If you want your child to become more active or just looking for a way to make exercising more rewarding than this first Fitbit for kids, the Fitbit Ace, will be a great way to get up and running.
This activity tracker comes with alluring features but some might think these are not enough. My aim here is to help you get on the right track and see if the Fitbit Ace is suitable for your kids and wishes… or whether you might want to take a different route.
We are going to cover the Ace’s features and walk you through them step by step, check out the competition and more importantly have a first look at the verdicts of other parents.
Most questions will be answered and if you feel like finding an answer right away, the Table of Contents below will help you out! That being said, let’s get this show on the road, and let’s do this!
What’s in the Box?
Gifting this to your kids gets them the neatly wrapped Fitbit Ace, of course. The Ace is made of elastomer. This is a flexible and durable material you might recognize from use in other sports watches. The tracker itself is showerproof. This means Fitbit does not advocate your child swims with it. If your Ace gets wet, make sure to clean it properly (check here for instructions). If you would like to know beforehand whether your smartphone is compatible with the Ace, check this guide.
The body of the Ace tracker and its clasp are made of surgical-grade stainless steel. Your kids new activity tracker is accompanied by a charging cable and of course the manuals (or if you want a quick look go here!). The complete design weighs 6.7 ounces and its dimensions are 1.4 x 3.9 x 8.7 inches and have the Lithium ion batteries included. With these basics out of the way, lets check on the features of the Fitbit Ace!
Connecting and Competing
The Fitbit Ace comes with two different sets of stats. The first set contains the most important ones for playing and being active; The step counter. It has good accuracy in counting the steps and it has kids running through parks and hallways to get their achievements. This primary set further shows the minutes your child is active. The standard is 10K steps per day, but this amount is adjustable to your own goals and situation. Apart from this, the activity tracker displays the time either in landscape or portrait mode.
The second set displays more elaborate stats and can be accessed through the Fitbit App. The best stats come from the sleep monitor. This tracker helps give your child insight into sleep patterns and rhythms and can help you improve it. The other important stats come from the hours your child is active versus inactive. You can set several alarms. They function to encourage your child to stay active and to better achieve goals. Complementary to this you can check the progression towards weekly goals. There is however more in the way of encouragement. Your kids can earn badges and medals for completion of their goals. They can also compare their scores to other family members! These are great ways to encourage your child.
Use and battery life
While the Fitbit Ace does not have a GPS, it does allow you to call your child. If your child’s Ace is paired with their phone it receives notifications. Of course, the Ace does tell time, so your little ones know what time to be home again. Also, no need to worry if your kid is out playing all day since battery life is up to 4 days. It is advertised as 5, yet this is seldom achieved. It only takes about 45 minutes to charge the Ace which makes it ideal if your child is not doing much for short periods of time. Just plug it in and with an hour you’re good for a few more days! It is however not all sunshine and rainbows with this advanced sleep tracker.
What must be mentioned separately is the design itself. It fits like a glove, yet more important is that it does not cater to the youngest children. Yes, Marvel wristbands are awesome, but kids are also looking to become adults. The Fitbit Ace delivers on this front. It attracts the attention for having a robust and elegant design aimed at children, yet its not a little children’s watch (like the Vtech KidiZoom).
The interface is easily accessible by a double tap on the screen. This lets your kid enter the screen to, for instance, change to one of the 10 clock faces. There are 5 horizontal and 5 vertical faces to choose from. While inside the OLED screen is bright alright. Outside it suffers from the same fate almost any electronic device (still) has.
Which features can do better?
The first downside of the Fitbit Ace is a practical one. Kids these days don’t necessarily wear watches. They sometimes find it strange to wear the Fitbit Ace. This is nothing new and your kid will get over it. So, don’t worry if in the first days your kid does not seem to like the Ace. As a child I didn’t like wearing my watch either and as a consequence forgot often to wear it at all. This is not a shortcoming of the Ace itself of course. If this occurs, help your child to get through the first 2 days. Beyond this period there are no complaints. This is also thanks to the inbuilt challenges and competitions the Fitbit offers.
In the beginning, the software has been reported to be either laggy or buggy. Since than Fitbit has worked hard to resolve this issue. This has solved the synchronization issue, for instance. Other oddities remain, however. This is the case with receiving calls. If you pair the Fitbit Ace with your own phone your child may receive the notifications of incoming calls from your phone. This is not particularly necessary and you can resolve it if you unpair the phones.
Then there is the user interface. Some children have reported finding the user interface not very clear. This is important since of course it is meant for them. Friends have to be added through the parent account. This makes nigh impossible for your kid to add any friends. This is also a plus by the way since it ensures your child is not connected with unwanted persons!
As mentioned there is no GPS location with the Fitbit Ace. Another downside relating to your child being active is no high-intensity activities such as tennis, soccer, or other sports are recorded. The good thing is, Fitbit is clearly not marketed in this way. So, what you see is what you get with the Fitbit Ace!
What do other parents say?
Luckily you are not the first parent considering to open up the world of activing to your kids. In general, they are happy with their purchase based on how their kids use the Ace. Almost 40% of customer give this Fitbit a 5-star rating. Hands-on experiences reflect this experience with the Fitbit Ace. It has uncovered at least 3 good lessons that you won’t find in the advertisements:
- Sometimes the bands are too small. A simple remedy is to buy a band from either the Fitbit Alta or buy the generic brands that are marketed. They are cheaper, but you might save both on money and quality.
- There have been problems with setting up a child account and linking it to the parent account. There have been problems synchronizations of data. To be fair, they have been partially remedied and star ratings have gone up since
- Parents are sometimes by a lack of extensive features. The Fitbit Ace has no heart rate or GPS, and if they combine this with a perception of a difficult user interface it is easy to see why parents aren’t too excited.
Honesty goes a long way here. Fitbit does not advertise the Ace as a very extensive activity tracker or even smartwatch. To expect a fully packed tracker for this price seems a bit overdone. Above all, this does not take away the joy the Fitbit Ace provides children in playing and getting on their feet as so many parents have testified.
Comparing the competition
The market for children’s smartwatches and activity trackers is not very big yet. There are of course the run of the mill cheaper options that provide little competition for the Fitbit Ace. We will discuss briefly one such smartwatch, the Vtech Kidizoom, for children. The other competition comes from the Garmin Vivofit Jr en Vivofit Jr 2 and they put up a very good fight. Beware though, both are smartwatches. There is simply little competition in activity trackers for kids.
Vtech Kidizoom DX2
Aimed at children as young as 4 the Vtech Kidizoom DX2 has all the hallmarks of a smartphone. Your kid can take selfies and make videos with the DX2. There is an option to make those very same pictures into a watch face. There is no shortage of games to play with the DX2. A cool feature is that several games use the built-in motion sensor for extra immersion into the game.
This is an attractive alternative to the Fitbit Ace if you want a more playful approach. These features don’t hide the fact that the watch aims at younger children. I don’t see 12-year-old running around with the same fluffy colors as their 4-year-old niece. They want something that appeals more to their coming adolescence. Since there is little competition, this is one of the best smartwatches for kids. If you have young children or don’t judge a book by its cover than the Vtech Kidizoom DX2 might be your right choice between $39.99 and $59.99
Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
The second installment of this popular tracker has a color screen ánd comes with a wide range of Disney designs. So, if you want your kid to be a part of the Avengers, Star Wars or the more classic Disney duos this tracker is going to be an easy choice.
You can complete challenges as a family, so don’t be shy to join in on the fun. Children are able to unlock stories if they complete their goals. Good news for the parents is that you can add chores to the Vivofit Jr 2. If necessary it gives a nudge to your child to complete the task. This feature will probably not become your kids’ favorite! This is a good Fitbit alternative. If you are looking for a kids activity tracker with smartwatch features the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is yours to buy ranging from $49.99 to $79.99.
Kid Power Band
Do you want to combine saving the world one step at a time and get your child to be more active? This unique Kid Power Band by UNICEF will help you towards that goal. In terms of features, it does not do well. This does not matter, since raising funds for undernourished children is more important.
The Kid Power Band is most of all a pedometer. The neat addition to this basic feature is that goal completion unlocks funding. This funding goes to undernourished children. The funding can come from encouraging parents, friends or family. The activity trackers are waterproof and the battery lasts up to 5 days. There is an accompanying app that supports children learning about other countries and cultures. The simplicity of the device itself is reflected in its price. At a price of $23.75 you and your children will be able to contribute to the world through this wonderful initiative.
Does my kid want this?
If you are looking to get your kids started with a simple activity tracker or if you’re seeking to add your child to the Fitbit Family and have $ 99.95 to spend than there is nothing that will keep you from buying the Fitbit Ace!
Your child will have a good variety of features for all sorts of daily activities. They get better insights into their sleep patterns with the sleep tracker, their steps are counted in customizable challenges. Of course, completion is rewarded with badges. They are up and running in no time to get their steps done.
If you’re already connected to other manufacturers such as Garmin this Fitbit Ace might not be for you. The Garming Vivofit Jr 2 is not only lower in price at $ 79.-, but some of its features are also better than the Fitbit Ace’s.
However, if you’re looking for an activity tracker that is robust and fits the family than the Fitbit Ace will not disappoint your kid. Its special kids’ design will make them wear it comfortably within a short period of time and it does attract all the right attention on the playground. Its design makes it more adult looking, which comes in handy with kids nearing puberty.
To wrap it up, the Fitbit Ace is very decent activity tracker with good functions if you’re kids are starting in the world of fitness and activity tracking. Furthermore, it is a very good addition to the Fitbit Family in that it brings your kids into contact and competition with those close to them. Its design is aimed at children and allows them to play for days on end. If you’re looking to have your kids make their first steps (with you) this is the activity tracker to run with for you.