Fitbit has announced four new products – the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition, Fitbit Inspire HR, Fitbit Inspire and Fitbit Ace 2 – and now covers every budget and every demographic. (We fully expect Fitbit Dog and Fitbit Goldfish to be released in 2020.) So the question is, what are these new products and which Fitbit is right for you?
Note that the Ace 2 will be released in the “early summer”, but the Inspire, Inspire HR and Versa Lite Edition are all due to go on sale next week.
This article was updated on 15 March in light of the Alta being discontinued.
Overview of expanded Fitbit range
|Product name||Target buyer||Price*|
|Fitbit Ace 2**||Kids (6+)||£70|
|Fitbit Inspire HR**||Mainstream||£90|
|Fitbit Alta [discontinued]||Exercisers||£76|
|Fitbit Alta HR [discontinued]||Exercisers||£80|
|Fitbit Charge 3||Advanced/techie||£130|
|Fitbit Versa Lite**||Youngsters||£150|
*Best price on Amazon if available; price on Fitbit.com if not. **New products. ***My take on it, not Fitbit’s!
Fitbit Inspire/Fitbit Inspire HR: who should buy it
Let’s face it, Fitbit fitness trackers are expensive. You can pick up any number of trackers that use similar technology on Amazon for less than £30 – this Letscom one for example. What they don’t get you is access to Fitbit’s challenges and community, and if you genuinely want to improve your fitness that’s arguably worth paying for.
That’s why Fitbit has introduced the Inspire: to provide an entry-level tracker, and hopefully lure people away from the cheap imitations. It’s available in two colours:
What you may note from the table above, however, is that the Inspire is pretty much the same price as the now discontinued Alta. However, it’s still available to buy, so is there any point in grabbing it whilst it’s still around?
We’d say “no”, pretty decisively, because the Inspire has three key advantages over the Alta:
- Swimproof up to 50m (although it doesn’t track swims)
- Female health tracking
- Touchscreen (vs tappable screen on Alta)
And here’s what the Inspire HR adds:
- Heart-rate tracking including zones
- 15+ goal-based exercises
- Connected GPS
- More advanced sleep tracking
- Guided breathing exercises
- Silicon band
- Two additional colours…
We’ve published a full review of the Inspire HR, but the quick verdict is “buy now”. It’s sleek, the touch interface works well, and it’s easy to accessorise with bands.
Oh, and you can even use it in a clip like the good old days of Fitbit trackers. It’s just a pain that this will cost another £20.
Who should buy a Fitbit Inspire? Definitely not fitness freaks (the level of detailed tracking simply isn’t there) but anyone who’s looking for a simple-to-use, lightweight and discreet tracker will love it.
Fitbit Versa Lite: what is it and who should buy it?
This is an intriguing one. The Versa Lite is almost identical in size, shape and weight to the Versa, and it’s there to attract more cost-conscious buyers. That’s reflected in a £150 RRP versus the £200 of the full-fat Versa, but the latter is available for £154 on Amazon.
Fitbit is also hoping to attract those frisky young trendsetters with, I’ll admit, an attractive and bold finish (note the anodised edge to the “mulberry” and “marina blue” versions in particular):
Here’s a quick summary of what you’re buying for that £150:
- 24/7 heart-rate monitor and zones
- Swimproof to 50m (but no tracking)
- 4+ day battery life
- Access to 500+ apps (it uses the same software and app store as the Versa)
- Guided breathing sessions
- Female health logging
- Lots and lots of accessories to jazz up the design (see pics below)
And here’s what you lose out on versus the more expensive Versa:
- No Deezer or music apps, because there isn’t on-board music storage
- No altimeter (so no tracking floors climbed)
- No gyroscope (which is why there’s no swim tracking)
Who should buy it? With the price so close to the Versa, right now no one should buy the Versa Lite – unless they fall in love with that anodised finish. If it gets closer to £125, though, this will be an excellent first smartwatch.
Fitbit Ace 2: what is it and who should buy it?
This won’t go on sale until the summer, when it will replace the original Ace (released last year) with the following enhancements:
- It’s now swimproof to 50m
- Five-day battery life
- “Easy to use” touchscreen
- Screen-protecting bumper with new colours and prints (taking a leaf out of Garmin’s book)
- Adjustable silicon band
- “Improved” family account, with family challenges
- New clock faces and animated goal celebrations… and yes, kids really like that stuff
The Ace 2 is aimed at kids aged six and above, while Fitbit said the Ace was aged at 8+. On questioning, the company proved a bit hazy about what the difference was, but it appears it’s to do with data handling.
Should you buy it for your kids? Personally, I think £70 is a little steep for a children’s fitness tracker – there’s always a risk they lose it or don’t enjoy wearing it. But there are obvious advantages of buying a “proper” brand that will protect sensitive data, and those family challenges do sound intriguing.
Where does this leave the Fitbit Alta and Ionic?
Truth be told, this update leaves the Alta and the Ionic looking tired. The Ionic’s bigger watchface means it can show guidance for exercises, which is nice, and it’s the only Fitbit to offer built-in GPS (the others connect to your phone’s GPS). But it’s big and ugly.
If you’re a Fitbit fan then buy the Versa and cope without the GPS; if you’re happy to look elsewhere, Garmin’s range provides far more options.