A welcome refreshment that appeals to children. We think that the module should be much stronger in the belt, but the addition of a more appealing display and better water resistance makes this device better than the previous version.
- Bigger display does more
- Adds timer and stopwatch
- Strap easier to undo
- Parents stay in control
- Battery life should be longer
- Not securely fixed into strap
Fitbit announced Fitbit Ace in 2018 when it opened the opportunity to start a Fitbit family and control children’s devices rather than having their own accounts for children.
The first device was a kind of miniaturized version of the Fitbit Alta. It was a device that was not without problems, but gave Fitbit a chance to compete with Garmin’s Vivofit Jr devices.
And now it’s back in round two, in the Fitbit Ace 2.
A change in design
- Separate tracking module and strap
- Water resistant to 50m
The big shift in design compared to the original Ace is to separate the sensor module with the display from the belt and make the brain a separate piece, so to speak. Previously, the strap was attached to the body of the Ace, which meant that the screen’s protection was low – which easily led to scratches.
The Fitbit Ace 2 wraps around the sensor module, with the rubber band now wrapped over the leading edges, meaning the surface is slightly better protected from scratches. This also gives a slightly more flexible strap, which is a little easier to fix for little fingers.
The previous version worked well enough, but we found that a younger wearer was struggling with the buckle and therefore tended to release the belt for removal. After about six months, which caused the plastic clamp to break and a new band became necessary, this design is definitely a better arrangement from this point of view.
Now, however, two parts have to be considered, and the belt can not really be attached to the sensor module in any way – it just slides in. This means that the central module can be removed relatively easily. While this has not slipped out during normal wear, the central module can come out when you loosen the buckle and walk around with it in your hand – and children probably do such things. Against this background, we are surprised that there is no tile-like function for finding my Fitbit on these devices.
While the design is better at protecting against scratches and makes it easier for younger users to put on and take off, there is a possibility that you will lose the mind of this device if you are not careful – it just feels so must be safer in the belt ,
However, changing the design has one more major problem: the seal. This protects the Fitbit to a depth of 50 m. Basically, it’s fine to wear it swimming, taking a shower, or doing other activities that might get you wet. However, it is advisable to remove it as you want to wash both the strap and the arm to which it is attached.
Finally, there is now a button that allows you to turn the display on and off.
Parental control and the app
- iPhone or Android app
One of the things that makes the Ace 2 a child tracker is that it needs to be set up in a parent’s account. The idea is that Fitbit users are the easiest way to add your child to this existing account – and it also means that you are responsible, rather than having the child set up an account with an email address and something else ,
In an age where privacy and data control are important to people, it seems the right way to keep it in the parent’s basket. However, this is a somewhat complicated configuration where you need to access the child’s view after you have originally logged in to your account.
If you are dealing with a child who does not have a phone, this is not a problem – it would use your device to display the statistics. However, if you have a child who has their own phone, you will need to sign in to this device with your account and switch to their view. To get out of this view, you must enter your Fitbit account password so that it is effectively tied to that area on the child’s phone.
You also need to manage phone alerts that are supported. If your child has their own phone, it may be helpful to receive a notification. If it’s synced to an adult’s device, make sure you turn off notifications. Otherwise, your friends’ messages may appear on your child’s Fitbit. We’ve noticed that this is a hit and miss on Android, and that notifications in the app, over the phone and on the Ace 2 may be disabled so they will not show up (we suspect this on the iPhone easier to handle).
You can receive weekly emails about your child’s performance and view these details at any time in the app, as long as the device has been synced to a phone.
Battery life and charging
- 2-3 days of battery per charge
According to Fitbit, the Fitbit Ace 2 has a battery life of up to five days. If you have animations on the display, the battery will be consumed faster. After our experience with the Fitbit Ace 2 in the last few months, we only have a maximum of three days.
This is shorter than the original Fitbit Ace and it also uses a different charger. So if you have one of the two types, you need both chargers. However, it is quite easy to recharge, as it is now a magnetic connection on the back.
Ultimately, the Fitbit Ace 2 is a good advancement of the Ace. The new design protects it a bit more, waterproofing is an important addition, it’s more customizable and easier to put on and take off for younger kids – but this key sensor module could be a bit safer.
There are a number of new features available to its child carrier, but the functionality is almost the same as in the original. This includes the basics and provides enough feedback to promote the activity and give you a better idea of how active your child is (or not).
The price makes the Fitbit Ace 2 look expensive compared to the latest devices from companies like Xiaomi, but the idea is that you have the assurance and familiarity of Fitbit’s experience. As for the children? They love it.