Watch or bracelet? How to choose the right Fitbit fitness tracker

Fitbit choices for fitness-minded shoppers looking to try a wearable tracker.

 

Whether you hit the weights every morning or are just getting around to those New Year’s resolutions, you’ll know that fitness trackers have become indispensable workout tools. The wearable devices are a common sight in gyms, on running paths and even in the office. Fitbit has achieved the neat trick of becoming synonymous with these gadgets—and for good reason. It began with tracking users’ steps and calorie intake, then added in functionality like heart-rate monitoring and workout recording. Nowadays, select models can also pair with your phone to receive texts, emails and, in some cases, let you take calls hands-free.

But as the popularity of Fitbits has exploded, so too has the brand’s model line. How to tell which Fitbit is right for you? Here are three choices for people looking to take their connected workout to the next level.

Fitbit Alta HR: The entry-level powerhouse

This makes a great starting-point fitness device. Fitbit Alta HR provides all of the basic functionality that users expect; it will count steps, measure distance, keep tabs of calories and active minutes, monitor heart rate and track sleep. But this wearable really earns fans with its smartphone-pairing ability. Now, users can receive notifications about calls and texts, all from the Alta HR’s thin, sleek bracelet design. The bands are also interchangeable, so they can be matched to outfits.

Fitness data from the Alta HR is straightforward but robust enough to be motivating. “Over a week, I became a little addicted to Fitbit again, wanting to get my steps up, trying to pay attention to the move reminders, actually checking the app every now and then to see how I slept or what my resting heart rate was that morning,” writes The Verge. And at just under $150, the Alta HR is among the most complete trackers for the price.

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband: The data obsessive tracker

Though some users may be satisfied with just the expected data from their workouts, others want more—much more. For these users, there’s the Fitbit Charge 2. It may look like a larger, wider version of the Fitbit Alta HR, but next-gen features make it irresistible to data-obsessed fitness buffs.

In addition to the traditional Fitbit functionality, the Charge 2 offers a GPS feature that’s perfect for mapping your running or cycling routes. There’s also guided breathing sessions and a personalized cardio fitness score. According to Pocket-Lint.com, these benefits make the Charge 2 “the better device for those who do lots of exercise ... rather than those that do the odd thing every week.”

The Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Versa: The fitness-focused smartwatches

The Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Versa immediately distinguish themselves from the rest of the Fitbit family by looking like—and replicating much of the functionality of—smartwatches. While both provide a wide, colorful screen and Fitbit's signature interchangeable bands, they really are geared toward two types of users.

The sleek Ionic, with its brushed metallic bezel and subtly curving glass, is like a premium digital fitness coach, offering GPS tracking and customized video workouts delivered right to your wrist. It can also receive incoming texts and call alerts, and users can control their music remotely from the watch face. The Versa, meanwhile, takes a more straightforward approach to fitness tracking, with a no-nonsense aluminum case and big, bright display. It also can receive texts and alerts, as well as stream music, with easy smartphone integration and intuitive tracking—all at a competitive price point. Says Gizmodo: “The $200 Versa will more than likely satisfy any fitness enthusiast, casual athlete, or health nut looking for an exercise-centric (and long-lasting) wearable.”

There are plenty of options to choose from and luckily, Verizon has you covered. Check out our full selection of fitness trackers today to find your perfect fit, and be sure to visit our Wearable tech page as well.

 

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