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The fitness tracker market is relatively new but Fitbit is dominating the market to date. Fitbit’s dominance is mainly due to the fact that Fitbit devices are easy to use, accurate and affordable.
A fitness tracker is a useful gadget for monitoring and measuring physical activity. Fitness trackers use sensors to monitor your movements and they connect and sync wirelessly with a mobile device or computer to store your daily activities data. Are you thinking about getting a fitness tracker? What are your fitness goals? The right fitness tracker can help you achieve your physical goals. There are many different fitness trackers and they range from simple to sophisticated with the corresponding price points to match.
One important thing to remember when deciding on getting a fitness tracker is that a fitness tracker is really like a gym membership. It only helps you if you use it.
There are two major types of fitness trackers – the all-day trackers and the training trackers. If you just want to know how many steps you take each day, then an all-day tracker is what you need. If you want more information on the speed, pace, and steps, then look for a training tracker.
There are many factors to consider when deciding which fitness tracker to buy. They are style, price, features, display, compatibility, accuracy, battery life and water resistance, color, measurement & specs skin allergies, and better clasp.
Fitbit is not the cheapest brand of fitness trackers. They are not cheap but they are not exorbitantly over-priced either. You can find cheaper and affordable ones online and in department chains. Although price points are important, there are some advantages to buying a quality tracker.
The wristband Fitbits (Zip and Flex), which are cheaper clip-ons don’t have all the features which are on the One and Charge, Alta, Charge, HR, Blaze and Surge.
All Fitbits measure motion patterns to determine calories burned, distance traveled and steps taken by using a MEM 3-axis accelerometer which measures motion patterns. All Fitbits monitor sleep quality except the Zip.
The One, Flex, Charge, Alta, Charge, HR, Blaze and Surge vibrate when alarms are set to go off by using a vibration motor. The One, Charge, Charge HR, Blaze and Surge boast an altimeter which measures stairs or height climbed: the Alta doesn’t have that capability.
The Surge has eight sensors including the GPS, heart rate and ambient light sensors. However, the Blaze doesn’t have a GPS sensor.
The Charge HR, Blaze, and Surge use Fitbit’s PurePulse heart rate technology to monitor your heart rate.
The Charge, Alta, Charge HR, Blaze and Surge all have the Caller ID feature and will display it when linked to a smartphone. The Surge and Blaze will also display text notifications on its display, and allow you to control your music from the touchscreen.
The Alta, Charge HR, Blaze, and Surge have the multi-sport exercise tracking feature to record workouts and in real-time see exercise stats and summaries. The Alta has a feature from Apple Watch in which Alta uses short exercise prompts to encourage you to meet a mini-step goal of 250 steps each hour.
Skin Allergies & Better Clasp
Fitbit had to recall its Force wristband when there were reports that users developed a skin rash due to metal allergies. This issue was a step backward for Fitbit. Today they claim that they are working to reduce the chances of Fitbit users having reactions from parts of their wristbands.
Fitbit now gives warnings about who is more likely to have skin irritation or allergy from a wearable device. Fitbit also gives advice about those who sweat for more than two hours while wearing the Fitbit band.
All the new wristbands, except the Alta and Blaze, is made of a flexible, durable elastomer material similar to that used in many sports watches.
Fitbit also had an issue with their Force wristband’s weak clasp. Now they have a surgical-grade stainless steel buckle which is like a standard watch. This new buckle is found on the Charge HR, Blaze, and Surge, but not the Flex, Alta or Charge.
The Zip display has five modes: Steps, Distance, Calories burned, Fitbit Smiley and Clock.
The One’s display has six modes: Steps, Distance, Calories burned, Floors climbed, Flower and Clock.
The Flex’s display has the fewest features; it consists of a series of flashing dots that show your day is stacking up against your goals.
The Fitbit Alta takes a longer, vertical view of its displays.
The Charge’s OLED display shows Time, Steps, Distance, Calories burned, Floors climbed Caller ID, Alarm and Very active minutes.
The Charge HR’s OLED display is much like the Charge Fitbit includes some extra features. It shows Heart Rate, Exercise Tracking, and Time, Steps, Distance, calories burned, Floors climbed, Caller ID, Alarm and Very active minutes.
The Blaze’s colorful display wins hands down although you won’t see it if you let your hands dropdown.
The Surge’s display, which is large and is a touchscreen monochrome LCD with backlit, shows more data to fitness and sports fans.
Measurement & Specs
The Fitbit One and Zip are small and can clip onto your clothes or be in your pocket but they are less flexible than the wristbands.
The Flex and Alta are thinner and slightly lighter than the Charge. The Flex is 13.9 mm wide and the Alta is 15 mm while the Charge is 21.1mm girth. The Zip is the smallest of the Fitbits.
Fitbit Zip size and weight: H: 48mm W: 19.3mm D: 9.65mm Weight: 8g
Fitbit One size and weight: H: 35.5mm; W: 28mm: D: 9.65mm; Weight: 8g
Fitbit Flex size and weight: W: 13.99mm; Weight: 29g
Fitbit Alta size and weight: W: 15mm, Weight dependent on strap choice.
Fitbit Charge size and weight: W: 21.1mm; Weight: 24g
Fitbit Charge HR size and weight: W; 21.1mm; Weight; 26g
Fitbit Blaze and weight: W: 42.1mm. Weight dependent on strap choice, but 43g with Classic Strap
Fitbit Surge size and weight: W: 34mm; Weight: 52g
The Zip is the best for battery life but you should get a new battery about three times a year.
Fitbit One battery life: 5 – 7 days
Fitbit Zip battery life: 4 – 6 months
Fitbit Flex battery life: 5 days
Fitbit Charge battery life: 7 – 10 days
Fitbit Alta battery life: up to 5 days
Fitbit Charge HE battery life: 5+ days
Fitbit Blaze battery life: up to 3 days
Fitbit Surge battery life: up to 5 days
The Fitbit One, Zip and Force are splash-proof, btu should not be submerged more than one meter.
The Flex, Charge, Charge HR and Blaze are water-resistant to 1 ATM (Atmosphere).
The Fitbit Surge is water-resistant to 5 ATM, qualifying it to wear around the sinks, playing sports and swimming in shallow water. Experts warn that you shouldn’t wear it while snorkeling, bathing or scuba diving.
The Fitbit One comes either in Black or Burgundy.
The Fitbit Zip comes in White, Blue, Magenta, Charcoal or Lime.
The Flex wristband comes in the colors- Black, Slate, Teal, Tangerine, Navy, Violet, Blue, Lime, Pink and Red.
The Fitbit Charge is available in Black, Slate, Burgundy, and Blue.
The Fitbit Alta is available in a classic strap in Black, Blue, Plum or Teal: in leather in Graphite or Blush Pink or in Stainless Steel Links.
The Fitbit Charge HR is available in Black, Plum, Blue, Tangerine, Teal, and Pink.
The Fitbit Blaze is available in a classic strap in Black, Blue or Plum; in leather in Black, Camel or Mist Grey; or in Stainless Steel Links.
The Fitbit Surge is available in three colors: Black, Blue, and Tangerine.
What You Get In The Box
The Fitbit Zip ships with tracker, silicone and metal clip, wireless sync dongle, replaceable battery and battery door tool.
The Fitbit One ships with tracker, silicone and metal clip, wireless sync dongle, charging cord and sleep wristband.
The Fitbit Flex ships with tracker within wristband, wireless sync dongle and charging cable.
The Fitbit Charge and Charge HR come with tracker within wristband, wireless sync dongle and charging cable.
The Fitbit Blaze and Alta ship with a charging cable. You need to specify the type of band you require. The Alta also comes with a wireless dongle, while the Blaze doesn’t; it connects via Bluetooth alone. The Fitbit Surge ships with a wireless sync dongle and charging cable.
There are many good Fitbits with different features; however, when it comes to choosing between the Fitbits wristbands, I think Flex is a good option but I would go with the Charge. In the end, I think your choice should come down to what you will be using the wristband for and what are your goals.