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Greatest Fitbit 2021: Which health tracker or smartwatch to purchase?

In the early days of fitness bands, there was only one Fitbit: the aptly named Fitbit tracker.

Unfortunately, like a waist without a workout, Fitbit’s range has expanded significantly since 2009. From touchscreen trackers to sporty smartwatches, there’s a Fitbit fit for every wrist, activity and outfit in 2022.

Don’t know your Versa 3 from your Charge 5? Whether you’re looking for a tracker to keep track of your daily activity or a watch to monitor your well-being, the buying guide below will help you find your perfect Fitbit.

Pay to Play: Fitbit Premium

Fitbit’s devices track your daily activities and sports activities by default and provide plenty of data in the sophisticated partner app. However, some of the more advanced feedback metrics — including daily readiness scores and detailed stress and sleep insights — are hidden behind a membership paywall. Unlocking them requires a subscription to Fitbit Premium, a paid service that will set you back £7.99/$10 a month (or £80/$80 a year). You can sign up for a 90-day free trial to decide if it’s worth signing up for the additional information.

The best Fitbit for mind and body masters: Fitbit Sense

Released in 2020, the Fitbit Sense was the first smartwatch with an EDA sensor, meaning it could monitor stress and advise you accordingly. Paired with an EKG app and wrist-based skin temperature sensor, as well as all-day heart rate, activity tracking, and GPS, the Sense still has the specs to impress in 2022.

Styled like its stablemate Versa, the Sense is constructed of stainless steel and aluminum. Surprisingly slim and light, it’s also easy to switch straps. The single capacitive button under the left bezel is less practical: it’s awkwardly placed and too easy to accidentally press.

On the front is a 1.58-inch AMOLED display. Deep blacks and vibrant colors make up for large bezels, although the unreliable raise-to-wake feature can be frustrating, as can the delay between swipes. The smartphone app gives you the most meaningful feedback, especially when it comes to stress – although mindfulness sessions are reserved for Fibit Premium subscribers.

Fitbit still lags behind Apple when it comes to apps (there’s no offline Spotify), but the Sense does a solid job in smartwatch use. Alexa is there, as is Fitbit Pay and notification support. Add in a six-day battery life (achievable even with 24/7 tracking) and the Sense evolves into a flawed but well-rounded health and fitness assistant.

Read our full review of the Fitbit Sense

The best Fitbit for active all-rounders: Fitbit Versa 3

More of a savvy fitness tracker than a full-fledged smartwatch, the Versa 3 improves on some – but not all – of the Versa 2’s shortcomings. Chief among the upgrades is the addition of GPS, which means the Versa 3 has SpO2, heart rate, and… 24/7 activity monitoring can track real-time location and distance data.

The display has also been improved: the 1.58-inch AMOLED, now shared with the Sense, is larger than before. Which is handy as there is more to see and do. Battery life is a solid six days, although that drops to two if you set the screen to Always On.

Because it mimics the Scythe’s case, it also suffers from some of the same issues, including the tricky button under the left bezel. It also dispenses with the Sense’s EDA sensor – but costs significantly less. And you still get a full range of workout modes.

While it’s primarily a fitness watch, the Versa 3 is still a smart ticker. Alexa and Google Assistant are available for voice assistance, backed by smartphone notifications, and support for Fitbit Pay — though rollout remains limited. Assuming you can live without a full catalog of third-party apps, the Fitbit Versa 3 is an accessible and affordable Apple Watch alternative.

The cheapest Fitbit smartwatch: Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit’s previous Versa device is still widely available and will now cost you around £50/$100 less than the Versa 3. But is it still worth considering in 2022? That depends on whether you need GPS. If not, the Versa 2 still offers adequate smartwatch and fitness tracking capabilities for most people. It’s got an excellent screen, great battery life and solid fitness tracking capabilities, as well as NFC payment support and smart assistance, all in a sturdy package.

Shop the Versa 2 here at Fitbit

The best Fitbit for workout warriors: Fitbit Charge 5

Launched last year, the Charge 5 is Fitbit’s latest flagship tracker. It combines the best elements of its smarter watches with the streamlined form factor of its simpler straps.

Unlike the Charge 4 before it, the Charge 5 finally gets a full-color touchscreen. Bright, vibrant, and easy to read in full sunlight, the AMOLED display changes the user experience, which is handy given the lack of physical buttons on the aluminum body.

GPS and heart rate tracking make a return, accompanied by new health and wellness features inherited from the Sense and Versa 3. These include the ability to monitor blood oxygen, skin temperature and respiratory rate during sleep, as well as the all-important ECG. Daily readiness scores assess your physical condition, while the EDA app can analyze your body’s response to stress.

Battery life is decent at seven days (less with the always-on screen), although the software can be a bit jumpy. Still, the upgrades add up to a tracking package that’s smart, approachable and useful for more than just sporting stats.

Read our full Fitbit Charge 5 review

The best discounted Fitbit tracker: Fitbit Charge 4

Would you like to save with a sensor of the latest generation? The Charge 4 is still available from Fitbit. And if you’d rather go without a color display, it still offers a solid suite of fitness tools – including built-in GPS and motivating exercise measurements, backed by Fitbit’s outstanding smartphone app. Tracking accuracy can be a bit off, but battery life is pretty much on par with the Charge 5 – and the monochrome touchscreen is bigger and better than the Inspire 2’s equivalent.

Shop the Fitbit Charge 4 here from John Lewis

The best Fitbit for lovers of stylish statistics: Fitbit Luxe

Proving that you can have both style and substance in a single tracker, the Fitbit Luxe combines a slick case with an impressive arsenal of fitness prowess.

Essentially a refined version of the Inspire 2, the Fitbit Luxe is no rival to the Apple Watch: its smart features are largely limited to phone notifications. Instead, the waterproof ticker promises comprehensive tracking tools in polished stainless steel packaging.

Heart rate monitoring accurately tracks your ticker 24/7, with activity stats easily accessible. The only problem? Though bright and sharp, the AMOLED display’s compact proportions make it difficult to engage with data (despite the attractive UI). There’s always the app for that, although key metrics are preserved for those paying for Fitbit Premium.

Arguably the bigger omission is GPS, meaning the Luxe isn’t a luxury for sprinters. You can still tether it to your smartphone, though – and for all other disciplines, it does an excellent job of logging your efforts. Statistics include heart rate variability, skin temperature and blood oxygen, as well as active zone minutes and daily readiness values.

Provided you have fingers fine enough for its slim screen, the Luxe is a feature-packed tracker that you’ll happily wrap around your wrist every day.

The best Fitbit for little critters: Fitbit Ace 3

Lots of kids don’t need encouragement to run around, but if your Sprog wants an activity goal, the Fitbit Ace 3 could be a winner. Built tough enough to survive some bumps and drops, a silicone bumper protects the display, while a swim-proof setup means it’s well suited to submersion.

The screen is a backlit black and white OLED. While the lack of color can feel muted, a wide range of watch faces should keep your creatures entertained – and the monochrome setup contributes to a hefty battery life of up to eight days.

Designed for kids between the ages of six and 13, the Ace 3 doesn’t record the same as adult Fitbits. By default, there is no calorie or location logging. Instead, it focuses on tracking sleep, steps, and active minutes to motivate movement. Blessed with a competitive child? You can also create family challenges through the app.

The app also has a child view that restricts access. The interface isn’t particularly exciting for teenage users, but the band itself offers plenty of entertainment – and their data can provide useful feedback for parents.

The cheapest Fitbit for beginners on a small budget: Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit’s cheapest tracker might be the most basic, but the Inspire 2 still delivers when it comes to core fitness features: A built-in heart-rate monitor means the streamlined sensor can keep tabs on your movements with 20 dedicated activity modes. Step tracking is reliable, while the 10-day battery life lasts the distance.

Thanks to its compact body and understated design, the Inspire 2 is equally at home in the office and in the gym. Thanks to 50m water resistance, it can also accompany you to the pool. And at just 20g, the band won’t drag you down.

Disadvantage? The lack of built-in GPS limits its use as a jog-logging tool, while some will find the Inspire 2’s tiny monochrome screen difficult to navigate. Display faces can be customized via Fitbit’s awesome app, but it works best as a passive tracker: set it, forget it, and review your workout data later. And if it’s that kind of simplicity you want in a tracker, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is a winner.

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