Fitbit Wearables: 4 great choices for workout newbies and veterans
Fitbit is the OG of fitness tracking, and its ever-expanding range has evolved from simple step counters right up to viable smartwatches. In this article, we’ll explore the products on offer, and help you decide which one is right for you!
Is it an activity tracker? Is it a smartwatch? It’s the Fitbit Ionic! Fitbit’s flagship product moves beyond what was offered by the Surge and Blaze, into solid smartwatch territory.
The Ionic is similar in form factor to the Blaze, but with a larger, sharper, and far more detailed screen. It offers everything you would expect from a Fitbit, plus a little extra functionality. As well as steps, exercise and heart rate tracking, the Ionic has built-in GPS, so you won’t need to pair with your phone and drain its battery during a long run. It’s water-resistant to 50m and has a handy Fitbit Pay app, so you can make contactless purchases without having to carry a card.
That said, the Ionic is nowhere near as multifunctional and finessed as the Apple Watch or LG line of activity-focused smartwatches. It’s also by far the most expensive Fitbit. Whilst it is an excellent fitness tracker, the lack of true smartphone features is stark.
Best for: Runners, as well as people who use the Fitbit app exclusively for health tracking.
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The Charge 2 strikes the perfect balance between fitness tracking, user-friendliness, and price. It counts steps accurately, measures heart rate, manages a range of different sports and activities, and it can be tethered to your phone’s GPS to track your adventures. It also has an impressive battery life, and there’s no unnecessary embellishment. It’s a pure and simple fitness tracker.
Drawbacks are few and far between. Water resistance is noticeably absent, and it doesn’t have the range of phone notifications that can be found on the Ionic, or the earlier Blaze or Surge. However, for the price, it’s unbeatable.
Best for: People who are looking to accurately track a range of activities, without the fuss of a smartwatch.
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The Alta is a sophisticated and unobtrusive tracker that doesn’t dominate the wrist, but will provide useful fitness insights. It has a small screen that can be scrolled through for real-time stats, and it now tracks heart rate, to help you reach cardio goals and assess your long-term progress.
There are some omissions, including GPS and water resistance, but for its low price, the Alta is an appealing package.
Best for: Anyone who wishes to have a better idea of their activity levels, with the added benefit of heart rate tracking.
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The least expensive of all the Fitbit models doesn’t have the bells and whistles of its pricier counterparts, but it’s a fantastic tracker in its own right. As well as accurate step counting, the Flex 2 will automatically detect when you’re working out (and add an entry to the app when it is synced), and give you prompts to get up and move throughout the day. It’s also suitable for swimming thanks to its waterproof design.
However, if you are looking for heart rate tracking, a real-time readout of your steps, GPS, or even a clock, the Flex might not be the right choice. Still, for simple activity measurements, its price is unbeatable!
Best for: Swimmers, or anyone wishing to use a cheap and accurate step counter. It’s also handy as a backup to more expensive models.
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