When it comes to fitness trackers, Fitbit is one of the most recognisable names. The brand is well known for producing reliable wrist accessories, catering for beginners to the tech-savvy. But which is the best Fitbit?
To answer this question, our fitness team got their hands on some of the top models and put them to the test, comparing how each one performed before deciding which model deserves to stand atop Fitbit’s esteemed podium as the brand’s best fitness tracker.
With a slew of new releases in September 2022, including the hotly-anticipated Sense 2, Versa 4 and Inspire 3, we’re also in the process of reviewing these latest additions to the Fitbit family, and will update this list as soon as our experts’ verdicts are in.
So, if you’re in the market for a new Fitbit but don’t know which one to go for, keep reading. We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each model, from the budget-friendly Inspire 2 to the premium features of the Sense, to help you decide which wearable deserves a spot on your wrist.
Best Fitbit: Tried and tested
The Charge 5 looks like a modern version of the classic Fitbit design, and for many people that will be enough. Its display is bright, its strap is comfortable and it feels like the Swiss Army Knife of fitness trackers when it comes to features, including an ECG and EDA for measuring atrial fibrillation and stress respectively.
All of that is in a slimline design that offers a gorgeous display, although the column-based user interface may take some adjustment for new users.
Still, if you’re looking to track a run, a hike, a bike ride or even a swim, this is the best Fitbit overall because it comes with built-in GPS. We wore the Fitbit Sense 5 and an Apple Watch for our workouts, and found that both clocked in at roughly the same distance, bar a few metres one way or the other. This is pretty great considering the Fitbit is much smaller and lighter than Apple’s offering. It also includes six months of Fitbit Premium.
- Read our full Fitbit Charge 5 review (opens in new tab)
Looking for your first fitness tracker? You may have found it with the Fitbit Inspire 3. This small, inexpensive tracker is ideal for monitoring heart rate, steps and calories burned to get you started on your fitness journey.
The display is small but the Inspire 3 has seen an upgrade from its predecessor and now boasts a full color OLED glass screen. The 10-day battery life means you won’t need to charge it often either – and that includes excellent sleep tracking.
Mind you, if you’re looking to shave time off your running route you’ll want to take your phone with you since there’s no GPS tracking. We went on a 50 minute run with the Inspire 3 and Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar and their total distance readings were unnervingly close — within 100 meters of each other. However, our second workout brought out an issue we had with the Inspire 3: It didn't connect to the phone's GPS, leaving it to use its motion sensors to judge distance and pace. This time the stats were way off the Garmin. What you do get, though, is a year of Fitbit Premium.
- Read our full Fitbit Inspire 3 review
If you're trying to draw comparisons between Fitbit vs Apple watch (opens in new tab), this is the model which comes closes to Apple's premium wearable.
It has a big, beautiful display, a slimline design and battery life that’ll make an Apple Watch weep – up to six days of use (and sleep tracking) on a single charge. However, we did find that the "always on" display mode drains the battery life significantly.
It comes with six months of Fitbit Premium to help users embrace activity and rest in equal measure, and offers options like a stress tracker that measures your stress levels through the sweat of your palm. Heart rate readings during exercise were quite flaky for our tester, though.
There’s no third-party App Store alternative as you’d find with the similarly priced Apple Watch, which is a shame – especially since for the price we’d have liked to have used the onboard storage for a Spotify playlist or a podcast so we can leave our phone at home.
Still, it's a solid watch for those who want everyday exercise tracking and don't mind missing the sort of smart apps on offer in an Apple Watch.
- Read our full Fitbit Sense 2 review
In many ways, the Fitbit Versa 4 is a cut-down version of the Fitbit Sense 2, with an almost identical design but losing the Sense 2's EDA stress sensor and the ECG heart health tech. However, for everyday fitness tracking, we think the Versa 4 is every bit as good. If you do want to track stress, you can do so through other data-collection methods, such as a brief questionnaire or by analyzing heart rate.
The Versa 4 has an excellent display, comfortable feel, and impressive battery life, however there’s no music playback. The watch also has 40 activity modes — a very conspicuous increase over the 20 of the Versa 3.
When it comes to performance, maximum and average heart rate figures were closely aligned with those of the Garmin Fenix 7 and Apple Watch Series 8 when we wore two wearables on a single workout. GPS caused a few headaches, however, as we found the Versa 4 took some time to triangulate. As with any wearable, this speeds up if you consistently track runs or walk in the same location. Daily step counts were much more reasonable though. Plus, six months of Fitbit Premium are included.
- Read our full Versa 4 review here (opens in new tab)
The Fitbit Luxe is a more premium counterpart to the Inspire and is possibly the most fashion-conscious tracker in the range.
It’s small and thin, so much so it’s easy to forget it’s on your wrist. It offers six days of battery and while the smaller display will take some getting used to, it’s bright enough to be legible in sunlight.
You’ll also find the excellent sleep, heart rate, distance, and calorie tracking you’ve come to expect from Fitbit, though it’s wrapped up in a slender, more jewelry-like design.
There’s no GPS, so you’ll want to take a phone with you if you’re planning to track workout routes while out. Step tracking is accurate enough, however. We compared it to an Apple Watch Series 7, which costs more than twice the Fitbit Luxe’s price tag, and the two offered comparable results. You get six months of Fitbit Premium, too.
- Read our full Fitbit Luxe review (opens in new tab)
How do we test the best fitbits at Live Science?
All of the products in this guide have been tried and tested by the Live Science team and our pool of testers. We test each one for overall aesthetics and everyday features like smartphone compatibility, music streaming, and maps, assessing each model step by step (quite literally) and awarding it a star rating out of five. Other key features like battery life, water resistance, and GPS all undergo assessment, and we also put the health and fitness tracker capabilities to work, noting available exercise data like heart rate and stress tracking. We include any additional design perks, like access to third-party apps, before rating each Fitbit for value for money – allowing you to make a well-informed decision on your wearables.