There are dozens of health trackers for adults, however only some for teenagers, particularly ones from established manufacturers like Fitbit. The Ace 2 is right here to fill that hole. It’s $70 and replaces the unique Ace which was praised for its kid-friendly design, however fell quick in some areas like waterproofing. Fitbit has listened and the Ace has an all-new look — with enter from youngsters — in addition to water resistance.

I’ve three youngsters who fall inside the goal ages (6 to 12) for the Ace 2. I allow them to free with the tracker for a couple of weeks to see what works and what doesn’t.

Rugged and replaceable

The Fitbit Ace 2 appears to be like like a youngsters model of the Fitbit Encourage, however they’re two very totally different health trackers. The Ace 2 is a throwback to the times when the Fitbit was a small monitoring unit wedged inside a silicone band. Fitbit selected this standalone tracker design for sturdiness causes; youngsters are powerful on and can in all probability tear the strap or break the clasp. When this occurs, it’s useless easy to take away the tracker from the wristband and slide it right into a alternative one. Wristbands can be found from Fitbit in a wide range of vibrant colours and kid-friendly patterns.

Kelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies

The silicone bands are sturdy, designed with a bumper to guard the fragile show. The bumper helps some, however my youngsters nonetheless managed to scratch the entrance display inside the first month of utilizing the Ace 2. The clasp is made with skinny plastic, however it’s versatile and will maintain up effectively. The bands are sized completely for teenagers 12 and underneath with loads of room for changes to suit a variety of wrist sizes.

Not like older Fitbit items that needed to be faraway from their band to cost, the Ace 2 will be charged whereas it’s contained in the wristband. You solely must take away the tracker whenever you wish to put it into a brand new band. That’s except, in fact, the tracker falls out inadvertently –which it did a number of instances throughout testing. This led to a frantic hunt round the home or yard to search out the small black monitoring unit.

More often than not, the tracker fell out when the children had been taking the bands on and off. They usually pressed too exhausting on the tracker whereas adjusting the band, and it might pop proper out. Not the neatest design.

Child-friendly animations

The Fitbit Ace 2 borrows closely from the Fitbit Encourage. Each units use an analogous touch-screen OLED show and there’s a single bodily button for interplay. The Ace 2 interface is pushed by a customizable clock face and information screens that children can scroll by by swiping up and down and tapping to pick them. Identical to the Fitbit Encourage, the aspect button can be utilized to entry the fast settings menu, the place you’ll be able to examine the battery, activate/off notifications, and extra.

The Fitbit Ace 2’s daring colours and animated watch faces will enchantment to youngsters.

The clock face is the touchdown display and will be modified inside the Fitbit app. Youngsters can select between a wide range of clock faces starting from a fundamental analog watch face to animated faces that change as kids make progress in direction of their step aim.

The animated plant and rocket ship had been favorites between my two boys. A rising plant or a transferring rocket ship was way more significant to them than an rising quantity, and so they beloved the celebration on the display when a health or sleep aim was reached.

Motivating and rewarding health monitoring

The Fitbit Ace 2 doesn’t have a coronary heart charge monitor or GPS, so health monitoring is proscribed to step rely and energetic minutes. It’s a child’s health tracker, so any further metrics could be overkill. The Fitbit app robotically selects objectives for exercise (step rely, energetic minutes, and hourly exercise) and train (1-7 days of coaching) however you’ll be able to change these values within the app to replicate your little one’s health stage.

It’s fundamental, however that doesn’t imply it’s inaccurate. The Fitbit Ace 2 precisely measured each step counts and energetic minutes. I by no means as soon as noticed a lot discrepancy between exercise stage and the step rely or energetic minutes. My youngsters even wore their trackers on a couple of long-distance hikes, and we in contrast step counts on the finish of the day. Their step counts had been nearly twice as excessive as mine, however their stride size is wildly totally different, which explains the distinction.

Fitbit Ace 2 reviewKelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies

I appreciated the swim-proof design that allowed my youngsters to go from the climbing path to the swimming gap while not having to take off the tracker.

Fitbit desires to encourage youngsters to be energetic, so it’s not stunning the Ace 2 is likely one of the most rewarding units we’ve used. There are aim celebrations when a day by day aim is met and badges which are awarded when your little one reaches a milestone.  Youngsters can also be part of challenges and invite family and friends to take part. Challenges inspire youngsters to maneuver and promote pleasant competitors amongst individuals. The winner of every problem earns a trophy that’s added to their profile within the Fitbit app.

Sleep monitoring

As a result of it doesn’t have a coronary heart charge monitor, sleep monitoring on the Ace is 2 fundamental. It robotically detects when your little one goes to mattress and once they get up. It calculates how lengthy they’ve slept and the way lengthy they’re stressed or awake throughout the evening. All of this info is shipped to the Fitbit app the place you or your little one can view it.

You should use the Ace to assist enhance your little one’s sleep by setting a sleep aim. By default, it’s set to 9 hours, however you’ll be able to change it. Identical to step objectives, kids shall be rewarded once they attain their sleep aim. You’ll be able to set a bedtime reminder to assist your youngsters hold a constant bedtime. You can also set a vibrating alarm to wake them within the morning if wanted.

The alarm is just not designed particularly for sleep —  there isn’t any good sleep part that detects the perfect time to wake you up — however you’ll be able to nonetheless use it to softly awaken your little one.  The vibration is comfortable so you need to check it first. It woke one in every of my kids persistently, however not the opposite who slept proper by the buzzing.

The Fitbit expertise till you wish to change

The Fitbit Ace 2 syncs to the Fitbit app on iOS or Android. Although I like the Fitbit interface and its ease of use, the Ace 2 expertise isn’t enjoyable. The Ace 2 works greatest when it’s paired together with your little one’s cellphone and never yours. In case your little one has a cellphone, they’ll configure the tracker and monitor their progress utilizing a kid-friendly interface. This “Child View”  is a simplified model of the Fitbit interface that reveals stats and badges with restricted social options.

My largest gripe is switching between child and guardian view — you need to enter your Fitbit password every time.

Youngsters can change their clock faces and select and avatars, however for security causes they’ll solely join with parent-approved mates. Additionally they can ship messages to mates in addition to cheer and taunt them, in a pleasant means.

However not each little one underneath 12 has a cellphone, and that’s the place issues come up. Once I first arrange the Ace 2, I used to be logged into the guardian account, and the gadget was connected to my account. You need to create a child’s account, log into the kid profile, after which pair the gadget, so it’s assigned to the kid’s account and never yours. If a guardian makes use of their smartphone to sync the Ace 2, then they must change between the guardian view and the child view. The issue is each time you turn again to the guardian view, you need to re-enter your Fitbit password, which is a irritating inconvenience.

Restricted notifications

Like most Fitbit units, the Ace 2 is supplied with Bluetooth to sync to a cell phone or pill. The tracker syncs all through the day in case you allow all-day sync.  In any other case, it can sync robotically every time you open the Fitbit app in child view mode. More often than not, syncing was dependable, however we did must restart the gadget a couple of instances to get it to sync.

The Ace 2 helps notifications, and it points light vibrations so youngsters are conscious. Youngsters can obtain notifications from the Fitbit app, together with low battery alerts, new badges, and extra. If they’ve their very own cellphone, your little one can see incoming cellphone calls on their tracker, however they can’t obtain texts or third-party app notifications. Youngsters can flip off cellphone notifications utilizing the fast setting menu on the Ace 2 or inside the Fitbit app.

Fitbit Ace 2 reviewKelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies

As a result of it’s a youngsters gadget, Fitbit doesn’t encourage social sharing from the gadget. The gadget will sync to the Fitbit app on most iOS and Android units, however that’s so far as it can go. Not like Fitbit’s grownup trackers that ship information to Strava and different companies, information will keep inside the Fitbit app. Like the unique Ace, the Ace 2 is compliant with all little one privateness legal guidelines.

The Fitbit Ace 2 doesn’t embody GPS or navigation options. You can’t observe the situation of your little one whereas she or he is carrying the gadget, nor can you employ location to search out the gadget whether it is misplaced.

Battery life

The Ace 2 has a promised 5 days of battery life, and I discovered the estimate to be near real-world use, however not precisely 5 days.

My youngsters most well-liked the animated shows, so battery life was usually three to 4 days. Nonetheless, the encouragement they acquired from the animations was well worth the tradeoff.

Value, availability, and guarantee info

The Fitbit Ace 2 prices $70 and is out there for buy now.

Fitbit covers defects in supplies and workmanship underneath regular use for one yr after buy.

Our Take

The Fitbit Ace 2 is just not a rebranded grownup tracker. Its daring colours and animated watch faces will enchantment to youngsters, and oldsters will respect the power to trace their child’s health, in addition to the privateness controls that assist hold their youngsters protected. My largest gripe is switching between child and guardian view within the Fitbit app, which is an pointless problem.

Is there a greater different?

The Fitbit Ace 2 is right for folks who already personal a Fitbit gadget, however in case you are coming from one other platform, there are equally worthy selections. The highest competitor to the Fitbit Ace 2 is the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2.

The Ace 2 and the Vivofit Jr 2 each value $70, and each have a sturdy, kid-friendly designs that children will take pleasure in carrying. Probably the most important distinction between the 2 trackers is battery life. Whereas the Ace 2 has a chargeable battery that lasts for as much as 5 days, the VivoFit Jr 2 doesn’t require charging as a result of the battery lasts for a yr. As soon as the battery is useless, the Vivofit Jr 2 battery will be changed. The display can be completely tiny on the Garmin, which is why the battery can final as lengthy.

How lengthy will it final?

Fitbit designed the Ace 2 with longevity in thoughts, and I count on the tracker to final for 2 years underneath common use. If a wristband fails or a clasp breaks, dad and mom can simply take away the monitoring unit and match it right into a alternative band.

One subject is the show, which is vulnerable to scratching. The wristband has a bumper that protects the display from most, however not all, scuffs and scrapes. Relying on the kid and their actions, the lifespan for the gadget could possibly be lower than two years.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The guardian who desires a health tracker for his or her youngsters and already owns a Fitbit gadget ought to put the Fitbit Ace 2 on the high of their record.

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