Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit Ace 3 vs Ace 2: what’s new and different?

Fitbit has, yesterday, made official the Ace 3 kids fitness tracker. The wearable had leaked earlier so there were few real surprises on launch day.

The company has so far dished out three generations of activity trackers solely dedicated for little ones. The first was an Alta lookalike, the second a more robust device for younger kids. Now we have the third iteration.

Fitbit is slowly making a name for itself in this space. For a long time it only focused on wearables for adults. There’s even talk of an upcoming 4G smartwatch for little ones. Reportedly, it was due to land by the end of 2020 but perhaps the Google acquisition and/or coronavirus situation delayed things.

If you’re in the market for a kids fitness tracker, you will not go wrong with a Fitbit. But which should you choose? Read on to find out.

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Fitbit Ace 3 vs Ace 2: Design

Fitbit Ace 3 was expected to arrive on March 15th but the company has released it earlier. No doubt, the fact that all the info leaked out ahead of launch day did not help.

Designed for kids aged 6 and up, the tracker largely resembles the second generation device. It has a similar chunky appearance that appears to be fairly robust. As the side-by-side picture below shows, the look is a bit streamlined. The edges are curved and the single physical button on the left looks to be more shielded by the silicone band.

fitbit ace 3 with long battery life more clock faces is official - Fitbit Ace 3 vs Ace 2: what's new and different?
Fitbit Ace 3 next to Fitbit Ace 2

The actual dimensions of the third generation device come in at 1.47 x .66 x .5 inches (H x W x D). That’s only slightly larger than the 1.45 x .63 x .5″ of its predecessor. Both devices weigh around 70 grams and have straps that are interchangeable.

Other specifications include a touchscreen PMOLED display on Ace 3. You’re not going to notice much difference from the grayscale OLED of the older device, although this does have the benefit of not being so power hungry.  The main visible difference is that Ace 3 has a 20% brighter screen than Ace 2. If you were waiting for a color display on a Fitbit tracker perhaps you’ll have more luck when Ace 4 comes out.

Now, Fitbit also has the original Ace tracker for kids. The company does not sell it on its website any more but you can find it while stocks last at various retail outlets such as Amazon. That one is quite different from these two in that it is meant for slightly older kids and it largely resembles the Alta fitness tracker. You can read more about the difference between the first generation Ace and newer devices on this link.

Sensors and other tech

Under the hood, the sensors between Ace 3 and 2 are the same. The list is short and includes an accelerometer and vibration motor. Interestingly, Fitbit’s website states that Ace 3 also has a optical heart rate sensor. However this is deactivated and there’s no option to switch it on. Why exactly the company has decided to include this is unclear. Perhaps it will look to enable it in the future via software updates.

Another improvement is to do with battery life. Fitbit Ace 3 can keep going for up to 8 days on a single charge whereas Ace 2 is good for about 5 days. That’s a significant improvement as it almost doubles the time between charges.

Here’s a table illustrating the hardware differences between the two.

Ace 3
Ace 2
For ages
Made of a flexible silicone similar to that used in many sport watches and includes a plastic buckle.
Made of a flexible silicone similar to that used in many sport watches and includes a plastic buckle.
5 ATM (swim proof)
5 ATM (swim proof)
1.47 x .66 x .5″
1.45 x .63 x .5″
One size: One Size: fits wrist 4.8″ – 6.8″ in circumference
One size: One Size: fits wrist 4.6″ – 6.6″ in circumference
PMOLED touchscreen
Grayscale OLED
3-axis accelerometer, Vibration motor (optical heart rate sensors but this is deactivated and cannot be turned on).
3-axis accelerometer, Vibration motor
Battery life
Up to 8 days. Charge time (zero to full) – 2 hours.
Up to 5 days. Charge time (zero to full) – 2 hours.
7 days of detailed motion data – minute by minute. Saves daily totals for the past month. 
7 days of detailed motion data – minute by minute. Saves daily totals for the past month. 
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth 4.0
‘watermelon and teal’,’night sky and neon yellow’ and ‘grape’
‘Black / Sport Red’ and ‘Cosmic Blue / Astro Green’

Fitbit Ace 3 vs Ace 2: Features

These trackers cover the basics when it comes to fitness tracking. There’s an on-screen dashboard to keep an eye out on activity such as steps, calories burned and sleep. The wearables also have dedicated activity modes for running, hiking and cycling. There’s a timer and stopwatch, virtual badges, call alerts, move reminders, bedtime reminders/alarms and more. Plus all of this is tallied with official recommendations for 60 minutes of daily activity for kids.

The additions on Ace 3 are a bunch of new clock faces which brings the total to more than 20 to choose from. This includes some animated ones such as a cat, bunny and others. These change and grow as kids make progress toward their daily goal.

The wearable also brings a new do-not-disturb mode. Other than that, the duo has pretty much the same features.

The Android/Apple phone app has also not changed. So you still get a kids mode and a parents mode. The latter allows for customization of access for kids.

Fitbit Ace 3 vs Ace 2: the bottom line

All things considered, this is an iterative upgrade over the second generation. Improved battery life, a slightly better display, some more clock faces including animated ones are the main changes. Fitbit says there are also more accessory band options as compared to before.

The price difference between the two wearables is only $10. So in our mind, there’s no real reason to purchase the old device instead of the new one. Particularly as we suspect Fitbit will phase out Ace 2 in the coming months.

Ace 3 can be ordered on Amazon’s website. The kids wearable comes in black-red and blue-green. In a few months it will have two Minions-themed accessory bands, that can be purchased for $29.95. Ace 2 can also be bought on Amazon.

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