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Updated September 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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HOW WE TESTED

After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested Fitbit Charge 5 to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

30
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
28
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for Best Fitbits

Fitness trackers are popular for good reason: we want to be healthy, but don’t want to think too hard about it.

A basic Fitbit, which can be worn on your wrist or clipped to your clothing, tracks the steps you take each day. Fitbits have a mobile app, making it easy to control the whole experience through your phone. To charge one, all you have to do is plug the charging cable to your computer’s USB port.

Before you decide on a Fitbit, there are some features to consider. Some Fitbits include music-playing options, some are bulkier than others, and some have longer battery life. We’ll go over all these features, plus pricing, in our reviews.

We’ve compiled the best Fitbits on the market, so take a peek at our recommendations once you’re ready to make a purchase. Keep reading to learn about all the important features to consider before buying a Fitbit.

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According to Fitbit trackers, the most popular activities among their users are running, biking, strength training, elliptical workouts, and yoga.

How does a Fitbit work?

To track your activity, Fitbit trackers utilize a 3-axis accelerometer to follow your movements. An accelerometer converts motion, or acceleration, into digital measurements when you’re wearing the tracker. By compiling this data, the tracker can give you a detailed account of the frequency, duration, and intensity of your activity. Because it uses a 3-axis accelerometer, a Fitbit is much more accurate than an old-fashioned, single-axis pedometer.

Though extra functionality varies, depending on the device, most Fitbits track:

  • Calories burned

  • Steps taken

  • Distance traveled

  • Quality of your sleep

Expert tip
Since Google now owns the Fitbit corporation, expect new product updates and better integration with Android-based products going forward.
BestReviews Electronics Expert

Benefits of a Fitbit

A Fitbit tracker makes you keenly aware of how much you’re moving and how many calories you’re burning each day. It also allows you to set goals, such as 10,000 steps a day, and because you can easily see your progress, it provides extra motivation to make sure that you reach that goal number.

You also don’t have to remember to log your workouts. The Fitbit will do it automatically, so you always know exactly how long and how hard you’ve exercised.

The Fitbit app also allows you to track your water and food intake, as well as your weight, so it’s easy to get a complete picture of your fitness journey. If you have a tracker with a heart rate monitor, you can also get more out of your workouts by seeing how hard you’re working and pushing yourself a little harder if necessary.

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Testing Fitbits
After researching 8 Fitbit models we tested three top models to compare their battery lives and features.
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Key considerations

Display size

Fitbit trackers have screens that display the fitness data that’s been recorded. You simply press a button to scroll through the information while you’re wearing the device.

Some screens are larger than others, though, so they’re easier to read and can display more data. If your vision isn’t very good, you should look for a Fitbit with a larger screen.

Some Fitbits also have touchscreen capabilities to make them even more user-friendly.

Battery life

All Fitbit trackers have a rechargeable battery that you can charge with the included cable. However, the battery life for the models isn’t necessarily the same.

Some models have batteries with a life of up to six months on a single charge, which makes it extremely easy to track your activity consistently. Other models can go seven to ten days without needing to be recharged, though there are some trackers whose battery life is only five days.

In general, the larger and more sophisticated the Fitbit is, the shorter its battery life will be.

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Expert Tip

Treat your Fitbit’s screen like any other: Keep it clean using non-abrasive cleaners and a microfiber cloth. Using commercial glass cleaner can permanently mar your Fitbit, so don’t use it. 

BestReviews Electronics Expert

Standard features

Fitness categories tracked

All Fitbit trackers record steps taken, distance covered, and calories burned. Many also track how many flights of stairs and active minutes you have each day. Some track specific workout types, such as hiking, running, and bicycling, rather than just basic steps. The Fitbit trackers that also have smartwatch features can provide workout summaries and the pace for your workouts.

Clock

Most Fitbit trackers feature a clock so you know what time it is as you go about your workout. It also allows you to track the specific duration of a workout, and, of course, replaces a non-fitness wristwatch.

Music controls

For anyone who enjoys listening to music during a workout, Fitbit with music controls can be convenient for managing your playlist. Instead of dragging your smartphone or iPod out of your pocket to adjust the volume or change the song, you can do it through your Fitbit’s display screen without missing a step.

Reminders to move

Staying committed to being active means avoiding prolonged periods where you’re just sitting or lying down. Some Fitbit trackers provide reminders to move each hour, so you can make a point to take a walk around your office or to the corner store. In most cases, the tracker will vibrate to let you know that you haven’t met the activity goal for the hour yet.

Sleep tracking and silent alarm

Part of a healthy lifestyle is getting enough sleep, so many Fitbit models offer sleep tracking.

These trackers let you know how many hours of sleep you’re getting each night. You can also set a silent alarm to wake you in the morning; your tracker will vibrate to let you know that it’s time to wake up. It’s a great option for getting yourself out of bed without disturbing anyone else.

Some trackers provide more detailed sleep monitoring information, such as how many minutes you were awake and restless during the night. That can help you see how good a night’s sleep you had.

Expert TIp
If your Fitbit supports smartphone notifications, you can moderate which apps are able to communicate. So if you want to make sure to get text messages, but don’t need wrist notifications from Candy Crush, you can set it based on your preferences.
BestReviews Electronic Expert

Heart rate monitor

For serious fitness tracking, choose a Fitbit with a heart rate monitor.

These trackers use LED lights to detect blood volume changes, which are then run through algorithms to measure your heart rate automatically.

The monitors indicate several different heart rate zones, such as resting, fat burning, cardio, and peak. Using these zones, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workout by pushing yourself into the peak zone for high-intensity training.

The heartbeat monitor works best when the Fitbit is worn snug to the skin, a few inches above your wrist.

Water resistance

All Fitbits are water-resistant to some extent. That means you can splash or sweat on your monitor without worrying about damaging the tracker.

However, you can’t use most of the models to track swimming. If you’re an avid swimmer, select a Fitbit that is specifically marketed as swim-proof. 

Smart features

If you want a fitness-oriented smartwatch, Fitbit offers a couple of options that will meet your needs. Unlike the traditional Fitbits, these models have special smart features that integrate more thoroughly with your smartphone and provide functionality beyond fitness tracking.

GPS

If you’re an avid runner or biker, your Fitbit’s GPS capabilities allow you to track the route that you take during a workout. As a result, you’re able to get an extremely accurate measurement for the distance you’ve covered, as well as the pace. After your run, you can even see a map of your route, overlaid with your speed and heart rate during different segments.

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Expert Tip
If you’re planning on using a Fitbit for sleep tracking, make sure the wristband is comfortable enough to sleep with. If it’s not, consider a Fitbit that works with standard watch band sizes so you can find a more comfortable band.
BestReviews Electronics Expert

Call, text, and calendar notifications

If you sync your phone with your Fitbit smartwatch, you’ll receive call and text notifications on your tracker. In most cases, the wristband will vibrate to alert you of an incoming message and then flash the call or text info across the display.

This can be an especially helpful feature if you need to stay in touch with your family or office during a workout, because you won’t have to pull your phone out of your pocket to know who’s trying to reach you.

A smartwatch Fitbit model can also alert you to appointments on your calendar, so you don’t miss any important meetings.

Onscreen workouts and guided breathing sessions

When you need help coming up with an effective workout routine, a Fitbit smartwatch tracker can come in handy.

The tracker offers onscreen workouts that require little or no equipment and can be done in a small space, so you can do them almost anywhere. The onscreen workout function requires a constant internet connection, though, so you’ll usually need access to Wi-Fi.

In addition to workouts, some Fitbit models also offer guided breathing sessions to help you relax. You can choose from 2- and 5-minute sessions that help slow your heart rate and lower your stress levels.

Expert Tip
Your Fitbit will provide you with a lot of health data that you can bring to doctor’s appointments like your yearly physical. The information can help your physician better understand your health and eating habits.
BestReviews Electronics Expert

Fitbit prices

Fitbits come in in a variety of price points, so there’s likely an option to meet any budget. In general, they range in price from $60 to $250.

Basic trackers

These trackers which record data for steps, distance covered, flights of stairs, and calories burned cost between $60 and $100, and are a good option for those just beginning their fitness journey.

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Fitbit’s first smartwatch style fitness tracker was introduced in March 2016. The first Fitbit tracker was known simply as the Fitbit Tracker. It later became known as the Fitbit Classic.

Advanced trackers

The Fitbits that track your sleep and heart rate, as well as remind you to move, are typically priced between $130 and $150. These are good options for more serious athletes, runners, and walkers.

Smart trackers

Smartwatch Fitbit trackers that provide all of those fitness tracking capabilities and special features, such as GPS, call and text alerts, on-screen workouts, and music controls, range from $200 to $250. These are best for more serious fitness enthusiasts and people who want to integrate their workout technology with their daily life.

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