So, I heard you had a New Year’s Resolution to be more active/get in shape/eat right/lose weight/drink more water/what-fucking-ever this thing is damn cool and will completely solve your life for you.
Ben and I got each other Fitbits for Christmas, and of course we gave them to each other on the 20th because EXCITED! So we’ve been using them for 13 days now, and we are both pretty enamored of them. Compared to other body monitoring things, they are crazy cheap. A Fitbit One is 99.95, and a Fitbit Zip is 59.95 while the Bodymedia tracker is $119.99 plus $6.95 a month, and the Nike Fuelband can be as much as $336.00 (not to mention the hours you waste trying to figure out what the difference between the $195 price and the $336 price).
All 3 have apps that let you update the tracker on the go. Fuelband only works with Apple devices, but syncs with the device on the go. Bodymedia has both Apple and Android apps that also sync with the device. Fitbit has Apple and Android apps, but only the Apple app syncs with the device. The Android one syncs with the account, which only syncs with the device when it’s near it’s home computer, but you can see your progress for the day on the device itself. Bodymedia and Fitbit’s apps have a section for calorie counting with a searchable database of popular foods, and a section where you can add unlisted foods and supplements. Fitbit also has a separate section just for water. Fuelband seems only to track activity and nothing else. As far as apps go, Bodymedia wins this category by allowing the user to go completely computer free regardless of phone type. Fitbit comes in second because at least it provides the calorie counting and activity logging aspects of the app to Android users, plus syncing in real time for apple users. The Fitbit app also pairs itself with a selection of other tracking apps to refine your data collecting. Fuelband comes in third, but a really far behind third. I can’t help but wonder what the fuck the app even does except measure calories, which the Fitbit does by itself without an app. For something that costs over $300, that’s really disappointing.
Fitbit wins the aesthetics category hands down. The device is so small you can drop it in a pocket, clip it to the inside of your waste band, bra or even your shoe and doesn’t make you look like a parolee. Meanwhile, Bodymedia and Nike Fuelband cover the spectrum of damn ugly to merely fashionably obtrusive, and they have to be worn on visible areas of the body. The Bodymedia bug looks like medical equipment, is the size of stack of post-it notes and just as strange-looking strapped to you. Two women at my work have them, and they’re constantly getting stopped by people who want to know what’s on their arm. One time I was walking down the hall with my classic iPod Video in it’s running band someone said, “oh, you have the body bug too!” Fuelband, while pretty sleek in design doesn’t go with everything. Despite the couture price point, it also has a couture level of uselessness. Fitbit, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be seen if it doesn’t want to be seen. The possibilities are endless.
Fitbit, holder, and a toenail clipper for scale.
Since I’ve only had my Fitbit a week and a half I haven’t had occasion to wash it or run it over with a car yet (real talk), but I hear they’re pretty tough stuff. Fitbit still recommends avoiding water and crushing to keep your device running smoothly, but it’s good to know I might have found something that can withstand the abuse of someone like me owning it. The Fuelband claims that you can shower with it on, but you can’t swim with it. I tried to find evidence of people swimming with it, and it being fine but haven’t been able to. Bodymedia has two sensors that are required to be in full contact with the skin at all times in order for it to function properly, so I’m not seeing a lot of toughness going on there.
Overall, I love the Fitbit. It has the perfect intersection of price, functionality, attractiveness and usefulness. It motivates me to be more active, and to think about my health throughout the day. As of yet, I’ve only used it on vacation, where I exercise less than usual, but I also eat a lot better, so it balances out. I’m excited to see how the Fitbit works into my real life, and if I see any improvement in how I feel or the choices I make. I’d argue that I already feel better, but that may be because I have something rewarding me for exercise. If you have a Bodymedia bug, or a Nike Fuelband, I’d really like to hear from you because I was only able to look at the stats of those devices and not actually use them, so speak up if you feel like I’ve slighted your device. Also, can someone please explain the Nike Fuelband price scale to me? Because I still don’t get it at all.
This is how the fitbit makes me feel inside.