How long does a Fitbit last?

Fitbit over history montage

So, you’re looking to buy a gadget like the Fitbit Ultra or Fitbit One, and wondering how long the device will last? That I can answer for you, as my Fitbit Ultra has this week counted its last step.

It’s been treated well, not dropped, and not water damaged. Last week I docked it to my computer in the morning, mainly to give the battery a charge. That evening, I popped it out of my pocket to check my step count, as I’d had a very active day. And… nothing. The screen was blank.

I went to the Support Forum on the Fitbit website. The advice given to others experiencing the problem was to reset the Fitbit Ultra by:

  • Place it on your base station, which must be plugged into your computer’s USB port.
  • Next, press the gold button on the underside of the base station with a toothpick, pen tip, or paper clip.
  • Your Ultra will now be reset and should function properly.

I followed the instructions, and nothing. While the Fitbit was docked, I could press the device’s button and see the title screens, but no data. As soon I removed it from the dock, the screen was again dead.

Next step, I emailed Fitbit. Upon hearing what I’d already done, they asked if I had the receipt to prove a warranty claim. So that’s the non-pronouncement pronouncement of death.

Unfortunately, the warranty is 12 months.

Do you have a Jawbone UP? Read my companion piece,How long does a Jawbone UP last?

I purchased my Fitbit in February 2012. Since then, the Fitbit Ultra and I have done 6,614,281 steps, or 5,617.65 kilometres, and 11,437 floors. Hell, we even did a marathon together. But that’s it for us.

But there’s some good news. The Fitbit support staff offered me a 50% discount on a new Fitbit One. So very soon a new electronic pedometer and I will be stepping out.

Fitbit One, in the black and plum colours
Fitbit One Wireless Activity Tracker and Sleep Tracker

Update, December 2014: How is the replacement Fitbit going?

It has been almost 18 months since this story was first published. As I wrote above, my Fitbit Ultra managed to count 6,614,281 steps before it broke. I replaced it with a Fitbit One, and I’m pleased to be able to report it is still going strong.

I’ve now travelled 16,544,487 steps with a Fitbit, meaning the Fitbit One has been with me now for just under 10 million steps. Not only is the Fitbit One a design advance over the Ultra, it is also demonstrably a better build. Now, if only Fitbit could do something about improving my tired, sore feet!

Read more about my Fitbit experiences:

Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Tracker review

Couch to marathon; or better living through gadgetry

Couch to marathon: mission completed

Have you killed a Fitbit?

How about you? Have you had a Fitbit death? Tell us all about it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section at the bottom of this page.

Buy a Fitbit

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