Can Fitbit Track Your Run Without A Phone?




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Fitbit comes with a variety of sensors that can track your steps, calories, heart rate, and other metrics, but in this guide, we will discuss the very important question: Can Fitbit Track without Phone? Let’s find out.

Can Fitbit Track run without Phone

Fitbit devices are capable of tracking your run without Phone. Fitbit devices usually come with two types of GPS Tracking: Connected GPS & Built-in GPS.

Here is an article on my website that you must read, its about Best Fitbit Compatible Apps For Running And Sleep Tracking.

The Fitbit device with Connected GPS can track your run, but it will be using your step count x stride length to estimate your covered distance. The Fitbit device with Built-in GPS will be using the GPS to accurately calculate your pace and route.

Can Fitbit Track Run Without Phone?

Before we proceed to the actual answer, it is essential that you understand how Fitbit tracks the location. In Fitbit devices, you will find these two type of GPS Tracking

  • Connected GPS – Connected GPS is basically a feature that allows the Fitbit to use the GPS tracker in your smartphone to track the route and pace of your run. It also requires you to carry your smartphone and keep it near your Fitbit.
  • Built-in GPS – The Fitbit devices with Built-in GPS doesn’t need you to carry your smartphone as they are capable enough to track the route and pace on its own.

Here is a related article that I wrote on the Best Activity Trackers with GPS and Music Storage for a phone-free run.

Now that you understand the two GPS Tracking in Fitbit devices, let’s get to the actual question: Can Fitbit Track run without Phone? The answer to this question is yes, Fitbit can track your run without Phone.

The Fitbit Device that comes with Connected GPS functionality, it rely on the GPS of your smartphone. If you go for a run without your smartphone, the tracker will still be able to track your run, but it will be estimating your covered distance using the step count x stride length. As it will be estimated distance, it won’t be very accurate.

On the other hand, Fitbit with built-in GPS doesn’t require the smartphone for its functionality, so it will be able to accurately track your pace and route without the smartphone. Also, the data from this tracker will be more accurate.

Which Fitbit Is Accurate For Running?

In 2023, these are the best Fitbit that offer accurate tracking for running sessions.

1. Fitbit Versa 4

Fitbit Versa 4 is one of the newest Fitbit smartwatches and it comes with a variety of sensors that you can use to accurately track your running sessions.

The best thing about Versa 4 is that it comes with a dedicated GPS sensor which means that it can track your work without using your smartphone. Apart from your running sessions, Versa 4 can also track your other exercise and workout sessions including swimming, walking, treadmil, hiking, brisk walk, and more.

If we look at the features of Versa 4, you get heart rate tracking, SPO2 tracking, sleep tracking, sleep profiling, daily readiness score, heart-rate variability, step counter, and other useful features.

So, if you are looking for a new and advanced Fitbit to track your running sessions, you can’t go wrong with Fitbit Versa 4.

2. Fitbit Sense 2

Fitbit Sense 2 is the health smartwatch by the company and it comes with more advanced features as compared to Versa 4.

Like Versa 4, Sense 2 also has a dedicated GPS sensor which will allow you to accurately track your running sessions without using your smartphone.

In term of features, Fitbit Sense 2 get all the features you get in Versa 4 along with some special health features such as ECG, AFib detection, advanced stress management, and advanced sleep monitoring.

So, if you want an accurate and feature-rich Fitbit smartwatch, you should consider Fitbit Sense 2.

3. Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Charge 5 is the premium fitness tracker by Fitbit and it’s an ideal option for those who want to get a good tracker for their running sessions without spending a lot of money. With a price tag of just below $150, Fitbit Charge 5 is the ideal fitness tracker in the budget category.

When it comes to tracking, Fitbit Charge 5 comes with a dedicated GPS sensor and other required sensors which allow it to accurately track your running and other outdoor sessions.

One of the defining features of Charge 5 is that it comes with an ECG feature which you can use to monitor the health of your heart. Also, it comes with other useful features including heart rate monitoring, AFib detection, sleep monitoring, and tons of exercise modes.

So, if you want an accurate Fitbit to track your running sessions and you have a budget of around $150, you should consider Fitbit Charge 5.

4. Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4 is the newest member of the Fitbit Charge Series, and it comes with built-in GPS and improved features. Fitbit Charge 4 is the most advanced fitness tracking band by Fitbit, and it comes with all the bells and whistles which you can expect from a good fitness tracking band.

As it comes with a built-in GPS tracker, it doesn’t need your smartphone to track your run, and it uses the built-in GPS tracker to accurately track your run. It records the pace and route of your run with accuracy. Moreover, Charge 4 is also equipped with an improved heart-rate monitor, which offers better heart-rate monitoring.

It also comes with the SPO2 sensor, which you can use to find your blood oxygen level. Overall, Fitbit Charge 4 offers great features as well as accurate tracking, which makes it the best Fitbit fitness tracking band for running.

Can You Use Fitbit Without App?

Yes, you can use the Fitbit without the app, but I won’t recommend it because most Fitbit comes with smaller displays, and there is not ample room to view all of your data.

When you use your app with Fitbit, the device syncs all the data to the app, which allows you to know how you are performing.
Without the app, you will only be able to view just your current stats without having the ability to store it, compare it and view your progress.

Fitbit usually recommends its users to sync their data within 7 days as most Fitbit devices can only save minute-by-minute data for 7 days and daily totals for up to 30 days. Once the final period pass, the Fitbit discard the oldest data to make room for new data.

How Do I Get My Fitbit To Track Distance?

If you want your Fitbit to track your distance, then you will need to ensure that you either use the Fitbit with built-in GPS or use the GPS of your smartphone for Connected GPS Fitbit.

If you go for a run with the GPS enabled device, then the device will calculate the distance, and it will be displayed in the activity details.

However, if you go for a run without the GPS tracking, then your Fitbit will calculate the estimated distance, but it will only be displayed in the dashboard right below the total steps.

Does Fitbit Automatically Track Exercise?

Fitbit SmartTrack is advanced, which allows the Fitbit to automatically track various exercises. SmartTrack can recognize the following activities with continuous movements.

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Aerobic Workout
  • Elliptical
  • Outdoor Bike
  • Sports
  • Swimming

SmartTrack technology can automatically detect these exercises if you are continuously moving for 15 minutes or more. At the time of writing this guide, only Fitbit Ionic comes with SmartTrack Feature.


Fitbit offers a wide range of fitness trackers and smartwatches which you can use to track your run without using your smartphone. In this guide, I’ve shared the top 4 Fitbit fitness trackers which can accurately track your running sessions without needing your smartphone. 

I’ve also shared some top features of these recommended Fitbits which will help you make up your mind and make it easy to find the right Fitbit for you. 

I hope that you found this guide useful and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. Also, check this guide where I’ve shared the Can You Have More Than 1 Fitbit On An Account? How To Do It?

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