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Latest Fitbit Charge 2 update adds workout pause, do not disturb mode, and more

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We’re big fans of the recently released Fitbit Charge 2, as we indicated in our recent review. Today, Fitbit gave owners of the device a nice early holiday present with a firmware update that brings several much-requested new features.

See also:

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

1 week ago

Perhaps the most handy new feature in this update is the ability to pause a workout at any time, right from the Charge 2. All you need to do is press the button on the side of your device while you’re in a workout, and your Charge 2 will pause your workout. Pressing on the same button again resumes the mode. We’re not sure why this feature wasn’t available previously, but we’re sure happy it’s here now.

A new guided breathing feature is also available when the tracker is in Relax mode. When you look away from the Charge 2 or just close your eyes, it can create a vibration that is supposed to tell you when you can inhale and exhale.

The Fitbit Charge 2’s firmware update also brings two ways to turn off all notifications in its new Do Not Disturb feature (yes!). You can activate DnD mode by holding down the side button when the device shows its main clock face. You can also activate it by pressing the side button until you’re at the notifications screen, then pressing and holding it until your notifications are turned off.

The update also brings enhancements to the Charge 2’s heart rate sensor. Users will now be able to see which heart rate zones (fat burn, cardio, or peak) they’re in during a fitness session.

In addition, the Charge 2 is getting a dedicated battery life screen, as well as a new clock face that shows the hour, minute and seconds.

Finally, Charge 2 owners will notice some other improvements, such as being able to view workout recaps up to one hour after they are finished, along with a plus sign indicator if you have more than one notification to check out. If a caller doesn’t show up in your contact list, the device will show that number as coming from an “unknown” source.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

Looking for our Fitbit Charge HR vs Garmin vívosmart HR comparison? Head here.

Fitbit vs Garmin: a battle between two fitness giants that’s been debated for quite some time.

If you’re looking to keep better track of your daily activity, the Fitbit Charge 2 and Garmin vívosmart HR+ are two devices that may be on your radar. While they aren’t the most feature-packed fitness trackers on the market, they do in fact offer a good handful of features that are worth checking out.

How should you spend your 150 fitness tracker dollars? Find out, in our full Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+ comparison.

Review notes: I’ve been using the Fitbit Charge 2 for about six and the Garmin vívosmart HR+ for about two weeks. The Nexus 6P has been my smartphone companion of choice throughout the duration of this review period.
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Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+: design

The Fitbit Charge 2 and Garmin vívosmart HR+ look very similar, at least a first glance. They’re both medium-sized, wrist-mounted fitness trackers with big displays and a sleek design.

As noted in our Fitbit Charge 2 review, Fitbit used to have a big design problem. While it was clear the company mostly focused on creating accurate, feature-packed trackers, it seemed as though aesthetics took a back seat. Those days are finally over, and the Charge 2 is one of the better looking trackers on the market. With a stainless steel chassis and a high-quality rubber strap, Fitbit’s latest tracker almost looks like a fashion accessory rather than a fitness band.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

That’s especially the case if you don’t mind spending some extra dough on accessories, as the Charge 2 also has interchangeable straps. Leather straps can be purchased from Fitbit’s website, and there are plenty of cheaper third-party options on Amazon.

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Fitbit Charge 2 review

November 3, 2016

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

Where Fitbit includes high-quality stainless steel on the Charge 2, Garmin uses a lighter, lower quality rubber and plastic

The vívosmart HR+, on the other hand, sports a design that’s sure close to that of the Charge 2, just a little less pretty. Where Fitbit includes high-quality stainless steel on the Charge 2, Garmin uses a lighter, lower quality rubber and plastic. The vívosmart HR+ also doesn’t support interchangeable straps. Overall, both devices just feel a lot different from one another. The Charge 2 feels sturdy and overall more well thought out, while the vívosmart HR+ is an okay-looking device. In a vacuum, the vívosmart HR+ looks and feels great, but throwing the Charge 2 into the mix leaves much to be desired with Garmin’s latest offering.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

Both devices have a single physical button, both of which are used for completely different functions. The Charge 2’s physical button (which is quite nice, I must say), is used to swipe through different modes like heart rate, activity modes, a stopwatch and an on-device guided breathing exercise.

Tapping on the vívosmart HR+’s button brings you to a swipeable menu that gives you access to activity modes, do not disturb, alarms, Bluetooth settings, sync, find my phone, past workouts, settings and device information. That may sound like a lot of options – and the interface does seem a bit cluttered at times – but it gets easier to use once you spend some time with it. I still prefer Fitbit’s minimalistic interface to Garmin’s, but you might feel differently.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

I actually prefer the vívosmart HR+'s display

Both the Charge 2 and vívosmart HR+ have displays, but they’re quite a bit different from one another. The Charge 2’s 1.5-inch OLED display is much brighter than the vívosmart HR+’s, though it can be a tad more difficult to read outdoors. It’s also not a touchscreen, which means you’ll have to tap on the bottom of the display to swipe through menus. It takes some time to get used to, but it actually becomes more intuitive the more you use it.

On paper, the vívosmart HR+’s display doesn’t seem all that great compared to the Charge 2’s, but I actually prefer it. It’s 1.0-inch touchscreen LCD display, meaning you’ll be able to swipe through menus with ease. It’s also an always-on display, so you never have to tap on it or raise your wrist to get the time to show up.

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The best smartwatches

2 days ago

The Garmin device also comes out ahead when it comes to smartphone notification options. The vívosmart HR+ can display call, text, email, social media and basically any other notification from your smartphone that you’d like. The Fitbit, on the other hand, only supports call, text and calendar event notifications. No matter which device you’re using, though, notifications can be a bit hard to read since their display’s aren’t that big.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

There’s also one area where the vívosmart HR+ blows the Charge 2 out of the water, literally. As is the case with most of its other fitness trackers, Garmin made the vívosmart HR+ water resistant up to 50 meters. The Charge 2, on the other hand, is only splash proof, so you shouldn’t go swimming with it or take it in the shower. Fitbit really needs to make more devices water resistant. It does have the Flex 2, but none of the company’s higher-end trackers have anything more than a lowly ‘splash proof’ rating.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+: specs, features and performance

 Fitbit Charge 2Garmin vívosmart HR+
Display1.5-inch multi-line OLED
Tap display
1.0-inch LCD
Touchscreen
Heart rate monitorYes, opticalYes, optical
GPSNo, Connected GPSYes, built-in GPS
Water resistantNo, splash proofYes, 5 ATM
Sleep trackingYes, automaticYes, automatic
Silent alarmsYesYes
NotificationsCall, text and calendar alertsCall, text, calendar alerts, and many more
Battery lifeUp to 5 daysUp to 5 days
SensorsOptical heart rate monitor
3-axis accelerometer
Altimeter
Vibration motor
Optical heart rate monitor
CompatibilityAndroid, iOS, Windows, webAndroid, iOS, Windows, web
Interchangeable bandsYesNo
ColorsStandard: Black, Blue, Plum, Teal
Special edition: Lavender/Rose Gold, Black/Gunmetal
Black/Shark Fin Gray, Imperial Purple/Kona Purple, Midnight Blue/Bolt Blue
DimensionsSmall: 139.7mm - 170.2mm (21.3mm wide)
Large: 170.2mm - 205.7mm (21.3mm wide)
XL: 205.7mm - 236.2mm (21.3mm wide)
Regular: 136mm - 192mm
X-Large: 180mm - 224mm
PriceStandard: $149.95
Special edition: $179.95
Additional classic bands: $29.95
Additional leather bands: $69.95
$149.99

Both devices can track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, sleep and heart rate. That’s a pretty standard affair for most other fitness trackers in this price range, and I can say both devices track all of these metrics quite accurately.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

The Charge 2 and vívosmart HR+ are both spot on in terms of step tracking and active minutes, but the vívosmart HR+ comes out ahead in most other metrics. This is because Garmin’s device comes with a built-in GPS, while the Charge 2 unfortunately does not. As a result, the vívosmart HR+ will be able to more accurately track distance and pace metrics, which is a huge plus for the runners out there.

Side note – how Garmin managed to pack a GPS into the vívosmart HR+ is beyond me. It’s not a whole lot bigger than the Charge 2, and it’s certainly not as big and bulky as the vívoactive HR.

Read more: Garmin vívoactive HR review

It’s worth noting that the Charge 2 is compatible with Fitbit’s Connected GPS feature, which allows you to use your phone’s GPS to get more accurate distance tracking and pace results. This of course means you’ll have to carry your phone with you when you’re exercising, which isn’t all that convenient for most people.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

In the case of the Fitbit Charge HR vs Garmin vívosmart HR, we told you that Fitbit’s SmartTrack technology was a standout feature, but that’s because Garmin’s device didn’t offer an alternative. Now the Charge 2 and vívosmart HR+ both offer automatic activity recognition, allowing each device to track workouts automatically inside their respective companion apps. Whether you’re going for an intense run or brisk walk, all of your workout data will be available inside the app when you’re done.

Both devices come with automatic activity recognition, which is a huge plus

Speaking of automatic activity recognition, both trackers will also automatically record your sleep. This is another area where the vívosmart HR+ pulls out ahead. While the Fitbit Charge 2 will display your total time asleep, how many times you woke up and how many times you were restless, Garmin’s device offers a little more insight in terms of sleep trends overtime. The vívosmart HR+ will be able to show you the total time you were asleep, how long you were in deep and light sleep, as well as the total time you were awake. It also displays your movement levels throughout the night. Plus, you can check out your average sleep data overtime, which is super helpful if you’re looking to catch some more z’s.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

As mentioned earlier, both the Fitbit and Garmin feature optical heart rate sensors. We’ve found both of these heart rate monitors to be plenty accurate when it comes to resting heart rate, though active heart rate readings can be a little off at times. For comparison’s sake, we tested each of these sensors against the Wahoo TICKR X chest strap on multiple occasions. The Charge 2 and vívosmart HR+’s heart rate sensors are quite accurate between 80-120bpm, but anything more than that will throw off each sensor.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

Fitbit has also included a few extra features in the Charge 2 that help it stand out from the competition. The first of these new features is a measurement of your Cardio Fitness Level, which is a personalized score based on an estimation of your VO2 Max (how well your body uses oxygen when you’re working out the hardest). Estimated VO2 Max is pretty much the gold standard for grading cardiovascular fitness. Basically, the higher your VO2 Max and Cardio Fitness Score, the better your cardiovascular fitness.

Another new feature on the Charge 2 is on-device guided breathing exercises, or Relax, as Fitbit calls it. Just press the physical button on the device until you get to the Relax screen, and your device will walk you through 2- to 5-minute breathing exercises that should help you reduce stress, lessen anxiety and lower blood pressure.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

Now let’s talk battery life. Both Fitbit and Garmin say their devices can last up to five days on a single charge, and we’ve found that to be somewhat true with the Charge 2 and very true with the vívosmart HR+. In the case of the Charge 2, we got the device to last around 4 – 4.5 days on a single charge with the heart rate monitor turned to automatic. It’s possible to squeeze out an extra half day or so with this feature turned off, but you should expect less than that if you’re wanting to record your heart rate.

The vívosmart HR+, on the other hand, has been very impressive in the battery department. Even with the heart rate monitor and GPS turned on, we’ve managed to achieve five full days of battery with no problems at all. Good job, Garmin.

Software

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

This is where things get interesting. Fitbit and Garmin are very different companies with very different philosophies, and that’s extremely telling when it comes to software.

Fitbit’s smartphone companion app is by far one of our favorite fitness applications out there. It’s simple, clean, super intuitive, and does a great job at give you a ton of information without seeming to cluttered at any given moment. This is a good thing, too, since you aren’t able to do a ton of stuff on the Charge 2 itself, you’ll need to open the app to look through your daily activity summaries.

See also:

The best Android fitness apps and workout apps

January 7, 2016

The main screen in the Fitbit app shows off your daily activity, as well as options to log food, water, or your weight. The Challenges section is home to plenty of daily and weekly goals that aim to help you go the extra mile (literally). You can also invite friends to take part in challenges with you. There’s also a dedicated Friends section of the app that lets you see how your friends are doing on their daily activity goals.

Whether you’re a first time or professional Fitbit user, you’ll probably love this app.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

Garmin’s Connect app, however, is a different story.

Let me preface this by saying I have a love/hate relationship with Garmin Connect. It throws tons of information at you on every screen, and it doesn’t care if it’s cluttered or not. Part of me really likes this – the fact that you can pull up basically any activity summary screen and find dozens of things to click on can be really helpful if you’re serious about tracking your fitness. On the other hand, after using the app almost every day for over a year, I’m still finding new things to click on. With that said, I’m also getting lost in the app’s settings menu almost every time I open it up. You’ll definitely need to poke around in the app to learn how to use it.

As is the case with the vívosmart HR+ itself, Garmin has made a powerful fitness tracking application that's in dire need of a makeover

Garmin Connect is divided up into a few main sections: Snapshots, Leaderboard, Calendar, News Feed and Insights. Snapshots features all of your stats for the current day, and you can swipe left or right to navigate through your steps, sleep and other stats. The Leaderboard section is where you can connect with friends who also have Garmin devices, and Calendar gives you a detailed view of your stats for each day you’ve worn the device. News Feed is where all of your workouts are listed, and the Insights page houses a list of tips and tricks from Garmin that will help you make the most of your workouts.

As is the case with the vívosmart HR+ itself, Garmin has created a sleek, powerful fitness tracking application that needs a makeover.

Which comes out on top?

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin vívosmart HR+

So, which one should you buy? That all depends, of course.

Both the Charge 2 and vívosmart HR+ are available for just $150, and that actually makes this decision a little easier. I can wholeheartedly say that I prefer the vívosmart HR+ over the Charge 2. Not only does it have a built-in GPS, an always-on touchscreen display, and killer battery life, overall it provides much more than other fitness trackers in this price range. No, it’s not the prettiest fitness tracker out there, but it sure is powerful.

The Fitbit Charge 2 is still a great option, though, especially if you don’t need a GPS and prefer something a little more stylish.

All in all, both fitness trackers are accurate and packed with features; your decision simply depends on what you value more.

Buy the Fitbit Charge 2
Buy the Garmin vívosmart HR+

Fitbit Flex 2 review

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware that there are tons of different fitness trackers on the market that provide a wide range of tracking capabilities. There are plenty of high-end offerings, like the Garmin vívoactive HR and Polar M600, that are geared towards serious athletes. There are also a growing number of affordable, entry-level options for those who simply want to keep tabs on their daily activity levels.

The Fitbit Flex 2 is the latest upgrade to one of Fitbit’s more entry-level fitness trackers. At first glance, it may appear to be little more than a fancy pedometer, but that would be a very unfair judgement of a device that actually has a fair few tricks up its sleeve, or, up your sleeve.

Join us as we learn the ins and outs of this device in our full Fitbit Flex 2 review!

Review notes: I’ve been using the Fitbit Flex 2 as my main fitness tracker for over two weeks. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has been my smartphone companion of choice for the duration of this review.
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Design

First up, let’s take a look at the design. This is a little hard to judge, seeing as the design can be pretty much whatever you’d like it to be.

That is to say that the main ‘brains’ of the unit can be removed and then inserted into a range of different bands and even pendants. The device itself is absolutely miniscule at 31.7 x 8.9 x 6.8mm and weighs in at just 0.83oz, letting it fit into a range of different accessories. In theory, this means that everyone should be able to find something that they like the looks of and that will fit their lifestyle.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

You can very easily wear the Flex 2 under a shirt sleeve, and it doesn't get in the way while typing

In the box, you get two plain-ish rubber bands – one large and one small – with enough crossover in the middle for those with medium-sized wrists to happily wear either. The bands have some faint patterns on them and look stylish enough, but more importantly they are thin and light enough as to be completely unobtrusive. You can very easily wear these under a shirt sleeve, and it doesn’t get in the way while typing or if you choose to wear a watch with it. This is a very important point for a fitness tracker – you need to be able to wear it all day without it becoming a hassle.

If you purchase your Flex 2 from Fitbit’s website, you’ll be able to choose from Black, Lavender, Magenta or Navy color options. Fitbit’s accessory page also offers a handful of other colors, in addition to different styles of bangles and pendants. Amazon has a bunch of third-party bands, too, including different patterned bands, leather straps and even a clip for attaching the Flex 2 to your bra. And if you’re really creative, it would even be easy enough to create your own band with a bit of 3D printing.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

As you’ve probably noticed by now, there’s no screen on this device like the one you’d find on the Fitbit Charge 2. What you do get, though, are five small LEDs on the top of the device. These can be used for very basic notifications (more on that below), or to show you how close you are to accomplishing your step goal. Double tap on the band and you’ll be shown a corresponding number of lights to indicate your performance so far. For instance, if your step target is 10,000 and you’ve done 4,000 steps, two lights will show.

See also:

Fitbit Charge 2 review

November 3, 2016

We do have a few criticisms on the design, though. For starters, attaching the band to your wrist is an absolute pain. As is the case with the Fitbit Alta, you’re not going to be easily tightening and loosening the band on the Flex 2. The clasps are a little difficult to put on at first, but it becomes easier once you get the hang of it.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

Also, the fact that the Flex 2 comes with a proprietary charging cable means that if you lose it, you’re out of luck until you can purchase another one. Replacement chargers are available at Fitbit’s website for $19.95, or you can grab a third-party charger from Amazon for around $10. We would have much rather preferred a standard microUSB or USB Type-C charging method, but we understand why that wouldn’t have been possible due to the device’s waterproof rating. Basically every other fitness tracker out there comes with a proprietary charging method, too, so this isn’t really anything out of the ordinary.

Tapping the device to check our daily steps and dismiss alarms is also something we’ve struggled with. So much so, that we’ve often found ourselves wondering if it has actually run out of battery or is just being finicky. Maybe this is just Fitbit’s clever way of getting us to burn a few more calories…

Related:

The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

5 days ago

Features and performance

Fitbit Flex 2 review

The Fitbit Flex 2 has no heart rate monitor or GPS, which means it isn’t going to be a good choice for serious athletes. But that’s clearly not who this is aimed at.

It works well as a step counter and seems to be pretty consistent with the results from our vívoactive HR (yesterday the Fitbit counted 13,407, compared to the vívoactive’s 12,935). This information, along with some basic metrics such as height and weight, will then estimate your calorie burn for the day.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

This is, of course, less accurate than using a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor. We burned 5,767 calories according to the vívoactive on one particularly active day, but the Fitbit only counted 4,169 of them. It’s also worth mentioning that, like most fitness tracking companies, Fitbit does not ask for your body fat percentage. Without that information, any attempt at calculating your metabolic rate is going to be inaccurate, thereby skewing the final numbers.

The Flex 2 also handles basic sleep tracking and will automatically detect when you doze off. We haven’t been overly impressed with this aspect however, as it often accuses us of having gone to sleep much earlier than we did or breaks our sleep up into small bits. When it does get it right, it’s still a little lacklustre in terms of the information it presents. It’ll only tell you you the number of times you woke up and the number of times you were restless, for instance.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

Fitbit's autodetection technology is really, really good

What it does do remarkably well though, and what makes this much more than just a pedometer, is autodetection for activities. If you go for a run or a walk, the Flex 2 will automatically detect that activity and log it for you. Fitbit’s autodetection technology works very well, and the algorithms it uses must be mind-boggling. Throughout our testing period, the Flex 2 has successfully autodetected walks, runs and even swims. I’m personally a pretty shoddy swimmer, so the latter was especially impressive. After 17 minutes of breaststroke at a local fitness center, I was able to review the number of lengths and the rough number of calories that would have burned. And yes, that means that the device is also waterproof.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

This is actually a bigger deal than it seems, as the Flex 2 is Fitbit’s very first water resistant fitness tracker. Garmin, Withings, Polar, and most other big-name fitness tracking companies have been making water resistant wearables for some time now, so it’s nice to see Fitbit finally join the club.

Fitbit has finally made a water resistant fitness tracker

So we’ve already talked about automatic activity recognition, but exactly which activities can the Flex 2 track? With the Flex 2, you’ll be able to track walking, running, cycling, elliptical training, sports, aerobic exercise and swimming, though unfortunately there’s no option to log a weights workout. This means the Flex 2 likely won’t appeal to gym rats, which is a shame with a name like “Flex”. Other than that unfortunate omission though, we do believe that Fitbit is the best in the business when it comes to activity detection at the moment.

The Flex 2 will also remind you to move if you’ve been sitting for too long, which will definitely come in handy if you sit at a desk all day. This feature is par for the course in the fitness tracker world, but it is well implemented here.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

While the Flex 2 doesn’t have a display, it does offer a very basic form of notification support for calls and texts. The device will light up and vibrate when your phone receives an incoming call or text message, but that’s it. Obviously there’s no way to respond to or even dismiss the message from your wrist, which means you’ll still have to pull out your phone for everything. After all, you’ll feel your phone vibrate in your pocket anyway, which makes notification support on the Flex 2 is pretty meaningless. Still, it’s there if you want it and easy enough to turn off if you don’t.

There is support for a couple of alternative messaging services like WhatsApp, but you can only set notifications for one provider at a time. This means if you have your wristband set up to alert you to WhatsApp, you won’t get SMS message alerts.

On a more positive note, the Flex 2, like most other Fitbit devices, supports silent alarms. While it may be a small feature, it is particularly useful if you need to wake up before your partner.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

In terms of battery life, the Fitbit Flex 2 was able to last us roughly four days on a single charge. Fitbit says you can squeeze five days of battery out of this device, but we’ve found that to be particularly difficult, especially if you’re working out every day. This isn’t great news when you consider many other fitness trackers with screens can last significantly longer. Then again, it makes more sense when factoring in the tiny size of the unit. What we do find irritating, though, is that you only get a small notification to warn you when your tracker is running low on charge. This little notification is pretty easy to miss, and it actually led to us failing to record quite an active day when the Flex 2 was actually out of battery. It would have been nice to have a flashing light or something that would perhaps give us a little more prior warning.

 Fitbit Flex 2
DisplayLED display with five indicator lights
Heart rate monitorNo
GPSNo
Water resistantYes, up to 50 meters
Sleep trackingYes, automatic
Silent alarmsYes
NotificationsYes, calls and texts
Battery lifeUp to 5 days
Sensors3-axis accelerometer
Vibration motor
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web
Interchangeable bandsYes
ColorsBlack, Lavender, Magenta, Navy
DimensionsSmall: 139.7mm - 170.2mm (11.2mm wide)
Large: 170.2mm - 205.7mm (11.2mm wide)
Price$99.95

Software

Fitbit Flex 2 review

Fitbit has always had one of the best Android apps in the fitness tracking landscape, and that shines here with the Flex 2. The interface is clean, simple and intuitive, and is sure to delight casual and power users.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

The app does come with a couple of caveats however, as one or two odd choices mar the experience. The biggest example for us is the fact that the swimming autodetection is off by default, so you’ll need to turn it on by heading to Activities>Settings>Swimming>Auto-Recognize.

I wasn’t aware the option was turned off by default, which meant the Flex 2 didn’t record my first swim. That meant I had to go again, but to be fair, it certainly achieved the goal of keeping me active.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

While there’s no GPS built in, you can still track your routes by using the Fitbit app. This syncs with the footstep data coming from the band and thereby gives you a little more information, as well as plotting your route on a map. This isn’t as good as having a built-in GPS, of course, as it means you have to take your phone with you on a run. It also won’t give you as much detailed information as you’d get with a true running watch. It also won’t record your stride length, VO2 max or anaerobic threshold, but the app should provide enough information to satisfy users who are new to tracking their running and workout stats.

While there’s no GPS built in, you can still track your routes in the Fitbit app

Oh, and if you find that the Fitbit app isn’t as robust as you’d like in some areas, you’ll be happy to hear that you can pair your RunKeeper or Endomondo accounts with Fitbit’s app. This means that whatever your Flex 2 records during your workouts, that information will be sent over to your favorite fitness tracking services.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

This is also the case for tracking calorie burn. While Fitbit lets you sync with many popular services like MyFitnessPal, it also has the functionality built in, even allowing you to scan barcodes to automatically enter things you’ve eaten. Fitbit is one of the best brands when it comes to third party support.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

The app will give you plenty of encouragement, too, with badges awarded for various milestones, weekly recaps and a strong social element. There are even challenges that pit you against other users.

Fitbit Flex 2 review

Gallery

Conclusion

Fitbit Flex 2 review

 

All in all, the Fitbit Flex 2 is a well-designed fitness tracker with a lot of neat features that serves as an introduction to Fitbit’s excellent software and ecosystem. It’s a small, convenient device that can take on any look to match your style and that will easily survive a dip in the pool. While it might lack advanced features, it is nevertheless smarter than you might expect thanks to the highly capable app and brilliant activity autodetection.

It’s not perfect, though. Serious gym rats will be disappointed at the lack of tracking for strength workouts, battery life could be longer and the notifications are essentially pointless. It’s also fairly expensive at $99.95 when you bear in mind that some fitness trackers will offer heart rate monitoring and other advanced features for not much more.

But if you like the svelte and versatile design and you’re just looking for something that will reliably track your steps and activity, then you might not need those extra features anyway. And in that case, the Fitbit Flex 2 is probably one of the best basic trackers available.

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

Fitness trackers have come an extremely long way over the years. No longer are they glorified pedometers; they’re much more than that. Most standard fitness trackers nowadays can track your steps taken, distance traveled, how many calories you’ve burned for the day, and even your sleeping patterns. They’re handy little devices if you want a better look at how active you are throughout the day, and there are plenty to choose from.

Related:

Which Fitbit is right for you?

4 weeks ago

We understand it can be a little daunting trying to choose which fitness tracker best suits your needs, so we’ve compiled a list of the best fitness trackers on the market. We’ve divided our list up into separate categories to help you narrow down your options. As always, if you feel like we missed something, be sure to tell us in the comment section below.

Without any further delay, here are the best fitness trackers you can buy right now.

Editor’s Note: We will update this list as more devices hit the market.
Update, December 2016: This month we removed the Garmin vívosmart HR to make room for the vívosmart HR+.

The best fitness tracker

Garmin vívosmart HR+

The best fitness tracker you can buy right now is the Garmin vívosmart HR+. It’s one of the most feature-packed, well-rounded wearables you’ll find.

For starters, it has a big touchscreen display that’s easy to read outdoors. And thanks to the larger screen, that means you’ll be able to view more information on the tracker itself without having to pick up your phone to open the Garmin app. It also has a waterproof rating of up to 50 meters, which is a feature many other trackers don’t offer.

The vívosmart HR+ is one of the most feature-packed, well-rounded wearables you'll find

How does it differ from our previous fitness tracking champion, the vívosmart HR? For starters, it comes with a built-in GPS while remaining just about the same size as its predecessor. The addition of a GPS brings some new running features like personal records, virtual pacer, Auto Pause, Auto Lap and walk/run mode. It will also track your activity and workouts automatically with Garmin’s powerful Move IQ technology, something the vívosmart HR does not offer.

The vívosmart HR+ has been around for a few months now, but it just recently dropped $50 in price. That brings the grand total to only $150, which is an absolute steal for what you’re getting here. With a built-in GPS, great water resistance rating, automatic activity recognition, and the company’s wonderful Auto Goal feature, the vívosmart HR+ is by far the best fitness tracker available in this price range.

Specs

  • Display: 1.0-inch LCD touchscreen display
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 5 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, email, alarm, idle alerts and more
  • Colors: Black/Shark Fin Gray, Imperial Purple/Kona Purple, Midnight Blue/Bolt Blue

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Buy now from Garmin

Runner-up

Fitbit Charge 2

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you’re buying a fitness tracker in this price range, it’s hard not to consider the Charge 2.

It’s clear Fitbit really focused on design when making the Charge 2. This device not only looks more like a piece of jewelry and less like a standard fitness tracker this time around, you also have the option to change out the bands if you’d like.

The Charge 2 also has a bigger display this time, meaning you get more room for smartphone notifications. Plus, Fitbit also introduced a few new features to the Charge 2 that should help users stay healthy and relaxed overtime: Cardio Fitness Level, which will give you a cardiovascular rating based on an estimate of your VO2 Max, and Relax, a new on-device guided breathing feature that will walk you through short breathing exercises to help you lower blood pressure, reduce stress and lessen anxiety.

Overall, it’s an all-around great fitness tracker, especially considering its $150 price point.

Specs

  • Display: 1.5-inch multi-line OLED tap display
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Sweat, rain, and splash proof, but not waterproof
  • Battery life: Up to 5 days
  • Notifications: Text, call, calendar, alarm and idle alerts
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Plum, Teal, Lavender/Rose Gold, Black/Gunmetal

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Buy now from Amazon

Honorable mention

Fitbit Alta

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you don’t need a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor, you should get the Fitbit Alta. Not only is it affordable, it’s also one of the most attractive fitness trackers Fitbit has ever produced. It’s small enough to look like a bracelet on your wrist, and if you don’t like the standard rubber straps you can swap it out for a more premium metal or leather one.

It has most of the same features other Fitbit devices bring to the table like sleep tracking, automatic activity recognition and 5-day battery life. It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, though, which some would see as a major negative on the spec sheet. With that said, heart rate monitors on wrist-mounted fitness trackers don’t normally provide the most accurate metrics, so this caveat should be taken with a grain of salt.

All in all, the Fitbit Alta does most of the things you’d want in a fitness tracker without the ugly aesthetics. You can pick one up on Amazon for only $118.

Specs

  • Display: OLED tap display
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Sweat, rain, and splash proof, but not waterproof
  • Battery life: Up to 5 days
  • Notifications: Text, call, calendar, alarm and idle alerts
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Plum, Teal

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Buy now from Amazon

Best GPS fitness tracker

Garmin vívoactive HR

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you need something a little more powerful than our first few options, Garmin’s vívoactive HR might be for you. It’s not too expensive as far as GPS trackers go, and it comes with tons of useful features.

For starters, it will accurately track your daily activity when you go running, cycling, swimming and more, all thanks to the built-in GPS. Of course it also has an optical heart rate monitor that will help you keep tabs on your resting and active heart rate. One other thing to note – this thing is bulky. I had a hard time getting used to wearing it for an extended period of time, though I must say that the bigger screen is really nice for viewing your daily stats and notifications.

Again, this isn’t the newest fitness tracker on the market. But if you need something with GPS and heart rate tracking capabilities and don’t mind spending around $250, you should definitely consider the vívoactive HR.

Specs

  • Display: Touchscreen
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 8 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, email, alarm, idle alerts and more
  • Colors: Black (with interchangeable bands in Lava Red, Force Yellow and White)

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Runner-up

Samsung Gear Fit 2

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 isn’t as feature packed as the vívoactive HR, but it’s definitely still worth including on our list.

It’s smaller than many other GPS-enabled fitness trackers out there, and it actually looks quite good. It sports a 1.5-inch Super AMOLED color display that will certainly help you achieve a few days of battery life on a single charge. It also comes with an optical heart rate monitor, plenty of on-board storage for storing music, and automatic activity tracking.

The Gear Fit 2 is also priced very competitively at just $150.

Specs

  • Display: 1.5-inch Super AMOLED
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes, IP68
  • Battery life: Up to 3-4 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, email, alarm and more
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Pink

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best stylish fitness tracker

Withings Activité Steel / Activité Pop

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you’re looking for a wearable that focuses on form over functionality, you should check out the Withings Activité Pop or Steel. No, these devices aren’t just analog watches, they’re also activity trackers.

They’re both comfortable to wear all day, and more importantly, they don’t look anything like the other fitness trackers on the market. They also come in a variety of different color options and styles, so you’re bound to find one that suits your needs. Both devices will track your steps taken, calories burned, sleep and much more. They’re also waterproof and come with a CR2025 button cell battery that will last up to 8 months at a time. Not bad!

The Withings Activité Steel sports a 316L stainless steel casing, while the Activité Pop looks a bit less premium and comes in more color options. These devices are available on Amazon for just $150 and $130, respectively.

Specs

  • Display: Analog
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 8 months
  • Notifications: Alarm
  • Steel colors: Black, White, Raspberry, Mineral, Evergreen, Khaki, Mocha, Yellow, Black Leather, Red Leather
  • Pop colors – Azure, Shark Grey, Sand, Pink

Read more

Buy the Withings Activité Steel from Amazon
Buy the Withings Activité Pop from Amazon

Runner-up

Garmin vívomove

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

The vívomove is Garmin’s first attempt at an analog fitness watch, and it’s quite a good attempt indeed.

Instead of featuring a separate step counting dial like on the Withings devices, Garmin has implemented a ‘move bar’ that fills up with each step you take. I really like this implementation, and it’s quite easy to see just how far away you are from achieving your daily step goal. Not only will it track your steps taken, it’ll also monitor your sleep.

It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor or GPS, and it won’t feed you smartphone notifications. It is waterproof, though, which is a feature many competitor products are missing. It also has an impressive battery life of about a year, so you’ll never have to charge the device; just replace the button cell battery and you’re good to go.

There are three models available, but you should definitely go with the Sport model (pictured above). It’s the cheapest and has the same functionality as the others.

Specs

  • Display: Analog
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 1 year
  • Notifications: No
  • Colors: Black, White

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best for notifications

Fitbit Blaze

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

The Blaze might not be our favorite Fitbit device out there, but it’s still darn good at a handful of things.

This is Fitbit’s most smartwatch-y device on the market. It has a touchscreen display, interchangeable bands, and it arguably looks more like a smartwatch than it does a fitness tracker. It can also feed you notifications from your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can get call, text and calendar notifications, though you aren’t able to get Facebook, Twitter, email or basically anything else. Not that anyone needs Twitter mentions on their wrists when they’re on a run, but the option would be nice, at least.

Other than notifications, the Blaze does a lot of other things right. It’ll get you 5 days of battery on a single charge, features a display that’s bright and clear enough to see outdoors, and it’s comfortable enough to wear all day. There are also leather and metal band options if you’re looking to wear it to work or out to dinner.

Specs

  • Display: 1.25-inch LCD
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Sweat, rain, and splash proof, but not waterproof
  • Battery life: Up to 5 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, calendar and alarm
  • Colors: Black/Gunmetal, Black/Silver, Blue/Silver, Plum/Silver

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best budget-friendly fitness tracker

Garmin vívofit 3

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

Garmin’s vívofit 3 definitely won’t win any awards in the design department, but it does come with a surprisingly long feature set for its price.

It sports an always-on display, a battery that will last up to 1 year at a time, and also reminds you to move if you’re not on track to meet your step goal. It’s also waterproof up to 50 meters.

As you can see in the photo above, there are plenty of different strap options available as well. So if you aren’t a fan of the standard Black or White model, you can pick up a new strap that will make it look a little more like a bracelet and less like a fitness tracker.

Specs

  • Display: LED
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Yes, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters)
  • Battery life: Up to 1 year
  • Notifications: Idle alerts
  • Colors: Black, White, Camo
Buy now from Amazon

Runner-up

Xiaomi Mi Band 2

Best fitness trackers (December 2016)

If you’re looking for an activity tracker for around $30, you should get the Xiaomi Mi Band 2.

Xiaomi’s third attempt at a fitness tracker might not be the best on the market, but it does excel in a few key areas. It’ll track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and even your sleep. It also has an optical heart rate monitor that can help you keep track of your resting heart rate. It also comes with an IP67 waterproof rating and a battery that will last up to 20 days on a single charge.

While the Mi Fit companion app isn’t the greatest and the display can be hard to read at times, the Mi Band 2 is still a great option for those looking to keep an eye on their daily activity.

Specs

  • Display: .42-inch OLED
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes, optical
  • GPS: No
  • Waterproof: Yes, IP67
  • Battery life: Up to 20 days
  • Notifications: Call, text, alarm, idle alerts and more
  • Colors:

Read more

Buy now from OPPOMART

So there you have it, the best fitness trackers on the market right now! How did you like our list? Did we leave anything out? If so, let us know in the comments!

Next:

The best Android Wear watches

13 hours ago

The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

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Fitness trackers are extremely useful in our everyday lives. They can track our number of steps taken, heart rate, quality of sleep, number of calories burned, and they can even help steer users away from serious issues like cardiovascular disease. But what happens when your fitness tracker stops working? That happens more often than one would expect, especially considering how often fitness trackers get used from day to day.

If you happen to own a Fitbit device, and I’m sure many of you do, you may have experienced a problem or two throughout your device’s lifetime. If you’re having issues with your Fitbit device, we’re here to help. Here are some of the most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them.

Note: Not every Fitbit device will have these issues, and it is more than likely that you won’t come across any of these problems at all.
Show More
Related:

Which Fitbit is right for you?

3 weeks ago

Problem #1 – Syncing issues

Fitbit trackers sync with Android devices via Bluetooth, and unfortunately that technology can sometimes be unreliable. If you’re having trouble syncing data from your Fitbit to your Android device, your solution may lie in your Fitbit app’s Settings menu.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure the Fitbit app is installed on your Android phone. You’ll also need to make sure your phone has Bluetooth turned on (Settings>Bluetooth>On), and that you’re only trying to connect your Fitbit to one Bluetooth-enabled phone or tablet.
  • Ensure the Always Connected option in the Fitbit app is on. To do this, open the Fitbit app, select Account, select your tracker, then scroll down to the bottom and make sure the Always Connected toggle is turned on.
  • Ensure the All-Day Sync option in the Fitbit app is on. To do this, open the Fitbit app, select Account, select your tracker, then make sure the All-Day Sync toggle is turned on.
  • You may need to force quit the Fitbit app. From your mobile device, head to Settings>Apps>Fitbit>Force Stop.
  • Try turning Bluetooth off and on again. From your mobile device, head to Settings>Bluetooth, then turn the Bluetooth toggle off then on.
  • Try restarting your mobile device.
  • If all else fails, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Fitbit app.

Problem #2 – Fitbit not receiving notifications from Android device

The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

Sometimes Fitbit trackers won’t receive notifications from Android devices. If this is happening to you, you may need to restart your fitness tracker or mess with your phone’s Bluetooth settings.

Potential solutions:

  • First, make sure you’re within 20 feet of your mobile device. As stated earlier, Fitbit trackers connect to smartphones via Bluetooth, so you’ll need to make sure you’re in range to stay connected. If your tracker and mobile device are too far away from one another, you won’t receive notifications or they may be delayed.
  • Make sure you don’t have another Bluetooth device connected to your smartphone. This may cause interference that prevents notifications from appearing on your Fitbit tracker.
  • If you’re receiving delayed notifications on your Fitbit, your Bluetooth connection may be unstable. From the Fitbit app, select Account, select your tracker, then Call and text notifications, then make sure the Enable Notification Widget is turned on.
  • Fitbit Surge users: swipe over to Settings and make sure Notifications is set to On.
  • Fitbit Blaze users: hold the top-right button for a few seconds and make sure Notifications is set to On.
  • Make sure your smartphone isn’t in Do Not Disturb mode.
  • You may need to force quit the Fitbit app. From your mobile device, head to Settings>Apps>Fitbit>Force Stop.
  • Try turning Bluetooth off and on again. From your mobile device, head to Settings>Bluetooth, then turn the Bluetooth toggle off then on.
  • Try restarting your mobile device.
  • Try restarting your Fitbit device. For instructions on how to do so, a walkthrough can be found below.
  • If all else fails, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Fitbit app.

Problem #3 – Fitbit not charging properly

The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

Nobody likes to wake up in the morning to a dead Fitbit. If your Fitbit tracker isn’t charging properly, you may need to switch charging cables or clean your device.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure your Fitbit tracker and charging cable are clean. Dust and debris can accumulate over time, which could prevent the device from charging properly. Here’s a guide on how to clean your tracker.
  • Try plugging your Fitbit charger into a different USB port. Using a UL-certified wall charger will work, as will a simple USB input on a computer. Your Fitbit may not charge properly if you’re using a USB hub.
  • Make sure your Fitbit device’s pins are properly lined up on the charging cable. If the charging pins on your Fitbit device aren’t perfectly lined up on your charger, your device won’t charge properly. We’ve found this to be particularly common when charging the Alta.
  • You might need to restart your Fitbit device. For instructions on how to do so, a walkthrough can be found below.
  • If you notice your Fitbit’s charger is a little beat up, you might need to replace it. You can buy a new charger at Fitbit’s website.

Problem #4 – Problems with Quick View and tap recognition

The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

Most of the latest Fitbit devices come with a feature called Quick View, which allows you to simply raise your wrist to wake the display. Some of these devices – like the Alta, Charge 2 and Charge HR – also come with tap-enabled displays, meaning you can’t swipe through menus like you would on a normal touchscreen device. Instead, all it takes is a simple tap near or on the display to swipe through your daily stats.

Unfortunately, many Fitbit users claim to have problems with both Quick View and tap recognition being too slow to respond. If you’re in this boat, the answer may lie in your Fitbit app’s Settings menu.

Potential solutions for Quick View problems:

  • In order for Quick View to work properly, your Fitbit device needs to know which wrist it’s being worn on, and whether you’re right handed or left handed. To check if this is the problem, open the Fitbit app, select Account, select your tracker, then make sure the Quick View toggle is turned to on.
  • On that same screen, you’ll see options to change your wrist placement and “handedness”. Make sure you’re wearing your Fitbit on the correct wrist, and that you’ve chosen whether or not you’re right or left handed. This will have a big effect on whether or not Quick View works properly.

Potential solutions for tap recognition problems:

  • Make sure you’re tapping your Fitbit device in the right spot. Fitbit recommends aiming toward the bottom of the display, where the tracker meets the band. Also, make sure you’re not tapping too hard or too softly.
  • If there’s a second-or-two delay from the time you tap your device, that’s normal. Just make sure you’re giving your device time to react. If you’re having trouble with tap recognition, try slowing down your taps.

Problem #5 – Fitbit isn’t updating properly

The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

Some people have problems updating their Fitbit device’s firmware. If this happens to you, you may need to restart your tracker or try syncing with another mobile device or computer.

Potential solutions:

  • Try restarting your Fitbit device. For instructions on how to do so, a walkthrough can be found below.
  • After that, try updating your device again. If it’s still not working, try restarting your mobile device.
  • If you’re trying to sync your Fitbit with your mobile device, try removing the Bluetooth connection from your mobile device.
    • To do this, navigate to Bluetooth in your mobile device’s settings menu, find your Fitbit device, then choose Forget.
  • You might need to try updating your Fitbit via another mobile device or computer. To do so on a computer, head to this link, log into your Fitbit account and try updating your firmware.
  • If you still can’t update, try removing your Fitbit device from your Fitbit account.
    • If you’re using a mobile device, head to Account>[Fitbit device]>Remove this device.
    • If you’re using Fitbit’s website, log into your account, click the gear icon on the top-right of your screen, then click Settings>Devices>[Fitbit device]>Remove this device from your account.
      • Next, you’ll need to add your tracker back to your Fitbit account. Under the Account portion of the Fitbit app, choose Set Up a Device and follow the instructions. Once your device has been re-connected, tap Update Now.

Problem #6 – Fitbit’s silent alarm stopped working

The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

Most Fitbit devices have the ability to wake you up in the morning via silent alarms. If your silent alarms aren’t working, there unfortunately aren’t a ton of options. You’ll need to check your Fitbit’s vibration motor using the steps below. If that doesn’t work, Fitbit recommends you contact Customer Support.

Potential solutions:

  • First, make sure you have a silent alarm set on your Fitbit device. To do this, open the Fitbit app, choose Account, select your Fitbit device, then choose Silent Alarm.

If that wasn’t the problem, here’s how to test your Fitbit’s vibration motor:

  • Fitbit Blaze – Swipe over to the Timer screen, then tap it. Tap Stopwatch, then tap the play icon. Your tracker should vibrate.
  • Fitbit Alta – Clip your Alta to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Press the button on the charging cable to check vibration.
  • Fitbit Charge 2 – Clip your Charge 2 to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Your tracker should vibrate when you connect the cable.
  • Fitbit Charge and Charge HR – Press and hold the side button on your tracker to enter exercise mode. Your tracker should vibrate.
  • Fitbit Flex 2 – Plug your charging cable into the USB port on your computer, then remove the tracker from the wristband. Press the tracker into the charging cable. Your tracker should vibrate.
  • Fitbit Flex – Tap below the row of lights on your Flex device. You should feel your tracker vibrate and enter sleep mode.
  • Fitbit Surge – Plug your Surge into the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Your tracker should vibrate.
  • Fitbit One – Clip your One into the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Your tracker should vibrate.

Problem #7 – Fitbit band breaks

The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

Fitbit devices are pretty high quality pieces of technology, but they’re definitely not invincible. If your Fitbit’s band is starting to break, you’ll need to take advantage of the company’s warranty policy.

It’s worth noting that if you own a Fitbit Alta, Blaze, Charge 2 or Flex 2 and are out of warranty, you can simply buy a new band without replacing the whole unit. If you have an older tracker like the Charge HR, Surge or Flex, you’ll want to follow the steps below to get it replaced.

Potential solutions:

  • As noted on Fitbit’s Returns and Warranty page, you have the option to return your Fitbit device for a full refund within 45 days of your purchase date, provided you ordered the device from Fitbit.com.
    • In addition, products ordered in November and December may be returned through January 31 of the following year, or 45 days (whichever is longer).
  • Fitbit also offers a one-year limited warranty to the original purchaser of the product, guaranteeing that the Fitbit product is free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use. This means that Fitbit will fix the damages done to your Fitbit device within the first year, provided you’re the original purchaser of the device. If you’re not, unfortunately you may be out of luck.
  • For more details on the company’s policies, be sure to visit Fitbit’s Returns page, or contact the company’s customer support team to file a claim.

Looking for replacement bands for your device? You can of course head to Fitbit’s website to buy a replacement, or head to the Amazon links below for a cheaper alternative:


How to restart your Fitbit device

  • Fitbit Blaze – Press and hold the left and bottom right buttons (Back and Select) at the same time until you see the Fitbit logo. Let go of the buttons, and your tracker will restart.
  • Fitbit Alta – Clip your Alta to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Press the button on the charging cable three times within eight seconds. A few seconds later, you’ll see the Fitbit logo on your device’s screen. After you see the logo, unplug your tracker from the charging cable.
  • Fitbit Charge 2 – Clip your Charge 2 to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Press and hold the side button on your tracker for four seconds. You’ll then see the Fitbit logo, at which point your tracker will begin the restart process. Unplug your tracker from the cable.
  • Fitbit Charge and Charge HR – Plug your Charge or Charge HR to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Press and hold the side button for 10-12 seconds. You’ll see the Fitbit logo and a version number appear on your tracker’s screen. Let go of the button and unplug your device from the cable.
  • Fitbit Flex 2 – Plug your charging cable into the USB port on your computer, then remove the tracker from the wristband. Press the tracker into the charging cable. Make sure the pins on the tracker are aligned with the pins on the charging dock. Press the button on the charging cable (below the tracker compartment) three times within five seconds. A few seconds later, the lights will begin flashing simultaneously. Remove the Flex 2 from the charging cable.
  • Fitbit Flex – Plug your charging cable into the USB port on your computer, then remove the tracker from the wristband. Press the tracker into the charging cable. Insert one end of a paperclip into the small pinhole on the back of the charger for 3-4 seconds. Remove the Flex from the charging cable.
  • Fitbit Surge – Press and hold the left and bottom right buttons (Home and Select) for 10-15 seconds. You’ll see the screen flash and start to dim, at which point you can let go of the buttons. After your screen has turned off, wait 10 seconds and press the left button (Home) to turn your device back on.
  • Fitbit One – Plug your charging cable into your computer, then plug the One into the cable. Make sure the gold contacts on your tracker are aligned with the pins on the charger. Hold down your Fitbit One’s button for 10-12 seconds. Remove your tracker from the charging cable, then press the button until the screen turns on.

Still having issues? If so, be sure to speak up in the comments below. We’ll do our best to help!

Next:

The best fitness trackers

4 weeks ago

Deal: Fitbit Alta on sale for just $85 on Amazon ($45 off)

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Looking for a last minute holiday gift for your fitness-focused friend? Boy, have we got a deal for you. The Fitbit Alta, one of the best fitness trackers on the market right now, is available on Amazon for only $84.96. Not only is that a savings of $44.99, that also puts the Alta at the lowest price we’ve ever seen.

The Alta is available in three sizes – Small, Large and X-Large – and comes in five different color options. You can pick up the Black, Blue, Plum or Teal models for the discounted price, though you’ll have to spend an extra $65 if you want the fancy Gold/Black model.

It’s worth noting that this deal is only available for today, December 7, so you’ll need to act fast if you want to save some moolah.

See also:

Fitbit Alta review

March 29, 2016

Personally, the Alta is one of my favorite fitness trackers. Not only is it one of Fitbit’s best looking wearables, it’s also super accurate, has a battery that will last about five days, and, oh yeah, it’s really affordable.

Interested in picking one up for yourself? Head to the Amazon link below for the details!

Buy now from Amazon

Pebble officially acquired by Fitbit, will refund recent Kickstarter backers

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Pebble, one of the first smartwatch companies, has now confirmed previous rumors that it has been acquired by fitness wearable company Fitbit. As a result, Pebble will shut down as a standalone entity and will refund all outstanding backers of its most recent Kickstarter campaign. The specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but unconfirmed reports claim that Fitbit bought Pebble’s assets for between $34-40 million.

See also:

Best smartwatches (November 2016)

4 weeks ago

In a blog post, company founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky stated that while it will no longer be making any new smartwatches or other devices, all current Pebble products will continue to work. He did add that some smartwatch functions could be reduced in the future and that all warranty support has ended. All of the company’s Kickstarter backers who have not yet received their awards will get a full refund within four to eight weeks.

Bloomberg reports that Fitbit has sent job offers to about 40 percent of Pebble’s team members. Migicovsky will not be one of them; Bloomberg states he will be moving on to startup incubator Y Combinator.

Pebble used the Kickstarter crowdfunding site to raise money for its first smartwatch in 2012 with a $100,000 goal. It ended up with over $10 million by the end of that campaign, blowing away previous records for Kickstarter. However, the company never reached a big enough mainstream audience for its devices, despite more successful Kickstarter campaigns, along with additional venture capital funding.

Are you sad to see the end of Pebble? Or are fitness bands a better option for you?

Fitbit reportedly plans to acquire Pebble for $34-40 million

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One of the first major companies to launch smartwatches may be about to be sold. New, but still unconfirmed, reports claim that the wearable fitness device company Fitbit is planning to acquire Pebble, which got its start by funding its first smartwatch on Kickstarter in 2012, raising over $7 million

See also:

Pebble Time Round review

November 25, 2015

The Information was first to report on the possible Fitbit deal to buy Pebble, and VentureBeat added that it will pay between $34 to $40 million to acquire Pebble. The smartwatch company has actually raised a total of over $40 million in its many Kickstarter campaigns for the past few years. That includes money it received from its most recent effort to launch the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 smartwatches earlier this year.

However, it would appear that all that crowd sourced money, plus funds from venture capital financing rounds, was not enough to keep Pebble afloat. Indeed, in March the company laid off about 25 percent of its team members. with CEO Eric Migicovsky admitting in an interview that ”money is pretty tight right now”.  The Information claims that when and if the deal goes through, Fitbit will be acquiring Pebble’s intellectual property and software, but sales of the smartwatches themselves will be phased out.

Level up your NBA 2K17 skills by reaching Fitbit’s daily fitness goal of 10,000 steps

Playing too many video games isn’t always the healthiest choice you could make, because sitting on your couch all day doesn’t exactly do your fitness level any favors. That’s why 2K Games, the developer of the popular NBA 2K17 game, has recently announced an interesting partnership with Fitbit.

All you hardcore NBA 2K17 fans will soon be able to step up your game and increase your chances of getting a championship ring by staying active throughout the day. The new partnership between the companies will offer players temporary in-game boosts to their MyPlayer category if they take at least 10,000 steps per day while using one of Fitbit’s activity trackers.

You can choose between boosting your agility, layups, dunks, and more. However, the boost will only last for five games. After that, you’ll have to hit the streets and rack up the required 10,000 steps to activate it again.

See also:

Which Fitbit is right for you? (November 2016)

20 hours ago

This is the first integration of its kind we’ve seen, as it combines the virtual and physical world in a creative way. Everyone involved gets something out of it: the game developer keeps its users more engaged, Fitbit gets a bit more exposure and can even slightly increase its sales, while gamers get off the couch and become more active.

The new feature will be added to the game on November 25 and will work on both PS4 and Xbox One.

Any NBA 2K17 fans out there? What do you think about the new Fitbit integration?

Which Fitbit is right for you? (November 2016)

Fitbit, currently one of the most well-known names in the fitness tracking world, has seven different trackers on sale right now. Which one is right for you? Should you pick up one of the new fashion-forward devices like the Alta or Blaze, or should you consider an older one like the Surge or Charge 2?

With devices ranging anywhere from $60-$250, there’s certainly a wide range of options from which to choose. So with that said, read on to find out which Fitbit is right for you.

Related:

The best fitness trackers

6 days ago
Update, November 2016: This month we removed the Fitbit Charge HR from our list to make room for the Charge 2.

Upcoming

Fitbit Flex 2

Unveiled alongside the Charge 2, Fitbit’s new Flex 2 brings a swim-proof design and a focus on fashion. It’s also the successor to the super popular Fitbit Flex from 2013. We’re currently working on our full review, and we can’t wait to tell you all about this new wearable.

Be sure to head to our official announcement post to get all the details, or follow the Amazon link below to get one for yourself!

Buy now from Amazon

Best all-around Fitbit device

Fitbit Charge 2

Which Fitbit is right for you? (November 2016)

If you’re buying a fitness tracker in this price range, it’s hard not to consider the Charge 2.

It’s clear Fitbit really focused on design when making the Charge 2. This device not only looks more like a piece of jewelry and less like a standard fitness tracker this time around, you also have the option to change out the bands if you’d like.

The Charge 2 also has a bigger display this time, meaning you get more room for smartphone notifications. Plus, Fitbit also introduced a few new features to the Charge 2 that should help users stay healthy and relaxed overtime: Cardio Fitness Level, which will give you a cardiovascular rating based on an estimate of your VO2 Max, and Relax, a new on-device guided breathing feature that will walk you through short breathing exercises to help you lower blood pressure, reduce stress and lessen anxiety.

Overall, it’s an all-around great fitness tracker, especially considering its $150 price point.

Buy the Fitbit Charge 2 from Amazon

Best all-around Fitbit device (runner up)

Fitbit Alta

Which Fitbit is right for you? (November 2016)

This is the Fitbit you should buy if you don’t need a heart rate monitor.

Fitbit released two new products this year — the Blaze and the Alta. With a fashion-forward design, these two products mark the beginning of a more stylish future for the company. The Alta, in particular, looks great with just a silicone band, but you can also buy a metal or leather band separately if you’d like it to look a little more high end.

More: Fitbit Alta review

Aside from looks, the Alta comes with all the same activity tracking features as the other devices on this list. It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, though, nor does it have a GPS. So what makes it so special? While it doesn’t have a ton of extras, this is one of the best all-around trackers on our list. It’s great at just about everything — step, distance, calorie and sleep tracking. It also comes with a big display that’s incredibly easy to read in outdoor light, which is a huge plus in our book.

Buy now from Amazon

Everything but the kitchen sink

Fitbit Surge

Which Fitbit is right for you? (November 2016)

Need a Fitbit with GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring and much more? The Surge may be your best bet.

Instead of calling it a simple fitness tracker, Fitbit refers to the Surge as a fitness super watch… and that’s not actually too far off. It features a touchscreen display, continuous heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking capabilities, music control and notifications and all the other fitness tracking features other Fitbit devices have. It might be a little big for some folks out there, but if you want something with this many features and are serious about tracking your workouts, the Surge will definitely do the trick.

You can find the Fitbit Surge on Amazon for a little over $200 nowadays. And considering the price of other GPS-enabled devices out there, this is pretty much a steal.

Buy now from Amazon

Best for notifications

Fitbit Blaze

Which Fitbit is right for you? (November 2016)

The Blaze might not be our favorite Fitbit device out there, but it’s still darn good at a handful of things.

This is Fitbit’s most smartwatch-y device on the market. It has a touchscreen display, interchangeable bands, and it arguably looks more like a smartwatch than it does a fitness tracker. It can also feed you notifications from your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can get call, text and calendar notifications, though you aren’t able to get Facebook, Twitter, email or basically anything else. Not that anyone needs Twitter mentions on their wrists when they’re on a run, but the option would be nice, at least.

More: Fitbit Blaze review

Other than notifications, the Blaze does a lot of other things right. It’ll get you 5 days of battery on a single charge, features a display that’s bright and clear enough to see outdoors, and it’s comfortable enough to wear all day. There are also leather and metal band options if you’re looking to wear it to work or out to dinner.

Buy now from Amazon

Best on a budget

Fitbit One

Which Fitbit is right for you? (November 2016)

Aren’t interested in a wrist-mounted Fitbit? The One is for you.

Announced way back in September 2012, the Fitbit One is definitely not the newest out there. It still has some notable features, though, and the price is under $100 — perfect for those interested in testing the fitness tracking waters. It sports a clip design that allows the device to be clipped pretty much anywhere. Whether it’s on your shirt, bra, in your pocket or on your belt, the One should stay put no matter what you do throughout the day.

The Fitbit One can track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and even your sleep. It has a built-in silent alarm, too. Fitbit is offering the One for about $100, but you can find it on Amazon for about $75 these days.

Buy now from Amazon

It should also be noted that Fitbit also has another budget-friendly device called the Zip. The Zip is another clip on device, but doesn’t have sleep tracking, a silent alarm, nor can it track your floors climbed. It’s also not too much cheaper than the One, which is why we decided not to feature this device on our list.


So there you have it — our guide to all things Fitbit! Are we missing something? Have you tried Fitbit products in the past? If so, what are your experiences? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!