Which Fitbit should you buy?

We grill Fitbit's growing team of fitness trackers to help find your ideal match
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Fitbit is now the “Hoover” of casual fitness tech. It's so synonymous with trackers that even non-techies use it as shorthand for health-monitoring bands.

The trouble is, there are now a lot of Fitbits to choose from, and it's hard to know where to start. Basic tracker or smartwatch? Do you want water resistance, GPS or sleep tracking? Different models tick different boxes.

Fear not, though. We’ve used the entire Fitbit family, studied them, and learnt their innermost secrets, to determine which one you should be strapping/clipping to your body...

BEST FOR: A PHONE-FREE FITBIT

Fitbit Ionic (22,990)

The Ionic is like all of the best bits from Fitbit’s other trackers rolled into one.

That doesn’t mean it’s the best smartwatch you can buy (far from it), but it is the best all-round Fitbit ever, particularly if you want to track runs, bike rides and swimming.

It’s the only Fitbit with built-in GPS (although the Blaze and Charge 2 can piggyback off your phone’s GPS) and the only one, other than the Flex 2, that’s fully waterproof.

Want to store music, use third party app or make mobile payments? Again, this or the Versa are your only options in the land of Fitbitania.

While the Ionic has impressive stamina for a smartwatch, the downside of all this extra functionality is that it’ll only last a few days between charges (and even less if you go big on using GPS).

Compared to something like the Apple Watch, the smartwatch functionality is also pretty limited. The app gallery has a few choice picks like Strava, a Pomodoro timer and Flipboard. But there's not all that much going on compared to WatchOS and Android Wear.

Still, even taking into account the steep price tag, it’s one of the best choices around for getting daily health insights with a smattering of sport tracking. And it'll only get better from here.

Best for: a health-obsessed smartwatch

Fitbit Versa (19,999)

The Versa is Fitbit’s second attempt at a smartwatch. It loses the Ionic’s built-in GPS, but it can steal the GPS signal from your phone. And many of you will prefer the Versa’s looks.

Where the Ionic is sharp and severe, the Versa is smoothed-off. It has a more Apple Watch-a-like vibe. It’s cheaper too, which always helps.

The Versa matches the Ionic for smartwatch chops. You get access to the Fitbit Apps Gallery. It’s limited, sure, but means you’re not just tied to basic fitness features and phone notifications.

This watch will store around 2.5GB’s worth of music, and stream it to your wireless headphones at the gym. And it gets NFC, letting you use the Versa for Fitbit Pay wireless payments like a card-carrying member of the tech elite (Not in India yet).

Next to the Apple Watch or a Wear OS model, the key appeal is battery life. The Versa lasts up to four days between charges, which is just dreamy if you’re used to charging a smartwatch every day.

While not quite as much of a sport obsessive’s ideal watch as the Ionic thanks to the missing GPS, there is an optical heart rate sensor. And 50m water resistance means you can take it to the swimming pool to track your lengths.

BEST FOR: A FITNESS STATS-FEST

Fitbit Charge 2 (₹ 14,999)

Fitbit has paired the now very similar Charge 2 and Alta HR together under the same 'heart-rate and fitness bands' umbrella, so which is the best for you?

The main difference is the screen, with the Charge 2's 1.5in OLED display much better for glancing at real-time info and notifications like calls, texts and calendar alerts while you're exercising. 

That inevitably also means the Charge 2 has a more watch-like form factor compared to the band-like Alta HR. Though, unlike the Alta HR, it does also pack an altimeter for tracking the numbers of floors you've climbed and a 'Cardio Fitness Level', a real marker of fitness rather than health.

It's a close call, but if you want everything short of GPS tracking in a watch-like form factor, the Charge 2 is your best bet.

BEST FOR: ALL-ROUND HEALTH TRACKING

Fitbit Alta HR (₹ 14,999)

Fitbit's latest tracker is quite a feat of miniaturisation - it's the first fitness band to pack in an optical heart-sensor, which is particularly handy for tracking both exercise and sleep.

The Alta HR still errs on the side of health rather than sport-tracking, though you can connect it to your phone's GPS to get maps of your runs using the MobileRun feature. Its main strength, though, is sleep-tracking. It's one of only three Fitbits (along with the Blaze and Charge 2) to support the app's new Sleep Stages and Insights features.

These give you extra-fine detail on your sleep patterns and match this with your exercise data to give you advice (for example, there's a strong correlation between your runs and better sleep). The only real downside is that, like all Fitbits other than the Flex 2, it's not waterproof for showers and swimming.

If you want an always-on health tracker with a week-long battery life, and aren't too bothered about getting real-time data from a screen, the Alta HR is the best around.

Buy it here from Amazon

BEST FOR: SWIMMERS AND STYLEHOUNDS

Fitbit Flex 2 (₹​9,499)

Want a Fitbit that you can take swimming and wear in the shower? Other than the Ionic, the Flex 2 is your only option - and the good news is that it's also a fine health-tracking all-rounder. 

You get the usual steps and calories tracked and, thanks to its usually reliable SmartTrack exercise detection, it'll also automatically log runs, bike rides, walks and other workouts. For swimming, it'll also stand by with its virtual clipboard and note down lengths swum, distance and pace.

The downsides? Unlike the Alta HR, there's no heart-rate tracking, support for the Fitbit app's new Sleep Insights feature, or a screen. But it does tick off all the basics and comes in a good range of colours, not to mention gift-friendly bangle and pendant form factors.

Buy it here from Amazon

BEST FOR: CASH-STRAPPED NEWBIES

Fitbit Zip (₹​3,990)

At £50, the Zip is the cheapest in the entire Fitbit range, and offers basic tracking in the form of steps taken, distance travelled, and calories burned.

Aside from displaying the time (but lacking the silent alarm functionality present on all of its brothers and sisters), that’s pretty much it. The benefit to all this simplicity, apart from the price, is its massive six-month battery life, whicn comes thanks a coin cell battery. 

Buy it here from Amazon