For a long time Fitbit didn’t have a fitness tracker for kids and we had to make do with other brands. That all changed last year when the San Francisco outfit introduced Ace. But it didn’t stop there. From last month we have not one but two Fitbit devices for kids to choose from.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers for kids
Just like for adults, carrying extra weight can be a problem many kids. Everyone should move more and sit less in order to stay healthy and reduce the risk of disease.
The latest Official Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans include new guidelines for children ages 3 through 5 and updated guidelines for the 6 to 17 year olds. Younger kids are encouraged to put in at least 3 hours each day of active play. This should be light to vigorous intensity. Teenagers should aim for at least 60 daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity each and every day. Sports, jumping rope, climbing on playground equipment and even walking as long as it’s at a brisk pace all count.
Choosing a Fitbit-branded fitness tracker for your kids makes sense. Many of us wear the company’s adult devices on our wrists. It’s only natural that we would want the same great quality for our little ones.
Plus Fitbit provides a family account which allows parents to safeguard their kids’ privacy and stay on top of their activity. You can switch between your activity and your kids activity in the same smartphone app, and the software lets you manage who your children connect with and what information they see on the fitness tracker display. Kids can access their account through a secure Kids View.
Fitbit Ace vs Ace 2: Design
When it comes to looks, the two activity bands are quite different. The original Ace is designed for kids 8 and over and because of this it more closely resembles an adult fitness tracker. You could even say it’s a Fitbit Alta lookalike.
Ace 2, on the other hand, is for kids a bit younger. Fitbit says it’s designed for those 6 and above. To this end, it comes with a swim proof, colourful design and a physical button on the left. The casing is more rugged in order to protect it from rough play, plus it has better water resistance (5 ATM rated).
The original device has a slim look (only 15mm wide), so is not nearly as tough and it’s only splash resistant (IPX7 rated). It has no physical buttons.
Most of the other design differences are to do with the display. Ace comes with a B&W OLED tap screen which lets your kid see their progress in real time. Ace 2 has a much larger Touchscreen Grayscale OLED display. In fact it’s so big the gizmo looks more like a smartwatch than a fitness tracker. The bumpers around it serve to protect the wearable during playtime and give it even more bulk.
Ace 2 has colourful bands and accessories to choose from, and the tracker’s comes with animated clock faces that change throughout the day as the wearer logs steps and other activity. This should appeal to younger kids but those a bit older might find it a bit too childish. The original device comes with some clock face designs, too, although they are not animated.
Under the hood the two are pretty much alike. Both have a 3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor, so no heart rate monitor or other fancy sensors. Battery life is pretty good. The devices are chargeable and will keep going for about 5 days before needing a top-up.
Fitbit Ace vs Ace 2: Functionality
Ace and Ace 2 track your kids all-day steps, active minutes and sleep. They come with reminders to move which can be customised by parents via the smartphone app. The app can also be used to schedule bedtime reminders and silent alarms.
Kids will be rewarded for hitting goals with celebratory messages and fun badges. They can even challenge others to step competitions, including their parents.
Finally, if your little one owns a smartphone, they’ll be able to get notifications on their wrists. No more excuses that they’ve not seen the message that it’s time to come home for lunch!
One aspect where these wearables are lacking compared to the other popular fitness trackers for kids, such as Garmin Vivofit Jr 1 and 2, is in gamification. The Garmin devices provide a variety of educational mobile adventures for the kids. Perhaps something that is in store for Fitbit Ace 3!
Fitbit Ace vs Ace 2: Summary
It’s not really fair to call Ace 2 a second generation tracker. In name it is, but in design the wearable is meant for a younger age group.
Ace 2 is more rugged, it has much better water resistance and a larger screen that features animated clock faces. The original device resembles an adult fitness tracker although with its slim form-factor it’s perfectly suitable for kids. In terms of functionality there’s hardly anything to separate the two.
Fitbit Ace 2
Fitbit is the king of fitness trackers for a reason. Its devices are reliable, they are good at monitoring activity 24/7 and they come with a great software ecosystem. You won’t go wrong with either of these two wearables.
If your child is towards the lower end of the suggested age range (6-8), we suggest going for Ace 2. Those that are a bit older might find the design a bit too “childish”. It’s also worth noting, while neither of these two devices will break the bank, the original Ace is slightly more expensive.
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