The Fitbit Cost 6 is the go-to health tracker for many who need correct day by day monitoring, rock-solid sleep monitoring, and superior well being options for an affordable value, with Google integrations making the proposition extra engaging than ever. It’s on no account a dependable machine on the subject of GPS or coronary heart fee monitoring, and a few insights are for Premium subscribers solely, however Fitbit remains to be effectively away from the competitors right here.
- Improved design with aspect button return
- Google providers are welcome additions
- Sleep and well being monitoring each shine
- GPS efficiency may be very poor
- Sports activities monitoring is fundamental
- Some options locked behind Fitbit Premium
Google integrationsPockets, Maps, and YouTube Music are all obtainable
Very acquainted designSolely the aspect button has modified from Cost 5
New AI-based coronary heart algorithmsCoronary heart fee accuracy needs to be improved in comparison with earlier mannequin
The glory days of Fitbit’s Cost lineup could also be lengthy gone, however it undoubtedly stays a prime possibility for these out there for a premium health tracker – and the corporate has added some attractive options for the Cost 6.
It marks the primary time we’ve seen true integration of providers from Google right into a Fitbit tracker, whereas the corporate additionally means that coronary heart fee efficiency needs to be significantly boosted – similar to we noticed promised (and delivered) with the Google Pixel Watch 2.
But, that is nonetheless solely a light refresh from the Cost 5 that was launched two years in the past. The design stays largely the identical, as do a lot of the options.
With so few well-stocked and dependable health trackers round in 2023, Fitbit stays clear – however does the Cost 6 do sufficient to drive an improve or tempt smartwatch followers? Let’s discover.
Design and display
- 1.04-inch AMOLED show stays h
- Welcome return of the aspect button
- Waterproof as much as 50m
To have a look at the Fitbit Cost 6 alongside its predecessor, you’d be forgiven for failing to identify the distinction between the 2. As I say, the design has remained comparable right here.
There may be one essential distinction, although – the return of the aspect button. Fitbit did away with the haptic pusher when it redesigned the band in 2021, and it meant day-to-day interplay simply wasn’t fairly as snappy or pleasurable.
The transfer again to the button ensures that going again in menus, opening up Google Pockets, or just waking the machine is now far more nice.
Usually talking, the design is one I nonetheless actually like, too. It’s modern, mild, and cozy to put on across the clock. And whereas it positively isn’t something like sporting a premium watch – largely as a result of the case materials is aluminium and the bands are all silicone – it’s nonetheless, in my view, the highest health tracker from a wearability perspective.
It additionally stays comparatively unisex, although I do suppose that it errs on the big aspect for these with smaller wrists. And there are clearly extra female designs in Fitbit’s tracker vary, such because the Luxe and Encourage 3, which does maybe restrict its attraction.
With the design remaining nearly equivalent, this implies the 1.04-inch AMOLED show can be sticking round for this era. And I’ve no main complaints right here.
It’s nonetheless a bit of gradual to reply to wrist raises, and the touchscreen floor you’re in a position to work together with is clearly very small, however it’s vivid, detailed and the choice can be there for it to be all the time on.
I anticipate Fitbit to amplify strides on this space with the Cost 7, given its historical past of refreshing the look each two generations. And, as I’ll talk about under, rearranging the interior elements may really be important.
Software program and options
- Google providers and apps debut
- No security options or third-party apps
It’s not typically that health trackers actually have an ecosystem or compelling working system to speak about, however it’s one of many key distinguishing elements between the Cost 6 and its rivals.
And, lastly, although the may of Google has been behind Fitbit for a number of years, this now appears like the primary tracker with its enter. Google Pockets, Google Maps, and YouTube Music are all now prominently positioned throughout the tracker’s swipeable glances, and it offers you a style of the smartwatch-style expertise with out having to truly put on one (or pay for one).
Now we have been granted the flexibility to pay on a Cost machine earlier than, in fact, however this was by means of Fitbit Pay and never Google’s fee system, which is clearly a bit extra far-reaching.
For probably the most half, these new toys are actually useful. I personally don’t discover Maps that useful, given the small display dimension, however it does a minimum of work with out challenge. When you’ve arrange a route in your telephone, it may be used to show turn-by-turn instructions, with haptic suggestions letting you recognize when a brand new instruction is fed by means of.
For me, Pockets is the perfect addition – solely hampered by the truth that you’ll most likely all the time want your telephone shut by – and YouTube Music, whereas not one thing I’d use outdoors of a free trial, does have a comparatively important variety of paying listeners.
Sooner or later, I hope these integrations can increase to third-party apps like Spotify and Komoot, however, as with most areas, even the minimal that Fitbit affords right here is sufficient to blow the competitors out of the water.
My solely actual gripe with the present set of options is the dearth of security smarts. In any case, it’s one thing we’ve seen Google actually emphasise with the most recent Pixel Watch, with novel inclusions like Security Verify and Security Sign.
With a mobile connection usually required for these sorts of options, although, I don’t actually anticipate this to reach in a Cost tracker for an additional few years.
Health and well being monitoring
- Standalone GPS monitoring is basically unusable
- Coronary heart fee monitoring is hit-and-miss
- Nonetheless a lot better for day by day monitoring than sports activities
Little has modified on the health monitoring entrance with the Cost 6 – and that’s each a constructive and a damaging.
The excellent news right here is that Fitbit’s intuitive and fundamental view of your day by day exercise sits proper alongside Apple’s as among the finest choices for freshmen. Steps and calorie burn are tracked precisely in opposition to extra premium gadgets like my Garmin Epix Professional (Gen 2), and the extra superior options – like VO2 Max – are tucked away and dressed in additional pleasant titles.
Exercises are additionally routinely tracked and precisely predicted, which really isn’t all the time the case on all trackers, regardless of being a comparatively fundamental function. And with the Cost 6, there are additionally now 40 train modes to select from immediately on the wrist, together with the likes of working, HIIT, and pool swimming (the machine has a water score of 5 ATM, although can’t be utilized in open water).
It’s all good on the floor, however issues falter fairly drastically in exercise monitoring. GPS monitoring was one thing that was already an enormous grievance with the Cost 5, and, sadly, issues don’t seem to have modified in any respect with the Cost 6.
Even a quick journey to the Fitbit boards or Reddit will see the identical points highlighted, with the consensus being that sporting the previous Cost 5 very tight would enhance coronary heart fee accuracy at the price of a GPS connection, whereas sporting it free would see you regain a GPS connection however observe coronary heart fee inaccurately.
It’s the identical story once more from my expertise working with the Cost 6. After 4-5 makes an attempt, I’ve discovered that I can solely achieve an impartial, on-device GPS connection when the machine isn’t really on my wrist.
By default, the GPS setting is what Fitbit calls ‘Dynamic’, which primarily means it’ll swap between your telephone’s GPS and the machine’s antenna primarily based on sign energy.
If you change this to device-only, the issue rears its head. And, in truth, on every of my take a look at runs with the Cost 6, it offers up after 10 minutes of monitoring and bases distance on the accelerometer (and your arm motion), as a substitute.
It’s not nice – particularly when this was such a recognized challenge with a tool design two years previous – and ensures you’ll have to take your telephone with you to gauge distance precisely.
Issues are barely higher with regard to heart-rate monitoring, however nonetheless not likely to the extent I used to be imagining when Fitbit introduced the combination of these new AI-based algorithms.
I discovered that very regular fluctuations in beats-per-minute are registered very well, which suggests one thing like a persistently paced run might be tracked precisely, however any type of sturdy deviation in effort (even when I simply had a session with one longer interval) will see fairly an enormous underreporting or overreporting of common coronary heart fee figures when in comparison with Garmin or a chest strap.
It’s nearly adequate to get by for these solely involved in informal insights into coronary heart fee and energy, however it’s not a sensor I might put a lot religion in.
You can also’t syphon off the heart-rate monitoring to an exterior machine like a chest strap, both, although now you can pair the Cost 6 to related gear (like a Peloton) by way of Bluetooth, if that’s your factor.
Whereas Fitbit’s energy has by no means actually been in sports activities monitoring, it has all the time been among the many perfect at monitoring well being and sleep. And the Cost 6 remains to be among the finest methods to get entry to some premium options on this space with out proudly owning a smartwatch.
There are not any new headline additions like we noticed with the electrodermal exercise (EDA), electrocardiogram (ECG), or pores and skin temperature sensors with the Cost 5, however the well being bundle stays among the many most full in the marketplace.
And better of all, it’s very dependable. My key metrics – respiration fee, coronary heart fee variability (HRV), pores and skin temperature, oxygen saturation (SpO2), and resting coronary heart fee – have been all throughout the ranges set out by the Whoop 4.0 and Oura Ring (Gen 3). There have been no wild deviations in my time with the Cost 6, both, which might typically be the downfall of cheaper trackers.
I might have appreciated to have seen the EDA sensor upgraded to the continual model discovered on the Pixel Watch 2, since this makes the stress monitoring a bit extra proactive and means you don’t should carry out guide check-ins. However, once more, it’s tough to criticise Fitbit too closely right here given how far forward of the competitors it’s.
Sleep monitoring remains to be beautifully correct, and one thing I feel solely Oura can actually match up with at current.
Time in mattress, go to sleep occasions and wake-up intervals are nearly all the time dead-on, whereas sleep scores – and even the comparatively arbitrary sleep phases – really feel far more correct than rival choices from the likes of Garmin, say.
The one regrettable ingredient of Fitbit’s well being and sleep monitoring bundle is that some options are paywalled, similar to Each day Readiness and Sleep Profiles. That is additionally true for premium non-smartwatch gadgets like Whoop and Oura, too, however Fitbit remains to be the one main model to actually do that, which is a little bit of a disgrace.
- 0-100% with two hours of charging
- Will final round 5-7 days in common use
- Battery drops to 3-4 days with All the time On Show
Fitbit guarantees as much as seven days of battery life with the Cost 6, which occurs to be precisely the identical estimation given for the Cost 5.
That is no shock, however, like a couple of different facets, it’s barely disappointing that Fitbit has made no progress right here within the final couple of years.
Nonetheless, this estimation does try primarily based on my testing, with the cycle naturally decreasing to round 4 days with the always-on show turned on.
It’s been tough for me to gauge particular battery drain, on condition that the built-in GPS primarily didn’t work through the testing interval, however an hour of monitoring sometimes noticed a drop-off of round 15%.
The Fitbit Cost 6 isn’t the quickest at getting again to full cost, both. Going from round 5% to a full cost took round two hours, which isn’t in any respect shocking given it options the identical design and charger as its predecessor. Faster charging is one other function, I consider, that Fitbit will solely roll out within the subsequent era.
Do you have to purchase it?
If you would like the perfect Fitbit tracker
With extra well being and monitoring options than its siblings, that is the perfect Fitbit machine for many who don’t need a smartwatch.
In case you require correct sports activities monitoring
Fitbit’s fundamental monitoring may match very effectively, however GPS and coronary heart fee monitoring efficiency gained’t be dependable sufficient for intermediate or superior athletes.
The Fitbit Cost 6 ensures that Fitbit stays on the summit of the health tracker world, with minor tweaks to the design and the combination of Google providers maintaining it forward of the competitors.
It gained’t be sufficient to persuade Cost 5 house owners to improve, not least due to the persisting sports activities monitoring points, however that is nonetheless some of the feature-packed gadgets you should purchase for the cash. Try our Finest Health Tracker and Finest Smartwatch guides for much more choices.
How we take a look at
We completely take a look at each health tracker we evaluate. We use industry-standard testing to check options correctly and we use the watch as our major machine over the evaluate interval. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover and we by no means, ever, settle for cash to evaluate a product.
Worn as our major tracker through the testing interval
Thorough well being and health monitoring testing
It took me round 2 hours to totally cost the Fitbit Cost 6 whereas testing.
In line with my assessments, the Fitbit Cost 6 lasts roughly 10 days on a single cost.
First Reviewed Date
Fitbit Cost 6
38.7 x 18.6 x 11.7 MM
Obsidian / Porcelain / Coral