In our review of the original Fitbit Ace we finished with a wish list of features we’d like to see on the next generation of the device. We said we’d like to see Fitbit lower the target age of the device, make the hardware and software more fun, and ideally make it swim-proof as well.
Well that’s more or less exactly what Fitbit has done with the Ace 2. The age range drops from eight-plus to six-plus, the design is both more robust and engaging for kids, and it can take a plunge too.
The plastic bumper around the screen ensures the Ace 2 can withstand the rough and tumble of daily life, and the colourful designs are more appealing to younger children compared with the simple Ace, which took its design cues from the Fitbit Alta tracker.
The focus of its activity tracking is on getting kids moving for an hour in total each day, and the Ace 2 also tracks steps and provides alerts to move if the wearer is stationary for too long. It doesn’t show age-inappropriate stats like calories or have a heart rate monitor, but the Ace 2 but does track sleep, and has bedtime reminders and silent alarms.
The software on the Ace 2 has been rejigged to be more child-friendly, with monsters, plants and rocket ships on hand to help track activity and celebrate hitting goals. You can also use the Ace 2 to compete with friends and family over who can take the most steps. Beating dad’s daily step tally is almost certainly going to be more of a motivation for a kid than the prospect of a rocket ship celebration, though the latter is still a welcome addition to make the device more fun.
Parents can check the activity their child has logged on the Ace using a Parent Account in the Fitbit app, while if kids have their own phone they are given a limited view of the app.
The Fitbit Ace 2 is set to launch this summer and will cost £69.99, £10 less than the original Ace. It looks to be an impressive upgrade on the original device, so to get it for less is a nice bonus. It will also be cheaper than its main competition – the Garmin vivofit jr, which is £79.99.