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Best Fitbit in 2021: Choose the right fitness tracker

Best Fitbit
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Choosing the best Fitbit for you all depends upon your needs and budget. Fitbit's devices are some of the best fitness trackers you can buy, but range from the $70 Fitbit Inspire to the $329 Fitbit Sense, so it's important to know what you're looking for.

All of Fitbit's devices automatically track activities, steps, and sleep. They're all water-resistant, come with female health-tracking, and all can receive notifications from your smartphone. And all of them also connect with Fitbit's excellent app, as well as connect to a huge community of other Fitbit users, whom you can challenge to reach fitness goals. 

Some Fitbits have characteristics of the best smartwatches, including advanced features, such as heart rate monitoring, mobile payments, access to an app store, color displays, even built-in GPS and on-screen workouts. Our roundup of the best Fitbit deals right now can help you score the one you want at a discount, too. 

See all of the best Fitbits below.

What is the best Fitbit?

After running, biking — and sweating — with the company's devices, we think the best Fitbit overall is the Fitbit Sense. It's the most impressive Fitbit yet, merging top-shelf smartwatch features (including FDA-approved ECG readings and a stress management tool) with the fitness tracking you love about this brand.

The Fitbit Charge 4 is a great choice as well. In addition the GPS, the Fitbit Charge 4 has a number of other important features, including a new fitness metric called Active Zone Minutes. According to a number of major health organizations, you need to get your heart really pumping for at least 150 minutes each week. The Charge 4 is designed to keep track of that, and let you know when you need to get out more. 

The Fitbit Charge 4 is a slim device that has a grayscale OLED touchscreen that displays your heart rate, steps, stairs, sleep, and more. You can swap out the bands on the Charge 4 to customize the look of your device, too. The Charge 4 is also water resistant to 50 meters, and can track laps in a pool. If you're looking for more information on whether a Fitbit is water resistant, see our guide on is Fitbit waterproof?

That said, the Fitbit Charge 4's successor is on the way. While there's no exact release date yet, Fitbit has announced the Fitbit Charge 5 will start shipping in North America from late September, so it might be worth waiting. 

The best Fitbits you can buy today

Fitbit Sense review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Fitbit Sense

The best Fitbit overall

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: Yes
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: 1.58-inch OLED
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: Yes
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 6 days/5 hours with GPS
Reasons to buy
+Attractive+Long battery life+Comprehensive fitness/health features
Reasons to avoid
-No Spotify storage

The Fitbit Sense is the company's premium smartwatch that comes with more advanced health and wellness features that the Versa line. Not only does it have an FDA-approved ECG sensor and blood oxygen reading, but the Sense has the ability to measure electrodermal activity and skin temperature, too.

As one of the best Fitbits, best smartwatches and a winner of a 2021 Tom's Guide Award for Health and Fitness, the Sense works with both iOS and Android, and comes with on-board GPS, a native app store, Alexa and more. No longer is Fitbit just a brand with products for tracking our steps: Fitbit devices like the Fitbit Sense show what it means to take a holistic look at our health. 

Read our full Fitbit Sense review.    

Fitbit Charge 4

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Fitbit Charge 4

The best Fitbit for fitness tracking

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: Yes
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: 1.57-inch OLED touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: Yes
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 7 days/5 hours with GPS
Reasons to buy
+GPS built in+Accurate fitness tracking+Mobile payments
Reasons to avoid
-No onboard music storage

Not only does the Fitbit Charge 4 have GPS built in — a first for Fitbit's fitness trackers — but it has a new metric, called Active Zone Minutes, that give you a better indicator of your overall health. The Fitbit Charge 4 also has Fitbit Pay, so you can use  it as a contactless payment device at participating locations. And, for those who use Spotify, the Charge 4 now has controls for that music service, though you still can't load music onto the device itself.

The Charge 4 was comfortable to wear, and its GPS was accurate when we took it on runs. It's also pretty good at measuring sleep, and thanks to its SPO2 sensor, is able to warn you if you're at risk for conditions such as sleep apnea. The Charge 4 will last up to 7 days, but that number drops to 5 hours when using GPS. That's not as good as the best GPS watches, but good for a fitness tracker. Our Apple Watch 3 vs. Fitbit Charge 4 face-off explains why it's the most capable fitness trackers you can get for the price.

Read our full Fitbit Charge 4 review.

The Fitbit Charge 5 is being released later this year, here's all the information you need.  

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Fitbit Inspire 2

The best Fitbit for first-time activity trackers

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: No
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: Grayscale OLED touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: No
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 10 days
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Comfortable, lightweight design+Comes with free year of Fitbit Premium
Reasons to avoid
-No on-board GPS

If you're new to fitness tracking, the $99 Fitbit Inspire 2 is the ultimate entry-level activity band and the best Fitbit for you. For a third of the cost of the company’s smartwatches, the Inspire 2 gets basic health metrics, automatic workout tracking and accurate sleep insights. It also comes with a free year of Fitbit Premium.

Fitbit rates the Inspire 2 battery life for 10 days, which makes it the longest-lasting Fitbit. There's no GPS or music storage, so you'll need your phone nearby for working out. But it does have Active Zone Minutes, which is a feature on Fitbit's pricier options that monitors the time you spend in the fat burn, cardio or peak heart-rate zones while exercising.

Read our full Fitbit Inspire 2 review.

Best Fitbit: Fitbit Charge 3

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit's best fitness tracker under $100

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: No
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: 1.57-inch OLED touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: Yes
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 7 days
Reasons to buy
+SpO2 sensor+Water resistant+Nice design
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks on-board GPS

The Fitbit Charge 3 was previously our top pick as the best Fitbit, but it's been supplanted by the Fitbit Charge 4, which has GPS and a few other features. But that doesn't mean the Charge 3 still isn't a good device, and it's now $30 less than the Charge 4. 

Designed for those who want to keep healthy and stay in shape, but aren't going to be running marathons, the Charge 3 has a fairly large, grayscale touchscreen display that shows your heart rate, distance traveled, and notifications from your smartphone, if connected. The Charge 3 is also swim-proof, and can track your laps in the pool. 

The Charge 3 comes in three sizes, so it should fit most wrists (Fitbit has a sizing chart on its site). In addition, the Charge 3's strap is removable and Fitbit, as well a a number of third parties makes straps in different colors, patterns, and materials. The Fitbit Charge 3 also has an SpO2 sensor that will be used to diagnose breathing disturbances while sleeping and week-long battery life. It still requires a smartphone to connect to GPS, but it's still a good Fitbit for the money — while supplies last.

Read our full Fitbit Charge 3 review.

Best Fitbit - Fitbit Versa 3

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

5. Fitbit Versa 3

The best Fitbit midrange smartwatch

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: Yes
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: OLED touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: Yes
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 6 days
Reasons to buy
+Larger display than Versa 2+Great battery life+On-board GPS
Reasons to avoid
-Can only enable one voice assistant at at time

The best Fitbit midrange smartwatch is the Fitbit Versa 3, the next-generation of the Fitbit Versa 2. The Versa 3’s standout upgrade is on-board GPS. Now, even when you leave your phone at home, the Versa can (finally) track your location during outdoor exercise. A curvier, larger display is welcome, too. 

Plus the Versa 3 has gained a great motivational workout feature, Active Zone Minutes. Introduced with the Charge 4, Active Zone Minutes monitors the time you spend in the fat burn, cardio or peak heart-rate zones while exercising. Your goal is to earn the AHA’s and WHO’s recommended 150 Active Zone Minutes each week.

Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review.

Fitbit Luxe review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

6. Fitbit Luxe

The most fashionable Fitbit yet

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: No
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: AMOLED color touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: No
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 5 days
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight, attractive design+Color touchscreen+Great for basic fitness and sleep tracking+Has Fitbit’s stress management tools
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

The $150 Fitbit Luxe looks to make fitness tracking a fashion statement. While we've seen smartwatches offer lifestyle models as alternatives to their sporty counterparts, the Fitbit Luxe is the first activity band we’ve seen in a long while that’ll pass as wrist candy.

Unlike some of the best Fitbit models, the Fitbit Luxe introduces elevated, jewelry-inspired elements with a color touchscreen and stainless steel casing with metallic finishes. It looks even better paired with a “special edition” link bracelet from Fitbit’s partner designer brand. We wish it offered GPS and contactless payments for the price, but it's still the most attractive fitness tracker we've seen in a while.

Read our full Fitbit Luxe review.

Best Fitbit: Fitbit Versa 2

(Image credit: Fitbit)

7. Fitbit Versa 2

The best Fitbit with smartwatch features

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: No
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: 1.34-inch, 300 x 300 color touchscreen
On-board music: Yes
Mobile payments: Yes
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 4 days
Reasons to buy
+Good battery life+Colorful display+On-screen workouts
Reasons to avoid
-No built-in GPS-Alexa works inconsistently

If you've ever wanted Alexa on your wrist, the Fitbit Versa 2 is the best Fitbit for you. This second-generation Versa has Amazon's assistant built in, which lets you do such things as control smart home devices, look up the weather and news, and a lot more.

It comes with advanced sleep-tracking features, which, when combined with the Versa 2's ability to monitor blood oxygen saturation levels, could help alert you to conditions such as sleep apnea. You can also download up to 300 songs to the Versa 2 itself, as well as from Pandora and Deezer, so you can leave your phone at home if you want to listen to some tunes. Sadly, the Versa 2 lacks on-board GPS, so you will need to tote your phone if you want that feature. Check out our Fitbit Versa 2 vs. Fitbit Charge 4 face-off for more on the advantages and disadvantages to the brand's smartwatch, as well as everything we know about its possible predecessor, the Fitbit Versa 3

Read our full Fitbit Versa 2 review

Best Fitbit: Fitbit Ionic

(Image credit: Future)

8. Fitbit Ionic

Best Fitbit with GPS

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: Yes
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: 349 x 250 color LCD
On-board music: Yes
Mobile payments: Yes
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 4 days
Reasons to buy
+Built-in GPS+Onboard music storage+Mobile payments
Reasons to avoid
-Chunky design-Not many apps

With built-in GPS as well as a large, colorful touchscreen, the Fitbit Ionic is the best Fitbit for those who want a device with all the bells and whistles. The Ionic is the only one of Fitbit's devices with GPS, onboard music storage, and mobile payments, making this truly a device that lets you leave your smartphone at home when you want to go out and exercise. 

The Ionic also supports Fitbit's small app store, which lets you add such things as Starbucks and additional watchfaces. Plus, the Ionic's display can also show on-screen workouts, handy for those times when you don't want to have to look at another screen to know if you're doing your yoga poses correctly. Our biggest criticism of the Ionic is its design; it looks more like a first-generation smartwatch than a fully capable fitness tracker, and its size makes it bulky on smaller wrists.

Read our full Fitbit Ionic review

Best Fitbit: Fitbit Versa Lite

(Image credit: Future)

9. Fitbit Versa Lite

A stripped-down Fitbit Versa 2

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: No
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: 1.34-inch, 300 x 300 LCD color touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: Yes
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 5 days
Reasons to buy
+Good battery life+Accurate sleep and fitness tracking+Nice design
Reasons to avoid
-No GPS-No onboard music storage-Small app store

The Versa Lite looks like the Versa 2, but Fitbit stripped out a number of features to bring the Lite's price down about $50 less than the more premium model. Like the Versa 2, the Versa Lite has a rounded circle shape with a bright and colorful touchscreen. And, because this is a "smartwatch," you can also download apps to the watch from Fitbit's meager selection. 

Health-wise, you get standard Fitbit fare including accurate sleep and fitness tracking, a nice set of customizable bands, automatic workout recognition, and music controls on your wrist. What you don't get, though, is the ability to store music on the Versa Lite itself. Nor are their on-screen workouts, nor swim lap tracking. And, like most Fitbits, the Versa Lite doesn't have on-board GPS; you'll need to connect to your phone for that. 

Read our full Fitbit Versa Lite review

Best Fitbits

(Image credit: Fitbit)

10. Fitbit Inspire

Fitbit's least expensive fitness tracker

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: No
GPS: No
Water resistance: 50 meters
Display: OLED touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: No
Swim tracking: Yes
Battery life: 7 days
Reasons to buy
+Inexpensive+Slim+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-No heart rate monitor-Limited features

Yes, the Fitbit Inspire is the company's least-expensive fitness tracker, but what you save — about $30 over the Inspire HR — isn't worth what you give up. As you might guess from its name, the Fitbit Inspire lacks a heart rate monitor, which by now should be a requirement for any fitness tracker. 

And while the Inspire doesn't have GPS, you can't even use your smartphone's GPS in conjunction with the Inspire, as you can with every other Fitbit. One thing that the Inspire has going for it is its 7-day battery life—not surprising given that it doesn't have to power a number of sensors. You can get smartphone notifications and swim tracking, but the Inspire also lacks sleep tracking. Between that and not having a heart rate monitor, this is one fitness tracker to avoid.

best fitbit - fitbit alta hr

(Image credit: Future)

11. Fitbit Alta HR

A slim and stylish tracker with a heart rate monitor

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: No
Water resistance: None
Display: OLED touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: No
Swim tracking: No
Battery life: 7 days
Reasons to buy
+Often on sale+7 day battery life+Slim design
Reasons to avoid
-Small touchscreen

The Fitbit Alta HR is a sensible update to the original Alta, with heart rate monitoring and better sleep tracking, in an equally slim and stylish package. It was once higher up on this list of the best Fitbits, but has since been replaced by the Fitbit Inspire HR. We'd recommend the Inspire HR over the Alta HR, but if you can find the Alta at a discount (or under $100) it's still a worthy device. 

In addition to tracking your steps and actively monitoring your heart rate, the Alta HR can automatically recognize and track running, outdoor biking, elliptical workouts and aerobic workouts. It's not swim-proof, but you can wear it to bed for sleep tracking for at least 6 nights in a row before it needs to charge. 

Read our full Fitbit Alta HR review.

best fitbit - fitbit ace 3

(Image credit: Fitbit)

12. Fitbit Ace 3

The best Fitbit for kids

Specifications
Heart rate monitor: Yes
GPS: No
Water resistance: Up to 50 meters
Display: OLED touchscreen
On-board music: No
Mobile payments: No
Swim tracking: No
Battery life: 8 days
Reasons to buy
+Fun, kid-friendly colors+Great parental controls+Sleep tracking for kids
Reasons to avoid
-Large design

The Fitbit Ace 3 is one of the few fitness trackers designed for kids. Like Garmin's Vivofit Jr. models, the Fitbit Ace 3 offers parental controls for their children (8 and up)  and helps set health goals in a way that's appropriate for little ones. Unlike the fitness bands Fitbit makes for grown-ups, kids won't be able to see metrics such as calorie burn or body fat percentage on the device or in the Fitbit app. Rather, the Fitbit Ace 2 offers achievements and trophies that can be unlocked by activity.

Fitbit Ace is designed to encourage kids to get up and move instead of sit in front of a TV. Colorful band options add a fun flair, while the game-based goals are certain to grab your kid's attention.

How to choose the best Fitbit for you

If you spend more time than you wish to disclose on your butt watching TV, and want to start down the path to a healthier lifestyle, a basic tracker that costs less than $100 will most likely suit your needs.

The $99 Fitbit Inspire 2 will track your daily steps, calories and distance, showing your stats on a small OLED touchscreen. 

For those who work out more frequently, the Fitbit Charge 4 might better suit your needs. This band has all of the same features as the Inspire HR, but comes with a larger OLED touchscreen display, which makes it easier to see notifications and health data at a glance. It also has NFC built in, so you can use it for mobile payments via Fitbit Pay. 

Those looking for more of a smartwatch-style fitness tracker should check out the Fitbit Versa 3 or Fitbit Sense. These devices have square, color touchscreens that can be used with Fitbit's small but growing app store.

How we test Fitbits

By wearing them, of course! When Fitbit comes out with a new fitness tracker or smartwatch, we fully charge it up, then strap it on our wrist for about a week or so to test out all its features.

First and foremost: How does it feel? Some fitness trackers are pretty bulky, which  means they won't fit comfortably on smaller wrists. Next, we look at its fitness features, such as its heart rate monitor and, where applicable, its GPS. How accurate are both sensors? 

We also look at the other features of the Fitbit, including sleep tracking, female health tracking, mobile payments, and smartphone notifications. 

We also look at Fitbit's battery life claims, and compare it to our actual use. Some sensors chew up juice faster than others, so if you've got the screen on constantly, or are always using the heart rate monitor, your mileage may vary.

What is Fitbit Premium? 

If you want to get more from your Fitbit, you can sign up for the brand's Premium service, which gives you access to hundreds of video and audio workouts, personalized insights, and tailored health and fitness programs. On August 25, Fitbit announced that they are expanding their meditation offering, giving Premium members access to Calm meditations and sleep stories for the first time. 

If you're really into tracking your sleep, Premium gives users more data to delve into, including an analysis of sleep duration and a deeper look into sleeping heart rate, and restlessness. Fitbit Premium also gives users a daily wellness report, which includes guidance on health and recovery, based on Fitbit stats. 

Fitbit often offers members a free trial to their Premium service when they buy a tracker, but after that it'll cost $9.99 a month, or $79.99 a year.


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