Is FitBit Still Worth it in 2020?
Depending on the model you choose, a Fitbit will run between $69.95 for the streamlined, non-fussy Fitbit Inspire tracker to $249.95 for the robust Fitbit Ionic smart watch. In total, there are eight trackers and watches to choose from, each with their own list of features to help consumers find the "perfect fit."
Personally speaking, I bought one of the original Fitbits a couple years after the company debuted its products. It was a straightforward, digital clip-on that helped keep me motivated on my roughly 60-pound weight loss journey. Unfortunately, because it was a discreet clip-on, I accidentally ran it through the wash one day and it was soggy toast.
Instead of re-purchasing, I decided to see what else was out there in the world of activity tracking. Over the years, I've tried ultra-fancy trackers — like the kind that'll tell you if your posture is bad or if you haven't taken a deep breath in a while — and I even decided to lean on my iPhone's step tracking for a while there.
The ultra-techy trackers feel overwhelming to me, the trackers that are too simplistic don't have the same motivating features Fitbit offers, and getting any sort of accurate tracking record with my phone's pedometer just isn't feasible. I eventually looked to Fitbit again (the Inspire), and it proved to be a goldilocks solution to my activity tracker dilemmas. Regarding the entire line of Fitbits, here are the pros and cons:
Pro: You've got options
Fitbit has a suite of eight core products, including three smartwatches and five trackers. Not including the children's Fitbit Ace 2, your most streamlined option is the Fitbit Inspire, which automatically tracks your steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and sleep. You can also manually track your weight and water intake.
At the top of the Fitbit line is the robust, GPS-equipped Fitbit Ionic. In addition to the base features, it offers guided fitness via health/wellness insights, on-screen workouts, music storage, and it monitors your heart 24/7. If you're unsure about which product is best for your lifestyle, you can take Fitbit's handy "Find Your Fit" quiz. The bands are also interchangeable if you prefer more personalization.
Pro: It really boosts your motivation
Trackers are inherently motivating since they provide more insight into your daily habits and allow you to adjust accordingly, but Fitbit goes one step further with built-in motivational boosts. The tracker will send you push notifications throughout the day (usually once per hour) to help keep your steps top-of-mind and to better help you reach your set goals.
This is probably my favorite feature of the Fitbit, and what sets it apart from some others I've tried. In addition, you gain access to the Fitbit community boards with your purchase, which is available on the smartphone app and website dashboard. These boards can also be a sense of inspiration and motivation for fellow Fitbit wearers.
Con: can be a little uncomfortable
One complaint about Fitbits is that they're not super comfortable. The default bands are made from a flexible rubber and are easily adjusted according to your wrist size, but they do feel a bit heavy and bulky. I personally find it uncomfortable to type on a laptop wearing mine, and I'm not particularly fond of wearing it overnight, either.
I've also found mine a little uncomfortable to wear underneath my boxing gloves or when finagling weights. To be fair, this would probably be true of most wearable trackers. Additionally, sweat does tend to accumulate underneath the rubber band. It's not terribly common, but this can result in some chafing and breakouts. The band should be washed after working out or at least daily.
The bottom line
If you're looking for a goldilocks fitness tracker that tracks the information you need and keeps you motivated — but doesn't overwhelm or underwhelm you — Fitbit is an ideal option. They're a little more expensive than some of the other options out there, but you might find the perks deliver more value to you at the end of the day.