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. For people who want to get the most out of their Fitbit tracker and can afford the monthly or yearly fee, it's definitely worth a look. But 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🚫✔️
Basic health & fitness stats and insights✔️✔️
90-day health trends✔️✔️
Basic insights✔️✔️
Wellness Report🚫✔️
Intro fitness experiences✔️✔️
Mindfulness Sessions🚫✔️
Sleep Score🚫✔️
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 push you into subscribing to Premium, both for exclusive features and for improved versions of free tools. But Google, which owns Fitbit, recently announced that it would bring more Premium features to the free Fitbit app

So does that mean Fitbit or Pixel Watch owners no longer need to subscribe to Premium? That's what we'll help you decide. 

As a baseline, your Fitbit tracker will deliver your activity and sleep data to the app. You can also log your weight and nutrition there in order 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 30- and 90-day health metrics for your breathing rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability. In the past, you could only see this data for a very limited time, which made it harder to measure your trending health without Premium. Three months gives you a better baseline.

Fitbit will add this new functionality at the end of March 2023. This is around the same time that it will remove community features like challenges, adventures, and open groups with shared goals and messaging. It's likely that Fitbit has done this to counterbalance the criticisms surrounding that decision, in an attempt to 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)

But 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 30 days, 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. If you own a Fitbit with a built-in mic — the Sense or Versa lineups, mainly — you'll get more accurate sleep data. 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 specifically can get "sleeping skin temperature variation with a minute-by-minute breakdown," but can only see the results through Premium.

The big draw to Fitbit Premium is the Guided Programs

There are many different aspects to Fitbit Premium, but we think most people will be drawn to the collection of Guided Programs.

Guided Programs can be found on the Discover page of the Fitbit app, and you'll find ones that aim to help you with a variety of 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/time you want to run, and whether you'll be running indoors or outdoors.

Where the Fitbit app on its own 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 up 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 2022:

  • 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 of 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 of 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 best for you instead of after lunch. That particular feature will be available to Premium members on most Fitbits released since 2020.

For those days when you'd rather work on your mental health, Fitbit Premium also has a Mindfulness section where you can access various guided meditation sessions. There are meditations for sleep, uncertainty, energy, stress, body positivity, and much more. You can also access Deepak Chopra's Mindful Method guided sessions, including short sessions on easing stress with emotional awareness or resetting a bad 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 seven days for free before having to pay a dime. 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, Fitbit Luxe, Fitbit Versa 4, Pixel Watch
  • Three months: Fitbit Versa 3

You must either be a new or returning customer to take advantage of these memberships, and you must usually redeem the credit within 2 months after buying the watch.

Should you get Fitbit Premium?

As you can see, you get a lot of stuff with Fitbit Premium. As for whether or not you should subscribe, that all comes down to your goals for your health.

People that just want to keep track of their steps and active minutes throughout the day can likely skip Premium and just 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 properly view the data that your smartwatch gathers, without it being locked behind a paywall. 

However, if you're serious about losing weight, building better habits, and/or want to get as much insight into your body as you can, Fitbit Premium is absolutely worth checking out. The Daily Readiness Score is a very useful metric for helping you determine how hard to work out (or when to rest) on a given day, while the Wellness Report ensures you don't have to analyze data yourself to try and determine how healthy you are. 

If the seven-day 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 new Fitbit devices and enjoy the $60 value of a six-month free trial before you decide whether or not to continue. The Fitbit Charge 5 is the best fitness tracker you can buy right now, while the new Fitbit Versa 4 will certainly take the Versa 3's spot as one of the best Android smartwatches available. 

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

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