Fitbit Encourage 3 assessment: The very best health tracker turns into even higher

Between the just lately launched Apple Watch Sequence 8 and Google’s long-awaited Google Pixel Watch (lastly), smartwatches are all the trend. However for those who’re not available in the market to exchange your present watch and really feel extra comfy with a lower-priced, easier exercise tracker, the Fitbit Encourage 3 — the follow-up to our longstanding greatest health tracker choose — could also be a extra related alternative.

Fitbit just lately refreshed its line of standard health trackers, and I’ve been testing the small however mighty Encourage 3, which now includes a colour show and 10-day battery life and sells for beneath $100. Not solely is it reasonably priced, however it’s additionally smaller and lighter than most smartwatches and lots of comparable health bands.

I’ve been strolling round and understanding with the Fitbit Encourage 3 for over a month, and regardless of some minor points, I discover that it tracks every thing I want, together with steps, distance, energy, coronary heart charge, sleep and rather more. Although it’s not a smartwatch, it’s artful sufficient to ship notifications from my cellphone by way of Bluetooth so I simply can look at my wrist to test a textual content or see who’s calling.

Fitbit Encourage 3 assessment: The very best health tracker turns into even higher

The Fitbit Encourage 3 is one of the best health tracker for most individuals, providing complete monitoring, a vivid colour show and a snug match for lower than $100.

I’ve been utilizing and reviewing Fitbit exercise trackers because the first one debuted in 2009 — and that features every thing from the fundamental fashions to the extra complicated smartwatch fashions. The refreshed Encourage 3 is sufficiently small to remain out of my means, comes with a great deal of options and at $99, will slot in most budgets. Suitable with Android and iOS smartphones, the band is obtainable in three colour choices: Midnight Zen (darkish grey), Morning Glow (orange) and Lilac Bliss (mild purple) and comes with two totally different sized versatile silicon straps. Non-obligatory equipment embody a good-looking stainless-steel mesh band, if you wish to jazz it up.

Fitbit Inspire 3

The very first thing you discover in regards to the Fitbit Encourage 3 is the brilliant, colour AMOLED display screen, changing the monochrome display screen on the Encourage 2. Not solely does this new display screen make the tracker extra interesting to take a look at, however it’s additionally simpler to see your data in vivid daylight. Smaller and narrower than my present Fitbit Cost 4, its pebble-shape design is wrapped in a svelte 1.55-inch case.

You entry information the identical means: tapping and swiping by the menus. Swipe left for notifications, workout routines, alarms and timers. Swipe up for settings and down for each day well being stats. I discovered the display screen to be usually responsive, although there have been a couple of instances I needed to swipe greater than as soon as to get its consideration.

The brand new mannequin does include an always-on show functionality, however be warned: It can drain your tracker’s battery a lot quicker than the ten days of battery life the Encourage 3 boasts. With out this characteristic, I acquired about 11 days of battery life on a single cost. With an always-on display screen, Fitbit says you’ll get about three days.

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Exercise monitoring is what Fitbit does greatest, and the Encourage 3 makes it simple. There are over 20 totally different exercises to select from (together with run, bike, swim and treadmill), although you may solely have six exercises in your tracker without delay. To swap them out it’s essential to connect with the app, make your adjustments and re-sync the gadget.

The Encourage 3 additionally makes use of what it calls Lively Zone Minutes that will help you higher attain your exercise objectives. It screens your coronary heart charge and tracks how a lot time you spend in sure zones, taking age and health degree under consideration. Once I stroll within the morning, I often keep at a gentle tempo. Nevertheless, if I pace up or run, it should change from “fats burning” to “cardio zone” to provide me Lively Zone Minutes.

All that is finished within the background whereas it additionally tracks your distance, energy burned, variety of steps, time elapsed and coronary heart charge. If you end a exercise, you may see all the info in your wrist, or test it within the app when you sync.

The Encourage 3’s new well being monitoring options make it a compelling well being tracker along with a health tracker. It mechanically tracks Sp02 (blood oxygen) ranges all through the day, and whereas it may well’t take an ECG just like the costlier Fitbit Cost 5 or newer smartwatches, it should monitor your coronary heart charge and provide you with a warning if it detects an irregular coronary heart rhythm.

As soon as it syncs with the Fitbit app, you may entry all this knowledge and drill down for more information or timelines. Within the app you can too manually monitor menstruation and blood glucose ranges, and think about historic knowledge.

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Although the Encourage 3 is Fitbit’s entry-level tracker, it nonetheless provides the corporate’s complete sleep monitoring talents. I’m not an enormous fan of carrying a tracker to mattress, however the silicon band and small measurement made it light-weight and comfy sufficient to provide it a strive.

Fitbit recommends carrying it for 14 nights to get an in-depth sleep profile, however even after a couple of nights I used to be capable of see how a lot deep and REM sleep I get in comparison with mild and stressed sleep. It additionally tracks resting coronary heart charge, sleep length and blood oxygen ranges, so the developments within the knowledge will provide you with sense of your sleep profile

Positive, the Encourage 3 tracks and makes it simple to see your well being and health stats, however for those who resolve to splurge for a Fitbit Premium subscription, you’ll have entry to extra in-depth well being metrics and developments in addition to premium exercise challenges.

The Every day Readiness rating appears to be like at your sleep, coronary heart charge and exercise knowledge that will help you higher take heed to your physique. Did you get evening’s relaxation? Possibly you’ll wish to push your self a bit of tougher at the moment. However, a low readiness rating means your physique is worn out and also you would possibly wish to take a restoration day. As an illustration, one morning it beneficial I do a lightweight stroll or stretching as a substitute of a more durable exercise, which I readily accepted.

The Sleep Rating gives deeper insights about your sleep high quality (how a lot you slept, how a lot time in deep and REM sleep) and restoration patterns. There are additionally stress administration instruments and well being and wellness studies to dig into.

Premium members can see a minute breakdown of their stress rating, together with exertion steadiness, responsiveness and sleep patterns. I particularly preferred that it confirmed how my physique responds to emphasize over longer intervals of time, and typically even advised I contemplate a fast meditation or taking a break with the Loosen up app, which walked me by a guided respiration session.

You don’t want a Premium subscription to profit from the Encourage 3 tracker, however if you wish to higher perceive how your general exercise, coronary heart charge and sleep impacts your physique, it’s value a strive. Your tracker comes with six months free, so if you wish to maintain it after that, you’ll be subsequently charged both $9.99 monthly or $79.99 for a 12 months.

Fitbit Inspire 3

Although I like that the Encourage 3 is compact and the colour display screen is considered one of its greatest new options, some customers would possibly discover it a bit of too small. As a result of I put on studying glasses, I had a harder time grabbing a fast look at a textual content message or studying my coronary heart charge throughout a exercise. It’s doable to alter the clock faces to make the date and time bigger, however as soon as it was monitoring an exercise, it was nonetheless exhausting for me to see clearly.

I additionally wished to have the ability to monitor an exercise and see the time, which I can at the moment do on my Cost 4. But, when you begin monitoring an train on the Encourage 3, you now not have entry to the house display screen. You possibly can scroll by the screens, previous issues like tempo, coronary heart charge, steps and energy, however even then you definitely’ll solely discover the time as a small knowledge level. This took too many steps and was exhausting to learn whereas I used to be attempting to maintain a quicker tempo.

At present, the message that pops up while you end an train says “Good work!” each single time. I could also be getting nitpicky, however I wouldn’t thoughts if it was a bit of extra discerning. Once I’ve gone on my three-mile course, I’ll take it, but when I solely work out for 10 minutes, falling in need of my normal routine, it might be OK if it stated one thing extra like “Good strive.”

And whereas I’m being choosy, it might be nice if the message that pops up while you end an train could be a bit of extra discerning. At present, it says “Good work!” each single time. Once I’ve gone on my 3-mile course, I’ll take it, but when I solely work out for 10 minutes, falling in need of my normal routine, it might be OK if it stated one thing extra like “Good strive.”

The Fitbit Encourage 2’s slim design, ease of use and complete well being and exercise monitoring options topped our greatest health trackers checklist, so it’s no shock that the up to date Encourage 3 builds on that. For $99 you received’t discover a extra complete, feature-rich entry-level gadget.

There are different exercise trackers at this value level which have related metrics, just like the $80 Garmin Vivofit 4 — we significantly preferred that this one makes use of a button to assist navigate the menu. Nevertheless, we additionally discovered the Garmin app and interface clunky and harder to navigate.

The information and insights the Fitbit app itself has to supply are complete, so if you’d like a tool with extra options, Fitbit has a couple of choices.

The Fitbit Cost 5 comes with a barely bigger display screen however will price about $50 extra at $150. It’s not as sleek-looking however has higher-end options like built-in GPS and Spotify integration so that you don’t need to take your cellphone with you while you’re out operating. It additionally has the ECG app for coronary heart rhythm evaluation and provides seven days of battery life. For $129, the Fitbit Luxe has the identical options and efficiency because the Encourage 3 however provides a gold case. The Luxe has about 5 days of battery life.

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With its entry-level price ticket, the Encourage 3 lacks the smarts of a costlier gadget. There’s no built-in GPS (although you should use your cellphone’s GPS to trace a run by way of Bluetooth) and no contactless funds or built-in music service like Spotify.

However, When you’re in search of an easy-to-use, feature-rich tracker with battery life that can go for days, the Fitbit Encourage 3 with its colour display screen and 10-day battery life leads the pack. You additionally get helpful options like stress administration, two-minute rest classes, reminders to stand up and transfer and the “discover my cellphone” characteristic for while you misplace your cellphone in the home. And, at beneath $100, it’s reasonably priced, comfy sufficient to put on all day and evening and offers you entry to significant knowledge in its complete Fitbit app.