What is a Fitbit?

Fitbit Charge 2 - 1

Welcome to the Fullfitnez review of Fitbit. This article will provide you with all the basic information you need to know about the worlds most well-known fitness and activity tracker. If you find yourself here you have likely already asked ‘What is a Fitbit?’ So let’s find out.

Fitbit, Inc designs and produces a range of activity trackers, watches and other accessories that use wireless-enabled technology. These are also commonly known as ‘fitness wearables‘ and are devices that monitor and measure the wearers personal activity data such as the number of steps walked, performance during exercise, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics related to health and fitness.

According to an IDC report published on December 3, 2018, Fitbit is considered the third largest wearable company in shipments as of the third quarter of 2018, behind Xiaomi and Apple.

Fitbit was founded by James Park CEO and Eric Freidman CTO on 26th March 2007 in Delaware, United States of America. It’s headquarters are now in San Francisco, California, United States.


What is a Fitbit For?

A Fitbit is a personal activity tracker or wearable device usually worn as you would a watch, although some can be fitted in belt clips. Throughout the day, it logs a range of data about your activities and general health and encourages you to obtain, maintain and improve a healthy lifestyle.


What Does a Fitbit Do?

Primarily It tracks the amount of activity take each day in the form of steps, and monitors your heart rate in conjunction with this. I own a Fitbit Charge 2 and on this and the latest Fitbit devices you can quickly view this data in real-time by simply tapping the device face twice to illuminate the screen where these two statistics will be displayed.

Tap again to see the distance those steps have covered in either miles or kilometers and the current amount of calories you’ve burnt that day. Tap a fourth time to see how many floors you’ve climbed and how many ‘active minutes’ the device has detected you completing.

Active minutes are achieved through daily activities of all kinds such as housework or DIY even, but being on your feet with a raised heart rate will log these. When sync’d with your phone you can also receive notifications of texts received, incoming calls and calendar reminders on the Fitbit screen.

This is just the tip of the iceberg however as when used with the Fitbit app, Fitbit not only tracks steps, heart rate and the data already mentioned, but your sleep, weekly exercise sessions, weight, hydration, calories consumed and even female health. Depending on the Fitbit device you use will enable more or less of these features.

The Fitbit Charge 2 contains the following sensors; A MEMS 3-axis accelerometer, which tracks your motion patterns. An altimeter, which tracks altitude changes and an optical heart rate tracker.

This might all sound complicated to some but the beauty of Fitbit is that it can be used to simply log your daily step count or to keep a close eye on your heart rate at any moment. Another simple and interesting feature is being able to monitor your own sleep quality and see more detailed statistics on this. You can also log minutes spent doing household activities including gardening.

However If you love your exercise then a Fitbit will cater for all your needs. You’ll love how your Fitbit and the app can track all you do and even where you do it with GPS, and provide you with a range of stats, graphs and figures that relate to your chosen activity and performance. It will recognise a range of exercises automatically by detecting you taking part in them and also allows you to manually input more including sports and exercise classes from Archery to Zumba.

Fitbit wasn’t created for fitness fanatics alone, the creators vision is to educate that ‘fitness is not just about gym time. It’s all the time’ and that all your steps add up to much more.


Fitbit App Mediocre

The Fitbit App Dashboard displays all your daily data. Leave the app ‘open’ on your smartphone to view your current stats at a glance. My main goal is steps as you can see. You can set yours to floors, miles (or km), calories or active minutes.


Sync With Fitbit

To fully utilise your Fitbit you need to synchronize it with the Fitbit Mobile app on a smart phone and create an account. The app is available to download for Apple devices operating iOS 10 and higher, Android devices operating OS 5.0 and higher, or Windows devices operating 10 v1607 or higher, so you’ll likely be able to use your Fitbit with your current phone, top brand devices from Apple and Samsung and the latest, but no less powerful budget smart phone options. This is easily done following the instructions provided with each new Fitbit. You can also set up more than one Fitbit on your app.

Fitbit App Account

Fully Utilise Your Fitbit With The Fitbit App

When sync’d to your mobile phone you’ll be asked to input some basic data about yourself as part of the set-up process such as your gender, age, height and weight. Then your Fitbit will be able to track all the data we’ve already talked about in amazing and informative detail.

It will also do more such as tracking different types of exercise and activities, logging food, and weight. This can be extremely interesting and educational and is best done consistently over time and is even more accurately measured when users continually wear their tracker, yes even when sleeping which took me a while to get used to.


The Fitbit Dashboard

Once your account is up and running you can access your Fitbit Dashboard in the app on your mobile device or by logging into your account on your computer to see real-time stats on your daily activity.

The Dashboard and app are also the gateway to the Fitbit community where you can post your current activity or status, find friends that also use Fitbit, read fitness related news, find local events and discover and join groups based on various types of fitness and activities. You can also communicate with friends and others by sending messages or posting comments much the same as on other social media platforms.

Fitbit App Mediocre

Fitbit App Dashboard, The Gateway To Self Improvement

Daily Activity

On the home screen view your all-day activity of steps, distance, exercise, calories burned and more. Using your Fitbit, track your sleep and use Sleep Tools in the app to set goals, targets and reminders and review your sleep trends.

It’s possible to connect multiple trackers to one account and the Fitbit app cleverly detects when you switch between them so you could use a Fitbit Ionic during workouts and discreetly wear a Fitbit Inspire in a Clip Accessory to track your day.

MobileTrack – If you don’t have a Fitbit tracker you can still track your day using only your smart phone and the Fitbit app to track basic stats such as steps, distance and calories which is maybe worth doing if you’re wondering about buying a Fitbit tracker.

Activity & Workout Tracking

Use a Fitbit tracker to record workouts that are then sync’d to the app or log them manually in the app or change the activity or exercise type. View your stats including calorie burn and heart rate and how they impact your day and see your performance improve over time.

MobileRun – By using the Fitbit app on your smartphone to track pace time and distance with GPS can add an exciting dimension to runs and walks enabling you to see an overview of your performance and route. This feature also allows you to control your music through the Fitbit app and use voice cues such as spoken distance and mile markers whilst on a run and credit for steps taken and calories burned.


The Fitbit Account

Within your account settings on the Fitbit app is where you can view and set personal parameters such as goals, manage personal settings, discover other compatible apps that sync data with Fitbit, use the Fitbit help section and manage account security, privacy and notifications. Here you can really tailor all your health and wellbeing requirements in detail, or allow Fitbit to set them for you based on your personal metrics.

Goals

Activity – Set daily activity goals in steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, floors climbed and hourly activity.

Fitbit App Daily Activity

Customise Your Daily Activity Goals

Exercise – Set the number of days you aim to exercise each week. Fitbit automatically recognises a number of exercise types using its SmartTrack technology including walking, running, biking and aerobic workouts. Set the amount of time you want your Fitbit to take to recognise you doing one of these exercises and begin logging it automatically or turn this function off. You can also log these and many others manually.

Fitbit App Auto Recognized Exercises

Let Fitbit Do Some of The Work

Nutrition & Body – Set-up water, food and daily calorie goals, weight goals and body fat percentage goals. Decide if you want to gain or lose weight, and input a start date and starting weight.

Fitbit App Nutrition & Body Goals

Nutrition & Weight Goals To Get The Body You Want

Sleep – Set your daily sleep goal and target sleep schedule with bedtime and wake up times and set a reminder to help you begin to wind down for sleep. Also receive sleep insights to view in the Fitbit app.

Discover

Compatible apps – There’s whole range of compatible apps to download on your smart phone or device to use with Fitbit. They log, collect, use and share data with your Fitbit account. I use the MyFitnessPal app to log my daily calorie intake and in this I can see current calories burned in real time and this data is provided by my Fitbit. You can choose from fitness tracking apps, games and rewards apps, apps for weight loss, wellness and more.

Fitbit App Compatible Apps

Discover Loads of Compatible Health & Fitness Apps

Help – Read Fitbit help articles and use your smart devices operating system forum; I have an iPhone so the app links me to the iOS App Forum. Also use your Fitbit type forum, mine is the Charge 2 Forum.

Fitbit App Help

All The Help And Support You Need

Privacy & Security

Personal Info – Manage all of the personal information that the Fitbit account has asked you for and collects about you and decide what amount of this you want to share with the Fitbit community. Yes, you can share everything from gender, birthday, weight and photos and even your location! To your fitness achievement trophies, step count/exercise stats, calorie count and the amount you’re sleeping. I’d recommend you visit this section early on to make sure your preferences are set to your liking.

Notifications – Get notifications for low battery, steps and exercise goals, auto recognised exercises, challenges and milestones, messages from friends, and lots more. Also decide which of these you wish to receive via email.

You can also manage any subscriptions you have linked to your Fitbit account here and the data your account is allowed to share (with other apps). Your Fitbit account access details can also be altered here.

Settings

Exercise tracking – Set encouraging and informative voice cues based on distance, time, average pace, split pace and calories burned to play during exercise. Decide the frequency at which they sound by choosing between distance or time based cues and set the volume and listen to cue previews.

Heart rate zones – Find your personal heart rate zones; Peak, Cardio and Fat-Burn and the BPM (heart Beat Per Minute) you need to reach to be in each particular zone. Set Custom heart rate zones and read an explanation about each heart rate zone to learn the benefits being in each of them can provide.

Fitbit App HR Zones

Your Real & Accurate Heart Rate Zones

Advanced settings – Set your timezone, the units you want your Fitbit to use such as miles or kilometers, kilograms or pounds or stone, fluid ounces or milliliters and swim in either meters or yards. Also, set your geographical location, geographical food database, sleep sensitivity and stride length.


Which Fitbit is Right For Me?

There are currently 7 Fitbit trackers available, a few of which have different versions or special editions. Depending on your goals and what you intend to track it’s important to make sure you choose the right Fitbit for you. Some do more than others and there are also 2 Fitbit Smart Watches to pick from that are capable of what the trackers do and more.

See the list below for the latest Fitbit line-up with links to buy and save considerably on retail price.


#1 Fitbit Inspire


#2 Fitbit Inspire HR


#3 Fitbit Alta Special Edition


#4 Fitbit Alta HR


#5 Fitbit Ace 2


#6 Fitbit Charge 2


#7 Fitbit Charge 3


#8 Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition


#9 Fitbit Versa


#10 Fitbit Versa Lite


#11 Fitbit Versa Special Edition


#12 Fitbit Ionic


#13 Fitbit Ionic Adidas Edition


Conclusion

Hopefully this has provided you with a good idea of what a Fitbit is and if you’re in the market to buy one, some help to make an informed decision on which Fitbit is right for you and which one to buy.

There is a lot to learn when it comes to Fitbits and the Fitbit App. I’m still learning myself, but the more I do, the more interested I become. They definitely do a good job and using one with the Fitbit App provides you with an intuitive, educational and self-improving experience.

As I’ve mentioned, they’re not just for fitness fanatics and can be used by people of any age to help them live a healthier lifestyle and learn more about themselves.

Do you own a Fitbit? Have you ever used one? If so, or if you’re interested to know more or have a question, why not post a comment in the thoughts section below.

4 thoughts on “What is a Fitbit?

  1. Hey Chris,

    Great post! I have been looking at the fitbit and Garmin watches and fitness accessories for a while now and not really knowing how they all work properly. I use Strava on my phone but after reading this review I may need to invest in a fitbit now too.

    I always got confused as to how these things worked. So many different things on them. However you explained it so well. Thanks so much. I am clearer now on what I need,

    Cheers,

    Kev

    1. Hi Kev, Thanks for your comment and I’m glad it has helped and informed you more about what a Fitbit does.

      There is a lot too them, but you can use them as much or as little as you choose. I’ve found over time have begun to use mine more and more and it can be really interesting and they do raise your consciousness in regards to your personal health.

      I use mine with MyFitnessPal app and the two work well together, I’m keen to try other apps too.

      I’m glad this my article helped with your confusion and deciding on what you need. Thanks again,

      Chris

  2. Thanks for a detailed review of Fitbit. A friend of mine showed me his health tracker just recently and it got me interested. He wasn’t wearing Fitbit but some other brand though it’s the same technology. It’s fantastic to see how much this small gadget can change the lifestyle of a person. I’ll definitely take Fitbit into more serious consideration.

    1. Hello and thanks for taking the time to comment, I’m glad you liked the review.

      There are many other brands of health and fitness trackers. I’m interested to know more about a few others and yes they can definitely change a lifestyle or make an individual more knowledgeable about their health and what it takes to be healthier.

      Thanks again.

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