The Fitbit brand has become synonymous with most fitness buffs looking to stave off ageing or drop a few pounds. With the different options the brand has on offer, finding the right tracker to match your needs can feel a little overwhelming. To help make the right pick, we will look at the different models, what they have to offer and how they suit your everyday life.
Even in the world of fitness, design plays a significant role. This is especially the case considering that you wear these gadgets to your meetings, social gatherings, and when going to sleep. Some of the models like the Alta, the Flex 2, and Ace have a more discreet design that sits comfortably on your wrist and does not attract much attention.
While the display of the wristbands has remained constant, inter-changeable bands and color choice are what has influenced the decision of most buyers as far as design is concerned. However, there is a growing demand for higher performance and more accurate trackers that cannot be housed in the sleek and slim wristbands. This has led to the growth of the Fitbit Versa, and the Ionic that pack the tracker and other smart gadgets in a normal looking watch.
While the Versa and Ionic which fall into the watch category offer a wider array of features and better technology, some users find the large display irritating and the device very heavy. Most people prefer the slimmer and less conspicuous design of the Alta, Flex, and Ace which is why they have grown to become so popular and for those that prefer an even slimmer build the Alta HR provides the perfect blend of technology and slim design that is comfortable, lightweight and useful.
Fitbit Versa +1
Fitbit Ionic +1
For a device that you wear all day long, battery life becomes an essential aspect when making the purchase. All the devices considered for this comparison review are powered by a Lithium-polymer battery. Fitbit Alta HR leads the way with up to 7 days of battery life while the others which include the Fitbit Ace, Charge 2, and Flex 2 coming in close at 5 days.
The Iconic is slightly further behind largely because of its much larger screen with a battery life of 4 days. However it requires a quick one to two hours of charge time and incorporates a GPS battery life of up to 10 days which is quite impressive. The Fitbit Versa also has a battery life of 4 days and charge time of two hours.
Fitbit Alta HR +1
Even though each of the trackers has been built to serve the same purpose, more attention has been dedicated to providing unique features. Every Fitbit fitness tracker is designed to give it an edge in an otherwise highly competitive market.
The Fitbit Versa has been created with serious athletes in mind. It is able to keep track of different parameters like sleep, calories, heart rate, and steps. The device has personalized reminders, a feature that you can use to log your monthly periods, and is also water proof up to a depth of 50 meters. This sets it aside from most of the other models that are only resistant to splashes, a little rain, and some heavy sweating. If you are looking for a fitness tracker that you can take a swim with, this is your best bet.
The other alternative that matches up to what the Fitbit Versa has to offer is the Ionic. It is perfect for folks that take their fitness seriously and has the features to match. These include the PurePulse technology which is a highly accurate heart rate monitoring method that relies on monitoring the rate of blood flow in the capillaries and using the data to calculate the heart’s beats per minute, built-in running and training programs, and personal coaching.
Compared to what the Versa and the Ionic have to offer, the Alta, Alta HR, Charge 2, and Ace are slightly short-handed in their collection of unique features. They offer a variety of different combinations. These include Smart Track features, breathing sessions, PurePulse technology, and automatic recording of data depending on your preferred model.
Fitbit Versa +1
Fitbit Ionic +1
The fitness trackers rely on sensors to be able to track different parameters. Understanding the different types of sensors incorporated in your tracker of choice can help you understand the accuracy and reliability of the device.
The least armed is the Fitbit Ace that comes with a 3-axis accelerometer and vibration motor followed by the Alta HR which has the addition of the optical heart rate sensor on top of what the Ace offers. In addition to what the former two have to offer, the Charge 2 adds an altimeter to its collection while the Flex 2 only has the accelerometer and vibration motor to its name.
The altimeter keeps track of your altitude while training, the accelerometer keeps tabs on your speed and movement and the vibration motor makes sure that you never miss a notification from your Fitbit device.
The Fitbit Versa offers a richer collection of sensors which include a 3-axis gyroscope to change the orientation of the screen, an ambient light sensor, Wi-Fi antenna and NFC in addition to what the aforementioned wristbands have to offer. The Ionic tracker has extras which include a GPS and a digital compass but, it does not have a Wi-Fi or NFC sensor.
With regards to GPS, the Iconic takes the lead with a built-in GPS antenna, the Charge 2, and the Versa use Connected GPS while the Ace and the Alta HR do not have GPS functionality. If GPS is an essential part of your routine, the Fitbit app and the MobileRun app can be synced with your device to use Connected GPS which should work even with the devices that don’t have GPS functionality. Other than the Fitbit Ace and the Fitbit Alta, the other devices also feature heart rate monitoring.
Fitbit Versa +1
Apps and Syncing
The mobile application that comes with the tracker is just as important as the tracker itself. It is how you are able to access detailed data, set new goals, and some applications let you go as far as challenging your friends among other functions. When purchasing the tracker, it is essential to make sure that the application works on your phone of choice. Otherwise, you might have to buy another tracker or another supported mobile phone.
Lucky for you, the Fitbit app is available on all major operating systems like iOS, Android and windows. With the app, you can also view all your stats, records, goals and insight from the convenience of your desktop.
Syncing is wireless and seamless once you have downloaded the applications. All the Fitbit trackers make the syncing process easy and trouble free and data is uploaded once the app has access to an internet connection.
The Fitbit Versa is an exception in this case because it has a Wi-Fi and NFC sensor. This gives more than one method of syncing and uploading recorded data. Even in the absence of the app, the tracker can upload the information if it has access to a Wi-Fi connection.
Fitbit Versa +1
Unlike the strides and advancements that have been taken with regards to technology, customization has not changed much. The only personal touch you can make on your Fitbit tracker is to change the color of the bands and the overall color of the tracker.
The Fitbit Flex 2 has gone a notch higher. It comes with a removable tracker that can be attached to a bangle or a pendant which is interesting and different compared to the traditional way of wearing your tracker on a band. The smartwatch varieties like the Ionic and Versa go a step further by letting you customize the clock watch but even then your options are highly limited. With the removable tracker and ability to attach it to other accessories that you can wear to formal occasions like a pendant or bangle, the Flex 2 sets the trend with regards to customization. It however comes in only one color.
Fitbit Flex +1
Non-fitness related features
While these devices are solely designed to get you moving, they do have features that might not be related to fitness but are handy and might save you from having to carry an extra gadget on your morning run.
The Fitbit Ace for instance receives notifications from your smartphones and alerts you so you never have to miss a call. The Ionic, Versa and Flex 2 also have the same feature. The Fitbit Versa and Ionic go a step further and provide on-board storage of up to 300 songs and allow you access to Pandora to keep you entertained as you break a sweat.
Even though these features are not related to fitness, they do make your life easier and more productive. The Versa and Ionic also save you the trouble of carrying your music player when going out on a work out.
Fitbit Versa +1
Fitbit Ionic: Adidas Edition +1
Below is a table we have put together with a head to head comparison of each Fitbit device to help you choose the right model.
|Fitbit Model||Appox. Price||Battery Life||Type||Display Size||Water Proof||Unique Features|
|Versa||$199.95||4 days||Watch||24.1mm by 24.1mm||Yes||· Water resistant up to 50 meters|
· Tracks sleep calories, steps, heart rate and sleep
|Alta HR||$149.95||7 days||Wristband||1.4”||No||· Automatic SmartTrack feature for automatic recording of data|
|Charge 2||149.95||5 days||Wristband||1.42”||No||· Breathing sessions based on heart rate|
· Uses PurePulse technology
|Ionic||$279.95||5 days||Watch||1.42”||Yes||· Perfect for serious athletes|
· PurePulse technology
· Built-in running training programs
· Personal coaching
|Alta||Starts at $129.95||5 days||Wristband||1.4”||No||· Smart technology|
· Health and sleep tracker
|Ace||$99.95||5 days||Wristband||1.4”||No||· Designed for kids|
· Shower proof
· Goal celebration feature
· Sleep tracking
· Recommended by CDC
|Flex 2||Starts at $59.95||5 days||Wristband with removable tracker||N/A||Yes||· Smart track|
· Auto sleep tracking
· Call, texts and reminders notifications
· Goal celebration
Choosing the best fitness tracker comes down to your wants, needs, and expectations. Each tracker is built and optimized to appeal to a particular user and fit in their lifestyle. The Fitbit Ace for instance is an ideal fit for children. Its range of features like the bold colors, waterproof features, and comparison features are perfect for children.
For fitness enthusiasts that are not too involved in different activities and just need a tracker that is accurate in keeping their step count, the Fitbit Flex 2 is the best option. However, it does offer a variety of other features that would be handy if you decided to upgrade to morning run like heart rate monitoring.
The Alta is very appealing for users that would like a small form tracker that is not imposing but still packs enough features to remain useful and helpful to track your activity and help you achieve your fitness goals. If size is not a problem and you prefer having unlimited possibilities with your tracker, the Versa and Ionic are the perfect match. They have a large display and a long list of features that will make staying fit and your general life much easier.
For users that would like to pay extra attention on how their heart is reacting to the pressure of fitness activities, the Charge 2 and the Alta HR are the best suited for the job and are fitted with PurePulse Technology for accurate heart rate monitoring data.
With the information you have obtained from this guide, picking the right Fitbit tracker should not feel confusing anymore. Whether you are the occasional evening walker, the every morning jogger or the fitness buff that takes part in different activities like running and swimming, you should now be able to pick a tracker that matches your needs.