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Fitbit comparison: Which activity tracker is best for you?

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Fitbit via AP/File

(Read caption) The Fitbit Surge, among the few fitness trackers with built-in GPS and heart-rate monitors.

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Activity trackers can make the perfect gift for your mom, your friend, your PE teacher or even yourself.

Fitbit makes some of the most popular models, but before you buy one, use this guide to determine which type is best for your situation. We’ve put six Fitbit models head to head to help you compare prices, features and functionality.

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Fitbit Zip

Price: $59.95 from Fitbit
Features: The Zip — the least expensive tracker of the six — is a small, water-resistant device that can be clipped onto clothing. It features an easy-to-read display, is sold in a variety of bright colors and syncs wirelessly to compatible devices. It tracks steps, calories, distance, active minutes and time of day.
Battery life: Four to six months
Good fit for: Casual athletes who are looking for a simple, affordable and functional activity tracker.

Fitbit One

Price: $99.95 from Fitbit
Features: Like the Zip, the One can also be clipped onto clothing. It tracks steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and sleep. It also features a clock and silent vibrating alarm. The product includes a simple OLED display and syncs wirelessly to compatible devices.
Battery life: 10 to 14 days
Good fit for: Fitness enthusiasts who want to monitor both their activity and their sleep, and don’t want to wear something on their wrist.

Fitbit Flex

Price: $99.95 from Fitbit
Features: The Flex is a sleek and stylish wristband that costs just under $100. It tracks sleep, steps, calories and distance traveled. It also includes a silent vibrating alarm and can sync wirelessly to compatible devices. It doesn’t have a traditional screen, but the slim wristband displays LED lights that show progress toward goals.
Battery life: Up to five days
Good fit for: People who want a water-resistant wristband, which allows fitness tracking to continue, no matter the activity.

Fitbit Charge

Price: $129.95 from Fitbit
Features: At a cost of $129.95, the Charge is a step up (price-wise and feature-wise) from the Zip, One and Flex. This model features activity tracking (steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes), a clock, sleep tracking, auto sleep detection, silent vibrating alarm and caller ID. The wristband has an OLED display and can wirelessly sync to compatible devices.
Battery life: Seven to 10 days
Good fit for: Dedicated athletes who want an all-encompassing sleep and activity tracker without having to pay the price of a more advanced smartwatch.

Fitbit Charge HR

Price: $149.95 from Fitbit
Features: The Charge HR is similar to the Fitbit Charge, but also includes continuous heart rate monitoring. Like the Charge, it features caller ID, exercise tracking, wireless syncing, a water-resistant design and an OLED display.
Battery life: Up to five days
Good fit for: Serious athletes who want a reliable and multifaceted fitness assistant for less than $150.

Fitbit Surge

Price: $249.95 from Fitbit
Features: At the top of Fitbit’s fitness tracker line is the Surge, a $249.95 performance fitness GPS watch. Besides typical tracking, this watch has caller ID, text notifications, music control, continuous heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking and wireless syncing to compatible devices. The fancy features aren’t a substitute for tried and true fitness metrics, either; users can log their workouts, view exercise summaries, track distance, monitor calories burned, record floors climbed and calculate pace.
Battery life: Up to seven days (GPS battery life up to 10 hours)
Good fit for: People who want all the bells and whistles of a smartwatch like the Apple Watch Sport, but don’t want to pay almost $100 more.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.

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This article first appeared in NerdWallet.


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