Are Fitbits Waterproof? Or Just Water-Resistant?
Are Fitbits waterproof? Can you get your Fitbits wet and if so, how deep can you go – bath, shower, swimming, snorkelling, diving? Let’s find out.
Accuracy, design, comprehensiveness and brand always come first whenever you’re out in search of a fitness tracker. But are these the only features that make a good fitness tracker? As a techie, I would frankly tell you “no”. A good gadget (that incudes the Fitbits) – whether a smartwatch or fitness tracker – should be more than just the architecture it sports or the number of activities it can track. If you have to pay £50 for a device that only tells you how many steps you have made or how many calories you have burnt, then let it be weatherproof – waterproof, or water-resistant at least – because water seems to be the Achille’s heel of many gadgets.
So, are Fitbits waterproof? Read on to find out.
Related: The Best Waterproof Fitness Tracker
1. Are Fitbits Waterproof? The Fitbit Flex
Thanks to unmatched reliability and a low price range, the Fitbit Flex still holds a significant market share even after getting outplayed by the more refined Fitbit Charge and Charge HR, and its waterproofness capabilities should be among the reasons.
Is the Fitbit Flex waterproof?
Fitbit products are notorious of outdoing expectations, and the Fitbit Flex is no exception. What the product description says and what the wristband delivers are pretty much different. In view of that, I think the guys at Fitbit deserve some credit for underhyping their products, honestly.
Back in 2013 when I obtained a Fitbit Flex wristband, I had been using the Jawbone Up 24, and was slowly getting fed up with having to remove the wristband every time I wanted to take a bath or a shower. With my new gizmo, I found it difficult to fight the urge to take a bath with it, and so finally I did. With the prospect of losing my prized asset to water, I can’t say I had the best of bath sessions that day, but when I came out, my gadget was surprisingly in one piece. And that became the first such moment of many to come. I still have my Flex right now, almost three years later, and though almost falling apart (luckily there are spare bands), it still works like a treat.
Regardless of its status as Fitbit’s entry level product, the Flex beats its more refined sisters the Charge and Charge HR on the waterproofness front, with a rating of 5 ATM (=atmospheres). This means the gadget can withstand water pressure down to 50 metres.
For the few times I’ve gone swimming with the gadget, I can’t say I humanly restricted my movements or arm strokes, but still it survived. It totally discredits Fitbit’s warning to remove the gadget when showering, let alone swimming. Nevertheless, whether this feature is purposely or accidentally featured in the Fitbit Flex, I can securely declare it waterproof.
2. The Fitbit Surge Waterproof Check
More like a smartwatch in shape and size, the Surge is Fitbit’s most comprehensive and refined fitness tracker. It actually stands as one of the most functional and, consequently, fancied gadget of its kind. Save for its bulky design – one you need to get used to – there are numerous reasons to revere the Surge. But, is waterproofness one of them?
Is the Fitbit Surge waterproof?
Listed at 5 ATM, the Surge is waterproof to depths of 50 metres, which should plainly be sufficient for swimming laps. The company, however, in the wristband’s official specs, describes it as “rain and splash proof” but contradictorily advises the user to “remove before showering”. I would personally take this as a precaution against “misleading information” lawsuits which have been vexing electronic companies lately.
I’ve subjected my Surge to all kinds of accidental and deliberate splashes severally while doing the dishes and hand-washing my socks, and two months later, the gadget is still in one piece. Nevertheless, any water-resistant-rated gadget can simply weather this and so it should be nothing to push the boat out for.
No Diving or Surfing with the Fitbit Surge
For swimmers, the Fitbit Surge may not be the best option the market has to offer. Well, it can easily survive shallow swimming (I’ve been in the pool with mine) but then again, diving with it or subjecting it to dynamic under water bustles MAY be detrimental. The thing is, pressure from water is not the only or even the main reason your gadget may fail. You’re never likely to get anywhere near 50 metres deep anyway. Water resistance during a forceful dive-in or just the swimming arm strokes are what actually rout the waterproofness and let water in. Sea waves may also prove ruinous for your device, but this needs to happen at a very potent scale to have an effect on a 5 ATM-rated gadget.
So, basically, rain, shower, shallow swimming, doing the dishes and near-beach swimming are all passable for your Fitbit Surge. Are Fitbits waterproof? Well, yes, in this case they are!
3. The Fitbit Charge
The first time I came across this device, I was really astonished at how $100 can do so much wonders. I had been using a Jawbone Up 4 at the time (an Up 4 goes at $200) and you can clearly understand my awe. A friend of mine who knows about my enthusiasm for wearable devices introduced me to the Fitbit Charge and the first thing I had to check, apart from the design and functionality, of course, is if the super-cool gadget would withstand wetness, a front on which my Jawbone terribly failed.
Is the Fitbit Charge waterproof?
Before I tell you what I found out, here is what the maker says: The Charge is rated at 1 ATM, which means it can survive depths of up to 10 metres.
While I’m yet to find a reason to go anywhere beyond 2 metres down a swimming pool (I’m a bad swimmer), I still find the device a little underwhelming on this facet. Well, it could be way better than the Up 4, which can’t survive any degree of submergence, but a big disappointment to pro swimmers who may have spotted this as the cheapest go-to alternative.
At 1 ATM, diving, swimming or any action that will put the device under amplified degree of water resistance may prove costly. It can with stand water pressure down to 10 metres but, well, not with you wearing it (because you’re certainly going to make those doomed arm movements). Be sure to collect it intact, though, if it accidentally tumbles into the deepest end of the pool.
On the whole, the Fitbit Charge is rain, shower and splash proof, and is impervious to fairly calm water 10 metres or less deep.
Are Fitbits waterproof?Unfortunately not all of them, with the Fitbit Charge being the first on this list.
4. The Fitbit Charge HR
Fitbit shipped more wearables in 2015 than any of its rival companies, a feat that was partly thanks to the Fitbit Charge HR, which spent the entire year at the top of the sales table. A hybrid of its predecessor, the Fitbit Charge, the HR has lived up to the hype to bits, and is now looking to be part of the 2016 story as well. But how does teh Charge HR rank from the waterproofness viewpoint?
Is the Fitbit Charge HR waterproof?
At 1 ATM, the Fitbit Charge HR is certainly not waterproof. I’ve owned one personally, and can attest to its water-resistance capabilities, but I would not advise you to take a bath or go swimming with it because you’re going to lose it. Yes, unfortunately. My Charge HR gave up the ghost some months ago and it didn’t take me long before I pinpointed the cause.
On that fateful afternoon, I went swimming at a public pool in the neighbourhood for a whole three hours and sadly forgot I had a £110 device strapped on my arm. There was a lot of activity, I remember, and if I had to stand up for Fitbit, I would say I hit the wristband against the wall or someone’s cheekbone in the pool. But then, the screen was all misty from the inside and the body was practically without a scratch. In simple terms, I lost my Fitbit Charge HR to water and Fitbit Charge HRs are not waterproof!
Just like with its predecessor, the Charge, the deepest you can go with a Charge HR is 10 metres of virtually calm water. You can’t bathe with it, let alone swim, because it can withstand neither agitated water nor the arm strokes. Feel free to bring along your band to the sink when doing the dishes, and occasionally deep it into the tainted water, if you have to. It will just get stained, and in the end tell you how many calories you’ve left in the sink.
5. The Fitbit One
Many people would rather have a fitness tracker strapped on any part of their body but the wrist. The Fitbit One was built with that in mind. You can clip it to your belt, vest or bra, or even just drop it in the pocket and take your morning jog.
But, Is the Fitbit One waterproof?
For £65, you wouldn’t expect so much from a fitness tracker, and in the Fitbit One, unfortunately, waterproofness is one of the features that had to be sacrificed. The gadget is merely water-resistant, which means you can’t go swimming or bathing with it. It is safe against splashes, the occasional rain drops (weatherproof) though the company still advises you to take it off when showering.
Rated at 1 ATM or 10 metres – like most of its sisters in the product line – the Fitbit One can bear pressure equalling that of water 10 metres deep. That’s actually where movement comes in. If you move your gadget against the water, however slightly, the pressure it has to play against gets equally intensified. And since you can hardly control the magnitude of your strokes and twists and turns, you happen to unsuspectingly exceed your gadget’s capacity and ravage it in the process. And so, for the safety of your Fitbit One, avoid too much contact with fluids.
Don’t skip your jog in a drizzly morning, though, with the pretext that you’ll wreck your prized asset, because it can hold that up.
6. The Fitbit Zip
The Fitbit Zip is the little sister of the popular Fitbit ultra-line, and is literally the tinniest, least sophisticated and cheapest of all. At £50 or less, you qualify for one.
Is the Fitbit Zip waterproof?
Being one of the earliest products to grace the new wearable market back in 2012, not many really cared about waterproofness as a feature; the new technology was enough a source of excitement for the users and makers alike. Nonetheless, Fitbit did a thorough review of the Zip before making it available for purchase as it features water-resistance as one of its standout features. It’s listed at 1ATM or 10 metres, and that would typically mean it’s splash proof only. You cannot take a shower, a bath or swim with the gadget, whatsoever.
It can stand some degree of submergence, but I wouldn’t push it too far if I were you. The 10 metre rating is meant for accidental cases and nothing more. Also, if you can get in a bath tub or pool and remain still (why anyway), you can bank on the Fitbit Zip to take you through.
Conclusion – Can You Get Your Fitbits Wet?
Any fitness tracker worth considering should be resilient to splashes, moisture and dampness, at the very least, because you’re likely to often get sweaty, and wet it during workouts. Fortunately, if you’re still asking yourself: are Fitbits waterproof – all Fitbits have you covered on that.
But just because a tracker is water-resistant or splash proof doesn’t mean you can wear it to the swimming pool or bath tub. For swimming, you need a gadget that is completely sealed and submersible, can survive consistent soaking and can handle water pressure at the depths you want to reach. Any device rated over 5 ATM should be typically safe to swim with.
Though most of Fitbit’s products are 3 ATM and below, two of its most distinguished trackers, the Fitbit Surge and the Fitbit Flex are rated at 5 ATM, and are thus waterproof. Regardless of the company’s off-putting counsel that the gadgets are not submersible to any degree, all of its trackers are actually water resistant and the aforementioned two can be considered waterproof and fit for swimming.