The new year marches on. You’ve made your resolution to get fit with wearable technology, but you’ve yet to make it stick. What’s holding you back? Not sure how to compare Fitbit models or which is the best Fitbit for you?
Worry no more — this article will compare Fitbit models so you can pick the model that best suits you.
Compare Fitbit Models: What Makes Each Fitbit Awesome?
You might be asking yourself: is Fitbit awesome? Do I want one? As a devoted Fitbit user, I’m here to tell you: it is, and you do! A Fitbit is a combination pedometer, sleep meter, fitness tracker, and motion sensor. It tracks your activity during the day and your sleep patterns at night, then gathers this data to sync with your smartphone or computer. The Fitbit “gamifies” your exercise routine, making it fun and easy to track and tweak your progress.
So, now are you ready to find the perfect fitness tracker? Here’s the rundown on the capabilities of each device to help you compare Fitbit models and get the best Fitbit model for you.
Released in 2008, the Classic tracks your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, intensity of activity, and sleep patterns. It syncs via an included cable and recharges via a USB plugin. The Classic isn’t sold directly by Fitbit anymore, though you might find a used, refurbished or open-box model online.
Why you should buy it: Easy learning curve and most low-cost option of all fitbit trackers
With a similar form factor to the Classic, the 2011 Fitbit Ultra tracks everything the Classic does, as well as elevation and steps climbed. It also features a stopwatch and digital clock. Like the Classic, it recharges via USB and syncs via cable or wireless signal. Like the Classic, the Ultra is no longer available from Fitbit.
Why you should buy it: Easy to use, low-cost and counts climbed steps
The Fitbit One came out in 2012. Like its predecessors, the One tracks steps, distance, calories burned, sleep, and elevation. The Fitbit One also features an alarm and syncs with mobile devices via wireless, Bluetooth, or cable. It clips onto your shirt or fits into your pocket, and comes with a Velcro wristband for sleep tracking at night. This is also the first Fitbit to be relatively splash-proof (true story: I accidentally put mine in the washer, and not only did it survive, it thought I’d climbed 35 floors and awarded me an achievement).
Why you should buy it: It’s splash-proof and syncs with mobile devices, unlike its predecessors
The 2012 Fitbit Zip is smaller and rounder than the other Fitbit models, with a lozenge design. The most economical of the fitness tracker line, it tracks steps, distance and calories, and syncs via wireless, Bluetooth, or cable. Instead of rechargeable batteries, the Zip uses disposable 3V coin batteries. It’s wear and water resistant and shows your stats with the tap of a finger.
Why you should buy it: Small and efficient design that easily clips on to your body
In 2013, Fitbit released the Flex, the first of its wristband-style wearable fitness devices. Instead of clipping onto your belt or going in your pocket, the Flex stays on your wrist. It offers the same suite of features as the previous models, plus custom goal-setting. The Flex doesn’t have a screen, but a slim LED display that shows your fitness progress at a glance. It’s also waterproof.
Why you should buy it: Waterproof and great for 24-hour use, since it’s worn on the wrist
The top of Fitbit’s current line of devices, the 2014 Surge is an advanced performance GPS watch. This is the best fitbit model for the athletically inclined. It features all the functions of the above devices, plus caller ID, text notifications, music control, and heart rate monitoring.
Why you should buy it: Great for avid runners with GPS to help track running routes
Like the Flex, the 2015 Charge is a wristband-style fitness device, and like the Flex, the band comes in a variety of colors. Besides the normal tracking and syncing features, the Charge has an even longer battery life (seven to ten days), automatic sleep and alarm settings, and a larger display than the Flex. The Charge also syncs to some mobile devices and displays caller ID. A more expensive model, the Charge HR, adds heart rate monitoring.
Why you should buy it: Longer battery life and display than the flex with heart rate monitoring
How Do I Choose the Best Fitbit Model For Me?
Ultimately, the best fitbit model for you, is going to be the one that meets your needs. Start by thinking about your fitness goals and what you’d like a fitness tracker to do for you. Here are some other key things to consider when you compare Fitbit models:
If you’re new to fitness tracking and are not sure if it’s right for you, try the One or the Zip. These are the least expensive Fitbit models and have the shallowest learning curve. I got my start with the Fitbit One.
If you want some style in your fitness tracking, or if your workouts expose you to water, buy the Flex or the Charge. The wristband-style form factor of the Flex and Charge is attractive, easy to use, and difficult to lose. Both come in a variety of colors, including basic black. If you want heart rate monitoring, upgrade to the Charge HR.
If you’re serious about your fitness tracking, spring for the Surge. The Surge was made specifically for runners and fitness enthusiasts who want lots of features. If you want to track a lot of data while controlling your digital life from your watch, the Surge awaits.
Here is a table that will help you quick compare Fitbit models:
|Fitbit Model||Year Released||Features||Compatibility & Syncing|
Don’t be afraid to seek out used, refurbished or open-box models when shopping for a Fitbit. It’s a great way to save some money on an awesome product. Speaking from my own experience: I bought both my Fitbit One and my wife’s Fitbit Flex refurbished (the latter from right here at BLINQ) and both work as good as new. When I upgrade, I’ll probably buy a refurbished model then, too.
So now that you’re armed with data, why not pick out a fitness tracker and start crushing your fitness goals?