Fitbit offers a variety of smartwatches and fitness straps that can be used to track your steps, heart rate, weight and other important information. You can also access the mobile app for iOS or Android. There is also an in-browser dashboard where you can track your progress and log workouts. What is a Fitbit? How do they work? Are they worth the investment?
Fitbit offers products in two main categories: smartwatches, and fitness trackers. There are also accessories. It is best known for its fitness watches, which come in three versions: Inspire, Charge and Ace.
The Fitbit Charge line, which is also the most expensive, is the most advanced. The Fitbit Charge line comes with two bands in sizes small and large and comes in several colours. The special edition Charge models are compatible with Fitbit Pay, the company’s mobile payment app. The Charge fitness band features a touchscreen, smartphone notifications and activity and health-adjacent data tracking. It can also be used for exercise and is water resistant.
The Inspire is nearly as advanced as the Charge. The Inspire has a built-in heart rate monitor and tracks your sleep. Notifications can be sent to the band for calls and texts as well as reminders on your calendar. The Inspire line is almost identical to the Charge, with a few exceptions. The Inspire bands do not have the built-in GPS/altimeters like the Charge. You will need to use your smartphone’s GPS to track steps climbed. The Charge bands also don’t have the ability to create a workout intensity map. Construction is the most important aspect. The Charge is more durable.
The Ace fitness bracelet was designed for children six years old and up. The tiny device attaches to your wristband to track steps and activity. It can also display notifications for incoming calls if you have a smartphone. The Ace can be worn in the shower but not in the swimming pool.
You can use both of these smartwatch features to seamlessly interact with your phone. You can view and use specific apps, access notifications, control your music or even use your favourite voice assistant.
There are two types of Fitbit smartwatches: Versa and Sense. The most feature-packed Fitbits are available in the Versa and Sense line of smartwatches. You can find almost any sensor you need in a Fitbit, such as heart rate, steps, stairs climbed and sleep monitoring.
For serious fitness enthusiasts, the Sense line of smartwatches offers a few more benefits than the Versa. The Sense line of smartwatches also includes sensors to monitor skin moisture (a common indicator of stress) and temperature. These sensors can be used to manage stress and alert you when your heart rate is high or low.
How Fitbits Work & What Fitbits Do
There are many Fitbit products, but all of them track steps. Many Fitbits can identify common activities such as running or biking. Some can also track swimming. The Fitbit app can be accessed to view your progress over the past week or day and allow you to adjust your goals. You can view a map showing your route, speed, elevation and GPS coordinates on your Fitbit.
For workouts not automatically recognized by the dashboard or app, you can add Exercise Shortcuts. You can set goals for each exercise based on distance, time or calories burned. You’ll then be able to start and stop your workout as you please.
An accelerometer is used by Fitbits to track your movements. The accelerometer converts the movement data into digital measurements. This is how Fitbits count your steps and measure distance, calories burned, sleep quality and other metrics.
Fitbits track steps using an algorithm that looks for movements that indicate someone is walking. This movement may be detected from driving on bumpy roads. To get the best results in measuring distance and calories burnt, measure your stride, log it in the Fitbit App, and make sure you keep your weight updated.
Fitbits that count floors (flights walked up) use an altimeter to detect whether you are going up or down. It registers one floor per 10 feet if you are going up.
What is Fitbit Pay?
Fitbit devices are restricted to a proprietary operating system. They don’t have access to other mobile payment platforms, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay. Fitbit Pay is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows phones and is available in over a dozen countries, including the United States and Canada. Fitbit maintains a list of compatible banks that you will need to connect to your account. Fitbit Pay works the same way as the other competitors at the register.
Smartwatches vs. Fitbits
There are smartwatches that do all or most of these things, including the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch and models running Wear (formerly Android Wear). These watches tend to be more expensive than Fitbit’s Ionic or Versa smartwatches.
Fitbit smartwatches, which run on the Fitbit OS, have less access to apps than Apple, Samsung and Wear watches. The interface is different from that on your smartphone. You can only interact with notifications in certain ways. Advanced smartwatches allow you to do more without needing to use your smartphone. These include responding to messages, answering calls and even sending SMS. Fitbit OS watches like the Wear smartwatches are compatible with iOS and Android.
Fitbit smartwatches are entry-level devices that are less expensive than the pricier models. Give a Fitbit smartwatch a try and see if it’s worth it.