Why I Walk with a Fitbit Without GPS

In this post, I go over the reasons why I got a Fitbit without GPS, and how it's been going so far. 

Updated: April 13, 2022
Fitbit Inspire 2 without GPS
Fitbit Inspire 2 without GPS 

I Mostly Walk in the City, That’s Why I Got a Fitbit Without GPS

Don't get me wrong, I love GPS. And I think GPS is crucial in certain environments. If I was hiking in deep parts of the mountains, I would definitely have a watch that has GPS or a GPS device solely to track my location. Since I walk mainly in the city, I found GPS took second place. 

What Fitbit Did I Get?

I got the Fitbit Inspire 2 which doesn't have built-in GPS in the activity tracker itself. There is a way to link up to GPS using a smartphone. I haven't done it yet.  

Unboxing Video of My Fitbit Without GPS, (Fitbit Inspire 2) Below

I Got a Fitbit Without GPS to Save on Battery 

Before I had the Fitbit inspire 2 without GPS, I owned a Polar m200. It was my first GPS watch, and I was really thinking I needed GPS for the walks. I then realized over time that the GPS would start draining my battery creating gaps in my data. I was a little bit upset, but over time it wasn't such a big deal because I wasn't really training for anything. When I mean "training," I mean walking marathons. (That I walk slow)

In saying that, I did train for a couple walking events with GPS, and I was forced to charge my watch almost every night. So, the charging time again created data gaps, and I needed a full charge because I used the watch for sleeping data as well. 

Ok, you can see how frequent charging can be a headache. 

GPS to Fitbit without GPS to Counting Steps

So, when I noticed the Fitbit Inspire 2 had no in-device GPS, I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Cool, no worries." Instead of using GPS, I switched to counting steps. This saves so much battery time, and I don't have to charge the Fitbit Inspire 2 every night. 

A bar graph of the Steps data from the Fitbit Connect app. Tracked by the Fitbit Inspire 2.
Steps data from the Fitbit Connect app. Tracked by the Fitbit Inspire 2.

Great, I Got a Fitbit without GPS, But What if I need GPS? What About Safety? 

If I need GPS, I bring my phone with me. Since my phone is my long-lost organ, it's easy to remember to bring... well, most of the time. When I walk, my phone is no longer a phone, it's a contact beacon to other humans... safety, and pizza.  

What if a Virtual Walking Marathon Requires Time and Distance Using GPS

One issue that popped up was tracking time and distance for virtual walking marathons. In my experience, some virtual marathons were fine with manual submissions. The more serious marathons want the actual Fitbit data. I have yet to encounter a virtual walking marathon that required me to only submit my Fitbit time and distance, but it's definitely possible that may happen in the future. The only solution I can think of is to link up my Fitbit to my phone and use the phone's GPS. 

Was Switching to a Fitbit Without GPS Worth It? (After 3 Months of Walking)

Well, here we are, about three months later, and I'm still using my Fitbit without GPS (Fitbit Inspire 2). It hasn't been smooth sailing though, when it comes to tracking steps, my Fitbit without GPS is great. But, there have been a few walks where I wanted to check up on the kilometers, and I would not consider the distance data on my Fitbit Inspire 2 to be as accurate. So, if I want to track the distance accurately, I have to link my Fitbit to my phone. Not a fan.

Well, there you have it, that's why I don't mind walking with my Fitbit without GPS. Oh, of course, I'm not a professional. Please talk to your local experts when doing any exercise.