When stay at home orders were issued many people were wondering “how do I get a workout when my gym is closed”. Many online fitness services took the opportunity to provide free trails so that people could try their services, and hopefully become a new paying customer. In turn, I took the opportunity to try some programs that I was not sure would be worth paying for. Fitbit Premium was one such service.
The first thing you need to know is how Fitbit is different from other devices in the wearable category. These days most Fitbits are going to be watches, but some people may still have the old school pedometer. The difference with Fitbit is that this device also tracks sleep as well as steps, heartrate, and exercise types. I have used several versions of this device since 2009. Then a couple years ago this Premium feature came out and I wondered what does it offer that I don’t already have…then promptly forgot about it because my main exercise is swimming.
Now that I cannot go to the pool I needed a different exercise option. With Fitbit Premium you get access to guides programs, mindfulness sessions (meditations), work out videos, advanced sleep analytics, and a wellness report. Here is what I learned using these tools for 90 days.
I was super disappointed about the wellness report, it gives the exact details I used to get for free back in the day. Having to pay for something that used to be a selling point for the device is aggravating to me. The advanced sleep analytics are not much more than what you get standard. So far I am not impressed and the extra information is not worth paying the monthly fee.
I do like the mindfulness sessions and specifically the sleep mediations. Well one of the sleep mediations. My problem is that many of them would cut off in the middle and then I would have to get it started again…uh to me the point of mediation is to relax and not worry about stuff. For sleep mediation you should drift off and not have to interface with your tech again. But the worst part is there is not search or save as favorite feature. So, I had to scroll through menus and lists every night to find my favorite one. Not ideal and not worth paying money for.
They have a decent variety of work out videos in various categories. But again, there is no save as favorite or search function. Back to scrolling through lists and the videos seemed to move about and I could not find them in the same place day after day. I also did not like that you can only use the tools on your phone or tablet; I could not stream to my desktop computer that has a large monitor. Other workout platforms have a nicer interface and can be used on my computer and smart TV that cost the exact same amount. Still not worth paying a monthly fee to have Fitbit Premium.
There are also challenges but most of them require all participants to be using the premium feature. Most of my friends are not paying extra for this service so it was not that much fun for me.
Overall I was pretty disappointed by Fitbit Premium. Most of the features I used to get for free. The new features seem like an after thought. The interface seems like an after thought. When you have so many choices in the same price point, you may as well spend your money elsewhere in my opinion.