The 8 Best Fitbits
8. Zip Wireless
- can share data with friends
- doesn't remind you to move
- lacks call or text notifications
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
7. One Activity Plus
- onscreen step count display
- integrated belt clip
- not wearable as a wristband
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
6. Alta US Version
- available in seven colors
- short charge time under two hours
- no heart rate monitor
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
5. Charge 2
- compatible with ios and android os
- customizable clock face
- doesn't store or play music
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
4. Blaze Special Edition
- tracks floors climbed
- allows you to set weekly goals
- step-by-step exercise instructions
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
3. Versa Watch
- waterproof to 150 feet
- over 15 dedicated exercise modes
- large screen is easy to read
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
2. Flex 2
- provides call and text notifications
- auto recognizes activity type
- vibrating alarm clock
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
1. Ionic Smart
- comes with small and large bands
- personalized coaching for workouts
- 1000-nit screen brightness
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
Why Use A Fitbit
Fitness tracking isn't just for health junkies or meatheads these days. In short, adopting a device like a Fitbit into your life is about embracing the idea that everything you do is a part of your overall fitness. While exercise machines and run tracking apps quantify exactly what you do while you're exercising on purpose, a Fitbit shows you the full scale of what all your activity looks like, each and every day.
Beyond just giving you the data on how you move, Fitbits are designed to help you set and achieve your own fitness goals. The device will remind you of when you're falling short of your daily, weekly, or monthly challenges in a variety of ways to keep you on-task.
Fitbits track more than just how much you move. They also track your sleep, weight, what you eat, and other activities to give you the full picture of how your body is doing. The first step to living a healthier lifestyle is keeping track of the decisions you make, and the Fitbit helps you do just that. It gives you insights into your own holistic wellness that you might not be privy to on your own.
Perhaps the best part about using a Fitbit is the way it presents you with all the information it collects. It uses the data to show you how much progress you're making toward your goals. When you've achieved them, Fitbit makes it easy to share your accomplishments with the people you love and even challenge them to meet goals of their own.
The platform is also adaptable to your lifestyle. If you want to count calories, they make it easy to do, but it's by no means required. Your device can automatically remind you to drink water throughout the day, or you can input all of your water intake and get a detailed report on your hydration at the end of each day. It can do its own thing in the background, or you can get hands-on with it, and either way, you'll still reap plenty of benefits.
If you're considering an alternative brand of fitness tracker, know that Fitbit's technology is the top-of-the-line. They lead the industry for battery life and their devices are among the smallest and lightest available. That's especially impressive considering how fully featured they are, with wireless connectivity, location-tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and so much more.
The Technology That Makes Fitbit Impressive
The actual technology inside each Fitbit device is quite impressive, which makes sense given the brand's success in their field. In addition to having some of the best marketing, the widest adoption, and the sleekest products on the market, they're at the top of their game when it comes to science.
While they only launched their first device in 2007, Fitbit's exercise tracking technology has come a long way since. Between their devices, they now have options to automatically monitor seven different types of exercise. These include walking, running, aerobic workouts, the use of an elliptical machine, cycling, playing sports, and swimming.
This SmartTrack technology, as they call it, uses an accelerometer to measure movement in three dimensions. It uses those measurements to sense the intensity of and identify patterns in your activity. From that, it algorithmically detects what you're doing, and logs it accordingly. It takes the burden of activity logging off of the user, which gives you more time to live your life. Of course, you can review its determinations and correct them in the rare event that anything is incorrect. In fact, doing so helps improve their algorithms, making the technology better for everyone.
Another key element in many of Fitbit's sensors is their heart-rate monitor. When they started developing fitness trackers, athletes who wanted to measure their heart-rate while working out had to wear a device strapped to their chest. They developed a technology called Purepulse to measure it your beats per minute with light. This concept is called photoplethysmography, and is based on the fact that blood absorbs green light.
Knowing your heart rate helps you measure your heart health and understand how hard you're working during exercise. Fitbit also uses the data it collects about your heart to create personalized guided breathing sessions to help you relax.
What Makes The Fitbit App Special
The key companion to every device Fitbit makes is their mobile application. It allows you to access in-depth insights about your activity from anywhere. It's available for virtually every smartphone operating system, so no one is left out of the fun.
The app is designed to enhance virtually every feature of the Fitbit device. It's a consolidated place to view your activity, set your goals, and see how close you are to accomplishing them each day. It also allows you to view patterns in your activity over greater periods of time to give you a sense of any trends present in your life.
Even if you prefer to workout without your phone, your Fitbit stores all the information it collects during exercise and syncs it to the app later. It uses Bluetooth technology to get data onto your phone, which demands only a low power draw from both devices. It syncs automatically each time you open the app, or you can set it to sync throughout the day in the background. If you're away from your phone for a while, most of their devices can store minute-by-minute data for up to seven days.
In addition to physical activity, the app works well for tracking your sleep patterns and setting goals to ensure you're well rested. Sleep is an important ingredient in your overall wellness, and Fitbit helps keep you informed about how much you're getting and when you need more of it. It can also prompt you with bedtime alerts and wake-targets to help you feel as well-rested as possible each morning.