Is Fitbit Premium worth the annual subscription?

Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Premium app
(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Best answer: Fitbit Premium is a paid subscription with guided programs, detailed health insights, advanced sleep tracking, and dynamic workouts for a more feature-rich Fitbit app. The premium subscription is for people who want to get the most out of their Fitbit tracker and can afford the monthly or yearly fee. However, some people can make do with the basic Fitbit app.

Fitbit Premium: Quick summary of features

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FeatureFree Fitbit appFitbit Premium
Daily Readiness Score🚫✔️
Stress Management Score details🚫 score only✔️
Basic health & fitness stats and insights✔️✔️
90-day health trends✔️✔️
Basic insights✔️✔️
Wellness Report🚫✔️
Intro fitness experiences✔️✔️
Mindfulness Sessions🚫✔️
Sleep Score details🚫 score only✔️
Blood Glucose✔️✔️
Skin temperature score✔️✔️

Fitbit Premium gives you more data, but Fitbit for free is better than before

Fitbit Premium Wellness Report summary

(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

You can use the Fitbit app for free, but many of its core features encourage you to subscribe to Premium for exclusive features and improved versions of free tools. However, Google, which owns Fitbit, recently announced it would bring more Premium features to the free Fitbit app

Google also recently emailed all its users to inform them that the Pay app will be disappearing as of July 29 and that Google Wallet will replace it. However, users located in countries such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, or Taiwan will continue to have access to Fitbit Pay past this date. Users will also need to update the app to version 4.14.1 or higher, and users can start making the switch now. With this change, users will have more payment options from various banks.

Does that mean Fitbit or Pixel Watch owners no longer need to subscribe to Premium? We'll help you decide. 

Your Fitbit tracker will deliver your activity and sleep data to the app as a baseline. You can also log your weight and nutrition there to receive Fitbit's "basic insights" about how you're performing and how to improve your health. 

The new feature is that the free Fitbit app gives you trends for 30- and 90-day health metrics for your breathing rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability. Previously, you could only see this data for a minimal time, making it harder to measure your trending health without Premium. Three months gives you a better baseline.

This new functionality was launched around the same time; it will remove community features like challenges, adventures, and open groups with shared goals and messaging. Fitbit has likely done this to counterbalance the criticisms of that decision and prove that Fitbit devices are still worth wearing without Premium.

Google Pixel Watch next to an Android phone showing a Fitbit Daily Readiness Score.

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

However, with Fitbit Premium, members can access a full Wellness Report, offering deep insight into their overall health. The report shows data and visualizations of your health trends over the last 12 months, and then you can get a digital copy or print the report so you can share it with your doctor for more meaningful checkups. 

In other words, your health data is packaged in layman's terms so you can understand how and where to improve, rather than looking over individual data yourself. 

In addition, you receive a straightforward Daily Readiness Score based on your sleep score, recent workout activity, heart rate variability (HRV), stress, and other health factors. Free users can't access that data like they can on a Garmin watch with a Body Battery score.

Fitbit also added Snore & Noise Detect for Premium users, so you can determine if you snore or if there are other noises in the room while you sleep that might impact your slumber. You'll get more accurate sleep data if you own a Fitbit with a built-in mic — the Sense or Versa lineups. Beyond that, your Sleep Score will encompass "Deep & REM stages and restoration stats" instead of a simple sleeping duration for basic users. 

Finally, Fitbit Sense and Sense 2 owners can specifically get "sleeping skin temperature variation with a minute-by-minute breakdown," but they can only see the results through Premium.

The big draw to Fitbit Premium is the Guided Programs

Fitbit Premium has many different aspects, but we think most people will be drawn to the collection of Guided Programs and the idea that they will have more payment options since Google is switching from Fitbit Pay to Google Wallet.

Guided Programs can be found on the Discover tab of the Fitbit app. They aim to help you with various things, including being more active, learning healthy habits, getting more sleep, eating less sugar, and more. The length of the programs depends on the topic, and after joining one, it'll be present on the main Today page of the app.

(Image credit: Android Central)

All of the programs can be customized, too. For the Kick Your Salt Habit program, for example, you can choose whether you want to focus on cutting out salt at home or when eating out. Similarly, the Run Training program can be customized based on your reason for starting running, what days/times you want to run, and whether you'll be running indoors or outdoors.

Where the Fitbit app alone has you focusing on hitting things like step counts, active minutes, and calories burned every day with no real variance, Guided Programs aim to mix up your physical activity with set goals and targets for you to reach. There are currently 17 Guided Programs available.

There are step-by-step workouts & meditation sessions

Fitbit Premium beginner runner's guided program

(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

If you don't feel like committing to a multi-week program, Fitbit Premium gives you access to a wealth of guided workout sessions that last from under 10 minutes to over an hour. There are a few different categories of workouts to follow, including:

  • Favorites
  • Abs & Core
  • Cardio
  • Full Body
  • Lower Body
  • Upper Body

And for more specifics, these are the workout video sub-categories currently available as of 2024:

  • Free At-Home Workouts
  • Will Smith: StrongWill
  • Audio Workouts
  • Easier Go-Tos
  • Abs and Core
  • Dance Cardio and Kickboxing
  • Yoga and Stretching
  • No Equipment Needed
  • Workouts with Weights
  • Earn Active Zone Minutes
  • Under 15 Minutes
  • New Fitbit Workouts

(Image credit: Android Central)

The collection of available workouts is quite large, and when you tap on one, you'll see how long it lasts, how many calories you'll burn, and what muscles the exercise targets. You can watch all the guided workout videos directly in the Fitbit app, with the workouts provided by Fitbit itself, or through a partner app like POPSUGAR.

If you often find yourself going to the gym without any idea what you should be doing to get the most out of your time and body, these workouts can be a great place to get some inspiration. The Daily Readiness Score also helps you determine the best time to exercise, advising when your body is in peak form to get the most out of a workout. You might, for example, find that an early morning workout is better for you than after lunch. That particular feature has been available to Premium members for quite a few years now.

For those days when you'd instead work on your mental health, Fitbit Premium has a Mindfulness section where you can access various guided meditation sessions. Meditations exist for sleep, uncertainty, energy, stress, body positivity, and more. You can also access Deepak Chopra's Mindful Method guided sessions, including short sessions on easing stress with emotional awareness or resetting a lousy mood.

There's now also content from Calm, including up to 30 sessions for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. Available in seven languages based on your app settings, if you own a Fitbit Charge 5 or Sense, you can also pair a session with an on-wrist EDA Scan app session. This will help you see how a mindfulness session impacts your heart rate and EDA responses to stimuli.

Multiple ways to pay (and get free trials)

Fitbit Premium plan pricing for either $79.99/year or $9.99/month

(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Lastly, let's talk about everyone's favorite subject — price.

You can pay for Fitbit Premium in two ways: $9.99/month or $79.99/year. The monthly rate is easier to swallow in the short term, but paying for the annual plan will save you $40 every year, or 30%, in the long haul.

No matter which option you pick, you can try Fitbit Premium for 90 days for free before having to pay a dime. Every new device comes with a six-month membership included. Speaking of free trials, you can get an even longer one when purchasing a new Fitbit product, though the length of the trial varies:

  • One year: Fitbit Inspire 2
  • Six months: Fitbit Inspire 3, Fitbit Sense/ Sense 2, Fitbit Charge 5 and Charge 6, Fitbit Luxe, Fitbit Versa 4, Pixel Watch, and Pixel Watch 2. A six-month membership is included with the purchase of a new device, such as a Fitbit tracker or a Google Pixel Watch.

You must either be a new or returning customer to take advantage of these memberships, and you must usually redeem the credit within two months after buying the watch.

Should you get Fitbit Premium?

As you can see, Fitbit Premium offers a lot. Whether you should subscribe depends on your health goals.

People who just want to track their steps and active minutes throughout the day can likely skip Premium and keep on using the regular Fitbit app since all of its core features are still free. Thanks to the new and improved Health Metrics Dashboard, you'll be able to view the data that your smartwatch gathers properly without it being locked behind a paywall. 

However, suppose you're serious about losing weight, building better habits, and getting as much insight into your body as possible. In that case, Fitbit Premium is worth checking out. The Daily Readiness Score is a beneficial metric for helping you determine how hard to work out (or when to rest) on a given day. At the same time, the Wellness Report ensures you don't have to analyze data to determine how healthy you are. 

If the free trial isn't enough time to make up your mind, buy a month for $10, see how you like it, and then upgrade to the $80/year plan if you're getting enough value out of the service. 

Or if you're in the market for a new Fitbit anyway, buy one of the latest Fitbit devices and enjoy the $60 value of a six-month free trial before deciding whether to continue. The Fitbit Charge 6 is the best fitness tracker you can buy right now, while the Fitbit Versa 4 is one of the best Fitbit smartwatches available right now. Regardless of what model you get, remember that from July 29 onward, Fitbit Pay will be replaced by Google Wallet, which offers more payment options. The devices that will go through this change will be the Charge 4, Charge 5, Charge 6, Charge 3, Sense, Sense 2, Versa 3, and Versa 4.

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.

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