Finding the Fit

From Fat to Fit to Fab!!

Which Fitbit Should You Get?

Are you thinking about getting a Fitbit or some other step tracking piece of equipment like Apple Watch or a Garmin? Do you know which Fitbit you should get?

I started using a Fitbit over a year and a half ago. I’d never heard of one until a friend of mine mentioned she got one for Christmas and should have brought it on our trip to Las Vegas to see how much walking we did (we did a lot). I don’t know if she ever used one but I was intrigued. I’d used pedometers for years but only out of curiosity to see how long my walks are, not to learn how much I walk each day. As soon as I returned from our trip I purchased a Fitbit Flex and have worn one ever since.

Though, not a Flex. Since I purchased my first Fitbit I’ve been through three of them. The Flex, which is a very basic tracking device stopped charging after almost a year. The Flex is thinner than most wrist trackers and very simple to use. You wear it on your wrist, and it tracks your steps as well as your sleep. You have to sign up and create a profile on the site to see your stats or you can download the app for your phone. You can’t see any stats on the display of the Fitbit Flex, only a series of dots that represent 20% of your 10,000 step goal. When you reach your goal the device gives you a little vibration. The Flex runs about $70 these days though I think I spent about $100 on mine.

After nearly a year it stopped charging and I returned it to Best Buy. It was still under warranty so I upgraded to a Fitbit Charge.

The Fitbit Charge is a nice step up for about $20 more. It has a full display showing how many steps you’ve taken and also has a watch on it. That was a big drawback of the Flex, it looked like you were wearing a watch but you weren’t and couldn’t tell time. The Charge used the same app or website to log your food, exercise and other information but it kept track of about the same things. Steps, sleep and stairs. My Fitbit Charge lasted about two months before the wrist band broke. I didn’t think I was that hard on it, I didn’t wear it in the shower and I type all day so it wasn’t getting beat on or anything. I brought it back to Best Buy and was going to replace it when I saw a Vivosmart by Garmin for $20 more. I upgraded again and hoped the device would last longer.

The Garmin was more of a SmartWatch than a tracker. It kept track of my steps, had a similar online account (free) where I could log all the things I ate, my weight, how much I exercised etc… It could also be paired with my iPhone to display text messages, voicemail messages and see incoming calls. It also worked as a stopwatch and a bunch of other things I couldn’t figure out. Getting it set up was challenging, I had to call customer support to just get it to track my steps. Pairing it with my phone was also difficult. The charging cord was not complicated to use but left room for damage of the smartwatch. The Vivosmart also had this feature that would tell me to move every so many minutes. At least I think that’s how it worked. It certainly wasn’t based on my movement because it always told me to move when I was moving. I found it annoying and irritating and found myself resenting the smartwatch more than I should.

I returned it after two weeks and went back to Fitbit. This time I got a Fitbit Charge HR. Similar to the Vivosmart it tracked my steps (more accurately, I believe but I never tested it), showed incoming calls and also tracked my heart rate. Like the Charge it has a full display so it’s very easy to see the information you are looking for. The Fitbit Charge HR does not tell me to get up and move when I am moving. When I reach my goal it shoots off digital fireworks on the display while it vibrates a bit. Set up was easy like all the other Fitbits and because I am accustomed to the website and app interface tracking what I eat, exercise and do isn’t difficult like it was with the Vivosmart. Hopefully the device will last longer than the last one but if I can keep exchanging it I don’t mind. Of course I’m hoping my next fitness tracking wrist device will be the Apple Watch.