Technology

Fitbit: Our tips for getting the most out of your fitness watch or bracelet –

Fitbit’s latest fitness trackers and smartwatches come with sports and wellness features such as stress assessment (Fitbit Sense and Charge 5) or oxygen levels in the body.

Fitbit, owned by Google, is working with its parent company on the upcoming Pixel Watch, due this fall. But the brand retains its independence and its range. This guide lists a few practical tips that will improve your daily use of your Fitbit bracelet or watch. It was made using Fitbit Sense paired with a Pixel 6 Pro smartphone. Some tips may not work on all models and the steps may differ depending on whether you are using an iPhone or an Android mobile phone.

Read the time even when the screen is off

© Mark Zaffagni

You can make it easier to see the time without having to lift your wrist or touch the screen by turning on the always-on display. As the name suggests, this mode allows you to display the time on the screen even when it is in standby mode. Keep in mind that this setting affects battery life.

On Charge 5 and Luxe models, swipe down from the watch face, tap the option Settingsto choose Display settingsthen choose permanent display.

On Sense and Versa 3, swipe right from the watch face and tap the always-on display symbol that looks like a clock.

Always-on display enabled in Fitbit Sense. © Mark Zaffagni

On Versa 2, swipe down from the top of the screen to view notifications. Then swipe down again to access the control center. Tap the quick settings icon and then the always-on display icon.

Set which stats you want to see first during a workout

Sports data goals and preferences vary among practitioners. Some prioritize calorie expenditure while others prioritize heart rate. On the Fitbit Sense, Versa, and Ionic series, you can determine the order in which this information is displayed.

To get started, open the app Events on your watch and select the type of workout you want to set up. From there, tap the gear-shaped icon in the top left if you have an Ionic, Versa, Versa Lite Edition, or Versa 2, then select the option Customize statistics. Then select the stats you want to display in the top, middle, and bottom slots of your device.

Instructions are slightly different for Fitbit Sense and Versa 3. In the app Events, select the workout you want to customize, then swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open settings. In chapter Show statisticss, you can select the top, middle, and bottom options to change the stats you want to display in each slot.

Customizing the display of statistics on Fitbit Sense. © Mark Zaffagni

Pair your Fitbit with Android by holding it close to your phone

The Google Fast Pair feature speeds up the pairing process by pairing a new Fitbit bracelet or watch with your Android smartphone when the two devices are close to each other. All you have to do is turn on your Fitbit wearable and make sure your mobile phone’s Bluetooth is turned on. You should see a notification to download the Fitbit app. This works with the Luxe, Charge 5, Sense and Inspire 2 models in particular.

© Mark Zaffagni

Customize your workout selection

We all prefer one activity over another, whether it’s running, swimming or walking. Fitbit allows you to tailor your list of available activities. To do this, simply open the Fitbit app, tap your profile picture, and select your device. Then click Action Labels to change your Fitbit workout options. Button + Activity shortcut allows you to add a new type of activity, to remove it, use a swipe to the left during training, while the button Edit allows you to reorganize activities. This list of shortcuts is not available on Sense and Versa 3 watches. Fitbit indicates that all activities are available directly on Sense, Versa and Ionic.

Fitbit Sense: Get started with a simple tap

Accessing the Fitbit Sense Activities app is easy, but you can start exercising instantly by setting up the side button on your watch. To do this, press and hold the latter, and the watch will display several applications and functions that can be launched with a long press on the same button. Options include ECG, Music, Calendar, Alarm, Fitbit Pay, etc. Scroll through this list until you see An exerciseand select the type of workout you want to start by pressing and holding the side button. If you don’t want to select a specific workout, you can also launch the app Events.

You can customize what happens when you long press the side button in the Sense settings menu. On the home screen, swipe left twice, and then tap Settings. To choose Labelsthen choose Press and hold. From there tap An exercise and select the action you want to start with a long press on the side button.


Select a shortcut to launch an Activity by long pressing the Fitbit Sense side button. © Mark Zaffagni

Use your Fitbit to find your phone

This is a very practical help when you don’t know where your phone is and don’t want to waste time looking for it. Find My Phone, available on Fitbit Sense, Versa 2, and Versa 3, plays a ringtone to help you find your lost phone. On Fitbit Sense, you need to perform four swipe gestures to the left of the home screen and tap Find My Phone. For this to work, the Fitbit app must be open on your smartphone.

Fitbit Sense (as well as Versa 2 and Versa 3) can call your smartphone to help you find it. © Mark Zaffagni

Adjust stride length to make step counting more accurate

Fitbit automatically calculates your stride length when you run or walk using GPS. But you can also measure your stride length and manually add it to the app. To do this, Fitbit offers to count your steps when you walk or run where you can easily measure the distance, such as on a track. You must walk at least 20 steps. Then divide the distance traveled in meters by the number of steps. With this result, open the Fitbit app and tap your profile picture in the top left corner. Under Settingsto chooseActivity and well-being and pressPhysical activity. Pressstride lengthuncheck Install automatically and enter your walking and running details.

Adjust your stride length for walking and running. © Mark Zaffagni

Hear your stats during your workout

Wristbands and watches allow you to quickly view sports statistics, but it is not always possible or convenient to look at your wrist while exercising. That’s why the Fitbit app can speak certain statistics such as distance, time, average pace, calories burned, and lap time. You can choose which stats you want to hear during your workout and set the alert frequency based on distance or time.

On iPhone
: Open the Fitbit app, tap your profile picture, and scroll down to a category. Activity and well-being
under Settings. Press An exercise and scroll down to see the option Use voice promptswhich is below the list of automatically recognized exercises.

On Android
: on this week’s exercise tile in the feed Today click “ + “. Then activate Use voice prompts then press Signal types select options and enable Each set the time interval between voice announcements.

Enable voice stats in the Fitbit Android app. © Mark Zaffagni

Turn off reminders to move more

By default, Fitbit watches and bands will activate a “move more” reminder that prompts you to get up and stretch a little after a period of inactivity.

But these tips aren’t necessarily helpful for everyone, and some might get frustrated. To turn these motion reminders on or off, open the Fitbit app and tap your photo in the top left corner. Select your Fitbit device from the list, then scroll down to the option move more
. From here, you can turn reminders on or off completely, or set them for specific time slots or days of the week.

Additional notifications in the Fitbit Android app can be configured and disabled. © Mark Zaffagni

CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance

Cover image: Mark Zaffagni

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