With Amazon Prime Day just around the corner, we expect to see some seriously cheap Fitbit deals land very soon. Sadly, some of the older Fitbits don't come with Fitbit Premium included in the price, so you might wonder: can I use Fitbit without a subscription? And more importantly, is it worth subscribing to Fitbit Premium?
Let us put your mind at ease straight away: you can use Fitbit without a subscription. The Fitbit app is free to use and has many features you can use without paying a monthly fee (explained below). You can even use Fitbit Premium for free, should you buy a newer Fitbit fitness tracker, such as the dainty Fitbit Inspire 2, the competent Fitbit Versa 3 or the versatile Fitbit Charge 5.
However, not everyone can afford the best Fitbits, and some will inevitably opt-in for cheaper Fitbits like the Fitbit Versa 2, which doesn't come with a free Fitbit Premium subscription. What can (and can't) you do if you haven't got a Fitbit subscription? Let's find out.
What's included in the free Fitbit subscription?
Everyone can download and use the Fitbit app for free (operating system requirements: Apple iOS 14 and higher, Android 10 or higher. More on Fitbit app compatibility here (opens in new tab)[links to Fitbit]). All Fitbit devices should connect and synchronise with the Fitbit app automatically.
In the app, you'll find all your stats, including steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned and Active Zone Minutes achieved – these stats are displayed at the top of the dashboard.
You can also find information on your 'mindfulness' sessions (e.g. if you've done any self-reflections in the app or breathing exercises on your Fitbit), Stress Management score (if your Fitbit can track this), information on sleep (score, duration, time spent in different stages), heart rate info (resting heart rate, etc.), move reminders, weight history (the Fitbit Aira Air automatically populates weight information or you can add this manually) and so on.
You can also access the Fitbit Community feature, where you can add friends and join groups to help you achieve your fitness goals faster. You can even create your own group, so if your family members have Fitbits, you can challenge each other in the Fitbit app – all for free.
What's included in Fitbit Premium?
As you can see, the free Fitbit app provides a lot of useful information, but things get more enjoyable when you switch to the Fitbit Premium subscription. Through Premium, you can access your Daily Readiness Score (needs a compatible Fitbit, e.g. Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Charge 5, Luxe and Inspire 2), Advanced Sleep Analytics, Wellness Report and more.
The Daily Readiness Score is based on heart rate variability and is similar to the Garmin Training Readiness feature; it can tell you how ready your body is for strenuous exercise. The Whoop 4.0 fitness tracker also has a similar feature (it's called Strain Score).
Advanced Sleep Analytics breaks down your sleep score into three categories: Time asleep, Deep and REM sleep and Restoration. You can gain further insight into how to improve your sleep and what influences your Sleep Score. Not to mention, Advanced Sleep Analytics include Fitbit's New Sleep Profile and, most importantly, the Fitbit Sleep Animals feature.
Also included in Fitbit Premium are Mindfulness Sessions and Video Workouts from celebrities such as Deepak Chopra and Will Smith. You can also set challenges in the app that unlock badges and other virtual goodies you can display on your profile. These challenges include the Get Fit Bingo, where you have to complete different activities (against friends/family members) and whoever scores bingo first on their board wins.
Finally, Fitbit Premium also has recipe inspirations if the tons of free recipes available online aren't enough.
Is it worth upgrading to Fitbit Premium?
Fitbit Premium is not an essential purchase, especially in these troubled times, but it will unlock many features that aren't only fun to use but provide a deeper insight into your health and wellbeing.
Most importantly, the mindfulness/workout/recipe videos can help motivate people at the beginning of their fitness journey when they have no idea how to get started and what to do with themselves.
Admittedly, it would be better if Premium offered a more structured programme, similar to the Centr app, to help people stay on track with their new, healthy lifestyle, but even in its current state, Premium can help inspire people to keep going.
Think of Fitbit Premium as a way to unlock all the features your Fitbit wearable has to offer; if you want to make the most of your Sense, Versa 3 or Charge 5, you'll need Premium.
If you're interested in Fitbit Premium, you can try it for free for seven days (if you haven't already tried it) by signing up at Fitbit US (opens in new tab), Fitbit UK (opens in new tab) and Fitbit AU (opens in new tab). Prices from $6.67/£6.67/AU$10.83 per month.
For today's best Fitbit deals, check out the prices below!