How to choose the right Fitbit, whatever your budget and needs

Fitbit offers everything from the smartwatch Versa 3 to the fitness band Charge 4. Here's the differences between them

How to choose the right Fitbit for you: Pictured here, a person looking at a Fitbit on his wrist while holding a slam ball outdoors
(Image credit: Fitbit)

Choosing the right fitness wearable is a really tricky thing to do: there are a lot of different options, all with different features and prices. We've tested them all to find the best Fitbit for most people, from the smartwatch Fitbit Versa 3 to the fitness band Fitbit Charge 4

Today, we're guiding you through the process of choosing the right Fitbit for you. No matter what your budget is or what you prefer style-wise, Fitbit has the perfect device. Competitors, most notably Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6, are worth checking, but we love the independent nature of Fitbit.

Granted, the Fitbit of today isn't entirely independent – Google acquired the company last year for a little over $2 billion (£1.5 billion) – but the ethos behind Fitbit – that it works equally well with iOS and Android – lives on. Good luck changing to a Samsung smartphone after getting an Apple Watch...

Let's jump into our 'how to choose the right Fitbit for you' guide.

how to choose the right Fitbit

(Image credit: Fitbit)

How to choose the right Fitbit for you: Smartwatch vs. Fitness band

When comparing Fitbit models, it's useful to draw a distinction between two broad styles: fitness bands, like the Fitbit Charge 4, which are more minimal; and smartwatches, like the Fitbit Versa 3, with a larger display and more Apple Watch-esque design. 

Which one you prefer is totally down to your preferences, both practical and stylistic, and your budget. By and large, the more stripped-back band models are cheaper but will do a good job for most people, like the Fitbit Inspire 2, which often retails for under £90 brand new. 

The smartwatch models are, as you would expect, a bit more expensive but do come with the upside of a larger, square touchscreen and closer pairing with a smartphone. You can store and play music from the Fitbit Versa 3, making it much more akin to the Apple Watch Series 6 than the cheaper Fitbit models.

how to choose the right Fitbit

(Image credit: Fitbit)

How to choose the right Fitbit for you: Features

Once you've decided between the form factors, the next thing to focus on is the features available on the different models. As with most things, the more expensive and newer Fitbits – the Versa 3 and Charge 4 – are the most kitted out, while the budget models, like the Inspire 2, have the fewest features.

But ultimately what's most important isn't the total number of features but what you will actually use: there's no point having built-in GPS (found in the Versa 3 and Charge 4) if you don't plan on doing lots of outdoor exercises that needs to be accurately tracked.

The good news, especially if you're looking at a more budget Fitbit model, is that the company has been generous with adding features to the fitness bands. The Charge 4 and Inspire 2 have pretty much all of the important features: step counting, sleep and activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, and so on. 

The smartwatch models do have some additional features, though most of them are enabled by the larger screen and physical design. Google Assistant and Alexa compatibility, for example, is reserved for Versa models. Quick replies to messages for Android users are another Versa exclusive. 

how to choose the right Fitbit

(Image credit: Fitbit)

How to choose the right Fitbit for you: Battery life, apps, and other cool things

One of the most important things about a fitness wearable isn't what it can track – most big-name wearables can track the same things – but how long the battery life lasts, the motivation apps and services onboard, and other nice additions. 

In terms of battery life, all of the current Fitbit models can last upwards of seven days. The Versa smartwatch range lasts seven on the dot due to the larger displays, as does the Charge 4 due to built-in GPS, while the Inspire band range can last around 10 days. If long battery is really important, choose a simpler Fitbit.

As we said in our best Fitbit guide, hyper-accurate fitness tracking is only one facet of the wearable experience. Equally important are the on-device software and smartphone apps. Fitbit excels here: the smartphone app is well-designed, easy to use, and helps manage the wearable itself. 

Fitbit also offers loads and loads of additional fitness content, including challenges against your friends, guided programs (think beginner three-week running course), and Fitbit coaches. We're super impressed with these offers, and it makes the Fitbit itself a lot more useful and interactive.  

how to choose the right Fitbit

(Image credit: Fitbit)

How to choose the right Fitbit for you: So which should I pick? 

Choosing the best Fitbit for you boils down to a few simple things: smartwatch vs fitness band design, budget (and deals available), necessary features, and overall style. The Fitbit ultimately needs to fit into your life, not the other way around. 

For most people, a fitness band will do exactly what they need: help track fitness stats and goals without getting in the way or costing too much. But for others, a fully-fledged fitness smartwatch is the answer. It's really up to your own preferences.

We'd recommend either the Fitbit Versa 3 for smartwatch fans and the Fitbit Charge 4 for fitness band fans simply because they both offer the most complete set of features for their respective form factors. If you're on a tight budget, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is also a great choice.

Max Slater-Robins

Max Slater-Robins has written for T3 now on and off for over half a decade, with him fitting in serious study at university in between. Max is a tech expert and as such you'll find his words throughout, appearing in everything from reviews and features, to news and deals. Max is specifically a veteran when it comes round to deal hunting, with him seeing out multiple Black Friday campaigns to date.