What should I replace my Fitbit with?
October 19, 2021 3:11 PM   Subscribe

I’ve had one form or another of Fitbit for years. My current one, a Charge 3, is starting to die and I’m pondering the replacement. What do you recommend? I'm in the US.

Desired qualities:
Displays the time and date
Alarm clock
Pedometer
Good enough customer privacy policies
Sleep tracking
Sturdy
Water resistant
Doesn’t look bizarre on my small wrist
A variety of band options
Battery can be charged quickly without too much fuss

Not necessary, or undesirable:
Phone calls
Things that are bad for a brain with ADHD
Swim proof
Display of disposable income or fashion awareness
Nickel
posted by The corpse in the library to Technology (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love my Garmin 45s watch.

Desired qualities:
Displays the time and date - lots of different watch "faces" to choose from
Alarm clock - yes
Pedometer - yes
Good enough customer privacy policies - Apparently (ranks 4 on this list)
Sleep tracking - yes
Sturdy - yes!
Water resistant - swim proof
Doesn’t look bizarre on my small wrist - my wrist is like 15.5 cm around and this is the 39mm version and I don't think it looks bizarre.
A variety of band options - some
Battery can be charged quickly without too much fuss - Requires a special cable, but charges quickly. Battery lasts about a week.

Not necessary, or undesirable:
Phone calls - nope
Things that are bad for a brain with ADHD - If anything this watched has helped with ADHD (timers, calendar reminders, phone finder)
Swim proof - yes
Display of disposable income or fashion awareness - not that I'm aware of
Nickel - Unclear, but apparently OK
posted by skunk pig at 4:35 PM on October 19, 2021


I have a Mi Band 5, which is, among other things, quite inexpensive. It's good on all of your metrics except perhaps privacy policies. I use it with a third-party local data storage app (Gadgetbridge) so that Xiaomi's data management policies aren't really something I worry about at all.
posted by jackbishop at 4:41 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]


I replaced my FitBit with a TicWatch Pro 3 earlier this year, and have been quite happy with it. It does all you want it to do, and while it can do things like phone calls, calendar, etc., you can easily turn them all off (as I do with most of them). It has a very subdued look, which I desired, and as you seem to, as well.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:55 PM on October 19, 2021


Best answer: In case you're not opposed to another Fitbit, my Charge3 also recently died. I still wanted to stay with my Fitbit Premium membership, so I upgraded to the Charge5. I like it a lot so far; it's slim and rectangular, and with my very tiny wrist it looks perfectly fine. (The watches I see recommended above seem to be circular watch faces, which look absolutely huge to me, but YMMV. Note, the smallest Apple Watch dwarfs my wrist.)

The side haptic button has been removed, so it's been a small adjustment to a touch-only screen.

Desired qualities:
Displays the time and date: yes; the new color display is very nice, coming from Charge3
Alarm clock: yes
Pedometer: yes
Good enough customer privacy policies: honestly no idea how Fitbit ranks on this
Sleep tracking: yes
Sturdy: seems good so far
Water resistant: yes
Doesn’t look bizarre on my small wrist: my tiny wrist says yes
A variety of band options: more 3rd party options should be coming soon
Battery can be charged quickly without too much fuss: I LOVE the new charger; it's magnetic and snaps right on

Not necessary, or undesirable:
Phone calls: no
Things that are bad for a brain with ADHD: there's notifications you can turn off (I only get calendar alerts), but so far there's not much difference from Charge3, and no games or anything
Swim proof: yes
Display of disposable income or fashion awareness: the default band is a solid blue, white/cream, or black
Nickel: unsure, unless Fitbit added it
posted by lesser weasel at 5:33 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]


Re: privacy policies, the article in skunk pig's post says that Fitbit comes out on top.
posted by lesser weasel at 5:38 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]


I also had Fitbits for years, but my last Charge model never worked properly and when it finally died I was frustrated enough that I went with an Apple Watch instead. Hoo boy, I waited too long. If you use an iPhone, the integration is so seamless and everything just works in a way I found Fitbit less and less likely to over the years. If phone calls and other notifications are undesirable the notification settings are really customizable so you don't have to see them.

The native sleep tracking is not as good as Fitbit (it relies heavily on you telling it when you're going to bed, which I didn't like because my sleep schedule is erratic), but the app Autosleep more than matches the sleep tracking functionality of the Fitbit, including sleep detection.
posted by telegraph at 6:23 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I do have an iPhone, if that’s going to change any recommendations.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:27 PM on October 19, 2021


Response by poster: > I LOVE the new charger; it's magnetic and snaps right on

Is it different from the one on the Charge 3, which sort of clamps on but sometimes I don't clamp it quite right and don't realize it isn't charging?
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:52 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]


I have ADHD and don’t find the Apple Watch particularly engaging (in a good way). It does need to be charged daily, which could be a problem, but I find it is surprisingly less annoying and forgettable because it’s a daily thing instead of sporadic. I had a Jawbone, a Fitbit, and a Garmin before and none of them lasted more than a year. I got sick of replacing them. I actually preferred the Jawbone, but the whole company is gone.
posted by Kriesa at 6:58 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]


I also went from Fitibit to Apple Watch, happily. I've removed most of the apps that come with it, and did spend my first days with it figuring out which notifications I wanted to turn off. Now that I've had it about six months I have to say I'm a believer.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:13 PM on October 19, 2021 [3 favorites]


Is it different from the one on the Charge 3, which sort of clamps on but sometimes I don't clamp it quite right and don't realize it isn't charging?

The new charger is flat and does not clamp on. [Image] It's also impossible to put it on backwards, due to the magnets--I tried, and the same poles repelled it.
posted by lesser weasel at 7:27 PM on October 19, 2021


I have and love a Garmin Instinct. The newer models also have solar charging. It’s got very, very long battery life because it’s an old-school LCD screen - I charge it maybe every 2-3 weeks with regular use, every couple of days if I’m using GPS tracking. You can set a bajillion alarms and timers and hook it up to your iPhone for notifications if that’s your jam.

Downsides:
- it’s pricy relative to simpler sleep/exercise trackers without GPS etc. I got mine on a deal and with a gift voucher covering some of the cost.
- It’s also fairly chunky - it has styling similar to a G-Shock. It looks fine on my medium sized wrist. But if you had slim wrists it might feel massive. It’s nowhere near some of the wackier triathlete watches that are the size of small side plates.
- The Garmin app is kind of ugly and has annoying limitations (you can’t change the sleep goal to anything less than 8 hours, for example)

But it is a great watch and I’m glad I got it.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:50 AM on October 20, 2021


I have an Apple watch, and, with a bit of tweaking, it has enabled me to be less distractable.

For example, if I'm listening to a podcast and I want to change the volume, I can do it on my watch. I don't have to pull out my phone and risk getting distracted by all the shiny temptations my phone offers.

Like BlahLaLa says, it takes a little while to figure out which notifications you'll want to leave on (probably almost none) and which you want to turn off (probably all or nearly all). Once you do that, you may find it a helpful tool.
posted by yankeefog at 2:57 AM on October 20, 2021


(I should have mentioned: I don't have ADHD so I'm not sure if my experience of distractibility would be the same as yours.)
posted by yankeefog at 2:58 AM on October 20, 2021


Resistance is futile. If you have an iPhone, the answer is an Apple Watch. Take some time to configure it, and it'll do everything you need and nothing you don't.
posted by box at 5:23 AM on October 20, 2021 [2 favorites]


I just got a Fitbit Luxe (to replace my dead Fitbit Alta) and I love it! It looks much nicer on my (slim) wrist than my last Fitbit, but it's still very understated, and I think meets all your criteria. I wish the battery lasted longer but it charges quickly enough that it's not a huge deal, I just charge it when I'm sitting at my desk once or twice a week.
posted by zibra at 6:22 AM on October 20, 2021


I bought an Amazfit Bip several years ago, have been very happy with it. Plays well with my iPhone 5S. Goes weeks between charges. (I am considering an apple watch down the road; the Bip has served well as my introduction to a smart(ish) watch and convincing me I'd actually use the thing.)
posted by Bron at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2021


When I started my diet and exercise program a couple years ago, I set a goal for losing 20 pounds, and would reward myself with a fitbit to keep things going. As I drew closer to that goal and realized this was going to happen, I started comparing features, and realized I wanted the fancy (I forget the name) fitbit. The Apple Watch was on sale, and the difference between the two was like $50. So I got the Apple Watch, I think mine's a Gen 3. I got the smaller of the two because I have smallish wrists, and honestly the bigger one would have still looked fine. I'm an iPhone and Mac user, and the watch integrates seamlessly into my life. When it was first announced, I sort of scoffed and was like, who needs this? But after having it for a couple years, I honestly can't imagine organizing my life without it.
posted by xedrik at 7:58 AM on October 20, 2021 [1 favorite]


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