Best Fitbit 2018: 6 great choices for workout newbies and veterans

Fitbit has become a household name in recent years, despite being a relatively young company. It’s probably the only fitness tracker maker most people will be able to name.

There’s good reason for this. Although there are numerous hardcore players in the market, such as Garmin, Fitbit’s ability to balance depth of data and usability has enabled it to make models that work for everyone from newbie gym goers to regular runners.

But with the company releasing a new wearable every other month, knowing which is best for your specific needs can prove tricky. Want a device with smartwatch features? Then the Fitbit Blaze might be for you; or you could even hold out for the newly unveiled Fitbit Versa. Are you a parent looking for a way to motivate your kids to remain active? Then the new Fitbit Ace, when it launches later in the year, might be your perfect device.

Still confused? Well don’t fret: we’ve evaluated the current Fitbit range, highlighting the key features of models as well as who is likely to get the most out of each tracker. Scroll down to see our current recommendations.

Related: Best running watches

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Key features:

  •     Interchangeable bands
  •     Smartphone notifications
  •     Heart rate monitor
  •     Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights
  •     Price: £129.99

Perfect for: Fashion-conscious exercisers who want smartphone notifications

Like the Flex 2, the Alta HR largely covers the basics in terms of activity tracking. The Alta HR is an updated version of the Alta, which adds a heart rate monitor without sacrificing its slim form.

It’s evident in the discreet design, interchangeable strap with leather options, and stainless steel body. Unlike the Flex 2, it comes with an OLED display, so you can view your vital statistics and data direct from your wrist, alongside some basic smartphone notifications.

The big addition with the Alta HR is new Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights. These use the heart rate monitor and accelerometer data to better track your sleep, including telling you how much time you spend in each sleep phase.

Since the Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights functions are coming to the similarly priced Charge 2, the Alta HR’s main draw is its sleek and attractive design. If you want more detailed insight into your exercise, however, the Charge 2 is the better choice of the two models.



Read the full Fitbit Alta HR review

Fitbit Flex 2

2 of 6

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Key features:

  •     Interchangeable bands
  •     Optional pendant accessory
  •     Water-resistant to 50m
  •     Lap counting
  •     Price: £79.99

Perfect for: Fashion-conscious exercisers with basic fitness needs

The Fitbit Flex 2 improves over the original Fitbit Flex with a far slicker design. The tracker itself is smaller and you can customise it with interchangeable bands and accessories. You can even wear the Fitbit Flex 2 as a pendant through an optional necklace accessory.

The big addition is water resistance to 50m, which is a first for Fitbit. You can wear the Fitbit Flex 2 while swimming and built-in lap counting is included. It also has automatic exercise recognition, too. You can expect up to five days of battery life, which is great.



Read the full Fitbit Flex 2 review

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Key features:

  •     Interchangeable bands
  •     Larger display
  •     Guided breathing
  •     Cardio Fitness score
  •     Price: £129.99

Perfect for: Intermediate fitness enthusiasts looking to make improvements

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the update to Fitbit’s best-selling tracker, the Fitbit Charge. Unlike the original Charge, which was available as Charge HR and standard Charge models, there’s just one Charge 2. This is because the heart rate monitor now comes as standard, helping to simplify things.

Otherwise, there have been a raft of improvements over the original Charge model, including a much larger display. This allows for greater at-a-glance information as well as basic notifications from your connected smartphone. The bands are also now interchangeable, meaning you can dress the Charge 2 up or down, depending on the occasion. Bands range from elastomer to fancier leather options.

Built-in GPS is still lacking, but connected GPS that uses your phone is available if you want to map your running routes. The Charge 2 can also provide you a Cardio Fitness Level score, which is based on your VO2 Max. This is a useful metric to gauge your fitness and a way to keep tabs on your progress. Other new additions include a Breathe mode, which is designed to help you relax.

Related: What is VO2 Max?

The Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights that debuted with the Alta HR have also begun rolling out to the Charge 2 for better sleep tracking. The new feature does a much better job of letting you know if you’re getting enough quality sleep.

Unless the sleeker design of the Alta HR is more important for you, the Charge 2 is a more fully featured tracker for the same money.



Read the full Fitbit Charge 2 review

Fitbit Blaze

4 of 6

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Key features:

  •     Interchangeable bands
  •     Connected GPS
  •     Breathe mode and Cardio Fitness
  •     Integrated FitStar
  •     Price: £159.99

Perfect for: Advanced fitness enthusiasts looking for more diverse workouts

This is a fitness watch hybrid, but this time with particular emphasis on the ‘watch’ part. To that end, it comes with a traditional square(ish) body, an interchangeable strap, and a colour screen that can feed in texts and calls like a smartwatch.

Black Friday bargain: Fitbit Blaze at Boots for £119.99, save £30

There’s no GPS, so it isn’t for hardcore runners like the Surge, although it can piggyback the GPS in your paired smartphone. Rather, it’s a fitness tracker you’ll be happy to wear all day and maybe even all night, too, which is handy with that sleep-tracking function.

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The Blaze packs in a heart rate monitor on its rear and Fitbit is rolling out an update that brings some of the newer Charge 2’s features across, including the Breathe mode and Cardio Fitness score. FitStar is another Blaze feature that delivers recommended routines based on your activity level and provides a library of bodyweight and cardio exercises. The Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights from the Alta HR will also arrive to the Fitbit Blaze as a future update.



Read the full Fitbit Blaze review

Fitbit Surge

5 of 6

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Key features:

  •     Heart rate monitor
  •     Built-in GPS
  •     7-day battery life
  •     Price: £199.99

Perfect for: Serious advanced runners who need GPS tracking

Fitbit refers to the Fitbit Surge, as a “super fitness watch.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it will automatically make you super-fit – you’ll still need to put in the hard graft.

The Surge includes most of the features you’ll find on Fitbit’s other trackers, including all-day activity and sleep tracking, automatic exercise tracking, smartphone notifications, and up to seven-day battery life. But the real addition, which will make it appeal to more hardened runners and cyclists, is GPS.

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It means the ability to accurately track distance and pace, giving you more biometric detail, as well as the ability to map out your route without having to bring your phone. If you’re building up to a marathon pace, or looking to run your fastest 10K, accurate distance and pace recordings will be vital alongside the heart rate data to monitor your fitness and effort.


 

Read the full Fitbit Surge review

Fitbit Ionic

6 of 6

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Key features:

  •     Heart rate monitor
  •     Built-in GPS
  •     Contactless payments
  •     Onboard music storage
  •     Price: £299.99

Perfect for: Advanced runners wanting a smartwatch experience

While the Fitbit Ionic is considered Fitbit’s first fully-fledged smartwatch, the truth is at launch it’s a little lacking on smartwatch smarts. That’s been gradually improving now that we’re a few months on from its original release. Fitbit debuted Fitbit Labs, which is its test bed for new app ideas and features. Some of these are already proving fun, such as a virtual pet you care for by ensuring you get enough steps each day.

With the Fitbit Ionic, the exercise and activity tracking is still the best you’ll get from any Fitbit tracker on the market. It also has a gorgeous and crisp display, unlike anything seen on a previous device from Fitbit.

As you would expect from a top-end model, there’s built-in GPS, onboard storage for your music and even contactless payments so you can leave your phone behind for your next workout. Although with the latter be sure your bank is supported.

You can also get all of your smartphone notifications delivered straight to your wrist for added convenience.

 

Read the full Fitbit Ionic review