If you’ve been a Fitbit member for a while, you already know that the best way to see your fitness and activity stats is via the mobile app. But can you use a Fitbit without a smartphone?
You can use your Fitbit without a smartphone or computer and still get access to useful features, but you’ll need to sync to your account to access recent data about your health and fitness. Without your phone, your Fitbit won’t access streaming services, sleep stats, and connected GPS.
From what I know, you don’t need to have your phone with you all the time for a Fitbit smartwatch or fitness tracker to work.
However, not connecting the device with your phone means you won’t have data or history about your activity. But the daily live fitness and activity tracking should work as intended.
Do You Need a Smartphone to Use a Fitbit?
You Fitbit device can work without smartphone, tablet, or computer, but it isn’t 100% standalone.
To begin with, you need a smartphone and internet connection to do the initial Fitbit setup. After completion, you can use the device without bringing your phone along with you.
The Fitbit will record stats such as steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, and distance covered. Then, it will store the data locally ready for automatic sync when you’re near your phone, usually within a proximity of 30 feet.
If you don’t want to use your phone, you could synchronize data with a Fitbit dongle and computer within a 2-meter range. This option should work well provided your computer supports Bluetooth connectivity.
Of course, there’s an exception to this possibility.
If you wish to use a Fitbit to map routes when biking, you had better make sure the model you choose includes a built-in GPS system. Otherwise, you’ll need to bring your phone with you so that you can activate and use the connected GPS feature.
Also, Fitbit’s streaming services do require cellular data to work effectively, and, as such, you must have your smartphone within reach.
4 Fitbit Features That Require a Smartphone
Up until now, it’s clear that you don’t necessarily need to have your phone, tablet, or computer in close proximity to get the most out of your Fitbit.
However, some Fitbit features can’t work without your smartphone near you, and they’re as follows:
1. Connected GPS
If you have a Fitbit that doesn’t feature a built-in GPS system and you would like to map routes, calculate pace, and account for distance covered during workouts, you’ll need your phone.
Take the Fitbit Versa 2, for example.
The device doesn’t have an onboard GPS system, but it allows you to take advantage of the connected GPS to get the most out of your workout.
For the connected GPS to work efficiently, the Versa 2 needs to be in close proximity to your smartphone.
The same came applies to all other Fitbit models that don’t include the onboard GPS.
2. Call and Message Alerts
Call and message alerts allow you to stay up to date with the most important things in your life.
The notification could be a concern from a friend, an issue from a loved one, a notice from work, or really just anything you consider too important not to miss.
However, if you use a Fitbit device to help you get these alerts, but you haven’t paired it to your smartphone or the phone is far away, you won’t get notifications.
One of the reasons why Fitbit fails to sync is the absence of your mobile device.
Fitbit depends on Bluetooth connectivity to connect to and synchronize recent activity from the device to the app.
And given that Bluetooth technology works based on a given range, it’s only possible to establish a connection between the Fitbit device and its primary app in close proximity.
You need to be within 30 feet at least for the synchronization to start and complete, although drawing closer would be much better.
Notably, Fitbit automates the syncing process, so you’ll never have to do this manually unless the process jams up.
4. Sleep Stats View
One of the best things about Fitbit is its ability to track sleep in stages.
The problem is, it’s tedious to view sleep stats directly from the device because you’d have a of screen swiping to do.
Using the Fitbit app to access this information would be more convenient. All you have to do is log into the app and tap on “Today” tab to access your sleep data.
The cool thing about the data in the app is how advanced the information is. In my opinion, the ability to see up to 7 days of sleep data from the Fitbit app makes your smartphone a necessary component to have with you.
Which Fitbit Does Not Require a Smartphone?
Any Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch with a built-in GPS system doesn’t necessarily need a smartphone to work.
When activated, the built-in GPS system will track distance covered, record pace, and even map your workout routes.
As of this writing, the Fitbit models that feature the built-in GPS technology are:
- Fitbit Sense
- Fitbit Versa 3
- Fitbit Charge 5
- Fitbit Charge 4
The inclusion of a built-in GPS doesn’t take away the need for a smartphone, though.
At the end of the day, you will still need your phone to synchronize data from your Fitbit device to the app and Internet to save the data to the Fitbit server.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Use Fitbit without Internet?
You can use your Fitbit smartphone or fitness band without Wi-Fi connection because it doesn’t need Internet connection to operate.
The Bluetooth technology is what your Fitbit needs to connect to your phone, and you must activate it on both gadgets for them to work together.
However, you must connect your smartphone to the Internet to synchronize your health and fitness stats to the Fitbit server.
2. Can You Use Fitbit without the App?
You can use your Fitbit device without the app, so you don’t necessarily have to bring your smartphone with you to your workouts.
However, you’ll need to synchronize your data to the app if you want to see a detailed report of your recent data.
3. Does Fitbit Needs to Be Near a Phone to Work?
Your Fitbit device doesn’t necessarily need to be near a phone, a tablet, or a computer to work. As I mentioned before, the live fitness an activity tracking should work perfectly.
However, you’ll still need your phone to get the most out of your setup.
You will need your phone near you if:
- You need to sync data from the device to your Fitbit account.
- You want to take advantage of the connected GPS because your Fitbit model doesn’t feature a built-in GPS.
You can use your Fitbit smartwatch or fitness tracker without a smartphone or computer. Not to mention you don’t even need Wi-Fi to operate the device.
However, your phone, tablet, or computer and Internet connection are important for syncing data to your Fitbit account.
And besides, a smartphone, tablet, or computer is the only device via which you can access comprehensive data about your health, fitness, and activities based on Fitbit tracking.
So while it’s possible to use a Fitbit device without a smartphone or internet, you will need your phone and Wi-Fi connection at one point in time.