Fitbit has been around for years, sitting at the top of its activity tracking class smugly watching as its competitors hope to raise the same sort of brand awareness. For many, a fitness band is simply called “a fitbit”, such has the impact been of this company.
Chances are if you are reading this feature, you too have heard of it. The problem you have probably since found however, is deciding which of the Fitbit activity tracking devices is the right one for you.
We have broken each of the Fitbit trackers down into how much each costs, what features each offers and why you might consider buying each one. This feature is all about helping you work out which Fitbit will suit you and your lifestyle best.
The Fitbit Inspire is the cheapest fitness tracker in Fitbit’s offering, replacing the Zip, Flex and Alta families. It offers all-day sleep and activity tracking, smartphone notifications, clock faces and interchangeable straps. It has a touchscreen display, is swim proof and it offers automatic exercise recognition too.
The Fitbit Inspire HR has a very similar design to the standard Inspire but it adds heart rate monitoring, more advanced sleep data, VO2 Max, Goal-Based exercise modes and Connected GPS. Other functions are the same as the Inspire, but it is a little more expensive due to the extra features.
The Fitbit Charge 3 offers everything the Inspire HR does, including swim tracking and Goal-Based exercise, but it adds more advanced smartphone notifications, like Quick Replies for Android users, and it has an altimeter. There is also a Special Edition model with NFC for Fitbit Pay.
The Fitbit Versa Lite Edition moves into smartwatch territory, offering a middle ground between the Charge 3 and the standard Versa smartwatch in terms of features and price. The Versa Lite Edition has the same features as the Charge 3, including swim proofing, but it adds apps and designer accessories. It loses Fitbit Pay however, as well as an altimeter.
The Fitbit Versa is the next step up in the Fitbit smartwatch sector. It offers everything the Versa Lite Edition has, but it adds the altimeter back in, along with Fitbit Pay and On-Screen workouts. Still no built-in GPS, but the Versa has phone-free music, which the Charge 3 and Versa Lite Edition do not.
The Fitbit Ionic is the most expensive Fitbit device, as well as being the most feature rich. It lands more in smartwatch territory than other Fitbit devices, bringing built-in GPS, water resistance up to 50-metres, mobile payments and smartphone notifications, as well as all the features found on other Fitbit devices.
- What it tracks: Steps, distance, calories, active minutes, sleep, female health
- Type: Wrist-worn or clip-on with accessory
- Features: Touchscreen display, clock, extended smartphone notifications, interchangeable bands, waterproofing, automatic exercise recognition, silent alarms
- Battery: Up to 5 days
The Fitbit Inspire is one of two devices that replaces the Zip, Flex and Alta tracker ranges. It is the new entry level fitness tracker from Fitbit and it offers basic activity monitoring, including steps and calories burned, along with basic sleep tracking.
There’s a display for smartphone notifications and an on-screen dashboard, showing similar metrics to what you would find in the Fitbit app. The Inspire is also offers waterproofing up to 50-metres but not swim tracking, and it doesn’t have elevation heart rate monitoring either.
The Inspire is slim, slender and smaller than the Charge 3. It also offers interchangeable straps, allowing for a different look, as well as the ability to clip it to clothing with a specific accessory, and it is claimed to have a five-day battery life. As with all Fitbit devices, the Inspire connects to the Fitbit app via Bluetooth, offering a range of more detailed stats and data.
The Fitbit Inspire comes in two colours comprising Black and Sangria. Accessories start from £19.99.
Fitbit Inspire HR
- What it tracks: Steps, distance, calories, active minutes, sleep, heart rate, VO2 Max, female health tracking
- Type: Wrist-worn or clip-on with accessory
- Features: Touchscreen display, clock, extended smartphone notifications, interchangeable bands, Connected GPS, waterproofing with swim tracking, automatic exercise recognition, guided breathing, goal-based exercise mode, silent alarms
- Battery: Up to 5 days
The Fitbit Inspire HR features a very similar design to the Inspire, meaning a slim and sleek waterproof device with a display for smartphone notifications and progress.
It adds heart rate tracking and swim tracking though, along with a colour-matched buckle for a more secure fastening and it also offers connected GPS, Guided Breathing Sessions, Goal-Based Exercise Modes and VO2 Max. The Inspire HR also offers more advanced sleep tracking data than the Inspire, though it still lacks elevation data.
The Inspire HR comes in three colours comprising Black, Lilac and Black with White. Like the Inspire, it has interchangeable straps, with accessories starting at £19.99.
Fitbit Charge 3
What it tracks: Steps, distance, calories, active minutes, sleep, heart rate, elevation, VO2 Max, SPO2, female health tracking
Features: OLED touchscreen display, clock, extended smartphone notifications, interchangeable bands, Connected GPS, waterproofing with swim tracking, multi-sport tracking, automatic exercise recognition, guided breathing, goal-based exercise mode, silent alarms, NFC for mobile payments (selected models)
Battery: Up to 7 days
The Fitbit Charge 3 is the successor to the Charge 2, refining and streamlining its design, whilst also adding waterproofing up to 50-metres and swim tracking, like the Inspire HR. There is a 40 per cent larger and brighter OLED display compared to the Charge 2 and it is touch-enabled, rather than just tap-enabled, allowing users to swipe through all the metrics they’d find in the Fitbit app, including hydration.
All of the Inspire HR’s features are on board, including Connected GPS and continuous heart rate monitoring, but you’ll also get a few extras with the Charge 3, including elevation data and the option of an NFC-enabled model.
The Charge 3 also has Run Detect with auto stop, meaning runners can stop at lights without manually hitting pause on their workout. Smartphone notifications are also a little more advanced than the Inspire HR with Quick Replies for Android users.
The Charge 3 is available in two standard options of Graphite with a Black strap or Rose Gold with a Blue Grey strap. There are also two Special Edition models that are NFC-enabled, offering Fitbit Pay. The Special Edition models have the same case options but the graphite has a white perforated sports strap, while the rose gold has a purple fabric strap.
Fitbit Versa Lite Edition
What it tracks: Steps, calories, active minutes, sleep, heart rate, VO2 Max, female health
Features: Coloured LCD display, clock, extended smartphone notifications, waterproofing with swim tracking, multi-sport tracking, automatic exercise recognition, guided breathing, silent alarms, interchangeable straps, Connected GPS
Battery: Up to 4 days
The Fitbit Versa Lite Edition is the first step from fitness tracker to smartwatch in Fitbit’s portfolio. It offers many of the same features as the Charge 3, including waterproofing, heart rate tracking, sleep stages, swim tracking and Connected GPS, though it misses out on elevation data and Fitbit Pay capabilities.
It does have the ability to install some third party apps however, something that sets it apart from the Charge 3, and it also looks more like a watch than an activity tracker. Additionally, the Versa Lite Edition comes with interchangeable straps like other Fitbit devices and it has the option of designer accessories too.
The Versa Lite Edition comes in four colours, including Silver Aluminium with White, Silver Aluminium with Purple, Marina Blue Aluminium with Marina Blue strap and Mulberry Aluminium with Mulberry strap.
- What it tracks: Steps, calories, active minutes, sleep, heart rate, elevation, female health, VO2 max,
- Type: Wrist-worn
- Features: Coloured LCD display, clock, extended smartphone notifications, music control and storage, waterproofing with swim tracking, multi-sport tracking, automatic exercise recognition, on-screen workouts, personal coaching, guided breathing, NFC for mobile payments, silent alarms, interchangeable straps, Connected GPS
- Battery: Up to 4 days
The Fitbit Versa is a step up from the Versa Lite Edition, though part of the same family, offering a smartwatch that’s more lifestyle and less obviously sporty than the Ionic (below). Like the Versa Lite Edition, the Versa, offers a metal body waterproofed to 50m with rounded corners and a domed back, and it comes with interchangeable straps.
All the same features as the Versa Lite Edition are on board, but as you would expect, the Fitbit Versa offers a couple more compared to the Lite model. These include elevation data like the Charge 3, along with On-Screen Workouts and music storage.
As with the Lite model though, the Versa still only offers Connected GPS – you’ll need the Ionic if you want built-in GPS from Fitbit. Support for smartphone notifications, with quick reply support for Android is on board though, and if you opt for the Special Edition Versa model, there is also Fitbit Pay support.
The Fitbit Versa comes in three colours including Graphite Aluminium with a Charcoal Woven strap, Rose Gold Aluminium with a Peach strap and Silver Aluminium with a Grey strap.
- What it tracks: Steps, distance, calories, active minutes, sleep, heart rate, elevation, VO2 Max
- Type: Wrist-worn
- Features: Coloured OLED display, clock, extended smartphone notifications, music control and storage, GPS, waterproofing with swim tracking, multi-sport tracking, automatic exercise recognition, on-screen workouts, personal coaching, guided breathing, NFC for mobile payments, silent alarms, interchangeable straps
- Battery: Up to 4 days
The Fitbit Ionic is the company’s answer to a proper smartwatch and it is the most expensive Fitbit available, but it is also the most feature rich, offering all the features available on the likes of both the Charge 3 and Versa, while adding a few of extras like NFC for mobile payments as standard and built-in GPS.
It comes with Fitbit Coach, a personal coaching app, as well as partner apps like Strava and like the Versa, it offers on-screen workout. The Ionic also has interchangeable straps and a unibody made from aerospace aluminium for a premium look.
The Fitbit Ionic is said to have a 4-day battery life and it offers extended smartphone notifications to include apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Gmail, like other the Versa family, Inspire family and Charge 3 also do. The Ionic is available in three colours, each of which are compatible with the two leather straps and three sports bands available separately.