If you really want to purchase a waterproof Fitbit, there are options out there. And no, we don’t mean the Flex 2.
Fitbit was one of the early pioneers in the fitness-tracker game, but one thing it always shied away from was waterproofing. Until the Flex 2 that is. Announced the time last year, this is the company’s slimmest tracker to date and the only Fibit device that is water resistant.
Essential reading: Choosing the right Fitbit tracker
Its features, though, are fairly standard and cover only the basics. This means the tracker monitors your steps, distance, calories, active minutes and hourly activity. You also get automatic exercise tracking for running, sports and aerobic workouts and personalised weekly exercise goals. Notifications are part of the package too, but heart rate monitoring isn’t.
More importantly for this article, the Flex 2 is water resistant down to 50 meters. It automatically tracks your pool swims including laps, duration and calories burned in the Fitbit app.
But there are other options out there if you are dead-set on purchasing a Fitbit and water-resistance is a must. One of the more interesting ones comes from an outfit called Waterfi. Established in 2010, the San Diego based company is all about waterproof electronics. This includes anything from fitness trackers to headphones, iPods and Kindles. What started as a one man outfit working out of his apartment, has now grown to a collection of nineteen staff.
Waterfi uses something they call PlatinumX Waterproofing Technology. What this does is it applies a proprietary substance that completely protects a device and forms an insulating barrier around all of the sensitive electronics. This barrier guards the device from exposure to threatening elements such as chlorine, salt water, sweat, and shock.
The company has applied this technology to the Fitbit’s most popular fitness trackers, including the Charge 2, Blaze and Alta HR. What you essentially get is a Fitbit that is water-resistant down to 25 feet underwater (IPX8 compliant).
Essential reading: Head off to the pool with one of these gadgets
Now you can really wear your fitness tracker 24/7. Leave it on when you take a shower or bath, or go for a swim. It will still not track your laps in the pool, but at least water (down to the prescribed level), will not harm the electronics inside. Which means you never have to worry about using the fitness tracker the wrong way.
Amazon ratings are a great gauge on the quality of a product. And the reviews are very good. For example, the waterproof Fitbit Charge 2 is rated 4.1 out of 5 stars. The only issue that is sometimes mentioned, is that because the altimeter is sealed it doesn’t give an accruate count of floors. The Blaze and Alta have similar ratings. As you would expect, though, all this comes at a cost. The trackers sell for around $120-$130 more than their non-H2O friendly counterparts.
If water resistance is very important to you and the increase in price is not an issue, this is definitely an option worth considering. Or you could always opt for a fitness tracker that has been designed from the outset to be waterproof. The second option often has the additional benefit of being able to produce swim metrics.
And let’s not forget Fitbit’s upcoming smartwatch. Due out this fall, it will have a host of features including water-resistance down to 50 metres.
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