Best Fitbit 2024: Track steps, stress, sleep and more

Best Fitbit
(Image credit: Future/ Lloyd Coombes)

Fitbit offers a range of fitness trackers and smartwatches that are stylish, durable, and packed with useful features ― but which model takes the crown of the best Fitbit out there?  

The answer to this question may depend on your budget, personal preferences, and specific health and fitness goals. For example, a beginner may appreciate the low cost and simplicity of the Fitbit Inspire 3, but a tech-savvy athlete may be disappointed by its limited functionality. 

To help you pick the right model, we have tried and tested some of the best Fitbits on the market. We've looked into their price, design, battery life, features and accuracy, as well as ease of use and comfort. Read on for our ultimate roundup of the best Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches. 

But if you you are not a Fitbit fan, check out our general guide to the best fitness trackers. Whether you are considering one of the best Garmin watches to keep track of your outdoor adventures, or one of the best running watches to rack up the miles with, we have a fitness tracker for you. 

The best Fitbit overall

Fitbit Charge 5

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
The best Fitbit overall

Specifications

Battery life: Around seven days
GPS: Yes
Water resistance: 5 ATM
Display: 0.86" x 0.58" x 1.04" (AMOLED)

Reasons to buy

+
Low-profile design
+
Plenty of sensors 

Reasons to avoid

-
Small display
-
No media playback 

The Fitbit Charge 5 is our all-time favorite ― for many reasons. 

To start with, this fitness tracker is exceptionally well designed for its price point. The Charge 5 looks like a modern version of the classic Fitbit design. 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.

What the users say

The Fitbit Charge 5 scores a respectable 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 63% of users giving it the full five stars. Positive reviews praise this fitness tracker for its long battery life, light and compact design, and excellent value for money. One user commented, "I am sure there are other equally as excellent trackers out there, but you won't have wasted your money." Negative reviews often cite low accuracy, fiddly display and faulty apps. 

The Fitbit Charge 5 is also easy to set up and use, comes with 5ATM water resistance rating, and its battery can last more than a week on a single charge. For such a small, discreet-looking device, the Charge 5 punches way above its weight. 

Cherry on top? The Fitbit Charge 5 is often heavily discounted on Amazon and other major online retailers. 


Best budget Fitbit

Fitbit Inspire 3 being tested by Live Science contributor Andrew Williams

(Image credit: Andrew Williams)
The best budget Fitbit

Specifications

Battery: Up to 10 days
GPS: No
Water resistance: 5ATM
Display: 1.4" OLED (black and white)

Reasons to buy

+
Most affordable option
+
Small and lightweight 
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No GPS
-
Phone connection can be shaky
-
Basic fitness features

Looking for your first fitness tracker? You may have found it with the Fitbit Inspire 3. This small, unobtrusive tracker is ideal for monitoring heart rate, steps and calories burned to get you started on your fitness journey. It is also very affordable — the retail price of Inspire 3 stands at $99.95, and it often gets discounted to approximately $60.  

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.

What the users say

The Fitbit Inspire 3 scores an impressive 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 70% of users giving it the full five stars. Positive reviews praise this fitness tracker for its battery life, performance, ease of use and great value for money. Negative reviews often mention low accuracy, unappealing design, and faulty apps. 

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.


Best Apple Watch alternative

Fitbit Sense 2 being tested by Live Science contributor Andrew Williams

(Image credit: Andrew Williams)
Best Apple-watch alternative

Specifications

Battery life: Around six days
GPS: Yes
Water resistance: Up to 50 metres
Display: 1.58” OLED

Reasons to buy

+
Great design
+
More sensors than any other Fitbit
+
Stress tracking 

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than any other Fitbit 
-
No offline audio 

If you're trying to draw comparisons between Fitbit vs Apple watch, 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.

What the users say

The Fitbit Sense 2 scores 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 64% of users giving it the full five stars. Positive reviews often mention its good looks, ease of use and high customizability, while negative reviews tend to criticize its tracking abilities, battery life and value for money.     

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. 


Best all-rounder

Fitbit Versa 4 being tested by Live Science contributor Andrew Williams

(Image credit: Andrew Williams)
Best all-rounder in the Fitbit line-up

Specifications

Battery: Around six days
GPS: Yes
Water resistance: 5ATM
Display: 1.58" AMOLED

Reasons to buy

+
Multi-day battery life
+
Nicely animated interface

Reasons to avoid

-
GPS can be slow to triangulate 
-
No music or third party apps

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.

What the users say

Fitbit Versa 4 is rated a respectable 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 69% of users giving it full five stars. Positive reviews praise this fitness tracker for its accurate tracking, user-friendly interface and advanced features. Negative reviews often cite inaccurate heart rate monitor and short battery life. 

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.


The smallest Fitbit

Image of Fitbit Luxe

(Image credit: Future/Lloyd Coombes)
The smallest Fitbit

Specifications

Battery: Around five days
GPS: No
Water resistance: 50ATM
Display: 0.76" AMOLED

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design
+
Bright AMOLED display 

Reasons to avoid

-
Small screen won’t be for everyone
-
No GPS 

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.

What the users say

Fitbit Luxe 2 is rated 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 67% of users giving it the full rating. Users like this fitness tracker for its compact design and crisp display, but criticise it for inaccurate fitness tracking and short battery life.  

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.


How we test

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.

FAQs

Can the best Fitbit help you to lose weight?

Fitness trackers like Fitibit can help people incorporate more physical activity into their routine, and therefore they are a convenient tool for achievin weight loss, Nathan Kennedy, qualified personal trainer and representative for sports nutrition specialists Bio-Synergy, told Live Science. "And the easier it is to be consistent with exercise, the more likely people are to achieve their health and fitness goals,” he said. "Fitness trackers not only encourage exercise and weight loss, but may also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol in people with Type 2 diabetes and other health conditions," Kennedy noted.

A publication by Harvard Medical School indicates that fitness trackers can help overweight or obese people to reduce their weight and body mass index over time, based on a review of 31 studies, involving more than 2,200 people. Participants were required to wear a fitness tracker then set and meet goals with it for step counting or daily activity. Compared to control groups not using a fitness tracker, those using commercially available brands like the Fitbit lost an average 6 pounds and two BMI points over 12 weeks.

"Accountability is much higher when using a fitness tracker as you get the sense personal motivation or if you’re in a group challenge with your friends," added Kennedy.

Our Expert

Nathan Kennedy
Nathan Kennedy

Nathan Kennedy is a fully qualified personal trainer, online coach and fitness expert. He has been part of the fitness industry since 2005, going to the gym and competing in bodybuilding shows. Kennedy has been a personal trainer for 6 years. He is also a representative for sports nutrition brand Bio-Synergy 

Lloyd Coombes

Lloyd Coombes freelance tech and fitness writer for Live Science. He's an expert in all things Apple as well as in computer and gaming tech, with previous works published on TopTenReviews, Space.com, Dexerto and TechRadar. You'll find him regularly testing the latest MacBook or iPhone, but he spends most of his time writing about video games as Editor in Chief at GGRecon.com. He also covers board games and virtual reality, just to round out the nerdy pursuits.

With contributions from