Best Fitbit 2018: which is right for you?


When you first think of buying a new fitness tracker, it’s likely Fitbit will be one of the first brands to jump into your mind. These are very popular gadgets, and that’s mostly down to a range that offer something for everyone. That’s from running experts and exercise enthusiasts to those who just want to track how far they walk each day.

Last year brought the introduction of both the Fitbit Alta HR and Fitbit Ionic smartwatch following on from the Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 that came out at the tail end of 2016.

Products such as the Fitbit Blaze and Surge sit at the top end of the Fitbit product range to keep those who are into their exercise happy, while there are also choices like the Zip, Charge and Flex for those who need something a little simpler.

There are also rumors of new Fitbit products coming on the horizon including the Fitbit Charge 3 and Blaze 2, plus it’s likely we’ll one day see both a Surge 2 and Ionic 2, but it’s unlikely we’ll see anything new from the company for at least a few more months.

Below you’ll find our full ranking of the best Fitbit activity trackers that you can buy right now.

1. Fitbit Charge 2

One of the best fitness trackers you can buy

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: 4 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Useful screen

Comfortable strap

Limited phone notifications

No GPS

The best Fitbit is the Charge 2, which has a much larger screen compared to the original Fitbit Charge and the Charge HR.  It’s one of the best fitness trackers you can use right now and comes with fitness features such as a heart rate tracker and guided breathing.

There’s also Multi-Sport tracking that allows you to keep a track of outdoor runs, walking, weight training and many more exercises.

It also connects with the GPS on your phone to keep track of your runs as well. You won’t be able to use this in a pool though, if you want to go swimming with your tracker we’d recommend looking at the Fitbit Flex 2 below.

Read the full Fitbit Charge 2 review

2. Fitbit Blaze

A solid wearable, but it won’t set the world alight

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 5 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Stunning battery life

Interesting fitness features

Lack of notifications

Strange design

The Fitbit Blaze is the dark horse of the Fitbit family. This is one of the stranger devices on the roster as it was (sort of) meant to be the first smartwatch from Fitbit, but it’s not.

Despite the design, the Fitbit Blaze is just a fitness tracker at heart. The design is a little quirky, but that may be something you want to go for in a fitness tracker that you want to use more as a watch.

The display also offers up notifications for your text messages, but not for any other apps you may want to see. 

The Blaze does offer up a variety of fitness features – such as SmartTrack, which will track your exercise even if you haven’t told the wearable what you’re going to be doing – allowing you to burn through those calories quickly and easily.

Read the full Fitbit Blaze review

3. Fitbit Surge

Fitbit’s GPS-touting ‘superwatch’

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 3 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Built-in GPS

Classic watch clasp

Dated ’80s-like design

Weaker battery life

The Surge is no longer the most expensive wearable in Fitbit’s stable thanks to the Ionic, that you’ll see further down this list. The Fitbit Surge comes with GPS technology built-in, which means you can take it out without having to keep your phone in your pocket while you’re jogging.

It comes with a heart rate monitor and a classic watch-like design that some of the other Fitbit products don’t offer.

There’s a slightly weaker battery life on this Fitbit and the design isn’t to everyone’s taste, but if you like to run this is one of the best choices of Fitbit for you.

Be warned though, it may not be on sale for much longer. Fitbit has replaced the Surge on its official website with the Ionic, so it looks like the company has stopped selling it and you may now only be able to find it at third-party retailers, where stock will one day run out.

Read the full Fitbit Surge review

4. Fitbit Alta HR

Fitbit’s most stylish tracker, now with added HR readings

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Slim design

Accurate heart rate readings

Unresponsive screen

Difficult to read in bright light

The Fitbit Alta HR takes the slim, stylish Fitbit Alta and jams a heart rate monitor into its slender frame, without bulking it up.

Where the original Alta feels a bit light on features, and puts form over function, the Alta HR is an admirable tracker which goes beyond basic step tracking, but still looks good.

It’s still not the most feature-packed – there’s no GPS for a start – but it strikes a good balance and is the sort of thing you’ll be happy to wear 24/7 (other than when swimming – this isn’t waterproof), which is handy, because it can also track your sleep, and the heart rate monitor helps there too.

With basic message / notification alerts pulled from your smartphone and an almost week long battery life too, it’s well worth considering if you don’t need the features – or don’t want the bulk – of something like the Fitbit Ionic.

Read the full Fitbit Alta HR review

5. Fitbit Flex 2

The Flex 2 is a great budget fitness tracker

Size: Two sizes | Display: N/A | Weight: 19g | Waterproof: No | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Battery: 5 days | Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0

Fun software

Comfortable and light

Battery life not great

Slow to charge

Do you want a fitness tracker that is easy to use and uncomplicated? The Fitbit Flex 2 may be the best device for you.

You’ll be able to use this while swimming as it’s waterproof and it’ll also keep an eye on how well your dips in the pool are going. On top of that it comes with all the other basic tracking features you’d expect plus a slim and light design too.

It’s a touch cheaper than the Fitbit Charge 2 as well, so it may be the perfect Fitbit tracker for you.

Read the full Fitbit Flex 2 review

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Fitbit Ionic

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6. Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit’s first smartwatch offers something a bit different

OS: Fitbit OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.47-inch, 1000 nits | Processor: Dual-core 1.0GHz | Band sizes: Large | Onboard storage: 2.5GB | Battery duration: 2-3 days | Charging method: Proprietary charger | IP rating: 50M water resistant | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Bright display

Variety of fitness options

Slow interface

Severe lack of apps

If you’re after a smartwatch from Fitbit, this is your only choice right now. The Fitbit Ionic isn’t the fantastic smartwatch some hoped it would be but it succeeds if you’re looking for a fitness focused device that can tackle running, weight lifting, swimming and much, much more.

Dedicated workout programs and Fitbit Pay are among the other highlights of the Ionic, but it doesn’t perform as well as say the Apple Watch 3 or LG Watch Sport if you’re looking for a full blown smartwatch experience. 

It’s not cheap either and the Fitbit Ionic is also low in our list of the best Fitbit products because it’s just very expensive for what it can offer you.

Read the full Fitbit Ionic review

7. Fitbit Alta

The original Alta is limited in scope

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Striking design

Week-long battery life

Not waterproof

Pretty limited offering overall

The Fitbit Alta has a big focus on the design rather than its fitness features. The style is customizable with various straps so you can switch them out for whatever you feel like that day – you aren’t limited to just one choice as you are on some Fitbit devices.

In our review, we found it also had a week-long battery life, which is even more than the five days Fitbit claims for the Alta.

It’s not all great though as the Alta’s screen isn’t very sensitive and it’s not waterproof either. But if you’re looking for an all-round fitness tracker, the Alta may be a good option for you – though the Fitbit Alta HR is the superior option and should be your first choice.

Read the full Fitbit Alta review

8. Fitbit Zip

Counting the steps to fitness

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 7 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Clever, accurate tracking

Affordable

Touchscreen doesn’t always work

Limited features

If you want a cheap and cheerful tracker that will just monitor how far you walk each day, go for the Fitbit Zip. It’s a clip you can put onto your clothing and from there you can just look at how far you’ve walked each day.

Essentially it’s a glorified pedometer and won’t be able to track your running anywhere near as accurately as you could on devices like the Surge or the Blaze.

But if you’re here just to keep a track on how far you’ve been walking, the Fitbit Zip isn’t a bad choice for you.

Read the full Fitbit Zip review

9. Fitbit Charge HR

Great for motivation, even if it’s hardly the most scientific device

Screen: Yes | Heart rate tracker: Yes | Waterproof: No | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 5 days | Compatibility: Android/iOS/Windows

Comfortable to wear

Heart rate monitor

Not particularly accurate

More expensive

Between the Fitbit Charge and the Charge 2 sits the Fitbit Charge HR, which looks exactly like the original Fitbit Charge but adds a heart rate monitor into the mix.

Fitbit has discontinued the Charge HR, but other retailers still stock it – at least for now – and it makes it a slightly cheaper alternative to the Fitbit Charge 2.

If you’re looking to do more rigorous exercise go for one of the devices above such as the Surge, Ionic or the Blaze. But the Charge HR is still a good choice if you’re looking for the odd update on how far you’ve walked – but we’d recommend you spend a bit more on the Charge 2 if you can.

Read the full Fitbit Charge HR review



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