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Fitbit Ace review – Getting kids active will cost you but it’s worth paying the price

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Fitbit Ace review

Fitbit Ace review

Fitbit Ace review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

FITBIT ACE REVIEW • £79.99

  • PROS: Robust design • On screen rewards help boost activity • Long battery life • Sleep tracking
  • CONS: Awkward charger • More strap designs would be an advantage • Price

Fitbit is now synonymous with getting adults a little more active.

The US firm has produced every type of fitness tracker under the sun with a range that will suit all wrists and budgets.

But not content with keeping the older generations happy, Fitbit has now turned its attention to kids.

The latest Fitbit Ace is a child-friendly device aimed at helping the younger members of your family to get up off the sofa.

Some may question why children need a gadget like this strapped to their wrists but Fitbit has been clever enough to make sure its new tracker is useful and fun without bombarding them with data such as weight, heart rate or calorie intake.

To find out if the Ace really is worth buying express.co.uk put it in the hands of Mary, a 10-year-old from London, and here’s our full review.

Fitbit Ace review

The Fitbit Ace costs £79.99 (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

DESIGN

Like most Fitbit devices the Ace looks incredibly slick with a slimline design that suits even the daintiest of wrists.

At the heart of the device is a bright OLED screen which shows daily data including steps and activity along with the time and date.

A durable and fully adjustable band makes it secure on small arms and, during our month-long test, the Ace survived the daily perils of the playground.

In fact, it still looks as good as when it was removed from its box.

The Ace even coped after being fully submerged in water when our young reviewer plunged into her nightly bath by mistake.

Fitbit says the Ace is showerproof but its build quality is clearly able to cope with a very decent soaking – although it’s worth noting that it’s not made for swimming.

If we had one slight criticism it would be the rubber strap is a bit fiddly and your child will need to be patient when trying to fit it themselves.

There’s also only two colours to chose from, including blue and purple.

We’re guessing more strap styles may become available in time but it’s a shame there’s not more options right now especially as older, more fashion conscious, kids may want to accessories their device.

Fitbit Ace review

The Fitbit Ace includes an OLED screen at the heart of the device (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

FITNESS TRACKING

Fitbit has been very smart with the Ace as this device is not aimed at scaring kids into losing weight or worrying about their body image.

It doesn’t show calories, body fat or heart rate but simply gives a guide on daily activity and how much sleep they are getting – it even gives them a gentle nudge if they’ve been inactive for a while.

In reality, it all works pretty well and there’s even challenges and rewards which helps bring an extra level of excitement to the device.

On numerous occasions our reviewer beamed with joy when the Ace revealed she’d hit her target for the day.

It’s hard to know exactly how accurate the step counting is but it certainly tallied with a busy day at school compared to a lazy Sunday in front of the TV.

Unlike some more expensive trackers, the Ace won’t show how many stairs you’ve climbed or monitor different activities such as swimming and cycling.

However, it does offer a good insight into just how active, or inactive, children are.

With kids also needing over nine hours sleep, the night monitoring is also a vital addition and will certainly alert parents if their children aren’t getting enough shut-eye.

BATTERY LIFE

Fitbit wants the Ace to be a day and night tracker so clearly it needs to last longer than 24 hours.

Luckily it does, with our tests averaging around five days without it needing a refill.

This battery life is impressive and means it doesn’t need constant charging – sadly when it does run out things aren’t quite so good.

Fitbit has opted for their clip charger on the Ace and it’s certainly not the finest part of this product.

With an awkward way of attaching the Ace, it’s easy to think you are refilling it when there’s actually no connection.

This happened on numerous occasions and is highly irritating when you go to strap it on for the day ahead and find it’s flatter than a pancake.

The only other issue we found with the battery came more from our young reviewer who on a couple of occasions forgot to plug the device in.

Fitbit Ace review

The Ace is showeproof although our test device also survived being plunged in the bath (Image: UK)

Fitbit Ace review

All the data from the Ace is beamed straight to the app (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

THE FITBIT APP

The Ace Links straight to Fitbit’s app with full details of the day beamed directly to your smartphone.

From the bigger screen of your mobile device, you are able to dig into data and see just how active your child has been.

The Ace can link straight to a child’s phone or be added to your own smartphone via the family account option.

This all works pretty well with kids able to see basic details of their activity and parents getting the lowdown as well as being able to send them messages and encouragement to push on for more goals.

The app also lets you set daily targets, alarms and you can even compare stats with friends and family to see who’s been the most active.

Fitbit Ace review

Fitbit Ace review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

PRICE

At £79.99 the Ace isn’t cheap but, like most things, you get what you pay for.

Fitbit’s expertise in this market means it offers one of the best experiences around and the build quality should mean you get plenty of years out of your investment.

Search on Amazon and there are plenty of cheaper options from unknown brands but these are unlikely to offer the longevity of the Ace.

VERDICT

We have to be honest and say we were sceptical when the Ace first arrived.

Would our reviewer get bored of it and was it actually going to make any difference to their activity levels?

However, four weeks in and Mary still has the Ace strapped firmly to her wrist and continues to boast when she smashes that target.

It’s not created any anxiety and has simply given a fun insight into activity and sleep.

Like a sticker at the dentist, the addition of rewards is also a great idea and it’s amazing to see the impact these have when they are achieved.

There a are a few minor niggles such as the annoying charger and lack of interchangeable straps.

Price is also a bit of an issue as some parents may feel rightly uneasy about an £80 device being lost or broken during a busy day at school.

But, if you don’t mind paying a premium, this is one of the best trackers for children on the market and our 10-year-old has given it a giant thumbs up.

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