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How to pick the right Fitbit for you

How to pick the right Fitbit for you

In 2022, Fitbit’s current range of devices is meant to suit every budget, health goal, and lifestyle. You can find basic trackers meant to monitor the simplest of metrics, as well as smartwatches that can take EKGs and generate wellness reports for your doctors.

You might wonder if Fitbit is still relevant after more than a decade in the game. But while there are more smartwatches and fitness trackers than ever, Fitbit remains one of the most recognizable names in the industry. A big plus in Fitbit’s favor is the relative affordability of all its products. It’s also got a huge community of 31 million active users, making it a beginner-friendly platform. All the devices come with a free trial to Fitbit Premium, the company’s subscription service that adds guided workouts, meditations, and access to more in-depth metrics.

This broad range of products can be a bit challenging to navigate. Is it still worth buying a Versa 2 in 2022? What’s the difference between the Inspire 2 and the Luxe?

No worries. We’ve tested every Fitbit tracker and smartwatch on the block. Whether you’re just getting started on your fitness journey or you’re a veteran trying to upgrade, here’s what you should buy.

The best Fitbit for most people

How to pick the right Fitbit for you

The Fitbit Versa 3 hits the sweet spot between price, features, and design.
Image: Fitbit

Ironically, the Versa 3 is the fourth smartwatch in the Versa family in as many years. That should give you an idea of how popular the smartwatch has been for the company. It may not be the flagship, but it hits the sweet spot between form, function, and price.

The $229.99 Versa 3 packs in the typical sensors you’d expect from a modern smartwatch, including continuous heart rate monitoring and SpO2 sensors. It also adds built-in GPS — one of the biggest omissions from the previous Versas — and a microphone and speaker. For digital assistants, you get to choose between Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also got NFC payments and comes with a 90-day trial for Fitbit Premium.

Compared with the Versa 2, the Versa 3 was an iterative update. But if you look at the big picture, this is a solid choice. The design is flattering, you get most of the features that matter, and the extra savings compared to the $329.95 Sense are totally worth it. If you’re looking for a Versa, this is the one to pick. (We don’t recommend the Versa 2, however. While you can still buy it on Fitbit’s website, the company has already begun paring down support even though it has many of the same components as the Versa 3.)

This isn’t to say that Fitbit’s flagship, the Sense, is a bad product. The main difference is that Sense adds EKG readings and an electrodermal activity sensor; the latter reads microscopic sweat levels on your skin to determine your stress levels. In fact, the Sense is actually one of the better mental health tracking tools currently out there. However, unless that’s a high priority for you, it’s not that much more useful than keeping a regular journal of your thoughts and moods. Until Fitbit fleshes these features out a bit more, they’re not what we’d call “must-haves.”

Fitbit Versa 3

This Apple Watch doppelganger features built-in GPS, Voice Assistance, and heart rate monitoring.

The most stylish Fitbit

The Fitbit Luxe has bougie energy.
Image: Fitbit

It’s in the name. The $149.95 Luxe is reminiscent of the now discontinued Alta — one of the company’s best-looking trackers in its 14-year history. It’s got a slim design, a bright OLED screen, and the sleekest accessories of the bunch.

As a tracker, the Luxe keeps things casual. While you get continuous heart rate monitoring and SpO2 sensors, it relies on your phone for GPS. You also won’t get contactless payments or access to a digital assistant. It’s not the most accurate of Fitbit’s trackers when it comes to distance, but you’ll get a good enough picture of your activity overall.

The Luxe is the best option for someone who just wants to keep an eye on their overall activity levels but also wants something that can easily go from the gym to a formal event. It’s also a good choice if you’ve got petite wrists and don’t want an overpowering tracker.

Your other option here is the Fitbit Inspire 2. However, the Inspire 2… isn’t very inspired. As Fitbit’s budget option, it costs about $50 less, and its main selling point is you get 10 days of battery to the Luxe’s five days. The screen is harder to read, however, so keep that in mind when choosing between the two.

Fitbit luxe

Fitbit Luxe

The Fitbit Luxe looks more like jewelry. It boasts a colorful OLED touchscreen display and tracks a variety of statistics, including heart rate, your sleep, exercise, and more.

The best Fitbit for the price

The Fitbit Charge 5 is one of the most advanced fitness bands out there.
Photo by Jay Peters / The Verge

Like the Versa, the $179.95 Charge is one of Fitbit’s most beloved lineups. That said, the Charge 5 is the most significant update to the fitness band we’ve seen in a while. There’s now a color OLED screen, plus an EKG and EDA sensor. You also get built-in GPS, NFC payments, SpO2 sensors — the only thing you’re really missing is a digital assistant.

The only qualm we have with the Charge 5 is the always-on display. While it’s beautiful, it’s a major battery drain. The Charge 5 has an estimated seven days of battery life, but that dwindles down to about two if you have the always-on display enabled. It’s a shame because the OLED is a lot easier on the eyes than the monochrome LED screen on the Charge 4.

Altogether though, you’re getting a hell of a lot for the price. It’s not easy to find an FDA-cleared EKG wearable for under $200. In fact, this is probably the only one available right now. The only other Fitbit capable of EKG and EDA readings is the $299.95 Sense. So unless you’re dead set on the smartwatch form factor, the Charge 5 is the better overall deal.

If you’re trying to decide between the Charge 5 and Versa 3, it boils down to what you value more: savings and comfort or smarter features and battery life. If it’s the former, then the Charge 5 is your best bet. If it’s the latter, then the Versa 3 is worth the extra moolah. Both will get you similar health tracking experiences, though the Charge 5 packs in a little extra thanks to the EKG and EDA sensors. (But as I mentioned earlier, most people probably won’t use these sensors that much.)

Fitbit Charge 5

The Fitbit Charge 5 is Fitbit’s latest fitness tracker, and it offers access to new tools like an EDA Scan app to manage stress as well as a six-month membership to Fitbit Premium.

The best Fitbit for kids

The Ace 3 is Fitbit’s basic tracker for children.
Image: Fitbit

That pretty much covers all the Fitbits you can buy right now. The only one we haven’t touched thus far — and the only one that I haven’t tested myself — is the $79.95 Ace 3. That’s Fitbit’s tracker for kids — and it’s the single Fitbit available for minors. It’s a basic tracker with a rugged bumper and comes with parental controls. It’s got better battery life than its predecessor but doesn’t come with GPS. Also, while it does have heart rate sensors, it’s not a metric that’s actively tracked for children. Instead, it’s used to determine how many “active minutes” they’re getting. Overall, it’s a decent choice for parents whose main priority is making sure their kids get enough daily exercise. If you want location tracking, however, you’re going to have to look for something other than a Fitbit.

Fitbit Ace 3

Fitbit’s fitness tracker for children sticks to the basics, comes with parental controls, and has eight days of battery life.