Which Fitbit Fitness Tracker or Smartwatch Is the Right Fit for You?

Fitbit's lineup of fitness trackers and smartwatches can be confusing. Here's what you need to know.

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Fitbit fitness trackers Photo: Fitbit

Thinking about buying a fitness tracker or smartwatch with the hope of getting active once again? It can be hard to choose the right model.

Even if you look just at Fitbit—a longtime leader in wearable tech—you’ll find a dizzying array of options.

More on Wearables

To make things easier, we’ve assembled this guide to the company’s offerings, complete with details on features, accuracy, and app selection.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, you can also consult our fitness tracker and smartwatch ratings to get the full scoop on all models.

Fitness Trackers

First, you’ll need to decide whether you want a fitness tracker or a smartwatch. Trackers are simpler devices intended mainly for basic physical monitoring. They don’t work with the third-party apps that smartwatches do. But they usually don’t cost as much, either.

Fitbit’s fitness tracker offerings boil down to a handful of models. These include the Inspire 2, one of our top-rated options, as well as the new Charge 5, which is slightly larger and more expensive and comes with a color display and other smartwatch-like features.

There’s also the Fitbit Luxe, a sleek and fashionable model that offers stress management tools.

Smartwatches

Sure, a smartwatch will cost you a bit more than a fitness tracker. But in many cases you’re buying a lot of additional functionality. And for what it’s worth, smartwatches have come down significantly in price in recent years. Fitbit’s most basic model retails for a little less than $200.

On the flip side, the performance and features of Fitbit’s fanciest model don’t come close to matching those of the top-rated Apple Watch (which costs about twice as much). Though you can read messages and download a growing population of third-party apps, you can’t make or take calls from any of Fitbit’s watches. And the Fitbit store has just a fraction of the apps that Apple and Google offer.


Allen St. John

I believe that technology has the power to change our lives—for better or for worse. That's why I’ve spent my life reporting and writing about it for outlets of all sorts, from newspapers (such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) to magazines (Popular Mechanics and Rolling Stone) and even my own books ("Newton’s Football" and "Clapton’s Guitar"). For me, there's no better way to spend a day than talking to a bunch of experts about an important subject and then writing a story that'll help others be smarter and better informed.