Which Fitbit is best?

Best Fitbit for 2021 : which Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch is best for you?

Which Fitbit is best?

Best FITBIT for 2021 Fitness Trackers

Fitbit are one of the leading fitness trackers in the world along side Garmin , Polar and Apple Watches.

But within this Article we are search for the “Best Fitbit for 2021” have played a huge part a one of the largest player in that market by such a margin, that we decided it was time to do a list of the best Fitbits as well. Yes you can get cheaper trackers, but Fitbit has a deserved reputation for the quality of what it sells, in terms of build and app support.

Fitbit started with basic pedometers that clipped onto bra straps or waist bands, it’s now moved up through a variety of bands to produce sophisticated devices that track everything from runs via GPS to workouts via heart-rate monitors to even menstruation – via user diary entries rather than any kind of sensor, admittedly.

Our top recommendation for most users is the Versa 3 or – if you are feeling flash – Fitbit Sense. Those requiring a band rather than a watch should head straight to Fitbit Charge 4. The are the best Fitbits for more serious exercise, since they have GPS built in, better heart-rate tracking, and a focus on ‘active minutes’ instead of steps taken.

Having said that, most Fitbits aren’t just for step counting these days. They can be useful when running, at the gym or in your home gym, but you do need to know which one to buy to suit your needs. 

WHAT FEATURES DO ALL FITBITS HAVE?

PEDOMETER

Every Fitbit will act as a pedometer by allowing you to count your steps and distance travelled. No matter which Fitbit you choose, you’ll also get a range of notifications directly to your mobile via an easy-to-use app.

SLEEP MONITORING

All Fitbits will record your sleep by monitoring your heart rate and movements during the night. This is a really interesting feature because you may be surprised at the results. Did you know that the average person wakes up several times in the night without realising it? Even if you think you’ve slept like a log, chances are this isn’t actually the case – you just don’t remember all the times you were awake.

REMOVABLE STRAP

Every Fitbit has a removable strap and interchangable accessories. One of my favourite things about this is that you can buy new straps quite cheaply online. I’ve got three different straps for my Fitbit – one I wear day-to-day, another I wear for the gym, and then the third is a sophisticated black one I wear for ‘best’.

There are so many beautiful straps to choose from. There are colourful Fitbit wristbands, leather straps designed to make your fitness tracker look like an ordinary watch, and straps with pretty patterns printed on them.

RECHARGEABLE BATTERY

All Fitbits have a rechargeable battery, so there’s no need to buy new ones. One annoying thing is that the charger for one type of Fitbit may not be the same as the charger for another Fitbit. This can be frustrating if your Fitbit needs charging at work, for example, and all your colleagues have different Fitbits to you.

WHAT CAN I USE THE FITBIT APP FOR?

While the Fitbit tracker itself has a range of features, you can use the Fitbit app to track your progress and monitor your health.

No matter which Fitbit you choose, you can use the Fitbit app to track:

  • Daily, weekly, monthly step count
  • Number of floors climbed
  • Number of miles walked
  • Your water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Calories consumed
  • Sleep quality
  • Resting heart rate
  • Periods (This is one of my favourite features. If you have periods, tell the app when your period starts and ends and over time, it’ll get really good at predicting when you’re due. You’ll get a notification a couple of days before)

ARE FITBITS WORTH THE MONEY?

In my opinion, Fitbits are worth the money as long as you make the most of them and don’t just shove yours in a drawer after wearing it for a couple of weeks.

I bought my Fitbit Charge 2 at the start of 2019 and I definitely feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth from it – this is despite not using all the features.

I use my Charge 2 for the following:

  • Counting my steps. I try to aim for 10,000 steps or more a day – though I don’t beat myself up if I don’t manage it
  • Reminding me to move. Since I work from home, it can be tempting to spend all day sat on my arse. Having a Fitbit serves as a great reminder to get up off the sofa and move every so often. I’ve set it to vibrate after long periods of inactivity
  • Recording my exercise. When I go to the gym, I use my Charge 2 to track the type of exercise I’m doing and the intensity of my workout. I like looking at the Fitbit app afterwards to see how long I spent in Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak heart rate zones
  • Tracking my periods. Until getting a Fitbit, I’d never before tracked my periods so this has been a really interesting and educational feature
  • Keeping an eye on the time without looking at my phone constantly. I know, I know, I could do this with a regular watch. But why wear a regular watch when a Fitbit will tell the time and so much more? I dated a guy last year who inexplicably wore a Fitbit on one wrist and a traditional watch on the other and it annoyed me tremendously because what’s the point?!

I don’t use my Charge 2 to track calories consumed or meals eaten. I used my Fitbit’s sleep monitoring features for the first few months but rarely wear it to bed nowadays. I find its sleep features really interesting and useful, but I prefer to sleep without it on – largely because I don’t want a dirty watch that I’ve been wearing all day in bed with me. Saying that, I could always buy an extra strap to wear exclusively for bed.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FITBIT FITNESS TRACKER AND A SMARTWATCH?

Generally speaking, fitness trackers are designed with fitness and health in mind whereas smartwatches are designed for keeping up-to-date with messages, emails and calendars.

Fitbit has a selection of fitness trackers and smartwatches. But unlike other smartwatches, Fitbit’s creations do still offer a wide range of fitness features.

Fitbit trackers:

  • Charge 2
  • Charge 3
  • Inspire
  • Ace 2

Fitbit smartwatches:

  • Versa
  • Versa 2
  • Ionic

WHICH FITBIT IS THE BEST VALUE FOR MONEY?

This depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re not the biggest fitness fanatic or data geek and you’re just looking for a tracker to encourage you to move more, I don’t think there’s any point going for one of the more expensive models or updated versions of old classics. I mean, I’ve got no intention of upgrading to a Charge 3 until my Charge 2 is dead to the world. It works just fine for what I want to do! To help you decide which is best for you, here are a few key features for each Fitbit model.

Which FITBIT is Best? Our Recommendations

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REASONS TO BUY
+Improved GPS and heart rate tracking+Attractive design+Long battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks features from Fitbit Sense – but we don’t think that matters

Fitbit Versa 3

Our Mini Review:

Fitbit Versa has long been the best smartwatch-styled Fitbit, but Versa 3 adds some long-demanded features and makes everything from the Versa lineage a bit slicker. 

 

Most importantly, there is improved heart-rate tracking accuracy during intense exercise, built in GPS – which is also pretty accurate, though it is not the fastest to connect – and the option of an always-on screen. For those of us who found Fitbit’s old ‘flick your wrist to activate screen’ approach infuriating, that last one is great news.

With those additions, plus support for active zone minutes, which rewards you for more intense workouts, this is a much better Fitbit for those who are a bit more serious about their fitness goals. 

 

However, Versa 3 is also great for those who want a stylish and slick smartwatch for notifications and contactless payments, but don’t want to pay for an Apple Watch – or don’t use iPhones. 

 

Also consider: Fitbit Sense is even nicer than the Versa 3 and adds some interesting features such as stress tracking and an ECG. However for most people we suspect these extra features really will be ‘interesting’ rather than particularly useful, and they do also mean the Sense is £100 or $100 more expensive than the Versa 3.

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REASONS TO BUY
+Solid cardio tracking+Phone notifications+GPS built in+Strong battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
Not terribly chicNo always-on screen

FitBit Charge 4

Our Mini Review:

Hot off the production lines, the waterproof and compact Fitbit Charge 4 is the newest Fitbit and its best ever fitness band. I prefer the more smartwatch-style Versa 2,  but if you’re after a band, they don’t come better than this. 

 

The inclusion of GPS and ‘Activity Minutes’ – a tracking system for more intense exercise than just taking steps – brings it in line with Garmin’s bands. However Fitibit’s app is noticeably better than the Garmin one and the Charge 4 is also more affordable than many of its arch rival’s bands.

Notifications are better handled than on the Charge 3 and it feels a bit slicker all round, in fact. However, the fact that you cannot set the screen to always on, even during a workout, remains a PITA. Sort it out, Fitbit!  

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REASONS TO BUY
+A wearable you’ll want to wear+The full range of Fitbit features
REASONS TO AVOID
GPS is via your smartphone only

Fitbit Versa 2

Our Mini Review:

If we were to describe one Fitbit as the best Fitbit, we’d pick the Versa 3. But that leaves a discounted Fitbit Versa 2 as arguably the best value Fitbit, so long as it’s at the right price.

 

Other than lacking the the Versa 3 and Charge 4’s built-in GPS – although you can link it to your phone and use the GPS therein, which should be more than adequate for most users – Versa 2 has the full gamut of Fitbit features. There’s heart-rate tracking, the option to access an overall fitness score, basic step and distance tracking, access to Fitbit’s motivational social network, an app store and the ability to play music direct from the watch via Spotify. 

 

Versa 2 has a mute version of Amazon Alexa, which obeys your commands in the usual way, but replies to queries via text only. It’s an improvement, frankly. It’s also waterproof, and features tracking of your swims too, which is good news for swimmers. 

 

Those wanting workout motivation might like the on-wrist video workouts of the Versa 2. You do quickly find that trying to watch a virtual personal trainer who sits on your wrist is not the easiest way to learn new exercises, mind you.

 

You also get basic smartphone features – a smattering of apps, notifications and contactless card payments – but with much better battery life than most smartphones. Even if you make full use of the fitness tracking features and heart-rate monitor, you will get 5 days life out of the Versa quite comfortably, which is a lot more than Apple Watch, for instance.

 
 

On the down side, the Fitbit Pay system is barely supported in the UK. But you’re in luck if you’re with Santander and Revolut, which we have at least heard of, Danske Bank, Starling Bank or ‘boon. by Wirecard’ whatever the hell that is. Otherwise, we would not recommend cutting up your card just yet.

 

That aside, Versa 2 is an excellent product. Perhaps most importantly, it looks good. That’s more than can be said for the Ionic, Blaze and Surge, which were Fitbit’s previous stabs at smartwatch-type wearables. Fitbit has also honed and refined the Versa since its launch, adding features such as blood oxygen tracking during sleep.

ALSO CONSIDER As well as the standard Fitbit Versa 2 there’s also a Versa 2 Special Edition. It’s functionally identical but looks nicer, with a more pleasing strap.

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REASONS TO BUY
+Compact, well made and not unattractive
REASONS TO AVOID
No built-in GPSDodgy, capacitive ‘button’

Fitbit Charge 3

Our Mini Review:

Much the same as the Charge 4 but older, slower and lacking GPS and Activity Minutes – for some reason, Fitbit is not bringing that to its older bands – Charge 3 may be worth considering if you see it at a low price. Which you probably will. 

 

The Charge 3 is the perfect choice if you want heart-rate monitoring and access to Fitbit’s app. GPS tracking of runs, bike rides etc is possible via your phone’s GPS – the Charge 4 piggy-backs on your phone’s navigational abilities and feeds the results into the Fitbit app.

 

You get notifications and – in the limited edition version only – Fitbit Pay, but there’s less emphasis on smartphone features here, with notifications but not much in the way of apps. Which is fine by us, since even on its ‘proper’ smartwatches, the Fitbit app store is about as well stocked as a Soviet Union supermarket.

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REASONS TO BUY
+The most powerful Fitbit in terms of fitness features+Handy notifications
REASONS TO AVOID
Half baked app selectionOn-wrist video coaching not a great idea

Fitbit Ionic

Our Mini Review:

The Ionic is, again, like the Versa, but with two major differences. First is that GPS is built in, so your phone is not required when running, cycling, hiking, etc. The other is that it looks fairly horrible. However on the plus side, it is a fair bit bigger than the Versa and so better suited to more manly/larger wrists.

 

Fitbit Ionic adds a lot of running watch functionality, far more successfully than the old Fitbit Blaze and Surge. Runs are auto-detected, and tracked via GPS, and there’s also heart rate tracking that works relatively well during high intensity workouts.

 

If you want a running watch, we’d recommend a Garmin over it, and if you want a smartwatch with running/cycling/gym-friendliness, we’d suggest an Apple Watch Series 4. If, however, you are a runner, walker or cyclist, require something more watch-like in appearance and simply must have a Fitbit, then this is the one to go for. That seems like a fairly narrow niche to us, but it’s still an excellent product in most ways, even if the looks are a bit of an acquired taste, to put it diplomatically. 

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REASONS TO BUY
+Very slim+Good battery life+Pulse tracking included
REASONS TO AVOID
Struggles to keep pace during intense workouts

Fitbit In spire HR

Our Mini Review:

This recent addition to the Fitbit range is the replacement for the Alta HR. it’s practically indistinguishable from the Charge 3 in terms of features – pulse tracking, 5-day battery, waterproof, it’s able to tap your phone’s GPS to track runs etc – but noticeably slimmer.

 

The good thing about this is… it’s slimmer and a bit more discreet than the Charge 3. The down side is that it struggles a bit more than the Charge 3 to follow your heart beat when you are sweating and working out intensely. With more of a proper button, it feels a bit better than the Charge 3. We’d say it’s aimed more at women but it is essentially unisex. Lots of replacement straps are available.

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REASONS TO BUY
+Lots of personalisation options+Parent controls
REASONS TO AVOID
A bit on the chunky side

Fitbit Ace 2

Our Mini Review:

Unlike the first generation of the Fitbit Ace, which was basically a Fitbit Alta in a rubber protective casing, the Ace 2 was actually built for kids from the beginning. The Ace 2 has more personalisation options than its predecessor: including the Classic, Print and Family Print bands, there are 7 different wrist straps to choose from, more than enough for any child to find one that they like, no matter how hard it is please kids nowadays.

Animations and competitions are also used to further motivate kids: for example, a little disco ball drops down to celebrate 10,000 steps walked in a day for the added funk effect.

 

The Fitbit Ace 2 will help keep track of your child’s activity levels too thanks to the Fitbit app. Set up the family account and let your child check what they want to see, like badges and stats, whilst you can browse a whole range of more in-depth metrics in the parent view. Fun for the whole family indeed.

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REASONS TO BUY
+Discreet design+Week-long battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
Tap-sensitive screen isn’t sensitive enough

Fitbit Alta HR

Our Mini Review:

The Fitbit Alta HR is essentially a slimmed-down Fitbit Charge 2 (see below) and predecessor to the Fitbit Inspire HR. It’s probably aimed more at the ladies, and while heart rate monitoring is built in, there’s no way we’d use it to track pulse activity during intense exercise. 

Call, text, and calendar notifications are here, but there’s no waterproofing, and no access at all to GPS, even via your phone. All the other usual key Fitbit selling points are in place however, with access to the app and social stuff, simple operation and week-long battery life. 

There’s no way we’d get this over the Inspire HR unless it’s at an ultra-low price.

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REASONS TO BUY
+Waterproof+Affordable+Good battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn’t do a lot

Fitbit Inspire

Our Mini Review:

This is the same as the Inspire HR  but without the ‘HR’ (heart-rate tracking) bit. You also can’t access your phone’s GPS with this one. So what you’re left with is your classic step counter band, like your mum wears. If you are quite sedentary and want to get moving, this might be worth considering although it’s also worth considering that someone like Xiaomi will do you a similar, if less stylish

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REASONS TO BUY
+Big screen+Multi-sport tracking
REASONS TO AVOID
No GPSSurpassed by Charge 3

Our Mini Review:

Fitbit charge 4

Despite not having HR in its name (the first model in this series was called Charge HR) the Charge 2 does do pulse tracking. As well as monitoring your resting and active heart rate, the cardio sensor means the Charge 2 can give you a score for your overall fitness, by calculating your VO2 Max. 

The Fitbit Charge 2 is clearly not as good as the Charge 3, but if the price is right, it might be worth purchasing because there is not that much difference between them. Another mark in its credit column: there’s a real button instead of the fiddly and untactile pad used on the Charge 3

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REASONS TO BUY
+Striking design+Week-long battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
Tap-sensitive screen isn’t sensitive enoughNot a tremendous value

Fitbit Alta HR

Our Mini Review:

The Fitbit Alta is one of the more attractive fitness trackers that Fitbit makes, and certainly the most discrete, so long as you don’t buy the gold one. It is also rather basic but if all you want is step counting and sleep tracking, hooked into Fitbit’s market-leading app and community, then it’s all you need – but we’d recommend the newer, waterproof Inspire over this.

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REASONS TO BUY
+Comfy and lightweight+Cheap entry to Fitbit’s excellent app
REASONS TO AVOID
Slow to chargeNo screen

Fitbit Flex 2

Our Mini Review:

The Fitbit Flex 2 is the most bog-standard of all Fitbits, other than the ancient Zip, which actually clips to your bra strap, waist band or school PE vest. It’ll track your steps all day, with the lights coming on to herald your progress. It’s also fully waterproof, which was a rarity for Fitbits when it first appeared.

Other than that, it doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot, but you can access all the goodness of the Fitbit app with it, and take on friends in ‘step challenges’.

Obviously, when we say, ‘all the goodness of the Fitbit app’, we mean ‘all the goodness of the Fitbit app that doesn’t involve GPS, pulse tracking, or anything more complicated than the step counter built into your phone’.

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REASONS TO BUY
+Proficient running watch with the usual Fitbit trappings+As used by Barack Obama
REASONS TO AVOID
Quite large on the wristAnd quite hideous too

Fitbit Surge

Our Mini Review:

The Fitbit Surge was for a long time Fitbit’s most serious fitness offering, packing in a long 7-day battery inside, along with GPS so it can track your run or walk for up to 10 consecutive hours. Long before the Blaze, Ionic and Versa, the Surge was Fitbit’s first stab at something more adventurous than a step counter. Positioned at the time as a ‘fitness super watch’, it’s still available now. But we wouldn’t recommend it today, as it’s not all that super.

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