These days, your Fitbit is more than just a fitness tracker — it’s a lifestyle companion you keep on your wrist day and night. It records almost every aspect of your life including what you eat, when you sleep, how often you work out, and numerous other health metrics. Sure, it goes to the gym with you but it also goes to work during the day and out with friends at night.
Because it’s attached to you 24/7, you want it to withstand any elements it may encounter — particularly water. Whether showering, swimming, boating, or even just walking to the store in the rain, you don’t want a little H2O to ruin your device.
Most Fitbits are considered “water-resistant,” meaning that if you get caught in a light rain shower or splash water on the band while washing dishes, you’re not going to destroy it. But lightly splashing is entirely different than jumping into open water and fully submerging it. For that, you need a tracker that’s completely submersible. Thankfully, Fitbit offers three water-ready options: The Flex 2, the Ionic, and the Versa. Here is a guide to all three waterproof Fitbits.
Its latest foray into smartwatch territory, Fitbit’s Versa is the brand’s attempt at a “smartwatch for all.” Featuring a cheaper price tag than its predecessor (the Ionic), the Versa comes standard with many of the same features: A 3-axis accelerometer for speed tracking, an altimeter for altitude monitoring, an ambient light sensor, and an optical heart rate monitor. However, noticeably absent is a built-in GPS sensor as well as NFC compatibility, though the Special Edition Versa does come outfit with Fitbit Pay compatibility.
Performance-wise, Fitbit outfit the Versa with what it calls Smart Track, in which it detects what type of activity you’re doing with requiring you to actually select it. For instance, if you start running, biking, or swimming, it automatically starts tracking that data. On the Versa, the different sports modes are accessible via its 1.34-inch LCD color touchscreen which boasts 348 x 250 pixels and 1000 nits of brightness.
The Versa is the perfect Goldilocks — enough features to keep you happy yet affordable enough to avoid breaking the bank.
From a lifestyle perspective, the Versa plays music and receives text message and app notifications, phone calls, calendar events, and other phone alerts. It also features the ability to swap out its strap, offering various options like leather, tapered stainless steel, mesh, and silicone.
Although it’s technically a unisex watch, Fitbit designed the Versa with women in mind, featuring a more petite size. The brand also rolled out new female health tracking features in May of 2018 which lets users log their period, track ovulation each month, record symptoms, and even sends push notifications leading up to their predicted period start date.
In many ways, the Versa is the perfect Goldilocks — enough features to keep you happy yet affordable enough to avoid breaking the bank.
Fitbit Flex 2 ($60)
The Flex 2 doesn’t have the fancy bells and whistles newer sports trackers have, however, that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. This simple sports band features a sharp and slender design that calls back to Fitbit’s classic wristbands. It tracks all basic metrics such as steps, distance, calories, active minutes, and hourly activity without being ostentatious.
In lieu of a full-fledged screen, the Flex 2 has a simple LED display that flashes illuminated dots on and off to indicate information like phone alerts or movement reminders. You can tap the device to see how close you are to reaching your daily goals and it will vibrate to convey information. Unlike any of its first generation predecessors, it’s been updated with many newer features such as SmartTrack and text notifications.
The Fitbit Flex 2 ($60) features a dedicated swim mode and can withstand chlorine as well as salt.
The tracker — which can be worn as a wristband, bangle, pendant, or even carried in a pocket — is water-resistant up to 50 meters. Being free of a bulky watch face, the removable tracker piece is simple to charge. Best of all, the price makes it a steal if you’re on a budget.
The Flex 2 doesn’t have many complicated features and the learning curve is quick and straightforward, meaning you won’t spend time scrolling through tons of buttons and screens looking for the right application. It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor nor can it track your route via GPS but if you’re looking for a simple, effective tracker on a budget, this is a great option.
Although Fitbit marketed 2016’s Blaze as a fitness tracker slash smartwatch hybrid, the FitBit Ionic was the company’s first official smartwatch. As such, it is much more feature-heavy than many of Fitbit’s other devices, particularly with regard to its all-day lifestyle monitoring features.
Good looking and versatile, the Ionic is capable of being worn to the gym, as well as to the office or neighborhood wine bar. The fitness tracking capabilities are comprehensive and far-reaching, including everything from heart rate and calories to speed, steps, and distance for various types of activities. It syncs quickly and offers easy-to-read graphs and other visual metrics to evaluate your workouts. It also tracks sleep patterns, informing you of how much time you spent in deep REM sleep while also offering tips for better rest.
The Ionic is capable of being worn to the gym, as well as at to office or neighborhood wine bar.
Lifestyle-wise, the Ionic essentially transfers your phone to your wrist. For instance, it delivers texts that are readable via the color touchscreen, as well as calls, calendar alerts, and social media notifications. You can use it to stream music via Pandora or Deezer and it also has space to physically store over 300 downloaded songs.
With Bluetooth compatibility, you’re able to listen to music while working out without dragging your phone along. On that same line, it’s internal GPS tracks your route directly on the watch, allowing you to truly leave your phone at home.
The Ionic also features a built-in NFC chip which allows you to use it as a credit card anywhere that accepts contactless payments. The band is fully interchangeable with a simple swap-out mechanism and tons of stylish options to choose from. To top it off, the battery lasts an impressive five days, allowing you to take it camping, backpacking, or on any other off-the-grid adventures.
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