Many of us are looking to buy an activity tracker to get fitter, healthier and maybe a little lighter. There are many fitness trackers out there but Fitbits are considered among the best with good reason. There are several Fitbit trackers ranging in price, features and design to suit every budget, need and taste.
Whether you simply want to track your steps pedometer-style, see how well you’re sleeping, monitor your heart rate or compete against your friends, a Fitbit is a subtle, affordable accessory.
Owning a Fitbit is going to motivate you to exercise more, and even get a better night's sleep. We've tested every Fitbit ever launched, and we're going to tell you which is the best Fitbit for you.
Available from September 25, Fitbit has three new devices. Two new health smartwatches - Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 - and a new activity tracker, the Fitbit Inspire 2, which replaces the Inspire and Inspire HR. Read our Fitbit Sense review.
Until we have tested these new Fitbits, you can find out more about which to buy by reading our Fitbit Sense vs Fitbit Versa 3 comparison, and our look at the differences between the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Fitbit Charge 4 activity trackers.
Find more in-depth buying advice below our chart.
Best Fitbit reviews
1. Fitbit Inspire HR: Cheapest Fitbit with a heart-rate monitor
The Fitbit Inspire HR's fitness feature set covers the basics very well - steps, calories burned, active minutes, distance travelled, heart rate, advanced Sleep Stages measurement, swim tracking, guided relaxation breathing, the ability to auto-detect workouts with reasonable accuracy, and notifications.
It will connect to your phone's GPS just like the top-end Fitbits. Sure, it lacks an altimeter (so won't count the floors you climb), but otherwise is just as capable as the more expensive Charge 3.
The heart-rate monitor deepens the device's exercise analysis and makes its sleep tracking far more sophisticated. It's a major step up from the plain entry-level Fitbit Inspire and well worth the extra £20 / $30.
This is a great price for a light, smart-looking device with a solid feature set. Fitness fanatics will want something more advanced, such as the Ionic or Versa, but for most of us the Inspire HR will be all we need.
From late September, the Inspire HR will be replaced by the new Inspire 2. It is very similar but does feature Active Zone Minutes, which is lacking on the HR version.
Read our full Fitbit Inspire HR review
2. Fitbit Charge 4: Best all-round Fitbit
The Charge 4 is easily our best all-round Fitbit tracker, and indeed a match for even Fitbit's smartwatches. It covers all the basics - tracking steps, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, floors climbed, heart rate, swim-tracking, and advanced sleep, not to mention it has most of the top-end exercise features too, including Active Zone Minutes.
Yes, it lacks the larger colour screen you get with a Fitbit smartwatch, plus in-tracker music storage, but its built-in GPS is something even the more expensive Versa 2 smartwatch lacks.
Choose the Charge 4 if you can live with the smaller, monochrome screen.
Read our full Fitbit Charge 4 review
3. Fitbit Versa 2: Best Fitbit smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 2 covers all the aspects of a health and fitness watch, measuring steps, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, hourly activity, and sleep.
It offers on-screen notifications from your phone, silent alarms, cardio fitness levels, workout and other exercise modes such as swimming and weights, female health tracking, and wellness features, plus music controls and even Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.
It beats the cheaper Versa Lite as it boasts a better screen, onscreen workouts, an altimeter to track floors climbed, music storage, Spotify and Alexa functions. It offers everything the older Fitbit Ionic does, except having a built-in GPS - the Versa 2 instead connects to your phone's GPS. The lack of built-in GPS is made more obvious by it now being included in the latest Fitbit Charge 4.
The Versa 2 is a compelling option at the cheaper end of the smartwatch spectrum. Comprehensive fitness tracking, slicker design, and support for two major services in Spotify and Alexa (even if the rest of the app ecosystem isn’t there yet) make the Versa 2 an appealing option for a health and fitness smartwatch.
Note that a new Versa 3 will be available from late September. This adds a built-in GPS, Active Zone Minutes and Google Assistant to the feature set. The Versa 2 remains a great fitness smartwatch, but if you are looking for the built-in GPS, then you should consider waiting for the Versa 3.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 2 review
4. Fitbit Versa Lite: Best Fitbit smartwatch for less
The Versa Lite is physically the same as the original Versa except for the lack of two buttons on the right edge. Inside, it loses a few features: Wi-Fi, altimeter, Fitbit Coach on-screen workouts and the ability to store music.
But wait! It's still excellent, and we didn't miss any of those features. It's cheaper, lasts for four or five days on a single charge, looks great and has tons of compatible straps and accessories.
The newer Versa 2 has a better screen, plus altimeter, on-screen workouts and music, but costs £50/$40 more.
And look out for the forthcoming Versa 3, which adds a built-in GPS and other features.
Read our full Fitbit Versa Lite Edition review
5. Fitbit Ionic: Best Fitbit for Sports
The Fitbit Ionic is the most fully featured Fitbit smartwatch and activity tracker. It has it all, and its built-in GPS is great for runners or exercisers who don’t want to lug their phone around with them.
As well as all the usual fitness stats it features automatic multi-sports tracking, on-screen workouts, Caller ID and texts notifications on wrist, can store up to 300 songs with music control and be used for contactless payments, as well as choosing from a range of special apps (Weather, Starbucks, Runkeeper, Strava, and more).
The Fitbit Versa 2 (which has the same features minus the built-in GPS) is cheaper, smaller and offers an improved screen, but the Ionic is still lightweight enough for you not to realise you’re wearing it.
From late September, the Ionic is replaced in Fitbit's lineup by the new Fitbit Sense at the top-end. But for sports enthusiasts, the equally new and cheaper Versa 3 will have all you need - although the Sense has more accurate swimming measurement (strokes and laps).
Read our full Fitbit Ionic review
6. Fitbit Inspire: Best cheap Fitbit for Beginners
We'd happily recommend the Fitbit Inspire to a casual fitness enthusiast, since it's affordable, smart-looking and easy to use. And, of course, it works with Fitbit's fantastic mobile app.
It tracks your basic steps, distance, active minutes and calories burned, and offers on-wrist notifications including Caller ID, texts and calendar alerts.
But be warned that you don't get a lot by way of advanced fitness features: there's no GPS, no heart monitor, no altimeter. If you can live without these, this is a sensible money-saving option.
The original Inspire is soon to be replaced by the Inspire 2, which also takes over from the Inspire HR. It's a little more expensive than the Inspire, but we think the heart-rate monitoring and Active Zone Minutes metric is worth the money.
Read our full Fitbit Inspire review
7. Fitbit Ace 2: Best Fitbit for Kids
The Fitbit Ace 2 is designed especially for younger children. It's a well-priced if basic activity tracker. It lacks the more advanced health measurements you’ll find on the pricier Fitbits but it has enough to motivate a family to up their exercise.
Until recently children under 13 were not allowed to have a personal Fitbit account. Now the minimum age is 6 – as long as you use the Fitbit Ace 2, which measures Steps and Active Time, plus basic sleep monitoring.
Special family account features mean kids (and parents) can track their basic activity stats through secure Kid View and Parent Views, where they can see their progress, compete in challenges, and earn badges.
The Ace is about exercise, not just weight loss – Fitbit hides the calorie counter to stop children obsessing about their weight. Older kids might prefer a Fitbit that does more, such as measure heart rate.
Read our full Fitbit Ace 2 review
8. Fitbit Aria Air : Best Fitbit Scales
If you couldn’t care less about body fat percentage and other weight and body statistics, and just want your weight to be automatically synced to your Fitbit app, then the Fitbit Aria Air is the scale for you and will save you a fair bit on the slightly more able Aria 2 (which looks like it's being discontinued anyway).
You also get your Body Mass Index (BMI), too, but nothing else.
If you want to dig deeper and monitor your body fat percentage and a raft of other metrics such as body fat percentage, water %, muscle & bone mass, then look at our other best digital smart scales reviews.
Read our full Fitbit Aria Air review
Your buying guide to the best Fitbit
The benefits of getting more exercise cannot be exaggerated. Going for regular walks reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke by 31%. A study of 650,000 people found that being active for just 11 minutes a day after the age of 40 yielded 1.8 years of added life expectancy. Being active for an hour or more a day increased life expectancy by 4.2 years.
Exercise strengthens bones, boosts the immune system, lessens the risk of getting diabetes and a number of cancers (such as breast cancer), improves mood, and staves off senility. There is probably not a single organ in the body that does not benefit from exercise.
10,000 steps a day is the standard recommended goal, although this has little scientific basis. What's actually more important is how many minutes you are active in a day (experts recommend at least 150 minutes a week), and all the Fitbits measure this fitness metric, as well as steps. It's especially important if your exercise is on a bike, where steps don't really count.
The latest Fitbit Charge 4 builds on this with its Active Zone Minutes measurement, which will soon roll out on all available new Fitbits, including the Sense, Versa 3 and Inspire 2.
Fitbits with the 24-hour heart-rate monitor (Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense, and Ionic) feature Heart Rate Zones, Cardio Fitness Level, and Guided Breathing Sessions.
They also show advanced Sleep Stages data, including duration of Light, Deep and REM sleep, plus give a Sleep Score. Those without the HR (Ace 2 and Inspire) offer more basic sleep tracking.
The more advanced Fitbits measure even more stats (see below for the full list), and offer extra benefits, such as heart-rate measurements and on-screen workouts.
We’ve tested and reviewed every Fitbit that the company currently sells and ranked them in order: forthcoming Sense, Versa 3 and Inspire 2 to be reviewed as soon as we get our hands on them. That isn’t to say the Fitbit at number one is the one for you – it’s just the best one for most people. You might not be a sports nut but you may still fancy the top-of-the-range Fitbit Ionic. Or you could be a runner who likes the look of the Inspire HR for those times you aren't in trainers.
We’ve assigned each Fitbit a ‘Best For’ tag to see if that one suits your needs better – for instance, if you want built-in GPS, then there are only two Fitbits for you (the Charge 4 and Ionic, and soon the Sense and Versa 3). There are also links to buy from reputable retailers at the best prices and links to our full reviews of every model.
Don't forget to check out our Best Fitbit Deals roundup if you're looking to pick one up.
Other big news recently is that Google is buying Fitbit (for a cool $2.1 billion). We don't expect this to have much effect until late 2020, and it certainly shouldn't put you off buying a Fitbit now, as the buyout should fund further improvements in future models - but not for at least a year.
Fitbit features compared
For kids below the age of 13, the Ace 2 is a well-designed, basic starter tracker. It's recommended for children aged 6 up, and there are special Parent and Kid views, plus family challenges and virtual badges to be won. Its strap is smaller than even the Small size options with the other trackers, but we found the other Fitbits fit a child's wrist just as well.
While it's in Fitbit's terms and conditions that children aged under 13 should use only the Ace, there are plenty of kids out there wearing other models - parents just need to set-up the child's account using an older birth year.
The cheapest Fitbit wristband is the Inspire, but this lacks some features of the more expensive Fitbits, such as an altimeter to measure floors climbed, multi-sport functions, heart rate, and GPS tracking. But casual users don't really need the heart-rate monitor or sports capabilities, and only the top-end Ionic actually boasts a built-in GPS anyway. It can also be worn as a clip as well as a wristband, although the clip accessory costs an extra £19.99/$19.95.
The Inspire HR looks just like the Inspire, but includes a heart-rate monitor that gives a whole bunch of more sophisticated health and fitness functions. It offers everything the Inspire does, plus swim-tracking, heart-rate measurements, Cardio Fitness scores and smarter sleep analysis (Sleep Stages). It will also connect with the GPS in your smartphone for pace and distance measurements.
Both will soon be replaced by the newer Inspire 2, but remain available online and you may find some discounts.
If you do jog, run or exercise in any way as well as walking we think that it's worth paying for the extra heart-rate-monitoring functionality you get with the Inspire HR, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2 andIonic - and soon the Sense, Versa 3 and Inspire 2. In fact, soon all the Fitbits except the Ace will include a heart-rate monitor.
Monitoring heart rate can also be used if weight loss is one of your key goals. But if you're just interested in everyday exercise the Fitbit Inspire will suffice, and is an excellent tracker. The heart-rate function also gives you much more detailed Sleep analysis - see further on for more details of this increasingly important health metric.
We also prefer the watch-buckle strap found on all the Fitbits except the original Inspire. It feels more secure, and again is worth the paying extra for, compared to the pop-clasp found on the Inspire. If you want a wide range of straps and other accessories the Versa family has the most options.
The Versa 2 has a built-in microphone and works with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. From late September, the new Sense and Versa 3 will add Google Assistant to the Alexa voice tool.
Remember to factor in the cost of the straps and accessories to the price of the wristband trackers if you fancy something different to the included Classic bands. Having a choice of straps is appreciated, but it does make the pricing harder to compare.
If you're looking for weight tracking, then check out our Fitbit Aria 2 review. These scales sync with the trackers to add measurements of your weight.
Which Fitbit trackers have certain features?
All Fitbits have an accelerometer that measures motion patterns to determine your calories burned, distance travelled, and steps taken. (The Fitbit Ace 2 does not show calories burned, as Fitbit doesn't want to add to a child's possible weight anxiety issues.) All monitor sleep quality, but those with a heart-rate monitor give much more sleep detail..
All the Fitbits also contain a vibration motor, which allows it to vibrate when alarms are set to go off.
The Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic boast an altimeter that measures stairs (or height) climbed. The Ace 2, Inspire, Inspire HR, Inspire 2, and Versa Lite do not include an altimeter.
The Fitbit Ionic, Sense, Versa 3 and Charge 4 are the only models in the lineup to have GPS built-in, without the need for a smartphone to be linked. Users can see distance, pace and elevation climbed, and review routes and split times. The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Versa Lite and Versa 2 can connect to the GPS on your smartphone.
The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic monitor your heart rate on your wrist. They use Fitbit's PurePulse technology that gives continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate, plus simplified heart-rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak).
Additionally, they feature Cardio Fitness Level, which provides a snapshot of your cardiovascular fitness. Based on estimated VO2 Max – calculated by your user profile, heart rate and exercise data – you can see how your fitness level relates to others of the same age and gender, and get guidance on how to improve over time.
The Charge 3, Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic can also monitor the amount of oxygen in the blood (an important health indicator) with their Sp02 sensor.
Water Resistance and Swim Tracking
All the Fitbits are water-resistant up to 50 metres. The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3 (not the Versa Lite edition) and Ionic will track your basic swimming metrics (laps, calories, etc) using distance to estimate strokes and laps. The new Fitbit Sense has a 6-axis gyroscope to more accurately track strokes and laps while swimming.
Caller ID and text messages
All the Fitbits show Caller ID when linked to a smartphone. All the wristbands except the Ace 2 also display text notifications and Calendar Events on its display, and the Versa 2 and Ionic allow you to control your music from the touchscreen display - each being able to store up to 300 songs on the watch. Note, this feature is not available on the Lite version of the Versa. The Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3 and Sense can control Spotify Premium from the tracker.
Automatic sport recognition
The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic feature multi-sport exercise tracking. They know when you're cycling, running, hiking or playing sports including football, tennis and basketball. They will also recognise aerobic workouts such as Zumba, cardio-kickboxing and dance workouts, and log the workout in the Fitbit app along with an exercise summary.
SmartTrack automatically recognises and records workouts and captures all of the stats: how long you were active, calories burned and heart rate zones. By default, it recognises activities when you’ve been moving for more than 15 minutes. You can change this to anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes.
Reminder to Move
This is available on all the wristband Fitbit trackers. It encourages you to meet a mini-step goal of 250 steps each hour (approximately 2-3 minutes of walking). These prompts can be personalised to your schedule; for example, they can be put on “Do Not Disturb” during long meetings or appointments. And, of course, they won't wake you at night.
It's a great motivator to get up and move around, even if just for a stroll to get a glass of water or make a cup of tea. Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death - I bet that made you sit up...
All the Fitbits check your sleep, too. They measure the time you spend asleep and check the quality of sleep – noting when you are restless or wake up during the night. Fitbit's newer Sleep Stages measurements (on Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic) utilise heart-rate variability to estimate the amount of time you spend in Light, Deep and REM sleep, as well as time awake each night, to better understand your sleep quality. Sleep Score rates each night's sleep from 0 to 100.
This is one of the great benefits of a tracker with a heart monitor, and sleep is now recognised as a major health metric. I actually look at this more than some of the other more obvious fitness metrics. Six to eight hours a day is the recommended amount of sleep you should be aiming for. Improved sleep has immediate benefits to your memory, attention, cognitive function, and decision-making capacity, as well as helping to avoid type 2 diabetes and putting on weight. Sleep deprivation causes our appetite to go up and we feel less full, making weight gain more likely.
Sleep can make us happier, improve heart health, boost memory, even reduce the risk of dementia. it is vital for restoring energy levels, washing out toxins from the brain and boosting the immune system.
Relax Guided Breathing
The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic offer Relax Guided Breathing Sessions that can help calm your body and mind through two- and five-minute sessions personalised to your breathing rate. The benefits of guided breathing practice are supposed to help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as lower blood pressure. Add it to your daily routine, and you'll quickly feel the benefits. Long-term insulin resistance (caused by stress triggering the brain’s hypothalamus readying your body for action) contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity, so even light meditation has physical as well as mental benefits to our health.
Female Health Tracking
All but the Ace 2 offer Female Health Tracking, which helps women understand their body by using the tracker with the Fitbit app to follow their cycle, record symptoms and more.
Apps are available on the Fitbit smartwatches (Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense, and Ionic), including Weather, plus extra third-party apps can be purchased via the Fitbit mobile app. All smartwatches except the Versa Lite also boast the Fitbit Coach app for on-screen video workouts. The Charge 4 also includes a more basic Weather app, and Agenda for calendars.
The Versa 3 and Sense also feature Amazon Alexa voice assistant, Google Assistant and Spotify music. The Versa 2 also includes Spotify controls and Alexa. Charge 4 includes Spotify only.
Fitbit Pay is available for Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic. This allows for contactless payments directly from the wearable. However, the list of compatible UK banks is very small right now, including Santander, Starling and Revolut - see the whole list here for all countries.
Which Fitbit has the best display?
The kid-friendly Fitbit Ace 2 measures only the basic stats: Steps and Active Minutes. It can also measure a child's Sleep patterns, and shows Caller ID, plus offers Reminders to Move.
The Inspire family's touchscreen OLED display (below) shows Time; Steps; Heart Rate (Inspire HR and Inspire 2 only); Calories burned; Notifications such as Caller ID and texts; Exercise modes; Sleep; and Settings.
The Charge 4's touchscreen OLED display (along with the Charge 4's) shows Time; Steps; Heart Rate; Distance; Calories burned; Floors climbed; Active Zone Minutes; Caller ID; Text Notification; Weather; Agenda; and Alarm.
The Versa 2 and 3's colourful touchscreen display is even better for visual display of fitness stats.
The Ionic's larger display (below) shows even more data to fitness and sports nuts. Like the Versa, its display is a touchscreen colour LCD. You can choose from 17 different clock faces, and watch (and listen to) guided exercise workout training sessions.
The best screens are found on the Versa 3 and Sense.
Both devices are equipped with a 1.58in display with a resolution of 336x336 pixels. In comparison, the display on Versa 2 is 1.39in with a resolution of 300x300 pixels.
The dimensions of the Sense and Versa 3 pebble are 40.48x40.48x12.35mm, compared to Versa 2’s dimensions of 39.95x39.84x12.15mm.
Which Fitbit has the best battery life?
All models have rechargeable batteries. Here's roughly how long each lasts between charges:
Ace 2: up to 5 days
Inspire: up to 5 days
Inspire HR: up to 5 days
Inspire 2: up to 10 days
Charge 4: Up to 7 days (up to five hours using GPS)
Versa Lite: 5 days +
Versa 2: 5 days +
Versa 3: 6 days +
Sense: 6 days +
Ionic: Up to 5 days (will reduce depending on the use of GPS)
Read our tips on how to get longer Fitbit battery life.
Which Fitbits are water-resistant?
All the Fitbit trackers are officially sanctioned as waterproof (down to 50M), and all but the Ace 2, Inspire and Versa Lite have basic swimming tracking features (number of lengths, distance swam). Experts recommend that you don't wear it while bathing, snorkelling or scuba diving, and Fitbit calls them water-resistant rather than properly waterproof. (Note that accessory straps on the Versa and Ionic might not all be waterproof.) Don't wear in a sauna!
Do all Fitbits use the same app?
Yes. They all use the same iPhone, Android and Windows Phone apps.
The app displays all your daily and historical stats in beautiful graphs that expand in landscape orientation as well as display in portrait view. It's here that Fitbit really beats its activity-tracking rivals.
The desktop dashboard is another visually attractive and informative place to monitor your activity and fitness statistics.
And as an incentive, you can link with friends, family and colleagues to compete against each other on the leaderboard, get involved in daily or weekly Challenges and Adventures, and win badges determined by passing goals, and historical milestones. These aspects of the Fitbit system really set it apart from the other trackers.
Find our how we test wearables.