Bexx Note (03/19/14): Since posting this review I have stopped using my Fitbit, as it has burned my wrists and left permanent scarring. Reports are saying it is a chemical burn or skin reaction. I am not currently allergic to anything at all, and from the looks of the burn it appears to be chemical. The fitbit Flex is still fine according to reports, but the Force should be recalled. I still saw it in stores last week in Ontario, Canada, so be careful.
My friend Hilary got a Fitbit and when I was working out with her one Friday she told me all about it. I went out the very next day and purchased one myself. I had heard about the Fitbit before, but I was curious, and intrigued. I also wanted to see if something like this could help me be more conscious of my every day activity levels, and overall fitness. Her husband had the regular Fitbit Flex, which offers more colour options, but less in terms of display. This ultimately made my decision easier – I’m all about the visual so I went with the Fitbit Force.
That week my friend Lawrence who works with Nike provided me with a Nike FuelBand SE so that I could test it out. He swore it was better than the Fitbit. I must admit that for my purposes, I am still in love with the Fitbit Force.
Fitbit Force $130 CAD
i) Clear display. Measures daily steps, miles, stair flights climbed, active minutes, calories burned, allows you to input weight changes, track sleep patterns, and allows you to track your calories and water intake.
ii) If you are a fan and user of MyFitnessPal, it links with the Fitbit allowing you to track calories in and calories out, along with all your activity.
iii) Vibrates and lights up once you’ve hit your step goal for the day.
iv) Has a great application for iPhone users and also a great Dashboard for PCs. You can add your friends to it, and have them cheer you on, or taunt you for fun!
i) Limited wrist bands colours available. Currently available in grey and black.
ii) The community for Fitbit is not as large as the Nike community. If you are big into community engagement, you may want to wait a little longer until this community is built up…or maybe get one and join me!
iii) If you are into cycling, it doesn’t accurately count your activity. I’ve heard of people attaching the Fitbit to their shoes to account for their activity, but I haven’t tried that yet myself 😉
Overall: Comfortable wristband, no flashy branding, and can blend in with other jewelry accessories. I love that is links with MyFitnessPal and I find myself making sure that I get my steps in even if that requires that I do some ‘foot-fire’ football running drills to hit my steps in my room before bed. *Note: My neighbours may not be a fan of this as much as I am haha. I’m a bit crazy like that. By far my favourite fitness related tracker thus far. I usually quit or stop tracking with technological devices like this, but with Fitbit Force I am going on strong – a month and a half now and down 15 lbs! Fitbit and MyFitnessPal combined really make you aware of what you are doing and what you’re not. Awareness has also been an issue for me, so this is absolutely wonderful.
Nike FuelBand SE Retail: $150 CAD
i) Uses motion-sensing technology to capture your movements during the day and converts it to NikeFuel. Tracks the intensity of your workouts, sleep, counts yours steps and tells time.
ii) Strong community is what Nike is known for – this aspect does not disappoint. You can compete against your friends in some ‘friendly’ competition to see who has earned the most NikeFuel.
ii) NikeFuel SE has a coloured meter which allows you to see where you are at in terms of activity for the day. Also allows you the opportunity to track which hours you have ‘won’ for the day. (An hour ‘won’ is an hour where you have been active and earned NikeFuel for 6 minutes consecutively within an hour.) It reminds you to get up and get active, which is especially helpful when you have an office job where you sit a lot. It sends you a personalized (essentially a Go, Rebecca, Go!) message of encouragement. If this isn’t for you, you can also shut this option off.
i) Heavily branded, and is not as comfortable on the wrist despite having adjustment pieces available.
ii) Display is not as clear as the Fitbit, and it is a little less clear what exactly you’re seeing when you hit the button.
iii) Battery lasted approximately from Sunday to Wednesday evening vs the Fitbit week-long battery life.
Overall: I think this is a good option for someone who is heavily into training and measuring the intensity of their training. Ultimately it depends what you’re trying to track, and what is important to you. With its sporty sleek look and great community, this device is awesome if you are competitive and want to have that community engagement and support. It has come a long way from the original NikeFuel that first came out years ago. The sleep tracker is also an added bonus that a lot of other devices don’t have. Nike has done a great job in improving this device and I’m interested to see the next model and how they adapt to the needs of the user.
It really depends on you. I’m a bit biased because I tried my Fitbit first and I think it’s really hard to change my mind when I love something. Different strokes for different folks. I think when purchasing you need to keep in mind what exactly you’re wanting the device for. Overall, these types of devices shine a light on your habits and actual activity level. I think a lot can be said for something that allows you to see what you’re really up to in a day. It makes you accountable, aware and allows you to really gauge whether or not you actually want to do something with the results you find. Maybe you’re a lot more active than you thought, or maybe it’s the opposite. Either way, knowledge is power, as they say! 😉
Feel free to leave comments below on your experience with Fitbit or NikeFuel. I’d love to hear your opinions!