Most fitness app subscriptions aren’t worth the cost

Most fitness app subscriptions aren't worth the cost

People expect smartwatches and fitness trackers to cost a lot less than an Apple or Samsung lifestyle watch because they “only” track your health and fitness data. They are tools, not accessories. But believe it or not, squeezing tons of health sensors and GPS into a band that weighs an ounce or two, lasts a week or more per charge, and extrapolates your fitness level and health from data is not a cheap deal.

These days you can get a cheap fitness tracker with heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring for $50, and while better models produce more accurate data, most people won’t notice the difference. . So fitness brands above the bargain level have two options: sell high-end watches that target athletes and the wealthy, or sell hardware at cost or below cost and subsidize consumer-friendly pricing with subscriptions.

Fitness brands like Fitbit, Amazon Halo, Whoop, and Oura fall into the latter category. They sell reasonably affordable devices – or give them away, in Whoop’s case – by locking vital features behind a monthly subscription. And while I’m in no way criticizing this business model or the people who buy it, I always lean towards brands that don’t hold your data hostage.

Fitbit Sense analysis for health and stress data (Image credit: Joe Maring/Android Central)

Take Fitbit Premium. No matter which Fitbit device you buy, you’ll get 3-12 months free access to guided fitness and diet programs, various workouts, personalized “insights” into your health current, a wellness report with trends in your health over the past 30 days, and Snore Detection for sleep tracking.