Which is the best Fitbit to buy right now? Here are the best ranked
If you’re after a solid running watch or hybrid smartwatch-come-fitness-tracker then Fitbit will likely be one of the first names you think of.
Over the last few years the company has become a household name. If you ask most people on the street they’ll refer to fitness trackers as a category as Fitbits.
The company’s used its success to expand and diversify releasing a number of great trackers and hybrid devices covering every category and price point you can think of.
These include super cheap, entry level trackers, such as the Fitbit Alta HR, to Apple Watch 4-rivalling hybrids, like the Fitbit Versa.
The increased choice is great and means most buyers will be able to find a Fitbit that meets their needs. But it also can make picking the right one a daunting task for non-techie buyers.
Here to help we’ve ranked the best Fitbits we’ve reviewed. If tracking is your main priority then the Fitbit Charge 3 is the best overall Fitbit we’ve currently tested.
If you want something that’s a bit more smartwatch-flavoured then the Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Versa Lite are also excellent, albeit more expensive, options.
How we test fitbits
We use every Fitbit we test for at least a fortnight before scoring. During that time, we test any smart features it has and check its tracking capabilities against other wearables. We also check things like heart-rate readings against proper HRM straps. All distance tracking is done on a standardised route, which we know is 5km.
1. Fitbit Charge 3
Fitbit’s best ever tracker
- Attractive design
- Larger, sharper display
- Great battery life
- Some might miss built-in GPS
If you the fancy bells and whistles of more expensive fitness trackers and running watches, then the Fitbit Charge 3 is the way to go.
Even while Fitbit is pushing smartwatches like the Versa and Ionic, it knows there’s still a market for more approachable fitness trackers that do the basics, and do them well.
The Charge 3 has a design that easily blends in and that is actually quite attractive – for a fitness tracker. The display is bigger and richer in information when compared to the Charge 2, it’s now water-resistant and supports swim tracking, and the battery life has improved.
Its launch price is also slightly cheaper than the Charge 2 at £129.99 versus £139.99.
Whether or not you’ll miss the built-in GPS is probably down to whether or not you plan on bringing your phone along anyway.
2. Fitbit Versa
Sleek smartwatch with accurate tracking
- Excellent battery life
- Slick, comfortable design
- Lots of tracking options
- Bright, clear screen
- No built-in GPS
- Shortage of apps
- Passive notifications
The Fitbit Versa is the company’s second attempt at a smartwatch, following in the footsteps of the Ionic. The Versa addresses many of the criticisms of Fitbit’s first smartwatch offering. It’s far better-looking, more lifestyle-friendly and has a similar feature-set – and all of this comes wrapped up in a device that costs significantly less money.
You can use it to monitor a huge range of activities too, including swimming, and it’s easy to use. Battery life is another feather in its cap; most other smartwatches on the market don’t come close.
Some users will find the lack of apps frustrating, and it’s disappointing that we’re still having to wait for features that we expect from a smartwatch, such as quick replies to messages.
The lack of built-in GPS is also a big miss and means you’ll be tethered to your phone when you’re out running. Although not the worst thing in the world, we’d prefer it not to be necessary.
3. Fitbit Versa Lite
Fitbit’s most affordable smartwatch
- Great screen
- Easy to use UI
- Solid battery life
- Limited number of sports it can track
If you fancy the Versa’s smartwatch features, but don’t like its price tag, then the Fitbit Versa Lite maybe for you.
The Lite is a slightly stripped down version of the main Versa. Key cuts include the absence of local storage to store music and an integrated GPS. This will be an issue for runners and athletes that like to leave their smartphone behind. But for everyone else the cuts are far from deal breakers.
The connected GPS option means you can still get accurate location tracking, if you’re willing to bring your phone with you.
The simple to use UI and app ecosystem also remain key selling points, making the Versa Lite a great choice for casual gym goers on the market for a smartwatch. The only serious downside is that it doesn’t have an altimeter or way to track aquatic workouts. Which will be an annoyance for swimmers and hikers.
4. Fitbit Alta HR
The best looking fitbit
- Attractive and sleek design
- Sleep Stages information is useful
- Long battery life
- Basic exercise tracking
- No Connected GPS
- Slightly unresponsive display
Like the Flex 2, the Fitbit 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.
5. Fitbit Ionic
Powerful running watch with GPS
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Solid exercise tracking including swimming
- Typical Fitbit activity and sleep tracking
- Gorgeous screen
- Impressive battery life
- Shortage of apps
- Occasionally slow OS
- Passive notifications
- Tedious music transfer
- Quick release strap quality control
While the Fitbit Ionic is considered Fitbit’s first fully-fledged smartwatch, the truth is at launch it was a little lacking on smartwatch smarts, although that’s been gradually improving since its original release. Fitbit debuted Fitbit Labs, which is its test bed for new app ideas and features. Some of these are 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 the best you’ll get from any Fitbit tracker on the market. As you would expect from a top-end model, there’s built-in GPS, which is missing from the Fitbit Versa, 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.
6. Fitbit Ace
Perfect for kids
- Light and comfortable
- Easy to use
- Good battery life
- Safety conscious app
- Friends need to be added to Family Account
Fitbit’s first dedicated Kids wearable is an Alta with some added kid-friendly smarts. These include less focus on calorie burn, but a bigger look at basic step-counting and sleep.
It’s light and comfortable to wear, though might be too small for those kids towards the end of suggested age-range, and lasts multiple days without needing a charge.
7. Fitbit Surge
Durable and water resistant
- Durable and water resistant
- Quick and accurate GPS tracking
- Accurate resting and continuous heart rate tracking
- Inconsistent sleep tracking
- Battery life is not great
- Drab unattractive design
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.
Related: Best running shoes
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.
8. Fitbit Flex 2
Great for basic tracking
- Sleeker design
- Comfortable to wear
- Long battery life
- Basic exercise tracking
- Basic notifications can be improved
- Fiddly clasp
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.
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.
Which Fitbit is best?
This is the first question you should ask whenever buying a Fitbit. Despite having “fit” in the name, not every Fitbit is specifically designed with hardcore athletes in mind. Many of the company’s devices are designed for casual gym goers, or people just getting into a fitness regime. This means they are generally fine for most casual joggers or cyclists, but more serious athletes would be better off checking out a more specialist fitness track.
Equally, if all you care about is smart functionality, you’d probably be better off checking out a dedicated smartwatch, like the Apple Watch or one of the multitude of Android Wear devices.
You can check out our current picks of the best for both categories in the guides below.
Have you bought a Fitbit from this list? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews