2019 started off with rumors about brand new Fitbit trackers hitting the market soon. With the first quarter over, the health world has been introduced to Fitbit Ace – the first fitness tracker for children by renowned brand Fitbit!
Fitbit knew this kid-geared device was long overdue – the company discovered that 85% of the Fitbit-using parents were looking forward to fitness trackers dedicated solely to children and this laid the groundwork for Fitbit Ace.
When Fitbit released the Ace into the market, this wasn’t the company’s first rodeo. They’ve successfully launched almost 20 lines of fitness trackers under the Fitbit name. The Fitbit Ace was developed with feedback from existing grownup users and science to back Fitbit’s research.
Fitbit Ace Design, Display and Battery Life
- Inspired by: Design wise, the first impression might leave you confused as the Fitbit Ace has the same design as that of Fitbit Alta. The idea was to keep it on the same lines as that of adult trackers so that children get the “same” tracker as their parents. The genius behind this idea is that once a child outgrows the Ace, he/she can upgrade to a larger strap without having to switch to a bigger device.
- Colors: The Fitbit bands on the Ace tracker came in two colors: Power purple and Electric blue. They are plain, solid colors with a contrasting gray adjustable buckled holes to accommodate the growing wrists of a child.
- Wristband: With a slim-wristband appeal, and a band made with rubber and metal material, the Fitbit Ace is comfortable enough to be worn throughout the day. The casing is splash-proof, which means it can withstands random spills every now and then, but taking a dive into the pool with this on would most certainly fry it.
- Display: The OLED screen is identical to the Fitbit Alta line, except the Ace isn’t capable of swiping. You can only access features of the Fitbit Ace through taps. In fact, you won’t find any physical buttons on the Ace. Just tap the display to wake it up, tap to see stats, and tap to look at their goal progress, date, time and more. For kids who were born into the touch screen era, there’s a learning curve for all this tapping, but once they’ve figured out the groove, the tapping becomes second nature.
- Watch Faces: In order to make things a little fun, this tracker offers the option of choosing from 10 different-yet-really-cool clock face designs. The tracker is also programmed to display rewarding and motivational phrases like “let’s go” to keep your child pumped.
- Screen usability and navigation: As mentioned earlier, Fitbit is all about the tapping. When the device gives a notification about a child’s progress or other activity-related reminder, the wearer has to tap the screen to see what’s up. Although the Ace display is slim, Fitbit made a decent job adding eye-catching animations to motivate kids to hit their goals or congratulate them once they stepped up to the challenge.
- Even though OLED displays are notoriously hard to make out in direct sunlight, Fitbit has foreseen this potential issue and made it effortless for kids to see outdoors.
- Battery Life: The battery life on Ace is bound to last an astounding 5 days.
Ace Band Fitness Features
- Activity Tracking
Fitbit Ace didn’t go with fancy features, but the features they chose are solid and enough to serve its purpose.
Kids wearing the Ace is able to track their daily steps and active minutes, which means even if they’re playing soccer or just playing around a field, these physical activities can still be counted. Note that you need to enter these activities into the app, before Fitbit could detect such exercises.
Parents can also turn on the “Reminders to Move” settings, so your child remembers to stretch their tiny bodies and move to reach their daily goals. The motivation doesn’t stop here – Fitbit Ace can also push messages of congratulations or encouragement to keep up during certain milestones.
If the parent paired the child’s Ace with his/her smart device, the activity tracker can also push call notifications onto the device. It’s a pretty cool feature, but they can’t receive the call through it. The child still needs to answer the call through the phone.
- Goals and Challenges
To take things up a notch, this Fitbit will also give you and your kids the option to challenge other people into competitions. Along with challenges, you can also communicate and send in positive messages to one anothe
Challenges and competitions can be set via the app, and include other friends and family members to join in on the fun.
Families that have been associated with Fitbit trackers will absolutely love this little addition, for it will make their kids a direct part of their lifestyle. Because most of the control is in parent’s hands, this means that parents can get to choose and direct everything. The whole set-up is secure and private, all while giving your child access to their activity logs too.
- Sleep Tracking
Fitbit understands the importance of good sleep habits, which is why almost all its devices include a way to track sleep. With the Ace, a child’s sleeping pattern can be trained or corrected with bedtime reminders, gentle wake-up alarms, and other notifications.
Note that the Fitbit Ace won’t help parents ensure that their kids are not staying up late. With other trackers equipped with a heart rate monitor, checking if the kids are awake or not is possible. However, when a child removes the Ace band off his/her wrist, Fitbit assumes the wearer is already fast asleep.
You can view your child’s activity and movements directly on your smart devices, as the Fitbit Ace tracker automatically syncs and keeps updating the progress.
Keep track of all the badges you’ve earned. From finishing 10,000 steps, to reaching daily goals for an entire month, these stats provide kids with a more visual way of seeing their completed tasks.
- Parental Controls and App Compatibility
There are two accounts to set up: one is a general Fitbit account that even an 8-year-old can create. The other is the family account, which is trickier to create.
As a kid-geared device, Fitbit Ace wearers require grownup assistance when setting up the second account. The Fitbit Ace has to connect to a secure family account system via the app.
On the Fitbit app, parents set up a family account and then add the child and this becomes a joint platform for everyone to see the child’s activity and performance. Parents also get to choose how many users can be added or not, giving them the ultimate control.
Once the account has been set-up, once can view different stats including steps taken, sleep schedules, active minutes, current goals and progress. However, it must be known that the Fitbit Ace does not monitor the total calories burned. Other than this, customized goals and active minutes can be set, which upon completion will give the children badges.
For children to see their progress, there is a whole separate mode dedicated to them. The purpose is to make it fun and easy for them to understand their own activity. Through this kid view option, they can choose their clock face designs, see their progress and yes, this kids view can be turned on and off only by the parents.
- Ruggedly designed to withstand wear-and-tear
- Adjustable bands means your child won’t outgrow the device anytime soon
- Secured “Kid View” and Family account setup ensures safety of kids 12 and under
- Compatible with IOS and Android devices
- 5-day battery life before recharge
- Not waterproof
- Tapping of screen can be tricky
- Slightly more expensive than the newer Fitbit Ace 2
Fitbit Ace vs. Ace 2: Is it worth Upgrading?
So this question is a valid one. If you’re reading this review now and you’re weighing your options between the first generation Fitbit Ace 2 and the Ace, it’s a common dilemma. Here are four considerations to help you decide:
- Grow with the Ace – The beauty of the first generation Fitbit Ace devices is that not only are their purple and royal blue colors classic perfect to fit any age level, the adjustable wristbands also ensure the device can still fit even if the child gained weight or simply outgrew the band. And if the bands don’t fit anymore, check out the adult-version Fitbit devices (particularly the Alta line) and see which bands you’d like to use.
- To Swim or Not to Swim – This Fitbit Ace is splash-proof, which means it can get a little bit wet, but not fully wet in the shower or while swimming. If this isn’t a problem, then you could stay with the Ace for as long as you wish. However, if your child is a swimmer or loves to play with water, then better make the switch to the Fitbit Ace 2, which is waterproof (50 meters below the surface).
- Colors, Prints and Personalization – You might have read here that this original Fitbit Ace only has two solid-colored options. For some kids, the color of the device isn’t important, as long as it serves its purpose and it’s comfortable to wear. However, other kids may want color or printed versions of the activity tracker (and have the option to change bands as they please). If this sounds like your child, he/she would love the personalization options offered by the Fitbit Ace 2.
- Advanced fitness tracking – Both the Fitbit Ace and Ace 2 are equipped with tracking of steps, active mode and sleep. Unfortunately, this is as far as these kid-version devices go, so if you’re in search for a device that would help your overweight child lose weight, you need to find one with heart rate monitors, calories burned, and other features that may help your goal.
- Existing Fitbit devices vs. other brands – If the parents, siblings, and other family members or friends already have their own Fitbit devices, sticking with the Fitbit ecosystem is a no-brainer. The challenges can be shared across your Fitbit peers to encourage everybody to move and get healthy. Jumping from one brand of fitness tracker to the next is virtually impossible.
If you only need basic step tracking and interactive challenges, and you’ve decided to stick with Fitbit, maybe the price tag could be your deciding factor. In this case, choose Fitbit Ace 2 because it is slightly more inexpensive than the original Ace model.
Will the Fitbit Ace help your child be more active and instill a sense of healthy lifestyle? Guaranteed, Yes.
Will it help your child actually lose “weight” and be more healthy? No guarantees here.
However, the Fitbit Ace can encourage your kids to challenge themselves with fun goal-oriented activities.
For children with severe health issues like obesity, this tracker lacks certain important features like total calories burned or heart rate, so don’t rely on the Fitbit Ace as a medical tracker.
Nonetheless, the Ace’s sleek, sturdy design paired with a 5 day battery life is sure to give your child the freedom to move more and be more active.