Fitbit has been producing fitness trackers since 2007. Fitbit has won several awards for its devices and was voted one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Journal in 2013. Fitbit's mission is "to empower and inspire you to live a healthier, more active life. They design products and experiences that fit seamlessly into your life so you can achieve your health and fitness goals, whatever they may be".
- Customizable dashboard
- Integrates with other apps
- Many tracking options
A major advantage of Fitbit is its tracking software. The dashboard can be customized to quickly check the details you're most interested in, and the app integrates seamlessly with several other apps, including Lose It!, MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun. The app not only offers daily tracking and totals, but also calculates your individual average and how you progress over time. There is also a Premium version of the app for the serious athlete, which features in-depth analyses of food, sleep and activity that can be exported to be shared with coaches, trainers or doctors. The Premium version will also recommend personalized fitness plans based on your results. And, of course, the app can be accessed from Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices, as well as Macs and PCs.
Fitbit offers a wide variety of fitness tracking options, providing trackers for a variety of lifestyles. Whether you want to just track basic steps and sleep or more detailed workouts, Fitbit has a tracker for you. Ranging from $59.95 to $249.95, Fitbit provides quality products for a pretty reasonable price.
- Proprietary charging cords
- Need the wireless dongle
- Large recall
The downside of Fitbit products is the requirement to use proprietary charging cords; if you misplace yours, you won't be able to charge your Flex or One until you've bought a new cord (the Zip's 3V coin battery lasts 6 months). Additionally, if you're syncing with your computer, you'll need to use Fitbit's wireless dongle. The dongle will plug into any USB port, but it's tiny and very easy to misplace. Replacement charging cords or wireless dongles are only $19.95 each, however, the costs could add up if you tend to lose things.
We would be remiss to not mention the massive recall of the Force tracker that Fitbit issued in February 2014. After some Force users complained of skin irritation - specifically, allergic contact dermatitis to the nickel content in the core piece - Fitbit issued a voluntary recall on all Forces and offered consumers full refunds. Although the skin allergy affected only about 1.7% of Force owners, those that developed it experienced redness, rashes and blistering where their skin had been exposed to the tracker. No skin complications have been reported with Fitbit's other devices and the Fitbit Force is no longer sold by Fitbit.
The Bottom Line
Fitbit's trackers are popular for a reason: they're comfortable, efficient, easy to use and come with the support of an outstanding app. Fitbit trackers are also compatible with almost any phone, tablet or computer. This is a huge benefit in comparison to many of the tracker companies on the market, whose devices are limited in terms of compatibility - if you opt for the Sony SWR10 or the Samsung Gear Fit, for example, you may find yourself needing a new brand of tracker each time you upgrade to another cell phone.