Which Fitbit Should I get? A Fitbit Comparison
Which FitBit Should I get? Fitness tracking is gradually becoming an unavoidable everyday task for us. In fact, if you look around doctors are not relenting in their quest of constantly highlighting for us all the dangers that come with unchecked health, and particularly heart or weight-related issues.
An efficient way of choosing the best fitness tracking device is going for the top brands. These are the leaders in the industry who have the experience and will most likely serve you best. If you apply this filter, you will end up with FitBit as preferred brand. Well, FitBit suffices as the most popular name in this industry for several reasons.
The dominant one, however, is that they have been around for some time and have an extensive range of reliable, easy-to-use devices.
Is Fitbit Right For Me?
Here are the four reasons that place FitBit at the top of the wearable fitness tracking gadgets world:
1. Design: Their different models have a sharp and sleek design, not to mention that they are lightweight. Therefore, you hardly notice that you have any such device on you.
2. Features: FitBit added more features than just step/calorie counting to their gadgets. They can track your heartbeat rate, have better battery life, can monitor your location using GPS and some will prompt you if you sit for too long.
3. Price: The brand name should not scare you. Fitbit have gadgets for everyone and tend to be reasonable in price.
4. Cutting edge technology: FitBit devices come with advanced technological features such as smartwatch capabilities, split-screen comparisons, strap-free heart monitoring and, at least, eight sensors.
Therefore, settling on FitBit fitness tracking devices takes away the question of, “Which fitness tracking device(s) should I get?”
Now, when you delve into the FitBit world, you encounter yet another dilemma. The brand has multiple models, which are almost twins. They appear to have similar features such as text and email capabilities, real-time stats display, GPS location and superb charge retention. You encounter a new question that is, “Which FitBit should I get?” However, do not worry, you will get all the information that will help you in choosing the best FitBit fitness tracker.
Which FitBit is right for me? A Fitbit Comparison
Now, with all the above said, let me introduce the 6 FitBit models currently on the market. As stated earlier, they are all brothers, united by brand but alienated by features. I’ve broken down the critical features and differences so you can easily make an informed decision despite their synonymy.
Here is a Fitbit comparison of the FitBit Charge HR, FitBit Surge, FitBit Charge, FitBit Flex, FitBit One and FitBit Zip respectively.
1. FitBit Charge HR
The FitBit Charge HR was FitBit’s best selling tracker of 2015. It is also only second to the Surge when it comes to price. Its major features include heart-rate monitoring and exercise intensity. In short, it can tell you when you are not going hard enough or when you are overdoing it. It has additional features like:
- iPhone linkage using a dedicated app that allows the user to map their runs and hikes using the phone’s GPS. With this, you can view the map of your runs on your smartphone.
- Recording a month’s jog or run stats and giving in-depth information regarding calories, steps and so on. This means you can review and adjust your fitness activity for the whole month, broken down by date and all activities undertaken.
- Heart rate monitor day and night (even when you are not exercising). Unlike the other trackers that only work when you do (when you exercise that is), this one serves you while you sleep as well: an extra fitness feature.
- Five-day battery life means you do not have to charge it every night of after a morning jog.
- The Caller ID feature lets you know who is calling or texting.
- Wireless, strapless heart rate monitor that applies LED technology to measure the blood volume. It also gives real-time heart beat stats.
The above features make the HR a considerable choice for the intense athlete who needs to get the most out of their training session and data. It is also a better fit for somebody who can skip the in-built GPS feature, but still needs heart rate tracking. If you can’t go without GPS, go for the Surge.
2. FitBit Surge
The Surge is the most expensive device in the FitBit range despite having almost similar specs when compared to the FitBit Charge HR. It is not the best in terms of looks but is probably the gadget with the most advanced features for your fitness.
It is [in]famously referred to as the “sports super watch” as its features make it the perfect tracker for all kinds of sports. The key features that elevate it above the others include allowing one to text or talk while on the move. In addition to that, it streams music as the user works out, it is water resistant up to 5 ATMs and is GPS-enabled to map out one’s jogging routes.
Some of its additional features are:
- The heart rate monitoring ability analyses your workout and indicates the progress in real time. It also tracks the heart rate 24/7, letting you know of your cardiac health.
- It has multiple sport tracking capabilities. This means you can monitor and analyse your progress for different sports, independently (some sports are intense, others mild).
- You get your emails, texts and calls on the display in real-time. You can respond to them without needing the smartphone. Again, you control your music from it.
The Surge is best suited for the tech savvy user who needs the combined abilities of a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. It is also handy for people that need real-time stats anytime and anywhere without having to sync the device to others as the screen of the Surge is always on, giving real-time updates
Again, if budget and chunky size are not an issue, this is the ideal fitness tracker for the busy user. The business people will love it because of its email capabilities.
3. FitBit Charge
The Fitbit Charge is a close relative to the Charge HR in price, but with fewer features. However, it is more advanced than the FitBit Flex. It is similar to the Surge and HR in that it tracks sleep automatically. It, however, beats both with better battery capacity.
The Charge gives you instant notifications of anyone trying to reach you. It also monitors your active duration, the distance you have walked and the number of calories you have disbanded.
Other features include:
- Constant reminders so you are steady in your walks or runs. This feature reminds you when you seem to breach your schedule and also motivates you by indicating when you hit set targets.
- Real-time notifications from your smartphone – no need to pull out the smartphone anymore.
- Automatic sync with smartphone and PC to provide daily exercise stats. If you need a bigger screen to read your stats, this feature makes it possible almost on the fly.
- LED-lit display that makes it usable day and night. Unlike most devices, this one can be used during the night as it has its own light.
As per its features, the Charge is an “in-between” of the entire device range: less features than the HR and Surge but better than the Flex, One and Zip.
4. FitBit Flex
Although it is less advanced when compared to the Charge, Surge and HR, the Flex, as its name suggests, is quite flexible. First, it comes with 10 different wristband colour variations for the user to choose from.
This model is the ancestor of the wrist-based trackers range and has an advantage in that it It has a seven-day battery life, gives real-time stats, has an alarm and sleep tracker, is water resistant and can be worn in the shower. You miss out on messaging, caller IDs and clock features, which makes the Flex super-easy to use.
Its other features include:
- Real-time stats. It gives you regular updates on the steps taken; the calories burned and distance covered throughout the day.
- Multiple colours and wristbands in different sizes.
- A silent alarm that only wakes the user. Unlike the traditional sound alarm, this one uses vibration technology to wake you up. It is programmable and will give reminders and readouts on the regular – in short, you can set your targets, and it will help you keep up with them.
- Less charging demands. Its battery lasts about a week.
Judging by the features, the FitBit Flex is perfect for the (flashy) fashion-minded user.
5. FitBit One
The FitBit One is a clip-on style tracker. Compared to the above FitBits, its features are quite minimal. It can be closely compared to the Zip in terms of form and simplicity. It is the type that I see ladies clipping on their bras or men on their belts. However, most people put them in their pockets, out of sight.
The FitBit One has elevation (height) tracking, manual sleep tracking and a clock. However, it is not automated and most of its tasks are launched by the user.
Its additional features include:
- Distance/step tracking. The FitBit counts your steps as you walk and calculates the total distance covered.
- Fitness stats on OLED display. The number of steps plus distance covered are displayed on its screen as you go.
- At least ten days of battery without charging.
These features make the One ideal for the user who loves simplicity and only needs to keep track of their most basic stats. More importantly, if you do not want a wrist tracker, this FitBit is the One (pun intended) for you.
6. FitBit Zip
Last on our list, but not least is the Zip fitness tracker – the most affordable FitBit device. It is similar to the FitBit One in that it features a clip-on form factor. Its specs are basic but quite up to the task. It monitors the duration that you are active daily, calculates the lost calories, distance covered and the number of steps. It can link with other devices using Bluetooth or PC services, allowing for easier sharing of recorded stats. However, unlike its advanced brothers, it lacks automatic wireless sync.
Despite its simplicity is has some outstanding features like:
- Rain, sweat and splash proof. You do not have to worry about excess sweating with it in your pocket.
- Its battery life is the best of the 6 FitBits, lasting up to six months. It has a replaceable battery, meaning you do not have to charge it at all. Just put in a new one it runs dry.
- It is recommended for fitness tracking beginners owing to its user friendliness, ease of acquisition and much easier to replace if damaged or lost.
If a user is not into ‘tech savviness’ and would like to avoid regular charging as well as having a gadget on their wrist all day, they should consider the FitBit Zip.
Learn the essential features that you should consider while narrowing the choices down. Always use this guide when deciding which FitBit is right for you whenever you have to buy a new one.
The features are the most important aspects that I consider when deciding which FitBit is right for me. On average, all the gadgets measure the steps taken, distance covered and the calories burned. If this is all the service you need, go for a FitBit with just that. Different models have extra features like sleep monitoring, alarms, vibration motors, stair height and number calculation, compass abilities, GPS tracking, heart rate recording, Smartphone linkage, phone notifications and BMI calculation.
2. Battery life
FitBit trackers come with rechargeable batteries with varying retention time. Some will last a few hours while others keep going for up to 5 dayy and the Zip has a replaceable battery that will last a few months.
Therefore, depending on your intended use, you need to consider the battery capacity. If you are away for days and battery life is crucial, go for the longer-lasting gadgets. Again, if you only need to track your distance for the morning run, a FitBit that stores power for a few hours will be enough and might save you some money.
The FitBit Zip has the longest battery life (up to 6 months) and uses a replaceable battery. The others may last between 5 and 7 days.
3. Skin allergy
A while ago, FitBit had to recall one of its models when some users complained of skin rashes after acquiring them. It was later discovered that metal allergy was the culprit. So, which FitBit should I get if I have a similar allergy?
After the incident, FitBit announced the inclusion of scientific experts in developing safer devices. They changed some of the device parts to use leather, stainless steel and elastomer. These materials are common in sports watches. All of their parts are now optimised to reduce any potential reactions or harm.
However, you should avoid wearing a wet FitBit tracker on your wrist to minimise the risk of getting a rash.
4. Form and Design
If you look at all the FitBit fitness trackers, you realise that they are either clip-on or band-like. However, some are as big as watches while some are as sleek as an ornamental wristband. Different users prefer various forms. In my case, I go for the watch-like ones because I can comfortably wear them to the office.
The Flex is preferred by fashion conscious users due to its sleek and attractive design. The Surge offers top notch tracking qualities, but is mostly discredited due to its big size. To some people, the design of the Zip and One is too ‘traditional.’ Therefore, it is up to the user to determine which FitBit suits them best.
Waterproofing is a factor to consider when buying a FitBit. However, FitBit officially advises against using their gadgets in water to prevent skin irritation and the device to stop working despite the fact some of them are water resistant.
The Flex can withstand water well, but cases of its band wearing out after longer exposure to wet environments are common. The One and Zip are splash proof if not immersed below 1 metre of water.
The Charge HR, Charge and Flex resist water to a depth of 1 ATM pressure (33ft or 10 metres). The Surge is waterproof up to five ATMs or 50 metres.
More Information: Are Fitbits Waterproof? Or Just Water-Resistant?
The FitBit wristbands are made of a flexible elastomer material that enables you to slip them onto your wrist.
The Charge HR is unique in terms of what the clasp mechanism offers. It has arms like a watch that are held together by a surgical-grade buckle. Therefore, one can adjust the length for a better grasp. However, people find it uncomfortable to sleep while wearing it because of the buckle. It is, however, the best as far as the reliability of clasps goes.
Apart from the typical FitBit band meant for the wrist, FitBit Zip and One offer a clip-type clasp to fasten the tracker onto belts, pockets or collars for more comfort. On the other hand they are quite easy to lose while running, you might sit on them, or worse still, they might end up in the washing machine.
7. Heart Rate Monitor
The pulse, or heart rate, is a major feature for any fitness tracker. If you are serious about your fitness training you should opt for a Fitbit that offers heart rate tracking: the Surge, Blaze and Charge HR models.
The display (or the lack of it) is quite important for most users. Here is how different FitBit trackers handle this feature:
- The Surge has a lot of data on the display: alarm, BPM, weight, time, caller ID, free runs and miles covered.
- The Charge shows the calories burned, active minutes, floors climbed, BPM (for Charge HR), exercise time, alarm and caller ID.
- The Zip and One display smileys and flowers showing steps taken, calories burnt and your activity level
- The Flex hardly has anything you might call a display. It uses a series of flashing lights to represent the achievements of the day. One dot represents 20 percent, two, forty percent and so on.
9. Sleep Tracking
Quality sleep is critical for the success of fitness goals as you need sufficient, good-quality rest. Therefore, all but the Zip come with a sleep tracking feature.
Price is always an issue and therefore it is crucial that you familiarise yourself with how different FitBit trackers stack up against each other regarding the price. Older models tend to be cheaper than the most recent releases which makes sense due to the addition of more features.
When looking for a cheap tracker, go for the Zip (~£42.50). If money is not an issue (lucky you) the Surge will do (~£174.53).
Which Fitbit Should I get?
And that wraps up our Fitbit comparison of fitness tracking gadgets and probably satisfies your “which FitBit should I get” questions. Settle on your motivation, be it size, price, use, colour or any feature then peruse this guide to find your suitor. If you outgrow your current FitBit, there is the option of selling it and acquiring a more advanced FitBit gadget.
Embrace the fact that getting in shape and maintaining it is the new trend that is here to stay. Therefore, it is the time you made up your mind and went shopping for your favourite FitBit fitness tracking device. I’ve made things simpler for you, haven’t I?