How to Unlock Your Android Phone With Your Fitbit

Bluetooth devices you trust can be set to unlock your phone

The team took the key to unlock

z_wei / Getty Images 

When it comes to unlocking your smartphone, for a long time the PIN or passcode was the only option for security. With advances such as biometric-based security in Apple's Touch ID and later Face ID, the ways to unlock smartphones have been expanding.

Android users have also received new methods for securing their phones and unlocking them with more convenience, including the ability to unlock your phone via Bluetooth using your personal Fitbit.

Instructions in this article applies to Android 9.0 and 8.0.

Smart Lock for Android

Android users got quick unlock features when Smart Lock capabilities were introduced in Android Lollipop 5.0 OS. Smart Lock added several new locking and unlocking methods, and it also improved on the previous facial recognition feature offered in earlier versions of the OS. The Android 5.0 Smart Lock feature has the ability to use a trusted Bluetooth device's presence to unlock your phone.

Here's how to set up Android Smart Lock to use a Fitbit (or any trusted Bluetooth device) to unlock your phone. These directions should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, or others.

  1. Ensure that you have a password or pattern set for your device. If you need to set one for the first time, open your Android device's Settings menu, navigate to Lock Screen > Screen Lock Type. For Android 8.0, select Settings > Security & lock screen > Smart Lock.

    If there is an existing PIN or passcode, you'll have to enter it here, otherwise follow the instructions to create a new pattern, password, or PIN to secure your device.

    Android Screen lock navigation.
  2. In the Screen lock type section, choose between Pattern, PIN, or Password for a Screen Lock.

    Using Swipe will not allow you to setup Smart Lock.

  3. In order to use the Smart Lock feature with a trusted Bluetooth device, you'll first need to make sure that Smart Lock is enabled. Go to Settings > Lock screen > Smart Lock.

    You will be prompted to enter your chosen Pattern, PIN, or Password before proceeding.

    Navigating to the Smart Lock.
  4. To enable Smart Lock, select On-body detection.

  5. Toggle the switch to read On.

  6. Select Continue on the Keep in mind dialog.

    Navigating to On-body detection in Android.
  7. Select Trusted devices.

  8. Select the + (Plus sign) next to Add trusted device.

  9. Select your Fitbit.

    If you don't see your Fitbit, you may need to enable Bluetooth or re-sync your Fitbit.

    Selecting the Fitbit as a trusted device in Android.
  10. Confirm the addition of your Fitbit as a trusted device by selecting Yes, Add.

Be aware that, depending on the range of your phone's Bluetooth radio, someone nearby could access your phone if the device you've paired it to for Smart Unlock is nearby.

Removing a Trusted Bluetooth Device in Smart Lock

  1. Go to Settings > Lock screen > Smart Lock. For Android 8.0 go to Settings > Security & lock screen > Smart Lock.

    Navigating to the Smart Lock.
  2. Enter your passcode and select Next.

  3. Select Trusted devices.

  4. Select your Fitbit.

  5. Select Remove Trusted Device.

    Removing the Fitbit as a trusted device in Android.

Allowing your smartphone to be unlocked with a Bluetooth device can increase the risk for unauthorized access. For example, if you're in a meeting in the room next door to your office and your phone is left unattended on your desk, someone could access it without a passcode because your paired device — your Fitbit, watch, or other paired Smart Lock-trusted device — is within range for it to unlock the phone.