If you’ve been thinking of buying a new fitness tracker, you have a wide selection of options to choose from. Fitbit, one of the top names in the fitness industry, alone has more than a dozen varieties to suit different needs.
So how can you find the best Fitbit for you? It all comes down to your needs. Ask yourself the following questions to find a suitable Fitbit device for your unique needs.
- What do I need from a fitness tracker?
- Which features are the most important to me?
- Which features are good-to-have, but can be sacrificed to save money?
- How do I plan to use this device? Do I need a waterproof model for swimming?
- What’s my budget for a new fitness tracker?
Once you understand your needs, it becomes easier to compare different Fitbit models and find which one best suits your preferences. While the top-end Fitbits tend to excel in a number of areas, sometimes there’s no reason to pay top dollar if a lower-priced option gives you everything you might need. To help you make this decision, we have divided this article into activity-specific sections so you can find the best Fitbit device for the activities you perform most often.
If you are a runner or exercise often, these are the features to look for in a Fitbit device:
Whether you’re a professional athlete with years of experience behind you, or a complete newbie still practicing their first mile, you’ll want to look for basic features like:
- GPS (for mapping your route)
- Music player/streaming
- Step and distance tracking
Beyond these basics, here are some extra features that make workouts more effective and fun:
With SmartTrack, the device can automatically identify and record your workouts, as well as track all your stats, like your workout duration, calories burned, and heart rate zones. This feature is super helpful for users who don’t remember to start tracking/switch between tracking modes when exercising.
Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) monitoring
This feature monitors the level of oxygen in your blood, which can add nuance to your workout stats, and detect any respiratory issues.
Active Zone Minutes (AZM)
AZM tracking helps you understand how you are moving, how often, and how intensely. This is great if you want to meet specific activity goals, like having 22 active zone minutes per day.
The Fitbit Sense is one of the most advanced activity trackers for people who enjoy working out. It offers ECG and blood oxygen monitoring for better exercise metrics. Sense also offers menstrual health tracking — a feature very few (if any) fitness trackers offer.
Along with the advanced functions, it also has the typical fitness tracker features like GPS, reminders, music player, third-party apps, and more. The best part? It can be controlled with a voice assistant, so you can use it hands-free in the middle of your workout session.
Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3 is lighter and more affordable than Fitbit Sense while offering nearly the same features. It offers SpO2 tracking, heart rate monitoring, and sleep cycle tracking among other health metrics. It comes with a built-in GPS, hourly activity tracker, “Daily Readiness Score,” and stress management tools to help you lead a fitter, healthier life.
The device also has a long battery life for hassle-free use. You can choose between hundreds of watch faces to match your preferences, and the flexible infinity-style band keeps you comfortable even after prolonged use.
While Fitbit is most commonly used for fitness tracking, the latest versions have started offering more lifestyle-oriented features for stress management and improving overall wellbeing.
If you’re in the market for a Fitbit device to help you manage anxiety and stress, here are some mental health-focused features to look out for:
- Stress monitoring: Some Fitbit devices measure stress through Electrodermal activity (EDA), heart rate variability, and sleep monitoring. These features are key for busy individuals who frequently work in fast-paced environments.
- Guided meditations: Having guided meditations at hand (literally) goes well with stress monitoring features. Whenever you see your stress score go up, simply whip out a meditation or two for relief on the go.
- Music: For many people, music is a huge part of managing their mental health. If this is you, having a robust music player or better yet, online streaming on your Fitbit device can really help.
The Fitbit Luxe introduced Fitbit’s new “Stress Management Score, which measures your stress levels by analyzing your heart rate, sleep levels, and physical activity. Additionally, it offers guided workouts and mindfulness mediations which can help with stress management.
Fitbit Luxe can also help you sleep or focus better with the “me-time” mode that turns off your screen and silences your notifications to limit distractions. It also tracks menstrual health to help you understand how your periods may be affecting your well-being and moods.
Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Charge 5 is great for adding more exercise to your life. The device offers 20 exercise modes with SmartTrack for real-time tracking. You also get heart-rate change notifications, Active Zone Minutes, and sleep tracking for a better understanding of your progress towards your health and wellness goals.
Need some stress relief? Fitbit Charge 5 features an EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor to measure your body’s response to stress. When paired with the Fitbit app, you can access a comprehensive “Health Metrics” dashboard to assess breathing rate, skin temperature variation, blood oxygen level, and other key wellness stats.
If you want to use a Fitbit device casually, look for options offering decent features at an affordable price.
Some features to look out for include:
- Step counting
- Workout tracking
- Sleep monitoring
- Heart rate monitoring
- Music functions
- Smartphone notifications
- Decent battery life
Other semi-advanced “good-to-have” features include:
- On-screen workouts
- Guided meditations
- “Stress score”
- Music storage
- Voice assistant
Fitbit Versa Lite
Fitbit Versa Lite offers some great features for casual users, like fitness and sleep tracking, automatic workout recognition, music controls, and heart rate monitoring. It is water-resistant, has customizable clock faces, and offers guided meditation sessions.
The device is pretty to look at, but heavily lacks many features found in other fitness trackers. For instance, it doesn’t have onboard GPS, on-screen workouts, and SpO2 monitoring. This isn’t a bad thing, though. It’s just geared towards beginners or users casually looking to try something new in the world of fitness trackers.
If you want an affordable, hassle-free tracker that gets the job done, the Fitbit Inspire may be a good option for you. It offers a 10-day battery life, provides a Daily Readiness Score and menstrual health tracking.
The device tracks active minutes, calories burned, steps, distance, and fitness milestones. It lacks some key features like GPS, heart-rate monitoring, and swim tracking, but makes up for it (for casual users) due to its super affordable price.
While most Fitbit devices offer the same basic features, they differ in which advanced features they provide. For instance, only Fitbit Charge 4, Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Sense, and Fitbit Versa series devices offer SpO2 monitoring, so if this feature is important to you, you need to choose from these device options.
Similarly, if you want to work with the “Stress Score” feature, you would have to choose from Fitbit Versa 3, Versa 2, Charge 4, and Inspire 2 devices.
At the end of the day, your choice of Fitbit depends on what you need from a fitness tracker. If you feel stuck, revisit the questions in the first section of this article to understand which features you need, which ones are good to have, and which ones you don’t care about at this time. Hopefully, this will help you find the best Fitbit device for you.
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