Without question, Fitbit is the most instantly recognizable name in the world of fitness trackers. But a Fitbit isn’t always the best choice for everyone. Depending on your specific needs, you might find another tracker better suits your lifestyle and budget. There are lots of other fitness trackers on the market today, and you shouldn’t overlook some of the best Fitbit alternatives out there.
One of Fitbit’s most notable competitors is Basis, makers of the Peak fitness tracker. Basis provided us with a review sample of the Peak tracker so we could go hands on and see how the device performed over an extended period of time. They also provided us with one of the Peak’s alternate leather straps to compare against the basic strap that comes with the tracker.
In this article, we’ll outline how the Basis Peak stands up against the Fitbit line. This post will help you understand how Peak compares to a number of different fitness trackers from Fitbit, so that you can make an informed decision. If you’re in the market for a fitness tracker, this guide will help you decide whether a Fitbit device or a Basis Peak is the best tracker for your needs.
Still researching the best fitness tracker for your needs? Check out our guide to the best Fitbit competitors, or peruse our Fitbit comparison post to find the best Fitbit for your unique fitness goals.
1. Fitbit vs. Basis: Fitness Tracker Price Comparison
In addition to the old Basis fitness tracker (available used from $84.99), there’s the new Basis Peak ($199.99), and the Basis Peak Titanium edition, which normally retails for $299.99. We’ll focus on the Peak for the bulk of this article.
There are lots of different Fitbit models available at this time, spanning price points from $60 to $250. As of this writing, Fitbit’s 2015 line includes six trackers: two clip-on wearables, and four wristband activity monitors. Fitbit’s “Everyday Fitness” trackers are their entry-level products. That category includes the Zip ($59.95), the One ($99.95), the Flex ($99.95, often available online for around $80), and the Charge ($129.95). If you are a bit more athletic and need a heart rate monitor, the Charge HR ($149.95) is probably going to be your best fit. The Fitbit Surge ($249.95) is the most premium offering, and includes advanced features like GPS and HR monitoring. There’s also the new-for-2016 Fitbit Blaze, a wearable with a full touchscreen experience, and the ability to use GPS when paired with your smartphone. The Blaze should last up to 5 days with continuous heart rate monitoring and activity tracking before needing a recharge.
In terms of price and features, the Fitbit models that are the most comparable to the Basis Peak are the Charge HR and the Surge, both of which have heart rate monitoring like the Peak does. If your main consideration is price, the Fitbit line has an edge over the Basis Peak, with every Fitbit model (save the Surge) being significantly cheaper than the Peak. For those who want a fitness tracker with a built-in heart rate monitor (but need it as cheaply as possible), Fitbit may have the edge.
2. Fitbit vs. Basis: Form Factor
Generally speaking, both the Basis Peak and the majority of Fitbit trackers are a good fit for someone who plans to wear their fitness tracker on their wrist. Fitbit models vary greatly in terms of form factor. There are several models that can be clipped on the body, while the majority are worn on the wrist. Of those worn on the wrist, some Fitbit models lack a numerical display, while others have large screens to display the time or notifications.
The Basis Peak has a watch-like face, while many Fitbit models have no display or a more limited display for the time/heart rate. It comes down to “rubber band” style vs. watch style for many people, and those who are looking for a fitness tracker that looks like a watch are likely to choose the Peak over models like the Fitbit Charge HR or Fitbit Surge.
There’s another element to consider, which are the accessories available for each fitness tracker. Basis offers some alternate bands for the Peak, but you’ll pretty much always need to wear this tracker on your wrist. The same goes for the bulkier Fitbit trackers, though there is a healthy array of third-party accessories that will transform how you wear the Fitbit Flex. For example, some companies offer a Fitbit Flex necklace, which lets you wear the Fitbit in places where a rubbery-looking band would be out of place.
3. Fitbit vs. Basis: Key Specs & Features
Both the Fitbit line and the Basis Peak will work with either Android or iOS devices. Both offer alarms, sleep tracking, and notifications.
The Basis Peak offers a wide array of features, including calories burned, steps, duration of activity, and sleep tracking. The Peak can automatically detect walks, runs and bike rides. Heart rate is continuously monitored. The Peak interface on your smartphone is designed to help you slowly develop healthy habits, making it a great choice for those who are new to fitness, or trying to reboot their fitness routine after a long period of inactivity.
The Charge HR and Surge both offer heart rate monitoring. The key difference between these two wearables is the lack of GPS on the Charge HR. The Charge HR also lacks the text notifications you’ll get with the Surge or Basis Peak. One final feather is the Surge’s cap is the ability to control music. The Charge HR is also slightly less well-suited for multi-sport tracking than the Peak or Surge.
4. Fitbit vs. Basis: Battery Life
The Surge’s battery life varies greatly, depending on whether you are using GPS or not. If you aren’t tracking runs or exercises that use GPS, a Surge lasts for about a week. A fully charged Surge can track up to five hours of activities that use GPS before needing a recharge. In contrast, the Charge HR lasts about five days in between full charges. The Charge HR doesn’t have GPS, so its battery life won’t vary so much as the Surge. Both of these Fitbit models take between one and two hours to fully recharge.
Basis states that the Peak has an average battery life of about four days, which is fairly impressive when you consider the battery power it takes to keep the continuous heart rate monitor going. Battery life with the Peak is not quite as good as the Charge HR, but they are fairly comparable. Basis suggests that you charge your Peak tracker for 10 or 15 minutes a day, to stay ahead of the battery drain. That being said, the device can fully recharge from zero battery fairly quickly. Basis customer supports states that it takes 2 hours to charge to 90 percent, and 4 hours to charge to 100 percent.
5. Fitbit vs. Basis: Conclusion & Final Recommendations
If you need a fitness tracker with a built-in heart rate monitor, the Charge HR, Surge, or Peak would all fit the bill. These three trackers have a lot of overlap in terms of features. For people who need a fitness tracker with built-in GPS, the Surge is the only option of the three that will work.
Having been able to go hands-on with this fitness tracker for an extended period of time, I can say that I love the Basis Peak interface, both on the watch and in the app. Even with my sensitive skin, I’m pleased to say that neither of the Basis Peak straps have irritated my skin (a known issue with Fitbit trackers is skin irritation). Sadly, however, the Basis Peak has been recalled due to possible risks of the tracker overheating and causing a burn or blister, making the Surge the default winner in this head-to-head.
The Fitbit Surge is ideal for people who need a wearable with fitness tracking, text notifications, and music control. We recommend the Fitbit Charge HR for those who are looking for a feature-rich wearable on a budget. Both of the Fitbit models are also superior to the Peak when it comes to food tracking. However, the Basis Peak is ideal for shoppers who are looking for a fitness tracker with swappable bands, great motivation features, and a comfortable fit. If you just aren’t a fan of the way Fitbit’s fitness trackers look and feel, definitely give some serious consideration to the Basis Peak.
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