not a serious and active runner, for instance, there is no point buying an activity tracker with this kind of sensor. But maybe you want to be?
To maximize performance on your training workouts, it is very important to keep a close eye on your heart rate and train within certain zones. Read more about that in my article about Maximum Heart Rate and Training Zones. HR sensors in chest straps are not new technology in sports watches and fitness gadgets, but more and more get these built in which is more convenient.
… which I think is their best products when you compare price and functionality.
The Charge HR has a great design and comes in 4 colors. The sharp OLED display provides you with the information you need like heart rate and time. Features like Caller ID lets you at a quick glance at your wrist determine if you want to answer the phone or not while running. The size is just about the same as the Charge version and comes in two band lengths, Small, and Large. It also has a new clasp design which makes it impossible to lose and it can handle sweat and rain but not a swim in the pool.
The Charge HR is among the best fitness trackers so far in 2015 and with built-in Heart Rate monitor, it really is the complete personal training tool. The only thing it lacks is the GPS function, but that’s a feature for the next product. (You can use the GPS function on your smartphone anyway.)
Performance Fitness Product Category
One single product is in this category too, and if you are a very serious athlete, or just have a lot of money to spare, this is the one to go for. It is called the Surge. It is great to see that Fitbit has taken the step to accommodate even the most demanding clients.
6. More about the Surge – Pro Sports GPS Watch
The last activity tracker is the best in class and is purely for serious athletes. It’s the ultimate fitness super watch, as Fitbit says themselves and the price tag reflects the awesomeness of this gadget.
The first noticeable difference between this one and the previous one is the large easy to read OLED display and that the band is wider. It provides you all the basic movement statistics as well as your heart rate and what kind of workout you are doing. You can record several sports with this one like cardio training and run. It is not waterproof, so forget this one if you want to swim a lot.
It’s the ultimate fitness super watch.
It also has a couple of features that none of the other products have which are on-board GPS and Music Control right on the display. The music control lets you select what to listen to from your mobile device when it is paired up.
If you have the money and want the best Fitbit product there is, the Surge super watch is your choice. If you think it’s too much, go for the Charge HR instead.
Check the online stores for the latest price: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or the Fitbit Store UK dependent on where you live. The Charge HR comes in both Large and Small so double check colors and size before ordering!
All the activity trackers with compared features and functions side by side.
|Weight||8 grams||8 grams||13.4 – 14.6 grams||24 grams||39 grams||32 grams|
|Dimension||35.5 x 28 x 9.65 mm||48 x 19.3 x 9.65 mm||140 to 209 x 13.99mm||139.7 to 195.6 x 21 mm||139.7 to 195.6 x 21 mm||139.7 to 198.1 x 34 mm|
|Interaction||Tap display||Button||Tap lights||Button||Button||Button|
|Display||Yes||Yes OLED||No, 5 LED lights||OLED Display||OLED Display||OLED Display|
|Battery Type||3V CR2025 Coin||Lithium-ion polymer||Lithium-polymer||Lithium-polymer||Lithium-polymer||Lithium-polymer|
|Battery Life||4-6 month||10-14 days||5 days||7-10 days||5 days||5 days|
|Charge time||-||-||2-3 h||1-2 h||2 h||2 h|
|24/7 (All day)||-||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sleep Duration and Quality||-||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Flight of Stairs||-||Yes||-||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Silent Vibration Alarm||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Connectivity:||Zip, One ,Flex, Charge, ChargeHR, Surge|
|Wirelss or USB||Wireless|
|Sync Method||Bluetooth LE|
Wrap it up
It can still be difficult to choose the right one based on these short Fitbit reviews. Here is another great article where they have copied and compared information from the manufactures page.
You will have to ask yourself how much money you can spend, what you will use it for and which features do you want. For instance: Do I really need a Heart Rate monitor? The first stomach feeling on why this tracker fits you is also a valid point. So go ahead and choose the right Fitbit. 🙂
Comments and feedback are appreciated in the fields below.